Saturday, July 10, 2010
Becca Staggs Interview
Sometimes you can just look at a picture of someone and know from that one picture they can be a star. First time I saw Becca Staggs I knew she was someone who can go very very far in the fitness industry. She looks amazing, very beautiful, and combines that with being a kind and intelligent woman. She is one of those people I call a lock to have a Pro card, and sooner rather than later. Becca recently competed at Jr. Nationals, taking fourth place in a very very tough class of girls. I honestly heard more compliments about her from other competitors at the show than anyone. And considering the girls on stage that night, that is very impressive. I say this from time to time, but it may never be more appropriate then in the case of Becca, Becca Staggs is everything that I love and is right about the fitness industry. Here is your chance to know a little more about a future star in this industry.
Q: First, Becca, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: You're welcome.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Berrien Springs, MI, which is a small town near lake Michigan. I moved to Kalamzoo, MI for college, which was only an hour away from home. Not too close, not too far :) I have one brother who is a year younger than me.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I played soccer as a young kid, volleyball in middle school, and in High School I cheered and ran track. And yes, cheering IS a sport :D
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: My ex bought me a gym membership when I was 20. He was always there and wanted me to train with him, so I went. I wasn't thrilled at first but started to love the weights right way. The cardio...meh, not so much.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I picked up on lifting fairly easily, and I saw some results as far as strength and toning went...but nothing superb. My diet was WHACK!
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Actually the first time I tried to compete, I failed. I dropped out about 5 weeks into the diet because I had no clue what I was doing, and didn't have the necessary follow-through. The second attempt (5 years later) was successful. I had always admired the figure girls and wanted to be one.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: Yes, I would say most my friends were supportive even though they didn't really get it. Having never been around to observe it, it was strange to them and most of them thought it was crazy...but they still supported my endeavors. Of course, there are always a few sticks in the mud...
Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: It was exactly as I suspected!
Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2009 -Kalamazoo, MI: Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships: Figure. DNP
*2009 - Grand Rapids, MI: Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships: First place, Overall, most symmetrical
*2009 - Middletown, OH: Monster Mash Natural: Bikini, 2nd Place
*2010 - Chicago, IL; JR. Nationals: Bikini, Class D - 4th place
Q: Now you just did the Jr. Nationals. How did you feel about the show overall?
A: Oh gosh, it was a great show. I enjoyed it more than any show I have competed in. Backstage the girls were friendly, and the meetings and everything ran like clockwork (other than the power outage). Everything was streamlined, and there were no questions left unanswered. I thought the level of competitors was top notch too. Excellent show.
Q: Were you satisfied with the package you brought to the stage? Anything you felt needed improvements?
A: I was very satisfied with my physical appearance. I was, however, thrown off by there being carpet on the stage and had to make adjustments to my presentation/pivots...and my nerves got the best of me my first time out there, but the other times on stage it was fine...I am going to try not to let that happen again.
Q: Did the power outage and delay effect you at all?
A: It just made the show start later - and since bikini was dead last, this made for a very late night. I didn't even get on stage till about 10:30 I believe. It didn't affect me physically, since I did not have to cut water...but I know it affected some other gals.
Q: After it was over was it more " I am happy with how I did" or "OK, what do I need to do better to win next time"?
A: It was more happy. I was very happy to make top 5 because all of the girls in the first call outs looked great, and I knew someone wouldn't make the cut, I just wasn't sure who!
Q: I told you I heard more compliments about you than pretty much anyone. Is that a source of pride to hear things like that?
A: Well, pride is something that comes from within, so - no, not really. BUT, it is very nice to hear. I tried my best and whenever you try your best it does feel good when people take notice.
Q: Now about you. Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Legs/glutes are my favorite now. It used to be shoulders, I like lateral and front raises, and Arnold presses, but legs now. My legs used to be like string cheese, just straight up and down and I have brought them into shape over the last year and half - and actually enjoy training them.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: When not in contest prep, I lift 4 or 5 days a week; Arms, back, shoulders, legs, chest, (not in any particular order). I hate cardio so I try to do as little as I can get away with. Walking my dog is enough. LOL
When I am getting ready for a show, I still lift about the same, but I train bigger body parts like legs and back on my high carb days, or the day immediately after. I do cardio then but only because Tim makes me!
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: That depends on the person but I guess I'd say most of them just say something like "Oh neat." And that is that. I don't really bring it up. Usually someone will see a picture somewhere and that will start a conversation.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I do not like hearing from people "When can you eat real food again?". Like, OK, chicken and rice and broccoli are not real food?
Q: Do you feel Bikini competitors are getting more respect from others in the industry?
A: More respect as compared to...? Well, regardless the answer is no. A small percentage in the industry respect them. I think more people outside the industry respect the look and the sport of it, to be honest.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: The biggest misconception is that you must be manly to lift weights. It's got nothing to do with that. Also, many people seem to think it's a sport for people that are stuck on themselves. This hardly ever gets addressed. Why is OK to do well for yourself - say, make tons of money, and be fat and unhealthy...give it all up for $, but it's not OK to look awesome and bring your body into great shape and display it?
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Being the black sheep at social events outside of the gym-crowd, and having everyone scrutinize your food. I sit at my desk at work and eat, and every time someone walks by, they have some comment, even if they're trying to be funny. It's gotten old. LOL
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Absolutely!! There are many but my favorites bodies are Jaime Baird, Tianna Ta (she's gorgeous!) Cheryl Brown (love her physique) and Pauline Nordin, just for her strong sense of rule following and tell-it-like it is.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Si. Nachos with ALL the fixin's and a cold Oberon.
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: You cannot out train a bad diet. Get ready to give up the fun stuff. LOL
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I like to Rollerblade. LOL. No seriously.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Becca Staggs.
A: 5:00a - Wake up, small breakfast, get bags packed
5:30 -7:30 gym (lifting) and shower
7:45- 4:15 work
5:00 home, cardio,clean, cook meals if needed, shower
around 8:00pm, snuggle down and watch DVR'd shows with the hubs. Some would call it boring, but I love it.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I'm stronger than I look. Don't be deceived because I compete in the bikini division!
Q: Describe Becca Staggs in five words.
A: Friendly, Unorganized, Stubborn, Giving, Loving
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Team U baby!!! 2.5 weeks. I'm ready. Jr. Nats lit a fire in my belly!
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Yes! Tim and I are starting Staggs Fitness. I am studying for my CPT cert and we would like to help anyone that would like to improve their overall health and body. From soccer moms to bodybuilders, there is a plan for you. Our new site will be up and running soon but until then you can contact Timothy Staggs on Facebook.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Becca Staggs the athlete and competitor?
A: I am not avidly searching for sponsors, but if the right fit came along, it could be a sign. I would love to be sponsored. Competing can get expensive! I am a hard worker and willing to put in long days, and I can look good doin' it.
Q: Becca, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. And congrats again on Jr. Nats. You truly did look incredible. Any last words before you go?
A: Just wanted to say thank you for allowing myself and other women this outlet for self-promotion. I enjoy reading about fellow amateur competitors, and pros as well. Good job, Jason. Cheer loudly for me at Team U! I want to hear you all the way from Jersey!I also want to thank my husband SO MUCH for being my biggest supporter and guidng me through this process, making the adjustments I needed along the way. He has been my rock. I am very lucky to have him as my best friend AND coach.