Athlete Spotlight: NPC Competitor Andrea Gritz

Introducing sensational NPC & NGA Athlete Andrea Gritz

ABFITT: What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with fitness and figure.

Andrea: I have played sports since I was 4, from cheerleading to soccer, softball, gymnastics, field hockey and marine corps fitness..and coed touch football. It was the football that prompted me to fitness and physique competitions oddly. I have always been a trainer; however began as a speed/agility coach ten years ago. At that time, my workouts and diet were geared for sports, not shows. Unfortunately, I tore my left acl for a second time (I was landed on in a coed football league game), and soon after lost health insurance. As a result, my workouts shifted from athletic performance to more traditional lifting and aesthetic development of my physique. I was a strong girl, and with eastern European genetics. I got tired of being asked to arm wrestle by strangers and told I looked "thick" and like a powerlifter. I wanted to look like a delicate lil lady, not a "scary" girl. So...I cut out my carbs..and just made it a lifestyle, which placed me about 5 weeks out from stage ..year round.

ABFITT: Can you discuss your competition background and results.

Andrea: My first show was the NGA Natural Philly, May 4, 2013. I was the only competitor and naturally a little disappointed. I decided to jump into the NPC Mid Atlantic Natural Show May 11, 2013 with hopes of having other women in my division. I ended up winning the overall..and then was hooked. Throughout the summer I competed in NGA NJ - 1st Place Womens Physique, INBF Hercules, 2nd Place Ms. Fitbody, NPC NJ State Championships 1st Place Womens Physique, and OCB Battle of the Belt 1st Place BB and Physique (earned BB pro card for OCB).

ABFITT: What is your diet, nutrition and supplementation like during contest prep?

Andrea: I joke that I have the most unorthodox and relaxed prep of anyone I know. I do not write anything down, not have set meals, or peak weak sodium/carb load. I stay low carb year round, but tons of greens!!!!!!!! Similar to KETO but I consume more greens and a little less fats than standard keto prep. I do not use powders for the last 3 weeks, nor anything with sucralose. I use either hydroxycut or oxyelite or PS VANISH for my cutting, and stick to all whitefish or Low sodium tuna 5to 6 times a day my final 3 weeks. Oddly, I put cinnamon on everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fish, asparagus, cinnamon, garlic, apple cider vinegar....and almond butter and even dark chocolate are staples!

ABFITT: What is your training style? What is your training like?

Andrea: I do 6 days a week of cardio year round and prep..not more than 40 minutes per day. I HATE CARDIO!! I swear by the stairmill to maintain leg mass..if I jog, my glutes disappear:( I train leg up to 3times per week and back twice as well. I rarely isolate Bis and Tris, and I never touch my calves. Pullups, pushups and jump rope seem to work well for those areas without the isolation exercises until 2 final weeks.

ABFITT: Any future competitions planned?

Andrea: Hoping for one more in November 2013, NPC East Coast or Easterns...and see how they go!!

ABFITT: How do you keep motivated and find the discipline required to reach your goals?

Andrea: After my first show, I was hooked. My shows have been the best part of my year thus far. It is a feeling that is hard to surpass. it is fun, challenging and the people I have met are amazing!!!! It is an adrenaline rush that makes the work worth while. AND I LOVE the routines!!! I try to combine fitness routines with bb posing, and be somewhat different than traditional physique and bb routines. Kai Greene is my favorite poser. My first and favorite routine I made by mixing GANGNAM style and Eye of the tiger together!

ABFITT: Thank you for taking the time to discuss your fitness, continued success...

Special thanks to

The More You Know, Fit Foods II

To build muscle & lose fat, you need a variety of proteins, veggies, fruits, carbs, and healthy fats. Eating protein helps building & maintaining muscle. But it also helps fat loss: protein has a higher thermic effect than carbs/fats.

Eating fats also helps fat loss: your body holds fat if you don’t eat fats. Fruits & veggies contain vitamins & minerals, necessary for recovery from your workouts. And carbs fuel your muscles so you feel full of energy at the gym.

Lots of you struggle to get these foods. Sometimes because you’re too busy or sometimes because you just lack information. This list will help you — 20 super foods to help build muscle and burn fat.

1. Whole Eggs. Cheap & rich source of protein: 7g/egg. The yolk contains most nutrients: half the protein, vitamins A/D/E and cholesterol to naturally increase your testosterone levels.

Don’t worry about cholesterol in eggs. Dietary cholesterol isn’t bound to blood cholesterol. If you have bad cholesterol, lower your body fat rather than throwing the yolk away.

2. Fish Oil. Reduces inflammation (joints/skin), lowers body fat and increases testosterone levels. You need 9000mg EPA/DHA per day. Since you’ll probably struggle to get that from eating fatty fish, consider a fish oil supplement.

3. Wild Salmon. One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids that also gets you 20g protein per 100g serving. Farm raised salmon is, however, omega-3 deficient: it’s corn/grain fed. Go with wild salmon.

4. Berries. Strong antioxidants that prevent cancer, heart & eye diseases. Any kind works: cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. Buy fresh or frozen berries and mix with oatmeal.

5. Yogurt. Contain bacteria that improve your gastrointestinal health. Don’t buy frozen yogurt or yogurt with added sugar and fruits at the bottom. Get plain low fat yogurt. Eat it with berries & flax seeds.

6. Flax Seeds. Source of fiber, protein & omega-3. Grind the flax seeds to get the most out of them. Take 1 tbsp with yogurt & berries before going to bed. Stay away from flax oil: it’s unstable and contains no fiber.

7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 70% monounsaturated fats that protect against heart diseases and cancer. Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil to your salads. Buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil: it contains more polyphenols and tastes better.

8. Mixed Nuts. Contain mono- & polyunsaturated fats, proteins, fiber, vitamin E, zinc, potassium, magnesium, etc. Mixed nuts are caloric dense, great if you’re a skinny guy who wants to gain weight.

Anything works: almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, … Peanut butter also works as long as you buy natural peanut butter without added salts/sugars.

9. Red Meat. Protein, vitamin B12, heme iron, zinc, creatine, carnosine and even omega-3 if you eat grass-fed beef. Eat steaks & hamburgers from top round or sirloin. Read Dr. Lonnie Lowery’s article on Meat.

10. Broccoli. High in cancer-fighting phytochemicals and anti-estrogenic indoles. Broccoli is also high in soluble fiber and low calorie, helping fat loss. Eat other cruciferous vegetables for a change: cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, kale, …

11. Spinach. One of the most alkaline foods. Spinach prevents muscle & bone loss, but also cancer and heart diseases because of its high nutrient profile. Try one of the spinach recipes I shared a while back.

12. Turkey. If you don’t believe saturated fat is good for you, try white turkey. The leanest beef has about 4.5g saturated fat/100g, while white turkey has close to 0g (that why it’s so dry). Eat turkey with spinach & quinoa.

13. Quinoa. South American “king of grains”. Quinoa is higher in fiber & protein than rice or oats, tastes a lot better and is gluten free. Buy the whiter grain, it’s better quality. Eat it post workout with meat & spinach.

14. Oats. Reduce cholesterol, provide you with low-gi carbs for energy, and high in soluble fiber. Try this post workout shake of whey & oats.

15. Tomatoes. High in lycopene, which prevents cancer. The lycopene in tomato paste is 4 times more bioavailable than in fresh tomatoes. Have pizza or pasta with tomato sauce & olive oil post strength training.

16. Oranges. Vitamin C to fight diseases, magnesium to lower blood pressure, anti-oxidant beta-carotenes, etc. Quit drinking processed orange juice which often has added sugars. Eat oranges or make your own orange juice.

17. Apples. Pectin in apples helps weight loss by increasing satiety. Apples are also the strongest antioxidiant after cranberries (eat the peels). Unfortunately apples are one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits. Go organic.

18. Carrots. Their huge vitamin A content improves eye-health, especially night vision. Carrots are also rich in fiber, low calorie and taste good, even raw.

19. Water. Your body holds water if you don’t drink enough. Drinking prevents water retention, helps muscle recovery and prevents dehydration from strength training. Carry a gallon jug and make it a point to finish it by the end of the day.

20. Green Tea. Strong antioxidant and natural diuretic. Green tea also speeds up fat loss, prevents cancer and improves blood sugar & circulation. Drink green tea in the morning instead of coffee. Real green tea, not the teabags. Try making your own at home.

Spotlight - Local NPC & USBF Athlete Hope Taylor Q&A

Intro: Hope Taylor National Physique Committee 3 time Overall Bikini Champion talks with ABFITT about her recent success, training and the future.

"I have my procard in the USBF and I can say that I'm a NPC 3x Overall Bikini Champ all in 10months. I love it"
- Hope Taylor

ABFITT: Wow you have been a busy girl these past ten months coming off your recent overall win at the NPC event Brandywine. You have certainly made a name for yourself as of late here in Northeast PA. However, for the readers of ABFITT who may not be familiar with you can you give us some background and talk about your recent contests and results.

Hope Taylor: Thank you for your kind words! Yes, it’s been a very rewarding year with a lot of hard work and blessings throughout my journey. My first NPC show was this past May at the PA Lehigh Valley Championships. I took 2nd in my Class. It was a tough first show! I learned a lot going through a big show with about 40 bikini competitors.

Immediately follow the show I got back into the gym, keep my head down and found myself working harder than I ever have. My goal was to simply improve my overall conditioning and worked on tweaking my presentation for a September show.

Early August I took a chance and did the NPC PA STATE and PA Classic to see if I could get everything down prep wise for the NPC Brandywine Cup in September. It turns out it all worked out! I got first in my class and won the overall for both shows. It was a complete shock and everyone there knew it! My head was spinning after that second sword!

Then, I had another four weeks until the next show. I kept doing everything I did the prior 4 weeks with a goal to come in even more conditioned and pushed even harder to bring the best package I could! I was blessed with another 1st in my class and overall win at the NPC Brandywine Cup.  

ABFITT: What got you in the gym and what has kept you there? Why the decision to start doing the Bikini class?

Hope Taylor: Oh man so much has kept me going, but initially what got me there was trying to find the balance I knew I was missing. I started training in 2009. After a few years of learning how to eat better and making small gains here and there I knew something was missing. I sought out nutritional guidance and some personal training sessions to bridge the gap at the end of 2012. (Photo credits: RX Muscle &

In efforts to push myself harder I set goals to compete! I’m naturally a leaner girl and need to grow into shows and this division has allowed me to do that. I’ve come a long way in the last year, but I have a lot of room for improvement.   

What’s kept me in the gym and on stage is the want for me to be my personal best inside and out. I’m a huge believer that your physical and mental health works together. Living a healthy lifestyle increases your focus, endorphins, energy and self-confidence. Most importantly, it allows me to set a positive example for my daughter!

ABFITT: Talk about your preparation for a show both your philosophy on training & nutrition. Doing shows so close together like the PA State Championship in August then the Brandywine in September must have presented some challenges for you and your prep.

Hope Taylor: Contest diet I follow low carbohydrate and use fats as an energy source. I eat one gram of protein per Lb. of body weight. In order to grow or improve diet is such a key factor. I plan/prep my meals so that I can’t fail in that arena. I lift 5 days a week, training one body part a week with a specialized day for hams and glutes. I also incorporate cardio EOD. My overall conditioning is most important part of my presentation. I want to come in balanced, well-conditioned and better each and every time I compete.

Yes, that was a little tricky for me to do those shows close together. It wasn’t too hard to peak in September as I had 4 weeks in between. However, I tried to do the same for the Big Cat two weeks later in October, but my body was telling me enough is enough. I got to enjoy the show as a spectator instead. Hopefully, I can do that show next year. I encourage competitors to really pay close attention to themselves and if they aren’t able to show up even better don’t be afraid take a break.

ABFITT: After three overall wins what’s next for Hope Taylor?

Hope Taylor: It’s time to grow! I am looking forward to competing in Gary Udit’s Pittsburgh Pro/Am show in May 2014. I have other friends that I’ve competed with in the past that are coming up to do the show as well. It’s going to be amazing to have about 9 of us there. It’s a beautiful forum and a bigger show than I’ve competed in the past. I’d love to come over to your state and compete in Team Universe as well. Until then I’m training hard and planning on bringing a better package in 2014.

ABFITT: What advice would you give woman looking to compete in the NPC Bikini division?

Hope Taylor: Ask yourself how it could impact you to commit to something so rewarding in various facets of your life! Do it for yourself, your family, your friends…. Impact the lives of others and show them what a healthy lifestyle can do for you and help them get there too! It’s honestly just as rewarding for me to give to others the tools they need to succeed and support them as much as it is for me to succeed.

ABFITT: So tell us about your entry in the MET-Rx® Magazine Cover Contest (see link below for Hope's entry) and how can fans vote for you.

Hope Taylor: I use the Met-Rx meal replacement throughout contest prep and during my off-season. I love the original vanilla. Since I’m such a fan of their product I was thrill to learn from my good friend Art Griffith that they were having this cover contest for Met-Rx.

If you click the link below you read more about my story, view a video about a typical weekend workout and vote for me! You can vote once a day until this Saturday October 14th. If you could also share it with your friends I would appreciate that too. There is a link to post it on your Facebook page. I’m looking for the opportunity to inspire others and to share my experience with those who need that extra push to put one foot in front of the other to go after their own dreams and desires!

ABFITT: Hope thanks for taking the time to chat with ABFITT, before we say goodbye can you tell the readers of ABFITT how they can follow you or keep an eye out for your contest results.

Hope Taylor: Sure, you can find me on Facebook at and my Instagram is  @SHIZZLEMDIZZLE

Thank you ABFITT for the opportunity to talk with you and your followers! You did a phenomenal job at the NPC PA Classic and we are all routing for your future success as well!

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