Thursday, July 1, 2010

Emily Saunders Interview

From time to time my association with a competitor allows me to find other competitors. That is what happened in the case of Emily Saunders, and I am so happy to have come across her. I only wish I had sooner. Emily is not only a beautiful woman but has a great physique and if you see her stage photos you can tell she has such a great stage presence. From one show to the next you can see great improvement, and that will for sure continue to happen. Emily Saunders is for sure someone to keep an eye on, as there is no limit to how far she can go.

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

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Thank you for interviewing me! I am the only child of two wonderful parents and am originally from Western Maryland right on the West Virginia border. I moved to Winston-Salem NC after high school to attend Wake Forest University where I met my husband Wiggy and we have decided to make it our home! We do not yet have any children, but have a dog Jasper and a cat Ellie.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have been involved in athletics all my life. I was a gymnast throughout my childhood then concentrated more on dance (I was in a dance company), cheerleading and track in high school. I was a Varsity Cheerleader at WFU as well.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: While in college I began taking spin classes and working out in the gym doing mostly cardio. I also completed lots of half marathons and was pretty competitive with that. I started doing some weight training classes and Metabolic Effect in 2006
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I definitely started to see results quickly. When I started training with heavy weights my body changed quickly. I always had the goal of putting on a little more muscle but was afraid of the heavy weights. I learned very quickly that I was doing it all wrong!

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I had considered competing for a while after it was suggested to me by my mentor and friend Jill Coleman but was hesitant because I didn't really know what it was all about. I met my trainer and dear friend Tara Ballard last March when she was training for her first competition. We had very similar backgrounds (with all the running) and body types and I was amazed at how quickly her body was changing in a positive way. With continued encouragement from Jill and Tara I started training early last August for my first Bikini Competition.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: My family and friends didn't really understand what it was all about. I'm not sure that my parents understand to this day, but nonetheless they are quite supportive. My husband is a wonderful supporter of anything I want to accomplish and is now training to compete in his first Fitness Model show in May! It's a very exciting time in our house.

Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: Competing was pretty much what I expected. I had great friends around me during my first show to really help me prepare so I knew what to expect. It was really nice to meet so many nice girls backstage and it's great to stay in touch between competitions.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2009 NPC Mid Atlantic- Charlotte NC - 4th Place Bikini,
*2009 NPC Elite - 2nd Place Bikini Class A,
*2010 NPC NC State 4th Place Bikini Class A
*2010 Fame Carolinas 1st place

Q: Do you feel Bikini competitors are becoming more accepted by other competitors? A: That's a tough question! I think Bikini still carries a bit of a stigma for whatever reason. Many people use Bikini as a starting point when getting into the Sport and I think that may be the reason. At the same time, I do think that most competitors realize that we train and diet just as hard as anyone!

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I like my shoulders and my back... everything else it depends on the day!

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I love to hate training legs/glutes. This is the area where I've worked the hardest and I'm proud of the progress I've made. As much as I hate it when I'm training, I love the way I feel when I'm finished!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I have always been lean and have a very efficient metabolism so I eat a clean diet and then two cheat meals per week. Several weeks out from competition I start a Paleo diet to get all of the water off my body. As far as workouts, my typical weight training week is as follows: Monday- Legs/Glutes with my trainer and abs , Tuesday- Shoulders, Chest, Triceps, Wednesday- Legs/Abs on my own, Thursday- Teach a Power Pump Class, Friday- Legs/Glutes with my trainer and abs, Saturday- Shoulders, Back, biceps, Sunday- Rest

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: Definitely more positive. I think some people are surprised though because I certainly don't look like the stereotypical bodybuilder and that is what most people expect. I really enjoy educating people on the truths of the industry and clearing up the many misconceptions.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I don't mind the questions. I get lots of questions about my diet... "are you allowed to eat xxxxxx?" It's kind of funny but a great opportunity to educate people!

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 everyone is huge or trying to get that way. Most women don't realize that lifting heavy weights is not going to make you huge.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: I love everything about competing except for having to wait backstage FOREVER. Although it does allow lots of girly bonding time with my fellow competitors.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Of course my two role models Jill Coleman and Tara Ballard and many many others!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Steak and Cheese and Frozen Yogurt

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: First I would congratulate her for making the decision and just tell her that even on the hardest days to be proud of what she's doing because the reward is in the process too, not just the end result!

Q: Do you get a lot of friends asking for diet tips?
A: Of course, I'm happy to offer suggestions, but unfortunately most people aren't ready to commit to the clean eating lifestyle.

Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: Absolutely! I really enjoy the taste of modeling that I've had and would love to get more involved.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love the outdoors, volunteering, reading, church activities, traveling, and personal training.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Emily Saunders.
5:00 AM- Wake up
5:30 Teach Fitness Class
6:30 Weight Training
8:30-5:30 Work as Recruiting Manager for an IT firm
6pm-7:30 Train PT clients
8:00-10:00 hang out with my husband/chores
10:00 bed

Q: Describe Emily Saunders in five words.
A: Dedicated, Reliable, Energetic, Loyal, Compassionate

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I will be competing in the FAME show in Greensboro NC on May 29th.(Emily has since done this show and did great) This will also be my husband's first show, so we're really excited about that!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I am a Metabolic Effect Certified Personal Trainer and always looking for new clients!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you?
A: Of course! I can be reached at I also love to connect with other bikini competitors!

Q: Emily, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you very much for interviewing me and for your dedication to Promoting Real Fit Women

1 comment:

  1. I love you Emily! You are so beautiful