Thursday, August 12, 2010

Paula Wood Interview

I was sent to Paula Wood through my friend Belinda Hope. Belinda described Paula with so many compliments. SO I had to find her, and Belinda was right, but Paula was even better than I expected. She is beautiful with an incredible physique. In finding out more, I can see she works with Belinda because she is an extensions of Belinda. Paula has an obvious determination and passion for training. Her love for what she does just comes out in reading her words. And to see her on stage you can see the result of that hard work and determination. Paula Wood is someone to keep your eyes on.

Q: First, Paula, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: You are welcome Jason

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I was born and raised in Brazil. I am a very “family girl” – love my family more than anything else.
I have the best parents ever, 2 beautiful sisters and 2 adorable nieces and 1 nephew.
I have my degree in Communications and I used to work as an Account Manager for Pharmaceutical Company in Brazil.
In 2002 I decided to move to England to study there for a year then I moved back to Brazil and got my MBA in Marketing.
In 2005 I got a job in a company in my home town and met my husband. He is American but was working there for a year, so after 1 year I moved to USA with him, in May 2006. We got married in August 2006. He is my biggest fan and my biggest support. Helps me to work out, cooks my food, he creates new recipes and new movements for my work out – so he is 100% involved with the sport as well.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I used to be a skate boarder when I was teenager then I started to work out at the gym when I was 18 years old and never stopped. Just love working out.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I was very skinny girl. I wanted to build some muscle and put some size and of course, be fit.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: It was easy. I loved since the first machine that I used. I started to see results on the first 6 months.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I hired a personal trainer (Belinda Hope) and she said since the beginning that I had the physique to be a Figure athlete. At the beginning I didn’t agree, but she never gave up. Until the day I decided to go and watch the first show “Tampa Bay Classic 2008” and I absolutely loved it!!! So coming back to the gym on Monday I met with Belinda and told her that finally I made my decision to get ready for my first show.
So a year later I won 2 first places on the “Tampa Bay Classic 2009”.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: At the begging no.
It was not easy for my friends and family to understand and to respect all the changes in my life and body. I stopped going to happy hours, stopped drinking and having lunch with my friends, so the fact that I didn’t have much of a social life was not very well accepted by my friends.
My family was afraid that I would be too muscular. But now, after competing for 1 and a half years my friends and family respect me as an athlete and they ask me for advises on how to work out, how to eat clean, etc.

Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: It is better than my expectations!
What surprised me was that I didn’t know I had such a discipline and determination. I found a better “Paula” since when I started competing.
And another thing that I did not expect is to be able to meet so many good friends. The industry has a lot of incredible people.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I have been competing for 1 and half years and so far I competed in 9 shows:
*Hurricane Bay/ 2008
*St. Augustine/ 2008
*Europa/ 2009
*Tampa Bay Classic/ 2009 – First place 30 and over and First place open short class
*All South BB, Fitness & Figure/ 2009
*Europa/ 2010
*Tampa Bay Classic/ 2010 – Second Place 30 and over and Third place open short class
*Southern State/ 2010 – Third Place class B (qualified for the Nationals)

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I really like my abs – I can build my 6 packs and it shows how fit I am. I get so many complements on my abs.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I really like working out my shoulders, it is my favorite day at the gym – love doing shoulders press and side raises.
Also like to work out my biceps and back.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I try to maintain my weight even off season – normally I put 5 or 6 lbs. only.
I like to divide my work out in 3 different groups:
*Shoulders and Chest
*Back, Biceps and Triceps
I use the same work out off and in season. I do weights 6 days a week
Cardio I do 45 minutes of high intensity after my work out with weights. In season I add 45 minutes in the morning and try to switch my cardio between agility, sprints, running on the sand and stairs master at the gym.
I always eat clean – in and off season.In season I increase the quantity of protein and decrease carbs. I eat 6-7 meals a day.

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: When people find out that I compete they ask me for tips either for diet or work out.
I always explain that to be a figure athlete you have to have 100% of dedication and work on your physique 24 hours per day. It is not only one specific exercise or it is not only eat eggs white for breakfast that will change your body and sometimes people do not understand it, and how much effort you have to put on it in order to build your physique.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I hear a lot of: "I want to have your physique" or "what should I do to have your physique."

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That we work really, really hard in order to succeed. We put a lot of effort and dedication. And specially “it is a sport” and we are athletes, we are not cute girls who just like to go to the stage wearing swimming suit.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Best part is to be able to see all the changes on your physique, the result of your hard work and to build a better physique always.
The worst is the cravings for food and the lack of time – since I work full time and competing is also full time dedication.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I think all of them. Doesn’t matter the age, the nationality, the level – I believe we are all strong women who love the sport and we put so much dedication on it. So this is the reason that I admire each one of them.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Right now for example I am off season since last Saturday and I have been eating fruits since them…I love fruits!!!
And of course a slice of cheese cake right after my show.

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: Diet is 80% of the results – so you need to learn how to eat clean.
And it is baby steps, so keep focus and you will see results.

Q: Do you think it is becoming more common to see women in the gym working as hard as men?
A: I like to lift heavy weight, and I can tell I am a strong girl – so sometimes people just watch me working out and they may think that girls shouldn’t work out like a man. But I believe that if you have a goal the only way to achieve it is to go heavy.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love photography and I am planning to be back to school and get my degree in photography
Love traveling!
Beach, sun, ocean…love it!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Paula Wood.
A: In season:
I get up at 5:30am and do my first cardio session, take a shower at the gym and go straight to work – I work full time as a Project Manager for BIC Graphic USA leave work at 4:00pm and go straight to the gym and work out for approx 2:30 then go home, shower, and cook my food for the next day. Go to bed about 10:00pm.
I eat 7 meals per day, so I am always eating at my desk at work, or stop my work out to eat my meals
I am a very activity person and like to be busy.
Off season:
The only difference is that I do not do my first cardio, other than that my routine is the same.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I like GUINNESS…ha ha…people can not believe I like it. But do not drink in season.
And that Brazilian people do not speak Spanish…we speak Portuguese.

Q: Describe Paula Wood in five words.
A: Disciplined, Organized, Determined, Cute, Funny

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Now that I qualified for National level I want to stick with it. So first I need to get my American citizenship then I will compete for nationals in 6 months.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Like I said before, one of my hobbies is photography…love to be behind the lenses – but I learned something about myself that I love to be on the other side as well. I did some photo shoots for Camp Muscle web site and I absolutely loved it so I found out that I would love to do fitness modeling as well.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Paula Wood the athlete and competitor?
A: It would be great! I believe it is what all the elite athletes are looking for, to get sponsors.
I am a very determined person, and when I want something I will do my best to get it. Right now my goal is to go to National and do my best, and I believe I will do because I am always trying my best to improve my physique and to learn more about the sport.

Q: Paula, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: You are welcome, my pleasure.
I really appreciate your support for the sport – it is really important to divulge the sport and give the chance to other people to understand better the beauty of it.


  1. Your abs are phenomenal!!!! Such an inspiration!

  2. you are such a beautiful woman Paula inside and out and I am so lucky that I got a chance to train you and also become great friends with you!

  3. Congratulations my siter, I so very happy, because you are beautiful, frindely, your body is perfect. Kisses, Tata Pi

  4. Very nice interview! (Ditto to what Patricia said about your abs!)

  5. Paula is a wondeful friend, a special person...she is very confident and she believes she is able, and even better, she fghts for what she wants.I love you.