When you visit our homepage, you’re greeted by Nicole Monroe and Tiffany Underwood’s stunning image. Monroe and Underwood–who work as a Software Programmer and Financial Consultant respectively–teamed up earlier this year to do a women's empowerment shoot to celebrate women in fitness. The resulting jaw-dropping photo earned nearly 2.3K likes on our page, earning them the bragging rights of being this month’s photo contest winner. We recently had the chance to catch up with the dynamic duo, and they dished on their fitness habits, go-to healthy meals, and gym bag essentials. Keep scrolling to learn more about Monroe and Underwood.
1. Please briefly share your fitness journey with us.
Nicole: I am a former Track and Field Sprinter, served in the U.S Army for eight years, and became a CPT 7 years ago. I have always kept my health a #1 priority.
Tiffany: I have been an athlete my entire life and continued at the collegiate level. Post-graduation and entering the corporate world, my body began to change and I lacked motivation. During this time, I was also in a six-year relationship that led to an engagement and planning the wedding of my dreams. Two months before my wedding day, the wedding was cancelled and I didn’t know what to do. Depression, stress, and anxiety took over and left me feeling lost and confused. I didn’t have any motivation to do anything. I knew I had to do something to get out of this headspace, so I turned to fitness! My “why” for working out was for me to get in a better place mentally to combat all of the negative emotions I was feeling. While using this as my motivation to go to the gym, my body started to physically change as well which was an added bonus. Once I realized fitness was helping me mentally and physically, I never turned back. Now, I enjoy helping other women on their personal journeys.
2. We believe fitness + friendship = FUN! What is your favorite group fitness workout?
Nicole: I don't have a favorite.
Tiffany: I absolutely love any type of workout that involves barbells. It helps me mentally by reminding me that I am strong and helps me push myself to the next level. Because of this, I decided to create a women’s only barbell class called Barbellas. Barbellas is a full body barbell class focused on toning your muscles and improving overall strength. All fitness levels are welcome. I strongly encourage each woman to push themselves while also encouraging other women around them. This creates a welcoming environment so everyone comes and enjoys a great workout and leaves feeling strong, empowered, and confident. Barbellas is currently offered once a month at FINAO Fit in Smyrna, GA.
3. While working out is important, so is eating the right foods. What is your go-to pre-workout meal? How do you refuel after a workout?
Nicole: For pre-workout, I eat oatmeal with honey, raisins, and one banana. For my post-workout meal, I eat a Beyond Meat patty with four eggs and a protein shake.
Tiffany: Maintaining a healthy diet is something I really focus on. I prefer to workout in the morning so my pre-workout meal sometimes consists of black coffee and a cup of oatmeal. My favorite post-workout meal is egg white muffins (with veggies) and turkey bacon. I am a woman who is always on the go so this is my go to when I meal prep. Not only does it taste amazing, its super easy to prepare.
4. What is one item that is always in your gym bag?
Nicole: My Airpods. I always listen to good jams while working out.
Tiffany: I carry my Hypervolt percussion massage device with me everyday to the gym. My workouts can sometimes leave me super sore, so I make sure I have this with me at all times. The Hypervolt massage gun helps accelerate the warmup and recovery process.
5. What are your top 3 fitness Instagram accounts to follow?
6. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
Nicole: I am an engineer.
Tiffany: People would be surprised to learn that I was a cheerleader for The University of Alabama while my brother played football for two of the National Championships coached by Nick Saban.
7. What are your top three goals you hope to accomplish in life?
Nicole: My only goal in life is to build generational wealth for my family and community.
Tiffany: I hope to lead by example and help encourage other people to jumpstart their fitness journey by determining their “why.” People often get discouraged and overwhelmed when starting their journey and I want to help them get over the hump and show them that fitness doesn’t have to be a daunting experience, but it can actually be really fun too! I also hope to constantly remind people of the importance of self care and incorporating “me time” into their day. We get so caught up in the normal day to day and doing things for others that we sometimes tend to forget to take time to tend to ourselves. We need to be recharged too! And lastly, I want to grow as a personal trainer and create programs for individuals to complete at all fitness levels.
8. What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?
Nicole: It means exactly what it states. Women can get down and gritty while being pretty in general.
Tiffany: To me, PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT means collaborating with other women to provide a sense of community and encourage one another to live a healthy lifestyle. I believe everything is easier when you have support, collaboration, and encouragement!
9. Since PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT, what is your favorite deodorant?
Nicole: I use Degree.
Tiffany: I use Degree MotionSense.
10. How can readers stay in touch with you on social media?
Nicole: You can follow me @dnicolemonroe and check out my online fitness program called Raw Fitness. Join thousands of women with like minded individuals who are keeping the excuses at the door and gaining results.