Champion female bodybuilding competitor reveals winning secrets to get women in great shape

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Drop the cardio and pick up heavy weight to get in the best shape of your life, says champion Ingrid Romero. (KABC)

Ingrid Romero has won every bodybuilding competition she's entered and now helps others like Heather Mcallister compete.

"It takes hard work. It takes a lot of dedication and it takes discipline. I'm not going to lie," said Romero.

"I've placed top two - three in every show that I've done," said Mcallister.

Both agree, women can certainly train like a competitor and that process can make monumental changes. Their advice? Cut back on cardio and pick up some weight.

"The only way you're going to do it is by lifting weights. And you can go heavy," said Romero.

She's right. Countless studies point out strength training increases muscle density which means more calories burned even at rest.

"I look better, I'm more toned, and have less body fat than I ever have and I do the least amount of cardio. I lift heavy. I definitely look over and go,''I've got you beat over there mister,'" said Mcallister.

They lift about 45 minutes to an hour at least five times a week .

Alisa Combra, who had a baby eight months ago, gets impressive results doing Romero's DVD.

"As a woman you get afraid to blow up like a man. But you don't. You lean out more faster," said Combra.

And it's never too late. Heather is in her mid-30s. Romero didn't compete until after she had twins.

"Because you have kids your life doesn't stop. All my success came after my kids," said Romero.

No surprise your diet is going to need some tweaking.

The good news, you can eat and a lot. Romero is a fan of good protein, healthy carbs and fats, but there are some sugars you're going to have to say goodbye to.

"When we're on prep, dairy is something we'd like to pull. No sugar, no sweets, very clean, very basic but very healthy," said Mcallister.

Best news yet?

"We do eat a lot. We eat a lot of carbs," said Romero.

Think brown rice, sweet potatoes and whole grains.
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