Thursday, August 26, 2010

Karen Santoro Interview

Karen Santoro first competed on a dare from her friend. Well let's say thanks to her friend because Karen looks phenomenal. In her first competition, by the photos you can see she brought a phenomenal package, highlighted by her incredible abs. She plans to continue competing and I can't wait to see her continue to improve.

Q: First, Karen, 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 grew up in Los Angeles, specifically the San Fernando Valley – I am a true Valley Girl. I currently live in the San Diego area and just love it here. I am married with 2 kids and my dog Sparky. I graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a degree in Marketing and Management. I am a currently employed as the marketing and business development manager for a civil engineering firm.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was not what I would call “especially athletic” but was always pretty active. I swam in college and I’ve played tennis, tried golf, I am an avid skier and runner.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I've been going to the gym off and on for years. Last year I pulled a hamstring running, so I started swimming and doing more strength training. I like going to the gym because it offers a safe environment to workout in when I get home from work late..

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes, I picked up on the training pretty easily. I had personal trainers push me. I couldn’t have done it without them. With weight training you start to see results pretty quickly, I would say within a couple of months I started to see some good definition.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: My bodybuilder friend, Phil LeGault, kept encouraging me to do a Figure competition. I thought he was crazy and that there would be no way on earth that I could ever look like those girls. But Phil and others kept encouraging me and I kept training and dieting and about a month before the competition I said what the heck I’ll do it.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: Well, yes my family pretty much supported it. At first they thought it was kind of weird. I didn’t really tell a lot of people that I was going to compete because I wasn’t sure how it would be accepted.

Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: I was harder than I expected. I went to the Excalibur show in dec 2009 just to watch and get a feel for what the show would entail. I thought that there were just 4 easy poses – front, side, back, and side. But there is so much more to posing than just getting up there and doing quarter turns.
The thing that I was most fearful of was walking out on stage in 5inch heals and a bikini. Wasn’t sure I had the courage to do it. But everyone was so supportive.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: 2010 GNC Figure Championships in San Diego was my first competition. I am planning on competing the rest of 2010 and see how far I can push myself.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My brain and people tell me I have nice abs.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?.
A: I prefer upper body workouts as opposed to lower body. Lower body leaves me limping for days!

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: positive

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: How can I look like you. Some people don’t realize the commitment it takes to do a competition and are looking for the quick fix. They want to look competition ready in 3 weeks…. That just doesn’t happen.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: It a beautiful thing….not a freak show.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Best – the feeling of accomplishment. Worst – the diet

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Sherri Bales, Siene Silva, Grace Batista, just to mention a few. There are so many great looking and inspiring women out there.

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

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: Call my trainer – Ryan Corder (310) -895-0465, he’ll get you where you want to go!!

Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: Yes

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Entertaining, being with friends and family, the beach, running, skiing, shopping and traveling.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Karen Santoro.
A: Eating, cardio, working, lifting, sleeping.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I got into this as kind of a joke and a dare! My bodybuilder friend Phil LeGault, kept encouraging me to do a figure competition and dared me to enter one. So I did. Always up for a challenge! But Please don’t dare me to do anything too crazy.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Planning to compete again in fall of 2010

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Black Ops Human Performance. Contact Ryan Corder (310)895-0465.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors. If so how can they reach you?
A: Always. Cell Phone – (760) 845-3572. Facebook – Karen Santoro.
Email –

Q: Karen, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Train hard, eat clean and stay focused.

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