Meet Magnum Athlete Valerie Benoit. This sexy young Bikini competitor is always up for an exciting adventure!
- Hometown: Laval, Quebec, Canada
- Current Location: Montreal, Canada
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 127 lbs
- Age: 21
- Favorite Style of Cardio: HIIT- Bike/Arc Trainer and Hiking
- Favorite Beauty Product: MAC Whirl Lip Liner
Websites and Social Media:
For those unfamiliar with you, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got involved in the fitness industry?
When I was growing up, I was very independent , I wasn’t very athletic, and I hated team sports. So at a young age, my parents got me involved in Alpine skiing, tennis, and dance. I enjoyed those activities because they were individualized sports. But I wasn’t really ‘passionate’ about any of them. In high school, I stopped participating in sports altogether, but I would occasionally go skiing with my friends and family.
I’ve always been naturally slim and able to eat anything I wanted to, so I really didn’t have the desire to go to the gym and ‘get into shape.’ But after graduating high school, I started at CEGEP and I was working at an ice-cream shop. I was eating all of the ice-cream! I was able to get away with it for a while and keep my small frame, but during my first year of college, I gained 5 pounds and it really upset me.
I started looking at pictures of what I thought was the ‘perfect’ body on the internet, Victoria’s Secret models, and I became obsessed with wanting to have that ‘look.’
I started eating less, and I exercised a lot. Eventually, it led to a very unhealthy lifestyle and in two months, I went from 115 to 99 lbs. I was very weak and tiny and very emotional. Before my 18th birthday, in February 2012, I decided I had had enough. I was done being miserable ! I started going to the gym and instead of doing hours of cardio, I enjoyed lifting weights, and the rest is pretty much history!
During that time, I started my very first Instagram account and used the name ‘valfit.’ I eventually changed it to ‘healthyvalerie’ and that’s when I started sharing my fitness journey. Three years later, I am still using that platform and I connect with almost 45,000 people a day. I feel so blessed, I love sharing my story and inspiring other’s.
Tell us a about your online coaching and what services are you currently offering?
I am very busy with school and my upcoming National prep. I have had to put a lot of my plans on hold this summer. I am currently offering what I call a Macronutrient Consultation/Macro Plans. It’s a very individualized nutritional plan. I also provide supplement recommendations, teach about flexible dieting and much more to help my cleints achieve their goals. In the upcoming months, I will be adding new packages and services and an E-book. Be sure to stop by, and check it out: http://www.valeriebenoitfitness.com/.
You seem to handle your nutritional approach a little differently than most fitness competitors; tell us about that.
Absolutely! I practice flexible dieting or ‘IIFYM.’ Daily, I follow a very strict macronutrient breakdown, but I am able to enjoy a variety of foods; it changes all the time depending on my goals. Some of my staple foods include eggs and egg whites, horse meat, chicken, rice cakes, coconut flour, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables, avocado, nut butters, protein bars, and the occasional low fat frozen yogurt, or cereal when I can fit it into my macros.
How did you become involved with Magnum Nutraceuticals? And what do you love most about the company?
In September 2014, I got sponsored by Popeye’s Suppléments Québec; they introduced me to Magnum products and the team. At that time, they were looking for their first Popeye’s-Magnum Montreal athlete, and I thought I would be a perfect fit for the team! I was able to speak with President, Markus Kaulius and instantly I could feel the passion that Markus has for Magnum.
I love Magnum’s integrity and being a part of the Magnum team! We look up to each other and really believe in living this ‘lifestyle.’ Each and every one of us brings something unique to the Magnum team.
Tell us about representing Magnum at this year’s Olympia? And did you have anything special planned while you are there?
The Olympia was a blast! I am serious when I say that this was the most fun that I have ever had! I loved working with everyone at the Magnum booth and getting to meet everyone. I can’t wait to go back next year!
I had time for two photoshoots while I was there. One in the Las Vegas desert with Harry Grisby from LHGFX Photography, and the other with Ron Perron at Dave Barton’s Gym.
Both photoshoots were a lot of fun, and the pictures turned out awesome!
What Magnum products are you currently using?
Quattro: I have all of the flavors; they are all delicious! I usually have one scoop after training, mixed with 2 tablespoons of pure cacao, 2 tablespoons of pB2, and some Walden Farm’s chocolate dip. I make my own Quattro pudding.
Valerie’s Magnum Stack
- Performance Greens: 1 scoop, sometimes I mix it with 1 scoop of HI5, and I drink it while eating my first meal of the day.
- Primer: 1 packet before my first meal.
- Acid: 2 capsules 3 times a day.
- Mimic: For contest prep, I take 2 capsules, 2 times a day, before my 2 biggest meals. In the off season, I take 2 capsules before my biggest carb meal of the day. I also take 2 capsules before a refeed or cheat meal.
- Heat: For contest prep or when dieting for a photoshoot, I take 3 capsules when I wake up, either before my first meal or prior to fasted cardio, and 3 capsules before I train.
- Opus: 2 scoops; Orange Dreamsicle is my absolute favorite!
- Limitless: I use 2 scoops.
- HI5: 1 scoop.
- G: 1 scoop mixed with HI5.
- E Brake: For contest prep or prior to a photoshoot, I take 3 capsules 15 minutes before bed.
- G Spring: I take 4 capsules 15 minutes before bed. G Spring really comes in handy during contest prep, when I am having trouble falling asleep, and I need better recovery.
- G: 1 scoop 15 minutes before bed.
What’s your favorite exercise for arms and why?
I don’t train my arms a lot because they are one of my strongest body parts, and I don’t want them to overpower my shoulders.
But when I do, I absolutely love doing 21’s with a barbell.
Valerie’s Training Schedule
- Hack Squat Good Mornings 4 x 15
- Lying Leg Curls 4 x 15-20 (Superset)
- Hip Thrusts 4 x 15-20
- Single Leg Curl 4 x 10
- Glute Presses 4 x 15
- Single Leg Cable Kickbacks 50/25/12
- Side Lateral Raises 4 x 12-15 (Dropset)
- Seated Incline DB Curl 4 x 12-15 (Superset)
- DB Front Raises (Reverse Grip) 4 x 12-15
- Straight Arm Pulldown 4 x 12-15 (Superset)
- Face Pulls 4 x 12-15
- Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 4 x 10-12
- BB Upright Row 4 x 15-20 (Superset)
- BB Forearm Curl 4 x 15-20
- Romanian Deadlifts 5 x 8-12
- Hack Squat Good Mornings 4 x 15
- Lying Leg Curl 4 x 15 (Superset)
- Seated Leg Curl 4 x 15
- Single Legged Deadlifts (Kettlebell) 4 x 15-20
- Deadlift Swings (Kettlebell) 4 x 20-25
- DB Bent-Over Rows 4 x 12-15
- Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown 4 x 12-15 (Superset)
- Seated Cable Row 4 x 12-15
- Cable Front Raises 4 x 15
- Seated Arnold Press 4 x 12-15
- Reverse Flys 4 x 15 (Superset)
- Machine Lateral Raises 4 x 15
- Bent-Over Rear Delt Raises 4 x 15
- BB Hip Thrusts 5 x 8-12
- Leg Curls 4 x 15-20 (Superset)
- Hip Thrusts 4 x 15-20
- Cable Kickbacks 4 x 15-20
- Hyperextension Glute Raises 4 x 15
- Glute Presses 4 x 15
- Machine Abduction 4 x 15-20
- Jump Squats 1 minute
- Jumping Lunges 1 minute
- Box Jumps 20
- Kettlebell Deadlift Swings 20
- Sprints 30 seconds/1 minute Recovery
Repeat circuit 3-4 times
I also try to add 3-4 15 minutes of HIIT post workouts. I love doing it on the bike or the Arc trainer. I usually do 1 minute at a moderate pace, and 30 seconds where I put the resistance on high and go ‘all out!’
- Meal 1: 1/3 Cup Oats, 7 Ounces Zucchini, 1/4 Cup Egg Whites, 1/3 Scoop Protein and 1 Splash Cashew Milk
- Meal 2: 1 Quest, or Combat Crunch Bar
- Meal 3: Pre Workout 3 ½ Ounces Chicken Breast, 7 Ounces Sweet Potatoes or White Potatoes, 3 ½ Ounces Green Beans, 2 Tablespoons Reduced Sugar Ketchup and Spices
- Meal 4: Post Workout 1 Scoop Protein, 2 Tablespoons pB2 Peanut Butter, 2 Tablespoons Cacao and Walden Farm’s Chocolate
- Meal 5: 3 ½ Ounces Extra Lean Ground Horse Meat, 1 Slice Fat Free Cheese, 3 ½ Ounces Mushrooms, 2 Tablespoons Reduced Sugar Ketchup
How long do you take to diet down for a competition? And how do you handle cravings?
I like to take my time when dieting for a competition. I usually do a16 to 20 week prep and aim to lose 0.5 pounds per week. Off season, I never go over 7 to 8 pounds from my stage weight.
I keep my cravings in check with sugar free gum and sugar-free jello. I also like to drink flavored coffee and tea, and an occasional energy drink. When I totally can’t handle the cravings, I’ll slice up a cucumber, or eat some celery sticks dipped in a mixture of mustard, a sweetener and some random spices.
Do you have any special beauty tips you’d like to share?
Unfortunately, I am far from being a ‘girlie’ girl. I rarely do my hair and barely wear any makeup. I guess my best tip for fitness minded girls is, dry shampoo; it can be your best friend!
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the fitness industry?
I love camping, hiking and outdoor adventures! I also love to get outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes, I will text my best friend at 1:00 a.m. and be like, let’s go on a road trip! I think life is way too short to just be doing ordinary things, and I’m always up for adventure.
Eventually, I would like the opportunity to travel more and see the world.
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