Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chantel DeBoer Interview

An athlete growing up, it would seem competing in Figure was just a natural progression for Chantel DeBoer. But there is more to it than that. Chantel lost 46 pounds to get on stage, and she not only got on stage, she looked amazing. She says she has a "competitive nature". Well with that nature, her dedication, and her hard work, I expect to see a lot of big things in Chantel's future.

Q: First, Chantel, 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 was born and raised in Ontario, but am now living out in Edmonton, Alberta. I have a degree in Criminology and a diploma in Police Foundations. I spent my summers as a forest firefighter to pay for my schooling.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was always athletic growing up. In high school, I was a competitive soccer player and swimmer. During college, I got more involved in the gym and started to do weight lifting competitions. I put that aside for a bit and focused on my swimming career. I swam for Carleton University in Ottawa and did the odd triathlon for fun. I became serious in figure competitions when I moved out to Alberta. I lost 46lbs to stand on stage for the first time in October of 2009 and became quickly addicted to the sport.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I always believed the weight training was beneficial to me in any sport I trained for. Eventually, the gym became my second home and my stress relief. I loved it so much, I obtained my Personal Trainer Certification, for my own knowledge base.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I had a false belief in some of my training methods. My first figure trainer, Brandi, taught me most of what I know today. I changed my thinking and changed my eating habits and that's when I started to really see results. Anything noticeable happened in the first 3 months and the excitement grew making me challenge myself further.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: It started out of my competitive nature. I knew that if I said I would compete, I would. I also knew that if I was going to stand on stage, I would be so dedicated to obtain the toned, muscular body I had wanted for so many years. I was sick of yo-yo dieting and not seeing any results. If I said, I would do and I did.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes, my family is very supportive in everything I do. At first, many of my friends didn't understand the dedication it takes. It definitely affects your social life when you are on a diet and training sometimes up to 3 hours a day. Now, everyone in my life knows this is what I do and are very supportive when working in a social life that includes me.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: There was tons of surprises along the way. I learned so much about my body, that I never thought could or would affect it. I was surprised to see how big the industry is and how strong minded many of the athletes are around me.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: In October of 2009, I placed 3rd at my first competition with the IDFA and in July of 2010, I placed 5th with the WBFF. I have big plans for 2011. You will see me on stage making a bigger name for myself!

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I absolutely love training shoulders. I never have a bad training day with shoulders.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: On offseason, I keep track of my calories and make sure I eat lean all year round. I have more variety in foods in offseason, but when I change to contest prep I usually like to eat the same diet everyday. As I get closer to competition day, my calories are adjusted and some of the fats I do include in offseason are reduced. I do lots of cardio and usually do a four day split routine. My workouts and diets are constantly changed to avoid the body becoming acclimatized.

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: The most common reaction is admiration. Most people comment on how they would love to get this fit or this toned, but "could not do it". I use this as a chance to share my story. I was far from being toned. I may have been athletic, but I was no where near lean. I never thought I'd see abs, so when people are negative on themselves I encourage them to give it a try.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: The first question I usually get is, "how do I get abs like that." I have always admired the quote "abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!". That is a truth I live by and it really makes people think and review their diet and realize that very few people are gifted with abs, they work for the abs and most of that work is dedication to a lean diet.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Misconception about training is that when women weight train, they get too big of muscle when actually weight training helped me decrease fat and tone up and I was smaller overall. I respect anyone in bodybuilding, figure or fitness. I thought training was hard for a competitive swim team, but this consumes your whole life, not just the two hours you workout each day.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best is standing on stage and looking back on the journey. The amount of pride and sense of accomplishment is incredible. The days that were low on energy don't come near to taking over the days that I felt so healthy and strong. The worst part of training for me has always been the time commitment. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in a day to get everything done, but I've learned to tune out the world when I'm at the gym and in my zone.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I got to meet Kai Greene in Edmonton this past year. I love to see Rachelle Chase on stage and gracing covers and I admire Eva Cowan's beauty.. and I'm jealous of her abs.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I'm a chocoholic. I will always go to chocolate first when I get the opportunity to cheat.

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: Find a good trainer who is recommended by a serious athlete. You will never regret what you learn from others and what you carry with you for the rest of your life in terms of nutrition and exercise.

Q: Do you think it is becoming more common to see women in the gym training as hard as men?
A: I absolutely believe it is becoming more common. I think it would be even more common if there wasn't as much of a stereotype out there. Too many women I have met are fearful to enter the playing field, but when they do, they realize they carried a misconception about the gym. I get a lot of respect from male friends in the industry and that comes with time and comfort.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love travelling, baking and hanging at home with my Bull Mastiff.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Chantel DeBoer.
A: Most of my days are started with time in the gym. I go to work and then train cardio on my lunch breaks, so that i have more time at home with my family. I see my chiropractor and massage therapist a lot to keep my body in check. I also love to sleep!

Q: Describe Chantel DeBoer in five words.
A: Motivated, Persistent, Stubborn, Chocolate-Lover, Teacher

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I have been on insulin since I was 7 years old. This can be a challenge when I compete, but my with the help of my trainer we have been able to get through it. Competing has actually helped me be able to predict my blood sugars better.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: My plans for 2011 are to hit the stage with the ABBA and make provincials and then nationals. I hope to head to Ontario for the WBFF Worlds as well!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: My biggest support has always been my fiancee Josh, he took up bodybuilding and has now placed higher then me. I'm so proud of him.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Chantel DeBoer the athlete and competitor?
A: Competing can get very expensive, so as a figure competitor, I am on the look out for sponsors. Having the support of a sponsor, is not something I deserve, its something I believe I need to earn. I have worked hard to get here, and will continue to work hard whether I have a sponsorship or not. Having the support would allow me to reach higher goals.

Q: Chantel, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thanks for this opportunity!


  1. Nice interview and some great pictures of Chantel. I agree with her advice that "abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!". Cutting down on bad carbs is key ( Good Carbs & Bad) but a good hard body exercise goes hand in hand with diet ( Ultimate Hard Body Exercise).

    I would like to know what Chantel's backup plan for eating chocolate is. It got left out of her answer(Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
    A: I'm a chocoholic. I will always go to chocolate first when I get the opportunity to cheat. My back up plan always involves.... )


  2. Hey Norman, thanks for the feedback. My backup plans always involves fruit! I'm an addict and the sweet flavour is a real novelty when I'm in contest prep.