Friday, December 24, 2010

Karen Montague Interview

Karen Montague is someone I have wanted an interview with for awhile. I have a great deal of respect for her. She started out just wanting to "look fab for my 40th". Well, she looks much more than "fab". She has progressed to being a great competitor with a lot of first places. Incredibly, Karen just keeps getting better, and I think we will continue to see her improve more and more.

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

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I grew up in South Australia and at 20 went to New Zealand for work experience. I was horse crazy and worked on stud farms etc for many years. At 25 I married a NZ Dairy Farmer and we have been together for 20yrs. I have two children aged 17 and 18.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or
A: I loved running and sports at school but my passion was horse riding. This kept me active plus raising my kids and milking cows.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I sold my last horse in 2004 and noticed my muscles start to lose tone so I decided to do a Body for Life at the local gym. This was also so that I could look fab for my 40th!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to
see results?
A: I had always had an interest in bodybuilding and had played in gyms many times through my life but once I had a proper program and correct instruction I was hooked. The results came more from a better, "cleaner" diet!

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: After a few months at the gym we went and watched a bodybuilding competition. I did not know that there was a "Figure" class so it really appealed to me as I am
5'8" and was not stocky and muscley enough to do Physique I wanted to get on stage in a blingy bikini and was keen to do one within the next 6 months.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My Family was really, really supportive! My friends were curious and asked lots of questions. I was loving the journey and the changes my body was going through!

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I was very nervous on stage and had the shakes, but loved it so much that I knew my first comp would not be my last. I found the women so friendly back stage and as it isn't a beauty pageant, everyone respects each other for the hard work it has taken to get to be on stage.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2005 - 1st O/35 Figure Auck Champs, 3rd O/35 IFBB Nationals, 1st & Overall Figure
Taranaki Champs
*2006 - 1st INBA Novice Figure Tall, 1st O/35 Figure& Overall Figure CNI Champs, 2nd IFBB O/35 Figure Nationals, 1st & Overall Figure Taranaki Champs
*2007 - 2nd Sports Model INBA Taupo, 1st O/35 Figure & Overall Figure CNI Champs, 1st IFBB Nationals O/35 Figure, 1st Open Figure & Overall winner Taranaki Champs
*2008 - 1st Bodyfitness Auck Champs, 1st O/35 Figure CNI Champs, 1st IFBB Nationals O/35 Figure, 1st & Overall Winner Coromandel Classic
*2009 - 1st Bodyfitness Tall CNI Champs, 1st Bodyfitness Tall IFBB Nationals
*2010 - 5th Arnold Amateur Classic Figure Tall (USA), 1st Open Tall & Overall Figure
Proformance Champs, 1st Open Tall & Overall Figure Nth Harbour Fitness Champs, 1st Open Figure Tall IFBB NZ team in Sydney, Australia

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I think my Back would be my best part.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I enjoy doing Hamstrings, Back, Bi and Tri. I love seated rows, deadlifts and tricep pushdowns

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for
contest prep?
A: I train with weights 5/6 days a week. Try to do cardio of 30-45mins most days. When I am focusing on a comp my diet is perfect but off-season I enjoy some drinks and sweet treats.

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 think most comments were positive especially in regards to my will power to not eat any naughty foods. Some were negative in regards to my weight loss but I think that once you explain things to people and educate them, you can turn the negative to positive. I guess most people think that you look too skinny but when they see you on stage they are blown away at how you look.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are
most sick of hearing?
A: "Your so small/skinny" or "When are you going to eat normal food?"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one
thing you wish people understood?
A: Too many women won't do weights because they think that they will get too big and
muscley. This is just them being uninformed. What surprises me is that they get
"big" by eating the wrong types of foods which is worse but it is okay in their eyes??!!

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: Sometimes the monotony of having to train can get to me but once I have a few days off I am always keen to get back into it again. The best part is that I have a great training partner that is always smiling and happy and she makes it all good

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I adore Monica Brant!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I love Toblerones and Reese's peanut butter cups

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: I would tell her to get an experienced trainer to help with her diet and training.

Q: Do you think it is becoming more common to see women in the gym training as hard
as men?
A: Yes, women are enjoying doing weights and they are learning that it can make you look amazing. In our gym there probably aren't many hard-core women body builders though.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I have to admit that between working in our business and training, I don't do a lot of other activities. I would like to give BMX riding a go though as my kids do it and I think it would be great for my legs!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Karen Montague.
A: Up at 5:15am, training at gym 6-7am, breakfast shower and to work by 8/8:30am. Finish work 4pm, home and get dinner prepared, cardio, T.V?, bed by 9pm

Q: Describe Karen Montague in five words.
A: Friendly, Sensitive, Introverted, Competitive & Helpful

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I love doing crosswords

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am looking at competing in Australia (Gold Coast) June 2011.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I love Oxygen Magazine for informative and realistic articles - it is fantastic!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they
getting in Karen Montague the athlete and competitor?
A: I currently have a business sponsoring me with discounted supplements but if someone wants a Friendly & Helpful Mature aged female to promote their product whether it be clothing or supplements, I am always keen to help and with my competition knowledge, I am always willing to share advice to newcomers.
I can be emailed ->

Q: Karen, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this.

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