Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Ila Reed Interview
I was very familiar with Ila Reed due to her presence on siouxcountry. However having had no contact with her, I never was able to ask her about an interview. As luck would have it, she came to me. I was very happy to get an interview with her right away. Sometimes you will hear me refer to a competitor as "someone you have to root for". Ila fits that description perfectly. From her great physique (highlighted by a great back), to her great personality, Ila is about as likeable as it gets. She plans to make her National debut this year, and will no doubt make a great showing.
Q: First, Ila, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you so much for having me be a part of your blog. I have been reading it for a while. You have done so much to support the women in the physique sports, it is awesome what you are doing here. I'm grateful to be a part of it.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. I'm the oldest of 3 girls. I have always been the shy, eccentric one in the family. My mom went to her first show in 2010 and was shocked to see me up there. But I've been into nutrition and fitness since I was a teen, so that part doesn't surprise them at all. I am a registered nurse and work in a newborn intensive care unit. I have both my bachelors and masters degree in nursing. I am married and have 2 teenage, wonderful children.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I always loved gymnastics and used to do that recreationally, although always wanted to compete as a gymnast, I never had the opportunity. I did play a little volleyball in high school, but not too much. I have always kept myself active though.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I have been into fitness and even bodybuilding since I was about 15. I wanted to be a bodybuilder. I used to watch Corey Everson on TV all the time, I thought she was awesome! When I was 16, my mom knew this fbb that worked with her and she took me to the gym and showed me some stuff, but it never got past that. I had a job as a teen and spent most of my money on exercise equipment. Weights, bench, cardio equipment. lol. Although I never stepped into bodybuilding competition at that age it did lead me down a road where I really got into my nutrition, protein intake, and exercise. Exercise has always been a huge part of my life.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: When I was younger, it helped me stay in shape. Although I trained regularly or did some sort of cardio, yoga, or some sort of exercise, I didn't really start seriously lifting to gain size and stuff until about 2007, which is when I found out about Figure, and felt it was perfect for me. I then started focusing alot of energies towards competing. After probably a good year of serious training, watching my protein intake I started seeing results.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I think I started researching training techniques and bodybuilding seriously in 2007. Found out there was a division called Figure and made a goal to do that and live a dream I had had when I was a teen. I made a decision to do it and worked towards that goal. I competed my first show in 2008 in a local OCB show.
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My husband and kids supported me 100%. My husband is wonderful and has always been behind anything I have wanted to do. My mom and sisters were used to me being into fitness and nutrition for so long they didn't really find it too out of the box for me. My mom finally got to see a show of mine this past year, 2010. And she loved it .
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I didn't really have an preconceived ideas about it. I think I was most surprised how much I loved preparing for it and being on stage in front of so many people. Especially since I'm so shy by nature. Made me feel like a different person on stage almost. I loved it!
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I competed my first show in 2008 at the OCB Southwest Natural Classic, I only competed Novice Figure that show, and got 4th place. My goal had only been to not get last place, lol. So I accomplished that goal. My second show that year, I fixed stuff with make up and tan that hurt me my first show. I competed at the OCB Southern Rockies, competing in the open and novice both in Figure. I won the Overall in both! It was a great accomplishment!
In 2009, I was prepping myself. I had a hard year, but I competed again in the OCB Southwest Classic in both Open and Masters and placed 3rd in both. Although I placed better than the first time. I was very unhappy with my physique that show. So not at all proud of that. Alot of things went wrong, especially with peak week, and I came in feeling like I was holding alot of water, I hated my hair, everything lol. I pretend I didn't do it lol.
2010, I was very motivated. I hired Noel Fuller to help me with my prep in January 2010, and competed a total of 4 shows. I was exceptionally happy with my physique and prep was awesome. Every experience at every show was something I won't forget. I competed again in July of that year in the OCB Southwest Classic and won my IFPA Pro Card by winning the Overall in Masters Figure. I got 2nd in the Open that show. I competed a week later at the NPC AZ Open and placed 4th in Open B class. I was very happy with my placing as it was a very competitive show and the biggest show I've ever competed in. Then in August I competed at the NPC NM Championships and Mid USAs. I won the Overall in Open Figure at the NM Championships and 1st in Masters Figure. In MidUSAs I got 2nd in Masters and 3rd in Open Figure. Which allowed me to qualify to compete in the NPC at the National level.
In a nutshell:
*OCB Southwest Classic Novice Figure 4th
*OCB Southern Rockies Open Figure Overall 1st, Novice Figure Overall 1st
*OCB Southwest Classic Open Figure 3rd, Masters Figure 3rd
*OCB Southwest Classic Open Figure 2nd, Masters Figure Overall 1st- IFPA Pro Qualified
*NPC Arizona Open Open Figure "B" 4th
*NPC NM State Championships Open Figure Overall 1st, Masters Figure 1st
*NPC MidUSAs Open Figure 3rd, Master's Figure 2nd
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Honestly, probably my back and my waist! My waist measured under 23 inches during my competitive season.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: My favorite parts to train are Legs and Back. Legs because it is such a hard workout. And I love squatting lol. I also LOVE back rows.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I usually train on average 5 days a week. I pretty much do 1 body part per day, although 1 day I have 2 parts. I usually only train for about an hour. I normally don't do cardio in offseason. My diet is pretty similar offseason and in prep, as I'm pretty on top of things regarding my diet. I eat more in offseason and I eat more processed carbs, and have a cheat a week. Prep I tend to eat more whole grains. Training is pretty much similar as in prep. I try to still lift as heavy as I can to preserve as much muscle as possible. Cardio in prep varies. I do whatever Noel tells me to do, but he didn't have me doing a whole lot last summer.
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: Most of the time people are shocked. I get asked at the gym alot if I compete. People usually are very complementary. I'd say the interaction is almost always positive.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Most of my interactions with people are usually positive. People do ask me alot about diet or training advice. And I usually don't mind answering questions if I can.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Probably just that we don't always look completely ripped or look how we look on stage in the offseason. And that it is extremely difficult to stay that lean all the time especially if you want to improve on your physique. I think most people don't realize there is an "offseason" time period.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best is probably just feeling stronger and seeing changes in my physique over time. Worst? Nothing. lol
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I have always admired Heather Mae French and I really fell in love with Jennifer Gates physique from the Olympia in 2008. I also always liked Jelena Abbou's physique, although I know she is trying to do some bikini now. But she has a great physique and a tiny little waist. Some other competitors that really have motivated me over the years. Vanessa Adams. I remember seeing her when I first started to compete. I thought she was awesome, and I used to read everything she said on Bodybuilding.com. She is a smart lady! Another person who I greatly admire nowadays too, is Suzanne Germano. She works hard and definitely has a love for the sport. She is very motivating too.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: BREAD! lol I love it. I actually do eat it during the offseason as a daily carb, but I have to limit myself. I can go overboard easily!
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: Train with intensity and lift heavy. I actually give this advice alot. I think alot of women are afraid to lift heavy, because they don't want to get big. I tell them, heck, I wish it was that easy! lol
Q: Do you think it is becoming more accepted by society to see women training as hard as men in the gym?
A: I do somewhat. At least the company I keep it is accepted pretty well.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy.
A: I am an artist. Another passion I've had my entire life! I've been off and on in art school and I'm determined to finish an art degree at some point in my life. I love to paint and draw. I also have taken some computer animation classes and have done some digital art.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Ila Reed.
A: I am an RN and I work 3 days a week. My work days are pretty much filled with work. I get up, get ready, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat and go to sleep lol.
The highlight of my day is going to the gym. Other than that I spend my time drawing, reading, messing around on the Internet lol. I'm pretty boring. lol
I am getting ready to start my Spring semester and I'm taking a couple of art classes, so I'll be a little more busy once that starts. My days will be filled with art, the gym, and school. It will be great! :)
Q: Describe Ila Reed in five words.
A: Honest, Sincere, Eccentric, Independent, and Motivated
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Probably that I'm really shy. I think competing has really given me a confidence that really allowed me to come out of my shell. So at times I seem really outgoing. But by nature I'm really shy and a total introvert. I'm also a big nerd! lol I'm into Sci Fi and Star Wars and weird stuff like that.
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am planning on making my National Debut at Team Universe in 2011, then hopefully USAs after that. I may do 1 local or regional show as well somewhere in there as well. I'm very excited for this upcoming season.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Just myself! Look for me! I plan to make an impact this year! My biggest goal! I want to surpass everyones expectations, including my own!
Q: Are you looking for sponsors. If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Ila Reed the athlete and competitor?
A: Always! Any help with anything is always nice! They can reach me on my website which is www.ilareed.com. I have a sponsor link there.
Q: Ila, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Just thank you for allowing me to be part of your blog. It means so much to me! :)