Saturday, March 20, 2010
Soumaya Wilmore Interview
As I was getting ready to write this I was thinking of the one word I wanted to use to describe Soumaya Wilmore. There were so many to choose. Beautiful, kind, encouraging, motivating, inspiring, and for me, helpful. But the reality is the best word to describe Soumaya Wilmore is.......... Soumaya. Because all those other words I mentioned are just a part of who she is. Soumaya is beautiful, Soumaya is very kind, and when I first started training she gave me some great advice and did encourage me and check on my progress. She is inspiring and she is motivating. Soumaya has just gone from competing in Figure to Bodybuilding, and fellow competitors need to be ready because Soumaya always brings a great package to the stage. Regardless of her bodybuilding and fitness, Soumaya is someone I would want to know because she is such a likable woman and there is not one negative thing you could say about her. I was so happy when she agreed to do an interview because Soumaya is someone I think everyone should know about. If you are experienced in training and competing you should want to know Soumaya because she is such a great representative for the sport. If you are new or thinking about training, you should know Soumaya because Soumaya is proof of what hard work can result it. So here is a cahnce to get to know more about Soumaya Wilmore.
Q: First, Soumaya, thank you so much for doing this. I am honored that you agreed. I am a big fan as you know.
A: Thank you for asking me Jason. : )
Q: Lets start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. After graduating from college, I decided I'd had enough of the cold winters so I packed up everything I owned, rented a u-haul and drove myself to California.
On the way, my car which was attached to a tow dolly in back of the u-haul lost a wheel on the I-80 freeway near Sydney, Nebraska. I only realized it when I looked in the rear view mirror and saw giant flames shooting out from behind the truck. I guess I dragged it so long that the car started on fire! I ended up having to leave it totaled in Nebraska and keep on heading to LA!!
Q: Where you an athletic kid?
A: I was a swimmer and I ran track.
Q: How long have you been training and what led to your being in weight training?
A: I've been training for about 15 years. In college I used to do a lot of modeling and I entered a lot of swim suit contests. At first I trained just to stay toned but after I moved to California and I saw really fit people who competed I got inspired to train harder.
Q: I have seen instances where a beautiful woman like yourself is not taken serious at the gym in the beginning. Did you experience this, or feel like you had to prove yourself?
A: Well..... When I first walked walked into the gym, I have to admit I didn't know anything. I was smart enough to hire a trainer and I was lucky enough to have chosen a good one. The biggest problem with him turned out to be that apparently when any female client was bent over with her back to him he would make obscene gestures to amuse his friends. ... It's funny, it's been so long since that time and now the guys are so used to me that I'm pretty much an "honorary guy" now. It's hard to remember the beginning.
Q: What made you decide to do your first contest?
A: I was training hard and eating clean. It was a natural progression.
Q: Can you give your contest history.
A: I've just switched from Figure to Bodybuilding. I'd like to see where that takes me because I have finally realized that I am not the right build for Figure. My structure is too large and I put on muscle really easily. Let's start my contest history from my new direction.... So far I have competed in The Excalibur in Los Angeles as a heavy weight and the Arnold's. I placed third. The next time you see me, I hope the changes are dramatic.
Q: Do you have a preference between figure or fitness?
A: No, not really. I think they both have a place in the fitness arena. It's a preference thing.
Q: Was your first contest what you expected or did anything surprise you?
A: My first contest ever was actually a bodybuilding contest. I placed sixth as a lightweight. I had a lot of fun and made some nice friends.
Q: What is your best bodypart or the one you get the most compliments on?
A: I get the most compliment on my arm, shoulders and abs. My legs .... when I get them in top shape.... are actually my best body part.
Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: I'd have to say leg day is my favorite. I love to do pull-ups : )
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how does it have to change for contest prep?
A: Normal training is 5 days a week, hitting different body parts. I keep the weekends free for my daughters. My diet is clean but there's room for the occasional treat and/or of course cheat meal.
Contest prep stays 5 days a week but the training intensity changes. I do cardio on the weekends and sometimes add an extra leg work out. Contest diet is clean and constantly changing depending on what's going on with my physique.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the start?
A: They were sort of supportive. It was out of their reality and it seemed strange to them.
Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the usual response?More positive or negative?
A: It depends on the person. It goes all over the reaction scale. You learn to just deal with it, good or bad.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question you are sick of hearing?
A: "How much do you bench?" It's like asking a car dealer if he would mind you kicking the tires to see if the car your looking at is quality.
Q: Are their any misconceptions about women who weight train and do fitness?
A: People seem to think we are aggressive and into domination. Seriously, I get some of the weirdest most inappropriate comments about wrestling with me or sexual fantasies about being subdued by me. It's crazy.
Q: Do you have any personal favorites or others you are a fan of in the sport?
A: Diana Cadeau, I think she's powerful and beautiful..... Iris Kyle is incredible and of course Ms Rachel McLish who was one of the first women bodybuilders to really elevate the sport of body building.
Q: Favorite Cheat food?
A: Chinese food and ice cream!
Q: If someone came up to you and said they were gonna start training, what is the one piece of advice you would want to give them?
A: To at least hire a trainer for a short period of time so that they understand how to use the equipment and which body parts they are working.
Q: What is your favorite and least favorite part of the sport?
A: I actually really enjoy the contest prep. The dieting and training and seeing the changes in your body every day. The hardest thing is the mental let down after the show. You can't stay in that shape because your body fat is too low and you are depleted but oh is it hard to let it go!!
Q: You also do fitness modelling. What about that do you enjoy?
A: Everything! I have met some of the most wonderful photographers who are such nice people I'm happy to say they are now my friends. It's also cool when you see the pictures and sometimes you think "wow, is that really me?"
Q: If a photographer wanted to book you, whats the best way to contact you?
A; Either through facebook or my email email@example.com.
Q: Outside of training, and other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I have two daughters. They are both very active themselves. They fill up a lot of my free time. I also like to go dancing, watch movies, go to concerts and hang out with my friends.
Q: Describe a typical day in the life of Soumaya Wilmore.
A: No day is typical!! I just roll with it : )
Q: Favorite actor, TV show, and musician?
A: Favorite actor: Robert DeNiro
Favorite TV show: I Love Lucy
Favorite Musician: Lenny Kravitz
Q: Describe Soumaya Wilmore in five words.
A: Focused, Opinionated, Happy, Driven and Loving.
Q: Obviously sponsorship is important in competing. Is that something you are looking for? If so, how can they contact you and tell people what the benefit is to sponsoring Soumaya Wilmore.
A: I would of course be interested in a sponsor. I am a hard worker and will be 100 percent available to support and market my product. I never get out of shape off season so I can be appearance ready anytime during the year.
Q: Any set plans for 2010 as far as maybe competing or any other projects?
A: I've got quite a few projects brewing for 2010. I'll be contributing a monthly article to an on-line radio station, launching my official web site, starting a clothing line and much more.
Q: Soumaya I truly want to thank you for doing this. AS I said, I am a fan, and you are one of my real inspirations. Any last words before you go?
A: I think it's great that you've created this forum for us to tell the world a little bit about ourselves. Thank you Jason : )