Monday Motivation – Ever wondered about body building? Have a read about Dominique and her journey to stage :)

This is the first post in our new series “Monday Motivation”.  In this series Kettlebells and Cookies will do a bit of an interview with people we find interesting or want to learn more about. 

If you would like to be part of this series, or know someone who would be a great read, we would love to hear from you –  you can get in touch with us here.

To kick off our series, we have an interview with our friend Dominique.  Dom has recently got into body building (and is doing pretty well so far!!) and we thought you might all like having a read of the dedication, hardwork and guts it takes to get up on the stage and ‘flaunt it’ in front of everyone.  And, the fun she has with picking bikini colours and hairstyles (hey, what girl doesn’t like that side of it!).


Take it away Dom…..




What is body building and the different categories etc? Is it all big muscles and brown skin?

“Bodybuilding is the use of progressive resistance exercise to control and develop one’s musculature”

So basically training your muscles to look aesthetically pleasing 🙂  There are multiple classes and federations, so there is pretty much something to suit every body type, from a slim build bikini body to a more muscular physique body for women, and beach body to massive bodybuilders for men.

Who/what/How did you get into body building?
A couple of people suggested it actually – to be honest it’s not the easiest sport to get started in.  There’s not much money in bodybuilding, so their websites are only as good as they can manage on a tight budget, so the information isn’t that easy to find.  I actually emailed Jess Coate (a well know figure competitor) and she was super lovely and answered all the questions that I had.  You can also email the presidents of the federations, (INBA, IFBB, NABBA, NABBA/WFF) and they can generally put you in touch with someone in your area to get you started.
What did you do exercise wise prior to body building?
I’ve given pretty much every sport a go, but most recently rowing and crossfit have been the sports that I’ve put a lot of time and energy into, and they’ve really helped build up my muscle.

How has your diet changed since starting body building?
Pretty drastically, I’ve always eaten pretty healthily, Mum bought us up to eat well, but I have the worst sweet tooth, so I’ve had to try and keep that under control. My coach has me a on a macro based diet – so he’ll tell me each week what amount of carbs and protein I can eat each day (fat always to a minimum) and then I work out what I eat around that.

So, what do you eat on a typical day?
I LOVE food – so I put in a lot of effort for my food prep to make sure I have food that I really enjoy eating.  I set aside half my day on a Sunday to prep my meals for the week.

Brekkie; Oat protein pancakes with berries or  kumara/ham fritters or an omelette.

Lunch: Brown Rice/Wholemeal pasta/Kumara/Wholemeal pita with chicken/lean beef and salad/veges – i just mix up how I prepare everything to keep it interesting

Afternoon tea (pre gym) another meal similar to what I have for lunch

Dinner: generally steak/chicken and a salad – with carbs if I have any left for the day

Supper: a protein bar or plain unsweetened yogurt with berries – again dependent on if I have and macros left.
And, do you ever eat lollies?
Yes!  I have a high carb day every 4 days, so I let myself have a few lollies then, it stops me going on crazy sugar binges (though I am human, this does still sometimes happen)

What would be your 3 favourite snacks for on the go?
I don’t really snack too much since I’m so organised with my meal prep, but Horleys Carbless protein bars are my personal favourite – otherwise a small handful of nuts or a piece of fruit.

How often do you exercise and what do you do?
I train 9 times a week (yes it’s a lot, but I love it)

  • 2 x  8km runs
  • 2 x HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions
  • 5 x body part specific weight sessions

My coach will also add in more cardio if it’s necessary.
Do you have help from anyone? (Eg: A trainer/nutritionist)
Yes definitely.  My coach tells me my macros and how much I should be training.  I send him pictures every week and he alters things based on my progress.

I also see a PT once a week to keep me on track, and to help me with my weaknesses – he helps keep me looking ‘balanced’ and also helps with my posing.
What do you do to get ready for stage? Getting your body ready and the make up/pretty side of things?
This is the super fun part!  you get to pick a bikini fabric, and get a bikini made that best suits your body shape and find stage heels (pretty much clear sparkly ‘stripper’ heels).

On the day you’re best to let professionals help you with your tan and makeup – there’s nothing worse than going through all the effort of training and dieting to go on stage with a streaky tan and a different colour face.  Plus they’ll make you look like a million bucks 🙂  You’ll generally get 2 spray tans plus a top coat – so you look like an oompa loompa offstage, but once you’re onstage the lighting dulls it down and you look good!

What would you say to any ladies (or guys!) out there thinking of giving it a go?
Do plenty of research and find someone who’s done it before to talk to, put in some hard work, and go for it!  It’s honestly the best feeling getting on stage to show off all your hard work.

Biggest thing you have learnt from body building and biggest achievement to date:
That it’s the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s really taught me a lot about how mentally tough I can be.

Also that everyone cheats on their diets, if you have a binge, enjoy and start fresh the next day, feeling guilty about it doesn’t help anything.

I just recently won first place in International figure at the INBA South Pacific Champs, which I was completely blown away by given it was an open class, and only my second competition – but to top it off I’ve been selected to represent NZ at the Natural Olympia in San Diego this November.  If you’d like to help me get there, please visit my give a little page 🙂

Here are a couple of pics from my last show, and also a couple showing the progress I’ve made between my first show last year to this year.  Follow me on instgram – dominiquetennant – if you’d like to keep following my progress on my bodybuilding journey x










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