Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Rebecca Klopp Interview
\Winning is always nice. Rebecca Klopp won her first time on stage. Looking at pictures, its not hard to see why. She then went to nationals and received a "wake up call". She saw where she could make improvements and is taking some time off to make them. Rebecca is someone I expect some big things from and also see a potential big time fitness model in her.
Q: First, Rebecca, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank-you for the opportunity!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born in Lancaster County, PA. I moved to the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania as a child and I am still there today. I'm the second of three children with one older brother and one younger brother. I am employed as a Quality Control Laboratory Manager for the vaccine division of a major pharmaceutical company. I've been with the same company for ten years.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I've always been active. I grew up loving cheerleading and gymnastics, participating in both through high school. But even though I was active, I was always on the chubby side. As an adult I took up distance running to stay in shape and try to slim down. I completed the Marine Corps Marathon in 2006, several half marathons, and other distance runs over the years.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I love the look of muscles on a woman! It was never a skinny super model that I envied but a lean mean gymnast or track star body. In pursuit of that, I had been doing cardio along with weights on and off since college. I never got the diet right, so I never got the results I wanted and I was always struggling with my weight.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I was blessed to have met my wonderful boyfriend Barrett who was a personal trainer, nutritionist, and bodybuilding competitor. He put together a diet and exercise plan for me and I stuck to it. Over the course of six months my body completely transformed at the age of 34 years old. We took pictures every few weeks and I saw progress each time.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time ?
A: I went with Barrett to a local bodybuilding show, the NEPA Natural in 2009. When the figure girls came out, I was in love!! I loved everything about what I saw. Their muscle tone and femininity, the confidence they exuded, the sparkly suits and the high heels. They looked like perfection to me and I wanted to be one of them!
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: I got mixed reactions at first, which bothered me at the time, but I did my best to tune out any negative. Fortunately, I had the complete support of my boyfriend, my sister in law, and a few close friends. As training and dieting became grueling, I needed words of encouragement and was able to turn to them.
When competition day arrived, I was so blessed to have many friends and co-workers in the crowd at my first competition. It made it such a special experience. I want to thank them all for their support and making me feel so special on that day!! It was such a proud moment in my life.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: Competing on competition day was fun! Having a background in cheerleading and gymnastics I wasn't afraid of being in front of a crowd. The hard part was the contest prep, specifically the diet. I was told it would be tough but was surprised to discover just how demanding and time consuming the process was. It made running a marathon look like a cake walk.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: My first competition in May 2010 was the NPC Lehigh Valley and PA State Championships. I won the NPC PA State in my height class and also won the overall in the PA State Figure. It was beyond my dreams. My goal was to look like I belonged on the stage, I hoped to win a trophy, but never dreamed that big.
I qualified for Nationals and competed in NPC Nationals in Atlanta in Oct 2010 where I didn't place. At nationals I learned I had to step it up quite a few notches to be competitive and win my pro card. I decided to take the next year and develop my physique. I was disappointed that day in October but I learned so much at that show.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I have always been proud of the muscle I carry in my legs.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Training back is my favorite. I feel so strong when I can do pull-ups, rows, and rack dead lifts etc . I love to lift heavy and my back day allows me to move the most weight around.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Off season I lift four days a week splitting it up to hit each muscle once a week. I keep cardio around 4 x 30-45 minutes a week. My diet stays clean year round with one cheat meal a week.
Pre-contest I change up my lifting so I'm lifting 5 days, still each muscle once a week but I add some higher reps or drop sets. Cardio increases weekly until the towards the end when it's everyday, twice a day. For my diet carbs drop slowly each week, protein and fat stay about the same. Eventually I have carbs only early in the day or I carb cycle to get rid of the last bit of body fat. No cheating from about ten weeks out.
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: It's been mostly positive. Most people have a lot of questions about how long it took to get lean, or how many hours a day I work out, or my diet. I love to talk about competing so I'm happy to answer questions. Also people who interact with me regularly see the sacrifices that are required and typically are encouraging.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: It's a tie between "you're so skinny" and "don't get too big." It amazes me how I can pull off both looking too skinny and being on the brink of too big, at the same time! LOL.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: It seems so many girls are afraid of the weight room, they stick to cardio equipment and aerobics classes afraid they will get big or add too much muscle. I'm the tiniest I've ever been in my life and it's because I finally learned it's a combination of healthy diet (not starving yourself) and lifting weights that got me this lean. If you're intimidated by weight lifting get a trainer to show you how and put a workout together. I think of all the years I spent overweight just doing cardio. I wish I had figured it out sooner.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is getting stronger and seeing the muscle develop. The worst part is passing up all those delicious desserts!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I like the pro figure competitors with more muscle that are more conditioned. Examples are Gina Alioti, Larissa Reis, Monica Brant, and of course Ava Cowan. That's what I picture in my mind when I'm training.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I like a little cake with my icing - potent sweet buttercreme icing is the best!
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: Consult an expert such as trainer, a nutritionist, ideally both. The gym is full of people who don't know what to do when they are there and have no idea how important diet is the rest of the time. I was one of those people for years.
Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: Sure, I've worked hard for this body. I'd love the chance to earn some cash from all of the effort I put in, day in and day out.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I volunteer with a local dog rescue called Save-a-Dog, Inc. I recently took in an aggressive dog and discovered that dog training and training in the gym have so many similarities. Patience, consistency, and doing it the right way each time. The results will come if you persevere :)
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Rebecca Klopp.
5 AM wake up, put the dogs out
6:15 meal 1
6:30 - 7:30 get ready for work
8 - 5 PM work for a living
5:30 - 6:30 - lift weights
7 - 8 PM - cook and prep food for the next day
8 - 9 PM talk to my boyfriend and play with the dogs
9 PM check email and facebook
9:30 PM bedtime
Q: Describe Rebecca Klopp in five words.
A: Focused, friendly, persistent, compassionate, and a bit of a goofball :)
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I have a Master's degree in Biology.
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I'm taking about a year away from the stage to work on my physique, add some muscle and will return to the stage in the fall of 2011.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Yes, my boyfriend and I have a our own company called Full Force Fitness and Nutrition. We provide personalized diet and workout plans tailored to your needs. If you are looking to lose fat, gain muscle, or even train for a bodybuilding/figure/bikini competition look us up. We are at www.fullforcefitnessandnutrition.com or find our Facebook page under "Full Force Fitness and Nutrition." You can even check out my before and after pictures.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Rebecca Klopp the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes, I would love sponsorship. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would give a sponsor the enthusiasm that comes with participating in the sport I love. I like to train and I love to talk to people about my transformation. I'm an outgoing, positive person and would represent your brand whole hearted at an expo or in my daily life. I would tell folks who want to train and compete, if I can do it anyone can, you just need the right tools and information. Then it's up to you to make it happen!
Q: Rebecca, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: One of my favorite quotes of all time is "Set your goals high, because what a person accomplishes in life is in proportion to what they attempt." I think that says it all.