Saturday, January 15, 2011
Brittany Leppke Interview
Great physique, great attitude, beautiful, intelligent, determined, Brittany Leppke has it all. I was very happy Brittany agreed to an interview because she is someone I have become so impressed with, and so do the judges, as Brittany has made it a habit of winning. If you are not familiar with her, get familiar, because Brittany is well on her way to being a star in the fitness industry.
Q: First, Brittany, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: I would like to thank you for taking the time to interview competitors and for asking me to do this.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I grew up in a small city in Alberta, Canada, where I still live now. I am from a family of four girls which is definitely interesting at times, but mostly fun. I have an awesome Mom, who is also my biggest fan and supporter. I am married to a wonderful man who is also extremely supportive of my competing and encourages me to push myself in anything I pursue.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was a competitive dancer growing up and loved mainly the competition parts – getting up on stage, preparing the dance, practicing, the big hair and makeup and the sparkly costumes.
I was the most un-athletic person sports-wise. People that knew me before laugh at how athletic I am now. In high school I would do whatever I could to get out of gym class.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: The fear of waking up old, overweight and miserable led me to the gym initially. When I saw a picture of Monica Brant for the first time, a switch flipped in my brain and I never looked back.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I was scared to lift weights at first, like many women I had a fear of “bulking up”. The more I educated myself, the more I realized how hard female bodybuilders work for their muscle, that it is not by accident they look that way, and that it is impossible for a women to get to that level without really trying to. I saw results right away because I had been inactive for a few years after giving up dancing. But it was when I learned the true value of clean eating that I began to see my hard work in the gym translating into measurable gains in my physique.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I am a competitive person by nature and all my years of competitive dance instilled that desire to get out there and show off my hard work. I went to a show that was being held locally and as soon as I got there, I turned to my mom and said, “These are my people”. It seems silly but I knew at that moment that it was something I had to do.
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: I initially lost some friends over it because some people cannot understand the dedication to the sport or why you would want to do it. They think you are obsessed. However, I have replaced those friends with people I have met through the sport who share the same values and passions as me, and those friendships have brought so much to my life. My family has always been extremely supportive and loving towards me throughout this process. My sisters, mom and husband have been there every step of the way.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I was completely naive about how far some competitors are willing to go in hopes of placing. I was surprised at how many people lose balance in their lives and lose sight of their initial motivation and goals. I was surprised at how unhealthy some people are in this sport. I know that some of the dieting and training that many of us do (myself included) while getting ready for a show can be extreme, but some people take it to a whole different level with the use of drugs, without thinking about the long term side effects to their body and that makes me sad. I choose to compete 100% naturally, and will continue to do so throughout my career.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I would love to! I am still a ‘newbie’ to the stage but have been quite successful so far. I have competed with the Alberta Body Building Association (ABBA) which is a federation sanctioned under the CBBF and the IFBB. In June 2008, I did a regional level show – Tier 1 Figure Short and I won my class. I then took two years off to train and bring up my imbalances. In June 2010, I did a provincial (state) level show – Tier 2 Figure Short and I won my class, then I won the Overall Figure Title. In October 2010 I won an award for “Top Figure Competitor Of the Year” within my federation, which was an honor because I was nominated and voted for by my peers. I am now prepping for the National Level and will be making my debut in July 2011.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I have always gotten a lot of positive response about my glutes/lower body from the judges. But I am most proud of my shoulders and back as I had to train incredibly hard to build them up. Having been a dancer, I always had a developed/conditioned lower body but pencil arms and no lat or delt muscles to speak of.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love training my legs/glutes because they are really powerful and I cannot get enough of sprinting and plyometrics. I love training back and shoulders because I feel strong when I am done.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My training during pre-contest is 4 days of weight training, 5 days of cardio, working 1 body part per session and a combination of HIIT, skipping, stairs and LISS for my cardio. My diet is fairly strict pre-contest because I am natural I have to watch everything I put in my mouth because there are no shortcuts to muscle gains or fat loss. I eat 8 times a day. During Contest Prep my cardio will increase and my calories will decrease.
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: It is usually positive. Most people are curious about what I eat, how much I train, what supplements/drugs I take, etc. If someone is negative towards it I feel sorry for them. In my experience when someone is negative about anything in life it is usually because they are lazy, jealous, ignorant or envious and they deserve my sympathy.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: The only thing that gets irritating to me is whenever I pull food out and people want to know what it is. That can drive me crazy! By the time I am ready to eat I am irritable as it is because my metabolism works fast and I just want to get my food in. When you are eating 8 times a day, people constantly asking you what you are eating can get really old. The worst was when I was dieting for my last show and was eating literally the same thing at the same time, every single day and the girls I was working with at the time would ask me what I was eating every single time.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: The biggest misconception out there about women who train and compete are that we are all stuck up, vain, selfish and using drugs. Yes, some women in this sport are stuck up, vain and selfish but there are people like that everywhere who do not compete. There are also a lot of people out there using steroids, growth hormone, fat burners, diuretics, etc. that do not compete.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training is the sense of accomplishment I feel after a great workout, seeing the changes in my body and all those endorphins.
The worst part can be the time commitment and feeling guilty for spending so much time in the gym, posing and thinking about the show. I don’t enjoy feeling moody and tired in the months leading up to the show.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: When I was younger I looked up to Monica Brant. But now I look up to Erin Stern for her natural beauty and athleticism and also to Nicole Wilkins Lee for the simple fact that she has accomplished so much at a young age, she must be extremely driven.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Bernard Callebaut chocolate, hot wings and nachos
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: Do your research, invest in a good trainer, go to a show, be prepared to work hard and make sacrifices!
Q: Do you think it is becoming more accepted by society to see women training as hard as men in the gym?
A: I believe society as a whole is embracing the notion of women training in the gym, but not necessarily to see women training as hard as men, in the gym. Female bodybuilders, and overly muscular women period, make a lot of people in society uncomfortable. Bodybuilding is a sub-culture within mainstream society, it is meant to make people uncomfortable. Bodybuilders (both male and female) work extremely hard to look different. Recently there have been more attempts to make competitors more mainstream, through the introduction of categories like bikini but those women do not train as hard as men in the gym and that is what people are comfortable with.
Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: I believe that fitness modeling and competing go hand in hand, especially for those athletes who want sponsorship deals, endorsements and to build a large fan base. I enjoy modelling, it can be a lot of fun. I do not have a ton of experience with it, so that is something I am definitely interested in pursuing a bit more this competitive season.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I enjoy downtime, which can be anything from watching movies with my husband, to going for coffee with a friend or just soaking in a hot tub.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Brittany Leppke.
A: My days are always busy, I am energetic and always on the go. I am a student so a lot of my day is spent either in class, at the school studying or at home doing homework. The hours left over are dedicated to my training, meal prepping and eating, spending time with my husband, family and friends, and maintaining somewhat of a clean, organized and orderly home.
Q: Describe Brittany Leppke in five words.
A: Driven, ambitious, Dedicated, Compassionate, Humble
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: People always tell me that I am not at all what they thought I was going to be like. I am not sure what people think I am going to be like, but if you were to meet me, you would probably be surprised too! LOL
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am planning on competing at Canadian Nationals this July. I am hoping the judges like my look! If I place top 5 there I will consider going to North Americans in Cleveland or to the Arnold Amateur next spring. I am starting my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree this fall, which I am really excited about.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: My friend, Brienne Whitehead(also a fellow competitor) and I have started up a contest prep business to help women who are amateur competitors as they prepare for shows. She will be responsible for doing the dieting and training. I will be focusing on preparing the women for their posing, stage walks, stage confidence, poise and helping them with suit selections, hair and makeup. It is called “Step It Up – Contest Prep” and we can be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com or through my facebook page: Brittany Lee Leppke
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Brittany Leppke the athlete and competitor?
A: I am currently accepting offers for sponsorship.
If you are interested in sponsoring me I can offer you the following:
The promise to wear clothing with your company logo both while training in the gym, and also to my events.
The promise to list you as a key sponsor on my website as well as on my facebook page.
The promise to mention you during any media coverage I am exposed to.
The promise to maintain a healthy and positive image at all times, one that you can be proud of.
The promise to represent your company on a National and International level in the best positive light at all times.
The promise to travel to various trade shows as a representative of your company, one that you can depend on and be proud of.
The promise to promote your company's products on my website as well as on my facebook page.
The promise to give 110% to my training and to my sport in order to continue to deliver successful results and win additional titles.
I can be contacted via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or through my facebook page: Brittany Lee Leppke
Q: Brittany, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thanks again for asking me to do this. It was a lot of fun to answer your questions. I want to wish you continued success on your own weight loss journey and I look forward to hearing the results of your first competition!