Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sherri Gray 2010 Arnold's Interview
Sherri Gray is one of my favorite bodybuilders. First their is the obvious. Sherri is beautiful, has an amazing physique, and has had some great accomplishments. Then there is the not as obvious till you actually talk to her. Sherri is a very kind and appreciative woman. I said it in my first interview, Sherri is the kind of person you just have to root for. She started off doing Figure, realized Bodybuilding was more suited for her, and in the short time since she has moved to Bodybuilding, she has put together one of the best physique's you will ever see on an amateur, and quite frankly, it is the physique of a Pro. Call me biased because of my being such a fan, but I truly believe Sherri should have a Pro card, and I know she will get it. If you are a sponsor, please take a look at Sherri Gray. She is everything you want, and more. Here is my second interview with Sherri, where you can hear about her Arnold experience and very impressive 2nd place finish in the Middleweight Division.
Q: First Sherri, thanks so much for agreeing to do a second interview with me. I am so happy you agreed to do this.
A: Thank you for asking me to do another- I am honored!
Q: I guess congratulations are in order for your second place finish in the Middleweight class at the Arnold Amateurs.
A: I feel really good about my placing. I didn't really know what to expect at such a big show but I felt like my conditioning and my physique were on target.
Q: Before we get into that, for those who may have missed your first interview, can you tell a little about yourself.
A: I am a wife and mother of 2 children and I live in North Carolina. I first started off competing in Figure but switched to Bodybuilding in 2009. It was the best move I could have made. I feel that for me personally, this is where I need to be. I really enjoy it and feel that for my build and personality, it was a good move.
Q: Now that you have had a couple days to think about it, looking back, is the feeling more happiness with second place in such a great field of competitors, or is it more "what do i need to improve on to get first place?"
A: Honestly,it's a little bit of both. I am thrilled about placing second, however I do know I need to make improvements so that is what I will be working on before my next show. There are always improvements to be made, it just takes time so that will be my focus.
Q: What do you feel were your biggest improvements in your physique since the last time you were on stage?
A: I brought my back, hams and glutes up a little. I wanted to add some thickness which I feel I did. I know they still need work but as I said, that will be my focus. Coming back from a back injury, I feel pretty good about the improvements I had made in such a short amount of time.
Q: Anything you can look back at and say "this part of my presentation could have been better?"
A: Overall I was happy with my presentation, I was relaxed and had a good time with it. I go back and critique pictures of course, so my biggest thing I think is leaning back more in my back double bi pose and squeezing my abs and obliques to show more definition. I'm sure there are other things but aren't there always....
Q: What was your prep like for this show, and did you do anything different from your normal prep routine?
A: Mike Davies does all my nutrition and he dials me in wonderfully. So every 3-4 weeks during the course of my diet he will change it depending on what my body needs to do. Along with the diet changing so does my cardio. I tried to incorporate some plyometrics and high rep exercises for legs to try and bring out more separation. I would say that was the main change this time around - trying to bring my legs in better.
Q: Where does this show rank in your list of greatest achievements?
A: It is right at the top to be sure! It was such a great show, well run, organized, everything about it. I had a great time the whole time I was there. Definitely one to remember.
Q: Is middleweight the right class for you, or would you want to move up or down?
A: I would like to stay a middleweight. I feel for my body type that is a good weight class for me. There is no way I could ever be a light weight, but light-heavy maybe but I would have to pack on a lot more muscle to be in that class. I would not want to be on the low end of the weight range in that class. So we'll see, never say never!
Q: As with every show you do, I am always amazed at your arms, do you feel they are your best asset, or is it a different body part?
A: My upper body leans out really well and my arms always come in first. So they get a lot of attention. However, I am partial to my shoulders. I think my shoulders helps with my symmetry for sure.
Q: To me you have shown a great ability to add muscle fast, would there ever be a point where you say "I don't want to add more size" is it just keep getting as big as I can?
A: I don't feel like I added that much quickly. It felt like forever and I still am not where I want to be-YET. Adding quality muscle takes time, and focusing on the parts I wanted to build certainly helped. I don't have the mindset to where I'm just gonna try and get huge. I believe your body has a breaking point and will only grow so much. I think I can build the areas that need improvement, staying focused during my training will help me achieve that. Train smarter as you get older!
Q: Did you have time to take in any of the expo itself, or was it just focus on the stage.
A: I made sure I set time aside Saturday for my husband and I to go through the Expo. We had a great time and to see everyone who has similar interests all in one place was amazing. I met some wonderful people- one would be you- and others from SiouxCountry or Facebook that support female athletes. Strangers telling me I motivate them was a highlight as well. I would love to know I made a difference in someones life.
Q: Besides meeting me of course (LOL),what is your favorite memory of the whole weekend?
A: Meeting you was great! I met so many people who support this industry. A favorite memory other than placing 2nd at the ARNOLD! would be just walking through the Expo. People wanting my autograph and to have their picture taken with me. Little me!! I never imagined that anything like that would happen to me. It was quite an experience and one I will never forget.
Q: Where there any competitors you looked forward to meeting or that you are happy you got to meet?
A: I really wanted to meet Zoa Linsey but missed her. I think we left the Party with the Pros before she got there. I did get to meet Charles Glass- he is such an awesome trainer. I met so many wonderful people, Iris Kyle, Mark Alvisi, just to name a few. I wanted to try and see everyone but even the amateurs there working booths were so much fun and genuinely nice people.
Q: So after the show was over, whats the first thing you ate?
A: I sat back stage and ate a Peanut Butter Crunch Supreme Protein bar. I had some flank steak, chicken and some sweet potato too! It was SOOOO GOOOD!! We walked through the expo after that and I know I had a sample of every single thing in there. We went out to dinner that night and had an excellent waiter that just kept bringing us food. I had a great steak, lobster mashed potatoes and some veggies. It was a delicious meal!
Q: Do you have it figured out when your next show is going to be?
A: Not certain, I like to talk to Mike and get some feedback from him. He will be honest with me and tell me if he thinks I'll be ready for a certain one or not. It will most likely be one later on in the year so I will have some time to make improvements.
Q: For me, the Expo is such an inspiring event. Does being around all those great competitors even inspire someone like you, who herself is an inspiring person.
A: It does inspire me. I know how hard they work to get to that status and I hope to one day be right there with them.
Q: One thing I know is your family is so supportive of you. How important is that for a competitor to have that support system?
A: It is extremely important! If your family is not behind you to support your efforts it would be almost impossible. From a mental standpoint, supporting you through your diet, ups and downs, fatigue, crankiness ( not like we are like that but if we were...) they know it is a passion and that support system is extremely important. I am blessed that my family stands behind me, I couldn't do it without them!
Q: In the final week or so before a show like this, what is your mental frame of mind like? What are the thoughts running through your head?
A: I make the attempt to stay sane- but that isn't always that simple. Trying to work and get ready to travel and compete becomes trying at times. I am constantly thinking of how I can tweek my last week or so of workouts to get my legs to come in better, things like that. Nutrition wise- I do what Mike says!
Q: How about a few minutes before you take the stage, whats going through your mind? A: Usually I'm so nervous I'm shaking- but this time I was very relaxed- which even surprised me. Mike told me to relax and have fun so that is what I did. Took a deep breath, told myself to just do my best and have fun with it- because it is an experience not everyone gets to enjoy. So that is exactly what I did.
Q: Like I tell you, you are a great inspiration for me. What does it mean to you for someone to call you an inspiration?
A: It is truly an honor. For someone to find me inspirational puts all I work for into perspective. I push myself to be the best I can be and I try to reflect a positive attitude. I am happy others see that in me, I want to help anyone I can to be their best, to have self confidence and never quit! Life is a journey and it can be a longer journey if you live a healthy lifestyle- I want to help others do that.
Q: Is the main goal to eventually get the Pro card you already deserve?
A: Thanks for saying that- and YES I would love to get a pro card. I am working hard to make improvements every off season so maybe in the near future, it will be my day to shine! I am always trying to bring my best physique to the stage and just competing with other great women in the sport is motivation to keep reaching for that goal.
Q: Whats the best and worst part about competing?
A: The best part for me is pushing myself to be my best. To lift more than I did the day before, to do one more rep or do 10 more minutes of cardio. I not only compete with other women I also compete with myself.
The worst part would be missing some time with my family- although I don't let that happen too often, just little special moments with my children. Not being able to have a pizza dinner with them on a Friday night or when I'm so tired at night I fall asleep and don't get to have a conversation with my husband. Just the little things that come from the fatigue of working full time and hours of training.
Q: It would seem to me, that you are everything a sponsor would want in a competitor. I know you are looking for sponsorship. Let's say I am a sponsor, tell me why Sherri Gray is a great choice for a competitor to sponsor?
A: I think I would be a great choice because I am dedicated to the sport. I like to keep myself updated on new supplements and am knowledgeable about what supplements can do to help you with recovery, building or whatever you are looking to accomplish. Clothing- what woman doesn't like clothes?? I think I have the physique to promote workout attire and try to keep myself in pretty good shape year around. There aren't too many female bodybuilders that are sponsored so I think I would be an asset to any company. I think it is better to have an assortment of different types of athletes and ages as well. It shows that you are never to old to live a healthy lifestyle. I have a passion and I want to share that with all that will listen.
Q: If a sponsor would like to contact you, how can they reach you?
A: They can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my facebook page- Sherri Gray
Q: Is doing more photo shoots something you would also be interested in?
A: Most definitely- I did a few while at the Arnold and previously at the Jr. USA. They are so much fun and you have pictures to last a lifetime to capture your best conditioning. I would love to have the opportunity to do more. I would really like for one to be picked to be published!
Q: Where do you see Sherri Gray the bodybuilder in five years from now?
A: I would like to say that I see myself still competing and hopefully to have my pro card by then. You can't tell what the future holds but I do hope mine is bright- I love this industry and I would like to continue in it to compete and inspire others the way I am inspired to live a healthy life and be my best.
Q: Sherri, thanks for taking the time to do another interview with me. Also it was such an honor to finally meet you. You were even more beautiful in person, and your physique was incredible. There is no limit to how far you can go in this sport, and I can't wait to watch you progress even further. Anything you want to add before you go?
A: Thank you so much for everything. Especially your motivation to promote the sport and to do it in such a positive light. I hope this gets the attention of companies to know there are women such as myself who would be great role models for young women and everyone for that fact to live a healthier lifestyle. I hope to meet other at shows later in the year and possibly even run into you again. Thanks again and take care!!