There’s often a great deal of pressure associated with high-level sporting competition.
This pressure is vastly increased when the athlete is among the leading contenders for Olympia Gold.
One such athlete is bikini standout Jennifer Ronzitti.
For Jennifer, however, the pressure to excel is no barrier to success. Instead, it’s used to fuel some of the most intense workouts you’ll ever see.
Though she’s not training for gargantuan guns or Platz-like quads, her sessions are as tough as any seasoned pro bodybuilder’s.
In this article we’ll tell you how bikini’s newest sensation trains, eats, and supplements as she prepares to showcase her stellar physique on the biggest stage of them all.
Getting to Know Jennifer Ronzitti
Jennifer has become one of the world’s most celebrated bikini competitors. Victories at both the 2016 Toronto Pro Supershow and Baltimore Grand Prix events in her rookie year qualified her for the 2016 Olympia, where she secured an impressive fifth place in her O debut.
She continued her ascent into 2017 with a third place International Bikini finish at the Arnold Sports Festival.
Like all devoted champions, Jennifer is ever-questing for improvement. She identifies what needs attention and makes the adjustments necessary to ensure she’s ready to fight for the top titles.
Come September 15 she expects to snatch the biggest crown of them all. On the eve of her second shot at Olympia glory, she’s more driven than ever and ready to show what she has spent the past year working to achieve.
Training for the Olympia
Jennifer is constantly adjusting and tweaking her training to ensure continuous progress. She trains the same way year round: in incentivized fashion, as if the Olympia is constantly on the horizon.
In fact, for Jennifer, there is no real offseason in the strictest sense of the term. She never stops training with a view to competing. For her, it’s the only way to guarantee steady improvements from contest to contest.
“Even in the off-season I’m typically working on building and conditioning areas that need improvement,” she says. “I work year-round with my coach to make sure we’re always working towards the Olympia.”
Though her intensity and competitive mindset do not change throughout the year, Jennifer does increase the volume and frequency of her training in preparation for major contests. She does this to further maximize training intensity and refine a physique that is forever a work in progress.
For this year’s Olympia she increased her workouts from four to six days a week. She also upped her cardio to carve in the detail she believes will place her in the winner’s circle come Olympia day.
Changing It Up
Jennifer’s training approach is best described as intuitive. Rather than blindly following a rigid plan, she’ll constantly modify her workout schedule to keep her body responding in a positive direction.
“I don’t follow a workout plan,” she says. “My coach gives me a general workout guide, I form an understanding of what my coach wants me to achieve, and I go into the gym and see what exercises or equipment I feel like hitting on any given day. I like being creative and building my own workout on the fly. My workouts are always changing and it prevents me from getting bored.”
Jennifer’s workouts are part of a split designed to provide an optimal training stimulus while eliminating the risk of overtraining (see below for her 2017 Olympia split). She’ll also single out specific areas for special attention.
For this year’s O she has focused on bringing up her shoulders, specifically the front and side areas for greater width from the front and side. “I’ve increased my shoulder training frequency and have really focused on squeezing at the top when targeting the front and medial delts.”
Jennifer finds that certain areas respond best to specific rep ranges and levels of resistance. Again, rather than being locked into what others may feel is the best approach, Jennifer is interested only with what works best for her individual physique.
Her intuitive approach gives her an eye for detail which allows her to pinpoint the exact amount of stimulation each muscle needs, to forge the perfect bikini physique. For example, while shoulders, abs, and calves are hit with heavier weights and lower reps, her back and biceps (her biggest strengths) are targeted with more moderate weights and higher reps.
She does this to ensure that one area does not overpower the other. Balance is her key criteria when it comes to hitting each of her spectacular groupings. Jennifer only does what is effective for her.
Intensity Is Key
Regardless of which exercises, rep ranges, or levels of resistance she decides to use, Jennifer always trains intensely. She is always looking to change things up in the interests of further improvement. Specifically for training, she’s always on the search for new ways to increase the difficulty of her workouts.
“I like to incorporate a lot of super or giant sets to keep my heart rate up,” she says. “These will be done with very minimal rest between sets, no more than 20-30 seconds.” Jennifer also uses perfect form and does her best to train to failure on most sets.
As owner and operator of three supplement stores with her fiancé, she works long hours and lives an ultra-busy life. Therefore, she aims to maximize every second she’s in the gym. High intensity workouts are the best way to do this.
There exists a misconception that bikini athletes do not train with a level of intensity to match their more heavily muscled counterparts. While it’s expected that bodybuilders will train with gut busting vigor, there’s a persistent belief that bikini athletes exclusively focus on light weights and cardio to achieve their less muscular physiques.
This is not the case for Jennifer. She does not go to certain extremes to maximize her muscle mass. Therefore her intensive training is crucial in bringing out her natural curves to reveal a stunningly well-conditioned and breathtakingly proportionate physique.
Given her hectic schedule, the biggest barrier to intensity for Jennifer is a lack of recovery. While it’s common for dedicated athletes to experience more and more fatigue and tiredness the closer they get to a contest, Jennifer averts these intensity barriers by doubling down on her rest and recuperation.
“Sleep and recovery is huge for me during prep,” she says. “I try to make sure I get to bed before 10pm most nights since I’m up by 5am to train and get my cardio in before work. I also listen to my body. If I’m feeling extremely exhausted I allow myself to sleep in and train later in the day after work.”
Jennifer also tends to experience the same energy levels throughout her prep due to the inclusion of periodic re-feeds leading up to the show.
Jennifer Ronzitti’s 2017 Olympia Training Split
Monday: Back/Biceps - Reps of 12-15, Moderate Weights
Tuesday: Shoulders/Calves/Abs - Reps of 10-12, Moderate to Heavy Weights
Wednesday: Chest/Triceps - Reps of 12-15, Moderate Weights
Thursday: Glutes/Hamstrings - High Reps, Moderate Weights
Friday: Shoulders/Calves/Abs - Reps of 10-12, Moderate to Heavy Weights
Sunday: Leg Circuit - High Reps (with no rest between sets)
Nutrition for the Olympia
Jennifer officially began her nutritional prep 16 weeks out from this year’s Olympia. Though she eats clean year round, she will include occasional “random snacks.” These are first to go once she begins focusing on the O in earnest.
“Once my prep begins, I’ll start cutting dairy and snacking between meals,” she says. “When not in prep, even with six meals a day, I’ll have random snacks throughout the day and a more relaxed diet. Once my prep starts, the snacking stops and I start weighing and measuring all my food.”
For many, the final two weeks before a big show are a time for radical dietary measures. For Jennifer, this critical period is not much different from her overall prep.
“I may swap out some of my normal greens for asparagus,” she says. “I also start limiting my intake of artificial sweeteners. My body doesn’t respond well to drastic changes so if it looks on point two weeks out, there’s really no need to change anything.”
Jennifer Ronzitti’s 2017 Olympia Diet Prep Plan
Meal 1: 5 Egg Whites and 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Oats
Meal 2: 1 Scoop of Whey Protein Isolate, 3 Rice Cakes, and a handful of Almonds
Meal 3: 4 oz Grilled Chicken, 4 oz Sweet Potato, and 1 Cup of Asparagus
Meal 4: 4 oz Sirloin Steak, 1/3 Cup Brown Rice, and 1 Cup Asparagus
Meal 5: 4 oz Grilled Chicken and a Large Salad with 1 TBSP of Balsamic Vinaigrette
Meal 6: 1 Scoop of Protein and 1 TBSP of Peanut Butter
“I’ll also add 4 Scoops of BCAAs to my gallon water jug for the day.”
Supplementation for the Olympia
Jennifer, like most aspiring Olympia winners, is a big believer in quality supplementation to secure the winning edge.
Dialing in an Olympia-ready physique means addressing all of the nutritional factors that assist with muscle retention, energy production, fat loss and general health maintenance.
Jennifer Ronzitti’s 2017 Olympia Supplement Stack
- Whey Protein Isolate- “It’s a great way to get your protein in while curbing the sweet tooth! I especially like sweet, cake flavors. I’m a sucker for anything cake flavored!”
- Fat Burner with Aminos- “This has helped keep my energy levels high while preserving muscle during morning fasted-cardio sessions.”
- Amino Acids - “I sip on aminos throughout the day to help maintain muscle while in a calorie deficit. It also helps me drink all my water during the day. Sometimes plain water just doesn’t do it for me. I need flavor!”
- Quality Preworkout - “This non-stimulant pre-workout really helps achieve a great muscle pump!”
- ZMA - “To improve rest and recovery.”
Driving Factors for Olympia Success
To see her train and compete there can be no disputing the fact that Jennifer loves the self improvement process that’s part of being a high-ranked IFBB Pro. She uses the pressure of preparing for and competing against the best to strengthen her commitment to bringing her A-Game every time she steps onstage.
Competition excites her and she feels it’s an honor to compete on the world’s biggest bikini stage. “Beating my package from last year and continuing to evolve and better my physique” is what fuels her fire.
“There’s always something to work on,” she says. “Challenges and goals always keep me motivated and it’s an honor to step on the most prestigious stage in your sport. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. How can you not be motivated to want to be the best in the world when you are competing amongst the best athletes in the world?”