Saturday, January 22, 2011
Jennifer Nash Interview
Very excited to have this interview with Jennifer Nash. As you know I am in the middle of Fitness Week, and very few personify Fitness like Jennifer does. From being a self taught gymnast at a young age, to her current competing Jennifer has been an achiever. She achieves because she is a determined and hard working woman. Jennifer plans to get back on stage this year and hopes to get back her National qualification. If Jennifer puts the work in she has always put in, there is little doubt she will get it.
Q: First, Jennifer, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thanks for the opportunity!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself?
A: Born and raised at the Jersey Shore! I grew up with both my parents and younger sister, Melissa. I currently now live with my boyfriend and 2 Yorkies.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person.? Play any sports or anything? Yes!
A: I have been involved in athletics my whole life. I started karate at 3, because my dad ran class in our garage and I saw a little girl taking it and wanted to try. My dad thought it would last a day or two but I put about 12 years in. Ive also done Judo, cheerleading, softball, cross country, track and field and now I take kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: Actually, an ex-boyfriend introduced me to the weights. He went away to college on a track and field scholarship and was required to hit the weight room...so in the summers he brought me along and taught me a few things, then I was hooked.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes, I picked it up easily. I am a self taught gymnast (literally learned just about my tumbling on my front lawn) so between that and training martial arts I had a good sense of body control and proper body placement and movement. When I first started lifting I noticed AMAZING results in strength only because at the time I wasn't implementing any type of diet.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I was working at a radio station selling advertising and I stopped into a new personal training studio to sell them some air time, the trainer ask me what my fitness goal was and I said I wanted to be like those girls on TV that tumble and do one arm pushups. A week later I started training.
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes! I had about 15-20 people come watch me in my first show. I did figure only, and came in DEAD LAST, BUT it was the best time so I couldn't wait to do it again! I had my sister and roommate as my backstage help, my sister loved it so much that she started competing the next year with me in fitness. My parents weren't sure about it at first because they thought it was body building, but after coming to my first show they were really into it. Funny story: When my first suit arrived to the house in a FedEx envelope my dad said "What you have to wear is in THAT!" Hysterical!
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It always surprises me. Every show is different, every year is different. You just don't know what you are going to get. However, I do like the people I meet. I always make new friends at shows.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
*August 2007 - NPC Muscle Beach- Figure- 6th Place (ummm there were only 6)
*October 2007- NPC Golds Classic, NJ- Figure- Participant
*April 2008- Fitness Atlantic, CT-Fitness- Participant
*May 2008- NPC Long Island, NY- Fitness- 2nd place
*July 2008- NPC Empire States,- Fitness- 1st Place
*November 2008- NPC Gold's Classic, NJ- Figure- Participant
*November 2008- NPC NJ State, NJ- Fitness- 1st Place
*November 2008-NPC Eastern USAs, NY- Fitness- 2nd Place
*April 2009-NPC Steve Stone Mets, NY- Fitness- 2nd Place
Q:As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Ohhh its a tossup between my shoulders or my back.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love to train back but my favorite exercise to do is probably lunges.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: In my off season I don't eat crap like McDonald's or tons of pasta. I eat sweets like chocolate and mixed drinks and pizza, not every night but if I want it I eat it. Also, I don't watch portion sizes either. My contest prep is your typical clean foods and gallon of water. My off season training is what I call "Normal people workouts" meaning they are probably to the intensity, and duration as a non-competitive person would do. Every once in a while in the off season Ill do something at high intensity. I like to try new and different things in the off season like kayaking or rock climbing. During the season its a focused, planned out workout each week and specific to each day. No "winging it" during prep. I also increase my cardio during prep as well.
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: People usually ask if I am a gymnast or swimmer. Or I get the obvious "Do you work out?" question. No one has been negative to my face, I normally get millions of questions.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "what should I eat?" and then they give me every excuse why they "cant" do it, oh "I'm so busy" blah, blah, blah. I don't want to hear it!
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I wish people understood that peak physical condition is not something that someone can hold all year round.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part for me is getting into top shape...until you experience it for yourself, its so hard to explain how incredibly good your body feels after a major ass kicking workout. The worst part would be getting injured, hey, it happens sometimes and it sucks!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Oh wow where do I begin!?! Tanji Johnson for her sick routines and more importantly for her campaign to "Save Fitness:, also, Jen Hendershott for her awesome and creative routines and her Phat Camps (which I plan to attend this year) AND both of those women don't have fake boobs! Nothing against fake boobs, but its nice to see competitors placing very high and winning shows without them!!! Even though I do fitness I also LOVE Erin Stern because she is BEAUTIFUL and a track and field athlete.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Usually anything that is not a complex carb like pizza, bagels, and pancakes.
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: First I would congratulate her for making the decision to participate in a great sport. Then I would tell her that throughout her prep process there will be people who don't understand what she is doing or why she is doing it, people will try to tell her its not healthy or that shes "too skinny" or not to do it because shell "look like a man." As long as her head is in it and she can shut out the negative and only focus on herself, her goal, and only the positive things, she will be ok!
Q: Do you think it is becoming more accepted by society to see women training as hard as men in the gym?
A: I think yes it is more accepted. I know that when I am training some people might look at me and wonder "what the hell is that girl doing?",but for the most part I know that I am respected. If people see you in the gym taking your training seriously I believe they will take you seriously as well, which means they usually will GET OUT OF THE WAY (LOL) when you are in the middle of a super set or triple set so you can get to the weight or machine you need.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Cooking, kayaking, playing with my dogs, snorkeling, dancing.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Jennifer Nash?
A: Well its changed a little over the last few years, but right now its cardio in the morning before work, go to work at the radio station where I sell advertising, plan marketing campaigns and events, then train clients after work and then workout myself at either the gym, at home, or at the kickboxing & Jiu Jitsu gym. On weekends is when I catch up on house work, cooking for the week, laundry, and extra workouts, oh and relax and sleep when possible!
Q: Describe Jennifer Nash in five words.
A: Intense. Driven. Passionate. Loyal. Independent.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I taught myself all of my gymnastics on my front lawn and on the play ground as a kid. My parents didn't want to pay for gymnastics and I wanted to learn how to flip, so I took it upon myself to learn. I was a very determined 4th grader!
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I plan to get my national qualification back in 2011 and hopefully get my butt on a national stage! Come hell or high water I will compete in 2011 whether its locally or nationally.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote.
A: For anyone who is interested I have a blog where I post updates about my training, meals, workouts, etc. I love to make new friends on there! www.jennnash.blogspot.com .
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Jennifer Nash the athlete and competitor?
A: Sponsors would be wonderful! This is an expensive sport so any help would be great whether its a suit sponsorship, routine sponsorship, routine costume sponsorship, or even just a general sponsorship. With Jennifer Nash the Athlete and Competitor you get the whole package, I not only can get on stage to represent the sponsor, but I have a sales and marketing background and a knack for networking, and can help companies expand their visibility and increase their bottom line. I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Jennifer, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you Jason for your dedication to promoting women in fitness! And any women interested in connecting please send a friend request or join my "Fitness Jenn" fan page: http://on.fb.me/gNSX9H