Jessica Jessie

IFBB Bikini Pro and Fitness Model


Tales of a Bikini Competitor


“Oh, you’re almost there.  No big deal.”  Yes, I thought.  No.  Big.  Deal.

2014-4-12-ErinM-OCB-bThree weeks from my second bikini competition, I am struggling to continue the intense training, posing and a strict diet for ANOTHER three weeks while at a near panic state.  Am I ready to step on stage?  I keep thinking to myself, “I need more time!”  But I also need rest.  And pizza!

I am forever thankful for “Magical Thursdays,” the whimsical, I-cant-make-this-up window when my body miraculously–if not suddenly–reveals its progress. I will be changing for bed when a passing image in the mirror unexpectedtly draws me back and leaves me contorting my body in odd positions and my fingertips excitedly pinching various areas of my skin assessing for fat loss. “When did this happen?” I think.

It’s easy to lose sight of progress.  My alarm clock begins the day’s relentless assault at 2:28am. Yes, 2:28.  I set multiple alarms because I have a terrible habit of loving to rest under a bunny-soft blanket with the fan blowing in the dark.  It’s a glorious, anachronistic place where I’m allowed to simply stop.  But this is show prep season, and there’s little time for that.  I take a deep breath, move the covers apologetically away, and begin my ultra-organized day.

2014-4-12-ErinM-OCB-cMy gym clothes are already laid out the night before.  My water bottle, keys, and jacket sit patiently waiting for me on the counter above my shoes.  No, friends, it’s Go Time, not 2:45am!

Whats the plan? A hard hitting cardio session, a shower, and off to work for my 6am start time as a cardiac surgery Registered Nurse First Assistant.  It’s another full day of a mentally and physically taxing love affair with life and death.  I get home just to–you got it–go to the gym!  I have lifting and more cardio to do.

What keeps this schedule possible?  All my food is cooked or prepped days in advance.  Everything is measured, weighed and wrapped.  Today my food diary in MyFitnessPal hit a 500 day streak, and I’m not sure if that makes me a nerd or totally awesome.

My macros have to stay on point .  I carry my Isolator Fitness food bag everywhere.  I even have a small version that can carry one full meal.  I don’t even leave my house to get gas in my car without food and water with me.  My success is all planned.

I admit, I smell the french fries, the donuts, the pizza.  I’m human.  But I’m a human on a mission, and I have a hot date in April with a sparkly green bikini and a killer pair of heels.  If success is what we all dream of, the victory exists only when we stop listening to the excuses and fears in our minds, and start making plans.

Plan to be your best.  Plan to win.  (By: Erin Merritt)

Fabulous at 50!


It’s never too late to meet your fitness goals and to become as physically fit as you have always hoped to be.  Jessica is the perfect fitness trainer and certified nutritionist to help you do just that.

No-137At the age of 49, I knew I didn’t want to turn 50 without having exercise be an important part of my life.  I wanted to become healthier and more fit.  I turned 50 feeling better than I had in years and I have Jessica to thank.

When we first met, Jessica listened to me, understood my goals and crafted a customized exercise routine that fit my personal needs.  Of great importance to me in selecting a trainer is their understanding of the total body.  I have struggled with a bad back for many years and Jessica understands how to exercise around that issue — and to introduce exercises and stretching that has helped alleviate the problem.  She understands not only physical fitness but the intricacies of each muscle and how they work together better than anyone I have every worked with.  Then add in her nutrition expertise and you have the full package and the best possible fitness trainer!

I love trading recipes with Jessica and am grateful every day that she is a part of my life.

It’s never too late!

Tackling Tabata!


Before the snow storm pummeled the DC region on Saturday, I put my client and friend Sheila through a hardcore Tabata workout along with some boxing.  Sheila, a mother and wife, works a high profile job and doesn’t have time to live in the gym (even though she looks like it).  So when I get a chance to train her each Saturday I try to push her to the limits to get maximum results without risking injury.

tabata 4 minSo what’s Tabata? It’s a high-intensity training regimen that produces remarkable results.  And it doesn’t take long at all.  Think Crossfit meets circuit training meets interval training.  And think great results!

If you’re snowed in, too busy, bored of what you’ve been doing or traveling, Tabata may just be a perfect fit for YOU!  You can also make it part of your larger workout regimen as I did with Sheila.  Just start each set with 4 minutes of Tabata and go straight into the workout.  The point is make it fun and get out of your comfort zone.

sheilais rippedIs it worth it?  Of course, by doing as little as 4 minutes (or one “Tabata”), the big “T.” can increase your aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, VO2 max, resting metabolic rate and help you burn more fat than during a traditional 60-minute aerobic workout. That’s right, 4 minutes of Tabata can get you better fitness gains than an entire hour of running on the treadmill.  But you have to go all out for the 20 seconds.  But be smart with this.  We don’t want to create injury.  Remember, if you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard enough!

Simply put, the Tabata workout includes an interval training cycle of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeated without pause 8 times for a total of four minutes.

tabata music i loveI recommend downloading a song which will help you along the way.  And then just follow the exercises listed below and have some fun.

FYI, you could work your way up to 4 sets (16 min).  My friend Sheila is already up to the advanced routine but she is an elite athlete.  If you ‘re not ready for that just start with the beginners routine listed below.  Do remember, always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.  *** Warning, your heart rate will increase quickly!!!! ***

Beginners routine

  • Round 1 – Step tap
  • Round 2 – Push ups on knees or against wall
  • Round 3 – March in place
  • Round 4 – Touch hips and reach for sky
  • Round 5 – Plank
  • Round 6 – Step tap
  • Round 7 – Sit-ups
  • Round 8 – Lunge in place

Advanced Routine

  • Round 1 – Jumping-jacks
  • Round 2 – Push-ups
  • Round 3 – High knees
  • Round 4 – Squat thrust
  • Round 5 – Mountain climbers
  • Round 6 – Jump squats
  • Round 7 – Sit-ups
  • Round 8 – Switch lunge

Have fun and tell me how you liked it!  If you would like a customized workout for your personal goals, contact me here:

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