Thursday, January 13, 2011

Adriana Sanchez Interview

After reading this interview, I am sure you will agree with me. You can not be a fan of the sport and not be a fan of Adriana Sanchez. Just looking at the below transformation photo should be enough to inspire you. BUt if it isn't read about her journey and her love for fitness, and that will surely be enough. Adriana is not just a beautiful woman with an increidble physique. She is a pleasant woman to talk to, and as you will read, she is quick to give lots of credit to those who ahve helped her along the way. So read this and prepare to become an Adriana Sanchez fan.

Q: First, Adriana, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: The pleasure is mine Jason. Thank you for spinning the bottle my way :-)

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Sure. I am 29, and was born and raised in Houston, TX where I still reside. The only time I did not live in Houston was when I moved to Norman to attend the University of Oklahoma.
Familia… My family is my rock. I am blessed to still have both parents in my life. They have always been very supportive of my ventures, no matter how crazy or off the wall they may seem! My parents just wanted me to enjoy any opportunities that came my way, since I was being exposed to opportunities that were not available to them when they were growing up. I am the middle child, have an older sister and younger brother. My brother, sister and I were inseparable growing up. It was funny because we are all so different. My sister was always the beautiful outgoing girl, and my brother….well as the youngest AND only boy he got away with MURDER!!
Growing up I was very shy and reserved growing up. I always felt tomboyish and awkward in my younger days. In high school I was a majorette, which came as a surprise to everyone that knew me because it was completely out of my element. I went from shy girl in the hallway to firecracker on field during performances and I loved every minute of it So… I guess performing has always been something I wanted to do.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or
A: Do high school sports count? :-) I played volleyball and ran track in middle and high school and was awful! I mean I really enjoyed being active but certainly didn’t naturally excel in either sport. So of course there were NO athletic scholarships being stuffed in my mailbox.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: My sophomore year in college I started hitting up the rec center after my weight began to get way out of control. Of course, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just went in, did cardio and basic weight training. Right or wrong, I had at least increased my caloric expenditure so I was able to take some of the weight off. After moving back to Houston a friend that I worked with invited me to the gym with her on a 10-day trial pass. We didn’t know what we were doing! In fact, we were that goofy annoying bunch that hogs up all the machines on the fitness floor.
After a couple of days I turned to Group Exercise classes for variety. I had never done classes before, but I like the classes because they were different from what I had been doing and gave me a little direction. Mind you, I had absolutely NO INTENTION of actually joining the gym, I was just passing time. On the last day of my trial pass I attended a kickboxing class with an instructor I had not taken class from. O…M…G! Jay Guillory absolutely blew me away with this class! He was fun, entertaining, motivating…and it was really a GREAT workout! I signed up that day  All I wanted to do after that was take classes…sometime I would do 2 or three back to back because they were just so much fun!
About a year later Jay (who is not only phenomenal instructor but was also the Group Exercise manager of the club at the time) announced an upcoming Instructor training and certification and asked if I had any interest in participating. Hmm... I wonder why? Maybe because I was in every evening class and had crept up to the front row  So I attended the training and certification and started teaching Group Exercise classes. Wow! It was like performing all over again. I had developed a passion for fitness and really just loved sharing that with people. I got trained in as many formats as possible to expand my teaching opportunities. Fast forward to 8 years to 2011 and I still teach. Along the way I created countless fitness challenges for my class participants to keep them motivated. People that wanted to really take it to the next level started asking me to train them after seeing results from the classes alone. After more extensive studying, workshops, and research I was able to add Personal Training and Nutrition Planning to my menu of offerings. Changing people’s lives is my reward and reason for what I do.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Would you believe I was actually in denial that I even needed training?! 5 years ago I was approached by Artis Stewart, a Personal Trainer that offered me a few workouts after observing some of my classes. Excuse me??? My classes were packed and my class participants thought I was the ultimate fitness expert. I didn’t need training! But ok….I decided to give it a shot. After my initial fitness consultation I discovered I had absolutely no core and was not able to PROPERLY perform solid squats or push-ups. I could hardly walk in a straight line without rolling my ankles! This was all so new to me because I had never been exposed to the concept of corrective exercise or postural distortions but YEP, apparently I had them!
My first year of training was all corrective exercise…all seemingly simple stuff. It was SO FRUSTRATING! Years of poor form and technique had left me with awful compensation patterns. I was so used to big high energy workouts so the rehab type exercises that targeted the smaller muscle groups that I didn’t even know about were definitely a test of my patience.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: After months of corrective exercise and general strength training my trainer suggested that we set a new goal. It started with a transformation contest at work. We were given 12 weeks to see who could change the most in pictures. That was my first taste of discipline. I was so used to eating whatever I wanted because I taught so many Group Exercise classes, and now I had to follow a meal plan and stick to a strict cardio schedule. Wouldn’t you know… it paid off and I won the challenge with flying colors!
Artis then proposed the idea of leaning me out and putting me in a show. This was all foreign territory for me. Me? Get that lean? NOT HAPPENING! I didn’t think it was physically possible for me. Mind you… I had JUST been exposed to real strength training; I had been only a Cardio Queen before. Then he showed me a Life&Style Magazine that featured Monica Brant. I was so impressed by her display and balance of beauty and strength, and this was without me knowing anything about her. I had no idea she was a fitness icon. But I went along with Artis’ idea and we trained for the 2007 BSN Hot Body Contest at the Dallas Europa. I didn’t place in the contest…came in too lean and too hard for a swimsuit and model category. But it was learning experience, since I had never been to or seen a show before. The highlight of that contest was being exposed to the Figure women for the first time. Keep in mind, the Europa is a Pro/Am so I was seeing all the top of the line competitors. Needless to say, that was the moment I decided I wanted to be a Figure competitor.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: It was actually a split. My family, who was usually 100% supportive of my projects was now discouraging my new project. They didn’t understand why I wouldn’t eat the food at family functions. It’s not like I was overweight, so what’s with the diet and the weird food? The smaller I got, the more my family was convinced that I had an eating disorder and that I was starving myself. Ugh…it wasn’t until I showed my family THE AMOUNT of food I put away daily, only then I start receiving full support.
My friends and clients are a different story. They thought I was a little crazy at first (“Oh no…what’s she up to now….”) but they believed in me and supported me from day 1. They tell me I am their motivation, but I feel like it’s the other way around.

Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: Jason I’ll be honest….I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I just remember seeing the figure girls onstage for the first time and knowing that I wanted to be that stage one day. Competing was new and different to me and I knew absolutely nothing about it. What surprised me about it was how quickly and easily you meet people when involved in competition. Going to the shows, especially when you travel to the national level shows, kind of feels like camp. You meet people, develop friendships and relationships, and then part for the season or until the next show. You may or may not keep in touch, but it’s always good to kick it and catch up when you DO see each other again.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Oh wow, let’s see…
*June 2008 – MuscleMania Figure Universe
*July 2008 – NPC John Sherman Classic – 1st
*Nov 2008 – NGA USA Championships – 1st
*June 2009 – NPC Greater Gulf States – 7th
*July 2009 – NPC USA Championships – 16th
*Aug 2009 – NPC Houston Pro/Am – 2nd (Figure) & 3rd (Bikini)
*Sept 2009 – NPC Team Universe – 5th
*Nov 2009 – NPC Nationals – 6th
*July 2010 – NPC USA Championships- 11th
*Aug 2010 – NPC Jr USAs – 6th

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Legs. Hands down. I love my legs even though I have been told by some that they overpower my frame; that they are too much and I need to tone them down, etc, etc.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Of course not. My glutes are a challenge for me and I hate training abs. But if I had to pick one… shoulders. Not the actual process, I just love the look of pumped delts. :-)

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Honestly, it’s different every year. Anytime I am not in contest prep it’s all heavy weights 4-5 days a week. I teach Group Exercise classes as well, but these do not count towards my training or conditioning, as they are considered part of my daily lifestyle. I am guilty of the off-season over-indulging. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to stick to my off-season meal plan. Or try to anyway…
I eat 6 times a day both in my growth and pre-contest phases. The difference? Sugar allowances and water intake. Less and more.

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: Positive…”Do you see them legs?!?!?!” (laugh) I have always worked in a very mainstream fitness industry, but being fit to the general fitness population is completely different from the things that the judging panels look for. But in the long run it works in my favor because my clients trust what I tell them. Not only do I talk the talk but I can also back it up with measurable results. This keeps them motivated and on track.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: “What do you eat?”
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to sit down with people to talk food and discuss nutrition planning if they are serious about changing and committing to a program. Unfortunately, I get approached by waves of people that read articles about losing 10 pounds in 2 weeks and think that is all it takes to achieve and maintain a complete transformation. I was not born lucky and I don’t have a naturally small frame. My pre-contest diet, like any athlete in this sport, is carefully planned and requires a lot of dedication and sacrifice. They also think all I ever eat are salads. BIG MISTAKE! Jason, anyone who knows me will tell you that I can put away some food!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Classic. That our physiques are not natural. I mean to his own (or her own). But on any given day of the year, I can say with confidence that only thing on me that’s NOT natural is the color of my hair! I remember right before I went to a natural show, someone asking me if I was worried, since I was being drug tested. My response? Worried about WHAT? Or the guys in the gym whispering to each other as I am knocking out a pyramid that peaked at 1200+ lbs on the leg press. My physique and strength is a direct result of me working with a damn good trainer that gives me results and makes sure I remain injury-free and nothing else.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part: SHOWTIME! The beautiful suit, getting all dolled up, and strutting your stuff! And then of course everything you eat after finals.
The worst: The post competition blues you get when you miss the body that was on stage.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Of course. I admire anyone that puts themselves through the training process and walks across a stage, but if I had to pick one, then I will pull from my personal experiences. Christine Anderson is not only my posing coach, but also a wonderful friend and one of my mentors. I watch her train, pose, run a business, maintain a family, tune the world out….then absolutely command the stage. She has taught me that competing is an individual experience that you should do for YOU, and to not worry about who is showing up or how they look, or the size of your class because those are not variables that you can control.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: CUPCAKES. Sugar is my weakness. Period.

Q: DO you think it s becoming more common to see women in the gym training and lifting as hard as men?
A: Absolutely. I love seeing fellow female athletes going all out in the gym. In fact, they don’t necessarily have to compete as their reason for training with intent. And it’s not about proving a point, or trying to out-do our male counterparts in the weight room. I think women are embracing their own beauty, strength, and empowerment, whatever that may mean to them individually.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to cook! Well I always have enjoyed it, but when I started competing of course I wasn’t able to eat the things I liked to make. I asked my trainer for my macronutrient requirements and started playing with food & recipes a few years ago. I also started doing meal preps for some of our clients that either don’t have time to cook or aren’t sure how to put together meal plans.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Adriana Sanchez.
A: Is there such a thing? LOL Jason, a “typical” day in my life is like tuning in to your favorite reality show! There are friends, villains, sidekicks, dramatic twists, elimination ceremonies, undefined characters, eating contests, song & dance numbers….you name it! Oh yeah, and somewhere in between I find the time to love, live, laugh, and lift.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I love baby food.

Q: Describe Adriana Sanchez in five words.
A: Proud, Strong, Creative, Dramatic, Warm Hearted

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Absolutely. I have always said I will continue to compete until I get tired of it.
July 30 – NPC USA’s in Las Vegas(This is on my birthday!)
November – NPC Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale
There might be a warm-up show…just depend on how I’m looking and feeling :-)

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Sure! My trainer Artis Stewart can be reached for personal training, nutrition coaching, contest prep, etc at and I can be reached for the same, as well as group exercise classes and group training opportunities through my “Adriana Sanchez – Personal Training and Fitness Services” Facebook page or at

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Adriana Sanchez the athlete and competitor?
A: Absolutely. As an athlete you will get someone who is dedicated to her projects and isn’t afraid of a hard work. As a competitor you will get someone with good sportsmanship that is driven and motivated to always top her last performance. I can be reached by email at

Q: Adriana , again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Jason, it has been my pleasure. I just want to thank you and everyone who has been and continues to promote and support the sport. To all competitors, I wish you the best of luck and a fantastic 2011 season.

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