Saturday, February 5, 2011
Heather Nappi Interview
Competed twice. Won overall in first show, and took 2nd in the next one becoming qualified for nationals. Pretty good right. Thats what Heather Nappy did. Looking at her stage pictures, it is very easy to see why. An athlete all her life, competing seems like an obvious progression, and she had really progressed. Training now with the great Team Bombshell, there is no limit to how far Heather can go in this sport.
Q: First, Heather, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you for asking me :-)
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am 27 years old and from Ashtabula, Ohio. I am an only child and have lived in Ohio my whole life until I moved for graduate school. I attended Case Western Reserve University for my undergraduate degree and majored in Political Science. I currently live in Michigan and attend Thomas Cooley Law School. I am in my 3rd year and graduate in September of this year.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I definitely was. I was a gymnast for a few years in my early teens. When I was a freshman in high school, I tried out for the volleyball team and I was immediately hooked. I played volleyball all four years of high school, played at Case where I was captain my senior year, and also continued to play on co-ed teams after I graduated college. I was also a track and field runner, hurdles being my specialty.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I have always loved to train and workout. We did a lot of strength training in gymnastics and I wanted to continue that so I started going to the gym with my mom when I was 15. I continued to train, especially in the off season, when I played high school and college athletics. Even after graduating college I still went to the gym 5-6 days a week.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Luckily, I have been in fairly good shape all of my life which I contribute to my athletic background. Since I had been weight training and working out for so long I did pick up training fairly easy. I really started seeing results when I committed to my first NPC bikini competition in July of 2010 and started noticing results after about a month or so. I lost 20 pounds total to compete in my first show!
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time.
A: I attended my first NPC event, the Michigan Championships, in 2010 because my boyfriend was competing in the light heavyweight division. I saw the bikini division and really like the women’s physiques and I thought it would be something I would enjoy doing. I also wanted to change my physique and I figured that would be a great way to do it!
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My close friends are very supportive but like most it was hard for them to grasp the lifestyle changes (no drinking, eating out, have to eat every 2-3 hours, etc). My mom is super supportive of anything I do. My dad seemed hesitant at first, but eventually warmed up to the idea and now he is totally supportive.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A I noticed that being in the audience at a show and being a competitor are definitely two different things. When you are a spectator you dont realize all the hectic things going on back stage and all of the effort that goes into getting ready for a competition. As soon as I stepped on the stage for my first show I was hooked. What I also enjoyed was how all of the girls are so supportive of one another and I enjoyed being in that atmosphere.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I have only done two shows. I started my dieting and training in July of 2010 with Nicole Wilkins Lee. I competed in my first show September 25, 2010 at the Natural Northern Michigan and Peggy Sue Classic and won the Overall. The following weekend I competed at the Natural Northern USAs, placed 2nd, and qualified for nationals. I have been training with Team Bombshell since November 2010.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My legs :-)
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I love to train legs; however, I also like to train glutes and shoulders since those are the areas I want to improve on for this season.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Right now I train 5 days a week and eat 6 small meals a day. For contest prep it is mostly taking out carbs.
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: A lot of the women at the gym ask me what I do and how I do it. When I say it is mostly diet people tend to shy away (I do not think anyone likes hearing that). But by competing I hope to inspire and motivate others and I feel like I do that when people ask me questions.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Some people (mostly guys) at the gym think that I am extremely skinny, when I am not, and it is frustrating because they do not know what the bikini division entails. We have muscle too!!! When I was losing weight for my first competition I was getting a lot of those comments.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?A
A: That competing is a lifestyle and a life choice. We compete because we love it and are passionate about a healthy lifestyle.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: I love all aspects of training but some days it is hard getting through a cardio session after weight training.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: In the bikini division I admire all of my Bombshell sistas!!! We all work so hard and are very supportive of each other :-) Some of my favorite bikini pros are Nathalia Melo, Jennifer Andrews, Ali Rosen, Jessica Jesse, and Nicole Nagrani just to name a few.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pizza and pancakes for sure!! But I do have a major sweet tooth.
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: As my trainer always says, it starts in the kitchen. Your diet is the most important component to your training. Also, if you are serious, to hire a trainer.
Q: Do you think it is becoming more accepted by society to see women training as hard as men in the gym?
A: Yes and no. I think the women who compete in bodybuilding are not as accepted by the men (probably because they are intimidated lol) But all female competitors train just as hard if not harder than the men at the gym.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I still love to play volleyball when I can. Like any girl I love to shop. But other than that just hitting the books for school.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Heather Nappi.
A: A typical day for me would be they gym in the morning for a few hours, doing homework, going to class, and just definitely trying to stay on track all day with my diet.
Q: Describe Heather Nappi in five words>
A: Outgoing, Energetic, Personable, Ambitious, and Driven
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I do not eat red meat
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am starting the season off with a local/regional show and then off to Nationals :-)
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: If you are interested in becoming and NPC bikini, figure, or fitness athlete please checkout Team Bombshell on Facebook or check out their website :-) Shannon and Rob are great and all the girls are very supportive!!
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Heather Nappi the athlete and competitor? Yes :-) They can reach me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Facebook. What they would be getting is a very dedicated and hard working athlete who has a passion for this industry.
Q: Heather, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you again for this great opportunity!!