Wednesday, December 30, 2009

IFBB PRO Tonia Moore Interview

If you follow, support, or participate in bodybuilding, fitness, any of those things, you know you can not be an IFBB Pro unless you are among the elite. I first found out about Tonia Moore many years ago in a issue of Women's Physique World. It was just a one page thing with a photo and a little info. I was amazed at what I saw. An incredible flawless physique, and just a beautiful woman. Recently I have had the honor of communicating on Facebook with her, and the honor of getting training tips from her. That is like a young basketball player getting tips from Michael Jordan to me. But what I have found it that Tonia Moore the bodybuilder is not as impressive as Tonia Moore the person. Tonia Moore the person is an incredible woman. She has had obstacles and beat them all. Her story is one that inspires, motivates, and makes you feel you can accomplish anything. You can see more of her at or or or and finally Also Tonia sells signed 8x10's on her site as well as a t-shirt, whcih as the owner of both I can tell you are awesome and worth the price.

Q: First, Tonia, thank you so much for doing this. As you know I am a huge fan of yours.
A: Thank you for the opportunity and yes I thank you for being a fan and your great show of support.

Q: Let's start out by just telling a little about yourself. Where you are from, family, things like that.
A: I'm from Long Beach, California. I was born and raised here. I'm divorced, my former married name is Tonia Villalobos, no kids. I have a big family, but my immediate close family is my mom, step-father, me, and my two sisters. I'm the oldest in the family, one sister is 4 years younger than me (married with three boys), and the other sister is 19 years younger than me. My Ethnic background is Hispanic (Spanish/Mexican Latin origins what have you), Native Indiana, French, German, and Irish (my dad is Irish- last name Moore).

Q: OK, so what exactly got you started working out. Did you start right away bodybuilding or did that come from progression. Why did you become so serious with bodybuilding?
A: I joined the gym mainly to get in shape and toned since I had not done too much "actively speaking" since high school, where I took dance for 3 years. I've always been small and toning up was my first goal. Shortly after joining the Gold's Gym in Long Beach, February 1992, I met my husband (now ex-husband) in the gym. I started working out with him and learned how to properly workout. My body responded very well to the weight training and a year later, May 1993, I competed in my first you can say he got me started and pushed me. After that it just became an addiction of the ongoing task and and goal to always improve from one show to the next.

Q: Was it your plan right away to compete or did that develop over time?
A: It wasn't my plan at first but seeing how my body was changing and transforming from my working out, the fire became lit with everyone's support and comments on how I have good genetics and good potential in pursuing bodybuilding.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: 1993- NPC Amateur Grand Prix- 2nd place Lightweight
1993- NPC Ironman/IronMaiden- 2nd place Lightweight
1994- NPC Tournament Of Champions- 1st place Middleweight and Overall
1994- NPC Las Vegans Bodybuilding Classic- 1st place Middleweight, Overall, and Mixed pairs
1995- NPC California State Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships- 2nd palce Lightweight
1996- NPC Erica Kern's Pacific USA Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships- 1st place Middleweight and Overall
1996- NPC USA Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships- 4th place Lightweight
1997- NPC USA Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships- 1st place Lightweight and Most Improved Physique
1998- NPC USA Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships- 8th place Lightweight
1999- NPC Los Angeles Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships- 1st place Middleweight
1999- NPC USA Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships 1st place Lightweight
1999- NPC Nationals Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships- 8th place lightweight
2001- NPC Nationals Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships- 1st place Middleweight and IFBB Pro Card
2006- IFBB Atlantic City Pro Show- 16th place (pro debut)
2008- IFBB Tampa Pro Show- 11th place
2008- IFBB Europa Pro Show- 7th place

Q: Twice you won Lightweight as the USA's but lost the overall to the Heavyweight. Do you think that is because of a a preference towards heavyweights or just a preference by judges towards heavyweights?
A: Back then I was convinced they were just giving the Heavyweight the nod to win.... but my own critical eye was able to see I still needed to become a little tighter and sharper that is what a few judges had told me and I knew that is what I kept striving to attain

Q: What was it like to finally win your Pro Card at the nationals. What was the feeling.
A: Oh the feeling was awesome and such a relief to know that I finally brought the package they have been waiting to see me show up with. I saw the "YES NOD" from all the judges when I was on stage during my prejudge which boosted my faith and confidence that at the evening show I was walking away with my IFBB Pro Card, but it's not real yet until they call your name as the 1st place winner.

Q: After winning your Pro Card, you sort of disappeared for awhile. Why was that?
A: I disappeared due to dealing with terrible times of my marriage. My intentions were to compete, making my pro debut in 2002, but things just got too bad by 2002. I actually stopped working out for 2 years... I did not step foot in a gym during that time. I went through a lot during those 2 years, even losing my job, along with depression.

Q: Then, you started back in the gym in 2004 I believe. What led you to get back into it?
A: Yes, Is tarted working out again around April 2004. Well... I had finally left my husband by January 2004 and moved in with my mom, step-dad, and sister. After all the turmoil I went through, it was time to pick myself back up. My friends had just opened up his own gym beginning 2004 and he encouraged me to come work with him as a personal trainer which helped me with the start of turning over a new leaf and became the beginning of starting a new life again for me. It's been quite a journey!!

Q: How bad were you missing it while you were away?
A: I don't remember how bad I missed it while I was away.... some things are a blank to me from my past. I was so engulfed in my problems, and depression, that I would wonder how I made it through each day... and it amazes me how much I endured and that I didn't leave sooner than I did. I thank God I did make it through and I'm finally in a much better place now emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Q: You made your pro debut at the 2006 Atlantic City Pro. Your placing was an obvious disappointment. I was not there but have seen some photos, and it amazes me they had you so low. It was an incredible group of competitors, but the placement was so so low. Why do you feel you were placed so low and how big of a disappointment was that?
A: Yes, it was a big disappointment to me of where I placed, but again I know how the political game is played. It was like they were telling me I had been away fro so long that I need to pay my dues again. Plus I was in the middle of getting divorced so at that show I competed under the name Tonia Moore-Villalobos, so to the judges I'm a new name and face. If I would have pubbed myself more to welcome the name change or had competed as Tonia Villalobos the name the knew on the national level circuit and the name I won my Pro Card as at the Nationals, it may have been a bit of a different story..... that's what I think anyway.

Q: Let's talk about your bodybuilding. When you first got serious about it, was it something your family and friends supported at the time and how do they feel now?
A: My family and friends have always been very supportive of my career path in bodybuilding, they are very proud of me....I'm their "show and tell" topic or "don't mess with me or I'll get Tonia after ya" haha!!

Q; What is your typical training routine and diet like for off season and contest prep?
A: More like.... What WAS my typical training routine?? Now it's different since my battle with Crohn's Disease. So to let you know.... I used to train 6 days on/1 day off. I usually switch around the order of body parts trained, but for legs I only train them alone. Training routine for off season and contest prep for the most part remains the same with changes like during contest prep, I'll do more cardio everyday of the week, and calves and abs I will do every other day, and implement more volume and high rep training. As for diet, when prepping for a show I will eat more meals(in the off season I'm bad about keeping up on my meals), I'll cut back on carbs, cut out my candy (I like licorice, cinnamon bears, stuff like that), and switch to more complex carbs.

Q: Are you a keep track of your measurements person, if so care to share them?
A: LOL.... no I'm not really a keep track with my measurements kind of girl. Especially right now, I don't know them...I'll tell ya this though, before I got sick with Crohns Disease this year, and losing a lot of my mass, my biceps were 15", calves 14.5", quads 24", and chest 38".

Q: I have told you, I beleive you have one of the best overall physiques in the sport. Do you have a body part you like the most on yourself, or get complimented on the most?
A: The thing I like most about my physique and would get complimented on is my overall symmetry...although I was very proud of my legs that I worked so hard for.

Q: Do you have a body part or exercise you most like to train?
A: I used to love training legs when I was tring so hard to get my legs to where I wanted. I still like leg day even though it takes a lot out of me...but now I enjoy training on body parts I feel I'd like to bring out an focus in on more.

Q: What is the best and worst part of the sport?
A: The best part is the great fans out there that support us, and the personal achievements that come along with it. The worst part is the politics, the inconsistent judging and how us female bodybuilders don't rank like the men do when it comes to the shows, and not to mention the prize money.

Q: Do you prefer training alone of with a partner and why?
A: I usually like training with a male partner that is a bodybuilder or at least at my level of training or higher because he'll push me harder.

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the most common response. Are people more negative or positive?
A: You look good... do you compete or are you a personal trainer? Most responses are very positive.

Q: When people see it that first time, what is the one question you are sick of hearing?
A: "How much do you lift?" I'm like "Lift what?" or "wanna arm wrestle?"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders?
A: That we all like to dominate men.

Q: Any pet peeves or bad etiquette people perform in the gym that annoys you?
A: Not putting their weights away and sitting on a machine wasting time like talking.

Q: You have given me some great advice. If someone came up to you and said they were going to start bodybuilding, what is the one piece of advice you would want to give them?
A: I would say hire a personal trainer/nutritionist coach if they can. AND if they can't, then be sure to do a lot of research in regards to training, nutrition, and diet, and to get a magazine subscription to FLEX, Muscle & Fitness, etc. to try out the workout regimens published to find out what works for them. Everything is trial and error. Another thing.... be sure to go to any local regional bodybuilding shows in their area to get a feel of what it's like on game day.

Q: You have done some acting to. Care to talk about that.
A: Well not a lot of acting....LOL. I've done one gig as a body double on Sabrina the Teenage Witch back in 2001 after I won my IFBB Pro Card. You can find that video clip of my performance at and

Q: Now, for those who do not know, you are battling Crohn's Disease. Can you explain what that is, and what the effects are, what causes it?
A: Yes, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease this year on June 12 2009. It is an Inflammatory Bowell Disease (IBD)and auto immune disease that has no cure at this time. It effects the entire digestive system from the mouth to the anus. Symptoms inculde, ulcers throughout the digestive system, inflammation of the intestines, abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, blood in the stool, loss of appetite, weight loss, people with severe Crohn's may also experience fever, fatigue, arthritis, eye inflammation, skin disorders. Needless to say I personally experienced ALL that I just mentioned. Including being hospitalized with a deadly infection needing emergency surgery to drain out 600cc's of puss from my abdomen and cutting out 1/3 or my colon (ascending large intestine). I was 97lbs when I got out of the hospital on July 24, 2009 and now I'm back up to about 136lbs.

Q: You are getting back into training, is it your plan to get back on stage again?
A: Yes, I'm back in the gym again....YAY!! I would love to get back on stage again, back in the lime light :-) I'm not sure at this point whether it will be as a bodybuilder or figure competitor. I'm just going where my body will take me from a healthy standpoint and as long as I remain in remission with my Crohn's then I will keep plugging away and set my sights to get back on stage hopefully in 2011.

Q: You also do personal training. Besides geting trained by one of the best, what does someone get by being trained by Tonia Moore?
A: You get my genuine personal attention and years of knowledge and experieince bestowed upon you. Not everyone is the same so I assess you as an individual and give you workout and nutrition programs customized for your individual goals and needs.

Q: Are there any other bodybuilders you admire or are a fan of?
A: Iadmie Iris Kyle, Lenda Murray, Betty Viana-Adkins, Juliette Bergman, Valentina Chepiga...but Iris is in a league of her own.

Q: Any other hobbies outside of training or actiites you enjoy?
A: I enjoy reading, learning new things, listening to music, watching TV, movies, sleeping, haning out with friends, I'm down for any fun activity when they opportunity arises

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Tonia Moore.
A: Haha, right now my days are not so exciting...LOL. I usually sleep in a bit, but if I have a client that day I sleep in to the last minute (I'm also a professional sleeper...haha) then get up and get ready and eat something before I head out... usually a bowl of cereal. I train my client at their house, then on my way back home I stop at Henry's Market (usually on Wednesday). I get home, turn on the computer, checking, filtering, and replying to my emails and messages, then I will get online and do webcam chat for a bit on,, and, then eat, and take a nap, get up go to the gym, and come back home. I usually get back on my computer again doing the same stuff, and sometimes webcam depending on how I feel. I stay up late watching TV and fall asleep with it on.....ooops! Exciting stuff eh :-). On my bad days when I'm battling with the symptoms of my Crohn's I have to carefully plan my day if I need to leave the house otherwise I usually just stay home, relax, and take it easy and deal with it.

Q: If you could only watch the movies of two actors, two TV shows, and listen to two musicians for one year, who would they be?
A: Hmmmm.... two actors- Al Pacino and Robert Dinero, two TV show- House and NCIS, and two musicians- Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson.

Q: Describe Tonia Moore in five words.
A: Honest, Caring, Optimistic, Lovable, and Modest.

Q: If people wanted to get in contact with you for training, how would they find you. Is your website the best way?
A: For those serious about training and nutritional guidance, can contact me via email at Wherever you are I can work with you via online connection.

Q: Anything you care to take the time to promote, such as website or anything else. What does someone get by joining your website?
A: At this time mainly my website, which provides photo and video galleries updated every 4-6 days and webcam chat with the members. I will also be working with a vitamin company as a distributor but I will update you with that info a little later when I get moving with that.

Q: Any set plans for 2010?
A: Continue getting back on my feet, persevere my road of recovery in health and strive to stay in remission for as long as possible with my Crohn's Disease, and keeping everyone update on my progress. My goal is to spread awareness of this disease with hopes of helping and educating others. I plan to get more clients, start a boot camp, and distribute supplements. Helping the lives of otehrs is my plan as I usually find joy in doing so.

Q: Tonia, thank you so much for doin this. I think the world of you. I think you are a role model for so many people. I know you will beat Crohn's, get back into top shape and show you are one of the best in the world at what you do. ANy last words before you go?
A: Again, thank you for the opportunity. I and the other Female Athletes appreciate fans like you with your dedicated support for us. I noly hope to help and inspire others to be the best they can be, and to always stay strong and true to one self as I believe in myself to do the same and I'm determiend to win this battle wih Crohn's Disease and make a strong comeback.
Much Love, Health, and Happiness
God Bless Always,
Tonia Moore

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