Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Julia Hubbard Interview

In the gym since age 15, Julia Hubbard is best described as an athletic woman of many talents. She entered her first Figure competition for "a bit of fun" and is now "hooked". And you can tell she is good at it as she is even qualified for the British Championships in 2011. Julia is clearly one of those people who when she sets her mind to achieve something, she will achieve it.

Q: First, Julia, 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'm from Stafford, but currently live in Plymouth. I've been married for for 10 years and have a very supportive husband who helps and supports me in all my sports / training / competitions.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have always been sporty, I competed in Athletics, Bobsleigh and now Figure Competitions.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I first went to a gym with my athletics coach when I was 15, I had a great foundation of training from him and have always done weight training since then!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I have always enjoyed training. I love the feeling when you lift new personal bests in the gym, it motivates you to continue to train hard. When I decided to do a figure competition, it took 3 months preparation to be ready, and 9 months to get to the British champs. Before and after pictures were really useful in monitoring my progress.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I had given up competing for GB in Bobsleigh and needed a new goal to aim for, I tried a figure competition for a bit of fun, and now I'm hooked!

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My husband is really supportive, so I'm really lucky!

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I didn't expect to enjoy competing as much as I do. Before my first comp, I didn't wear heels, had never worn makeup and never really styled my hair... I guess I was too much of a tomboy to bother! So I have had a lot to learn, not just posing, but walking elegantly in heels, learning to present myself well with hair and makeup. I have discovered a new feminine side I never knew was there! I see being on stage as a chance to show the hard work I have put in at the Gym so I try to enjoy the moment!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*NABBA west April 2010 2nd Trained Figure
*UKBFF Bodypower May 2010 2nd (qualified for British Champs)
*UKBFF British champs October 2010, didn't place.
*UKBFF Hercules October 2010 2nd (qualified for British Champs 2011)
*British Masters Indoor Championships 2011
Gold Medal 60m, 2nd on UK Ranking for W35 (my age group)
Gold Medal 200m 2nd on UK Ranking for W35

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My abs and legs are the parts I get most positive feedback on.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love to train legs, my favourite exercises are combining squats, hang cleans and deadlifts with Plyometrics.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I train a split routine, for my weights and do track sprints 2-3 times a week.
example week
*Monday Quads
Clean / Front Squats alternating 3 x 5 each
superset Back squat & single leg squat 3 x 10
deadlift & Single leg Leg Press 3 x 10
*Tuesday Track (sprint drills and HIIT, 6-12 reps of between 30-300m depending on the time of year)
triset db Incline fly & flat bench flys & decline flyes 3x10
triset incline, flat and decline bench press 3x10
*Wednesday Back and abs (two seperate sessions)
pull ups wide grip 3 x max
superset Tbar rows & Straight arm pull down 3 x 10
seated cable row & Lat pull down 3x10
I choose 3-4 exercises to work in a circuit and do 3-4 sets
some of my favourite exercises include hanging leg raises, cable curls and swiss ball exercises
*Thursday Track (HIIT, 6-12 reps of between 30-300m depending on the time of year)
Hamstrings & glutes
superset lying Hamstring curls & cable kickbacks 3 x 10
superset lunges & swiss ball glute exercises 3 x 10
seated leg curl 2 x 10 and one dropset
*Friday shoulder and biceps (two separate sessions)
triset db press, disk front raise, db rear delt 3 x 10
triset lat raise, db front raise, machine rear delt 3 x 10
triset bb curl, rope cable curl, reverse grip cable curl 3x 10
triset cable curl, db hammer curl, rev grip bb curl 3x10
*Saturday Track (as Tuesday) or circuits and Triceps
triset Cable press down, rev grip press down, rope press 3x 10
triset Overhead cable press, db kickbacks, bench dips 3 x 10
*Sunday rest
Pre contest I shorted recovery between sets, incorporate more giant sets, and if I need to add cardio I might add a circuit or some interval training after a weight session, or do more walking outside.
I follow a vegetarian diet,
breakfast 7am
1/2 cup Oats with a scoop of vanilla whey protein and water.
3 x eggs
2x toast or 5 oatcakes and peanut butter
quorn/soya (one fillet) and 2 cups vegetables / salad
1 scoop whey protein shake (after training)
protein / meal replacement bar or shake
quorn/soya (one fillet) and 2 cups vegetables
1/2 tub cottage cheese
portions- I use cups to measure my portions and a quorn/ soya serving is about the size of my palm.
close to a competition I will lower the carbs and increase the protein. One day a week I have a treat day where I eat a few of the things I miss like chocolate, pizza and biscuits, this helps me stick to my nutrition plan during the week and also stops my body recognising its on a diet and stops the metabolism dropping.

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 get a mixed reaction, most people are surprised and think that bodybuilders must be much bigger than I am, so I explain the different classes and that each requires a different physique. I usually ignore the negative remarks!

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I'm vegetarian and am constantly being told I should eat meat! Its my personal choice and I would never push my views on to others, so it annoys me a bit when I'm constantly told I'm wrong! I think a veggie diet can be extremely healthy and if done right, can work well for sports people, it just takes some planning and lots of variety.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Women are usually scared of weight training because they think they are going to end up too muscly. I wish women could understand the value of weight training for their health and fitness and that most women don't become bulked up that easy.... believe me, I have been training for 20 years, and its not easy to put on muscle mass!!

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The worst part is getting up early to train before work! But the best bit is that however you are feeling, whatever type of day you have had, I always feel better after I have hit the gym!

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Monica Brant is such a great example for female competitors, she has had such a great career, competing and fitness modeling and running her own business. Dorian Yates, a British Bodybuilder dominating the sport for so long just has to be admired!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Chocolate and biscuits! I can live without any other foods, but a cuppa isn't the same without dunking a biscuit!

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training whats the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Be prepared, plan your diet and training and get organised, its too easy to slip up when you haven't planned ahead! Also, before pics and regular progress pics really help you monitor your progress. Finally, find someone you can get good advice from to help you stay focused and on track with your training.

Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: Fitness Modeling is something I have only recently thought about. I entered the British Bodybuilding Grand Prix Fitness Model Competition and I have done a couple of shoots for experience and its definitely something I wish to pursue more of!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love traveling, reading autobiographies and am still involved with the Bobsleigh team, (I mentor the GB Youth Team) I'm also competing in Masters Athletics this year.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Julia Hubbard.
A: The great thing about my day, is that i don't have a typical day!
I work in a gym, personal train, do promotions and event management and work in a shop, so my week is so varied, I never get bored. I can be flexible with my work to fit my training in and love that every day is different. One day I'm organising a conference, the next day I'm in the Gym with a client, then i might be at a trade show promoting! Variety and Flexibility is so important to me, and at the moment I have a great balance.

Q: Describe Julia Hubbard in five words.
A: Unpredictable, Determined, Hardworking, Honest, Reliable

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I was selected for the British Bobsleigh Team at the age of 30. I really believe that if you have a dream, you should just go and try it, I got to 30 and realised i hadn't achieved my goals so decided to seize opportunities and just have a go, as you never know what you might find you are good at! Its never too late to try!

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: My main goal this year is the UKBFF British Champs in October and the World Masters Athletics Championships in July. I'm focusing all my efforts on these two events this year.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I'm hoping to go to the World Masters Athletics Champs in July (Sacramento) I'm looking for sponsors to help with travel costs at the moment! I am the current indoor champion and will be competing at the Outdoor champs, I believe I have realistic medal chances at the World Champs and at the World Indoors next year.
I'll be entering the Gaspari Calendar Girls competition later in the year- look out for updates on how to vote on my Facebook fanpage
NRG Fuel are supporting me with my supplement needs, so I'd like to say thanks to them!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Julia Hubbard the athlete and competitor?
A: I am looking for sponsors to raise the travel, accommodation, kit and entry fees for the World Masters Athletics Champs (total about £1400, any offers towards this will be considered) I am also interested in working with a clothing company for training kit.
I can be found on my facebook fanpage, or send me a message on my FB page. I am happy to do endorsements, promotional work etc for sponsors, its a two way relationship I appreciate the help I receive, I don't take it for granted and want my sponsors to feel I am representing them well in return for their support!
I'm building my own website at the moment, will announce its launch one its up and running!

Q: Julia, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: My mottos
The harder you work... the luckier you get!
go the extra mile and you will stand out from the crowd

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