Sunday, April 17, 2011
Tarna Alderman Interview
First time I saw a picture of Tarna Alderman I was blown away. I saw an incredibly beautiful woman with a very impressive physique. I was shocked to hear she was so new to competing. She seemed a natural in the stage pictures I saw. Tarna just took 4th at the Emerald Cup and I think is destined for big things in the sport. Her success is even more remarkable when you hear her story of why she started training. Tarn, simply put, has the potential to be a big name in the sport.
Q: First, Tarna, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Your Welcome, And thank You! I'm flattered!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Well, I'm a single mom, my daughter is 7 years old now. Boyfriend of 4 years is in Iraq, He will get to see me compete at the emerald cup on his two weeks of leisure!!! I am from a small town in eastern Oregon Called Pendleton. My mom is Australian, that's here i get my first name. I have 5 brothers, One sister. They were all athletic in one way or another.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I Played Softball, Soccer and did some track events. I never took anything too seriously though. I have always been a "sturdy" girl, so I did ok at anything I tried, but had no focus.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: My daughter was turning 2 years old, and I was approaching the 240lb bench mark with my weight. I was unhappy with my marriage, I was looking to blame everything on my Ex husband wanting a divorce and to move home to mama,One day my sisters pastor asked me if I was happy with myself.... And if the answer is "no" that's where I should start. It took about 4 months before i understood what he was saying. It was like a blow to the side of my brain... I took action and sat at the computer. I researched weight loss until I couldn't wait to get started. The first thing I did was get rid of ALL the junk food in the house, leaving it pretty bare. Obviously I had an angry husband!!
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: In my research I found that the more muscle you have... the more calories you burn 24/7.... So obviously that's what I was going to do! Get some muscle! I went to the gym on base... and I copied the marines lifts. I used their weights too ;). Then I started keeping a journal, getting on online forums and buying magazines for ideas and workouts. I lost 13 lbs in the first month! Then my husband got deployed. So I went home to Mom, and with the child care from family I was able to blast off about 70 lbs in 6 months.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A:When the fat came off, i was left with all this beautiful muscle. A few people told me here and there that I should, I always though figure girls were amazing looking, so it was an interest. But I didn't know where to start. And I was starting off a career as a Personal trainer and had a new boyfriend... Though my gym friends I got into Powerlifting. I took two state records for my age and weight. And Believe it or not it tightened up my body very quickly. So when I went to see a friend compete in figure at the 09 Emerald cup... I was asked my many if I competed, and when I said no, they told me I should. I hired an online diet coach. Then my boyfriend was called to Active duty And was plagued with depression, anxiety, and felt like a failure for not completing the program. I started drinking heavily and stopped working out. I put on about 20 pounds. Around 6 months ago I decided to give it another go. I hooked up with RABfitness, Some local contest prep experts and with their support and motivation I am living my dream.
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes, for the most part. Obviously things change, friends change. My daughter really wants me to win trophy's and she is amazing at putting up with my mood swings and hours in kids club at the gym. I don't hang out with anyone but her anyway... So no one was really effected that much with the exception of me being late to events and bringing my own food to Christmas dinner.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A:I'm still deciding. I knew it would be challenging. But this week as I prepare for the Emerald cup..... I question my sanity! Its a lot of work for a few moments on stage and some pictures! But I am glad I have done it! I THINK I want to have a career in it. But we will see how things go ;)
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Vancouver Natural & Tanji Johnson fitness/figure Classic 2011
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Quads! I know for women its a hard muscle to grow... But mine have never fit into jeans, frustrating for fashion... But beautiful on stage!
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: Legs, Legs, Legs! I like to work hard, and I feel like I can do a lot with them and break a good sweat!
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Like I said before I like to work hard. I incorporate all training styles into what I do. I try to keep my heart rate up, and I avoid Cardio machines! Contest prep I slow down the workouts and do more cardio on a machine. I am so new to this its all I know for now. My trainers were worried I'd over train if I didn't follow plan. In a calorie deficit with them I was still able to grow muscle. So I guess they were right! I am super happy i followed my plan!
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: Positive.... to my face at least!
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Motivation... " I wish I had your motivation" Wishing is for stars and birthday candles... If you want something, you work hard to get it. Its really simple, when you don't make it complicated.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A:Recently, I have been asked if I have used steroids to first lose the weight and to gain the muscle. I have not. I just worked hard.... again Simple.
I try to take it as a compliment. But the more I get asked the more I feel like they are trying to "write off" the hard work I put into my body and diet, People seem to need it to be magic, so that they can feel better about not doing something for them selves.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: It sounds sick but I love it all. The harder something is... the more I love it!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Toni West, Dana Lynn Bailey, And my trainer and diet coach Ally Baker.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Raisins, seem to be the first thing I want. I don't normally like raisins... But when I get a cheat meal I want raisins, in a bowl with milk. Off season my favorite eats are anything fried with Blue Cheese.
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: Its the best, hardest, most challenging and rewarding thing you can do, and with that being the case... Its not easy, Prepare for life changes, every day is a challenge.
Q: Do you think its becoming more common to see women using the weights in the gym as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: Yes! I love it!!! Its nice seeing girls empowered, I find my own personal beauty in my strength, and the gym is where I feel the most attractive. I hope they get the same feeling!
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Healthy Baking!! Hanging out with family, reading. I am a huge Organic, non GMO, foods advocate, so I spend alot of time learning about those things and preaching health to my friends... Fitness/ health is really a life style, All your hobbies become centered around it eventually!
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Tarna Alderman.
A: Right now.. I wake up, get my daughter ready and off to school, head to the gym to work out. Come home, clean up, go train clients, Come home Pick up my daughter from school and head back to the gym. In my free time I clean the house and do my meal prep. Snuggle on the couch and watch movies ,and spend an awful lot of time of facebook!!
Q: Describe Tarna Alderman in five words.
A: Passionate, Loyal, Honest, Funny, Urgent.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That's hard! I'm an open book.... Maybe that I am a huge push over. I avoid confrontation at all costs.
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am doing the Emerald cup April 16th (NOTE: Tarna finished 4th place)
After seeing how I stack up, Id like to get on a growing plan with RABfitness and see what kind of potential I have to compete in a pro natural qualifier ;)
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I Would just say that Having RAB fitness there with me every step of the way has been the key to any success I have had. As a trainer, I believe in having a trainer. I would say its the best money you will spend, As long as you take it seriously and you trust in them fully!
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Tarna Alderman the athlete and competitor?
A: Sponsors would be AMAZING! I would have to say that I would like to see the face and popularity of FBB to move into a more positive light, Inspiring more potential athletes to get into this side of competing and not shy away from muscle. I think my femininity makes me a strong competitor and having muscle only makes my body more feminine. I Would like sponsors who could promote and honor that desire, Or true health and performance products preferably natural and or Organic. You can get a hold of me by facebook or my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Tarna, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Just thank you for the opportunity to share my story, If I can inspire one person I have done what i have set out to do. I changed my life for the better through Bodybuilding. If I can do this... trust me any one can!