Monday, May 31, 2010

Roxanne Modafferi Interview #2








Roxanne Modafferi is not one of my favorite fighters. She is one of my favorite athletes. Roxanne is the definition of everything that has made MMA my favorite sport for 17 years. Always improving, always enjoying what she is doing, and always respectful. I was so excited when I heard she was getting her rematch with Tara LaRosa at the recent Moosin Pay Per View. I have long stated pound for pound Roxanne was among the elite in the sport, and I felt this was her chance to prove it. In fact, some know, I guaranteed she would win. That is no knock on Tara, as many will say Tara is the best in the sport. That is just my confidence in Roxanne, and Roxanne made me look smart in winning a close split decision. On a night of some decent fights, Roxanne and Tara had the fight of the night, and the lasting memory of the respect between her and Tara after the decision was announced. Here is my interview with Roxanne about the fight, my second with Roxanne, and she may not know it yet, but I will want another after Roxanne wins a major title, an opportunity she has earned and deserves.




Q: First, Roxanne, thanks for agreeing to a second interview.
A: You're welcome!

Q: For those who may have missed the first one, can you tell a little about
yourself.
A: I'm a middle-class American girl who graduated from college with a
major in Japanese Language and Literature, with a minor in
Linguistics. I moved to Japan to become fluent in Japanese and work
at a lucrative translation job, but that hasn't happened yet. In the
meantime, I fell in love with teaching English and will probably do
that for a while. Oh yeah, I'm also a pro fighter, and have been
training some form of martial arts since middle school. My record is
15-5. I have been called "crafty" by some fans, and "The Happy
Warrior" by others.

Q: Congratulations are in order on your impressive win over one of the top fighters in the sport Tara LaRosa. Many called her number one pound for pound. Would you agree?
A: I would agree, actually. Sarah Kaufman is great and Cyborg is scary,
but Tara has proven herself again and again against many of the top level women in this sport.

Q: Did you really go to dinner with Tara the night before? What do you talk about in
a situation like that?
A: Oh yes, we did. We talked about the state of women's MMA, what we
both do for a living outside of fighting, who we'd like to fight
someday, how promotions treat us, what sponsors we got, who we're
training with nowadays, what TV shows we're watching, what music we
like, what movies we've seen, etc.

Q: Is it easier to fight someone you respect like that and are friendly with or does
that make it harder?
AL It totally depends in the person. I usually don't get buddy-buddy
with my opponents before fights. I don't go to huge lengths to avoid
them, but I do need to feel some amount of competitive drive towards
them. Tara is a special case. But I wouldn't want to hang out on
fight day.

Q: Going in, it was no secret, Tara wanted it on the ground, and you wanted it
standing. But did you feel comfortable you would be OK if it did go to the ground?
A: If I was sure I could get a dominant position, or at least a neutral
position, I'd be happy to take it to the ground. I wanted to avoid
her getting on top of me, at all costs. In our previous fight, she
proved she could hold me in mount.

Q: In round 1 there was an incredible battle where she really was working for that
takedown and you two were locked up. Were you more trying to keep it standing, or trying to make sure if it did go down, you were on top.?
A: That's funny you picked that out, because I kept changing my mind.
For a moment, I felt like maybe if I tripped her and we fell, I'd be
on top, so let's do it....but no, I just got reversed against the
cage, so I must avoid going down at all costs....wait, right now if we
go down, I could get a good posit... nope, she has a better grip, I
better stay standing....what if I try a hip throw right now...! I
couldn't decide.

Q: Near the end of round one, you really had her in trouble. Did you think you were
going to be able to finish her at that point?
A: Firstly, I was shocked she fell down. I thought, "....WHAT, did I
actually drop her?" and I hoped so bad I could finish it right there.
But she actually worked her way back up to her feet out from under my
mount, which is totally amazing.

Q: Did that round one give you more confidence, for the rest of the fight?
A: Yeah, it did give me a lot of confidence, actually.

Q: Round three was the one I was most impressed with. She got it down and on top,
but really it was you doing most of the work from the bottom and going for submissions. At any point did you think you had here there?
A: She caught me with a solid punch which dropped me and made me really
dizzy, so I threw myself backwards, trying to put some space between
us, so I could have another moment to recover. Actually, I really
wanted to do a backwards roll-hand stand and pop up, like 'Ta da!" but
it failed because I was still rocked. Would have been cool. I was
excited to get the triangle, and hoped to sink it, but it was a little
off. I had a feeling she wasn't going to get it, and I knew that if I
transitioned to arm bar, she might escape, but it was a long shot.

Q: After the fight, did you think the judges were going to give it to you. For me I
thought they would reward her for being on top, not realizing you were the one doing the work.
A: She was throwing a lot of punches from the triangle and they hurt a
lot. My skull is still sore from them now, a week later. I was hoping
the judges wouldn't notice how much they were bothering me. I wasn't
sure who the judges were going to choose. For me, we were even.

Q: I scored it 29-28 for you. When the scores were read, the first one was 30-27
and before he said it was for you I thought "They are giving it to Tara." Do you
remember when that first score was read, and did the 30-27 worry you."
A: I don't know, it was just really suspenseful.

Q: So would you say this is the biggest win of your career?
A: Yes, I would!

Q: If Tara is one of the best, if not the best, then obviously this puts you in
that category as well. I have been saying for the longest time, pound for pound you are one of the best. Do you feel this cements you in that list?
A: I do feel that I have joined the list as one of the p4p best. I'm
kind of embarrassed to word it like that because I don't want to sound
arrogant, but from this fight, I really noticed a major improvement in
my own ability as a fighter. Even if I had lost, would have felt good
about my performance. I grew in so many ways, and I've had this
anxiety that I'm good "for a girl" but not "as a fighter." Now I
finally feel I can say, "I'm a good fighter."

Q: What made the biggest difference between your two fights with her? Was it that
your striking has gotten so much better?
A: Yes, my striking, I'd say, and transitions between stand-up and
grappling. For example clinching or take downs.

Q: You are now tied 1-1 with Tara. Do you want a tie-breaker?
A: Some day. I'm enjoying being even, right now.

Q: I admit, I was not expecting much from this show as a whole. Looked forward to
your fight, and one other one. However the show was so much better than I expected. And the general feeling is you and Tara had the fight of the night. Is that a sense of pride for you?
A: I am very proud, and I'm proud of Tara, too.

Q: How were the Moosin people to deal with?
A: The Moosin people were awesome! They really treated us well, with
respect, and prompt responses to any concerns or questions.

Q: So whats next for Roxanne Modafferi?
A: More improvement! Hard training! Ice cream sundaes!

Q: Anything I may have missed about the fight you want to talk about?
A: You didn't comment on my awesome Happy Warrior Fan that I entered the
ring holding. :)

Q: So where can people find out online and things to find out more about you?
A: I am everywhere online and on the forums. twitter is @roxyfighter, I
have a regular myspace blog at "Roxyfighter" which I am told is
entertaining, and I'm on facebook, and ALSO I regularly pop into my
live chatroom, at my website roxannemodafferi.net.

Q: Anything you want to take the time to plug or promote?
A: Thank you to my sponsors, especially Fightchix, Sprawl, and
combatcorner. Also I owe the majority of my striking improvement to
my trainer Kiuma Kunioku, and a lot of good MMA coaching to Hiroyuki
Abe and excellent training at the AACC gym. Thank you. Also I
produced Happy Warrior Japanese fans, so check them out at my website!

Q: Looking for any sponsors? If so, how can they reach you?
A: email me and I'll put you in touch with my manager! basilisk875@yahoo.com

Q: Roxanne, again congrats on a huge win, and thanks for making me look smart in
guaranteeing you would win. You are one of my favorite fighters, and favorite athletes, and everything that I love about the sport. Any last words before you go?
A: Thanks so much for the support!! :D

Friday, May 28, 2010

Barbie Garrido Interview






I found Barbie Garrido on Facebook. At first just saw her as a beautiful woman with a great physique. But then I found out she is just a very cool woman. I love her attitude. Not afraid to say what she feels, and if you don't like it, then that is your problem. While that may come off as having an attitude, the reality is, Barbie, isn't like that. She actually is a very nice woman who has encouraged me in my goals. She used to compete in karate tournaments, then in an effort to lose weight she found the gym, and in a short time was on stage winning bodybuilding competitions. Barbie is that kind of person who if she wants it, she will take it. So for those not familiar with her, here is your introduction to the beautiful Barbie Garrido.





Q: First Barbie, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born in Miami, Florida. My background is Cuban and Turkish. I've been married for 13 years to a wonderful man and have 4 children and 2 adoptive nieces.

Q: Before bodybuilding, were you an especially athletic person? Play Any sports?
A: I was always a tomboy growing up. I'm tough when it calls for it and sexy all the time. I have a 2nd degree blackbelt in Shorin-Ryu Karate.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I started at the gym to lose some weight. I was always a skinny person but I developed a thyroid problem and gained some weight. I was extremely unhappy as I was not used to being heavy so I decided it was time to change that. When I stepped in the gym I saw these big women and I said to myself "I'm going to get there one day", and I did.

Q: Was weight training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: Yes it was pretty easy, however I'm still learning different ways my muscle reacts to different exercises. The results were fairly quick.

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete?
A: I started training in July and by March the following year I was doing my first show.

Q: Was competing something your family supported at the time?
A: My husband and kids were and are amazing.

Q: Was the first show what you expected? Anything surprise you?
A: No it was more than I expected, however I was used to being in front of crowds as I competed in karate tournaments. What surprised me is I was not nervous, it amazed me.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: 2006
*Sunshine Classic- Over 30 Heavyweight- 1st
*Superior Show- Heavyweight Open- 1st
*Miami Show- Heavyweight Open- 2nd
*Southern States- Over 30 Heavyweight- 1st
*South Florida- Heavyweight- 1st and Overall
2008
Sunshine Classic- Over 30 Heavyweight and Open Heavyweight- 1st and Overall

What is your best body part or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: Has to be my back.

Q; DO you have a favor tie part to train?
A: Yes, I love to train shoulders.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Training routine consists of 2-3 hours of cardio and heavy reps, low weight. Nutrition is extremely low in carbs and almost none 2 months prior to contest date.

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: From women it is always negative. From men it is "Wow!"

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one comment or question you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Are you a man or woman?"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: This sport is not an over night change. it takes a lot of will power and dedication to get the body prepared for a show. It's a way of life not a sport.

Q: Do you think muscular women are becoming more accepted by society?
A: No, I think that will never happen. We are supposed to be model like women. Muscles are for men. So I think that is always going to be an issue.

Q: Do you have any goals in bodybuilding you still hope to achieve?
A: Yes I have some things in mind for the future, however I can't disclose right now.

Q: What is the worst part of competing?
A: The damn cardio and fish.

Q: Do you have any favorite bodybuilders?
A: Dayana Cadeau.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Chocolate.

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 have to dedicate yourself, it is not easy and takes time and will power.

Q: What is the biggest mistake you see people who are new to training make?
A: Their misuse of the weights. They think that only heavy weights is going to make you big and that you have to be pumped on steroids to achieve your goal.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Martial Arts and painting.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Barbie Garrido.
A: Wake up at 5am and take niece to day care, head to the gym and do i hour aerobics class and 1 hour cardio and abs on empty stomach. Eat first meal, go home and clean, eat again. Have to nap, if not I can't continue. Eat again, cook, eat again, go to gym for another hour of cardio and weights. And eat last meal by 7 or 8, take shower, watch TV, and sleep.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I'm a very OCD person. Can't disturb my routine LOL.

Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show, and musician?
A: Criminal minds, Fracture, Christopher Walken, and Disturbed.

Q: Describe Barbie Garrido in five words.
A: Sexy, Crazy, Blunt, Sarcastic, Nobel.

Q: Any set plans coming up as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes, but it's a secret.



Q: Are you looking for sponsors and how can they contact you?
A: mysterious-xill@comcast.net

Q: Again Barbie, I want to tahnk you for taking the time to do this.

Affording A Fighters Life by Lacey 'The Ladie" Schuckman





Affording a Fighters Life



Today I want to talk about a topic that never gets discussed, money. What does it cost to be a fighter (monetarily not emotionally)? You have your gym fees, gear to buy, nutrition, etc. and it all costs a lot! People don't realize that it takes not only hard work, determination, and great training to be an awesome fighter. It takes a good diet, you have to be an entertainer, and you have a normal day to day life to handle and somehow work into your schedule of being a fighter.

On the topic of diet, every fighter has some plan they use in order to make weight and do it properly. Being that most male and female fighters are cutting anywhere from 10-30lbs. per fight they have to have a nutritional plan that they can lose weight but still have energy and strength to train. This is were it gets expensive, you have to buy high quality produce, meat, and supplements. It takes a lot of willpower to diet in order to reach your ultimate goal of fighting and making weight at weigh ins, let alone when it costs an arm and a leg. Some fighters have nutritional sponsors that provide these things and also help them to reach there fitness and physique goals. As for the rest of us we have to find some way to afford it which isn't always easy!

Which brings me to my next expense and that is what I call the "Flash" expense. Sure you could go in the ring in your basketball shorts and plain Jane style and win fights but do you get noticed? Most fighters have to pay to look they way they do when they enter that cage. Whether it be hair dye, haircuts/styles, tanning, exuberant style gear, etc. it all costs money. the price of looking good, eh?

Then you have your daily life to think about as well, your mortgage, your power bill, your oil change, etc. we all have to pay these seemingly normal bills. As a fighter though it's tough sometimes to remove yourself from fight mind state to deal and handle everyday tasks such as these. Let alone to open up your check book and get them taken care of.

So on top of all this you still have to pay to train at your gym and to have gloves, gear, and a mouth guard to train in all on a fighters salary. Sure big name fighters have it all taken care of and live in there beautiful mansions, but what about the almost 80% of fighters that are just trying to get noticed and don't make those kinds of dollars? I know personally it is an everyday struggle to keep my head above water. When I decided that I was going to do this for a living my husband Randall and I sat down and said if I was going pro I was going to do it all the way. That meant to train twice a day, 6 days a week and only fight. Which meant not having time for any other type of job, which meant no cash flow other then from sponsors and fights. This gets tough at times! I love this sport and want nothing more then to be the best and the cost of life and living sometimes breaks my spirit. It is hard in this day and age to live a dream. You have people who think it's wrong of you not to have a job because everyone else in the world works, you have days you want to be lazy, and when your not fighting your broke 90% of the time. Plain and simple if your looking to get rich this probably isn't your direct pass. Some fighters have amazing careers and nothing to show for it, because let's face it not everyone can be the most famous fighter even if they have amazing talent. Sponsors are increasing and as the economy builds back they are spending more which is good news for the fighters, let's hope promoters follow. It's a tough road to the top but no matter how broke or starving I am, I love this sport and I wouldn't ever change a thing I've been through. It's a tough cycle of sacrifice, determination, and devotion but in the end when your hand gets raised there's not a thing that could make you not do it all again!



I would like to thank my sponsors Tussle Fight Gear, Primal Instinct Wear, and Carried Out Fight Gear!



Any other sponsorship inquires please visit:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lacey-Schuckman/123198597698715?ref=ts



http://www.facebook.com/theladielacey



http://www.myspace.com/theladielacey

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Erika Shingary Column

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit another gym with jason. I know that Jason touched on this subject in his blog, but I wanted to take the time to write about it as well. While we were talking the track duscussing out workouts, I noticed a man on the floor doing sits ups. I pointed him out to jason because this man is usually at my gym and constantly stares at me while I'm training. Well, it was hard for Jason to miss because he was doing the exact same thing as me this time. Now, I'm not jsut talking about someone glancing at you or maybe even looking a second too long. I'm talking about someone who completely stops what they are doing and stares so intensely that it feels like they are examining the insides of your soul!!

I agree with Jason and I understand that if you see an attractive person, you may give them a second look. But do you really ahve to stare in a way that makes them uncomfortable? Yes, we are proud of our bodies. That's why we are at the gym. BUt, this is a time that we are trying to get our training done. So please be considerate!!

Moving on, I want to tell you how it came about that I emt Jason. Sometime back I offered to workout with him. At that time he told me that he wanted to wait a little bit until he was in better shape. Then about 3 weeks later, he asked if I still wanted to. Of course I did! So through many messages back and forth we set up a day. jason kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to do it and he would understand if I would be embarrassed to be seen with an overweight guy. That amde me want to do it more. Why would I ever be embarrassed of someone who is working so hard and has such amazing goals set for themselves?

Jason is such a great person! He is probably one of the kindest people I have ever met. He is always talking about all the people that are an inspiration to him. Well, I want him and all of you to know what an inspiration he is to me! I think it is so awesome that despite a lot of negative commetns and even losing some friends because of his new goals, he keeps working hard and never gives up.

What a loss it would ahve been for me if I wouldn't have gone that day. Jason kept telling me what an honor it was for him to ahve me there. Well jason, what an honor it was for me!!!!

E

erikashingary@ymail.com

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Alicia GIfford Interview





She is small in height, but if height was measured by dedication, determination, hard work, and sacrifice, Alicia Gifford would be a giant. She was not satisfied with her placings in her early shows, took time off to make improvements and came back with a 1st place (and overall) and a 2nd place. Some would cry, complain, or maybe even give up, but Alicia went to work and made the improvements, and now the sky is the limit. She works, goes to school (working on her third degree) and still finds time to build an amazing physique. Alicia is not only someone for women to admire for her physique, but admire her for the woman she is. By the way, you do not have to be female to admire her. Alicia has everything it takes to go far in this industry, and when she does, don't say I didn't tell you.




Q: First Alicia, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you for taking an interest in my passion! Its definitely nice to see someone so supportive of the women who work so hard in this industry.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am originally from Maine, and I moved to Kentucky for school/cheerleading. I am very close with my mom, she's been through a lot in life and she's quite the inspiration! I love my mom and stepfather very much and they've always supported me through every competitive endeavor in life. I am really grateful for them.

Q: Before the gym, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: I have always been really athletic. I did gymnastics for 12 years, ran track through high school, skied since I could walk, and I cheered all through college. I am very proud to say that I have won 3 National championships with Morehead State University cheerleading and I was ranked number 1 in partner stunting in 2005. I have always enjoyed being active and I've recently dabbled in rock-climbing and I would love to get into it more.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I never really had to workout due to the muscle mass that I maintained from gymnastics and cheerleading, but after receiving my degree in exercise science, I decided to implement my knowledge and get into the gym to see where I could take my body. I began lifting my last year of college and after college I began working out at Lexington Athletic Club where I met a lot of great, supportive people who motivated me to be there.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I understand the mechanics of the body due to my background in school, sports, and my background in physical therapy, so it is easy for me to understand how to improve certain areas. I began to see results very quickly, especially when I implemented a proper diet into the equation. I had never really worried about what I ate, so when you integrate a proper amount of protein and the right types of fats, it makes it easy to put on size and to stay lean.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I began dating someone who was into bodybuilding, and with my physique, background, and desire to nurture my competitive side, it seems fitting for me to compete alongside him. He made it very easy and comfortable to workout, diet, and get on stage.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: My family didn't support it at all actually. They know how much I work, and they know my schedule with school, so their main concern was that I was burning myself out and pushing myself too hard. I also got the comments of, "Why would you want more muscle....you look great the way you are." Those statements are frustrating, but as people see me compete and transform, their negative attitudes have dissipated. My friends however, were all gym rats and fellow athletes so they were very supportive of my efforts.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you?
A: Not exactly! The first time I stepped on stage I was nervous, and felt awkward. I walked off stage and I said to my boyfriend at the time..."I don't like this, I don't want to do this again." But the next few times I stepped on stage for the night show, then the show I did a few weeks later, I began to love it and I became hooked. I was also very surprised by how supportive all of the girls are of each other backstage and how helpful everyone is. We are all competing against each other, and yet there is a type of camaraderie that I haven't seen anywhere else. This industry is so supportive and it's really uplifting.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Absolutely. I did my first show in March 2008, the Northern Kentucky Bodybuilding Show and I placed 5th. Then I competed at the Natural Northern Ohio in April 2008 and I placed 8th. I then realized that I was not happy with my placings and I took time off to make some adjustments. I came back in 2009 to compete at the Bluegrass Classic and placed 1st in my class and won the overall as well. I then competed at Kentucky Muscle and placed 2nd.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My abs are definitely one of my strongest areas. I don't really have to work them that much, they are just genetically very strong. I would have to also say glutes.

Q: DO you have a favorite part to train?
A: My favorites change, but usually it's the part I know needs the most work. I train legs twice a week and shoulders twice a week right now because I know they are my weak areas and I need to bring them up. I absolutely love leg day though....such a great feeling to walk out with jelly-legs!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal training routine is 6 days a week in the off season and I don't integrate any cardio because I have an exceptional metabolism so I stay really lean regardless. In the off season my diet is pure maintenance. I try to eat about 1200 calories a day and I throw in 3-5 cheat meals a week depending upon my schedule. I usually do about a 6-7 week contest prep and I maintain a 3 day on, 2 day off schedule, integrating three sessions of cardio a week.

Q: When someone sees or hears you train and compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Usually people say, "Wow you're so small though" because I am 4'10" and I weigh about 100 in the off season. People don't realize that under my clothes is a muscular physique. People are usually very impressed though with the determination and structure it takes to compete in general. I definitely hear more positive quotations than I do negative ones.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I would definitely have to say "..but you look great the way you are." People as a whole are very complacent with their appearance. They don't seem to understand that their body is theirs to do what they want with it. They can mold it, transform it, and take care of it in a way that keeps them healthy, brings up their overall appearance and allows them to be more confident as a person. Training and competing is a way of life, and a though process and can better every aspect of life through overall health and confidence.



Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Women who first start a training regimen are always afraid that they are going to get "too big". This misconception is illogical first of all and just plain silly secondly. Women are not built to get "big". It takes a certain level of training and diet to get that way, so if it's not what they want, then they simply don't train in that manner. Working out does not automatically mean "manly" and I wish that more women would understand this, and thus more women would subsequently workout without fear and with greater motivation.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: I would have to say two separate things.... the first being the diet. For me, I do well for the first few weeks and then my motivation begins to taper off. I have gotten a lot better with this over time, but it was very difficult for me at first. Secondly, the makeup, smell and inability to wash your hands!! It sounds silly but the day of the show, you wear a ton of stage makeup and that by the end of the day just feels like a mask., you can't put on deodorant so you smell terrible, and you cant wash your hands or you'll wash the tan off. It's quite the process and I'm huge on hygiene so this drives me insane!! The best feeling is getting into the shower the night after a show!

Q: Do you have any competitors you admire or are a fan of?
A: I am class A so I tend to be drawn to the pros that are shorter in stature. Thus, I follow Andrea Watson and Heather Mae French. All of the pros are certainly an inspiration though and I admire all of their hard work and physiques.

Q: DO you have a favorite cheat food?
A: When I end up cheating, I usually eat the same things. I am a cookie monster.... I love any and all and I crave them all the time. I also lean toward pizza, or a cheeseburger. I guess I'm pretty all-American with my food choices.

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: HAVE FUN! Seriously, too many women go into it thinking it's a job, or a goal to be reached. I say just take it one day at a time and have fun with your workouts. If/when you get bored or burnt out on a workout, try something new, read, get advice! Whatever it takes to have fun with it, do it.

Q: You are very beautiful. Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: If the opportunity presented itself I would absolutely seize it. It isn't necessarily my ultimate goal, but I would definitely enjoy doing it and it could definitely be an option!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Absolutely...I'm finishing up my third degree right now so that takes up a lot o time on top of my jobs, but in the little spare time I have, I love to pain (acrylics mostly), read, spend time with my gym girls, and catch up on the shows I DVR.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Alicia Gifford.
A: Oh gosh.... well on any given day I have to be in class by either 7am or 8:30am. Class last until either 3 or 4, then I hit the gym, then head to work on most days. That's basically it in a nutshell... not very exciting! Every so often I do something fun like get tea with my girls, or head to a movie but overall, it's all fairly monotonous!

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I'm only 4'10"! My pictures make me look taller and people never realize how little I am!

Q: Describe Alicia Gifford in five words.
A: Dedicated, Ambitious, Stubborn, Loyal, Honest.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes... I'm doing a show in Indiana in July, then following up with the Kentucky State show in August and ending my season with Jr. USA's in Houston. I hope to re-qualify for next year and possibly begin the necessary steps to possibly switch over to Fitness or to continue to better myself again for Figure.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I have a blogspot if anyone wants to read it lilbitty01. I have a Facebook page and a Myspace Page, feel free to add me! I am working on a website, but it isn't up and running yet, My blogger ID is gifford.alicia08@yahoo.com.


Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Alicia Gifford the athlete and competitor?
A: Absolutely. I am fully aware that a sponsorship is a reciprocal relationship in such that by receiving money and recognition from them, I would be responsible for being a positive representation of their product. I would greatly appreciate a sponsorship and am willing to take on the responsibility that would come with that. If anyone is interested, my email address is gifford.alicia08@yahoo.com.

Alicia, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: No, thank you for taking the time out to recognize the hard work that we put in! There are so many amazing women in this industry and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Competitors Edge by Vanessa Prebyl

A Weekly Blog BY Nationally Ranked Bikini Competitor Vanessa Prebyl

Hello to my readers!!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!! This week's blog will be devoted to building stronger and bigger shoulders.

I have currently implemented a shoulder workout into my weighted workouts so that I can build up my side and rear delts before my next show. I now have one day completely devoted to building my shoulders as well as two upper body days, which hit my shoulders as well.

First of all, remember that the shoulders are made up of three separate muscle which are: Front part of your shoulder (Anterior deltoid), the middle/top of your shoulder (medial deltoid), and the rear of your shoulder (posterior deltoid). With that being said, it is very important to isolate each of the three muscles to keep your muscle balance. However, if you do have a lagging shoulder muscle I would consider using Weider's priority principle and working that muscle in a particular more than once a week in order to obtain the proper balance in your shoulders.

I do a warm up set using light weight then I do 3 working sets and 1 burn-out set.

1. Warm up: Using light weight, I warm up all 3 muscles in the shoulders.
2. Because I am trying to build muscle, I am lifting as heavy as I can, without breaking my form, for 3 sets of 10-15 reps of the following movements:
A. Standing side lateral raises: This works the medial delt and adds to the width of the shoulder span which will add to your V-taper and add a nice cap to the shoulder.
B. Bent over side lateral raises: This movement will focus on the rear delt. Remember when doing this movement, tilt your hands as if you were pouring a glass of water with a pitcher. You should have your pinkies leading and your thumbs slightly lower than your pinkie.
C. Seated barbell press: This adds to the all over mass of the shoulder and will work the front of your shoulders if you lower the bar in front of your head instead of behind.
3. Upon finishing my last set, I work in a FST-7 style of training to finish off my shoulders and I pick bent over seated dumbell laterals. This type of training really fores more blood to the muscle and will exhaust the shoulder completely. I choose a rear delt exercise due to my OWN need to build my rear delt. You may choose any execersie you feel will be best for you.

Furthermore, when building muscle, focuse on the muscle you are trying to grow and really make sure you are feeling that muscle work. Squeeze that muscle and hold that squeeze briefly and as controlled as possible. I really like the burning feeling when I squeeze because I know my msucle is growing :-)

**Remember** only lift as heavy as you are able to with keeping proper form. Form is KEY for building muscles and warding off injury.

I hope this information helps you. If you have any questions please psot a comment to this blog or feel free to email me at vanessaprebyl2000@yahoomail.com.

Quote of the Week:

"The size of your success is measured by teh strength of your desire; the size of your deam; and how you handle dissapointment along the way."

- Robert Kiyosaki


Much love to all,
-Vanessa

Monday, May 24, 2010

Joy Randolph Clinkscale Interview






Joy Randolph Clinkscale has been competing since 2008. In a short time she has become a very respected competitor and coach. Her beauty, physique, and positive attitude make it no wonder she has become so respected and featured in print and ads, including Oxygen Magazine. She says her goal is to win her Pro card, and it would be crazy to doubt she will get that. Joy is one of those " I want it, so I am going to get it" type women, and she has so much time ahead of her to want and get so many things in this industry. If you are not familiar with Joy, get familiar, because you are going to be hearing a lot about her.



Q: First, Joy, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you for having me.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I was born in the country in Brewton, Alabama but moved to Montgomery, Alabama as a child. I grew up an only child but I do have one sister who is 16 years older than I am. I'm 29 years old and work full-time as a graphic designer.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was chubby growing up and did not get involved in sports until middle school. I actually started working out to the ESPN Fitness Pros at the age of 11 or 12 but did not participate in a team sport until 9th grade.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: Cheerleading. I made the high school cheerleading team, which was a very competitive squad. We were preparing for our first national championship and the coach required that we work out with weights 3 days per week minimum. The parents of one of the girls on the squad owned a local gym so membership was free for us.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Actually, my first experience in the gym caused me to be terrified of trainers. One of the trainers took us through a circuit-type workout and I became light-headed and blacked out. Maybe it's was dehydration but it was the scariest thing ever. Once I got over the fear of pushing myself, I would see changes in my body within a few weeks. I could definitely tell my strength and stamina were improving as well.

Q: Your first competition was the 2008 SNBF Georgia State. What made you decide to compete?
A: Well I grew up watching fitness (Fitness America Pageant) and always wanted to compete but didn't know if I had it in me to do. After I finished college, I gained a lot of weight and finally got back in the gym in 2007. I had to start slow. I started walking on the treadmill several days a week. That progressed to a light jog and then I became a regular in the hi-intensity aerobics classes. I lost about 10-15 pounds and people at the gym started noticing. One of the trainers suggested one day that I should consider competing in a division (that I had not heard of until then) called figure. He said competing would give me even more of an incentive to keep pushing myself in the gym and that I had the discipline to do it. Since it was a childhood fantasy of mine and I'd gotten advice from a professional to give it a try, I did.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: I don't know if my parents fully understood and they still quite don't. They are supportive but that doesn't stop them from making certain comments when the weight starts falling off. I would say that they are more accepting of it now because of the positive impact it has had on my life and others. As long as I'm healthy and being smart about what I do, they are on board.

Q: Was the first competition what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: I didn't know what to expect for the first competition, honestly. I was so nervous about being judged since I grew up with issues about my weight. The thing that surprised me was the camaraderie backstage. I've made friends from that first show that I still speak with to this day. I guess I was expecting to be somewhat "alone" but it wasn't that way at all.

Q: What did competing teach you about yourself?
A: Competing has taught me that I can do anything I set my will toward. It's a physical and mainly mental process with a lot of challenges in a lot of cases. While prepping for my second show, my dad went to the hospital and it was a really scary time for me and my family. I thought I was going to lose it with the stress of dieting and training. I stuck it out and ended up placing 2nd in my class. That is a time that I look back on and smile. By no means did I neglect my family during that time, but I also kept going to meet my goals.

Q: Did you know then, that it was something you wanted to continue?
A: Yes! I knew after I went to my first live show (prior to competing myself) that it was something I wanted to do for awhile. The journey is like none other.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Back - even though it needs more depth, it's wide so my V-taper is pretty nice.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love to train legs. I used to HATE leg day but I love it now. Especially lunges and the leg press machine.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Normally, I have low-fat milk with a multi-grain cereal for breakfast, a turkey or chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread, maybe a diet soda and fruit for snacks - things like that. My training is heavier when I'm not dieting because I have the energy and calories to move more weight. When I'm dieting, I don't do bread or dairy for the most part. Fruit gets reduced as well and at some point eliminated completely before I step on stage. When I'm training for a show, I do more cardio and eat a lower amount of calories than normal.

Q: When someone sees or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Well, from women, I would say negative because they always think of a bodybuilder. I have respect for female bodybuilders but, at least where I'm from, that doesn't appeal to a lot of women. Once I educate people on the requirements of figure, they are more open and accepting of 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: Comments about not wanting to compete because they don't want to "starve themselves." If they only knew...One of my problems is that I don't eat enough food so that comment is laughable.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women you train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: For women, I wish they understood that resistance training will not make you big, bulky or manly. It will totally reshape your body.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part of competing is competing! I love the final week of the show when I do my Pro Tan run-down, get mani/pedi and get to be glamorous. Seeing the finished package and being on stage is the best part because you know that your sacrifice has not been in vain.The worst part of competing is the fact that you have to be selfish with your time. I don't do anything other than work, gym, home, church and sleep when prepping for a show. I'm not as much of a hermit now but I'm still finding that balance.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: So many but some physiques that I just love are that of Erin Stern, Andrea Watson and Tanji Johnson. And even though she's retired now, I still admire Jenny Lynn.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Of course! I have a sweet tooth so anything chocolate. And 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: Start today and write out your goals. When women talk about wanting to change their bodies and say, "I'll start Monday," that's a red flag. That person is not as serious as they sound. When you really desire to make a change, you start immediately. Taking photos prior to training and every couple of weeks is something I also recommend. You will be amazed at the changes when you look back.

Q: Can you talk about Fitfully Made. What it is, where people can learn more about it.\?
A: Fitfully Made is a company I started last year and we offer a variety of online services such as nutritional coaching, online training and competition prep. I correspond with clients via email and phone. Each client takes a "before" photo and emails photos of themselves on a bi-weekly basis so that we can make tweaks to their meal plan/training if necessary. We just hosted our 1st Annual Figure, Fitness & Bikini Workshop recently and had about 20 girls there. I will be doing more hands-on things like that in the future. For more info, visit our website at www.fitfullymade.com or email me at joy@fitfullymade.com.

Q: You have also been featured in several other places. Where else might we have seen you?
A: I've been fortunate in my short, amateur career to have been featured in Oxygen Magazine's April 2009 issue ("Future of Fitness"), bodybuilding.com, figurecoach.com and I also can be seen in print ads for Nutrex Research for their Lipo 6 and Lipo 6 Hers fat burners. Before anyone asks, yes I really use them and they do work! I've been featured in some local publications as well.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I recently got married so I enjoy spending time with my husband Chris. We play board games (Scrabble is our favorite) and enjoy going to the movies. I also like to read and do graphic design.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Joy Randolph Clinkscale.
A: Well, as of 3 days ago, I became a dog owner so my life has consisted of walking the dog first thing in the morning, preparing for work, working, going home and working out with my husband, who is now my trainer. My life is normal and I'm cool with that even though my ultimate goal is to work from home so that I have more freedom with my time.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I'm outspoken but not in a bad, obnoxious way. If you ask me something expecting me to lie or sugar-coat, it's not going to happen. I like to be treated the same way - well not like to but I respect people who do that.

Q: Describe Joy Randolph Clinkscale in five words.
A: Motivated, Creative, Determined, Work-a-holic, Dreamer.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Well I am planning to compete this fall in October and am considering trying another federation and division. I'm really thinking things through before I make the final decision but I want to expand my horizons. Of course, I have my eye on receiving a pro card.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I just want to encourage women, no matter what age or size, to compete and make a change if you have the desire. I can't tell you how many women have emailed me who are almost ashamed to say they've always wanted to do it, because of their current physique. If you have a dream and a passion, go for it! I am all about helping women get out there and especially love working with first-timers. I love seeing people live their dreams so contact me at joy@fitfullymade.com.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Joy Randolph Clinkscale the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes, as an athlete and representative, I am very committed to what I do. When people ask about Lipo 6, I know exactly what I'm talking about and don't mumble through a lot of meaningless words. As a sponsored athlete, I would make it my duty to be knowledgeable about the products and always be mindful to represent the company in a professional manner. Any potential sponsor can contact me via email at joy@fitfullymade.com.

Q: Joy, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you for having me and thanks to everyone reading this. If I can do it, so can you!

IFBB Pro Vicki Nixon Interview





She has not been on stage in awhile, but to me, Vicki Nixon is still an elite level bodybuilder. A veteran of over 40 competitions Vicki won her IFBB Pro card at the 2004 Team Universe, and it was very well deserved. On a personal note, I have so much respect for Vicki. Ever meet or get to talk to a person you admired or looked up to, and they turned out to be a jerk. Well in my case, Vicki exceeded my expectations. I always found Vicki to be a beautiful woman with an amazing physique. I have gotten to learn she is also a very sweet woman, who has often given me words of encouragement in my own goals. Since I started doing this I have met or talked so hundreds of competitors, some were below what I expected them to be, but most have been amazing, and Vicki is at the top of that list. After you read this interview be sure to go to www.vickinixon.com and order her DVD which has been getting rave reviews.







Q: First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you for interviewing me Jason!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born in Memphis TN in 1960and have since moved MANY times and now live in NJ with my hubby who will retire from the police dept in Oct this yr and we will move to our Florida where we bought a beautiful condo 7 yrs ago..we are Very excited about that!! My mom and dad live in Hilton Head SC as well as my little sister and her family, I have a younger brother Jason who lives in Goldsboro NC so in Oct we will ALL be much closer to one another!

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: Before I became a Bodybuilder in 1985 I toyed with a few things in school, softball and some track...but for the most part I was very shy and didn't stick with anything long.I was always active and quite the tomboy...climbing trees and riding my mini bike and playing kickball ect with the boys:)

Q; What initially led you into the gym, and what made you decide to compete?
A: In 1984 I was not at a good place as far as feeling good about myself, so I turned to the gym for something to dig my teeth into, I saw a magazine that a guy at the gym showed me with Racheal Mclish on it and the rest is History! I fell in Love with the weights and the way it changed my body, it gave me so much energy and confidence!! I saw Instant results! SO I wanted to show it off and compete!! After less than one yr I was on stage...from there I competed on a off till I became very ill with liver disease, but even as sick as I was I still made my way to the gym and did my best to keep my body strong ect..3 yrs later I was in remission and back on the stage where I won my IFBB Pro card in 2004 at the NPC Team Universe in NY! I did every Pro show for each yr after until 2007 when I had to retire due to many injuries and "other" issues.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: My family and friends could not believe I was doing something that required so much time and discipline, but they sat back and watched me take off! Mom and Dad came to as many shows as they could as did my gym friends:)

Q: Was competing what you expected?
A: Competing was everything I expected and MUCH more! I had found confidence and happiness on stage...I couldn't get enough! The contest gave me more than physical attention, it gave me Mental strength as well in all aspects of my life.

Q: You have an extensive contest history, so instead of asking for the whole thing, any shows that are personal favorites?
One of my favorite shows out of the 40 something shows I did was the Team Universe...when I won my IFBB Pro card...it still seems so surreal! Then I went to Spain as the LW rep for the USA and what a memory that was!! Amazing! Every show holds a special place in my heart because I learned more and more about myself at each show and the friends I have met along the way are all very dear to me! MY IFBB Pro card still means as much to me now as it did the moment I was awarded with it back in 2004! It means I made it, that I did the Best I could at something I loved.

Q: What would you consider your best body part or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: I guess my shoulders and my abs.


Q: Do you have a favorite part to train?
A: Abs have always been one of my favorite parts to train:)

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like?
A: I eat well all yr round..I never go far off my contest weight...usually no more than 15lbs...IF that. I try and live the lifestyle.

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, whats the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I have always gotten Positive feedback from people when they see me and hear that I compete.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I think I get really sick of hearing people ask "How much do u lift..."lol! Because its NOT what u use..its how you use it:)


Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I want people to know that NOT all Bodybuilders use steroids!

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Best part of competing is the structure u have to have...and the worst part of competing is having to eat and cook all the time and take food with u every where u go!

Q: Do you have any favorite bodybuilders or any you admire?
A: There are many ladies I admire in the industry...especially the ones that STAY TRUE to themselves and work hard and don't take short cuts without giving it 200%.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Cheat food:) I love margaritas! I love ice cream...I LOVE Pizza! But I rarely eat any of it..even off season!

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: WORK HARD and give it everything in you...live the lifestyle in a healthy manner!! Stay true to yourself...if u want it bad enough..u can have it!

Q: You have a website. Can you give out the address.
A: www.vickinixon.com

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I Love to bake and run fire and rescue, I have been a FF/EMT since 1996 as a volunteer and wish I had MORE time to do so! I love the beach and hiking and all types of out door activities!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Vicki Nixon.
A: Up early to train for 2 hrs...cook, clean, train clients...walk the dogs several times a day..take care of my emails and FB friends:) I spend tons of time cooking because my hubby is a bodybuilder too, so between us we eat TONS of food! lol!

Q: Describe Vicki Nixon in five words.
A: Dedicated, Drive, Determined, Loving, Caring

Q: How would you like to be remembered as a bodybuilder?
A: All the above...I give everything I do 200%..heart and soul...

Q: Any plans for the near future?
A: Ah ha! BIG surprises coming!!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I would like people to know that I have a DVD documentary out and its awesome! I am the first female bodybuilder to put my story out there...all the good, bad and the ugly..well as much as we could pour into it in less than 2 hrs! Its for sale on my website in my STORE area...it has gotten TOP RATINGS and reviews as the best female bodybuilder dvd since Pumping Iron 2 The Women! I wanted people to see inside the person behind the body for a change...and I hope everyone will check it out and feel free to email me with your thoughts and comments!! SO many have said that" I inspired them to shot for their dreams because no matter what life throws your way, if u want something bad enough.. u can achieve it!



Q: Are you looking for sponsors?
A: ALWAYS looking for sponsors!! Because who knows..IF I had them I would be able to afford to compete again! lol!

Q: Vicki again I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you Jason so much for asking me to do this interview...its been awhile since I have done one and I hope I didn't bore anyone! lol! God bless and Take good care

Vicki Nixon IFBB PRO

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tisha Rodrigues Fight Journal




Hello hello... Ahhh summertime is just knocking at my door and I'm
right there waiting to answer it... I love the sunshine and the smell
of summer.. The beach sand, the salty ocean breeze, the flowers...I
thrive off the beautiful weather for sure. It's not exactly the most
pleasant conditions to train for a fight.. Although a great way to cut
weight!! ( haaaa)! My gym is one of the very first MMA schools in the
area. Far from fancy.. If your looking for a friendly receptionist at
the front desk to greet you and shiny lockers for all your gear.. You
are so in the wrong place!! We are old school.. We don't wear
headgear, our fight teams take place in a half ring half cage area..
Lol and our bags are usually bound up with layers of electrical tape
so they don't fall apart.. Yet, throughout it's birth, The Boneyard
has released it's share of vicious and skilled fighters! You don't
train.. And you don't fight!! I'm getting ready for my second Naga
Tournament this weekend, May 29 th in Springfield, Ma. It will be my
first time competing as a Blue Belt..( AWoohoo) and in Intermediate
division, but it's all good. I need the grappling experience and I'm
ready to get some action before my next fight.. Which was postponed
until August 13 th due to venue and comission issues. I'm still
looking for a sponsor to help me out with competition fees for Naga..
In return I'd be more than happy to promote you on my new website.. TfitnessPro.com
Coming to you sooooon..as well as on Facebook and wearing your logo
on my shorts for the grappling tourney as well as my upcoming fight in
New Hampshire for Combat Zone!! If you are interested please contact
me via facebOOk or at fighterchic33@aol.com!! Sooo.. Everything is
going well, just training, working pretty much everything evenly..
Paying more attention to the technical aspect of my game at this
point. Plenty of hard work ahead of me and excruciatingly hotttt
training days to go. I've really been looking into getting more solid
wrestling in as well, since that's what my ground game is most like
right now and I'm loving it. So hopefully, I can find time to squeeze
in at least a couple hours per week on top of my gi and no gi to get
that wrestling only time in as well. I'm going to visiting my Uncle
Bert Neves at Bert Neves Boxing to work on my boxing as he has been
training fighters for the past 20 years and is absolutely amazing in
addition to my Muay Thai, gi, no gi and Fight Teams at my own school..
Woah.. Tiring to even think about it!! Thankfully.. I have some
awesome sponsors already helping me out with my nutrition for this
fight as well, Jack 3d giving me that extra edge during tough workouts
and EXTEND everyday, ensuring my muscle growth and recovery! Thanks
Fight Soap www.fight-soap.com and Nutritional Edge and Runway in New
Bedford, MA.. Couldn't do all this alone!! So NAGA here I come..
Time to HULK SMASH.. And thank you FightCo for hooking me up with
killer fight shorts to compete in.. Much love!! In closing.. Thanks to
Jason Adams who gives all of us women in Mma and Fitness, Figure and
BB a place to promote ourselves and share our lives with everyone..
Best wishes in your own training!! We love ya..





Tisha Rodrigues

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kimberly Coronel Interview



Kimberly Coronel has an obvious love for training and fitness. Starting with her competing in Figure while in high school, then moving on to compete in Powerlifting, now to her newest journey, competing in Bodybuilding. From listening to Kimberly, you have to believe her level of success will be whatever level she wants. You can not question her desire, dedication, and hard work, so how could you question how far she can go? The answer is, you can't question it. Kimberly has helped women be a success with her Strong Girl Fitness, and she will continue to have success with that and her own competitions. Here is my interview with Kimberly Coronel.





Q: Can you start by telling a little about yourself.
A: I'm a Washington State native and moved to North Carolina in 2005.

Q: Before the gym, were you an specially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: I was always attracted to individual sports like cross country, track, and I tried cheerleading my freshman year of high school.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I watched a Fitness America performance on ESPN at age 17. I wanted to compete, although I had no gymnastics experience. However, there was also a physique round so I thought I could mold my body with weights. I hired my first personal trainer and did an NPC Fitness competition my junior year of high school. I was the youngest one on stage.

Q: Your main sport has been powerlifting. What go you involved in that?
A: I was training for Figure competitions and kept lifting heavier. A friend of mine suggested I try powerlifting so I decided to take the plunge.

Q: Any best lifts or accomplishments you can share?
A: October 2009 I deadlifted 307lbs and benched 180lbs for my personal records.

Q: Powerlifting is not what you would call your typical female sport. Did family and friends support you in the sport at first?
A: Who says its not a woman's sport? After a few laughing bouts they thought it was great. I continue to get teased about my superwoman strength.

Q: You are also planning to compete in bodybuilding soon. What made you decide to do that?
A: It is incredible how much muscle can be attained through this sport. Most people would look at the average powerlifter and think the were just large and bulky, however get them on a 12 week contest diet and they would blow a lot of other bodybuilders out of the water with muscle density. I am very confident in having enough muscle to climb the ranks. The difficult part is getting lean enough.


Q: For people who don't know, what are the differences in training for powerlifting and bodybuilding?
A: Powerlifting includes three lifts: squat, deadlift, and bench press. In a meet you have three attempts at each lift for one rep. You earn a total which equals the total amount of weight lifted. Bodybuilding competitions are judged on body in terms of muscle mass, leanness, symmetry, and presentation. Judges have a structured evaluation system, but, you never quite know what they are looking for to show.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you think is your best one?
A: Forearms.....just kidding! I love my chest and shoulders.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Incline presses and deadlifts with my special hook grip.

Q: Is bodybuilding something you plan to continue competing in or is this a case of just doing it once?
A: I want to earn my Pro card and continue to compete at a high level. I also want to help other competitors choreograph bodybuilding routines and train.

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the most common reaction?
A: "I wouldn't want to mess with you!" I laugh because I am a very gentle person. I only look mean. :-)

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Lifting more than 10lb weights will make you bulky. What makes women bulky is that extra layer of fat on top of the lean muscle.


Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: I love it all! Nothing gives me the satisfaction that this sport does, besides training my phenomenal clients and seeing them transform before my eyes.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I look up to my coach Chris "OX" Mason, a veteran powerlifter, who has been a driving force in my success. I am injury free and continually building strength. I admire the physiques of my friends David and Dawn Trantham who are both Pro's (bodybuilding and figure). They encompass muscularity and leanness as well as balance family and work.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Chicken strips and popcorn.

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: Don't be afraid to sweat, grunt, eat chicken for breakfast, and scare the boys in the gym!

Q: Can you talk about Strong Girl Fitness? What it is and where people can find out more?
A: Strong Girl Fitness came to me in a vision after a rather intense tire flipping session followed by an outer body experience due to exercise post oxygen consumption AKA EPOC :-). I felt thrashed, empowered and though, why can't all women be Strong Girl's! From that day on my clients although a mix of men and women, have all been trained to push their own personal limits. It is all about using physical power to stimulate emotional and mental strength.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I absolutely love traveling, going on road trips and visiting truck stops, eating exotic cuisine, writing my slow to finish book "Powerlifting Princess", spending quality time with my friends, family, and boyfriend.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Kimberly Coronel.
A: Wake up at 5:30am, coffee, train clients, office work, push the prowler, more clients, email, eat all day long, unwind, prepare food for the next day, sleep by 10pm.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I can make tasty, clean and unusual meals in 10 minutes.

Q: Describe Kimberly Coronel in five words.
A: Fit, Fierce, Feisty, Focused, and Female!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: My new website will be up and running in the next month (www.stronggirlfitness.com). You can find me on Facebook, Twitter (strongGirlFit) and www.femmefatalephysique.com as a Femme Fatale. Follow my blog as I chronicle my journey to compete in my bodybuilding show www.stronggirlfitness.blogspot.com.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, what are they getting in Kimberly Coronel the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes I am looking to represent an innovative sports nutrition company that promotes athletes. I feel that I can represent strength and femininity in a very approachable fashion. I'm not afraid to take risks and I always deliver.

Q: Kimberly, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Strong Girl Fitness, the best is yet to come! :-) Thanks Jason!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Brandi Akers Interview





She is beautiful. She has an amazing physique, highlighted by some of the best glutes in the sport. But Brandi Akers is also an intelligent, strong (not jsut physically), independent, confident, and determined woman. From a tough up-bringing and being on her own at 15, Brandi has persevered, and become a success. She started competing in Figure, but moved on to bodybuilding, which was obviously a good choice based on her finishing first at lightweight at the 2009 Excalibur. No doubt bigger things are coming to, both in bodybuilding, and her soon to launch website www.brandimae.com. Here is a chance to know a little more about an extraordinary woman and athlete, Brandi Akers.





Q: First, Brandi, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Not a problem at all, thank you for the consideration.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: A little about me; I am originally from Dallas, Texas currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am 28 years old, sort of a nerd as I love to read, love education and love to push myself analytically. I am highly ambitious, motivated and very tough (both inside and out)..I have been known to be sort of be cold hearted (or so I have been told). I am not shy by any means and absolutely love attention.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have always been athletic; as a child I played ever sport from softball to running track. Even as an adult I have trained in Muay Thai, boxing and obviously weight training. I still intend on taking up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu after this coming season.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: As I mentioned, I have always been athletic so going to a gym was nothing new to me, even as a young adult.


Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I have always had a muscular physique and it has always shown. Results have always come easy for me as I have always trained like a consistent machine.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Initially, I compete in figure shows for the simple fun of it because being fit and training was something I enjoyed so when a trainer of mine first suggested I compete, I was all for it and honestly don't regret it at all.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: I have a small family but my grandmother has always supported me in everything. I have had past relationships where the guy wasn't supportive or didn't understand the concept of the sport..needless to say those relationships didn't last. I don't need a buffed out bronco but I do need to be supported and not talked down to because I have goals outside of the house.

Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: Competing was what I expected in the beginning but what surprised me the most was how the girls went from being muscular in figure to slowly transitioning to a smaller and smaller physique; I have always been muscular and when I first started competing all the girls where muscular..I wasn't able to conform..I tried and didn't like it, hence why I decided to do bodybuilding.


Q: Can you share your contest history.
A:
*2009 - 1st LW FBB Excalibur
*2007 - 2nd Figure Lonestar
*2006 - 4th Figure Europa
*2005 - 8th Figure Ronnie Coleman Classic
*2004 - 10th Figure Ronnie Coleman Classic


Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I feel I have a few great body parts; I think my bicep peak is great and my butt definitely is an asset.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I honestly love to train my glutes; I love squatting, leg pressing and lunges.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Normally, I am consistent with cardio but when I am not training for a show I do love to do other athletics such as Mixed Martial Arts, dance and Yoga. I eat clean most of the time due to having a sensitive stomach. I can't have much sugar, dairy or heavy foods so this does help with off-season eating. I alter my diet by adding more calories and my protein intake; certainly I alter my training by implementing a consistent weight training regime.

Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I always get positive feedback but a few times I have been asked if I was a transexual (man dressing as a women) but nothing really offends me.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Honestly, nothing people say or ask bothers me to bad; I do get sick of people asking "So, you must work out, huh?" but then I figure perhaps they just want to chat with me and don't have much else to open with, so I smile and say yes...sometimes I flex a bicep or so!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I think there are major stereotypes regarding female bodybuilders (i.e. we all have huge clits, we all look like men, we are all so masculine, we are all crazy, we must all be insecure, etc.) I think some of us do love attention but some of us simply love to train and love the look and feeling of being muscular, hard and having balance of femininity and masculinity and that is OK. I think it is ironic that society is open to obesity (as that is normal) but yet stare at us as though we are from another planet because we are in shape and healthy....it honestly astounds and perplexes me that we are the weird ones because we are thick with muscle and not blubber!

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part for me is seeing my body change time and time again; I love the look of being thick and hard. I love being on stage and I love the admiration from people. The worst would be the consistency you have to have when training and doing cardio...it is one thing to want to do it but when you know you have to...it can get monotonous at times.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: This is going to sound bad but honestly no I don't. I mean I think all female bodybuilders look good but I am my favorite competitor and I admire myself the most; in my mind I am a freaking rock and super star! I came from a very harsh and hard up bringing and I have endured more in my 28 years than some do in multiple life times so just being able to do what I do today and having the perceptions on life that I do...I have no choice but to admire myself the most...I have been on my own since the young age of 15, I dropped out of school and now I am competing, starting a small business, have started a non-profit organization and within a year will have my Bachelor's degree in business.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: My favorite would have to be Pizza; something sweet would be cookies.

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 go for it but to mostly be patient with herself because changes don't happen overnight; to stay consistent and to permanently change bad eating habits.

Q: You have a website coming soon. Can you give the address and tell people what they will be able to find there?
A: Sure, www.brandimae.com
The site is going to incorporate me (obviously) but also my brand of what an erotic, muscle, fantasy really is. Many people have fantasies regarding hard, fit, athletic and or muscular women..I want people to really understand that a women can be very muscular, exotic, erotic and sexy as hell.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Again, I love reading, I love laughing and anything that will make me laugh; I love exploring anything that is unorthodoxed to society, I love dancing, I obviously love being around and spending time with the ones that I love, I LOVE MAKING MONEY, and I love helping others (philanthropy)..especially others (young children or women) who are struggling with poverty or obesity, I also love to sleep!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Brandi Akers?
A: Mornings usually consist of cardio, school and work; my evening consist of weight training, training any clients, and more work.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I play an instrument (Saxophone); it has been a few years and not sure if my lunges are up to par as they once where. I love drag queens!

Q: Describe Brandi Akers in five words.
A: Intelligent, Caring, Stubborn, Exotic, and Sexy

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: The launch of my site www.brandimae.com
Competing at the 2010 USA in Las Vegas

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: www.brandimae.com - should be launching in June 2010

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Brandi Akers the athlete and competitor?
A: I don't go on the hunt looking for sponsors as it seems many are looking to sponsor figure or bikini girls because they feel female bodybuilders aren't as marketable which is sort of a crock of crap when I get women all the time who tell me they would love to have my physique, arms, butt, etc., but as an athlete and a person I am great at sales, very sociable, have a brain between my ears, great with marketing, innovative and creative, outspoken, sociable, very down to earth and humble (no diva attitude where I think I am the best thing since sliced bread..that mentality makes me sick). Any one can contact me at my personal email: brandi@brandimae.com

Q: Brandi, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Again, thank you for the consideration and opportunity to complete the interview, I appreciate it.