I am very proud to have gotten some amazing women to do this roundtable idea of mine. I am starting it off with Fitness competitors. I wanted to get a few that were both great competitors and great representatives for the sport. I believe I have done that with Victoria Larvie, LeslieRae Newton, Danielle Delikat, Stacy Wright, Tracy Dawn Winters, and Debbie Fowler. Part one is word and name association and part two is questions some about the sport, and some just fun type questions. Each woman's answers are next to there initials so you will see them as VL (Victoria), LN (LesieRae), DD (Danielle), SW (Stacy), TW (Tracy), and DF (Debbie).
Part 1: Word/name association
1. Adela Garcia
LN: Enrique Inglesias
2. Tanji Johnson
VL: Next Ms. Olympia
3. Jen Hendershott
LN: Real and giving
4. Pro Card
VL: Most sought after
LN: It's just the beginning
SW: Hard work pays off
TW: Ya, I need one of those
VL: God and family
LN: Without it, you're left with nothing
SW: Achieving what everyone else thinks is impossible
TW: Look in the mirror at my butt :-)
LN: Competing can't be all fun
SW: Getting up early and watching tv on the bike
LN: What separates success from dreams
SW: Committed to what you love
VL: Ultimate win
DD: Las Vegas
SW: Jay Cutler and my trip with Lori to Vegas!
TW: Lots of muscles
VL: Cheat food
LN: Is this one in a different language?
TW: Whats that?? :-)
LN: What do they want today?
SW: A difficult job to do
LN: I may know what to do, but still want that objective opinion and outlook.
SW: Love training people who have a passion and commitment to achieving what others think they can't
TW: Tracy the Trainer!! aka ME
Part 2: Questions
1. Why Fitness?
VL: Being a gymnast and then a competitive cheerleader, the routine is what makes fitness a sport to me.
LN: Why not? It offers personality and there were too many people who told me I could never do it.
DD: I love to do a routine and be able to showcase my personality and perform for the audience, plus do the 2 piece round to show my physique as well.
SW: Love every bit of it. Love performing new and creative routines. Love the challenge of training for a physique show while also being able to pull off a 2 minute routine. It's challenging. And I love a good challenge! Not to mention, I've grown up being in cheerleading and gymnastics and on the jump rope team, so love putting on a show.
TW: Fitness is my first love. My passion for performing is what started me competing and will keep me there.
DF: Why not? It's the hardest discipline out there. I like a challenge.
2. On a scale of 1-10, if ten years ago women training as hard as men in the gym was a 0, what is it today?
LN: 5-6 Well it depends on where you are. Some of society is still at 0
DD: It is hard to say because 10 years ago I was not in the gym 5-6 days a week and now I am, so I am part of it first hand. I would have to say it is more accepted now with the introduction to more intense programs that have made it into the mainstream such as 'INSANITY' and 'P90X'. Now everyday people (females) are seeing it is ok to lift harder. I think that more women aren't afraid of weight training at the gym. Ok, back to the question, I would have to say if it was 0, then 4 today.
SW: I don't think women will ever be able to be compared to men in the gym. But I don't have a problem with that, I just chuckle when I see a guy lifting weight with terrible form, and I pick up some weight heavier than that and do the exercise with strict form. I don't need society to accept and approve of me as a Pro athlete. I do it for me, not them. Although I do hope in the mean time I give other women the drive that they, too, can get in the gym and make themselves healthier and more confident in achieving a body they desire to have.
TW: Definitely a 10!! At least in the bodybuilding world
3. What is the biggest misconception about Fitness competitors?
VL: That we are extremely strong and that we are confused with women's Bodybuilding.
LN: That "It's easy for us to do because we did that stuff when we were young" I didn't take a gymnastics/dance/anything class until I was 21.... it couldn't be less "natural" for me.
DD: I was at a show recently and a promoter was handing out flyer's for his show coming up in a month. I asked "Are you going to have Fitness?" His response was "Yep, we will have Figure! I replied "No, I said Fitness." He said "That's what I said, Figure.....Fitness... Same thing except you just go up there for 2 extra minutes!" I threw out the flyer. I though, "Yeah right, Figure, same thing..... PLUS an extra 2 hours of training a day!!" But don't get me wrong, I TOTALLY respect the Figure girls! I cross over to Figure every local show I do.....and those girls come in looking amazing! Of course, I don't come close to many of the physiques...The competition is crazy in Figure.
SW: The only misconception that comes to mind is that you have to be a gymnast to be a Fitness competitor. The NPC has dropped all mandatory moves (none of course involved gymnastics to being with). This opens the door to any and all performers of any kind. If you've got a little bit of rhythm, and want to do Fitness, there should be NOTHING standing in your way.
TW: I don't know!! I don't really listen to what people say if it's wrong.
DF: That you have to be a gymnast in order to do it.
4. How can we make it so the prize money is more even between men and women?
VL: That is a good question.
LN: Make the draw of it equal from a spectator aspect. The people who are spending the money on the products that are sold need to be the same people who are attending the women's competition. If GNC is making their money off the people buying Men's finals tickets, then the men's purse will always be bigger. If the spectators who come and see our competitions are the consumers of the sponsors products, it will be hard to even the playing field.
DD: I do not EVER see this happening. There are 2 men's divisions and 4 women's divisions, there will never be more money put (collectively) towards women's awards than men. The men are the ones, in my opinion. who drive the Bodybuilding industry. The women have little to no following outside the industry.....other than a handful of male fans. It is not accepted in the mainstream for a woman to have muscles to the extent of even some of the Figure women. It is also proven that a few of the major magazines (also show sponsors) sell more copies with male cover models, than women. That's just the reality of it. But do they really do it for the money though?
SW: I don't know that it will ever happen. While women do fill up half the seats... the men will always be the ones that people are in "AWE" of and will be able to promote supplement companies and such. It's a "man's game". The majority of the people in the gym are men. At least the ones who come year around and want to be like superman. So they would be more likely to want to see Jay Cutler than our Figure or Fitness champions.
TW: Ummm.... give the women more and the men less. Just a thought LOL
DF: I think we all need to cause a stink about it. It's completely unfair because we train just as hard....if not harder than the men!
5. My greatest achievement in the sport so far is?
VL: Winning my class at Jr. USA's then 4 weeks later winning my class at Jr. Nationals and turning Pro at 17 years old.
LN: Competing on the same stage with Adela
DD: Simply looking better each and every time I step on stage and the excitement of personal accomplishment and looking in the mirro and being happy with what I have created. Yep, that's it.
SW: Winning the Tall class and Overall Fitness Champion at the 2010 NPC Team universe. Winning my Pro card and a spot on Team USA for 2010 is such an honor! I'm truly speechless when I think about it! I never want to forget that feeling!
TW: Every competition is an achievement for me, but winning the Overall FIGURE and FITNESS at the Ronnie Coleman 2010 my be my favorite!!
DF: Getting my Pro card at the age of 44
6. Train alone or with a partner and why?
VL: Both. Cardio I like to do alone, I don't like a lot of chit chat. Strength training I do with a partner, it does help to motivate you to do more.
LN: Right now alone, no one on the same page as me in the gym.....yet :-) but before I moved last month, with a partner. It didn't matter how I felt that day, with my partner, it was always a good workout. He pushed me and didn't take excuses.
DD: Both. I only train alone because I don't have a training partner (haven't really met anyone compatible). I sued to train with a partner. I moved away. I miss her! It is great to have someone to hold you accountable during your workouts, pushing you to be your best ALL the time, and being able to offer him/her the same motivation. Sometimes you need to workout alone to clear the clutter in your mind and just have some hardcore 1 on 1 time with yourself.
SW: Train alone, with a spotter (AKA my husband) nearby. I like being able to set my own pace, being able to rest between sets... but still be able to push it. And with having Andrew close by, we can work together and spot each other as needed, but then we don't have to have the same training split or exercises. That way we both achieve and make progress where needed doing what works for us as individuals.
TW: ALONE!! Unless you can walk on your hands longer than me OR you can contort your body weirder than me :-)
DF: I like to train alone. I get in the zone and get it done with no distractions.
7. What is the most ridiculous comment or question you have heard from someone the first time they see your physique?
VL: "How much can you lift?"
LN: "Do you workout?"
DD: Of course, "Do you workout at the gym?" But I do understand sometimes that's the only way to approach someone and start a conversation when it is that obvious. LOL
SW: LOL, too many to name! We would be here all day with me telling stories :-)
TW: "Do you just run all the time?"
DF: People as my if I am a Bodybuilder. Please, have you seen me? I'm tiny.
8. My favorite part to train is? But my least favorite is?
VL: Favorite: Abs, Least favorite: Upper body
LN: Favorite: Legs, Least favorite: Biceps
DD: Favorite: Shoulders, Least favorite: Legs
SW: Favorite: Right now, as it is ever changing is legs. Least favorite: I never thought I would say it, Shoulders! I'm short one piece of equipment I need at my new gm so we bought a 2nd gym membership to expand our options.
TW: Favorite: Routine, Least favorite: Training myself to eat clean :-)
DF: Favorite: Shoulders are my favorite because I've made the most progress there. Least favorite: Legs are my least favorite because they need the most work.
9. Who is the most underrated Fitness competitor right now?
LN: Too many to choose one.
DD: I can't really answer this because there are soooo many strong competitors, each one has their uniqueness that make them great! I respect them all! :-)
SW: Lishia Dean. An amazing woman, friend, and competitor. She truly loves what she does and it shows! AWESOME performer.
TW: Oksana Grishana
DF: Myriam Capes, she is the total package. Simply amazing!
10. How can we get more women competing in Fitness?
VL: I think making the routine the main focus of the competition, with the swimsuit being secondary. We already have Figure and Bikini, what sets us apart as Fitness competitors is our routines. I also would like to see mandatories added back. It gives the judges something to base their scores on, where there are no requirements, then the judging becomes subjective to the person judging on that day.
LN: Not sure. It takes a special person, especially with society being so busy, it is just easier for competitors to prepare for one of the other categories than do all the training for physique and routine.
DD: I think we are doing it! The camaraderie that I have seen among the Fitness competitors and Fitness/Figure is contagious and will encourage other girls to try it. Especially now that there aren't any mandatory moves. The one thing that kills it, is that many local competitions don't have a Fitness division.... understandably because each division added costs the promoter money....and they're aren't any competitors in that division to support the cost (to the IFBB) then the promoter may lose money. A double edged sword. There are also other places that are especially for women's fitness like Woman's Tri-Fitness Challenges, which is growing steadily! The IFBB/NPC is a Bodybuilding organization.
SW: Just have to get women to try it just once. Once they perform the routine and feel that rush, they'll be hooked.
TW: Make all the stages spring floors!!! LOL :-) and make the routines/physiques 75/25% LOL
DF: I think we need to expose more women to it. I think college cheerleaders and gymnasts are an untapped resource. We need to get out there and talk it up.
11. The best thing about the sport is?
VL: I love everything about Fitness, but as I get older, I really like that it allows those of us that were gymnast, cheerleaders and dancers to continue their sport in a more adult arena.
LN: Feeling those lights and waiting for the music to cue and showing what the past 3 months have lead up to and then having people I don't even know appreciate the dedication to make it to that moment.
DD: The feelings I got after my first show, having accomplished something I never thought I could have.... and now I can conquer anything.
SW: The sisterhood among Fitness competitors! There is nothing like sitting backstage at a show and everyone catching up with each other. I love those girls! With the black out at Jr. Nationals this year, you would think we would all be stressed about the show. Instead, all the fitness girls were lying around on the floor like we were having a slumber party or something!
TW: Performing on stage
DF: The lifelong friends I've made.
12. In the movie of my life __ would play me?
VL: Hayden Panatierre
LN: Awe man, I would love for it to be Angelina Jolie, but I think I am going to have to get more bad ass! LOL
DD: Drew Barrymore
SW: I asked my husband this question and he said Pamela Anderson after she took a year to build some muscle LOL! So I asked for his second choice.
TW: I would play myself...there's no one in the world that looks or acts like me :-)
DF: It has to be a hot 40 something actress so I'll go with Jennifer Aniston.
13. In five years I will be?
VL: Hopefully competing on the Olympia stage.
LN: A competing attorney.
DD: WOW I have NO IDEA! I would like to be helping everyday people take control of their life by taking control of their choices they make for themselves and their body...which I believe carries into everything else in a persons life!
SW: Doing what I have been doing the past 5 years. Loving this life and sharing every experience and journey with Andrew while working on improving my physique and routine. Hopefully making an impact on the industry and helping others achieve their goals.
TW: Performing in Cirque De Soleil.
DF: Ecstatic, two of my kids will be in college (Away from home). One more to go!
14. If I could trade body parts with another competitor, I would want the __ of __?
VL: Waist of Nicole Wilkens Lee or Jessica Paxson Putnam.
LN: Waist and legs of Monica Brant.
DD: Shoulders/Arms of Tracey Greenwood
SW: Abs of Ava Cowan or Monica Brant
TW: Body of Oksana Grishana
DF: Ass of Heather Grace
15. My dream sponsor would be?
VL: There are so many great companies, but I think the Ultimate would be to be a Weider athlete.
DD: I don't know. I used several products regularly. I would love to be sponsored by any of them...of course one that I have strong feelings about the product and it's beneifts. I would want to be able to impact people poistively, possibly have a regular column, not just be a face in an ad.
SW: I am now sponsored by LaBrada Nutrition. I am honored to represent a reputable company who's product and company present themselves in a positive light.
TW: Anyone that will sponsor me....I'm not picky :-)
16. Favorite Movie?
VL: The Notebook
DD: Impossible to say, sorry, I've seen too many!
TW: The Sweetest Thing
DF: Fast Times at Ridgemont High. (really showing my age there but I watch it all the time)
17. These songs must be on my IPod?
VL: Can't Be Tamed, Red High Heels, Bottoms Up, California Girls, Undo, Only Prettier, and Baby Got Back.
LN: Air Force Ones, Any mix by Deejay Reps
SW: Alice In Chains "Man In The Box", and Eminem "Lose YOurself" are musts. Then add some Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and lots of hip hop and I'm set to go.
TW: These artists are a MUST. Beyonce, Laday Gaga, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Eminem, and Alicia Keyes
DF: Devo "Whip It", Oingo Boingo "We Close Our Eyes", Outkast "Land of 1000 Drums", The Go-Go's "Our Lips Are Sealed", Marilyn manson "Dope Show"
18. If there is ever a Fitness Competitors Hall of Fame, the first inductee should be?
VL: Carol Semple. She was awesome, some of the moves she did when she was competing still aren't done today.
LN: Susie Curry
DD: Mia Finnegan, Carol Semple, Susie Curry, Adela Garcia, Jen Hendershott
SW: It would have to be Jen Hendershott
TW: ME!!! Just kidding! MIA FINNEGAN!! The first Ms. Fitness Olympia
DF: Susie Curry
19. If I could spend one day training with someone, it would be?
VL: Adela Garcia, Tanji Johnson, and Carol Semple.
LN: Jen Hendershott
DD: Erin Riley
SW: Jay Cutler. After watching so many of his DVD's during my cardio sessions it would be an honor. Not necessarily to train with him. Just to see in person, a day in the life.
TW: Oksana Grishana..... her routines amaze me. I would MAKE her teach me everything she knows. :-)
DF: Adela of course
20. Anything you want to plug or promote?
DD: Alaska Muscle, www.npcmidnightsun.com, www.musculardevelopment.com, Kai Greene Redemption video by Mike Pulcinella.
SW: Check out my website stacywright.net
TW: Yes! My personal website www.tracydawnfit.com
DF: Please check out Adela's OFF Challenge team at offchalenge.com. It's a great bunch of ladies. And of course you Jason, what you do for us is incredible. Thanks so much!