Sunday, January 16, 2011

Maureen Clary Interview

Maureen Clary falls into that category of once I saw them, I asked myself "Why have I not interviewed her yet?". I was so impressed with her physique the moment I saw her. Into working out her whole life, she competed in Figure in 2006 as well as bench press competitions before winning her class in her first bodybuilding show. Maureen plans to compete in some National shows this year and I am anxious to see what she brings to the stage as with time comes improvement, and improving on what she already has means she is going to rock any stage she steps on.

Q: First, Maureen, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you, Jason, I appreciate your interest. And also the opportunity you are giving to female body builders to highlight them in a positive light.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself?
A: I was born in Paterson, NJ to Pat and Jim Donlevy, the oldest of their ten children. Currently, I live in Fort Mill, SC; married to Bill and have 3 children, Bryan, Lauren and Kayla and 1 step son, Jon.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have always been interested in working out. But I never played any sports or competed until four years ago.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: When I was a child, my mom and I watched the Jack La Lanne show and we exercised with him. I have always had an interest in working out. I purchased my first gym membership when I was 16 and have belonged to gyms most of my life.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I come from a highly competitive family so training in general was the norm. However, I’m blessed with great genetics and show results more rapidly compared to most people.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: In 2004, I entered a 12 week transformation contest and won a trip to Hawaii. The gym I belong to (Omni Gym in Rock Hill, SC) displayed my before and after photos and story. One of the trainer’s at the time mentioned to me that I should do a bikini competition. My initial reaction was there is no way I am going to put on a skimpy suit and 5” heels and walk across a stage! But the idea kept nagging at me and I decided, what did I have to lose?... or on second thought, win? So that’s when I entered my first show.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: I am very fortunate that my husband is 110% supportive of me in this sport. So are my children, parents and mother-in-law. Initially some of my siblings and extended family had a little challenge seeing me as a bodybuilder but now they are all so excited for me and my success.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
AL Competing is not quite what I expected. It is a lot more work than I realized. But I do like a challenge and look at it as a lifestyle choice. On the other hand, it is a lot more rewarding than I expected too. It is fascinating to learn so much about how our bodies work and see how proper nutrition and exercise can change our look.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I began by entering figure competitions in 2006-2007; won numerous state and regional bench press competitions in 2008 (USAPL, APF and IBP); placed 2nd in the USAPL National Bench Press Championship in 2008; won my class at my first Bodybuilding show in NJ in 2009; entered the NPC Nationals in 2009; won my class and best overall at the NPC Mid-Atlantic National Qualifier in Charlotte (promoted by Kevin DeHaven and Dar Malecki) in 2010; and again entered but didn’t place in the 2010 NPC National Bodybuilding Championships.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Hmmm…. It’s hard for me to choose just one… each one been my favorite at one time or another. I guess it would be fair to say my favorite one is the one I am currently working out :-)

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Currently, my goal is to get really good at wide grip pull-ups. For my all time favorite exercise, I Love to bench press.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I normally weight train 6 days a week and eat a fairly clean diet all the time. During contest prep, I usually up my reps and cardio. And spend more time weighing and measuring my food and water requirements daily.

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: When someone sees my physique or hears I compete, the reaction is very positive. Most of the time, people ask me questions about my training or diet or how long did it take for me to get this way?

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I feel happy to respond to people’s questions because I understand that most times they feel motivated by my physique and want to learn how they can better themselves. What I have minimal tolerance for is whiners and complainers or people who make excuses.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I think the biggest misconception is that women who weight train lose their femininity. Also, people don’t realize how important nutrition is in achieving good results.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: I love setting and reaching new goals. So the best part for me is the process and seeing the results of my hard work. The worst part is trying to find the time to set aside to do it all.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: There are so many.... I really appreciate all bodybuilders because I respect the hard work and dedication it takes to achieve the level of competitor. Although I would say, one that stands out to me is Denise Masino. I think she reflects my image of the ideal feminine bodybuilder plus she has become a good mentor and friend.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: If I plan a cheat, it will probably be cookies, pizza or a vanilla cone dipped in chocolate from dairy queen.

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: Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Look at where you are and where you want to be and allow yourself to feel proud as you achieve milestones on the journey to your goal. Be the best YOU can be based on the assets you currently have.
Oh and, put the weights back when you are finished using them :-)

Q: Do you think it is becoming more common to see women in the gym training as hard as men?
A: Ha ha!!! That’s a funny question; do you think men really train hard? ;) idk if I would say that. I think there may be more women coming to the gym these days compared to the “old” days. And there are probably some men who train as hard as some of the women. Don’t necessarily think that work ethic is related to gender.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, learning and experiencing new things, gardening, painting and trance music.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Maureen Clary.
A: Very busy! Start the day early, go to the gym, eat, and take my daughter to school. Eat, work at our consulting business, eat. Sometimes a 2nd workout, eat. Evenings are for home maintenance, kid’s activities, family time and eating.

Q: Describe Maureen Clary in five words.
A: Thoughtful, Optimistic, Goal-driven, Passionate, Unique

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Hmmm... I have a lot of surprises… One would be I used to sing Opera.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes, I plan on doing a couple of national shows later this year.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I am fortunate to have had a few great sponsors that I am proud to plug.
•Omni Gym in Rock Hill, SC is a great gym with a great staff, great members, 5 benches, 2 squat racks and a wide variety of other equipment that is maintained. The trainers are sincere and have helped a lot of people. The group fitness manager makes working out fun. Lots of cardio equipment. Plus the gym is kept very clean.
•Rock Hill Nutrition, owned by Steve (competitor) and Danielle Wayman. They take pride in the fact that every product they sell has to pass their flavor, mixability, potency, effectiveness and safety test.
*Contenders Boxing Ring. Boxing is an excellent cardio workout and Joe Mayer’s gym has a really cool atmosphere, boxing ring, weight room and experienced trainers. Check them out at www.contendersboxing.comAnd a few friends, who are bodybuilders and dedicated, knowledgeable personal trainers that I would like to recommend and promote are:
Emmett Ballard, Tega Cay, SC and
Mary Ellen Jerumbo, El Paso, TX

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Maureen Clary the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes, I am looking for sponsors who have a quality product or service they would like to promote. I am in the process of creating a website at but until it’s up, Facebook is probably the easiest way to reach me. Search for Maureen Donlevy Clary.
What would a sponsor get in Maureen Clary the athlete and competitor? I would say a person who is easily approachable, comfortable to talk with and one who would actively promote their product.

Q: Maureen, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you for the opportunity, Jason. I hope 2011 will be a successful one for you and that you will be pain free and reach all your goals!

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