Monday, April 4, 2011

Cyndi Lipe Interview

My favorite thing about doing this is when I get the chance to sort of introduce someone who you may not know. Someone who I think can be a name in the industry. I have that opportunity in Cyndi Lipe. She got in the gym to lose some added weight and stay active. Well she for sure lost that "added weight" and looks amazing. She has competed only once, and while she says she wasn't ready, she still took a respectable 3rd place. She will be on stage again shortly and no doubt to even better. Cyndi Lipe is a name you are going to hear more of.

Q: First, Cyndi, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to do this.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am 31 years old and I live in beautiful Western North Carolina with my husband of 9 years, Scott, our 2 kids, Alexis 6 and Rivers 4, and our 8 dogs.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have been involved in sports since the age of 3. My parents started me out in ballet, but that was short lived and I began Karate at age 5. With that I was able to travel all over the US competing and made it to the AAU Jr. Olympics is 1995 where I received the Gold! I also participated in track and field in high school.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: Initially I got into the gym in college to keep off that dreaded “freshman 15”. I was not able to continue training with my dojo due to the distance and my class schedule, so the college gym was the only form of exercise I was able to get. I fell in love with it there, but after college “life” set in and then kids turned my world around. I got up to 175 pounds and over 30% body fat and knew I had to change that, so I got back into training.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Getting back into it was tough at first, but once I got moving again and my body got accustomed to exercising again things moved quickly. At first, with so much to lose, I saw results within a few weeks and within 6 months I was down to 18% body fat. At that point things get much harder to move.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Several things went into the decision to compete. I’m a very competitive person and missed the martial arts competitions. I knew with my busy life and two kids I could not compete in that area now. I’ve always admired fitness and figure competitors and thought “I can do that”. I also needed a goal to reach to help me push myself further. I knew I had more to lose and felt this would give me something to work for, so I hired a trainer/coach and began training for figure.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My friends and family are extremely supportive and have been from the beginning. I’m not sure what they really thought when I told them what I wanted to do, but they have offered me nothing but support from the moment I told them my goals. I also try to make training a family affair. I like that I’m setting a healthy example for my children and teaching them that exercise and clean eating is best for your body.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: There is a lot to a competition that you cannot imagine until you are actually there, but it lived up to my expectations for the most part. The thing that surprised me the most was how supportive most of the competitors are of each other and how much competitors help each other out. It was very nice to see because I expected it to be a “fend for yourself” type of atmosphere.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I only have one contest under my belt at this time. I am currently prepping for one on April 16th. My first competition was November 6, 2010. I was just doing it to get a feel for what goes on so that I knew what to do come 2011. I knew I was not “ready” but wanted to get some experience. I was 14% body fat and needed to be quite a bit lower, but I ended up placing 3rd in my class. Needless to say I was thrilled and now have the competition bug!

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: LOL….My back is awesome!

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Oh that’s a toughie! I like to watch when I train my arms because they really pop out when they get pumped and it just looks cool. As for exercises, I love kettlebells, but my favorite exercise has no name. My trainer came up with it as a way to challenge my back. I start out hanging upside down gripping the bar and lower my body to be parallel with the ground then do “rows” and pull myself back upright and repeat. It is amazing and really hard!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Off season it is just clean eating, but about 12 weeks out I get to go to minimal carbs and fats, calories are reduced and protein goes up. As for workouts, off season I do heavy weights and 8-12 reps along with steady cardio on weight training days and interval style cardio on non-weight training days. About 12 weeks from show it changes to lighter weights for about 15-20 reps and minimal rest between sets, more cardio style. Cardio pretty much stays the same.

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: Reactions tend to be positive. I get a lot of “That’s so cool” and “How awesome”. Most people tell me that I inspire them to do better and live healthier lives. I’ve only had one negative reaction so far, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. I may not be the body type everyone desires or aspires to have, but I’m happy with how things are going and that is what matters. My favorite thing to tell people is that, “Only you know where you have been, therefore you should be happy with what you are able to do”. I do wish more people would understand that training and competing is not easy. It is not glitz and glamour! It is a lot of hard work and hours of hard core training for just a few minutes on stage.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: “How much do you squat?”….no really what I hear the most is “You must eat almost nothing”. Then I share with them my diet and they see that I’m constantly eating!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: There are a few of those. The whole “diet” thing and the fact that we train hard and few people realize that. It also bothers me that a lot of people think that just because a woman is fit or has muscles that she’s doping. For the record I am all natural and so are most of the women I talk to that are in this. We work hard to keep ourselves healthy so why would we do something so bad for us?

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The worst part is also the best part for me. It just plain HURTS and sometimes I puke….a lot, but I love knowing I’m pushing my body to the limits and that it is all worth it in the end, not to mention the rush you get out of pushing it so hard.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Jamie Eason is my all-time favorite, but currently I enjoy following Erin Stern and Nicole Wilkins-Lee

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I love my dark chocolate treats!

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: Probably the same thing I tell everyone that tells me they want to train. “You can exercise all day long, but unless you have your diet under control you are wasting your time.”

Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: Of course….I would love to have the opportunity to do some fitness modeling!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to sing and attempt to play the guitar. I also participate in a combative defense class. And I love hiking as well as many other outdoor activities. I’m an outdoor junkie!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Cyndi Lipe.
A: My day usually starts at 5am. I get up and get myself ready for the day then wake the kids up and get everyone fed and ready for school, pack lunches and have everyone dropped of my 8am. By 8:30 I’m in the gym warming up and stretching. Workouts are usually from 9-10. After that I work with the dog rescue I have as well as continue using my degree by working in the mental health field. When that’s done it is study time because I’m trying to get my trainer’s certification and open a gym. Mixed with that is house work and cooking my meals and prepping for everyone else. When all that is done, it is usually time to get the kids from school. Then it’s time for homework, baths, dinner and getting everything ready for the morning. By 4:30 it is time for evening cardio, posing practice and then off to combative class. After all that I get to spend a little time with the kids before they go to bed. After they go to bed I finish up whatever I didn’t get done during the day and usually get to bed around 10pm.

Q: Describe Cyndi Lipe in five words.
A: Happy, Loyal, Optimistic, Tough, Kind hearted

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I’m not really sure. Most people are surprised to learn that I was a fighter. I guess they just don’t see me being able to be “mean”.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I have intentions on competing in High Point, NC on April 16th then I’ve got to take a break to get some….ehem…..enhancements, then it’s back to hard training and then back to competitions by October. Hopefully I can qualify for Nationals soon and hit those competitions too.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I’ll put in a shameless plug for my trainer….Steve Ledford…..AWESOME trainer!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Cyndi Lipe the athlete and competitor?
A: I would love to have sponsorships! I’m on facebook – and can be contacted through my email – tombraider30@hotmailcom. (don’t laugh… was my college nickname because my friends always told me I looked like Laura Croft on the video game) As for what a sponsor would get out of me…..I’m honest, loyal and straight forward. I work hard on myself and I work hard to promote the things and people I believe in and when someone helps me I do everything I can to help them!

Q: Cyndi, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: I want to thank you for offering me this opportunity and just say I hope you and everyone reading this, gets to see a lot more of me on the competition circuit and eventually some print work!

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