This month we’re hanging out with the multi-talented Rachel Joy who’s an inspiration to many women the world over – and it’s easy to see why. She’s beautiful, smart, business savvy and most of all she’s totally ripped! Inside we get the low-down on where’ she at in her life and career and what’s she’ all about! Rachel gives us her tips on a great workout routine, what to eat and she shares her advice on how to be the best person you possibly can be! Take a look.

Everyone has their own special story about how they got involved in health and fitness. Could you tell us a little bit about your story and how you started your fitness and health journey? Absolutely! It all started with my family. My family is very athletic and extremely competitive. All through high school and college I was on dance teams and was a competitive cheerleader. In my freshman year of college, I was constantly tired, I was eating very unhealthy, partying a lot, always getting sick and battling insecurities about my body from people telling me I was too skinny. Everyone has their own personal challenges when it comes to their body and fitness, and mine was gaining weight and putting on muscle. The real start of what got me started on my fitness journey was when I decided to take on a transformation challenge which included being on a very strict diet and weight training for the first time in my life. Although a lot of my friends doubted me, my competitive nature took over and my transformation was drastic! I could see my abs for the first time ever and built a new level of confidence I did not have before. After posting pictures of my transformation, many women started reaching out asking what I was doing to achieve my results. This inspired me to continue my fitness journey and take it even further. I finally felt confident about myself on the outside and in turn, it made me love myself even more on the inside! 

Wow, that’s an amazing story, Rachel! We’d love to hear how you transitioned from that part of your life to where you are today as a cover model? Thank you! As fitness became a huge passion in my life, I really enjoyed creating content and workout videos so I could hold myself accountable and help inspire others. As a result, my social media platforms grew and I started reaching out to companies daily. 

I then started to get booked for various fitness expos and photoshoots. Although it may seem like I jumped into the “glamorous model” life you see on Instagram; my life was far from it. I was bartending, working promos and doing several jobs living paycheck to paycheck. Opportunities didn’t just fall in my lap, I was hustling from morning until night every day learning how to be my own agent and booking jobs for myself weekly. 

I was also keeping up with training clients and women at my boot camp, meal prepping, and working out daily no matter how exhausted I was after a long night’s shift as a waitress. I was exhausted all the time, but like my father would say “It’s always better to be prepared and not have an opportunity, then to have an opportunity and not be prepared”; and I was always prepared. 

After years of trial and error, I finally started my own business this year and accomplished one of my biggest goals to land a fitness magazine cover! One of the biggest factors in my success today, is having to overcome all the rejection and failures I went through.  

What is your typical workout routine? My workout routine varies depending on what goals I have for my body and what photoshoots I have coming up at any given time. Over the past couple of years, I have worked extremely hard to put on muscle mass, especially in my lower body. For instance, in preparation for this cover shoot, my goals were to grow my legs and glutes while bringing in my waist and toning up my entire body all together. I would wake up and do fasted cardio every morning and burn between 300 and 350 calories per session. Then I would do my specific muscle group in the evening. My weekly training split would consist of each muscle group targeted separately. For instance, my split would look like this; shoulders and triceps on Monday, quads and glutes on Tuesday, back and biceps on Wednesday, hamstrings and glutes on Thursday, arms and HIIT training on Friday, glutes and abs on Saturday and a rest day on Sunday. This is what my training looks like when I have a big shoot, but when I have a little down time, I have a more flexible training routine. 

My goal is to be in shape year-round but I also enjoy food and make time to let my body rest. I will always have a balanced life where I can enjoy the holiday meals, birthdays and drinks with friends while still being consistent with my training no matter what I have going on.

Do you work out with a particular trainer and what are a few of the top things they’ve taught you? I have a trainer when I am preparing for something big, (like this cover shoot) so that I can have someone to hold me accountable and push me past my limits! My trainer has taught me that what I eat directly affects how my body will look and feel. I have also learned that I am much stronger than I think I am. I was taught a couple of years ago that I am an ectomorph and that I wasn’t eating or training properly for my body. I would always lift the same weight week in and week out, until my trainer showed me that I was capable of lifting so much more weight and training much harder. In turn, this resulted in my body breaking past my plateau and me being able to completely transform my body to achieve my goals. So I learned that with consistency, hard work, discipline and perseverance I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

Keeping camera-ready sounds like a full-time job! What is your diet and supplementation like? Keeping camera-ready is absolutely a full-time job. I don’t think most people really understand how much goes into it. For the most part my diet consists of a carb cycle regimen. What that means in a nutshell, is that I need about 4 to 5 meals a day and I get about 200g of protein throughout the whole day with veggies in each meal and the number of carbs that I eat varies each day depending on what I am training. My supplementation is very detailed and it consists of proper vitamins and nutrients that my trainer would suggest. I have loved taking all-natural products more recently, but I do take protein shakes, glutamine, probiotics, CLA, Vitamin C, multivitamins, fish oil, collagen and tudca.

Although staying in shape year-round takes a lot of work to be on point with your diet and training, I am also a big foodie and I love to eat cheat meals whenever I can. I grew up eating the best home-cooked Cuban and Italian food (oh yes, all the pizza, pasta, empanada gains) and I have an obsession with Reese’s and donuts! 

Who was your biggest inspiration or role model growing up? My parents, Abuelo and Abuela have always been my biggest role models. I have not only been inspired by their hard work ethic and Godly morals but also how they always put family first. I grew up living in Costa Rica and the jungles of Peru where my mom and dad built churches and led missions while raising five children. I knew from a young age that I wanted to help make a difference in people’s lives like they had done. I learned how to be grateful, disciplined, humble, and rise up and become a leader. As my parents continue to speak at conferences all over the world inspiring and helping others, I hope to do the same one day.

Are there any specific machines or workout equipment that is your go-to for growing your legs and glutes like you have over the past couple of years? Yes, I use a variety of different workout equipment while training, but my favourite go-to is resistance bands. The reason why I love using bands is because there is constant tension on the muscle throughout the entire movement of each exercise, making it more challenging. I started using bands years ago, but I wasn’t a huge fan at first because they would break easily and my sweat would make them roll up during my workout. I then decided this year to design and customize my own fabric resistance bands. This was so important for me to finally be able to get the full benefit of my workouts by using bands that are much more durable and effective. This past year was difficult for everyone and their fitness routines, and being able to get a full-body workout with my bands at home was a huge benefit! My bands are available on my website with full-body workout guides for any women looking to challenge their workouts at the gym, or who want to workout in the convenience of their own home!

My other favourite exercise equipment is the hip thrust machine because it has helped me build the most strength and size in my glutes! Being able to add resistance bands to workouts (such as hip thrusters) adds more of a challenge while targeting every muscle in your glutes and shaping them perfectly.

Where can our readers find out more about you? The easiest way I can be found is on my social media platforms which are Instagram @Racheljoyfit, my Facebook page Rachel Joy Fitness and my website

Any parting words of wisdom? I would like to thank Muscle & Fitness HERS for giving me this amazing opportunity of being this month’s cover model. This has been a goal of mine ever since I was a young girl getting magazines from the grocery store and posting them on my vision board. I want every girl reading to know that you are strong, amazing and capable of doing anything you set your mind to! Don’t let anyone tell you differently. There were people from my past who would try to tear down my dreams and made me feel worthless; however, I rose up from those insecurities and built my self-confidence, respect and love for myself that only I could do. Adversities and failures are absolutely necessary to achieve your goals in life. Embrace all difficult times, because it is in those times that you grow and get stronger as a person.