Sunday, February 6, 2011

Natalie Rae Ariel Interview

Natalie Rae Ariel started out doing Figure. In 2009 she switched to bodybuilding and in that time has put together one of my favorite physiques. Natalie is the description of symmetry. She has amazing legs, and I personally rank her arms up there with the best. She also is the kind of person who has that attitude that instantly attracts you and makes you want to root for her. She hasn't decided on when she will compete next, but you can bet she will look even better than before and really making a big name for herself in the sport.

Q: First, Natalie, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: No, Jason, thank you. My pleasure.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Born, raised, and currently reside in CHICAGO, IL. I have 1 older sister by 2 years, living in PA. Have been engaged to Nate Wolfe( since July of 2008.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Not really. I mean, in Grammar School I played volleyball and softball and in High School I was on the Swim Team and played Water Polo for a year, but I never excelled at any of these sports. I was involved for the social aspect, if anything. Once I went to college(Illinois State University), it was all party!!!!lol

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I picked up a copy of my sister’s Oxygen Magazine one day. I was in AWE as I flipped through the pages looking at the physiques of Monica Brant, Adela, Jenny Lynn, and Davana Medina. So I started working out in a home gym I set up for myself. I didn’t even start going to a REAL gym until I after Jr. National’s in 2006.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes. I had some dumbbells and an Incline/Decline Bench set to start with. Once I started to workout consistently, I saw results. It wasn’t until I started eating better that I saw results though. Through trail and error, I have learned that my body put on muscle EASILY, BUTTTT it also puts on FAT easily if I don’t watch my diet! I will say that I really didn’t start looking the way I wanted to until I started working with Elena Seiple in 2006. By that time I knew what to do in the gym, just not with the diet.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: When I made a SOLO appearance at the 2005 Jr. National’s. I went for Friday night Pre-Judging all by myself. As soon as I saw Valerie Waugaman on stage, I told myself I was going to compete. I was in awe of the entire atmosphere of the show.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: YES. My family has been MY ROCK! Had they not been supportive, I can honestly say that I don’t think I would have been able to keep competing. Anyone that has prepped before knows how hard it can get if you do NOT have that support. My friends were supportive although they weren’t really aware of how hard prepping is. After meeting Nate in 2007, he inspired even more to keep competing. He believed in me more than I believed in myself when I made the decision to switch to Bodybuilding.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It is a whole lot MORE than I ever expected it to be. I didn’t realize what really goes into prepping for a show. Everything else about competing is just like any other sport.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2005- NPC Mid-West Ironman- 3rd Place- Figure Tall
*2006- NPC Mid-Illinois Bodybuilding, Fitness, & Figure Championships- 4th Place- Figure Tall
*2006- NPC Illinois State Bodybuilding, Fitness, & Figure Championships- 4th Place- Tall Class
*2006- NPC Junior National's- 16th Place(NP)- Figure Class D
*2007- NPC Junior USA's- 12th Place- Figure Class F
*2007- NPC Junior National's- 15th Place- Figure Class F
*2009- NPC Western Michigan Bodybuilding, Figure, & Bikini Championships- 1st Place Open Middle Weight & OVERALL
*2009- NPC Mid-West Ironman- 1st Place Open Middle Weight, OVERALL, & MOST SYMMETRICAL
*2010- NPC USA's-2nd Place Open Light Heavyweight
2010- IFBB North American Championships- 4th Place Open Light Heavyweight

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Hmmmm, I will say calves. Lol Only because I can honestly say they are 100% GENETIC :-) I didn’t have to work to get them. I feel as though I can improve all of my others. As far as strength goes, I will say my legs are my strongest body part.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I like to train shoulders. Funny how I think they are my weakest body part though. Favorite exercise: Squat

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: NORMAL training routine is 5-6 days a week. 1 body part a day. 8-10 reps. Sets depend on what I am training that day. I ALWAYS change it up. I NEVER do the same workout twice. My diet depends on what I am working out that day. Nate still does my diet during the offseason as well. When it comes to PREP, I add cardio, but everything else stays the same. I am still training 1 body part a day. I am still sticking with 8-10 reps. Nate has me on a carb cycling diet. I keep a Training Journal on my website if anyone ever wants to take a look at the details of my routine. Since Nov. 15th I have been training for POWERLIFTING. It has been a 5 day split, and is much different than what I would do for bodybuilding.

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: Well, that would depend on where I am I will say that I hear more POSITIVE than NEGATIVE, although I tend to hear what I want to hear :-) I don’t really allow negative people to affect me in general. The positive feedback motivates me. I LOVE to help people reach their goals, so to hear that I inspire someone makes me want to live this lifestyle even more.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: “How much can you bench?” I am a Cook County Correctional Officer and NO JOKE, at LEAST ONCE a day, I get asked that question. What bothers me even more is that I have a uniform on and all that is showing are my forearms!!!!! Lol My response is always “I don’t bench.” Throws them off a little bit :-)

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That every female has to take steroids in order to gain muscle. I wish people REALLY understood that if you put in the TIME, EFFORT, HEART, & PATIENCE into a training/diet/supplement regiment, that gaining muscle would come easier. Sure, genetics come into play a lot, BUT with hard work, it is achievable.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The BEST is just being there training. Breaking Personal Records on lifts is another. The WORST is probably when the diet makes you weaker, it is aggravating. Also, getting aches and pains don’t help.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Yes. A LOT. There are many who inspire me physique wise, but I will say that Angela Salvagno, Britt Miller, Kris Murrell, Sarah Hayes & Nicole Ball.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Anything sweet :-) I am more sugar than salt. So when I get a cheat I get more excited about the sweets I can have versus the burger & fries type. Nothing in particular. I would say Coldstone, but Nate does not allow that for a cheat, because my stomach cannot handle the ice cream during prep.

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: BE CONSISTENT & TRAIN FROM THE HEART. She should WANT to do it for HERSELF, not for any other reason or it won’t last. As long as she has the patience and is consistent, she will see results.

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: Honestly. No. Not by me at least. There are still a lot of people that are not educated about lifting weights. They still think that they will look like me if they start lifting heavy weights. The 2 gyms I go to, there are not very many females in the “weight” section. Unfortunate.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: No specific hobbies. I like girlie things like keeping up with make-up & fashion. I am big on “angry birds” right now :-) I actually have been thinking about getting into some photography lately.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Natalie Rae Ariel.
A: Wake up (8am), eat while checking e-mails. TRAIN. Eat and get food/uniform ready for work. WORK (3pm-11pm). Home to eat while watching Jimmy Fallon & catching up on day with fiancé. In bed by 12:30am.
On my off days I am training later and catching up with "life" or enjoying movie/dinner with fiancé.

Q: Describe Natalie Rae Ariel in five words.
A: Honest. Loyal. Humble. Disciplined. Indecisive.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I used to smoke.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I will be doing a the IL STATE USPF powerlifting meet on March 5th. I will also be guest posing at the Detroit Grand Prix on June 11, 2011. I have not decided on any competition plans for this year.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Nate Wolfe, my fiancé, best friend, training partner, life partner, and NUTRITIONIST :-) (
Lance’s Gym, (

Q: Are you looking for sponsors. If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Natalie Rae Ariel the athlete and competitor?
A: I currently do not have any sponsors. I am looking for a sponsorship that I can be loyal to. I believe that if you are sponsored by a company, you should not only use their product, but also ENJOY using their product. I am in the Chicago area and would be available for demos/booth work as well as promotion on my website. To contact me they can e-mail me @ or just go to my website( to send a contact form.

Q: Natalie, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you, Jason. It was my pleasure.

Q: Any last words before you go?
A: Do NOT compromise who YOU are for this sport... EVER. If you don't set boundaries for yourself and attainable goals for yourself, you are only setting yourself up for failure.

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