Sunday, February 6, 2011
Carolyn Sessa Interview
When you do this for the length of time I have, you get to the point where it's hard to be "really excited" if a person says yes to an interview. Well when Carolyn Sessa said yes, I was really excited. In her question about what a potential sponsor gets, she says "looks, drive, and determination", add physique to that and that perfectly describes Carolyn. Oh, and we can add one more description, great at doing interviews. Carolyn did not disappoint and proved why I was so excited. She is about to begin prep for Team universe, and seeing her on stage makes attending that show worth it all by itself.
Q: First, Carolyn, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: It is my pleasure!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Sure! I am an avid animal lover! I have two pit bulls that are my babies! I love to eat, workout, watch movies, and sing while driving. I live in Long Island or shall I say Strong Island with my wonderful hubby and train over at the East Coast Mecca, Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym! I am always upbeat and happy and I love to surround myself with positive people.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I wish I could say that I was a gymnast- I always wanted to do gymnastics... But no. I never really played any sports except in seventh grade when I was on the basket ball team. Although, around the age of nine, I had a great interest in working out! My older brother that I looked up to, had gotten a home gym and dumbbell set. So I used to go down into the basement and copy what he did. Mostly I just played around with the leg extensions... up until my mother said my legs look big and to stop using Anthony's (my brother) machines.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I needed parental consent for my first gym membership. It was Lucille Roberts, I think I was either thirteen or fourteen. I worked out in my bedroom every night after dinner with some dumbbells and an ab roller. After a while found it too limiting. I needed to have access to an actual gym with real equipment, treadmills, and classes. My motivation was that I wanted to look like Britney Spears!
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A" Yes, training came very easy to me. I remember doing bicep curls in my bedroom one day and I became so worried because veins were coming out of my arms during the set-- it actually grossed me out at the time Lol! Now I LOVE veins! I am not sure how long it took to see results, but I saw my arms and legs changing and gaining shape to them which only motivated me to go further!
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: About seven years (when I knew nothing about this wonderful world of bodybuilding) I was sitting on the couch with my boyfriend (now my husband) and we were flipping through Flex magazine together. We came across a few pages that had all these girls in sparkling bikinis and bodies like I had never seen before! They put my Britney to shame. And I said, "Whoa, I want to look like that!" So I did some research about competing, got my license to be a personal trainer, and started getting my stuff together! It was a longer road than I thought- I trained and dieted about a year and a half until I stepped on stage for my first show.
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Initially my traditional Italian family grimaced when I had told them that I wanted to be a bodybuilder. They told me a woman should not have muscles and should be soft and beautiful. But my husband supported me and told me to just follow my dream. So I pressed on and competed. Guess what... my family is now counting the days until my next show-- they love what I am doing and my parents even have my competition photos on their phones so they can share them! My mother is my biggest fan and comes to every show with me... she is a huge help! I am so happy that now I have the support from my entire family... I would be able to do it with out them.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: Everything about competing surprised me! No matter how many people share their experiences with you there is nothing like living it! I couldn't believe how many coats of Pro Tan I needed, how many people were farting back stage, that I couldn't drink water for how long?! Competing is so much fun and I love dieting and everything that comes with our lifestyle-- it feels as though it my purpose.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Oh boy, okay let me think back:
*2007- NPC NY Metropolitan- 1st light weight bodybuilding
*2007- NPC Eastern USA- 4th light weight bodybuilding
While prepping for the 2007 Easterns I was on the fence about doing bodybuilding or figure... I was going to do both but I was terrible walking in heels. I decided that it would be my last show before switching over to figure.
*2008- NPC Brooklyn Grand Prix- 1st & Overall-- I cried my eyes out!
*2008- NPC Eastern USA- 1st
*2009- NPC Atlantic City8 2nd
*2009- NPC Team Universe- 4th
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I think my triceps rock!
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I have a love hate relationship with legs! Some days I cannot wait to murder them and other days I just don't wanna do it! I really love to train glutes & shoulders as well! Lunges have become one of my favorite exercises... I never realized how many variations there are to them and I love what they have done for my glutes!
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: As far as training goes I do shoulders and legs twice a week. I train arms and chest light, and I do "squeeze" workouts for back.
I keep cardio in the off-season 45 minute sessions, 6 days a week.
And as for diet I eat as clean as I can and give in to indulging twice a week! I have become addicted to Fage yogurt!
Once I start prepping there will be no more playing games! I follow a very strict diet which is high protein, low carb, low fat. Cardio will go up to 2-3 hours and I will have tunnel vision baby!
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 are usually shocked, and then proceed to ask a thousand questions. After explaining our lifestyle and what we do they tend to be highly impressed with the amount of dedication and devotion that we have for our sport.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Ugh, they usually ask if I can write them a diet and what they can do to get rid of their arm fat or love handles.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I wish that people knew how hard we all work, whether you are a bodybuilder, figure, fitness, or bikini competitor... we all work very hard.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: I cannot think of anything bad about training. I love to workout... it is one of the many things that make me happy and it makes me feel great about myself.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Oh Yes! Bev Francis!!! Juliana Malacarne, Monica Brant, Zivile Raudoniene, Larrisa Reis and Cory Everson.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Hmmm ya ready? Pizza, oatmeal cookies, frozen yogurt, Fage, swiss cheese omelet with home fries, chocolate, peanut butter, sweet potatoe fries, I love a huge salad with things in it like beans, sunflower seed, and roasted peppers.... and the list goes on and on! Of course not all at once :)
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: Only listen to one person. Find a good coach that is well seasoned in the division you want to compete in and only follow their advice. If you take guidelines from everyone it will not be a recipe for success. One coach, one recipe, one outcome.
Q: Do you think it is becoming more common to see women working in the gym with the weights and not just doing cardio and things?
A: Possibly. I think many woman are starting to learn that you do not become monstrous from a little weight training.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I just love having a great time! I love hanging out with my hubby, family and friends. I love dancing in my kitchen while I do housework and watching tv cuddled up with my hubby and my dogs. And with this crazy snow I really love driving my truck!
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Carolyn Sessa.
A: Nothing is typical about my day! The only thing that I can promise is that I make it to the gym!
Q: Describe Carolyn Sessa in five words.
A: Happy, Honest, Loving, Charismatic, and Determined.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I drive an army vehicle, the original Hummer! Humveeeeeeeee!
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I plan to begin dieting in a few weeks for Team Universe baby!! I cannot wait!
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I wish I had something to promote... hint, hint!
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Carolyn Sessa the athlete and competitor?
A: I would love a sponsor! I can be reached on Face Book. You get the looks, drive, and determination.
Q: Carolyn, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: It was definitely a joy to do this interview, I had fun and hope everyone enjoys it as well! Last words? Yeah Buddddy! I'll be back! Light weight