Interview With The Wbff Bikini Pro Sonja Tanner
Age: 33 years old (2016)
Weight: off Season: 128 (11% Bodyfat) on season: 120 (7.5-8% bodyfat)
Where are you from – Kansas City, Missouri
How Did You Start Fitness And Health?
I grew up playing sports and doing gymnastics and dance. I played volleyball competitively I was a back-row specialist and a setter. I played tennis and went to state my first year. I ran track and I was a cheerleader. So, I have been active all my life. I used to work out with my mom in our basement as a teenager as well. Once I got into college my “activity level” changed more to recreational sports then I eventually stopped doing much activity at all due to allowing myself to stay in a bad relationship that I was not “allowed” to play sports or workout. You could say I started to kind of lose myself and my way.
I got back into fitness and with a motivation that never fades or dies happened in 2009. I started working out on my own and using trainers from PCI, where I worked at the time. I was in an unhealthy, controlling relationship that totally consumed my life and mental state. I was unhappy, eating terrible, drinking and smoking and I had no control of what was going on in my life. I was just trying to do what I was told to avoid conflict with my significant other at the time. Keeping the peace was my go to phrase at the time and it slowly killed me internally.
Working out gave me control back and it made me genuinely happy. So, I made it happen. I was not supposed to work out so I had to sneak gym clothes to and from work and didn’t buy new clothes to fit as I didn’t want the changes in my body to be noticed at home.
In 2010 I changed to a local gym and a trainer approached me about my routine. The thing that got me hooked and I won’t ever forget is the comment he made….” there is no such thing as maintaining there is only progression”. That comment has stuck with me ever since that day. I trained with him for 2 years and he actually got me into shows.
I did change up my trainer and my trainer now is my love, my boyfriend and my partner, Grant Foster. We have opened a gym together that he runs and I handle the online side and nutrition. He helped me get my Pro Card with The wbff bikini pro and each day we see how fitness changes lives and it truly is a daily inspiration to be a part of it.
Fitness is truly a lifestyle and I have found myself and my inner happiness with it and I will never give that up.
Can You Tell Us About Your Workout Routine?
I workout 6 days a week during off season unless my body tells me to rest then I will put in work 5 days. But I like to stick to a 6-day routine. On season, I don’t take any rest days unless my body tells me too.
Legs 2x a week.
Delts 2x a week.
Back and Triceps – 1x a week.
HIIT 1x a week up to 4 times a week. When I want to add cardio in I will add HIIT to the workout or after the lift around 3-4 times a week depending on the purpose. If I am cutting I do about 4 HIIT sessions.
Abs 3-4x a week.
I make a calendar each month to set out my “splits” I don’t always change the splits but I try to cycle them around and I cycle my diet around my lifts.
I usually do 4 sets of 15 reps, but I also go by how I feel. I like to push to 6 sets of 15 reps. For some lifts that I want to really go heavy on I try to superset 10 reps with a workout of 15-20 reps. Example: Heavy Leg Press I would do 6 sets of 10-12 then super set with box jumps of 15-20 reps.
I love the feeling of strong so even when I do high rep I still push the heaviest weight I can for those reps or even with a little spot. Forced reps make you grow.
Can You Tell Us About Your Diet Routine?
I do carb cycle most of the year. Sometimes I layoff the carb cycle and just eat closer to the 80/20 rule of “clean” to “fun” foods. I usually take about 2 months a year and don’t measure or count calories. I also don’t do a carb cycle. I do not allow myself to fluctuate from on and off season too much so staying on top of my diet is something I enjoy.
I drink a ton of water and eat lots of food. My calories vary based on my carb cycle and my training and what I am training for i.e. photo shoot, show day, events, etc. I base my macros and my calories based on my body fat, weight and current goal.
I am a creature of habit so I do tend to repeat a lot of the same foods, but I never just eat food without enjoying it. I use spices, sauces and marinades to make all my food taste fantastic. There is no need to eat everything totally plain in order to be “healthy” You just have to make good decisions.
Meal 1: Sweet Potato shake or oats and protein
Meal 2: Brown rice or Bulgur Wheat with lean protein and veggies
Meal 3: Lean protein and veggies and avocado
Meal 4: Protein Shake (usually post workout)
Meal 5: Lean protein and veggies
No carb days (which are my fav cause I LOVE protein and fats)
Meal 1: Eggs (whole eggs and egg whites), turkey bacon and avocado.
Meal 2: lean protein and fasts (usually do salad with avocado and oils).
Meal 3: Salmon or Red meat and veggies.
Meal 4: Peanut butter – just spoonful’s (measured) but it’s my fav snack J or Nuts.
Meal 5: Protein Shake – post workout.
Meal 6: Lean Protein and veggie.
How About Your Supplementation?
Mimic – I love this from Magnum
Multi vitamin (I actually get the Primer pack from Magnum which includes EVERYTHING so I don’t take an extra fish oil)
What Inspires You?
I am inspired by so much. My WBFF family that I just adore. My sponsors: Daisy Chic Designs and Musclefire clothing. Our clients, my family and all the athletes and fitness family. I always want to be my best for my family and supporters and also want to lead by example. I practice what I preach and want to help motivate and inspire people around me and all over the world. I love to get workout with my mom and dad and my friends that are local. I love to travel, I can reach out and find the fitfam to workout with. Fitness is always changing and you can always learn something new. Seeing how fitness makes people so happy and interactive amazes me. There is no age limit, no height or weight restriction, no allergy restrictions, there are tons of different styles, theories, programs, etc. Fitness is for EVERYONE! Being able to have made so many friends and connections through fitness and having someone just say that I have helped inspire them really keeps me going. I love to help others and to actually impact someone’s life is special to me. That is what inspires me.