Wednesday, January 19, 2011
WFF-WBBF Pro Bernadine Schwartz Interview
Obviously it is impressive to win your pro card. But how impressive is it to in it in just your third show? That is what Bernadine Schwartz did. After "always finding an excuse" not to go to the gym, Bernadine started going and fell in love with it and in a short time built an incredible physique, highlighted by an amazing back. Bernadine is taking 2011 off to work on her physique, but I expect 2012 to be an amazing year for her.
Q: First, Bernadine, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Only a pleasure.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was introduced to weight training at the end of 2008 by my husband /
trainer / training partner, Kevin. It instantly became a passion. I never
dreamt that I would actually step on stage but when people started asking if
I compete, I thought I would give it a try.
Well, now that I have fallen in love with competing and striving to keep
improving, there is no looking back, just passion, hard work, and discipline
and at the end of the day, it’s all worth it. Of course, having a
supporting family also helps a great deal. I have 2 weaknesses; peanut
butter and sushi. Pre-contest, I must admit, it is very difficult to
abstain from the temptation of peanut butter but in the end, I do. Where
training is concerned, I believe, push heavy or go home, there are no
I am proud to say that I am sponsored by Infinite Labs, there products are
phenomenal! I am also proud to announce that after only 20 months of
training I am now a WFF-WBBF Pro.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or
A: At High School I was a long distance runner. I got the Victrix Ludorum in
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: My husband has been training for about 15 years now. I used to sit at home
with the kids having my crisps and soda while he went to gym ! He kept on
asking me to join him at the gym but always had an excuse. Finally, I
thought, let me give it a try and well.........................no looking
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you
started to see results?
A: Yes, I picked it up very quickly and of course, the more I saw results the
more I wanted results. I find myself very blessed to have seen results as
quick as I did but I think the key to this was my determination and Kevin
pushing me extra hard.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: People asking me all the time if I competed. I finally thought, let me give
it a try.
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes, it gets a bit difficult pre-contest with the dieting etc. I must admit,
I'm not always myself but they are all very supportive.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I was very nervous my first 2 or 3 shows, I never thought I would be, my
legs were even shaking (which was visible) as I stood on stage but now that
I have gained more confidence in myself, I love being on stage.
Q: Can you share your contest history
*WFF-WBBF Provincials-Classic Performance Figure 1st
*WFF-WBBF SA's- Performance Figure 1st (WFF-WBBF SA CHAMP)
*WFF-WBBF WORLDS-Super Athletic Figure 1st (Received Pro Status)
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My back
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I love training shoulders
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter
it for contest prep?
A: I train very heavy 5 times a week. Out of season I do no cardio but in
season I do cardio up to 3 times a day. Out of season I just ensure I get
my adequate protein in otherwise, I eat as I like, in season my diet is very
strict, no cheat meals !
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 but I must say, some women still have a "thing" about women having
a muscular physique. I am very proud of the muscle I have gained because I
know how extremely difficult it is for a women to gain even a bit of muscle.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment
you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Do you train........"
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or
the one thing you wish people understood?
A: How difficult it is for a women to gain muscle. We don't have the same
testosterone that a male has so it's that much more difficult for us and NO
we don't have a steroid diet! People think you take some steroids the night
before and you wake up with muscles. They also think that if you have a bit
of muscle you MUST be on steroids............
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is of course the results you see, especially while you are
training and you have that "pump", I also enjoy the feeling of pushing
heavier weights that some of the guys even though I weight a whopping 50kg
(lol). I don't really have a worst part...
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire myself (lol). No, there is one girl that stood out to me,
unfortunately I don't have her name, she came 3rd in the WFF-WBBF Pro Show
2010. She is tiny but has the best symmetry I've seen to date. (Take note,
this was the first pro show I've seen)
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Sushi and peanut butter
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 let anyone ever tell you that you can't do something !
Q: Do you think it is becoming more accepted by society to see women
training as hard as men in the gym?
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Camping, Hiking, Dancing, Ice-Skating, Rugby
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Bernadine Schwartz.
A: 05:30 wake up, pack lunches, eat etc. 07:00 take kids to school 08:00 -
16:00 run my fathers Engineering firm 16:30 pick kids up 17:00 home, make
supper, help kids with homework etc. 18:30 - 20:00 gym 21:00 put kids to
bed, read them stories etc.
Q: Describe Bernadine Schwartz in five words.
A: Determined, Determined, Determined, Determined, Determined
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I was a big introvert. Never communicated with anyone. Wasn't even
confident enough to wear a pair of shorts. Always felt threatened by other
women, always felt inferior to everyone else. Starting gym and getting my
butt on stage has done me the world of good, inside and out. As they say,
never judge a book by its cover.
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am taking 2011 off to work on my physique. Of course 2012 I want to be a
force to be reckoned with !
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Visit my website on www.duogymwear.co.za. I also want to thank my Sponsor
Infinite Labs (Shane Neal) for always supplying me with everything I need.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors?
A: I am currently a Sponsored Athlete, thank you.
Q: Bernadine, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last
words before you go?
A: To all those out there that think they are not good enough ! You're wrong !
You just need a little push it the right direction. You are worth it !