Friday, April 9, 2010

Amanda Tran Interview

When first contacted to do an interview with Amanda Tran, I must admit, I was not familiar much with her. But as with anyone I interview, I did some research, and became very impressed. Amanda is a beautiful woman, and has an outstanding physique. At that point I was very excited to do an interview with her, and after reading the interview I am even more glad she did one. Want to know what hard work, desire, and dedication an produce? It produces Amanda Tran. A business owner(gym), trainer, takes online college courses, and of course trains herself. That is a lot to do, but Amanda makes it work, and being that busy makes her physique even more impressive that she can find the time to build it.Amanda says her goal is to earn her Pro card this year. No reason to believe she can't. Let's say she doesn't earn it. Still the dedication and work she has put in makes her a winner no matter what. But that is hypothetical, because really if she wants it, you have to believe she will get it. So for those not familiar, let me introduce you to a woman who is a credit to the industry, Amanda Tran.

Q: First, Amanda, I want to thank you for taking the time out to do this.
A: For sure! Thank you for the opportunity.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Well, I'm from Fort Wayne, Indiana, born and raised. You might say I lived a pretty average life growing up. Fort Wayne is a great city, not too small, not too big. I have one brother who was raised by my dad while I was raised primarily by my mother. Not only did she sometimes work 2 or even 3 jobs just to support me, but she always seemed to have this strong sense of Independence and will. When it came to our house or anything else that needed done, she always insisted on doing everything herself. Regardless of what it was, she would figure out a way to do it (and usually better than anyone else). I'm sure this was a huge influence on who I have become as an adult. To this day I still truly believe she can do anything.

Q: Before you started training were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: LOL. People are usually surprised to hear that the answer is I absolutely was not. Lifting from my earliest memories was the only thing that ever interested me and I didn't officially start until I had the opportunity to learn in high school. My mother still jokes about how when I was a little girl the only thing on my Christmas list was Barbie dumbbells!! I wasn't raised with much of a nutrition or athletic background, which is why I think I have always been so intrigued and excited to learn on my own.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I'm not sure where my passion for the gym originated. I have always been intrigued with fitness from as far back as I can remember. I have high school weight lifting class to thank for my basic knowledge to get started. I think I ran with it from there.

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and what made you decide to compete?
A: I had been training for almost 10 years before I finally decided to step on stage. Supplements and physique altering diet have always been a passion of mine and putting my knowledge to good use and competing was something I always wanted to do.... in the future. There was always something I wanted to change that made me feel I wasn't ready. I'm not entirely sure what did it for me, but literally one day I woke up and decided today is the day.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: I think that the lifestyle of a hardcore competitor can be difficult for friends and family to understand. Everyone around me has always been supportive, but understandably a little less so when I skip out on things like dinners and late night parties.

Q: Was the first contest what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: I definitely did my research before jumping into competing for the first time, so for the most part, I knew what I was getting myself into. One thing I can say is that I had heard horror stories of women being catty backstage and sabotaging other competitors so I was pleasantly surprised to find that at the competitions I have done anyway, the atmosphere has been encouraging and extremely pleasant. I like to think I attract that sort of behavior.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I first competed in 2008 at the GNC Classic in Anderson, Indiana where I placed 3rd in my class. Next I did Indiana State here in Fort Wayne the same year and did not place. To begin with, I really just wanted to know that I could do it, but after my first season of competing, I was hooked. I took every bit of constructive criticism I could get and went to work. I put my entire heart and soul into my off-season and went back to compete in Anderson again in 2009. Not only did I place 1st this time around, but two of the judges at separate times commended me on what great improvements I had made! I had a very difficult off-season, but that made every second of it worth it.

Q: What do you consider your best body part or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: Definitely my abs and calves.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I generally keep my lifting super heavy all year round. My cardio routine is what changes the most, ranging from maybe 2 days a week in my off-season to 6 days a week pre-contest. I do want to add though, that even though I do cardio on most days before a competition, I am really big on not over doing it. Because every bit of muscle put on is crucial, changes should be made through diet first and cardio bumped up only when necessary.

Q: When someone sees or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Almost always positive. You know, you will always have those opinionated individuals who don't appreciate muscle on a woman. You can't appeal to everyone I suppose. The majority of people find me exciting and motivating and aren't afraid to let me know. I love feedback like that, it makes all of my hard work worthwhile.

Q: When they see or hear it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: For the most part, I never tire of any question or comment, even ones I frequently hear. I have to admit it does drive me insane though when others imply that it may be my genetics or some other bit of "magic" that they themselves do not posses that have got me to where I am today. Getting to my level of physical fitness is the hardest thing I have ever done and I do enjoy being acknowledged for it. What gets me most though is the mentality that they can't do it themselves. The only thing special about me in that aspect are the years of hard work and dedication that I have invested.

Q: Do you think more women are getting into the gym than a few years ago?
A: Absolutely. I see it as proof that the competition stage for women has been growing for years. I think women more and more are learning that the weights that they once feared would make them big and bulky in actuality give them power to sculpt their body in just about any way they choose.

Q: What is the biggest misconception bout women who compete or the ones thing you wish people understood?
A: I think the biggest misconception is that women don't have to put in the same amount of work men do, which is simply not true. Because we are females and do not have the ability to gain muscle and maintain it as easily as men, is exactly why we have to put in just as much effort and in many cases more than male competitors.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part of competing is hands-down the accomplishment aspect of it all. Dieting for a competition is extremely difficult (the worst part) and although each time I might let doubt enter my mind for a moment, time and and time again I overcome it and pull through.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: It varies from day to day depending on how hungry I am! HAHA, I have a hard time resisting a meal from the Cheesecake Factory though!

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: Do not be afraid to train heavy, and either hire a diet consultant or learn as much about eating for you goals as you can. A tailored diet is highly underrated.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: When I can find the time, I love to play the guitar. I'd also love to travel more.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Amanda Tran.
A: Wow, that is a difficult one for me. I own my own business and take online college courses, so I am lucky in that I get to pretty much make my own schedule. Depending on whether I'm prepping for a competition or not, I'll get up and do cardio first thing in the morning, eat breakfast, and then get ready for my day. The rest of the day until about 8pm changes constantly. I might run errands, do homework, train clients, answer emails, work at my gym, eat one of my 7 meals a day, prep food, etc.. I always hit the gym about 8pm before finally going home, eating, and relaxing.

Q: Favorite actor, TV show, movie, and musician?
A: Music has always been a big part of my life, so I could name favorite musicians all day. I don't have any one particular type of music I like best; it just has to sound good. Somewhere at the top of my list are: Dave Matthews Band, Blink 182, and Jimmy Buffett.
TV Show: Nip/Tuck is one of the only shows I care about, and I am obsessed!
The other two are pretty difficult for me. I've never been a big movie person. If I had to name a favorite actor I might say Julia Roberts. Favorite movie? Here's where my compulsive honesty comes in to play! HAHA, I always get made fun of for my choices of movies. I seriously don't have a favorite but some of the ones I've watched more than once are: Juno, Medicine Man, Ali, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Cocktail, and Fools Rush In.

Q: Describe Amanda Tran in five words.
A: Encompassing, Dedicated, Sassy, Passionate, and Sincere.

Q: Any set plans for the future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I don't have specific shows picked out for 2010 yet, however, I have a pretty good idea of my schedule. Since I qualified for Nationals last summer, I'd like to get my feet wet in a National NPC competition for sure. 2010 will also be my first time competing in a natural drug tested organization. I'm not sure what to expect for these organizations yet, but my goal is to turn Pro before the end of the year. Wish me luck!

Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I'm glad you asked! 2010 is going to be a very big year for me. I have just opened my first gym/specialty training center called Sud'n Impact, located here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have a website for the gym as well as myself in progress, so keep a look out! I am a personal trainer and diet consultant, and new for 2010 I'm adding online consulting. Please check out my myspace page at as I will be sure to update it with links as soon as the become available. Also, I can always be reached through my email at

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they reach you and what are they getting in Amanda Tran the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes, I am looking for good sponsors. I am a local gym owner with many opportunities to promote your business. I have a ton of knowledge gained over the years of the industry as a whole and even more in specific areas such as diet and supplementation. I am extremely driven, and will not rest until I can call myself a Figure Pro (err, I mean, I still won't be resting!). I am competent, college educated, and confident that given the opportunity, your company will find me as the perfect sponsored athlete! If you would like to learn more about me, you can visit my myspace at or Model Mayhem profile at
Any inquiries can be directed to myself via email at

Q: Again, Amanda, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: I just want to say to anyone who has ever though about competing or reaching any fitness goals; now is the time. If you are waiting until you are 100% ready, your opportunities will pass you by. You will never be big enough, lean enough, or strong enough, and your life will never be in the perfect place to take on something new. Fitness is an ongoing process, the sooner you start, the better. Live without regrets; you won't be sorry!

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