Friday, February 18, 2011

Jennifer Penfield Interview

First time I saw Jennifer Penfield, she right away fell into the class I call "Why don't I know more about her?". I was so impressed with her. A beautiful woman with an amazing physique who is clearly loaded with potential to do big things in the sport. And in reading her interview her love for what she does comes shinning through. I look forward to the big things that are coming her way.

Q: First, Jennifer, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Your Welcome :)

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Sure, I originally from a small town north of Syracuse, NY. I have one older brother, who is an Instrumental Music Teacher. I grew up working on crafts with my mom and hot rods with my dad. They both were very involved and always encouraged us to do our best and believe in ourselves.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Before becoming a figure competitor, I competed in intercollegiate tae kwon do and trained in karate as well. I also took lessons in ballroom dance. Prior to college I was always involved in music and/or dance of some sort.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I initially went to the gym to be stronger for martial arts and a general intrigue with seeing how far I could push myself.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Training came fairly easy to me. It runs in my family to be athletic and/or a good sense of body awareness. A couple cousins trained in martial arts as well.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I had been thinking of someway to compete again, I had finished college but the competitive spirit was still kicking in me. One day at my gym, Lonnie Teper (Ironman Magazine) asked if I was a competitor. When I said “not yet :) “, he suggested that I start with his show the 2010 West Coast Classic.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes, they have their concerns about some aspects of this sport/art but gradually they increasingly understood about it, but they always supported my drive to compete.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: For the most part it was what I expected, the actual competition that is. What I didn’t expect is how tiring that day can be and the intricacies of contest prep and recovery.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2010 West Coast Classic, 1st place in division
*2010 Pacific USA, 1st place in division
*2010 Tournament of Champions, 3rd place in division
*2011 Ironman Naturally, 2nd place in division

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one.?
A: My shoulders and back are coming in, they still need work, but I am liking the progress they have made. My best feature, however, is probably my butt. It gets the most attention ;) My abs are nice in that they are flat and fairly cut, but I would like them to get more of a 6 pack look.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I like training shoulders and back the most. One of my favorite exercises is wide grip pull ups. I do them very well, no kicking up or using the core to assist. I can start from a dead hang and rep them out. I also like cable straight arm pulls, I can really feel the muscles work on it.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal training routine is constantly changing at the moment as we are still honing in on the workout that works well for me. When it gets closer to contest the cardio goes up and the weights come down while the sets and reps increase.

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: Mostly the reaction is positive when people approach me, it is the people that make assumptions from afar that I get the negativity from. A lot of people start asking questions about their own routines and how they can improve them. Some tell me also that when they see how hard I work in the gym it inspires them to work harder, which I take as a great compliment.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: There can be a couple of things that get old real quick. I don’t like when people ask why I lift so heavy, to that I say why not? If I can lift it with good form and reach the rep/sets that I set out to do why would I go lighter?

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Steroids and their use. Many just assume people are on steroids if they are muscular, they truly may not be. I’m naturally a very muscular person. Also if they are, so what? It’s their body. There are a lot of misconceptions about steroids in the mainstream and the media vilifies the ones bodybuilders use while at the same time applauding the very same steroids under a different name/use (anti aging steroids for example). I’m not saying they are 100% safe and all, I’m just saying know your topic before you argue against it.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A" The best part of training is being fit and feeling good about your body, as well as having a goal to work towards. The worst part of training is that sometimes people don’t understand when you can’t go out late or drink , etc.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Jay Cutler, Phil Health, Branch & Trish Warren, Nicole Wilkins Lee, Adela Garcia, Mindi Smith

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: If I’m only being a little bad Trader Joe’s Sweet, Tart & Savory Trail Mix. If it’s a full out cheat it’s pizza and ice cream ;)

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: Take care of yourself. Most people focus on just the working out and maybe the diet, but you definitely have to take care of the recovery process as well. You can’t train your hardest if the body is hurting.

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: Yes, I see a gradual increase of women using the weights, granted its still male dominated but it’s becoming less taboo for women to be on that side of the gym.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love movies, I’m working towards getting into action films. I also am an avid reader and someday hope to have a room I can turn into my own library.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Jennifer Penfield.
A: A typical day starts at about 4 am with cardio, then breakfast. Then, usually, I will have a couple of morning clients. In the afternoon will come the second workout, either another cardio session or weight training. Then another round of evening clients. In the gaps between appointments I tend to focus on work details and office work. In the evening I like to have some time before I go to bed to relax. It is very important to have time to unwind before bed so that I am able to go to sleep (I struggle with insomnia).

Q: Describe Jennifer Penfield in five words.
A: Imaginative, Creative, Strong, Intelligent and Caring

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I have music performance degree and played flute at a professional level in college.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I will be competing in the California on May 28th, in Culver City. I’m also putting some video footage together and working towards building my reel.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: My Website:
My Fanpage:
My Twitter Page:!/Jenirose1
Any information and updates can be found on these pages!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Jennifer Penfield the athlete and competitor?
A: I am looking for sponsors! They reach me through any one of the sites above or my email . With me, they are getting a disciplined hard worker determined to succeed and put a positive, strong image out there for women!

Q: Jennifer, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this.


  1. That's my sister!!! Great Interview Jen and keep up the great work!!!

  2. that's my cousin!!! Did you forget that most people are also surprised you have a degree in Aerospace Engineering, too? You look beautiful!

  3. thanks for the comments! I just happen to be surfing the web and came across this interview i did awhile back and thought i would post an update - my webpage has been updates at and since the interview I competed at The Cal, The LA, and The USA !