Tonia Goodman is simply put, one of my favorite people. Not because of fitness or bodybuilding. Not because of her physique or what she can lift. Not because she competes or how great a competitor she is. But because of the person she is. When I do something good at the gym, Tonia is one of the first to say "way to go". When I do something good Tonia, is one of the first people I tell. When I have a problem or am upset, Tonia is one of the first people I tell. She encourages you and is happy for you when you achieve a new goal. But the previously mentioned things are true to. Tonia has a great physique, Tonia is a great competitor, Tonia has a love for fitness and competing, and it just comes across when you talk to her. If Tonia can not inspire and motivate you, then you are simply unable to be inspired and unable to be motivated. I consider it an honor to have become friends with Tonia Goodman.
Q: First Tonia, I want to thank you for taking the time out to do this.
A: Your welcome and thank-you for the opportunity that you are giving so many of us women!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I'm going to be 39 on the 15th of this month(How is that even possible!LOL!) I'm married and have 4 kids;ages 19-12 one boy, 3 girls. I'm 4'11 and am currently at 106lbs and just started contest prep.
I was born in Atlanta Georgia and raised by parents who are true southerners. Through my parents divorce I went from being an Air Force brat to being settled in Nebraska and now seem to be stuck here! Ha!! I'm not happy about it, I truly don't think i was meant to be a Nebraska girl! I'm so at home in California! A HUGE chunk of my heart is there!
Q: Before you got into the gym, were you a very athletic person? Play any sports?
A: I NEVER was an athletic person at all! I was the type of person everyone picked last for teams in school. I was raised being afraid and so had no confidence and was too afraid to ever try anything. I did however take dance class. You know when someone just has a talent that's deep in them and it's undeniable, that is me, it has been my passion since I can remember! When I dance I am free, it's the best feeling and when i danced while I was young, my fears left me.
Q: What initially got you into the gym?
A: It is omthing i'm sure many mom's can relate to! It was 2004, I had 4 kids and went from having this amazing metabolism to relaizing I was not comfortable in my own skin and that every time I sat down I placed my arms over my stomach. More than that, I seriously felt as if I was dieing.I had so many tests done because I was always SO tired/fatigued that when it came time to even prepare dinner, I would be in tears. Everything seemed like such an effort and I was so weak, just getting up off the floor was a challenge! They tried to diagnose me as depressed, but I wasn't. All I really needed was good nutrition and exercise.
My husband and I were both in that growing older pattern of gaining and he was really packing the pounds on. He, not knowing anything about exercise and nutrition was googling ab stuff so he could get abs. He came across a forum that was touting a very popular book called Body for Life. He read it within a few hours while at work and then came home and showed me and that was it!! I thought I really had nothing to lose and I didn't have to sell my life away to do it so we began the journey together. I didn't even use the gym my first 15 weeks of exercising, We bought some basic equipment and got to it.
The first time I walked into a gym to work with a trainer I was about to cry and run out!
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see real results?
A: I didn't pick it up easy until my trainer enlightened me, but I did settle into my routine without deviation. I didn't realize what intensity was about until my first ever trainer showed me. I had been using my training as a time for relaxation and didn't have a CLUE, but in 12 weeks despite myself I lost all the bodyfat I needed to, I had gained muscle but I had a ways to go!!
Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete, and what made you decide to compete?
A: A Little over 20 weeks I believe. I was working with my trainer at the time a previous Body for Life champ and she worked on me for quite some time to talk me into competing. She kept at me and kept at me until I finally said yes, exactly 12 weeks from the comp she had in mind. It went against my comfort zone in every way and I was excited but also scared to death! So scared I almost ran home the night before when we went to scope out the venue. I seriously wanted to run and never look back! I did it though and ended up being hooked! That first show I placed at the bottom and was soooo skinny and my posing was just aweful, but I changed, I became stronger, determined and had the bug!
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: Yes, my immediate family;husband kids supported/support me wholeheartedly. My kids got to go to one of my comp and held signs and rooted for me. My oldest daughter was there when I got my very first trophy and the look on her face! Priceless! I LOVE the look on my husbands face evey time I see him out in the audience rooting for me, he's all lit up, it's really GREAT! I had negative stuff too like my mom thought I looked anorexic and people now, well I have those who support me and are awesome and those who really judge me because I'm getting on a stage in a bikini and refuse to even try and understand this sport. I've lost friends due to it,but gained sooooo many more. I really feel you have got to have some sort of support to do what we do,it's not easy at all. Ha!! My kids still brag on their ole mom too, which always makes me feel great!!
Q: Was the first contest what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: Oh No, not at all, lol! I had never seen a competition and never even heard of one before! It was such a rush,such a great experience, I'll never forget it! The comraderie is what really surprised me! It's somthing still close to my heart today! I love meeting new people and seeing old friends along the circuit and getting to root my fellow competitors on, and to do so loudly!! Whenever I'm at a comp, it almost feels like coming home in a way, very hard to explain so hopefully those who read this will understand what I mean. You get to that day and everything you went through to get there, all becomes worth it!
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Well, I have done many.....
2005 Bluffs Classic Figure Open Class 2nd Place
2005 Cedar Rapids Best of the Midwest Overall Figure Champion
2006 Bluffs Classic Figure Short Class 1st Place
2006 Bluffs Classic Overall Figure Champion
2006 Bluffs Classic Novice Women’s Bodybuilding 1st Place
2006 Bluffs Classic Submaster’s Women’s Bodybuilding 2nd Place
2006 Cedar Rapids Best of the Midwest Figure Short Class 1st Place
2006 Cedar Rapids Best of the Midwest Open Women Short Bodybuilding 2nd Place
2006 Cedar Rapids Best of the Midwest Submaster’s Women’s Bodybuilding 2nd Place
2006 Southern State’s Classic Figure Short 5th Place
2006 USA’S Super Pro-Q Chicago Figure Short 2nd Place
April 17th, 2009 Open Figure Short 3rd place
My first 2 or 3 shows I didn't place and those aren't on here.
Q: What do you consider your best bodypart, or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: My back and Glutes, ALWAYS!
Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: Back and biceps! I LOVE Pull-Ups!!! It took me so long to be able to do them un-assisted and guys are always shocked to see a girl doing them,it's fun! I LOVE what they have done for my back as well, that's when it got really good!
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal routine is 3-4 weight training days; Back/bi's/rear delts;Legs/medial delts; Chest/tris/Front delts and then I change the split as it suits my schedule and to keep my body guessing.I usually do very little cardio off season, but on season, I train the same but increase cardio. I do 30 mins daily first thing in the morning on an empty stomach with a HIIT cardio session or 2 thrown in a bit later. As I get further into my prep I'll do 45 mins first thing a.m and if really needed another session in the evening as well.
Q: When someone see's or hears you train and compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Positive MOST of the time. As a natural competitor people look at how small I am and are like, yeah right! LOL! I always have to explain everything. I get ribbed about my food all the time, because I always have my cooler bag and special foods. I just roll with it though!
Q: When they see or hear it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are sick of hearing?
A: There really aren't any, I'm always happy to share, I'm very passionate about this and many times it inspires someone else to workout and eat better or to decide to compete and it's always fun to have a comp buddy or buddies!
Q: What is the biggest misconcpetiona bout women who compete?
A: That we're all huge or that it's our whole life. This is not my whole life,I have my faith, I'm a wife and mom and all those come first. I work VERY hard to maintain balance and to give back and be there for my family. People say to compete it has to be all about you, but I'm here to say, No it doesn't...It can be toward the end ,yes, for a short time, right before the show, but I know I can not do this in good conscience if I have to put my family on the back burner. My husband and I work TOGETHER on this as well, my diet, prep all of it, he helps with my posing, all of it. It's a great feeling on show day knowing we got here together! When I get that trophy or win, I know it's not just mine but his as well. I wouldn't trade that for anything!
Q; Do you have any favorite comeptitors or any you admire?
A: Oh my goodness, too many to list here!!! SO many competitors inspire me even guys! From top pros like Monica Brant to local girls I meet!
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: You bet I do!! A few faves; ANYTHING Chocolate or chocolate and peanubutter, especially Cheesecake factory's Adams peanutbutter cup fudge ripple, Lemon Merengue pie, fresh pinapple and italian food, mexican food and hot roastbeef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy!! Mmmmm....
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: I really think in the end the whole process is, and of course coming in better each show. Worst part...some of the shows where politics can get invloved..touchy subject, but it does happen,that's why you have to compete because you love the sport and you have to be tough! I always think of it as a competition with myself and as long as I did everything I possibly could to be at my best for that day, well than I can live with whatever the outcome! Yes there are heartbreaks, I had a doozy that about made me quit, but I worked through it. You either do and grow stronger or you just quit. I prefer to become stronger. Really if you don't look at the superficial stuff, competing strengthens and grows you in so many ways if you allow it to.
Q: If a woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Well I'd take her into the gym and teach her proper form, and intensity as well as the mind muscle connection. I would say, stick with it, don't make it your whole life and set goals and don't ever stop!
Q: Can you talk about Ailve and Fit. What it is, where people can find out more about it?
A: Alive and Fit was created for my husband and I to give back and share what we have learned and are still learning. My husband is even working on a book currently. We cater to those just wanting to make a transformation to those who want to compete. My husband is the creator of the whole thing, and done a great job educating himself. He does my diet and has done plans for several who have really had remarkable progress. I do a lot with figure prep and posing, but again we really work so much as a team.
you can visit our site at....
Q: You also have a blog of your own. Can you give out the address and tell people waht they can find there.
A: I do! It's at....
If you look to the right there is a menu as well as at the top and my journal is there as well as a page with pics and other categories. I'm currently checking in each day documenting my comp prep and whatever else happens to be going on in my life. I'm pretty open and honest there and share quite a bit.
Q: Outside of training,any other hobbies or activites you enjoy?
A: Date night every friday with my husband! Such a piority for us! I also love to dance!! I studied dance some growing up and have always been passionate about it. I feel so free when i can just dance!
Of course spending quality time with my girls as well!
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Tonia Goodman.
A: You'll have to read about those in my blog! LOL! No day is the same, some are so boring and others more interesting than I'd like!
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I have a HUGE heart, and am always wishing I had more to give! I also conquer fears all the time, It seems to run in my blood. I spent a good portion of my life on the sidelines held back by fears. Not anymore, they are still there, I just know how to get through them and knock them down now. Also I go through stage fright every comp, but once I walk onto it, I'm fine!
Q: Describe Tonia Goodman in five words.
A: Won't quit, Always growing, Determined.
Q: Any set plans for 2010 as far as competing or anything else?
A: I'm prepping right now for The Southern States Classic April 23rd and 24th,planning on figure and bodybuilding and then The Nutri-Sport in Des Moines May 8th. Both are IFPA Pro-Qualifiers.
I'll probably hit several shows in the fal as well, but haven't looked that far ahead yet.
Q: Are yu looking for sponsors, if so how can they contact you?
A: I am! My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Tonia, again, thanks for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Jason, Thanks so much for including me in this. I love what you are doing!! It's been a real pleasure to be apart of this!