Sunday, April 17, 2011
Kristina Gerhardt Interview
Kristina Gerhardt is new to competing but not to training. She has been training a long time. In this interview Kristina says she wishes she had started competing earlier, and I can say it would be great to see where she would be at this point. But I choose to go the other way. I am kind of happy she waited. Because Kristina is an inspiration and waiting so long makes her an inspiration. It proves to women it is never to late to get on stage or accomplish a goal. Also it is inspiring when you look at her stage pictures and realize she looks that incredible after hip replacement and spinal fusion. Kristina is just an amazing woman and in a short time knowing her, she is at the top of my list of favorites.
Q: First, Kristina, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Anytime Jason. You are an inspiration to anyone who has a passion and a goal.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Well, I'm from a small town 45 minutes west of Chicago named Roselle. I moved to St. Louis because of the warm and friendly people here. I am a personal trainer (the best career IN THE WORLD)and I'm blessed to have the greatest kid alive, my 8 year old son Ian.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I wouldn't say especially athletic. I grew up in the 80's when the fitness craze (that's what they called it back then) hit. I took formal dance training for 12 yrs, was a pom-pom girl for the Bloomingdale Bears (whoot-whoot), and was a cheerleader in high school. Whenever we had strength training in school, I remember always gravitating in that direction. My first job out of school was with a ladies health club chain (Spa Petite) and the rest in history...I got DA BUG!
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: As I stated before I always gravitated toward weights in school. I'm not a group sport individual. With weight training you can be a part of a "Team", we support one another yet you are continually trying to better yourself everyday with every lift. So even thought is not a so-called "team sport", weight lifting has a much larger "team" & that is the community of all trying to achieve their next goal & encouraging and supporting each other along the way...as you are finding out.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A:Fairly easy. I think the more you enjoy or are intrigued by a sport the more tendency you have to excel. I'm fairly modest so I suppose my body responds well. I've always been told that I had a nice body or physique (in the gym - not being arrogant).
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Well Jason, can I call you Jason??? (NOTE: Call me anything you want) LOL - I've been lifting forever!!!!!!!! And even though I've been in the industry for a long time (training), I never put too much weight (no pun) into when people would say "you should compete". I started in the fitness industry in 1983 - so yes, I'm older than Methuselah. All those years people would ride me about competing. I would see pix of women and men and they looked incredible!!! I don't know why I didn't back then. Looking back on it, I wish I would have started competing a long time ago. Such a great arena of athletes, individual, and commeradary. They have changed the criteria for women now so muscular ladies, as myself are having a harder time. That is not going to discourage me in anyway. My confidence is that it will turn back around as it should.
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Definitely!! My son thinks its so cool and all my friends come to support me. I'm truly blessed. As I said, should have started a LONG time ago.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: What surprised me was how genuinely nice everyone is. Of course there is a lot of ego that goes into any sport, but particularly Bodybuilding. We are all trying to take our bodies to that next level. A tweak here, a striation there & each person is different in their own respect. That's the bottom line. There is a huge element of respect in the industry. I love competing and plan to keep going for a long time!
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Well, it's brief. My first competition was at the NPC Midwest in St. Louis this year. It was a blast and a great learning experience. I competed in the novice Masters Figure and in the Open Figure divisions. I place 5th in the open division.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I would definitely say it's either my shoulders or legs. I've always loved the round capped shoulders on a lady and nice definition in the legs. Without some nice definition a leg is a leg.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: Even though it's grueling...legs. And as we've talked before, I've had a total hip replacement and spinal fusion prior to that so leg days are less than pleasantly painful. Abs are another fave of mine. I love a nice 6 pick of abs.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Normal training routine for me is to train one body part each day & legs twice week. I'll throw in some functional training once in a while to throw my bod a curveball like TRX, kettle bell, bosu, etc. For cardio (which I loathe - FYI) I do 3-4 days off training. When I'm competing Jack Titone of Jacked Up Diva's gives me the nutrition plan and workout he feels would give me the concentrated detail I need.
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: Very positive!! There is such a HUGE misconception about the industry and anyone in it. The dieting CAN BE rough, but it doesn't have to be.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Isn't it dangerous...all that dieting????" Well I feel if a person keeps them selves in shape year round, the dieting is demanding but not dangerous. You don't HAVE TO kill yourself in the gym or with the nutrition if you are already disciplined. Those who only workout and train hard for a comp are what I call "part-time" athletes. True athletes train all year.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: It's that we are all huge, we don't eat to get lean, and that there is a "bitchy" mentality. Number one, we are packed with muscle but we are not necessarily huge. There are some female bodybuilders who are larger than say, physique or figure competitors, but they are beautiful. What they are capable of transforming their bodies to is brilliant! I'm not huge (I wear is size 3/4) but in pictures it's a little misleading. Second point is that we don't eat to get lean. Nothing could be farther than the truth. If you are smart, you get a couch. There are plenty of very talented ones in St. Louis, but Jack and Ann Titone are who I use for nutrition, posing, workouts etc. I eat A LOT OF FOOD. The last thing that bugs me is that even though there is competition, we are all very friendly and helpful to one another off stage or on. It's a very misunderstood sport so I think that build a bond between one another.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: Never knowing, "am I too lean? am I too muscular? too vascular? what are they looking for?" When you open a Muscle Fitness mag or a Flex mag you see women with nice definition, lean muscular bodies. Times are changing and the industry is getting away from that. It's a shame.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Of course the old school Corey Everson comes to mind. She epitomizes what a fit woman should look like.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: PEANUT BUTTER!!!! can't keep it in the house. I'm like a crack addict in the middle of the night...hovering in the kitchen corner w/ drool hangin!! Really it's kinda sad. I don't even eat sandwiches. A spoon of PB - a spoon of preserves, a spoon of pb - a spoon of preserves, etc. I literally CANNOT have it in the house.
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: Make sure she makes it a lifestyle (not a "part-timer"). Get a good coach to help her with whatever she needs. Dive in head first. This is an all-or-nothing kind of sport (nutrition, lifting, cardio, travel, scrutiny, etc). BUT you gotta love it.
Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights and not just cardio and things?
A: GREAT QUESTION!!!!!!!! NO!! Did I stutter? For some unGodly reason, muscle is not "in" right now in the competition world. So, everything that some of us more lean, cut, conditioned women have worked years to attain is being overlooked for a softer MUSHY look. Yes I said it. Muscle is beautiful and healthy. It takes hard work and unfortunately working out doesn't mean just when there is a competition and dieting down for it. If more women lifted weights correctly (maybe get a personal trainer, ehhem - reach me at Temple Training, LLC 314-397-5214) they could see nice lean lines that they would love.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love being outdoors. I would love to move to Colorado, Florida, somewhere its sunny most of the time and you can do more outside. My son is the best thing in my life so we go to baseball games (his and the Cardinals), we go hiking, we love the pool. I love boating. When I lived in Chicago I loved to just lay out and soak up the sun on the lake. I love fine dining. I don't eat bad, so I like to try ethnic dishes and some of the nicer restaurants. Antiquing is another past time of mine, but not enough hours in a day.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Kristina Gerhardt.
A: Since I'm a personal trainer, I spend most of the time at the gym. I recently left Gold's Gym (best fitness chain in the industry). I am self employed and work out of West County Health and Fitness (a trainer's dream come true). I have the best job. The fact that I am able to know some amazing individuals and they make life changing transformations is pretty humbling. Somewhere in the day I get to train myself & get that "oh so good feeling". When I get home, I spend as much time with my son as possible. They grow up so fast.
Q: Describe Kristina Gerhardt in five words.
A: Nutty, Genuine, Hardworking, Loyal, Loving.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: My relationship with God. I'm surprised I waited this long to say something. God is first and foremost in my life. I start my day off with Him and go to bed thanking Him. Being a reformed "wild-child", God has given me a gift to reach people. Masses of people. And I"m not going to stop until I go GLOBAL. GOD IS MY MUSCLE!!!!
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I wanted to do the Pittsburgh's show in May, but my son comes first. End of school, lots of activities. So I am looking at the Missouri State in July and there is another local competition in October. Since I jst started my biz I'm staying close to home. I think it'll be more prudent and then broaden my territory next year.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Well of course.... My training company is Temple Training, LLC. You can reach me at email@example.com. I operate out of West County Health and Fitness 920 N. Kehrs Mill Road, Ballwin Missouri
My background is a Certified Personal Trainer AND Corrective Exercise Specialist. I am like a physical therapist only better. I can help a post op/injury client reduce their pain level and get stronger. I am also proficient in core training, weight loss, and sculpting. Training is not subject to age either. I train high school and college athletes as well as people 85 years young.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Kristina Gerhardt the athlete and competitor?
A: WoW!!!!! The million dollar question. Yes I'm looking for sponsors. I can be reached at the above email address. Serious inquiries I will contact via phone. As for what they will get from Kristina, I can guarantee 200% energy, adrenaline, and passion for fitness. I am reliable & always willing to think out of the box and never afraid to do something new. As a competitor and athlete, I am driven and WILL NOT COMPROMISE...its taken a long time...I look good and I'm not going anywhere.
Q: Kristina, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Jason, thank you again for asking me to do this. As I said before, its always nice to meet someone who has "a story", not just the love for the sport. You, my dear not only have a story, but a victory. Keep pushing on and you'll get there. I see HUGE things in your future young man. Let me know if I can help anymore, anyway. God bless & remember He is never late!