Friday, April 30, 2010

Erika Shingary Column


Well, there's a first time for everything and this is my first time writing a column. I have spent the last 4 days trying to figure out what to write about and then something caught my attention.....TIME

As I was worrying about the time passing while I tried to come up with an idea, I realized that was my idea! So, let's talk about time and how we fit training into our busy schedules.

You see, I get asked daily about my training. People always want to know what they can do to lose weight or build that sexy, muscular body they've always wanted. Well, here's the secret, you have to make the time! I can't tell you how much I hear people say that they just don't have the time. You have to change that thought process. That's not a reason, it's an excuse.

I used to be caught in this thinking. I gave birth to my youngest in 2005 and it took me almost 3 years to get back to the gym. I came up with every reason why it was too hard, but was also depressed about how my body looked. So one day I decided to get back. Now I didn't make an overnight change, I would still miss a lot of days for any reason that would come along. Then it dawned on me, if I stopped making excuses and actually got serious about training, I could probably achieve the body that I had always wanted. My husband subscribed to a fitness magazine for me and after I got my first copy, I was hooked! Within two months I started seeing changes in my body and I loved it!

Now I want to make something clear. I am a mother and I work full-time. My schedule is completely full every single day from getting the kids off to school, to getting myself to work, to coming home and making dinner. I do not have hired help and yet still manage to make the time to get to the gym. It is just part of my daily routine. I have also added writing to my list of things to get done now along with a number of upcoming photo shoots. Don't get me wrong, there will always be things in life that come up and make you miss a day here or there. The difference between my thinking now and what it used to be is that in the past I would have just missed. Now, I make it up, no matter what! There is no such thing as missed, it is unacceptable.

So what does all this mean? It means that if you want something bad enough, you make the time to get it done. There is always time!! Our family motto is "If you want it, you have to put in the time. "

I welcome all questions and comments so please email me! I will never use your name unless you want me to. i don't claim to know everything, but I will research any questions you may have and answer them to the best of my ability. Thanks for taking the time to read!!!

E
erikashingary@ymail.com

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Shawna Mendelson Interview






Shanwa Mendelson is a very accomplished powerlifter. Just look at her lifts. Or consider the fact she is one of the 20 strongest women in the world. But now she has set her sights on bodybuilding. If she is as successful at bodybuilding as she is at powerlifting, then you will be hearing a lot more about Shawna. And there is every reason to believe she will be as successful. Shawna is one of those people who if she sets her mind to something, you can bet she will accomplish it. She recently did the NPC Metropolitan and I was really impressed by what she brought to the stage. So here is an introduction to a woman I expect you are going to hear a lot more about as she continues to get better each time on stage, Shawna Mendelson.





Q: First, Shawna, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: No problem. Thank you for the opportunity.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Sure, my name is Shawna Mendelson. I am a 14x World powerlifting Champion, I am also a 10x National Champion. I have my MS in Kinesiology/Sports Therapy from NYU. I am certified in Nutrition, and I am a Certified Strength Training and Conditioning coach. I am originally from Los Angeles, California.
I currently reside in New York on Long Island. I come from a family of athletes. My older brother Scott has the biggest bench press in the world. My father was a football player, and my grandfather was a prize fighter in the 30's and 40's.
I currently run my own personal training business.

Q: Before bodybuilding you did powerlifting. What got you interested in that?
A: I am still involved in the sport of powerlifting. I am the NY State APF Chairman, and I coach a team of lifters. My sister-in-law got me interested. It started when my brother started to come up in the sport.

Q: Can you share any accomplishments in the sport or things you are most proud of.
A: My best lifts are Squat 660lbs, Bench 425lbs (on record, gym is 450lbs), Deadlift 520lbs. I am in the top 20 and top 100 strongest women of all-time.
I am also proud to be an NPC athlete.


Q: What got you started in bodybuilding?
A: I have always been interested in the sport. I have always read the magazines, seen the greats. I just wanted to try it. I wanted to see if I could do it. So, I changed my focus and decided to take that challenge.

Q: Was weight training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: Yes, I have been weight training since I was 14 years old. My body reacts pretty fast. I already had a pretty good base from powerlifting. I love the results. It is amazing to see how your body can change.

Q: How long were you training for bodybuilding when you decided to compete?
A: I only trained and dieted for 3 months before I did my first show. I was a little impulsive, and I would not recommend it. Better to be more prepared.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes, they support me with everything I do. It is really great.

Q: Was the first show what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: I went in with no expectations. I was surprised by how nice everyone in my class was. It made my experience much easier. It is totally different than powerlifting. I was surprised how much I liked it.



Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I have been competing in powerlifting since 2001. Won my first Nationals after 6 months of training.
I just started in this sport. The first show I did was Team Universe in September. I just competed in the NPC Metropolitan and finished 2nd place.

Q: What would you consider your best bodypart or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: It is a toss-up between my arms and my back.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love training back. Lat pull downs, deadlifting.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I generally try to eat clean. I am not a big junk food eater. I mostly alter my carb intake for contest prep. My normal training routine is 2 super heavy days, then 4 days of bodybuilding training. Meaning, higher reps, a little lighter weight, and cardio, cardio, cardio....

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: They always ask what I do. It is kind of funny. They say I am a pretty big girl. They always say they are surprised I am so feminine with all of the muscle I have. People seem to like what they see.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Nothing I am really sick of hearing. I guess the most common I get is "I do not know how to do it", then they ask me for advice. About training, diet, etc.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders, or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Biggest misconception I think is that we are unapproachable. I think people are intimidated by us. They do not understand why we do what we do. My answer is "because I can."

Q: Do you feel muscular women are more or less accepted by society today then five years ago?
A: I feel muscular women are always less accepted by normal society. People have a mindset that women should not be big. We can be fit, but having too much muscle is looked down upon. Men are supposed to have muscles. I think it is just small thinking.

Q: Is training for Powerlifting and Bodybuilding at all similar or are they totally different?
A: On a whole, for me, it is not too different. I was always one of the powerlifters who always trained my smaller supporting muscles, besides just training for the big 3 lifts (Squat, Bench, Deadlifts). So, I always trained my biceps, triceps, abs, delts, etc... that is how you get stronger.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The diet!!!! You can train as hard as you want, if your diet is off, then everything is going to be off. I love competing. Just making sure I am on target. I always think I can look better. I guess everyone does. This sport is not easy.

Q: Do you have any favorite bodybuilders?
A: Cathy LeFrancois Priest, Colette Nelson, and Bev Francis.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter, pizza.

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start bodybuilding, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: You need to have dedication and discipline.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I like skiing, white water rafting, the beach, traveling.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Shawna Mendelson.
A: Busy!!! Hahahaha. I run my ow personal training business, I work out of two different gyms. I do home visits, online training, and I coach. Then I have to train myself, and just get some Shawna time in there. It is a lot. I am lucky I love what I do.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I am very approachable, easy to talk to.

Q: Describe Shawna Mendelson in five words.
A: Smart, Selfless, Strong, Humble, Sincere.


Q: Yes, thank you. Please look out for my website. Should be up soon. www.shawnamendelson.com. If anyone is looking for training, coaching, modeling, please contact me.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors?
A: I am looking for sponsorship. Contact me and we can talk, smendelson2010@hotmail.com, soon through my website www.shawnamendelson.com.

Q: Again Shawna, it has been great to have you do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you again for the opportunity....stay strong, keep a watch out for me. :-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Helene Ahlson Interview






Helene Ahlson is a Swedish Figure competitor who is now becoming well know in the U.S.. After winning her class and overall at the 2009 Excalibur, a lot more people got to know and see her and how amazing she looks. And at a young age, she has a long way to go, and will keep improving and keep becoming more known. Also a personal trainer and lecturer, you can tell Helene loves the sport and loves helping others reach their training goals. If you do not know Helene yet, read this interview and find out more about this amazing woman and great competitor.





Q: First Helen I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: No problem.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: My name is Helene Ahlson and I'm 30 years old. I live with my boyfriends Lasse, and our dog The Great Grand Danoise, Zeke, in Stockholm, Sweden. I have a younger brother, mother and father who all live in different places in Sweden.

Q: Before you started training, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: My biggest interest in life between the age of 6 and 21 was horses. I spent over 10 hours a day with the horse and competed in a high level in both jumping and dressage.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: In high school I went to a special class where athletes on a high level were given the chance to train on school time. It was difficult for me to go to and back from the horses on these hours so I spent this time in the gym for a compliment to my riding. After a while I found out what I could do with my body with hard weightlifting and I was completely satisfied.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: Like is aid before, it didn't take a long time for me to like weightlifting. And I think I got results rather fast, even if I already had some muscles from the hard work in the stable with the horses.

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and what made you decide to compete?
A: I started to train with weights when I was 16 years old and competed for the first time when I was 25. So it took a rather long time before I decided to compete.
I hadn't thought about competing before I started working as a Personal Trainer. Then I wanted to see how I could change my body with a diet (just because I wanted to know how I could help my clients in the best way). The diet went so well that some of my friends told me to go to a Figure competition just for testing. I did and it went very well, and after that I kept going.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: Both yes and no.... My family has always been supporting whatever I've been doing and today I think they really like what I'm doing, except the last week before competitions when you aren't the extremely social Helene any more.
My friends didn't like the dieting thing in the beginning, but now they have got used to it. Today most of the people are interested in what and how I'm doing it, and they understand why I'm doing all this. My boyfriend has been a competitive bodybuilder before, and that was also how we met from the beginning.

Q: Was the first competition what you expected?
A: Like I said before, the first competition was a test, so I had no expectations at all. If I was surprised by anything, then it was my own reaction to the whole thing; that I really liked it and wanted to do this again.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A:
*2005- Luciapokalen Sweden- Short Class- 3rd
*2005- Betterbodies Model Search- 1st
*2006- Swedish Championships- Tall Class- NP
*2006- Luciapokalen Sweden- Tall Class- NP
*2009- Oslo Grand Prix- 2nd
*2009- Sweden Grand Prix- 2nd
*2009- Excalibur- Class C-1st and Overall
*2010- Arnold Classic- 6th

Q: What do you consider your best body part or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: Back and shoulders

Q: DO you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: I like to train shoulders. I have a love-hate relationship with chins and dips, they are HARD but really a good exercise.

Q: What is your normal training routine like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: OFF SEASON:
Training: 5-6 days weightlifting, 1 day high intense cardio a week. The weightlifting is mostly hard and heavy with some weeks with lighter weights and higher reps.
Diet: I don't count my food, I just eat as much as my body needs for this hard work. I go with the feeling.
ON SEASON:
Training: The weightlifting is like off season. Then I do cardio every day about 60 minutes, often early in the morning with a walk to work.
Diet: Even on my diet for a competition, I don't count my food, I go with the feeling. I listen to my body, how it feels and how strong/weak it is and do my changes about the food after that.


Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: That I'm to hard. But I don't hear that anymore, it was only in the beginning when you never knew what the judges wanted on stage.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Actually I don't know. I haven't met people who don't understand me. One thing that GIRLS are afraid of is to train hard in the gym. They believe that they will be monsters then! Look at every Figure girl in the world, where are the monsters? And we are some of the most hard working girls in the gym!

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Best: You learn to know yourself and your body. How it reacts on a diet and how you mentally react and handle it.
Worst: Sometimes on the diet you get unsocial with your friends and family because you're tired.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pancakes with vanilla ice cream.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors?
A: Actually, no.

Q: You are also a personal trainer. What got you interested in doing that?
A: I have always been interested in helping other people to reach their goals. In the beginning it was with the horses and how it's in Figure?Fitness at the gym.
If I can help people to feel better and help them to a happier, more healthful life, I'm happy. I will teach them what I can and see them reach their goal, small as big.

Q: If someone wanted to be trained by you, how can they reach you?
A: They can check everything at my website: www.foreverfitsweden.com, and they can even reach me there.

Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: I see that like a part of this lifestyle and business. Right now I'm on the plane back home from the USA where I have been doing some photo shoots. But yes, of course I like it. Otherwise I wouldn't do it.

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Find some activity that you really enjoy doing, hopefully it will become something more than just an activity for you. Something that you are dying for :-)

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: My biggest interest in life is traveling. I want to see as much as I can before I get to old.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Helene Ahlson.
A:
4-6am: Wake up
5-7am: Breakfast, shower, go to work
7-9am: Train clients in the gym
30 minute break for food
9:30-12:30pm: Clients in the gym
12:30-3pm: Time for lunch, training, and shower
3-6 or 9pm: Clients in the gym or online work with clients, articles, interviews, planning work for fitness trips, sponsor work, Teamwork, etc.
6 or 9pm: Hopefully some free time with my man and dog :-)

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: My dog is heavier than me, actually 15kg more.

Q: Describe Helene Ahlson in five words.
A: Energetic, Happy, Discipline, Fighter, Grateful.

Q: Any st plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I will compete at the Arnold Classic ( Helene has done this since the interview was conducted) and work at the FIBO in Germany. Arrange some fitness trips abroad. That's what is happening before the summer this year.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: www.foreverfitsweden.com
se.betterbodies.se/athlete-team-se/helene-ahlson/


Q: Are you looking for sponsors, and if so what are they getting in Helene Ahlson the athlete and competitor?
A: I have sponsors in Sweden, but I am always looking for great cooperation with new contacts and sponsors, especially in the USA now when I'm competing and working a bit over there.
If you want a girl who always promotes her sponsors first, always shows in with sponsor logotypes, always does her best and promises results when she competes or works with media etc., always has a bright smile on her lips and besides works as a Personal Trainer, Diet and Fitness Coach, writes and lectures about training, and competes and models in Figure, contact me.
Anybody who is interested in any cooperation with me, please contact me at helene@foreverfitsweden.com or see my webpage: www.foreverfitsweden.com.

Q: Helene, again I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: I want to thank my Swedish sponsors:
www.betterbodies.se - training clothes
www.mivitotal.se - supplements
www.self.nu - supplements
www.budofitness.se- training and supplements store
www.skradderiodesign.com - competing suits
www.gymomotion.se - gym
www.salonguara.se- hairdresser
And of course my family, boyfriend, and friends who always are supporting me.

Ask Herculiza


THis is the first installment of Ask Herculiza. Liza Hoen Reichenberger is a multi titled Pro natural bodybuilder, and fitness personality. Each installment she will take your questions and answer to help you in your training and other aspects of fitness. If you want to ask Liza a question email me at elway78@netzero.com


Q: How many exercises and/or sets do you suggest for a back workout?
A: Regarding back, (and chest as well) I usually do around 20-22 sets.
Each bodypart is trained once a week. As a natural athlete, more than one
workout for each bodypart per week tends to leave me a little stringy and overtrained.Delts, triceps and biceps each get 12-14 sets (also once a week) and follow the largerbodyparts in succession. The larger bodyparts (back, chest and legs) go Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday...with an "off" day, then smaller bodyparts to finish...(delts and arms)

Q: Do you suggest descending or pyramid sets?
A: Descending sets are fine, as long as you retain form, and do all the additional reps at the end of the last set in the exercise. For instance, the last (and heaviest) of my 4 sets of dumbell upright rows might start with the 35lb ones for 10 reps, dropping to the 25's for 10 reps, then the 15lb dumbells and so on...until my shoulders and traps are on fire! I don't do this with every exercise in a workout, maybe just one real 'burner' to polish off that bodypart towards the end of the workout.

Q: How much cardio should one do ina workout?
A: Low impact cardio need not be low intensity cardio. Due to hereditary osteoarthritis on both sides of my family, I stopped doing impact cardio in the late 90s. I feel that the elliptical is a better all-over workout, causing less spine and joint damage than running or even walking on the treadmill, and can be just as difficult (and calorie burning, heart pumping) as a brisk cross-country run. One need merely turn up the resistance (push-pull of arms) and gradient (from walking to climbing for legs) to get a more 'hardcore' workout. The stationary bike is less
work, but crank that level up, and your thighs will burn as efficiently as the calories! and excess fat! The trouble is, with cardio machines most bodybuilders stay within their comfort zones, and peddle away while nonchalantly reading a trashy magazine:) My cardio sessions last about an hour (to 1.5 hrs per day) and I am drenched when done.

Q: How often should I train abs in a week?
A: I train abs twice a week and avoid ANY lateral bending exercises with weights, which only serve to thicken the waistline and ruin one's symmetry. I do about 8-10 sets, twice a week.


Q: What causes veins to pop out so much?
A: Veins seem to protrude more for two reasons....age, and cardiovascular training.
The skin thins with age and subcutaneous fat (and collagen) decreases, making facial lines more pronounced, and striations POP! (There's a double edge to THAT sword!)
The veins running over the surface of the skin, and draining the muscles are much more visible, due to that thinned skin. I have also noticed that with increased cardio capability, the veins in my abs and legs are more noticeable too. In my 20s I was delighted to see a vertical "pipe" on each arm, yet a little horrified in my 40's to see them just about EVERYWHERE when I get really lean!

Q: What bodyparts can be trained more than once in any given week?
A: I think only abs and calves should be trained twice a week. Abs and calves are harder for everybody to carve up, and being smaller muscle groups, are not that easy to overtrain. I also do 8-10 sets of calves twice a week, and like abs, do VERY high rep sets...say, 40-50 reps at a time.


Q: When I do things like raises for shoulders I can lift very much weight. I feel like a wimpy. Is it ok that those lifts are low weight?
A: I don't use super heavy weights for shoulders because I realized a long time ago that I didnt want rotator cuff problems! People, DON'T do any behind-the-neck presses (or pulldowns) because someday you will be sorry...form is very important with shoulder exercises. It is a complicated joint and far too easy to screw up by throwing around heavy dumbells. Do the high-rep, perfect form sets, and do supersets, giant sets....make them burn, but dont give yourself a permanent problem
because you're worried about being a 'wimp' in the gym. See all those guys in their 40s and 50s who dont do legs anymore and wear big baggy pants??!! It's because they blew out their backs long ago, squatting in excess, trying to prove they were badasses. BE a wimp! Keep lifting (and looking good)into your 80's!!


Q: I train alone and like to use the Smith Machine a lot. Is using the Smith Machine OK?
A: Using the Smith machine is a great way to avoid injury if you're using a weight you're not sure you can control for at least 8-10 reps. I usually train alone, and don't want some random person spotting me while squatting...(they always put their hands in the wrong places:) so I use the Smith machine. Sometimes I do heavier reverse lunges on it, too. It is not enough, however, to use for ALL upright
leg exercises. I prefer free weights to stabilize my core, balance, and accessory leg muscles, and to provide more freedom of motion. I just don't overdo it with the (barbell) amount of weight, always using something I can handle for at least 10-20 reps. Because I have avoided overdoing the weight with the barbell, and have
always sought perfect form, I plan to continue playing under a real squat rack into MY 80's!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jessica 'Baby Bull' Hilger First Pro Fight Interview



Jessica 'Baby Bull' Hilger just had her first Pro fight after a very impressive amateur run. She lost a very close decision, but I have heard many people say she deserved the win. I have taken a very big interest in Jessica because to me, she is the kind of fighter and person that makes me love the sport. Dedicated, hard working, always trying to improve, and also just a very likable woman. There is a well known saying that you win more in losing than you do in winning. I truly think this is the case with Jessica. I believe she is someone that fans should watch and follow. Basically, jump on the bandwagon now, because you are going to be hearing a lot more of this amazing woman.




Q: Jessica, thanks for taking time out to do a second interview.
A: THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THIS OPPORTUNITY AGAIN.

Q: For those who may have missed the first interview, can you tell a little about yourself.
A: I AM NOW A PROFESSIONAL MMA FIGHTER. I HAVE A LOT OF HEART, DEDICATION, AND AM VERY HEAD STRONG. I LIVE IN WISCONSIN BUT I TRAVEL 2 HOURS TO TRAIN ALSO IN CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA. I AM VERY FAMILY ORIENTED AND AM ONE OF THE MOST CARING PERSON YOU MAY EVER MEET.


Q: You just had your first Pro fight. For those who don't know, can you tell who you fought, and what the result was?
A: I FOUGHT KIM CONNOR HAMBY FROM LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS. SHE WAS A VERY TOUGH OPPONENT. IT CAME TO A VERY CLOSE SPLIT DECISION. SHE RECEIVED THE DECISION. I TRIED MY HARDEST TO FINISH HER WITH A SUBMISSION BECAUSE I KNEW WITH ME BEING IN HER HOME TERRITORY THAT'S WHAT I WOULD NEED TO DO. I FELT THAT IT WAS VERY CLOSE, I WAS VERY PROUD OF MYSELF FOR ALL THAT I HAD ACCOMPLISHED AND I ALSO KNOW WHAT I NEED TO WORK ON MORE. IT WAS A GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ME.

Q: Do you feel you should have got the decision?
A: EVERYONE ALWAYS BELIEVE THEY SHOULD AND I DID AS WELL. ON THE OTHER HAND I KNEW I LEFT IT UP TO THE JUDGES AND THAT'S WHERE YOU DON'T WANT TO LEAVE IT WITH SUCH A CLOSE FIGHT. I BELIEVED WE BOTH DID OUR BEST AND WE WERE EVENLY MATCHED.

Q: How was the training for the fight? Did you feel everything went as it should?
A: EVERYTHING WENT GREAT. THE LAST 2 WEEKS BEFORE THE FIGHT MY TAKEDOWNS IMPROVED TREMENDOUSLY. I WAS TAKING DOWN 200 POUND MEN IN THE GYM. SO WHEN IT CAME TO TAKING HER DOWN IT SEEMED A LOT EASIER WITH HER BEING QUITE A BIT LIGHTER.

Q: Was your training any different for this fight now that it was as a Pro?
A: I HAVE ALWAYS TAKEN TOUGH FIGHTS SO WITH EVERY FIGHT I TAKE ITS ALL ABOUT PERFECTING MY SKILLS. MY TAKEDOWNS AND MY STANDUP IMPROVE EVERY DAY AND WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE. I TRAIN AS IF IT IS GOING TO BE AN EVEN TOUGHER FIGHT THAN MY LAST.

Q: The week leading up to it, whats the thoughts in your head? Nervous, excited, what?
A: I WAS VERY EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. I RAN MY GAME PLAN OVER IN MY HEAD EVERYDAY. MY NERVOUSNESS KICKS IN A COUPLE HOURS BEFORE I FIGHT. I CAN'T EVEN WATCH THE OTHER FIGHTS BECAUSE I WANT TO GET INTO THE CAGE AND EXECUTE MY GAME PLAN.

Q: How about those last minutes before it when you are walking to the cage?
A: THE LAST MINUTES BEFORE I WALK INTO THE CAGE, I AM ALL BUSINESS I HAVE A JOB TO DO AND TO ME ITS A DAY AT WORK. I NEED TO ACCOMPLISH AND PUSH TOWARDS MY DREAM.


Q: Anything you did in training for this fight, you may want to do different next time?
A: ALL MY TRAINING FOR THIS FIGHT WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ON. ITS HOW I AM IN THE CAGE IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO WORK ON. I GET HIT THEN JUST WANT TO TEAR HER HELD OF SO I TEND TO NOT PLAY MY GAME BUT THE GAME SHE WANTS WHICH IS STAND UP. I'VE REALISED I NEED TO CONTROL MY ANGER IN THE CAGE AND STAY FOCUSED THROUGH IT ALL AND STICK TO MY GAME PLAN. NOT ALLOW MY OPPONENT TO TAKE ME OUT OF MY GAME. BE A SMARTER FIGHTER.

Q: Did you know much of anything about your opponent before getting in the cage with her?
A: YES I STUDIED HER AS MUCH AS I COULD. I WAS ABLE TO FIND HER ON THE INTERNET. SHE HAD MENTIONED IN THE RADIO INTERVIEW THAT SHE COULD NOT FIND ANYTHING ABOUT ME. THAT IS MY INTENTIONS. THIS IS WHY I DO NOT POST ANY OF MY FIGHTS. IT GIVES ME THE UPPER HAND WHEN IT COMES TO STUDYING YOUR OPPONENT. I SAW THAT SHE DIDN'T KNOW MUCH ON THE GROUND AND I KNEW SHE WOULD HAVE VERY HARD HITS.

Q: I know you said you were trying for submissions a lot. At any point did you feel you had her?
A: I DID. RIGHT AWAY TO IN THE FIRST ROUND WITH THE FIRST SUBMISSIONS I HAD ON HER. A STANDING GUILLOTINE, THEN I THREW HER AND HAD A NECK CRANK THEN NOT TO MUCH LATER PUT A REAR NAKED CHOKE ON HER. SHE WAS ABLE TO WIGGLE OUT OF THEM ALL THROUGH OUT THE FIGHT. SO I KNOW I NEED TO WORK ON EXECUTING THEM BETTER AND MAKING SURE I AM ABLE TO FINISH THEM.

Q: Does that fact it was a decision, and maybe not a good decision, lessen the unhappiness of losing
A: I TRULY KNEW I HAD TRIED MY HARDEST AND I AM A MENTALLY STRONGER FIGHTER NOW THAN I HAD BEEN IN THE PAST. I HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT DIDN'T EVEN KNOW ME TELL ME THAT IT WAS SUCH A GREAT FIGHT AND I KNEW LEAVING IT TO DECISION IT MAY NOT TURN OUT IN MY FAVOR. I COMMEND HER FOR EVERYTHING SHE PUSHED ME THROUGH IT ONLY WILL MAKE ME A BETTER AND SMARTER FIGHTER IN MY FUTURE.

Q: OK, easy question of the day. Would you want a rematch?
A: OF COURSE, I AND MY MANAGER HAVE DISCUSSED IT ALREADY AND SPOKE TO THE PROMOTER. THE PROMOTER IS DOING A SHOW AGAIN IN JUNE AND I ASKED IF WE WOULD BE ABLE TO REMATCH AND POSSIBLY PUT A TITLE BELT ON IT. HE SPOKE OF ALMOST PUTTING IT ON MY DEBUT BUT HE ALSO WANTED ME TO BE A LITTLE MORE KNOW IN ARKANSAS FIRST. I BECAME AN INSTANT ROLE MODEL DOWN THERE FOR YOUNG GIRLS AS WELL. I HAD 2 FATHERS WANTING ME TO TAKE PICTURES WITH THEIR DAUGHTERS ALL BEFORE I FOUGHT, THAT REALLY TOUGHED ME. JUST KNOWING THAT THEY SEE A FUTURE IN ME AS WELL IS A GREAT FEELING.

Q: Did you learn anything from this fight? Such as something you want to improve on?
A: I LEARN A LOT FROM EVERY FIGHT. THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING YOU CAN IMPROVE ON. BEING A SMARTER FIGHTER AFTER EACH FIGHT IS WHAT EVERY FIGHTER SHOULD SEE AND IMPROVE ON WHETHER THEY WIN OR LOSE, THERE IS ALWAYS MORE YOU CAN LEARN.

Q: Take the result out of it, were you happy with your performance?
A: I WAS VERY PLEASED WITH MY PERFORMANCE AND THAT'S WHAT IS IMPORTANT. EVERYONE I SPOKE WITH AND HAVE SEEN MY VIDEO OF IT WHERE VERY PLEASED AS WELL.

Q: How hard is it to balance a job and training while getting ready to fight?
A: IT IS VERY HARD TO JUGGLE ESPECIALLY TRAVELING AS FAR AS I DID. IT WAS A LOT OF LACK OF SLEEP AS WELL. I, ALTHOUGH, WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING.

Q: Anyone you want to thank for helping get you ready for the fight?
A: I WANT TO THANK MY MANAGER NICK MARIN. ALSO I HAD A LOT OF HELP FROM TEAM HARD DRIVE OUT OF CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA. (BILL KAMERY, SARAH LACINA, SHANNON GILLESPIE, KEONI KOCH, DEMIEN PAPAGNI, BRENT STEPANEK ALL HELPED ME THE MOST ) ALSO MY TEAM FROM HOMETOWN OF LANCASTER, WI. (BRIAN WELLINGTON, BRANDON HUGHEY,(MY BEST FRIEND, MOLLY JERRETT) AND (MY FUTURE HUSBAND, DAN YOOSE) THEY ALL HAVE BEEN A GREAT PART OF WHERE I AM AND WHERE I AM GOING.

Q: Anything you want to plug or promote?
A: I WANT TO THANK ALL OF MY SPONSORS, THEY HAVE HELPED ME SO MUCH ALONG MY PATH. REVCOMBAT.COM, KANE ROOFING, TUFFTEETH CUSTOM MOUTHGUARDS, CARRIED OUT FIGHT GEAR. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.

Q: Any idea when we will see you fight again?
A: IF I DON'T END UP FIGHTING IN JUNE. I DO HAVE A FIGHT SCHEDULED FOR JULY 24 IN CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA AT THE KERNAL STADIUM FOR REVOLUTION COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Q: Looking for any sponsors? If so what are they getting in Jessica Hilger?
A: I WOULD LIKE TO ACQUIRE MORE SPONSORS IF POSSIBLE. WITH "BABY BULL" JESSICA HILGER THEY WILL RECEIVE A VERY DEDICATED FIGHTER AND SOMEONE THAT IS VERY GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE HELP THAT I AM BLESSED TO RECEIVE. ANY TIME I AM ABLE TO THANK MY SPONSORS I MAKE SURE I DO, EVEN IF I KNOW WE ARE PUSHED FOR TIME EITHER ON THE RADIO SHOW I WAS ON OR AFTER MY FIGHT I MADE SURE TO LET THEM KNOW THAT I HAD PEOPLE THAT I WANTED TO THANK

Q: Jessica, again, thanks for doing another interview. And Congrats on getting the first Pro fight. No doubt you will learn from this and improve and come back even better. Any last words before you go?
A: I TRULY WANT TO THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR GIVING ME A CHANCE TO GET MY NAME OUT THERE AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP ME REACH MY DREAMS.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Susan Crawford Interview




Susan Crawford did not start training till 43. Proof you don't have to be 20 to start training and look amazing, because in her first competition Susan did look amazing. She will be competing this year and no doubt she will look even more amazing. Here is a chance to learn a little more about Susan and then look forward to following her as she continues to improve and rock the stage.


Q: First Susan, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you Jason for your interest and support !!!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I'm 44 years old, married to a wonderful man and have 2 wonderful daughters aged 15 and 10. I live in a small town in Ontario, Canada.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I started working out July 2008. Prior to that I would not have considered my self to be an athlete at all !!.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I was in my forties and decided that it was time to do something for me. My girls were at the age where they we becoming more self reliant. I heard of a great personal trainer in our town and had seen the results of some of her clients. So I gave her a call !!!...one of the best thing I have ever done.!!!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?.
A: Honestly I saw changes to my physique with a few weeks. That was so encouraging and empowering !!

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and what made you decide to compete?
A: My trainer was preparing for a competition in the fall of 2008. Experiencing her excitement and dedication was addictive. I decided in December 2008 that I was going to compete in the spring of 2009.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: My family and friends were completely supportive. I could not have done it without their love. The kids were kind enough to hide the treats and my husband was there to assist in daily running of our lives.

Q: You did your first competition. What was it like? How did it feel? Were you nervous, scared, excited?
A: My first and only competition to date was April 2009. I truly did not know what to expect. It was an amazing experience. I met some great athletes and have created some new friendships. I didn't realize how nervous I was until I stood on stage for the first time. But hearing my husband and children cheering me on relieved some of the nerves. Oh, by the way I placed second !!!. I plan on competing again in June 2010.

Q: What did competing teach you about yourself?
A: That goals are attainable. Discipline and hard work filters down to other aspect of your life. A healthy life style truly has a ripple effect. My girls have become very aware of the foods they eat and how their bodies respond to them. They talk in terms of proteins and healthy carbs.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My smile !!!. No seriously I would say that my shoulders are developing well. I also have very developed calves.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I'd have to say shoulders. I have a love hate relationship with legs. Due to a long standing hamstring issue it is the hardest routine but the results are well worth it.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal diet consists of lots of protein and vegetables. I train 4 days a week with my trainer and try to get at least one or two workouts in at home. Pre contest I up the intervals to shed body fat and train twice a day 6 days a week. My diets becomes more strict and very clean.

Q: When someone sees or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?.
A: Everyone is very positive and shocked that I would have attempted this for the first time at my age. When they see my contest photos they are in awe, that makes me giggle.

Q: When they see or hear it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Everyone assumes that you starve yourself. That is so not the case. I eat constantly, every 2-3 hours. The difference is that I'm eating clean foods.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: People think that you are going to get huge muscles by lifting heavy or the opposite of that in that they'll see results with the itty bitty weights.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire all women who work hard at being active and living a clean and healthy life style.

Q: Have you ever or would you ever consider moving to Figure?
A: Funny you should ask that as my next goal is to compete in Figure !!!

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part is the regiment and structure; that can also be the worst part.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Belgian Cookies !!!. After my last competition there were a dozen waiting for me !!!

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Depending on her knowledge, I'd recommend getting a trainer.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Life is pretty busy as both of my girls dance competitively and are active in sports. However when the opportunity arises I really enjoy golfing with my husband.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Perhaps that I started training at the age of 43.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: My next goal is to compete in June 2010 in Figure. Wish me luck !!!

Q: Susan, again, thanks so much for doing this.

Kellie Davis Interview




Talk about pressure. Try writing out an interview for a very talented writer. That is just what Kellie Davis is, is a talented writer. Oh, and by the way, she is a beautiful woman and has an amazing physique as well. In just her second show she qualified for Nationals, and there is every reason to believe she is going to just keep getting better. But there is so much more to Kellie than the obvious visual. She is intelligent and a very kind woman. She has offered me words of encouragement in my training, and offered advice and help in some of my writing ideas. Simply put, Kellie is the kind of woman anyone who follows this sport should support. I am so happy Kellie did an interview, because she is someone I want more people to know about. So please read and take the opportunity to know more about her. I promise, you will be impressed.



Q: First Kellie, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you for this opportunity.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I was born in Colorado, but grew up in Fort Myers, FL. My family and I just recently moved to Arizona. I am married with two young children and work as a freelance writer.

Q; Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was an athlete my whole life. I grew up playing softball, running track, cheerleading; you name it, I tried it. Once I graduated high school, I turned in my athletic gear and picked up the weights.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I didn't play sports in college, and needed to sooth my competitive nature. I turned to the gym as a means to keep my body in shape while pushing myself to new heights.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes. Even in middle school I would read Arnold training books. It was something I always studied. In college I saw results within the first six months. I went from a twiggy ectomorph to a solid athletic type. However, I knew nothing about nutrition and felt that being in the gym granted me the rights to eat whatever I wanted.

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and what made you decide to compete?
A: When I was younger, I always admired figure athletes and read about them any chance I could. However, I thought I was not cut out to join the elite sport. After I had my second child, I gained a significant amount of weight due to a difficult pregnancy. I carried the weight around for two years and then decided enough was enough. On my 29th birthday, I set a goal to be in the best shape of my life by the age of 30, which was October of 2009. By January 1st, 2009, I knew I wanted to compete. I began training hard in February and was up on the NPC stage for the first time by May of last year. I competed in my second show this past November and qualified for Nationals. A year ago, I honestly never thought I would be where I am today.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: My friends were all for it. However, my parents were skeptical, but now totally support me. My husband has been supportive throughout, despite to tough diet and grueling schedule.

Q; Was the first competition what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: My first show was a very small local show. I didn't know what to expect and was surprised at how few competitors were on stage. However, my second show was huge and I was up on stage with 12 equally powerful women. I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A:
*May 30 2009- NPC Gulf Coast Championship- Fort Myers, FL- 4th place
*November 28 2009- NPC Western Regionals- Mesa, AZ- 3rd Place

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I would have to say my glutes and hamstrings. It took a lot of work to bring them up for my show and I always get compliments on how powerful they appear.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I love training shoulders. I have a naturally small upper body, so watching the changes from training my shoulders always inspires me to push harder.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I am one of the lucky few who is naturally lean. Off season, I eat a good variety of fish, chicken, lean red meat, and pork for protein. Tons of fresh fruits and veggies. For carbs, I stick with sweet potatoes and brown rice. I do allow more cheats off season. My contest diet consists of the same food, just less of them and not as many cheats.
As far as training, I go hard all year long. Right now I am training each body part twice a week. I do minimal cardio because I am an ectomorph and lose muscle quickly. I season, I train the same up until 6 weeks out. I then switch to half body routines, adding in some metabolic circuits. Depending upon how lean I am, I add in sprints once a week. At four weeks out, I add in sprints twice a week and switch to full body works.

Q: When someone sees or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: It's always positive. Most people react by saying, "Oh, so that's why you are in such great shape." I am proud of what I do. I think the sport is not commonly known, so many people don't ask about it.

Q: When they see or hear it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I never get sick of hearing comments. I rarely hear negative ones. I love when women in the gym tell their trainers they want to look like me. I love talking to women and watching them change their lives through fitness. I understand the struggle and empathize with those trying to lose weight. I never tire of giving others hope.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women you train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That it isn't possible for women to make great gains, grow lean muscle, and lift heavy. So many women are afraid to pick up weights. I also think that many who don't understand the sport assume that women who train take some sort of enhancing supplements, whether legal or otherwise. In all honesty, it doesn't bother me because I know the truth and I know how hard I work to get to where I am.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part is the friendships. You meet so many amazing women from all over when you are backstage. I love getting up on stage with a group of girls and cheering them on even if they are standing right next to me. The worst part is those last few weeks of dieting. Food somehow humanizes and begins having conversations with you :)

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire
A: Who don't I admire? Of course, the pros like Heather Mae French, Erin Sterns, and Monica Brant. But, I have met so many amazing women along the way that truly are my inspiration. Some of the stories these women have from overcoming illness, to overcoming heartache and loss. Behind every amazing figure is an even more amazing heart and that is what keeps me going.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Yes, I love fresh baked cookies, and everyone knows it.

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: I am always one to scoop up a new athlete and provide her with guidance. The largest piece of advice is believe in the process because the end result is never what you expected.It's always far better. That's what makes this sport so addicting.

Q: You also do some freelance writing. Can you talk about what you write about, where it may have been see, and things like that?
A: Most of what I do is ghostwriting web content for others. I write articles, blogs, and website content-- but, you don't see my name. One of my current clients is a former pro soccer player turned personal trainers. I love using my training knowledge in my work. The work I am most proud of is that for Olesya Novik's site, Oliciouslife.com. I am a columnist for her site and write articles pertaining to family life and relationships.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I spend as much time as I can with my family. We love hiking, going to the arcade, and all of us are huge movie buffs. I have a deep passion for classic literature and read as much as I can.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Kellie Davis.
A: Ha! Well, it's not that exciting. I wake up, get the kids ready, eat breakfast, and get to work. I work from home and half the week my son is with me. I juggle spending time with him while meeting deadlines. I split my workouts between morning and night so I never get bored of the same crowd. I train six days a week. The rest of my day consists of chores, playing with my kiddos, and lots of cooking.


Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I am a total introvert. I am naturally very quiet and keep to myself. Many people feel that I am standoffish, but I am just quiet by nature. I think that's what makes me a great writer. I am the one who is always listening and observing.

Q: Any favorite actors or movies or anything?
A: I have never been one to pick favorites. I love Johnny Depp, Kevin Spacey, and Kevin Kline. My husband and I watch the Office religiously, and my music tastes change with my mood.

Q: Describe Kellie Davis in five words
A: Witty, Quiet, Encouraging, Devoted, Determined.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am hoping to compete again in July at the Arizona Open. I am also thinking of competing in Border States in October. I would love to do Nationals this year, but they are all very early dates. I may have to wait until next year.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: If you haven't been there already, check out Olesya Novik's site www.Oliciouslife.com and read some of my articles.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Kellie the athlete and competitor?
A: I think it is every girl's dream to have sponsors. So, of course. They are getting someone who has total determination and drive; who always meets and exceeds expectations, and is stickler for deadlines. I think I really appeal to the average woman because I am her. I live a normal life outside of my sport. I can be reached via email at kge.davis@gmail.com.

Q: Kellie, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you, Jason. Just keep pushing. If you love something, go after it and never look back.

Lisa Cross Interview






Lisa Cross only recently began competing, but has the physique of someone who has been doing it a long time. In fact, she has been training for awhile. She didn't want to get on stage until she knew she would do herself justice. She has done that for sure. A beautiful woman with a great physique, Lisa has all it takes to go far in the industry. So for those who do not know Lisa, her is a chance to learn a little bit about her, and a little bit more of an amazing woman




Q: First, Lisa, I want to thank you for taking the time out to do this.
A: No problem. It is nice to speak to you and i am always happy to share a bit of my life with my fans.

Q:Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am from England and was born in the north of England, near Manchester. All of my family still live there but I now live in the south west of England and have lived there for about 5 years. I originally moved down to the south because of work but like living there as I live near the beach and the weather is much better.

Q: Before bodybuilding, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: I have always been sporty and I have always been a big sports fan. I have always seemed to have a particular aptitude for sport and have always loved the challenges that playing sports presents. In the past I have even completed several marathons and half marathons, just to prove to myself that I could do it.

Q; What initially got you into the gym and was bodybuilding the goal from day one?
A: I initially started going to the gym when I was at university and my main incentive was just general fitness. For a long time I didn't do any weight training and just used to spend hours doing cardio with rock music blasting out on my walkman!

Q: Was weight training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: I started weight training when I went to live in Japan. Looking back I immediately loved the feeling of lifting weights and the effect it had on my body and how it made me feel. It was about the same time that I started to learn about nutrition. As a result of weight training and eating better I started to see changes in my body almost immediately . I think though that I quickly became addicted to feeling of lifting heavier and harder and pushing yourself each time you went into the gym. I found to be motivated and focused and apply myself each time I went into the gym and this mind set helped me to reap the benefits of weight training.

Q: What made you decide to compete?
A: I had been training for quite a long time before I even considered competing. Over the years I have been approached several times and been urged to compete but I never felt ready. I only wanted to step on stage when I felt myself to be at a level whereby I did myself justice. As such I never had any overwhelming desire to compete but now that I have I am glad that I have competed as competing presents a whole new range of challenges.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported?
A: I have only just started to compete. I received a lot of support from friends despite the fact that they know very little about body building and have received great support from friends at the gyms where I train.

Q: Was the first competition what you expected or did anything surprise you?
A: My first competition was nothing like I expected but to be honest I didn't really know what to expect and as such I was surprised just how calm I was. Needless to say my first competition was a massive learning curve. I competed in my second show a week later and made sure I didn't repeat the mistakes which was a good job as my second show ever was the NABBA Universe and the line up was a very high level.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: As I stated previously I only started competing in 2009 and this is my contest history to date:
*NABBA England - 2nd place
*NABBA Universe - 2nd place
*Hercules show (UKBFF Final qualifier) - 1st place

Q: Do you keep track of measurements or best lifts?
A: I do keep track of my measurements and lifts but I do not obsess about them and depending upon what I am trying to achieve regarding my training subsequently reflects in what I am able to lift. I have just started my off season for 2010 and am weighing 172lbs, my biceps are 15" and my thighs are 25".
I bench 180k for about 2 to 3 reps and have squatted over 200k - although at present for legs I am training with high intensity and high reps as I am getting over a back injury and so want to keep the weights lower.
I have also pulled a 9.5 ton double decker bus for 70 metres at a charity event

Q: What do you consider your best bodypart or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: Personally my favourite body part is my legs as I think that they set can set you out from the crowd. When I see a female body builder with what I consider to be good legs I am always impressed and they are also my favourite body part to train.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train?
A: As i stated above legs are my favourite body part to train. You know when you have a had a good leg session when you have to picked up off the floor and it takes about a week for you to be able to manage stairs again.

Q: Can you share your normal training routine.
A: I don't want to bore you all by going into the finite detail of my training and diet. Needless to say every time I enter the gym I am focused and train with maximum intensity and good form. I can't stress enough the importance of nutrition and am constantly trying to refine my diet. My main problem with regards my diet is not trying to eat clean but is eating enough. My coach is always telling me I need to eat more but I don't like feeling bloated.
Contest prep is a whole different ball game and is constantly changing and being reviewed as you get closer to your competition. In short you are always learning about your body and pushing yourself.


Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part of competing is seeing how far you can push your body. It becomes very much a personal challenge and mental tenacity.
The worst part is that despite being in your best condition, you feel like crap and therefore maybe don't enjoy it as much as you could.

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: The reactions I get largely depend upon where I am in the world. In large I get a much more positive reaction to my physique when I am in the states. Americans are much more likely to stop you in the street and say something complimentary. Being British though I do get embarrassed and am usually at a loss as to how to react. I have also had some pretty horrible and hateful things said to me so I have learned long ago not to care what people think about my physique. The important thing is that I am happy with myself.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I still have to chuckle when people ask me in all seriousness whether I train.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That is a difficult one to answer as I have met quite a few female body builders and although I think they are all great women, they are all very different and very much individuals. I think people get too hung up on female body builders physiques, thereby making too many assumptions and forgetting that they are all very much individuals. I think people tend to label us just one humongous group and don't consider that there tends to be much more to us than just being strong women who lift weights.

Q: Are muscular women more or less accepted by society than maybe, five years ago?
A: I cant see how anything has changed within the space of 5 years as female body building is not promoted enough and so there is very little opportunity to change general perceptions.

Q: Do you ever see women in the sport getting more coverage and respect?
A: Even though I am new to the sport I honestly cant see the situation changing with regards female body building. I think at present it is in the worst position it has ever been in and I am constantly told by people in the body building world that the body building federations have very little interest in promoting female body building and are trying to phase it out. At the end of the day they think of it in terms of a business and they see that the figure classes attract many more competitors. Personally I think they confuse this with popularity and are swayed by quantity rather than quality. I think that it is right that there should be figure categories and I have a lot of time for the figure competitors but it does not compare to female body building. That is just my personal opinion.

Q: Are there any bodybuilders you are a fan of?
A: My all time favourite female body builder is Lenda Murray. I remember the first time I saw a video of her posing and was mesmerised. I also think there are some amazing women competing on the Olympia stage at the moment such as Heather Armbrust and Debi Laszewski. This brings me back to the previous question. These women are at the pinnacle of their chosen sport and their dedication and sacrifice and hard work should be rewarded.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: My favourite cheat food is ice cream.

Q: You also have a website. Can you give out the address and tell people what they can find there?
A: My website is fbblisacross.com - at my website you can read my blog which chronicles my life on a daily basis. You can also see a wide array of photos and videos some of which show me in the gym. Others are on location and some are more intimate. The photos have been taken over the course of my fist year of competition and show the progress I have made this year. I also have a free weekly members webcam where I love to interact with fans

Q; If another woman told you she wanted to start bodybuilding, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: The best piece of advice I was given at the outset was to read as much as I could about training and nutrition so that you are not wasting your time and know why you are doing what you are doing.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: When I am not training I love to read and walk my dog on the beach. If I go out I like to go to live events such as rock concerts, rugby matches or the ballet and if I am staying in, I tend to just watch the comedy channel.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Lisa Cross.
A: A typical day revolves around getting all my meals in, going training, having an afternoon nap and working at the computer. Surprisingly that can take up my whole day.

Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show, and musician?
A: As my favourite films are all mafia films such as the Godfather trilogy, Scarface and Goodfellas, I would have to say that Al Pacino in his younger days was my favourite actor. I think he tends to overact nowadays. My favourite TV show is South Park but when I comes to favourite group I don't think I could choose - there are so many great rock and heavy metal groups. Outside of rock though I am a massive fan of Freddie mercury and Elvis Presley - they are both so charismatic and unique.

Q: Describe Lisa Cross in five words.
A: C - complicated
R - randy
O - overt
S - strong
S - shocking

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I speak Japanese and Russian

Q: Any set plans as far as competing?
A: My plans for competing as far as this year is concerned is the British Finals. I have already qualified and they will be held in October.

Q: Anything you want to plug or promote?
A: I would like to let people know that I will be travelling to the FIBO expo in Essen, Germany in April this year and will be at the Body Power expo in Birmingham, England in May this year. If you see me there make sure you come over and say HI.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors?
A: At present I am supported by CNP and Leisure Lee Fitness.

Q; Lisa, again, thanks for taking the time to do this.

Sheila Benditz Contest Prep Update

Week of April 19th

Hello everyone, I hope as each week goes by, this may get more interesting and an easier ready. I had an awesome week!! I have added some new things to my workouts, so this is what this past week looked like.

Monday is my leg day, but ended up pushing this back, as I will explain in a bit. With this I subbed in my back workout, and worked out with my husband Doug!!! I always stat my back workout doing pull ups (wide grip) 20/15/15/12. I usually surprise people doing this, guess they don't think a woman can do it, yeah right, muah!! I then go into my pull downs/reverse grip pull down super sets. Next we moved over to the low row and I superset this with straight arm push downs. And still everything is 20/15/15/12 reps. I then finished off my back workout with one arm high rows. I did not have a lot of time, that is why I supersetted most of these, as I worked out on this Monday in the evening which is unusual for me, I usually workout during the day.

Tuesday was chest day, and I do just the basics on chest, incline dumbell presses, smith machine chest press, dumbell incline flies, cable flies (incline, straight, decline) with pushups in between. As with everything I rep out as above, 20/15/15/12. The above two days I was working what I consider my "strong" areas. I was instructed just yesterday that I will re-arrange my back workout to get it evened out, as well as my chest workout, my pecs are quite developed already comparatively speaking.

Wednesday ended up being my leg day, worked out with Tina Chandler, and had my best leg workout ever!!It is awesome having a "change of pace" in my workout. She did tings differently than what I have been used to, and was more exact with my form and technique. Thus allowing me to "hit" the muscles I needed to, in a way that they have not been worked before! I am so appreciative of this, and enjoyed the burn, that all I am doing is looking forward to my next workout with her!! After my elg workout I had to go to my gym, and my usual workout partner wanted to do a shoudler workout, so I did my shoudlers as well. I always start off with shoulder presses, we have a machine that we can hit all three heads depending on out hand placements, we then went on to my lateral raise machine. I finish out my shoulders with Arnold Shoulder presses. It was an abbreviated shoulder workout, luckily I ahve good shoulders as well!!

Tuesdays and Thrusdays are my busiest days, as I ahve schedualed most of my clients on these days while I prepare for teh contest. So on this Thrusday, I jsut worked my core, as I do core on Tuesday, Thrusday, and Saturday. After working 2 parts yesterday, I was happy to have a "day" off.

Friday, after giving my gym a deep cleaning, seems that I can not find someone who will clean like I want, I just wanted to rest, so I did!

Saturday, is a full day for me, core workout in the mornig, I then had a workout with Tina again evening, Bi's and Tri's, again we concentrated on my form, since I broke my wrist last summer, I have been compensating and cheating with my shoulders. I worked to keep my form good and ended up with a great workout. I then spent 30-45 minutes working on my posing.

SUnday, I was supposed to do track work yesterday, but pushed it untill today, weather was too perfect not to be outside!!!

I had wanted to meet up with my nutritionist this week, and we could not work out a good time for both of us, so hopefully this week I will be meeting up with him, and be right on track!!

I do cardio every day, at least 1 hour to keep up with my fat loss. I cannot give you an update on my bodyfat percentage, but hopefully next week, I will have this information. Also, it looks like I may do teh Branch Warren, 2 weeks prior to my said contest date. I won the Branch Warren in 2008, but I need to get up on stage and make sure I have everything down pat, so it looks like I am now 10 weeks out!! I do not feel that it will be much difference on me either way, as long as I am prepared to hit it hard. I do feel that my weakest body parts are my biceps, glutes, and quads, so these are my key areas which I will be really working.

XOXO
Sheila

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shelly Albetta Interview








I want to avoid the typical "beautiful Twins" comments you often see or hear when talking about two twins who are beautiful women. So I will leave it at saying Shelly Albetta and her sister Betsy are beautiful women. But there is more to Shelly than just being beautiful. Shelly is a hard and dedicated worker who ha an amazing physique. I talk to a lot of competitors and usually, like in any field, you will find at least one person with a negative comment about a person. Never heard a negative comment about Shelly. That speaks a lot about her I believe. It shows the inner beauty is there to go along with the outer. She competed for the first time in 2006, and if you look at pictures from show to show, you see great improvement each time, which gives fans something to look forward to as she plans to compete 4 times this year. So I am very happy to post this interview and let you know a little more about Shelly Albetta, and get you ready to root for her and watch her continue to get better.






Q: First, Shelly, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. I am a big admirer and fan, so this is an honor

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I'm 27 yrs old, born and raised as a Jersey girl! I have a twin sister who is my bestest friend and training partner.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I played varsity soccer all 4 years of high school, but nothing in college.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I always admired fit women, and always had an interest in weights. So in college I began educating myself and talking to other women who competed, and that's how I got hooked up with my trainer Mike Davies who I have been with 5 years.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes it was however it took me a while to learn how important diet was along with lifting weights.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I went to my brother in laws bodybuilding show, and saw Figure for the first time, and knew that's what I wanted to do!

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: Yes they have always been supportive of my goals and my competing.

Q: Was the first competition what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: I was just glad to have gotten on stage my first show. It was a great accomplishment!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A:
*2006- 5th place mid Atlantic
*2006- 2nd place Lehigh Valley
*2007- 4th place Tracey Greenwood
*2007- 4th place Atlantic States
*2007- 2nd place Garden State
*2008- 1st place AC Pro/Am
*2008- 1st place Great Lakes Bodybuilding
*2009- 12th place North Americans
*2009- 8th place Team Universe

Q: What makes you more nervous, preparing to go on stage, or watching your sister on stage?
A: I always get more nervous for her. We are each others biggest fans and I want her to do great in every show she does.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My legs have come up a lot considering I grew them from nothing. I also like my shoulders

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: Shoulders all the way!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I let my trainer do all of the thinking for me diet wise. Training wise I train heavy and hard all year round

Q: When someone sees or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Mostly positive. I get a lot of girls asking how to look the way I do, which is a compliment to me!

Q: When they see or hear it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Why don't you eat?", and "Does it bother you competing against your sister in every show?" It truly doesn't, I support her and am happy for her if and when she beats me!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That every competitor is enhanced by drugs... it takes a lot of hard work to get into figure shape there are no short cuts.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Pushing the body mentally and physically is very rewarding, however I tend to miss out on social events and family gatherings during prep.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire all competitors that step on stage.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: PIZZA!!!

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: To research a trainer that fits with you and let them guide you... but also it is important to learn your own body as well.

Q: You have done quite a bit of fitness modeling. How did you get started in that and what do you enjoy about it?
A: Competing opened doors for photo shoots... I just do them for fun, and enjoy shooting with my sister!

Q: Whats more enjoyable, being on stage, or in front of the camera?
A: I love both equally to be honest!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I enjoy time with my family, my pup and my Boyfriend. I also am very social and like to hang with friends and travel

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Shelly Albetta.
A: work, gym, eat, sleep, repeat.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Probably that I have a twin and we do mostly everything together! We own a 2 family house, work together, and train together!

Q: Describe Shelly Albetta in five words.
A: Dedicated, Smart, Balanced, Fulfilled, Kind.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I plan on competing in 4 shows this year which is a lot, 3 of which will be national shows.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors?
A: I don't actively seek sponsorship but would love an opportunity to represent a company. I feel that if the time is right, it'll just happen, so I don't push that hard.

Q: Shelly, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thanks for the opportunity to share a little more about myself! And good luck to all competing in 2010!

Vanessa Prebyl Emerald Cup Interview




I could sit here and type forever about Vanessa Prebyl. Vanessa was recomended to me awhile back as someone to seek out for an interview. I found her on Facebook and was amazed. Such a beautiful woman, and what an incredible physique. I asked her about an interview and she said yes. Reading the interview and getting to communicate with her made me a fan of not just Vanessa the competitor, but Vanessa the person. That is why I asked her to write a weekly column for my blog. Which she does, called Competitors Edge. In a short time I went from not knowing her, to her being on of my favorite people in the industry. I am impressed with the physique like I said, but it is Vanessa the person who really shines. Vanessa is to me, a lock to earn her Pro card, and soon. She took a step in that direction with an impressive 4th place finish at the Emerald Cup against an incredible field of competitors. To any sponsors out there, please look into Vanessa. She is everything you want. Beautiful, great physique, hard worker, dedicated, knowledgeable, loves to talk about the sport, loves to help. To me, Vanessa is the IDEAL woman to represent your products.





Q: Vanessa, tanks for taking the time out to do a second interview.
A: Of course. I am always honored and happy do do interviews.

Q: For those who may have missed the first interview, can you tell a little about yourself.
A: I am a small-town California girl that started competing in November 2009. I have always been very active throughout my life because I lived on a ranch and rode horses and had to do chores like take care of all of the animals (horses, sheep, cows, chickens, etc.). I also played many sports such as cross-country, track, and five years of wrestling. I would consider myself a jock and kind of a tom-boy. So it is so EXCITING to compete in bikini competitions because I get to get all dolled-up. :-)

Q: Congrats on your 4th place finish against an incredible field of competitors at the Emerald Cup. How did you feel about the show overall?
A: Thank you so much! The Emerald Cup was my best show to-date. My body's conditioning came in perfectly and I now know the areas I need to work on for my next show. The Emerald Cup was and is one of the BEST shows in the nation. The promoters Craig and Elaine were amazing and tended to every need. The promoters even set the show up so that prejudging and finals were back-to-back which was so AMAZING not to have to wait six hours and have to go back on stage. The promoters gave all of the girls tank tops, an Emerald pin, BSN dessert protein powder, and a bag of goodies at check-in. I really couldn't carry it all!! Ha-ha. Also, at the show they had a professional make-up artist who was providing free make-up finished provided by the promoters.

Q: DO you walk away saying "I am happy with how I did." or "What do I ahve to do to win next time?"
A: Honestly, I walked away thinking both. I am extrememly happy of the improvements I ahve amde. I was spot-on with my presentation and I did everything to my very best. I wouldn't ahve changed a thing. However, there is always room for improvement and if you know me, or if you don't... you will now LOL> I love a challenge. I love to see how far I can push myself, because when you do win, you will know YOU did it.

Q: After pre-judging how were you feeling about your chances?
A: During pre-judging, I walked out and did my individual poses and I hit them all perfectly. I was so excited because I am now in the best shape I have ever been in. Then it was time for call outs. First call out, the head judge started calling out numbers, I heard #17, #20, #22, #25 (Aaaahhhh that's ME!!). I walked to the front of the stage and hit my best pose with a huge smile on my face :-). I scanned all of the eight judges and thanked each one of them in my mind for giving me the opportunity to do a pose down with the top 5 girls at one of the best shows in the nation. During comparisons I was moved to the middle for comparisons. I was even more excited! After a few more front and back poses, the head judge told us to go back into our line-up and file off stage.

Q: You looked amazing!! How did you feel about the overall package you brought to the stage?
A: I am very happy and proud of my improvements. I actually impressed myself LOL. It is truly amazing to know that you can change your body with hard work, dedication, and passion. In regards to my overall package, I brought my "A" game. I had practiced and practiced and put it all out there on the stage.

Q: What part of your physique would you say made the biggest improvements from last time?
A: I made improvements on my calves, quads, arms, lower abs, glutes, and hamstrings. Wow, that actually is a lot now that I think of it.

Q: Was there one aspect of your physique you thought could have been better or you want to improve on for next time?
A: I only need to work on one aspect of my body and that is the BOOTAY! Everything else I just need to maintain, but the butt is what I will be focusing on for the ext 11 weeks until the Team-U competition. I am going to work it until it hurts, and when it hurts, I will squeeze it some more, and when I'm tired, I will work it some more, and when I feel I have nothing left, guess what...... I WILL WORK IT EVEN HARDER.

Q: Was your prep for this show any different than past shows?
A: Yes, my prep for this show was very different. I was much leaner to start off so my meal plan allowed for much more foods. I also started to become too muscular so I had to stop increasing my weights. I also started to work my glutes three times a week.

Q: Is there a point in the prep process where you say "OK, I am ready."
A: I was ready about a week out from the show. I felt good and my body was responding and coming in perfectly. I actually had to worry about becoming too lean or showing too much muscle separation and abs.

Q: Anything about the prep process you want to do different next time?
A: I leave that up to y trainer Kim Oddo. He is an AMAZING nutritionist and trainer.



Q: After a show like that, is it a mental let down at all, now that the process is over?
A: I am just getting started. I am going to be working for my pro card at Team-U which is in 11 weeks. So there is no real down time. I am taking about 7 days mentally to relax. I wills till be doing my cardio and weight training; however, for these 7 days I am going to relax with it and not train too intense. BUT starting next week it is "GO TIME" with my intensity back at 110%

Q: The week before a show like that, what are you thinking about? Nervous, scared, or what?
A: The week before a big show is always an exciting time. Even though you are eating tilapia and pretty much no carbs and your cardio is increased to two 45 minute sessions and you are unbelievably tired, oddly the excitement of knowing the show is just days away gives you the energy to push through. At a week out I do not feel nervous, because I have already done all of my prep work.

Q: How about those last 5 minutes before you hit the stage? What are you thinking about?
A: Haha thinking??? I remember my first show. I wasn't thinking at all. I went on auto pilot. However, now that I feel more comfortable on stage the 5 minutes before I go on stage kind of go like this:
I am back stage with all of the girls getting ready. I find a mirror and check my hair, make-up, re-apply my lip liner, lip gloss, and I ask one of my fellow Angels to check my tan to make sure everything is even. Once that is done, I look in the mirror and give myself my best smile and practice all of my poses at least twice. Usually by then one of the workers at the show call for Bikini Short Class to line-up to go on stage. That is when I get EXCITED! All the girls line up in numerical order and start heading for the stage. As the ladies get introduced one at a time and they all do their poses I slowly move forward toward the stairs leading up to the stage. I watch the girls and listen to the instructions of what pattern the promoters would like us to walk and do our poses. I make sure I know EXACTLY what they want. Once I make it to the steps leading up to the stage there are only 4 girls ahead of me. I can now see the judges and the front part of the audience. I immediately light-up and I can feel goose bumps/tingles all over my body. I smile at the audience, excited to show them how hard I have worked. Now there is only one girl in front of me and she starts off onto the stage. I watch her out of my peripheral and stand attentive listening for the announcer to say my name. "and next is Vanessa Prebyl from Lompoc, California..." I step out into the bright lights almost blinded by them and the overwhelming excitement. I smile and know this is what all the ahrd work was for. It is now or never so I give it my ALL.

Q: When you are on stage, do you try and read the judges reactions at all or just focus on what you are doing?
A: I always scan the judges and the audience to make sure they know I am her for THEM. I don't try to read their reactions because any reaction is a good reaction. If they are looking at you and keep looking at you, that is a GOOD thing. I do maintain my focus, because the judges really dislike when they have to ask twice for anything.

Q: What's the first thing you ate once it was over?
A: The very fist thing I ate was 15 almonds and a 4oz yam because that is what I had in my lunch box; however, that was just to hold me over for my dinner. My husband and I went to the Cheesecake Factory and I had my favorite meal that I have been wanting since November. I ordered the chicken quesadilla and the red velvet cheesecake. Wow it was so rich I had to take the rest away in a to-go bag. It was yummy in my tummy :-).

Q: Were there any other competitors you noticed who really impressed you?
A: Actually one of my fellow competitor Angel, Khay Rosemond impressed me. I hadn't seen Khay since November and I didn't even recognize her at first. She went to hug me when I first got backstage and I had to do a double-take. She has made AMAZING improvements and she should be very proud. I think she brought a complete package to the Emerald Cup. She looked GREAT.

Q: Anyone you got to meet or see for the first time that you were excited about?
A: I was excited to see Trish and Branch Warren. I was checking in at the host hotel with my husband and they were right behind us. They looked AMAZING, just as I would expect Pros to look.

Q: How important is support from family and friends at a show like this?
A: Support from my husband is KEY along with Kim Oddo's. I would not be the woman I am today or the competitor I am today without these two men. My husband is AMAZING!! He does all of the food preparation and house cleaning when I am preparing for a show. I don't even have to ask. He just steps-up to the task and knows how hard I am working and how tired I am. As for Kim, he is very supportive. Kim knows exactly what to say and when to say it to get your butt in gear. He is always positive and always is thinking of ways to improve your body so that if you think you are great now, he will make your body even BETTER. I am so blessed to have two AMAZING men in my life.

Q: Where would you rank this show in your achievements in the sport?
A: I would rank this show as my top achievement so far. The competition was fierce and all of the girls brought their A game. I too brought my best body and presentation to date and am very proud to have done so well.

Q: You have decided when you will be on stage next?
A: YES!!! Team-U Baby!!! July 10th!!! I am 11 weeks out and will be working for my Pro card :-)

Q: Anyone you want to thank for helping you in the process?
A: I would like to thank my loving and supportive husband, Kim Oddo for believing in me and what I can do, all of my fellow Angel competitors, and everyone that have posted positive and supportive comments on my Facebook and email.

Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: Kim Oddo from www.bodybyo.com and all of his amazing Angels!!!
Also for all of you competitors out there, check out my weekly blog Competitors Edge on the website www.promotingwomen.blogspot.com.

Q: Looking for any sponsors? If so what are they getting in Vanessa Prebyl the athlete and competitor?
A: Sponsors!! I would love to represent a healthy way of living and the fitness lifestyle. I am a very hard worker. I love talking to people about healthy and fitness. It would be an honor to know I was contributing to the sport of Bikini competitions by promoting and educating women of this amazing sport, just as I do in my weekly blog Competitors Edge at www.promotingwomen.blogspot.com. What a sponsor would get out of Vanessa Prebyl the athlete and competitor is a woman that will represent their product and the sport with the respect and prestige that it should be represented. Sponsors may contact me through my Facebook page, Bodyspace page, or email at vanessaprebyl2000@yahoo.com.

Q: Vanessa again, you looked amazing. Any last words before you go?
A: I would just like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to do another interview and providing a great website that promotes women competitors in such an AMAZING light.