Can you tell us about your medical condition?
My medical condition is hypochondroplasia. Seen and known as a rare type of dwarfism which I hold just in my femurs and below. I also was diagnosed with a severe case of knock knee as well as my disorder causing an increase in difficulty in mobility if I did not receive surgery to correct this. After having the 9 operations over a year and 4 months of not standing, as I had both my femurs broken then with metal pins into my femurs and knee caps, connected by frames in which I would use an Alan key to turn to gradually each day straighten and lengthen my legs slightly. When I had my first operation I was 13 years old and 4’5 and now am 17 years old and am 4’10 and will not grow any taller for the rest of my life as of my hypochondroplasia as it is incurable. As well as the frames, on multiple occasions I had the surgery re done and my muscles and tendons split to release the legs to allow them to bend, but this did not work.
How did you get into weightlifting and bodybuilding?
I got into weight lifting and bodybuilding through being in the gym really. When I came out of my wheel chair and was able to walk again. I slowly got back into excersice as I was active prior to the ops. I did karate, dance, cheerleading and netball. I started with walking on a treadmill out of interest in excersice then after researching through YouTube and social media. I came across YouTube channels like Christian Guzman and Nikki Blackketter. I aspired to have a body like Nikki. After a check up at the local hospital (rather than London Evelina- where I had been for all my others) I was told I had dropped a huge 3 stone in a year from actually being mobile again and doing cardiovascular excersice. This then pushed me to want to try more. My friend had been bodybuilding a few years at this point when he taught me how to squat in the smith machine. I started with just the bar then he pushed me to work my way up.
At this point I started my Instagram, it was as a track for my progress personally and did not mention it so my close friends and family. After then doing more and more research and working on my strength, quite quickly the weight came up. Weighing 56kg I was squatting double my bodyweight for reps. I then completed a few upper body workouts with my friend and I loved watching my arms and back grow and feeling muscular and strong, now I am a full time bodybuilder and weightlifter and bikini competitor.
Are there any exercises you can’t do?
No there is not any exercises I can’t do. Although I find it a struggle to use a lot of machines and have to find alternatives because of my height. Such as the leg press, I will need somebody to push the base of the leg press up in order for me to lift the weight onto my legs to release the safety bar before my sets.
What does your current workout routine look like?
Due to me being a week out from my first bikini fitness show, my current workout routine is 45 minutes cardio fasted and 45 minutes post lift. I stick to main muscle groups but pair them together. An average week for me is:
Shoulders and Abs
Chest and Arms
When I am not cutting, I do the same but only 2 cardio sessions a week for 30 minutes to keep myself physically fit during lifting and growing season. As I have been training for about 2/3 years now i will also change it up between that and a push, pull and legs split.
What is your favorite exercise?
My favorite exercise would be squats as I still am amazed at myself everytime I do. Being able to push such weight in a deep squat after not being able to bend my knees at all, it pushes me as once that weight is down, you have no choice but to get it up! However, I love side lateral raises for shoulders, the pump is great!
What keeps you motivated?
What keeps me motivated is just my passion for it. I no longer see the gym or working out as something I have to do to lose weight or to gain muscle, I just thoroughly enjoy it and do it every day!
What do you consider the hardest part about bodybuilding?
I think consistency and dedication are the two hardest things about bodybuilding. You have to have them both I believe to really be a bodybuilder. You can train and eat giving it 100% Monday to Friday but if on the weekends you go out heavily drinking and fill yourself with heavy unhealthy foods. The results you want are not gunna be as good as the ones who stick to their plans and be consistent in their macros. Balance is 100% perfect, do not assume that drinking and unhealthy foods are not acceptable, but in moderation is ideal if drinking is something you enjoy. But consistency in macros I believe definatley is a key factor to success aesthetically.
Being a bodybuilder you are your biggest critique, a lot of people find. When you’re lean you wanna be bigger, when your bigger…you can’t wait to get lean. Also you become blind to your physique and your progress. It is so important to ensure you have that support and that set goal in your head to keep you pushing, or your mind can tell you otherwise.
Can you share your diet with us?
My diet at the moment is very strict macros just as I am so close to my show however I am eating 100% clean and I am carb cycling as I find that works best for me. However when I am not cutting, I use an iifym style method of diet. I would usually eat:
45/50g of oats with a scoop of whey
Chicken and rice and green beans
Salmon and mixed salad
Another source of protein wether it be tuna or chicken again with sweet potatoes and veggies
and often if I haven’t hit my macros or I’m still hungry I will have another scoop of whey or a protein bar.
Do you take any supplements?
I take whey, bcaas, omega 3, daily vitamins, cla and calcium and vitamin D.
Favorite workout song?
My favorite workout song would have to be Krewella- Team as the beat makes me want to push harder and lightens my mood!
Instagram | @sennafit_