Thursday, January 20, 2011

You Asked It with Victoria Larvie

As you may know by now, You Asked It, is a chance to change it up. Instead of me asking the questions, I let you ask the questions. For Fitness Week, the person to do You Asked It, had to be Victoria Larvie. Why? For one, she was the initial inspiration for Fitness Week. Secondly, Victoria is very important to me. She was the first person to ever give me advice, and I have since found, that's just the kind of person Victoria is. She is a real role model, not just for the younger generation, but anyone looking to get in shape. One day Victoria will be on the Olympia stage, and I will be there in the front row to see that.

Q: What did you find most intimidating when you started competing?
A: The audience. IF they are screaming and cheering it is great, but when they are dead silent, it is very intimidating.

Q: What do you like most about fitness competitions?
A: Being able to share your talent with others. I have been a gymnast since age 3, competitively since I was 7, then competitive cheer since age 14. Fitness Competitions give me the same satisfaction as performing in both of those sports.

Q: How much time and thought goes into preparing a routine?
A: I start thinking of my theme immediately at the end of my last competition for the season. Once I make my decision, it is then picking the music. Once I have done that;, my mom starts working on the costume design and my choreographer and I get together to put it together. He then builds the music to go with the routine. I practice it 2-3 times a week until it is second nature. By the time I perform it the first time, I have been doing that routine for at least 2-3 months.

Q: You are very popular. What do you attribute your popularity to?
A: That one is hard for me, as I don’t think of myself as being very popular. All I can think of is, maybe it is the fact that I did start out so young in the industry. There are those that have followed my career since I was 12, and have been very supportive. There are others that condemned my parents for allowing me to do it, so haters make you famous also, as your name is still on their lips.

Q: Do you think winning your Pro card at such an early age had any negatives for you?
A: No, The only disadvantage was being the first, and the industry not knowing how to deal with it. My biggest problem still is when I contact sponsors and all of them want their athletes to be at least 21. . I wish the industry would look at the opportunity for a larger demographic by adding Teen’s as their spokespersons. With childhood obesity on the rise, a positive role model that they can relate to would be a benefit to a company I would think. That is the only negative thing I have come across, but I would have no problem if my little sister wanted to follow in my footsteps or to suggest to other young girls to enter. The NPC family was just that, a family, and very supportive and encouraging throughout my entire time. I even said after helping at 2010 NPC Nationals here in Atlanta, it felt like a family reunion. I developed more self confidence than most girls my age, and I attribute a lot of that to competing at a young age. Now in the IFBB, it is the same, very encouraging, and now I get to compete internationally. I have met so many competitors from other countries that I would have never met otherwise.

Q: What is your normal training split like?
A: Monday-Shoulders, Cardio & Abs; Tuesday-Cardio & Abs; Wednesday-Legs& Cardio; Thursday-Back, Cardio & Abs; Friday-Cardio & Abs

Q: Why do you think Fitness seems to be getting less and less attention?
A: As a competitor it is easier and less costly to do figure. Also, every time you step on stage, you risk injury. That doesn’t just effect your competition but your actual life and job etc. For a promoter, when the entries are less for fitness, then you go with the divisions that bring the money in. It is a business, so they have to do what brings in the money for them. If there was more incentive for girls to get into fitness, then I think we would have them, as well as those who have left and gone to figure and bikini would return. If you look at the front of the magazines for Bodybuilding or fitness, it is not a fitness competitor you see but a Figure or Bikini, so why risk injury when there is no more incentive to do so. FOR me, FITNESS is the reason I got into the industry, so my first choice will always be Fitness, on a magazine cover or not, it is about the sport not about the fame.

Q: If there was no Fitness, could you see yourself doing Figure?
A: Never say Never, but the main reason I compete is for the athletic side. I was a gymnast and competitive cheerleader, and the love I had for those sports, I get to incorporate into my fitness routines. I consider Fitness a sport, and that is what I like about it.

Q: Do you think Fitness should be scored 50/50 between routine and physique or different?
A: No, I think the fitness routine should be the majority of the score. 75/25. The routine is what makes us fitness, that is what we do, and that should carry the most weight of the score. We should be in shape also, but that should not out-weigh the routine, that is what figure and bikini are for. Also in preparing for a show, we cannot lower our water & Carbs as much as a figure competitor because if they make the routine first, then we could potentially get injured. Each competition is different as to when we compete our routine. Since you don’t know sometimes until you arrive the order of events; that can really alter your last minute preparation which can throw your figure scores off.

Q: It always seems you take pride in being a positive role model type. Is that true? If so, why is that so important to you?
A: First, let me say, I am glad you see that, it is always my goal to be a positive role model. I have been truly blessed by God, So following the principle of I Corinthians 10:31,” ……Do all to the glory of God” I feel that it is my responsibility to be a positive role model; especially to other teens. I have a unique opportunity at this time in my life, to be a teenager living a healthy life style, when childhood and teen obesity is on the rise. I feel that if I am promoting a healthy lifestyle then other teens may see they can do it to. I want teenage girls to have a good self image, not that they have to be ultra skinny or can’t eat, but that they learn how to make themselves physically fit and eat healthy and that working out doesn’t mean you have to be a body builder, but that you are physically fit. Some of Hollywood’s role models don’t follow this type of lifestyle that is where I feel I can make a difference.

Q: I just started working out. I hope to one day be of stage caliber. However I often feel awkward at the gym because everyone is in such great shape. Do you have any suggestions on how to overcome the awkward feeling?
A: Having a friend that will work out with you, or hiring a personal trainer, will help you to focus more on the reason you are there rather than who else is there. Trust me those that are in shape now, were not always that way. They had to start somewhere also, they just choose to stay in shape and that is why you see them in the gym still.

Q: What kind of cardio do you do, and how much do you do off season and during prep?
A: I switch between elliptical and cross trainer and the rotating stairs and the stair master.
Off- season-45 minutes a session During Prep-2 hours a session
Do you ever get nervous before you get on stage? Always, but once the music starts for my routine then I am lost in it. The worst for me is the Bikini mandatory poses, I just think of what I am going to eat as soon as I get off stage to try to keep from shaking.

Q: I am no expert, but it seems your last show or two, you added more muscle. Did you, and if so, was that a conscious decision?
A: The last show I did, I had a new trainer, and neither of us realized that my dad’s natural bulking genetics were also in me, and the protein shakes that most of his figure girls’ use, I CANNOT use. It was not our intention, as the look for the Figure portion of the fitness score is to not be bulky or overly muscular; they want us to be lean. That is why I did not compete the rest of 2010. He suggested that I take some time off, let my body rest, since I had done 4 shows in less than a year, and the way fitness shows are so spread out, my body had done the up/down/up/down for that year to include my body’s natural maturing. My look for the 2011 season will be leaner

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