Wednesday, October 6, 2010
IFBB Pro Kat Ramirez Interview
This is easily one of the interviews I am most excited to post. When I first started this, Kat Ramirez was one of the people I really became interested in quickly. I thought her physique was simply outstanding. Then several people kept saying things like "You should try and interview Kat Ramirez" quite often. I soon realized, that in an industry where you are bound to hear something negative about everyone by at least one person, there was seriously no one who ever said anything even close to negative about Kat. The only question is what is more inspiring, her journey that led her to the gym and to competing, all the way to her Pro card, or the woman she has become since then? So for all you people who kept saying to interview her, here it is, and I am HONORED to be able to present it.
Q: First, Kat, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you Jason for giving me the opportunity
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was Born in the Dominican Republic, in the capital of Santo Domingo and was raised in a very dangerous neighborhood called Los minas, (The Mines). I descend from a very strict family. Even to talk, you had to raise your hand and wait till you were given the ok to speak.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Yes I was. Although I wasn't raised by my mother, she lived in curacao and worked her butt off to give me everything I needed. I was in the swimming team and gymnastic team from the only big sports venue we had in DR, Estadio Olimpico de Santo Domingo. Through junior high to high school, I played all sports, from handball, softball, volleyball etc. I was pretty much a very active kid
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: Well, it all started with having to grow up pretty fast, getting married at the age of 16, and getting divorce once I realized I wasn't happy. It was a painful process, but I was tired of feeling sorry for myself, and decided to turn my sadness into empowerment. That's when days started looking brighter again.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I would say yes, just because of how I was brought up. In the states, I can tell you that we are spoiled compared to how it is back in DR. From a young age we had to hold our own.. water was scarce and many other living essentials likewise. from a young age I had to carry gallons of water for miles along with siblings, and as I got older the tasks got even more challenging. So I applied what I learned as a kid into my training; baby steps is always a functional way to start anything. Although I saw changes in my body(tightness, more muscle size), I didn't see any difference in weight. That's because my diet regime didn't make sense at all.. lol.. My breakfast of champions to me was, fried eggs, salami and cheese, with a nice portion of mashed plantains, and a glass of cold milk.. what? I am Dominican, what do you expect? lol
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I grew up in an unhealthy environment, both emotionally,verbally and physically; while other kids played, I was forced to do errands while everyone in the house made the mess. Not having my mother around, I was brought up like a stepchild, and like a stepchild I was raised. I was always taught and told I would NEVER be anything more then just a lost child. All those memories haunted me as I grew up, I believed it so much, that it caused me to be around people that would treat me the same way; sort of like a masochist. But it all came to an end when I walked away from my family and my unhealthy relationship; I knew I had a purpose in life, and it didn't involve people trying to hurt me.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: Not really, at this point is more of an acceptance of the fact. I had a couple of big arguments, and not so great turnouts. It has gotten a little better because I try not to be around while I'm prepping lol. As far as friends, I can't recall having "close friends" until I got into the sport. I am blessed to have attracted some great people into my life from competing that I hold dear to my heart, and will do anything for them bc of all the support they have given me throughout my journey ;-).
Q: You won your Pro card at the 2009 Team Universe. What did winning that Pro card mean to you personally?
A: It was the greatest accomplishment in my entire life. I cried backstage, and as I closed my eyes, all my life bad experiences played themselves like lighting; hearing voices of people putting me down, and telling me I wasn't good for anything. I opened my eyes and realized how much I have had achieved just by believing in myself. The greatest feeling was knowing those people were aware of my achievements. It was like giving them a slap on the face without even touching them. I was even happier to know my little sister and aunt were there to share that moment with me along with my support system, my friends.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
* 2007 - INBF MHP Best body championships - 4th [lace both novice and Open
* 2008 - New York Metropolitan Figure Championships - 1st in Class and Overall Winner
* 2008 - Eastern USA Championships - 1st in Class and Overall Winner
* 2009 - North American Championships - 1st in Class E
* 2009 - Team Universe - 1st in Class D (Awarded Pro Card)
* 2010 - New York Pro Figure - 16th Place
* 2010 - Jacksonville Pro Figure - 7th Place
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I would say my arms. Thanks to the gallons of water I carried as a young kid lol.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love training shoulders. I try keeping it simple, just focusing on negatives. shoulder presses with a combo of Arnold presses are my favorite
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I don't have a normal day, so I can't rely on normal routines. I tried to keep my w.o's simple but challenging by adding different theories of training,(hi rep, low weights, superset, drop set, negatives, and failures.) It all depends how my day at work is. The same applies for contest prep. The only normal routine will be my cardio; no matter how the days is, I must make sure the cardio gets in.
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: I must say that at the beginning I would always get a negative reaction from people, but as time goes by, people stop me to compliment me and ask for advice. I love taking the time to talk to people that want to better themselves.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: LOL "omg you braulick.. How much you bench press?" lol
Q: What is the one thing you wish people understood?
A: There are many, but one that really frustrates me when people ask why do I have to eat 5 or 6 times a day rather then one big meal to keep you full all day. It just so hard to explain to people how the human body responds when you choose one over the other; I feel like a kindergarten teacher at times.
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part of competing for me is getting to hangout with good people I have met throughout the years, and meeting new ones. The worse part is if you don't be careful with your post comp eating, it can be a very uncomfortable experience of "rebound", which can even cause what we call "post comp depression". I've been there, and I know its not a pretty place to be in.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: While doing my research for my new comp, I got very familiar with oxygen magazine. Monica Brandt, and the late Amanda Savell(may God have her in his paradise) were my ultimate favorites and inspiration.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: My favorite cheat would be sushi and peanut butter. I know, I am weird. lol
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: One thing I always tell someone that comes to me, and most likely frustrated because they have tried"everything" out there is, "remember God didn't build the world in one day, you have to be consistent, have a balance, and take baby steps with food, and training. Drastic changes tend to follow with drastic matters, so take things one day at at time."
Q: DO you think it s becoming more common to see women in the gym training and lifting as hard as men?
A: Yes, and I am happy to see that. Women are becoming more aware of how lifting can benefit their well being.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love baking, and getting creative in the kitchen. I enjoy sight seeing around the city.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Kat Ramirez.
A: lol, I laugh at this question every time I get asked.. Ok here we go,
I wake up around 445am, get my coffee going, and get ready for the gym. I leave the house around 530-6am to catch a bus to the train. It takes me an hour and 20 minutes to get to the gym from home(which is a 10 min walk from work). Get my am cardio in, get ready to be at work by 9-930am. My days at work are pretty unexpected, I might get out at 5pm, or at times at 7pm.. Then head back to the gym, get m training going, and rest of cardio, shower, and head back home. At times, it would take me 2 hours to get home bc transit pretty much sucks here in NY lol. Most likely I end up in bed by 12am to do it all over again the next day. I try cooking my proteins every 3 days, measure them, and freeze them. I try to manage my time wisely.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I wouldn't choose surprised as the right word, more like shocked. lol
People I know now tell me that before they knew me I was intimidating or gave the "stuck up" impression, and how shocked they were to be wrong. I consider myself a well rounded person, and I love analyzing people; from their gestures, body language, to how they speak. I like to be the "quiet" one and just observe to see what kind of vibe I get from people. I also try to have my guard up for the simple fact that my gestures at times can be taken in the wrong way, specially by men.
Q: Describe Kat Ramirez in five words.
A: Hard worker, caring, inspiring, achiever,loyal, honest, lovable, fun... oh wait you said 5.. dammit...lol
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: After Jacksonville pro, I had my eyes set into another comp for the year, but we all know that competing is a very expensive sport. I love competing, and love prepping for shows, but financially this is not the time to go wild for the sake of it. I know when I have reached my limits, so for now, I will focus on other priorities, and build a game plan for 2011.
Q: Kat , again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: I thank you for giving me the opportunity to share part of my life with others. Everyone has a story to tell, I just hope mine touches people in a very positive way, thus helping them to never give up when all just seems to be going downhill.