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Jonesboro resident prepares for bodybuilding competition
by Maurice Dixon
August 07, 2012 10:28 AM | 2999 views | 1 1 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Joe Livingston<br>Jonesboro resident Jakki Cross was named Miss Fitness Atlanta in 2011.
Staff / Joe Livingston
Jonesboro resident Jakki Cross was named Miss Fitness Atlanta in 2011.
Before turning over her reign as Miss Fitness Atlanta in October, Jakki Cross will try to earn another first-place award during a North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation competition in September.

“I only do natural shows where I am drug tested and polygraphed,” Cross said. “I do this naturally and choose to carry out my lifestyle naturally so I keep my physique through mostly natural herbs and diet.”

To also prepare for the event, Cross is currently training twice a day, and at least six times a week at LA Fitness in East Point and at the House of Payne with Steve Payne in Lilburn.

“My daily regimen is strenuous,” Cross said. “It requires a lot of dedication.”

The process Cross is referring to specifically means she has to rise at 4 a.m. and complete one of her two hours of cardiovascular training, which consists of running on an elevated treadmill, spending time on the elliptical machine and even pushing cars.

“Towards show time we pull all of our carbs,” Cross said. “A lot of people don’t know that fruit is a carb so we can’t even have fruit.”

When it’s not “peak time,” the Denver native still spends time lifting weights, jumping up and down steps, and running the bleachers while maintaining a very disciplined diet.

“I don’t intake sodium, sugars or whites,” said Cross, who competes at 128 pounds. “All of that is out of my diet. For most people that is the hard part. They can’t do what a normal competitor does, living off egg whites everyday and strictly protein.”

However, Cross wasn’t always this size despite having a background of running track in high school and during her six years of service in the army.

“In 2002, I soared to 198 pounds by eating late at night and going to bed,” she said. When I saw 198 — two [pounds] away from two [200] — I decided to get active again. So I got back in the gym then, dropped the weight and turned it around into a positive lifestyle.”

Realizing everyone should reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, Cross wants to educate the younger generation on the importance of exercise.

“My goal is to eventually have a kid-oriented facility because our children are obese,” she said. “Children don’t like to get out and play anymore whereas when we were young kickball and dodgeball were a way of life. Now they don’t do that. I do enjoy helping kids to get fit.”

Cross, who is also a licensed cosmetologist, helped organize DeKalb County Day of Play in May.

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