We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!


What inspired your interest in fitness?

My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells.  I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!

Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.

In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).

After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!

That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?

Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!

In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.

You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?

In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.

This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:

  • Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goals
  • You cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!
  • Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition background
  • You may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!
  • Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!
  • Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!

What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?

I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening. 

When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?

I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!

Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?

I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.

You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?

I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.

The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.

The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!

You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?

Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!

What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?

I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!

In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.