Priya Binion is a fitness model and trainer based in Houston, United
States. A former competitive gymnast she started weight training at the age of
seventeen and for the past twelve years has been working as a professional trainer.
In 2015 Priya a mother of two participated in and won the Musclemania Model
India women's division bodybuilding completion held in Mumbai. We recently had
the opportunity to talk to Priya about how she got into fitness and her routine
for staying in shape.
IM: Tell us a bit about when you first got interested in
fitness and what inspired you? Priya: I first started a
weight training regimen at 17 years of age. I grew up a gymnast, so when I
retired, I immediately began looking for another form of physical activity, and
fell in love with weight training. I also grew up with a sick mother
(diabetes), and I knew if I didn't watch my health, that I'd become diabetic
IM: And how did you get involved with modeling? Priya: I stumbled into
modeling. I did a photoshoot years ago as a gift for my husband. The
photographer saw something marketable in me and asked me if he could post a few
of the images to a freelance modeling website. The images produced a lot of
traffic so the photographer pushed me to take modeling more seriously. That's
when I began to pursue it more aggressively. IM: What do you love the most about being a fitness model? Priya: Fitness
modeling requires you to stay photoshoot ready 365 days a year. I think that's
my favorite part. It forces me to stay disciplined around the clock.
IM: Describe your exercise routine? Priya: Because I train
sport specific, I isolate muscle groups. In order to make real gains, you've
got to give each muscle group individual attention. I train shoulders twice a
week, legs twice a week, back once a week, abs twice a week, and arms once a
week. But variety is the key. Your body has the ability to adapt so it's
imperative to change things up and keep your body guessing.
IM: And what does your daily diet look like? Priya: Depending on if I'm
in on or off season, I eat between 5-7 small, balanced meals a day. I eat a
high amount of lean meats, a lot of green veggies, and I eat carbs all day.
Carbs late at night are okay! You must learn to eat the right foods and the
right times. I even eat white rice right before bed!
IM: What’s your favorite health food? Priya: My favorite health
food is almond butter! It's considered a good fat.
IM: How do you motivate yourself? Priya: How do I motivate
myself? It's quite simple really. "No excuses".
IM: Favorite music to listen to when you are working out? Priya: Believe it or
not, I don't listen to music when I train. I'm too focused on coaching myself
through each rep of each set. I focus on making the "mind-muscle
connection". And I focus on form. Proper form prevents injury.
IM: What advice would you give to someone who is trying to
get into shape? Priya: My advice is
you must have a plan. Do your research. There are so many websites out there
just giving out the information! Also, find someone with a physique you like,
and then find out what they do. Most athletes have social media pages, youtube
channels, etc that you can follow. You need to also have a concrete goal. It's
much easier to adhere to a goal if you have a specific date to reach it by;
i.e. a wedding, a vacation, etc. I also highly recommend hiring a trainer to learn the
fundamentals. Most people tend to get frustrated and quit because they don't
know what they're doing in the gym. If you don't know what you're doing, you
can't achieve your goal. Learning the basics will also help prevent you from
injuring yourself. Trainers can be expensive. Even if you can just afford to
buy a basic package, let your trainer know that you'd just like to learn the
basic biomechanics. A good trainer can assist you in learning the basics in as
little as 6 sessions or so!
IM: And what would you tell women who are hesitant about
weight training? Priya: Weights won't
make you manly. The women you see who are overly muscular have manipulated
their bodies using performance enhancements. The woman at the beach who looks
amazing in her bikini- she lifts weights, and she lifts heavy! It's all about
building lean muscle through high reps but it's also about diet. 80% is diet.
10% is weight training. And 10% is cardiovascular training. IM: Finally what are your future plans? Priya: I begin contest prep
for my next fitness show soon! I'll be hitting the stage May 21 here in Texas!
My goal is to earn my Pro card within the year. Along with competing, I will
continue modeling. Both competing and modeling gives me the opportunity to gain
the exposure necessary for me to successfully run a business. My ultimate plan
is to create a high-end fitness apparel line that will cater to the Southeast
Asia and Middle Eastern market!