Nicole Gray is a fairly new figure competitor. If you are not familiar with Nicole, get familiar. Nicole is the kind of woman that makes you happy to be part of the lifestyle. She has brought a great figure to the stage each time, and the sky is the limit as far as how far she can go in the industry. A beautiful woman with a great physique, she is the kind of woman you want to support, and the kind of woman companies should want to sponsor and have represent their product. Please read and get familiar with Nicole Gray
Q: First Nicole, I want to thank you for the honor of doing this.
A: You're welcome.... Thanks for asking me.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I grew up and still reside in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with my boyfriend, our 2 dogs, and our kitty. I work full time as a Chiropractic Assistant.
Q: Where you an athletic or active person as a child?
A: Not at all! I tried sport's but wasn't very talented.... I was lazy until I discovered the gym.
Q: What made you decide to get into training?
A: I battled distorted eating and body image for years and tried EVERYTHING possible to be thing. When I saw athletic, muscular, and beautiful women, that's when things changed for me. I started learning and researching the 'right' way to get the body I wanted..... lifting weights and eating a balanced diet. The changes I saw in not only my body, but my mind were amazing and I fell in love with the lifestyle.
Q: I have seen many instances where a beautiful woman life yourself is not taken serious at the gym. Was that a problem for you at first. Did you feel like you had to prove yourself.
A: I wouldn't say it was a problem, but I think most men tend to think that a woman wouldn't know what to do in the weight room. But once they see I'm intense and serious about what I do, I am treated with much respect.
Q: What made you decide to compete?
A: I admired competitors so much, but I never really believed that I could do it.... I had a lot of self doubt. I was scared to jump into something and take a risk until I was talking to my brother about it and he gave me the pep talk to face my fears and doubts that I needed... I HAD to get up there just once to prove to myself that I could.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how do they feel now.
A: It's not something many people were supportive of because the sport isn't very mainstream, so people in my life didn't really understand. I got made fun of for my gym time, my "obsessive" dieting, but once they saw me on stage and saw the final result of all the hard work I put it, they finally got it... Now, they are so proud and rooting for me all the way!
Q: Was that first contest what you expected. Did anything surprise you?
A: I was so nervous for my first show that I didn't know what to expect. I will say the thing that most surprised me was how amazing all the competitors are backstage. Even though they are competing against each other, the support and camaraderie was incredible.
Q: What did competing tell you about yourself?
A: It showed me that I am stronger than I thought I was.... I prove all of my doubts wrong, that I can do ANYTHING if I want it bad enough.
Q: Can you share your contest history up to this point.
A: I have competed in 3 shows in one year and I am looking forwards to adding to the list.
*10/25/08 OCB Charm City Classic in Baltimore Maryland- I placed 2nd in both Figure Novice and Open
*6/13/09 OCN Eastern Seaboard States in Wilmington Delaware- I placed 4th in Novice Figure and 3rd in Open
*10/17/09 OCB Charm City Classic in Baltimore Maryland- I placed 3rd in both Figure Novice and Open
Q: What made you go more towards the figure route as opposed to bodybuilding.
A: While I admire bodybuilders, it just isn't a physique that I would feel comfortable with. I think the muscle size and conditioning of a figure competitor suits my frame well. Also, I am not much of a performer so, I don't think bodybuilding is something that I would be able to do well :-)
Q: What do you feel is your best body part or the one you get the most compliments on?
A: I would have to say that I love mt back and delts. They are my strongest feature... I am a small girls but I am able to build a wide back and capped delts, which are important for that beautiful V shape. People always ask my training tips n my back/delts and I take that as a huge compliment.
Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: Definitely my back! I love straight arms lat pull downs and all rows.... but T-Bars are the best.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how does it alter for contest prep?
A: My training varies from either a 3 day or 4 day split, training 5 days a week... always heavy, off season or prep. In the off season, I do moderate steady state cardio 3 times a week, but during contest prep it's a mix of steady state and sprints. My diet I keep clean year-round, only I allow my room for treats in the off season.
Q: Favorite Cheat food?
A: Pizza and ANY kind of sweets. I love them All :-)
Q: Obviously not a lot of women are in the shape you are in. When people see it for the first time, what is the common response, more negative or positive?
A: In my experience I think it's positive for the most part. Sure you have the occasional people that don't think women should have muscle, but the majority of people tell me they admire my dedication and women tell me that I inspire them to pick up the weights.
Q: When People see it that first time, what is the one questions you are sick of hearing?
A: I hate being asked... "Do you eat carbs?". Also, when people tell me not to life heavy or else I'll look like a man...... as if it's that easy.
Q: Is there anybody in the sport you admire or are a fan of?
A: Monica Brant, Gina Aliotta, and Ava Cowen are absolutely stunning!!!
Q: Are there any misconceptions about women who train and/or compete?
A: There are still so many misconceptions about women and it's really unfortunate. Everything from how to train and dieting to assuming that all competitors are un-natural.
Q: If someone came up to you and said they wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would want to give them?
A: Keep it simple...heavy, compound exercises. Focus on form first and don't be afraid to challenge yourself.
Q: Do you get a lot of people asking for diet tips?
A: All the time! Unfortunately when you tell them it's all about eating clean and that there are no magic tricks to getting lean, they tend to be disappointed.LOL
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I am a huge baseball fan! I have Phillies season tickets.. there is nothing better than a summer day at the ball park.
Q: Describe a typical day in the life if Nicole Gray.
A: I get up at 4:15AM, eat my egg whites and oats, and I'm in the gym by 5:30AM. After I finish my training I drink my shake, shower, and then off to work...I usually work 11 hour days. I'm home by 7:30-8:00PM, cook and pack my meats for the next day, then I try to get in bed by 10:00PM to get some sleep and do it all over again the next day!
Q: Favorite actor, TV show, or musician's
A: The only current shows that I;m hooked on are 'Nip/Tuck' and 'Desperate Housewives'. My musical taste varies from punk rock to 80'1 and even some country :-)
Q: Describe Nicole Gray in five words.
A: Passionate, Driven, Loyal, Perfectionist, and Wacky.
Q: Obviously for competing, sponsorship is important. Is that something you are looking for, and if so, how can they contact you, and what does someone get in terms of a competitor in Nicole Gray?
A: I am passionate and drive, so any company would be well represented with me on their team. I use a lot of supplements, so getting to represent a product that I believe in would be an incredible opportunity.
Q: Nicole, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. As a long time fan of the sport, I think I have a good eye for talent, and I think there is no limit to how far you can go. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you for asking me to be a part of your blog. I appreciate the respect and exposure you are giving to the sport of figure and bodybuilding.