Sunday, February 13, 2011

Suzanne Germano Interview

if you follow the sport you know about Suzanne Germano. Suzanne is legally blind. Now you might look at her photos and say something like "Wow, that's an impressive physique she has built considering what she deals with". Really, fact is an amazing physique for anyone, blind or not. Suzanne has consistently improved with each show, whether in her figure days or in bodybuilding. And with a positive attitude she will keep improving.

Q: First, Suzanne thanks for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you very much for the opportunity.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born in San Diego and spent my first 40 years there. We moved to Buffalo Grove, Illinois (NW suburb of Chicago) in 2005 and were there until June of 2010. We are now in Chandler, Arizona, outside of Phoenix. I live with my husband and biggest supporter Chase with out 2 German Shepherds and 2 cats. Our daughter Christine is going to school at Missouri University of Science and Technology where she is pursuing a degree in Biology for Secondary Education. I have 2 sisters who, along with my dad, still live in California. My mom lives in Maine.
I have a degree in Computer Science and Information Systems and have worked as a computer programmer. I also am a certified Montesoori Primary teacher and taught for about 4 years.

Q: Now on thing people may not know is that you are legally blind. Can you talk a little about that.
A: I was born with a congenital condition called achromatopsia. I have the rod monochromat type. I am severely light sensitive, basically totally blind, out in the sun without the use of red contact lenses plus very dark sunglasses and it is still extremely bright for me. I am also totally color blind. I have very decreases visual acuity, I can barely see the big E on the eye chart. I can read if close enough and large enough. I cannot recognize people more than a few feet away. I am unable to drive. I have to squint all the time to see and often that gets mistaken for me being unfriendly.

Q: Does that in anyway affect your training? I would assume it makes it a little harder.
A: As far as training, it mostly affects me if I got to a new gym since I need to find the equipment I want and the adjustment on the equipment.

Q: You first got into the gym in 1995 because you were overweight. What made you decide that it was time to get in the gym?
A: Well I had been extremely overweight for about 4 years and was very unhappy but I wasn't sure what to do. All the statistics said that most people who lose weight gain it back plus more and I didn't want to get into the yo-yo of dieting so for a long time I did nothing. In 1995, my aunt who was a year older than me, was renting a room from me and she wanted to join the gym but didn't want to join alone so I decided to go ahead and join with her. My sister had always worked out and I felt training was a better way to go than just dieting.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started getting results?
A: Yes I bought a few books including Getting Stronger by Bill Pearl which showed all the exercises for each body part. My results started to show but were very slow. I began to change my diet from eating out all the time to eating at home and making better choices, but did not follow a diet per se. Then in 1999 I read Body For Life by Bill Phillips and that is when I began eating 6 meals a day adding things like protein powder.

Q: What made you decide to compete?
A: By 2001 I had gotten all the weight off and people would often ask me if I compete. At that point I began to consider it. A member of the gym I trained at said he used to be a judge and thought I should look into competing in bodybuilding. So December 2001 I started to diet for my first show in March 2002.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes they have always been supportive and came to my shows when I competed in California.

Q: Was the first show what you expected or did anything surprise you?
A: I was mostly surprised by the fact that after so many years of note even wanting my picture taken and being ashamed of how I looked that I was on a stage in a bikini.

Q: Now, you started in bodybuilding, then went to figure, and then back to bodybuilding. Why the change for figure and then back to bodybuilding?
A: I went to figure for a couple of reasons. Having come from being fat I feared being big. I equated that with being fat. I felt figure was a way to compete and stay tiny. I also thought that I would never be able to have abs because the skin was lose on my belly when I was lean and I had zero back so thought I would never be able to do a lat pose.
While training for 2007 Jr. Nationals for figure, I went to Oklahoma City about 6 weeks out to training with my trainer Jeremy Miniahan. He said my legs were already really lean and wanted to know if I would think about switching to bodybuilding. Without hesitation I agreed. That was the best decision. I am so much happier in bodybuilding.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2002- NPC San Diego World Gym Classic- Bodybuilding- Masters 3rd/ Novice LW 2nd
*2002- NPC California- Bodybuilding- Masers 5th/Novice LW 2nd
*2003- NPC Sand Diego World Gym Classic- Bodybuilding- LW 6th/Masters 6th/ Novice LW 3rd
*2004- NPC Tournament of Champions- Figure- Class A 4th/Masters Short 8th
*2004- NPC Border States- Figure- Class A 8th/Masters Short 6th
*2006- NPC San Diego World Gym Classic- Figure- Class A 2nd/Masters Short 1st/Overall
*2006- NPC Emerald Cup- Figure- Class A 9th
*2007- NPC Jr. Nationals- Bodybuilding- LW 2nd
*2007- NPC Nationals- Bodybuilding- LW 10th
*2009- NPC Jr. Nationals- Bodybuilding- MW 1st/Overall
*2009- NPC Nationals- Bodybuilding- MW 4th
*2010- NPC Nationals- Bodybuilding- MW 4th

Q: Do you keep track of measurements, and if so, can you share them.
A: Weight off season 145-147 and contest 125. Measurements: Arms 14.5 and legs 23

Q: What do you feel is your best body part or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: I think it has become my back, which used to be my very worst part. Or quads. People compliment my legs the most.

Q: Do you have a favorite part tot rain or favorite exercise?
A: Leg day is my absolute favorite day! As far as exercise, right now it is deadlifts since it is one that is challenging me to push harder each week.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My training is the same on and off season. I like to really cay my workouts. Sometimes straight set, sometimes supersets or giant sets. But I always train with intensity.
Current split: Saturday-Legs, Sunday- Upper back/ Rear delts/ Traps, Monday-Off, Tuesday- Chest/Tri's, Wednesday- Lower back/Delts, Thursday- Off, Friday-Arms
I eat high carbs, moderate protein, low fat on and off season. My off season has more variety like whole wheat pasta and breads. More fruits and dairy. Right now I am 6 meals at 45g carbs, 25g protein, and low fat, plus post workout of 50g carbs and 25g protein from whey isolate.

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I have received negative comments but overall I hear mostly compliments and questions as to if I compete.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question you are most sick of hearing?
A: "How much do you bench?"

Q: Are their any major misconceptions about female bodybuilders or things you wish people knew?
A: I think the biggest misconception is that we desire to look like men. Muscle is not masculine or feminine. Ones femininity is in their actions and how they express themselves. Most men don't have muscle but we don't refer to them as feminine so why if a woman has muscle is she masculine?

Q: Do you think muscular women are more accepted by society today than five years ago?
A: I am not really sure, I think so. Although it seems that being overweight has become more and more accepted so anyone who is in shape seems to be looked at as odd for eating right and working out.

Q: If someone wanted to start training, whats the one piece of advice you would want to give them?
A: It is a slow process. It takes a lot of dedication and consistency. Enjoy each day of the journey, don't just look at the end result.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Sherry Smith. She is such a giving and friendly person. Despite the fact she works full time as a fire fighter and does some part time jobs. She preps for her shows and still gives of herself to help me out with rides and things when I am in town to train with my trainer Jeremy Minihan. She is such a hard worker and the nicest person you could ever meet.
Zoa Linsey who fought through excruciating pain to fulfill her dream of standing on the Olympia stage. She is such a warrior!!

Q: You also have a website. Can you give out the address and tell people what they can find there.
A: It is It has pictures from ym competitions and photoshoots. I also go in depth about my weight loss transforation and how I started in bodybuilding. I am planning on adding videos of my training soon.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activites you enjoy>
A: Taking our 2 dogs for walks and working on their training. I would like to get them both their BH certification, which is an obedience title. I also do all the work on my website so I read and learn new website programs and techniques.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Suzanne Germano.
A: Pretty unexciting. Take our 2 German Shepherds for a walk, cardio, I lift in the evenings with Chase. Take care of the house, read, work on my website and continue to learn more about web design and programming.

Q: Describe Suzanne Germano in five words.
A: Driven, Perfectionist, Loving, Honest, Insecure

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?A
A: I skied on the U.S. Ski Team at the World Winter Games for the disabled in Innsbruck, Austria in 1984

Q: Any set plans for 2011?
A: My plan is the USA's in July and then North Americans in September.

Q: Anything you want to take the time to plug or promote?
A: My trainer, Jeremy Minihan, who I have worked with for over 4 years. Together we have worked hard to completely change my physique ad work on balance and symmetry. he helped me work on getting my metabolism functioning optimally.I can't thank him enough for suggesting I switch back to bodybuilding back in 2007. He is dedicated to ensuring that each person is treated as an individual and will think outside the box to find what will work. He also continues to remind me why I do this and to enjoy each and every day of the journey and that the most important thing is competing against myself and being my very best at each and every show.
Sherry Smith IFBB Pro bodybuilder who has been a great friend and helped me so much over the last few years. She helps me with my routines and makes sure I get to places when I come to Oklahoma City to work with Jeremy.
Chase the love of my life and best friend, for being such a huge support and for all the sacrifices he has made so I can compete.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors?
A: In 2010 I was sponsored by Tamee Marie Go Figure Suits. She made me the most beautiful suit for finals and was wonderful to work with.
I haven't been actively looking for sponsors although it would be great to be a sponsored athlete. If I were to be sponsored I would work booths, do demos at gyms, do everything I could to help promote their product. I can be reached at

Q: Suzanne, I thank you for doing this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you for letting me share a bit about myself and for your role in promoting fit women.

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