Monday, March 14, 2011

Mary Stanton Interview

Mary Stanton originally went to the gym so she could spend time with her husband. She has turned quality time into a love for the gym. Lifting for just two and a half years, she has built an impressive physique in that time which I think is highlighted by her back. She says she is a great example of a woman over 40 "doing it", but really she is an example of a woman of any age doing it.

Q: First, Mary, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am a California Native; moved to Washington state in 1994. I have three kids, 19, 15, and 11. I am married and work full time as a vocational counselor that does job placement and educational assistance and workshops, for Washington State. I graduated with a Social Science Bachelor's degree from California State University Sacramento and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, until my family moved to the Sacramento area when I was in the middle of high school.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I wasn't particularly athletic. I was inconsistent with my work outs and mainly did cardiovascular exercise, but it was sporadic. I had zero knowledge of weight training and thought I had a good handle on nutrition, but, little did I know, I had fair eating habits. I was not fat, but definitely not toned. I am 41 years old. I played volley ball and softball in high school.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: My husband was competing at the time and the only time I saw him during that time was at the gym.

Q:Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I am a naturally competitive person. My husband hired a trainer for me for only three sessions and then I got help from fellow gym mates. I have been lifting seriously for 2 1/2 years. I saw results after about 4 months.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I went to my husbands competition and was inspired by all of the athletes. I was in awe and wondered if I could do it. My two friends said they wanted to compete the next year. I agreed to do it if they did it, but then, once I hired, Todd Scott, my trainer and got serious, maybe a month later, they dropped out, after only one week of being on the diet, but I could not stop!

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes, I have tremendous support via my children, my spouse, co workers and trainer. My friends at the gym also keep me motivated. They keep me going and if it was not for the sacrifice of my family, I would not be able to do it.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: The eating aspect is not too difficult. I guess I was surprised as to how disciplined I was. I never considered myself a person that could be so disciplined. I was surprised I hated cardio so much, when in the past, it was all I did.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2010, Emerald Seattle, Lightweight division, 6th place,
*2010, Empire Classic, Lightweight division, 5th place.
My goal is to do better this year.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My shoulders and back.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love to work shoulders and chest and triceps. I am a huge fan of incline deltoid exercises and anything chest. Enjoy a reverse grip tricep press.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Off season, I have 5 days cardio and weights, eat 8 times a day and have weekends off from everything, diet included.
On season, Jan-April, 7 days a week cardio, 2x a day and weights 5 days a week. No cheat days; 7 days diet. I eat about 300 grams of protein a day.

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:I usually have a great reaction from folks. I guess there is this huge misnomer about female bodybuilders and what that consists of. Many generalizations, of which I address directly. Most folks have questions about my diet or work out regime. Men and women alike want to know what I do for a shoulder work out.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "I could never give up booze" Or " How many days till competition?"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That women who train turn into men. Bugs the crap out of me.

Q:What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: Hate early morning cardio. Love my pump and day of contest.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire Jamie Eason or any pro athlete, and have a tremendous amount of respect for my fellow athletes. I admire a local gal, Anne Gannon, who I competed against last year and she took overall, at almost 57!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Bacon Burger!

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: It will be the hardest thing you ever loved!

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 believe, the more of us women that train and compete and break down the walls of generalizations, the better. I always personally welcome females that come to the free weight side of my gym. Us girls need to stick together.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I am a huge foodie and cook. I love the food network and watch it constantly. I guess I vicariously "eat" the food, I cant have.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Mary Stanton.
5:15 am one hour cardio
Work 8-5pm
Weights 5-630
Kid stuff chaos 630-830
Cardio 830-930

Q: Describe Mary Stanton in five words.
A: Funny, Clumsy, Disciplined, Driven and Blessed

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I love hard core rap

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am doing my first Marathon in October, this year. I am going to do the Montana April show next year, to mix it up, instead of Emerald.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Thanks Todd Scott, my trainer and Team Pitcher, for info, help, and inspiration!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Mary Stanton the athlete and competitor?
A: Sure! They are getting a hard worker, a great networker and great example of a woman, over 40, doing it!

Q: Mary, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Nope, thanks for the opportunity!

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