In the City Of Lights, this multitalented IFBB Bikini Pro is a bright shining star.
Interview by Mike Carlson
Las Vegas has been good to Taylor Rhodenbaugh. A few days after securing a job in Las Vegas, away from her home in West Palm Beach, Florida, she signed a sponsorship deal with Blackstone Labs and Prime Nutrition. Not long after establishing herself in Sin City, she won her IFBB pro card. Next came a job at Hakkasan Nightclub, one of the hottest spots on the strip, and another sponsorship, this one with Celestial Bodiez fitness apparel. Unlike the millions of people who get spit out of the dessert oasis with empty pockets and broken dreams, Rhodenbaugh has been hitting the jackpot every time she pulls the lever.
Rhodenbaugh basically works a graveyard shift, a rarity in the fitness world. A strong work ethic and a commitment to her craft have helped this night owl carve out a routine that perfectly suits her training style.
Mike Carlson: Is it hard to work nights and train days?
Taylor Rhodenbaugh: I started competing with a completely different schedule, so it was an adjustment. But I only work four days a week, so I have full days to do whatever I need to do. I normally work from 9:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., so it is a normal workday, but flip-flopped. I usually sleep in until noon and then get my day started with training and cardio. Then I have a few hours to get errands done.
MC: Your bedroom must be pitch back.
TR: I have the best blackout curtain money can buy! They change the whole temperature and everything in my house. Vegas heat is horrible, so they help keep my house cool, too.
MC: Do you like training at odd hours?
TR: It’s fantastic. I get to the gym around 11:30 or noon. I start with cardio, and I bring food with me. I eat when I’m there. I hang out for about 30 minutes and let my food settle, then I start training and the place is empty. I love it.
MC: Tell me about that tattoo of music symbols on your hip?
TR: I have been a singer and songwriter my whole life. I was really into it at one point, but my creativity got away from me. I was in college and trying to focus more on school. I have been wiggling my way back into it, doing some open mic nights. In Vegas, you never know who you’re performing in front of.
MC: How did you get involved in competing?
TR: My first show was April 2014. I had only started training four or five months before that. I went through really bad breakup, and I knew I had to focus on something. I started working out and really enjoying it. I thought, “I want to take this to the next level.” I enlisted the help of a coach and ended up dong pretty well in my first show. I totally fell in love with it.
MC: You can be lean but also curvy in a good way. What look do you like best?
TR: I love the way I look when I’m close to a show. I love being lean and I love having abs. Once I get into my off-season, I put on between 10 and 15 pounds. My legs really like to get thick. According to everyone I talk to they love my off-season look. I can’t hate it. I like having nice thick legs and a big butt. It’s a nice feeling.
MC: When do you get more attention, off-season or contest shape?
TR: Off-season, for sure. I wish I could have the best of both worlds and have a ripped six-pack and a thick butt, but it doesn’t work that way for me, unfortunately. I have one or the other. But I definitely get more attention in the off-season.
MC: How do you like working with PJ and Celeste Braun?
TR: I signed with them [Blackstone Labs and Prime Nutrition] in May of 2015, right before I moved to Vegas. They just recently signed me to Celestial Bodiez. I love it. It is the most flattering high-quality workout clothes you can think of. I was wearing them for a long time before they signed me.
MC: What’s it like to train in Las Vegas?
TR: It puts a little bit of pressure on you when you come out here because everyone looks good, Everyone is in shape. When you come out here, you’re like, “Everyone is beautiful.” It makes you want to work a little harder.
MC: Who do you look up to in the sport?
TR: The girl that got me into working out was Michelle Lewin. She was a big inspiration for me. Once I got into competing, it was Ashley Kaltwasser. I know it’s very cliché because she is Ms. Bikini Olympia, but she has a perfect physique and she is beautiful. She is the total embodiment of what Bikini should be.
MC: What are your goals for the next year?
TR: I’m trying really hard to get my glute-hammy condition perfect. That’s the one weak spot I have. My body likes to spot-collect fat right under my butt. Bikini shows are won from the back. I’m doing a lot of plyometric work and focusing on building the muscle in my lower glutes, so when I do lean down, it comes in really nicely. IM
Name: Taylor Rhodenbaugh
Lives: Las Vegas, NV
Profession: Cocktail waitress
Likes: Hiking, reading, painting, singing, dancing
Dislikes: Cockroaches, rushing, not being able to enjoy the moment
Favorite drink: Blackstone Labs’ Resurgence Piña Colada blended with ice!
Favorite clean meal: Ground turkey meatballs with white rice
Favorite cheat meal: Cheeseburgers!
Listens to: Hip-hop, trap, and alternative
Favorite movie: Babel
Who would you cast to play yourself in a movie? A young Catherine Zeta-Jones
Desert island exercises: Jump squats, push-ups, walking lunges
Sponsors: Celestial Bodiez, Blackstone Labs, Prime Nutrition