Exciting news! The first ever Women’s Health & Fitness 2013 cover model competition has now launched! To celebrate, our July cover model Jenna Yvonne McNamara shares her top-secret training secrets.

Before shot: I would describe my body type as pear shaped. I have quite a voluptuous bottom half and have to work extremely hard to keep my physique in photo shoot shape. When I don’t eat super clean and train consistently I will see immediate changes to the shape and tone of my glutes, hamstrings and hips especially.

Motivation: On new year’s eve of 2009 I announced a goal to compete in a fitness competition and when I competed in my first bikini competition I had lost 40 pounds and 15 per cent body fat. I placed second out of 30 women.

Body fat change: From above 26 per cent to 11 per cent.

Timeline: 10 months.

Goals: Now, to keep living the fitness lifestyle.
Challenges: I have gained a bit of lean muscle and now weigh 116 to 120 pounds (52.6 to 54.4 kg) year-round, with 14 to 15 per cent body fat, and will go down to no less than 112 pounds (50.8 kg) on show day.

Body image: Overall, I am very happy with my body. I embrace my curves, my crooked teeth show character, and my small chest can be enhanced with Victoria’s Secret at any time! I have learned to love myself whether I am in contest shape or 10 pounds heavier. If I gained a few pounds due to time off from training or from eating clean and strict for a few weeks, I refer to the fine layer of healthy fat as my ‘love layer’!

Cheat sheet: I never really crave pizza or pasta and I enjoy eating clean year round, but I certainly enjoy having ‘treat meals’ on occasion – chocolate, dessert of some sort, or a nice glass of red wine.

Top tips: You can change your physique quickly through nutrition and training. My philosophy is that I am in control of my body and how it looks. My top tips are to set SMART goals and write them down, quit bad habits (smoking, drinking, eating junk food), hire a coach, weight train five to six days a week (even if that means doing body weight exercises in a hotel room and using luggage as a giant dumbbell) and eating every three hours religiously. Nutrition is 80 per cent of the results.

I change my weight training program once a month and do a similar split for about four weeks at a time, modifying the exercises, tempo and rep range to keep my body guessing. To lean down I will integrate HIIT a few times a week and plyometrics.

Enter the WHF cover model competition, in associated with The Fitness Generation, today!

Photo credit: Jamie Watling