Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nadia Nixon Interview


I recently got to watch nadia Nixon fight in person. I was told beforehand she had great BJJ. And she displayed that in winning via triangle. However, as Nadia says, she has much more to her game than her BJJ. This win improved her record to 3-3-1, and really could be the start of a great career for her.





Q: First, Nadia I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself
A: I train out of Topeka, ks. Went to college 2 years a go to pursue degree in law as well my linguist degree but I have been introduced to Martial arts and fell in love with it

Q: Were you especially athletic growing up? Play any sports?
A: Not really, I was very good student growing up focused only on school, homework and family, I wasn't interested in sport or have time for it at all!

Q: What initially got you started training for MMA?
A: I started working out then I wanted something more challenging so started looking for boxing coach, then best thing happened in my life I was walking and saw a banner saying "School of Martial and Meditative Arts". I instantly was driven to walk in and saw students wearing white uniform at time didn't know that was called gi and their 6th degree kempo karate sensei Steve Twemlow welcomed me in and asked what brought me in.

Q: Was the training something you picked up fairly easy?
A: I started taking self defense classes and my sensei was very impressed with me since day 1, I paid attention and kept practicing and coming back

Q: How long did you train before your first fight?
A: I trained about 6 month in mma including bjj, kickboxing, conditioning and cardio back in May 2010 5-6 days a week and lost a split decision against tough and very respectful opponent Jessica Phillipus.


Q: Was fighting something your family and friends supported?
A: My dojo family are 100% supportive, my brothers very much my mom and dad not so much, my mom always tell me to find another sport! Haha

Q: Where do you train at now?
A: I started with Sensei Steve Twemlow at school of martial and meditative arts, and will always be there and added our partner Topeka Jui-jitsu Academy, we have it all and no need to go jumping from gym to gym! I'm very loyal and cant stand the idea of moving around between gyms!

Q: Can you give your overall record so far.
A: MMA 3-3-1, Kickboxing 1-0 105lb 2011 winter national champion, BJJ 1-0 2011 Best of the Best Gold Medalist

Q: Is there one fight you would say you are most proud of?
A; My first fight against Jessica Phillipus, I was very nervous and had very tough first round but I didn't quite, ended up split decision loss


Q: What would you say is your biggest strength and the one thing you most want to improve?
A: My heart, as a fighter u have to have the strongest heart to go inside the cage with someone wants to almost kill u!!! 2 people get in and only 1 is the winner, most people misrepresent me and call me ground fighter because of my decent jiu-jitsu, im a striker with good jiu-jitsu and learned this the hard way as after girls getting punched they lock up and want to go to the ground!!!

Q: Name the one fight you have seen that you will always remember?
A: Machida vs. shogun

Q: Are there any fighters you are a fan of or love to watch?
A: My sensei Steve Twemlow, Anderson Silva , Machida, GSP


Q: In your opinion, who are the top five female fighters in the sport pound for pound?
A: Cyborg, Erika Montoya and Jen case even though they haven't fought in a while, Megumi Fuji, Zoila Frausto.

Q: Do you ever see a major U.S. women's only company being viable?
A: I would say so

Q: Often you watch a show that has one women's fight. Somehow that fight always turns out to be the most exciting fight on the card. Why do you think that is?
A: Women bring it on in everything in life specially in male dominated sport, 2 of my fights were fight of the night!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about female fighters?
A: I think people and media are more open about WMMA now than before I see a lot of support and opportunities for female replacing the misconception that women should only look pretty and not fight!

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to train for the sport, whats the biggest piece of advice you would give her?
A: To find a really good gym or dojo who looks for her best interest and not blow up smoke on her!

Q: Outside of training and fighting, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Oh, I train about 5-7 hours a day 6 days a week so when I have chance I love to spend time with my cat!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Nadia Nixon.
A: Not a big fan of waking up early! I would go to do my cardio and strength, eat, go for techniques and stand up with sensei Steve and the guys, bjj with Marc Monaco, already 8-9 pm then go home, eat, next day all over!

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I'm pretty laid back, but when I fight nothing, no one stops me!

Q: Describe Nadia Nixon in five words.
A: Caring, generous, passionate, determined, loyal

Q: So whats next for you? Any idea when you will be fighting again?
A: July 09th sunflower state games bjj tournament, August 5th title fight for blue corner in Kansas City and looking for kickboxing matches, golden gloves boxing tournaments

Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I just wanna thank my teammates at SOMMA / TJJ, my trainers Steve Twemlow and Marc Monaco and my sponsor Hollopoint for believing in me and being supportive and always there for me

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they reach you and what are they getting in Nadia Nixon the fighter and person?
A; For sure! They will see someone very respectful and dedicated to the Martial Arts, fighting is just tiny part of it to demonstrate skills and test abilities, I can be reached at my email: nkw_rekabi@yahoo.com


Q: Nadia, I want to thank you for doing this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you! Very honored. I had blast at NAAFS, Nichole Long is great promoter, thanks for giving me the chance with short notice to fight for u

Diane's Diary by Diane Mueller


Be the change that you want to see in the world. ~Mohandas Gandhi



Everyone has a platform from which you can impact the world. Your platform may be smaller than that of some of the more famous people, but never discount the fact that somewhere, somehow, someone is watching you and trying to gain inspiration from you. This could be your own children, a neighbor child, someone from church, a coworker, or even a random Facebook friend. There’s just no way of knowing how far your inspiration may spread. With that in mind, try to be mindful of the actions, comments and statements you make on a daily basis. The things you say or do have the power to either inspire others, or dissuade others. As you’re reading this article you may be thinking, “I’m not interested in inspiring others. If I have something to say, I’m going to say it and if someone gets offended by the things I say, then they’re not my friend anyways.” Does that sound familiar? I think it’s pretty safe to assume that everyone has felt that way at one time or another. Even I am guilty of that from time to time. I’m not going to tell you what to do, or how to live your life. All I ask is the next time you’re all charged up about something, to take an extra minute before you post your rant on Facebook and determine if this is how you really want to represent yourself. Keep in mind that to your inner-circle of real friends understand that you are simply blowing off steam and will play along with you. However, if you’re a person who accepts random friend requests from people that you don’t know outside of cyber-world, please consider their feelings before you post that rant.


I was never as humbled as I was today when I saw the comments that came flooding in after a post I made on Facebook. I was feeling especially happy about life, and decided to share that happiness with all of my friends on Facebook. My status read, “God gives us little obstacles and challenges in life which cause us to struggle to try to overcome. The beauty and brilliance in these challenges is how wonderful and optimistic we feel when we have persevered and come out victorious in the end!!” It wasn’t the most grammatically correct comment I could have made, but that’s what was in my heart at the time and that’s what I chose to share. This was a comment that seems to have really struck a chord with people, as the outpouring of pride and appreciation was evident. Not only comments on the post itself, but emails and text messages were sent from friends thanking me for being so positive and giving them the kind words they needed to hear to help them to carry on. It was a nice reminder for me to be considerate of the feelings of ALL my Facebook friends, not just the friends that I know personally and those who are closest to me. It was also a pleasant reminder of how a great day can become an even better day, simply by sharing inspiration and helping to talk a friend through a rough time in life.


Every one of us has the ability to help others on their journey through life. Every one of us has a platform from which we are able to reach out to others and lend that helping hand when they need it the most. Those of you, who have been through the hardest of times, the darkest of hours, or the most challenging of obstacles, you are the people who have the greatest opportunity to help someone else find the light at the end of their tunnel. Always pay your good fortune forward. You were given an inner strength that allowed you to persevere, overcome, and to become victorious. Despite that incredible determination that you have inside of you, you also had people who helped to encourage you, somewhere along the way. Sometimes these people present themselves in a loving and helpful manner, while other times, the help that you needed was disguised as someone negative who motivated you by telling you that you couldn’t accomplish your goal. Every person responds to adversity in a different way, and every person needs to be motivated in a different way. You were given EXACTLY what you needed, when you needed it. If you needed a loving hand; that is what you were given. If you needed someone to try to knock you down to force you to pick yourself back up; that is what you were given. You survived incredible odds. Use your experiences to help others. Pay your fortunes forward. Be the change that you want to see in the world!!


Until next time,
Live, Laugh, Love and LIFT HEAVY!!
Diane

As always, a special thank you to my sponsors: 911Strong.com and Big Rig Supplements. I am honored to be a part of two such wonderful teams.




Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rachel Spohn Interview


I wanted to do an interview with the wife of a fighter. A good fighter has a good support system, and who is a bigger supporter than the wife? I wanted people to see what it's like to have to watch your husband fighting and what it's like outside of the cage. So I asked the wife of NAAFS Light Heavyweight champion Dan Spohn, Rachel Spohn. I asked Rachel because she is so supportive of him and his goals, and I knew she would be good doing an interview.


Q: Can you just begin by telling how long you have been with Dan?
A: Well we've been married now for almost five years, but we've known each other for a very long time. We met in Martial Arts actually. It's kind of funny, we trained together for a long time and it was strictly professional and it just ended up with circumstances.... and here we are.

Q: You said you met him through Martial Arts. Do you still train with him now?
A: Yes. We both started in Cambridge Martial Arts where he is a third degree black belt and I am a second degree brown belt. I have had to take a lot of time off due to having kids and stuff like that. I finally got back into training and am trying to get my black. It's hard, life gets in the way, but I am trying to stay the course.

Q: Do you work with him at all when he is training for a fight?
A: Sometimes, but ya know he's at the level now where he needs better people. I'm nowhere near the level he is so he pretty much does his training with the guys at Buckeye and Rick Franklin and Jorge Gurgel and stuff. He actually helps me more than anything now cause he is a lot more advanced than I am.

Q: Do you have any plans to ever want to fight?
A: Ya know that's so funny. I get asked a lot and everybody thinks I am a fighter when we go to the fights and a lot of times I am mistaken for a fighter. But I just honestly don't see it happening, mainly because I have kids. It's kind of one or the other, I can't very well have both of us getting injured and doing the rigorous training schedule. The other part is, I don't even know if I even want to. I like my face the way it is, some of those girls are pretty dang tough. I enjoy Martial Arts and I do it for health and self defense and stuff like that. More of a spiritual thing, but you never know.

Q: Obviously training for a fight takes a lot of time and work. Does you actually training yourself make it easier for you to understand than a lot of people?
A: I think so. We joke a lot that if he was married to anyone else he would be getting divorced. It's just crazy the amount of time, this is what he does full time now. He works construction on the side and doing whatever he can do but MMA is his main goal and he is throwing everything into it. It is really hard but I do understand a little bit more cause I am familiar with it and I have been with him from the beginning. I know if he wants to be the best he's got to train ya know.

Q: Is it hard, for example the John Hawk fight, where it's five rounds of beating the hell out of each other, to watch that?
A: Yes. I'm not going to lie, that's been the worst one so far. I'm usually pretty good at keeping my cool, I've even cornered a couple of his fights. I can kind of shut it off, if you wanna call it that, and be professional. But it's getting to the point I think where I'm not very good at that anymore. Him and John Hawk had an all out war. I just don't want him to get hurt, we got these little kids, so it is hard to watch, but I know he takes care of himself and comes in prepared, so that's the only comfort.

Q: Is it safe to say that MMA wise, that fight is when you have so far been most proud of what he's accomplished?
A: Umm... yeah probably cause that's been his main goal since he turned pro. He wanted to get the light heavyweight title. He's had his eyes set on it, he never wavered, and I mean, I'm really proud of him and glad he accomplished his goal. He wanted to finish the fight so he was really disappointed in that, but a unanimous decision, you can't complain about that. I'm really proud of him.

Q: In that fight, Hawk had the big cheering section. After a fight like that where Dan wins is it hard to not look at those people and say "take that"?
A: Haha. Not really. We have a pretty good relationship with John Hawk and every other person he has fought. There's not a lot of people that don't like Dan. I mean, we don't have hard feelings, we know he has a big fan base. It was kind of a feeling of satisfaction that he's always the underdog and always beats the person. Don't get me wrong, there is a big satisfaction in watching him do that and prove people wrong. But no, we don't have any ill will towards the other guy or his fans.

Q: I always say there are three kinds of fighters. Ones who talk trash, ones who talk just to sell fights, or ones who show respect. Dan is one of the ones who always shows respect. Outside of fighting is that just how he is?
A: Absolutely. He is soft spoken, respectful type person. Always opens doors for girls, his momma raised him well you might say. You never would know he's a fighter. We kind of joke about it cause a lot of fighters have a certain look and wear certain kinds of clothes, and Dan just doesn't really fit in, he's your average person, but that's what makes him special. He isn't in it for the fame or glory, he just likes to fight.

Q: Outside of his fights are you a fan of the sport?
A: Yeah. I wasn't too familiar till he got into MMA. Now I really enjoy it. We've been able to go to a few fights where he isn't fighting and sit ringside and it's exciting. I like it a lot. I enjoy watching the ground fighting and Jiu-Jitsu because I know what's going on better than the average female spectator.

Q: Are there any fighters you enjoy watching?
A: Let's see. Brian Rogers, he's awesome, always like to watch the Predator. There's a lot of great fighters out there. I like watching explosive ones who make it fun. I think Dan's one of those fighters to which is funny because he's a third degree black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and no one would ever know that because he's always swinging those fists. It makes it fun and that's why I like Brian Rogers and think he's gonna go far because fans like to watch guys like him.

Q: I told you when I did this I wanted to interview a wife of a fighter so people could see what it's like. I picked you because you are one of the more supportive ones. Do you make a conscious effort to do that or does it come naturally?
A: A little bit of both I guess. I naturally support him because I love him and want him to be happy and all that. But I'm not gonna lie, there are hard moments. Got a family to support and at this level of the game MMA doesn't pay very well as everyone knows, compared to other sports. There's a lot of pressure. We got three little boys and he has a daughter, so he's got a lot of pressure on him to provide for us. I'm a stay at home mom cause I don't have help with the kids, so it all falls on him, and that's the only pat that is stressful. But he keeps telling me it will pay off in the end, and I believe him, because he works harder than anybody I've ever known. My main thing is if it doesn't work out, that's fine, at least he can say he gave it his all, and he can't look back and say "I quit because of my wife and kids held me back". I want him to feel like I supported his dream and I'm there with him one hundred percent. If it doesn't work out, fine, he can go get a real job like every other normal person. But might as well give it a shot, we're only young once.

Q: Being where you are, NAAFS shows are usually far away. Do you ever wish there would be one closer to you guys?
A: We live in Columbus and are from Cambridge. It would be nice as far as ability to sell tickets, but other than that I don't think.... in some ways it's bad because you have a lot of pressure. Home town guys, its great they have a lot of people come watch them, but then they also have a lot of pressure. Dan doesn't have that. People just boo him half the time when he comes out haha. I think he is a little more relaxed. It doesn't really bother me, I'm originally from the Akron area so I know there is a little more MMA based things out there. It would help us to sell tickets if we could get a show in Columbus because he trains with a lot of guys here and that's already helpful.

Q: If some girl came to you and said she was considering marrying a fighter, what advice would you give her?
A: Wow! It's kind of hard to give advice because like I said Dan is not your average fighter. I hate to lump fighters into a group because there are lot of great guys who are fighters, but there's also a lot of guys you wouldn't really call family material haha. I hate to say that, but I guess if it was a nice guy and like Dan is, my best advice, I hate to say it is hold off on having kids until you see where the fighting is gonna go because it's a lot of added stress. I wouldn't give my kids up for anything, I love them more than anything in the world, but that's probably what I would tell a younger couple. Especially now that he's getting bigger, it's getting busy, he's traveling, he's gonna be traveling out to Vegas for the Strikeforce fight that Jorge is gonna be fighting in. I mean, it's one thing after another, so it would be a little better on somebody if they were a little less attached, but I think Dan does a pretty good job balancing family and work.

Q; Before we finish anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: Well I guess I would like to thank my mother-in-law Joan Spohn. We could not do this without her. She is the main support system we have behind us. Always watches our kids, always there for us. Everybody who is behind us. There are a lot of nay sayers, there's a lot of people looking at him like he's not gonna make it, not doing the right things. I really appreciate the people who back him up who know what a good person he is and know he's doing it for the right reasons.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Paula Hancock-Hollenbach Interview


Paula Hancock-Hollenbach is someone who has quickly impressed me. This self described "gym rat" was introduce to competing by a friend who competed. She did very well in her first show and has not looked back. She took 2010 off, but plans to compete this year, and with a full year to improve, 2011 should be a good year for Paula.



Q: First, Paula, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thanks Jason, I am so excited for this interview.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am a native of Colorado, moved here and there, but the "Rocky Mountains" is where I grew up. I am a mother of two boys, and married my High School Sweetheart 23 years ago.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have always been athletic, played lots of sports in school, Basketball was my favorite sport.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I have always been a "gym rat"

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I never really took training seriously, until one day I looked in the mirror and the changes started to happen for me.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I had a friend who was a "figure competitor" and she introduced me to that world.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My family totally supported me, even though they did not understand it, they always were there, if it wasn't for my husband, I probably would not have pushed as hard but he knew I wanted it. And my friends gave me the positive support and compliments that made me push harder.


Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: The first time I took the stage, I was on my "own high" I just was so excited to be a part of that world I didn't care if I placed, I took a third and a fifth place and walked away with two trophies.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: 2008 The Rocky, 2009 The Northern, 2009 Colorado State, 2009 The Rocky - mixed pairs, I took last year off for personal reasons.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My shoulders and arms are my favorite body parts, I probably work them too much.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love shoulder press.


Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My routine right now is as follows - 50 minutes cardio in the morning first thing.
Monday - shoulders and triceps
Tuesday - cadio/abs - 50 minutes am/40 minutes pm
Wednesday - chest/biceps
Thursday - cardio/abs
Friday - Legs/back
Saturday - core/abs,
Sunday - cardio only.
My diet is a clean diet program 1232 calories, the week of contest prep the diet changes from day to day.

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: Definitely a positive comment, I work hard and proud to be where I am at.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I am never sick of hearing any comments, if I can help or support anyone I give them a answer saying don't quit!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That you don't have to juice up to look good, weight lifting does not have to make you look big and bulky, but it makes you healthier, and you feel so much better when the work out is over.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: Definitely the diet is the worst for me, when you have kids at home, its hard to control all the sweets. And the best part is, I cant wait to get to the gym!!

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire Cory Everson and I have several friends who compete and I admire them all, this can be a stressful sport.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I love Chinese food, and peanut butter.

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: You have to "want it" then start today and not tomorrow, stick with it and don't quit, it does not happen overnight, you can do it!!

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: I do not think its common at all, I see more woman on the cardio machines then weights, I think what they don't understand is that too much cardio burns muscle.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to bike ride and run "Red Rocks" when I can.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Paula Hancock-Hollenbach?
A: I get up at 4 am do cardio for 50 minutes, get kids ready for school and head to work, hit the gym and start all over again.


Q: Describe Paula Hancock-Hollenbach in five words?
A: One "hot wife", friendly, honest, positive and a good mom.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I am 46 years old.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I plan on competing this year.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors. If so how can they reach you?
A: I would love a sponsor, I am on Face Book.

Q: Paula, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thanks Jason, you are a new Inspiration for me. Any one out there who just needs a boost, its never too late, if you have a dream, live it, don't let anyone tell you, you cant do it!!

Jamie Shelmandine-Shaver Interview


Jamie Shelmandine-Shaver is an example of whats right in this industry. Yes she loves to train and compete. But she is also someone who loves to help and educate others, both on the sport and on their own self improvement. This is one dedicated and determined woman who is capable of achieving any goal she sets for herself.



Q: First Jamie, thanks for taking the time to do this.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I'm originally from Miami, Fl., but now I am a resident of Phx. Az. I have three beautiful children and a wonderful and supportive husband.

Q: Growing up were you especially athletic? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was never athletic or played any sports. Actually, I was usually the last one picked on any sports teams in school!

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I started to read about fitness as a teenager and that sparked my interest. It was the only thing I ever wanted to read about, so I joined a local gym and started a new chapter in my life.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy?
A: Yes, I did seem to pick it up easy. I guess because I enjoyed it so much. I found being around like-minded people in the gym made me very comfortable. I would take time to learn from them. Results did come at the gym, however the majority came from my kitchen!

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I decided to compete after reading various fitness magazines and admiring the physiques of the competitors. Then after spending time researching on different websites and blogs I decided I would give it a go!

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported?
A: For the most part, yes people supported me. You always run into those that just don't get the sport. They have already formed an opinion, and that is fine. My family is my biggest support system and they are the ones that matter!

Q: Was competing what you expected?
A: It was BETTER than I could have ever expected. The feeling you get up on the stage, ready to show off all of your hard work, well... there is nothing better!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: My first competition was in 2007 with the INBA. I won 1st place Novice women's Bodybuilding, 3rd place in women's Open Bodybuilding, and 3rd place in Ms. Physique.
More recently, in June 2011, also with the INBA I won Overall, and 1st place Ms. Physique, and 1st place Women's Open Bodybuilding.

Q: What would you say is your best body pat?
A: Best body part on me is shoulders and v-taper.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: My favorite exercises are the basic strength exercises, like deadlifts, squats, lunges, pull ups, pull downs, rows, and push-ups. I like to stick to the basics in my routine. A simple change in hand position can change it up.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal diet is based on carb cycling. On days I lift I eat more carbs. On aerobic days or off days I eat a lower carb diet. I find it to be very effective for me. During contest prep I pretty much do the same thing. I look and listen to my body and make adjustments from there. I teach 7 aerobic fitness classes a week. I do spinning on two of those days, and a barbell strength class on one. The other are aqua aerobic classes. Then my time at the gym is split like this: *Monday- cardio, *Tues-Back and Bi's, *Wed-legs and abs, *Fri-tri's, shoulders, and chest. I love to lift, and lift heavy! I find super sets and drop-sets to be very effective for me.

Q: When people see your physique or hear you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I get more positive responses. I think most people at the gym respect what you do, and tend to have more questions about the sport rather than criticism.


Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one comment or question you are most sick of hearing?
A: "What do you eat?"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I really wish women understood lifting heavy will not make them huge, and knew what their diet would have to look like to get that way! I wish people understood what role cardio plays in contest prep. You don't have to spend hours and hours doing cardio. Going to the gym twice a day or more, who has time for that? It is simply not necessary. I wish people would research their trainers before choosing them for contest prep. Some of the nonsense out there, such as eating only boiled chicken, or tilipia and asparagus are simply crazy. It does not have to be that way. The journey to the stage should be enjoyable, not torture!

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training for me is the personal satisfaction of being comfortable in my own skin, and liking the way I look each and every day.
The worst part- I can't think of a thing. If what I'm doing is healthy, does not hurt anyone, and makes me happy...what could be wrong with that?

Q: Do you have any competitors you are a fan of or admire?
A: I like Jamie Eason. She is very open to teaching others what she knows and experiences and I think that is a gift. I also like Ava Cowan, I think she has a great passion for our sport.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: If I cheat it is on frozen yogurt or chocolate! I believe in letting yourself have what you want, if done in moderation. It is far easier to get through a tough week of diet and training, if you know you can have that treat on Sat. afternoon! There is nothing wrong with that, you need to enjoy life!

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: Research, Balance, and Plan! Three very important aspects in the journey of getting on stage. Research- know what you are getting yourself into. Balance- family, work, prep time, and life how will you balance it all? Plan for "life". Things happen out of your control, and you need to have a back up plan for those instances.


Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to lift in the gym as opposed to just cardio and things?
A: Yes, I'm starting to see it more in the gym. Women are working with the weights, however most never go near the free weight room. Most women I see stay in the weighted machine workout area. I think they may be intimated by the men? Personally, I love to work with free weights, so you will find me there right next to the boys!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I enjoy time with my kids, watching them grow and change. Family time is very valuable and important to me.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Jamie Shelmandine-Shaver.
A: Typical day for me- start to finish...coffee, e-mail and facebook, food prep., my gym time, teach my aerobic class, work on my business, spend quality time with my kids, cook dinner, clean, more food prep., watch TV., then finally go to bed! Next day...repeat!

Q: Describe Jamie Shelmandine-Shaver in five words.
A: Dedicated - Driven - Determined - Compassionate - Focused

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I had an eating disorder when I was younger. I think it brought me to where I am in the fitness world today, and it gave me a better understanding of others with personal issues.

Q: Any plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am working on launching my personal training and life coaching business. I am also working on a fitness clothing company. As far as competing, well, I want to set my goals high, challenge myself, and reach for the top...so I guess I want a Pro Card!

Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I have a true passion for helping others reach all of their fitness goals. If I can help others with the dream of competing get on stage, nothing would make me happier. I also have found there is not much support in the industry for what happens after the competition. There are a lot of emotions and physical changes that occur after the competition is over, and you have to be ready for all of it, or it can become a really bad situation. I started a facebook page called "There is no "off season" but there is a getting better one" I hope it will grow and people will find a community of like-minded individuals that understand and can help each other with questions and support.

Q: Looking for sponsors?
A: I would be honored to be sponsored by ON, or Gaspari Nutrition. I use and believe in their products.

Q: Jamie, thanks so much for doing this. Any last words before you go?
A: Always believe in your dreams, imagine what is possible, and go get it!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

WBFF Pro Fleur De Kine Interview


At the time this interview was done, Fleur De Kine was days away from competing at the Boston WBFF show. Fleur won the overall and earned her WBFF Pro card. Not bad for a girl who when she first competed just "didn't want to make a fool of herself". But this is just the beginning for Fleur. I see so many more big things in her competing future.




Q: First, Fleur, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: No, Thank You! I have read your blog for a while. My first introduction to it being the interview you did with Genie Sammons!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am an only child and my family is fairly small by some peoples standards. It's only my Mom, Dad and I. My mother is British and my father is from South Carolina. I grew up in the Air Force and was blessed to live all over the world. I travel to England every year to see my Grandma, Aunts, Uncle and cousin. I work at an amazing restaurant as a captain/bartender and I have a flair for the mixology.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Yes! My father daughter activity was martial arts for as long as I can remember. I won the Presidential Fitness award in 5th grade, lol and ran track and cross country in middle school through high school.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I always lifted and I have always found muscles on a woman to be inherently sexy. It was a natural progression from martial arts with my father.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: It was something that was easy. Results came fairly fast and it's been a journey throughout the years. I have built muscle and lost it and built it back again but now, I have reached a point with my body where I am quite happy with it and ready to keep improving!

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
AL It was a goal for myself that I had for a few years and as a gift to myself and due to the fact that I had gained 30lbs from starting my new job at the time, I decided it was time!.


Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My family has always been very supportive and I have a wonderful core of friends. The ones who didn't get it faded away and that helped me figure out who did and did not care.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: Oh, when I started I had NO idea what to expect. I just wanted to not make a fool of myself. I was surprised at the positive feedback I received and when I got the pictures of how I looked. It has been a wonderful journey with each show and the best thing are the friends that I have made at each show! Also, how much absolute fun I have at each one. It's seriously one of the best feelings in the entire world!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A:
*April 2009- Fitness Atlantic- First Place Figure Tall
*June 2009- NPC CT State- First Place Figure Tall
*Nov 2009- NPC Nationals- Figure, DNP
*June 2010- NPC CT State- First Place Figure Tall
*July 2010- NPC Europa Battle of Champions- First Place Figure Tall
*April 2011 WBFF Fitness Atlantic- 2nd place Figure Tall
*May 2011- NPC Jr. USA- 11th place Women's Physique Division


Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I'd probably say my abs. Second my back.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love, love, love training back. T-Bar rows are the way to go!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal training routine is:
Mon: Chest/bis cardio
Tues: Legs cardio
Wed: Back cardio
Thus: Shoulders cardio
Fri: Pylometric style exercise cardio
Sat: cardio
Sun: off
Contest prep it depends on my goal. I spend a few weeks doing hypertrophy, a few strength and endurance, a few toning. I like to mix it up to keep my body from plateauing.

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: More positive and definite curiosity! Then they can't believe that I work where I work and I'm not constantly eating the food. I just tell them that it will be there when I get off stage and it usually is!


Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I used to be frustrated when people would ask me questions about the sport then I embraced it. I don't get sick of it anymore. It's an opportunity to educate and share what it's about and help people understand. A lot of the times people will ask about my diet or how much time I spend in the gym a day.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: There is no quick path to this. 'You can't out train a bad diet' and you can't look like this only doing cardio. Yes, it requires sacrifices but it's not that big of a deal. You have to figure out what you want more. Oh, and you have got to lift weights. Seriously. You don't have to start off heavy but you need to build muscle in order to rev up your metabolism and have a nice toned physique.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: Best part is the mental clarity it gives me. It gives me time to focus on myself and shut out stress. Also, it has afforded me to meet some wonderful people who have just enhanced my life.
Worst? I'm not sure I have a worst but, it's probably when I cheat myself by cheating on my diet and the guilt that happens later because I know better and I'm only stalling my progress. I'm not going to say that I have never cheated because I have. Not often but, it's happened. Just had to realize why I did and learn to circumvent those triggers.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Oh yes. Some I've never met and some are my friends who motivate me with their drive, passion, support, and dedication:
Natalie Benson, Jillian Reville, Alicia Harris, Ava Cowan, Stephen Fogel, Marc-Antoine Andrade


Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Indeed I do! Nut butters and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs! Sushi! Mainly Reese's Eggs though. Oh, and I am a sucker for a Knob Creek on the rocks.

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 your nutrition is on point and have fun with it! Do it for you! It's your body, you keep it, it goes everywhere with you so make sure you love it.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: I've always used weights so I hope it's common! lol. Yes, I think that mainstream people are finally accepting it. Whether it be a kettle bell or a shake weight, you have to start somewhere.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
AL Cooking! I am a very good cook! I also love make up. I love reading and music as well as the fact that I'm a geek so I tweet a lot. Like a lot, a lot. Beware if you follow me. Haha.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Fleur De Kine.
A: It's not that interesting when I look at it on paper...
On work days
7:30-8am: Wake up
8-8:30 Meal 1
9am Cardio 1
11:30am Gym
12:30 Meal 2
1:30pm leave for work
3:30pm start work
4:30pm Meal 3
8:30pm Meal 4
11:30pm Leave work
1145 Meal 5
1230am Cardio 2
then nap.
Non work days:
9am Wake up
930am Meal 1
10am Cardio 1
1pm Meal 2
4pm Meal 3
7pm Meal 4
10pm Meal 5
Somewhere between meal 3 and 4 I'll hit the gym and between Meal 4 and 5 I'll do cardio.

Q: Describe Fleur De Kine in five words.
A: Passionate, Weird, Driven, Awkward, Bad Ass

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I have a few superstitions:
I can't kill a spider because if they are around it means money is coming your way.
I can't take salt directly out of someone's hand. It has to be placed down first.
I believe in unicorns.
Yes, I am an odd duck.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Saturday June 25th I shall be competing in figure at the WBFF Boston show. Then an off season to make improvements and grow! I'd like to go to the Olympia and have some booth work. Look for the website I'm building. I'll have recipes, workouts, make up tips and more... (NOTE: Fleur won the overall at the WBFF show and received her Pro card)

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I'd like to promote FTNS Radio and internet radio station that has been instrumental to me this year. Listen at www.FTNS.co. I am a guest on the Body Shop from time to time and it's a great.
My diet coach PJ Braun at www.pjbraun.comGolds Gym New Haven for creating an environment where competitors can thrive and network
Siouxcountry.com a fantastic on line source for female competitors to figure it all out!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Fleur De Kine the athlete and competitor?
A: YES! I am indeed looking for sponsors! You can reach me through:
e-mail at: fleuryvette@gmail.com facebook: www.facebook.com/fleuryvette
Twitter: www.twitter.com/fleuryvette
In sponsoring me you are acquiring an athlete who is passionate, positive and dedicated to her sport. I believe wholeheartedly in knowledge and I am an open sponge for information. I am articulate and confident with no problem getting a message out to the public. I have fun and I bring a solid interesting and inviting package to the table. I am looking for a sponsor who shares my passion and has a product I can stand behind and I will promote the product. I am not the type to look for a hand out. In Fleur De Kine you will have an athlete you will be proud of and the public can relate to.


Q: Fleur, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank You so much for this opportunity and thank you to whomever reads this. I appreciate your support of this sport Jason! Keep it up!

NAAFS Proving Grounds 8 Report


On June 25th, the NAAFS put on Proving Grounds 8. A really good show with some exciting fights by up and coming talent. There were some really good fights and some really exciting finishes.

1. Amateur Heavyweight
Christopher Dempsey (2-0 Cold Steel MMA) vs Jay Murphy (2-0 Premier Martial Arts)

RD 1: Murphy starts it with a leg kick. Murphy lands a jab. Dempsey shoots but gets stuffed. Nice uppercut by Murphy. They clinch on the cage but quickly separate and Murphy lands some punches. Dempsey shoots but Murphy sprawls. Dempsey is trying hard for a single leg and finally gets it. They stand up and Murphy lands a nice knee to the leg. Another knee by Murphy goes low stopping the action. They resume and Dempsey shoots but gets stuffed. Dempsey charges in and eats two shots before they clinch. Both land knees and Dempsey gets a takedown and mount. He lands some shots but no damage.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Murphy

RD 2: Jab by Murphy. Dempsey shoots and gets a takedown. He gets side control as Murphy tries hard to get up. Dempsey lands shots to the head. He is now landing harder shots. Dempsey gets the mount and uses ground and pound till the ref stops it.

Result: Christopher Dempsey by TKO at 1:03 of Round 2

2. Amateur Featherweight
Roosevelt Archie (1-2 PA Brawlers) vs Mike Broome (0-0 Evolve)

RD 1: Lots of feints by both. Both land leg kicks and Archie with an uppercut. Broome gets a takedown and side control. Archie is doing good at avoiding damage. Broome gets mount and lands punches. Archie still avoiding damage though. Beautiful sweep by Archie to get on top. Broome avoids damage. Not much action to end the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Broome

RD 2: Front kick by Archie. Hook by Broome. Broome misses a leg kick and eats a jab by Archie. Hard leg kick by Broome. Brooke gets his back standing but Archie turns and then Broome gets a takedown and side control. Archie gets up and lands a hard hook followed by more punches. They clinch on the cage and Archie lands a nice knee followed by more punches.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Archie

RD 3: Archie hurts and drops him with a body shot. Archie gets on top and lands some good shots. Broome trying to use wrist control but Archie pulls his wrist out. Archie stands and Broome is bleeding from around his eye. Archie drops him with a hook and lands good ground and pound. The ref stops it and takes a point from Archie for hitting the back of the head. They resume and Archie takes it down but Broome gets on top. Archie lands punches from the bottom and goes for a triangle while landing hard shots till the ref stops it.

Result: Roosevelt Archie by TKO at 2:29 of Round 3

3. Amateur Lightweight
Sammy Callari (1-0 Vanquish MMA) vs Kegan O'Neill (1-0 Dungeon MMA)

RD 1: Both come out landing hard shots. They clinch and O'Neill gets a nice slam. O'Neill gets side control but Callari is looking for a choke. O'Neill escapes the choke but is bleeding from the head. O'Neill looks for a choke and then an armbar. Callari escapes and is in his guard. Callari stands and they clinch and another slam by O'Neill. O'Neill has side control and lands two knees to the body. Now he is landing more knees followed by punches to the head.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 O'Neill

RD 2: Hook by O'Neill. They clinch on the cage and Callari lands a couple knees low stopping the action. They resume and Callari lands a hook. They clinch against the cage and O'Neill is trying for a single. Callari gets his back and looks for a rear naked. O'Neill escapes and gets side control and lands a punch to the body and then knees. He lands more knees before Callari escapes and they stand. Callari lands hard shots and O'Neill tries for a takedown. They drop down and Callari lands punches to the body. Callari stands and O'Neill slams him and lands in side control. O'Neill lands punches to the body.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Callari.

RD 3: They clinch against the cage and Callari looks for a guillotine. They drop down and O'Neill escapes. O'Neill is in guard landing body shots. Not much action here as both are really tired. O'Neill lands body shots and then punches to the head. He tries to land more bu Callari is blocking them. O'Neill gets side control and lands knees to the body. Now he lands punches to the head. They stand and O'Neill lands a knee to the body.
I scored RD 3; 10-9 O'Neill
My score card: 29-28 O'Neill

Result: Kegan O'Neill by Unanimous Decision (30-27/29-28/30-27)

4. Amateur 115LBS
Nadia Nixon ( Soma/Topeka Jiu-Jitsu) vs Jessica Dinch (0-2 Independent)

RD 1: Hook by Dinch. Both land punches then a leg kick by Nixon. Leg kick by Dinch. Dinch gets a takedown and lands punches to the head. Now Dinch lands harder shots. Nixon goes for an armbar. Nixon gets mount and lands ground and pound. Dinch reverses and gets on top and Nixon tries for an arm. Dinch lands hard punches and escapes. Nixon hooks a triangle for the tap.

Result: Nadia Nixon by Tapout (Triangle Choke) at 2:47 of Round 1

5. Amateur Welterweight
Joe Callari (2-1 Vanquish MMA) vs Doug Christie (1-3 Goliath)

RD 1: Christie lands a spinning back kick low stopping the action. Callari is in a lot of pain. They resume and Christie lands a leg kick. Callari lands hard punches and Christie takes him down. Christie lands good body shots. Christie goes for a guillotine but Callari pulls out. Leg kick by Callari followed by another. Spinning back fist by Christie and a leg kick by Callari. They clinch against the cage and a nice throw by Christie but they get right up.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Christie

RD 2: Spinning back kick by Christie followed by a leg kick. Callari lands a hook. Not much action here. Jab by Callari. Christie lands a leg kick but slips and when he gets up, they clinch and Christie gets a slam. He is in side control landing shots to the head. Knee to the body by Christie. Christie lets him up and Callari lands a hook.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Christie

RD 3: Lots of circling. Hook by Callari. jab by Christie. Two punches by Callari hurts him but he doesn't follow up. Leg kick by Callari and a slam by Christie.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Callari
My score card: 29-28 Christie

Result: Doug Christie by Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/29-28)

6. Amateur Featherweight
Steve Saley (3-1 Goliath) vs Dylan King (2-0 Dungeon MMA)

RD 1: Hook by Saley and they clinch on the cage. They separate and King lands good punches. Saley goes for a takedown but a good sprawl by King. Saley lands a hook and so does King. They clinch on the cage and King gets his back while standing and lands punches that drops him. He gets his back on the ground and lands more shots. Saley is able to get up and they clinch on the cage. Kinds lands more shots as they separate. Hook by King and the clinch again. Body shots by King who then takes him down and gets his back. He lands more shots her. They stand and Saley takes him down and gets mount but King avoids damage.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 King

RD 2: Saley shoots in but a good sprawl by King. They clinch on the cage and Saley looks for a takedown. They separate and Saley shoots but gets stuffed. King gets it down and gets his back. Kind lands punches and moves to side control and lands more punches. Saley is able to get up and shoots but again a nice sprawl by King. King gets on his back and lands shots to the head.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 King

RD 3: King shoots but Saley gets his back. Saley is looking for the choke. He gets the choke and the ref stops the fight saying King was not responding to the ref's request to show him he was ok. King protests saying he was ok.

Result: Steve Saley by TKO at 1:00 of Round 3

7. Amateur Lightweight
Roy Merriman (2-0-1 Cold Steel MMA) vs Dustin Hawk (3-4 Team Independence)

RD 1: Merriman shoots but gets stuffed. Hawk gets a takedown. They stand and clinch against the cage. Hawk drops down with Merriman landing body shots. Merriman is in guard and Hawk looks for an arm. Good grappling here.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Merriman

RD 2: Merriman shoots but Hawk Sprawls. Hawk gets on top and lands punches. Not much action. Couple of punches by Hawk followed by more. Merriman pulls guard . The ref stands them and Hawk gets a takedown and lands in half guard. Merriman defends well.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Hawk

RD 3: Takedown by Hawk. Hawk lands punches. Merriman tries fro a triangle. He has it but it doesn't look tight. Hawk lands a punch but Merriman still has the triangle. The ref takes a point from Hawk but I couldn't find out what it was for.
I scored RD 3: 9-9
My score card: 28-28 Draw

Result: Majority Draw (29-27 (Hawk)/28-28/28-28)

8. Amateur 115 LBS
Sarah McLeod (2-2-1 Mid-America Martial Arts) vs Ronda Gale (Dungeon MMA)

RD 1: McLeod lands a jab. A hook by Gale. Body punch by McLeod and a leg kick by Gale. Two hard punches from McLeod followed by more head shots. Gale is bleeding and the doctor comes in to check her. They resume and McLeod hurts her with a hook. McLeod lands a jab and so does Gale. Leg kick by Gale. Two hard shots by McLeod. Gale lands a leg kick. McLeod drops her with a hook and the ref stops it.

Result: Sarah McLeod by TKO at 2:38 of Round 1

Submission of the Night: Nadia Nixon

KO Of the Night: Sarah McLeod

Fight of the Night: Sammy Callari vs Kegan O'Neill

Friday, June 17, 2011

Amber Knarr Interview


Amber Knarr is someone who really impresses me. She went to the gym after a health scare and has never looked back. She has competed twice so far and plans to do it forever. At a young age, that means we have a long time to watch Amber continue to improve. I can see Amber doing well in bigger and bigger shows and really think she has the look to be a well known fitness model.



Q: Amber thanks for taking the time to do this.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself?
A: I am 21 yrs of age and I am a fitness bikini competitor, recently took 1st place at the Kumite Classic short division. My family and I live in a small town in Muncy Pa where there is not much to do but hang out with friends and family,shop, or hit the gym. I graduated high school and went to Beauty School where I got my Cosmetology Licence and about a year later opened my own salon. There is where I learned that training and hitting the gym was more of my interests then cutting hair for a career. Therefore, I took my training to the next level and started to compete in 2010. Not long after competing in my first show I knew this is what I wanted to do for many year to come so I became a member of Cathy Savage Fitness. With their guidance, I won first place in my second competition.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or
anything?
A: I was a cheerleader in high school for 5 years and played softball for 1 year but I have always been a person to get involved in other outdoor activities.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: Even though I was active, I did not watch what I ate and started to develop heart and medical issues which was a BIG wake up call after having to go through multiple health screening tests and 4 different heart monitors hooked up to me. I knew I had to make a change and from that day on I was HOOKED.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started
to see results?
A: I started to train on my own for awhile not really familiar with what I was doing. I then started to research online. Through sites like Bodybuilding.com and reading Woman and Men's fitness magazines I was inspired to go to the next level. I started eating well, calorie tracking, and picking up my cardio. I have to be honest it took about a year to start seeing results that I liked but I started to feel better, my heart complications were completely gone and my skin was never clearer.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: It was something I had wanted to do for awhile but never knew how to get "my foot in the door." I think I was more scared than anything but knew I wanted to do it. So I just said to myself "Just do it! What do I have to lose?"


Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Most of my friends do not understand why I do what I do but I couldn't ask for more from my family they really are great, especially my mom she is my biggest supporter and has been by my side since day one!

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It was all I expected and even more! I was surprised at how unprepared I was and nervous going in alone before C.S.F

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: In 2010 I competed in my first show October 29th in Brooklyn NY, and my second show was in Pittsburgh, Pa at the Kumite Classic.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I feel my best body part is my back and shoulders.


Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: Favorite part to train is legs. I love waking up in the morning and not being able to walk, that's when I know I put in 200% at the gym!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it
for contest prep?
A: Normal training routine is cardio 4-5 times a week along with weight training 6 times a week. One day a week I do a full body blast.
Diet consists of eating 6-7 small meals a day with protein included in each meal. I follow what my coaches give me for the time of my show and off season so sometimes it may vary week to week. Right now I am doing starches,fruit,protein,vegetables first three meals, and protein and vegetables only for my last three meals. Also tbp of good fats (mostly oils) a.m. and p.m.

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: More positive. I usually get a big smile from people who respect what I do.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you
are most sick of hearing?
A: I mostly hear EAT A CHEESEBURGER or you don't live life the way you always eat clean.


Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the
one thing you wish people understood?
A: The one thing I wish people would understand is it is not a crime to eat clean and want to be healthy.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training is the way I feel before,during,and after in and out of the gym. It really is my "drug" and I love everything about training so I do not have anything bad to say about it. I love what i do and would not change it for the world!

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: There are so many but to name a few, Jamie Eason, Ava Cowen, Monica Brant, Michelle MacDonald, Michele Levesque, etc

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Peanut butter banana sandwiches, ice cream, pizza
Honestly I hardly have any of those, once a year if I am lucky,but I do have frozen yogurt once in awhile :)

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: Do not rush it, results do not come all at once. Be patient. It will all be well worth it.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as
opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: No, I work at a local YMCA. There are only a few woman who will walk into the free weight room. Their reasons are the common statement "I will get bulky or look like a man"

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love anything outdoors such as shooting targets, riding bike, running, etc.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Amber Knarr.
A: A typical day is I wake up eat, train, eat, run, eat, go to work and spend my free time with family and friends as much as possible.

Q: Describe Amber Knarr in five words.
A: Honest, Loyal, Hard Working,Responsible,Friendly

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I will do anything for anyone!!!! Know matter what, which sometimes is not a good thing.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I plan on competing for the rest of my life. Well, as long a my body lets me. I have so many goals and things I want to accomplish in life. There is no stopping or slowing down!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I am the hardest worker I know. I'm focused and dedicated. I won't stop until I reach the TOP!


Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they
getting in Amber Knarr the athlete and competitor?
A: I am looking for a sponsor. They can contact me through my email AOK1322@aol.com.
They will get a hard working woman who puts 200% in everything she does and promises to never disappoint!

Q: Amber, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words
before you go?
A: I thank you for your time. This means a lot to get the opportunity to do this interview with you!

Trish Lavender Interview


Trish Lavender is a fitness competitor I have always liked. Always saw a ton of potential in her. And as you can see, she has been living up to that potential. Inspired to compete by seeing the girls in magazines and an ex who said she would never look like those girls, she is proving that to be a false statement more and more with each show. Trish took 2010 off to work on her physique. So soon we get to see an even better Trish Lavender, and that's something to look forward to.




Q: First, Trish, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: My Pleasure, thank you so much for asking me, I feel honored to be included in the list of women on your site!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Born and raised here in British Columbia, living in the Greater Vancouver area. I come from a pretty large family, Father, Mother, 2 sisters and 1 brother, I am the eldest.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: From the age of 3 years old I have been involved in ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical and tap. It wasn't until after high school that I decided to join a gym.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: Reason I joined a gym was because of a few things...1. moved out of the family home and parents were no longer willing/able to pay for classes (extremely expensive, especially the amount of classes I was taking!), 2. I had gotten to a point where a career in ballet was not going to happen ie: working for a company, and 3. A gym was more conveniently accessible before & and after a typical work day.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I was actually pretty lucky that I had a Father that had been bodybuilding for years and he showed me the correct way to do a lot of weight training by using proper form, also I relied on Bodybuilding.com a lot and their online exercise videos. So I'd say it WAS pretty easy to pick things up, I think having good form and having already had great posture from years of dance really helped in that area.


Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Well it wasn't an instant decision to compete, I had actually picked up my first copy of Oxygen Magazine and read it cover to cover and saw the amazing physiques of Monica Brandt, and Jenny Lynn, Jen Hendershott, and Adela Garcia and thought wow, I would love to look like that and perform on stage again someday. I also had added fuel to the fire once my current relationship went sour and his everlasting words to me were "you'd never be or look like them!"

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My Father obviously was very supportive, and a little proud I think, my Mother wasn't sure what to think about it, I think she thought Fitness was like Bodybuilding and that I would become super muscular, she wasn't even keen on my Father and his muscles (I think she's crazy ha ha), but now she is one of my main supporters, making my routine costumes, bikini's attending all my competitions. As for my friends, well let's just say you really find out who your true friends are once you become an athlete. I have friends that have stood through the good and bad times, for sure and for them I will FOREVER be grateful and appreciative of that, and on the flip side have lost friends that couldn't understand the dedication to myself and my sport, call it selfishness if you want but I prefer to call it passion and I think it’s so important for one to have something you are passionate about in life.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I didn’t really have any expectations really, I knew what I had to do to compete, or at least the basics, my first show was mostly on my own with help of a friend/trainer on the east coast with diet and weight training/cardio, I choreographed my own routine. I think what surprised me was watching Jen Hendersott perform at my show as a guest and being brought to tears! Or maybe that was the low carbs??? Ha ha...she was sooo explosive I was truly in awe!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Definitely!
*2005 – Sandra Wickham Fall Classic – 3rd Place
*2006 – BC Provincial Championships – 3rd Place
*2007 – CBBF Nationals – 6th Place
*2007 – BC Provincial Championships – 1st Place
*2008 – CBBF Nationals – 3rd Place
*2009 – CBBF Nationals – 5th Place
*2010 – Took my option year to work on my physique
*2011 – CBBF Nationals - TBA


Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one>
A: Most definitely my quads, I can thank all the years of dance classes for that...I rarely train them with heavy weight, I can put muscle on them SO easily!

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I love training shoulders, they will always be a work in progress for me, and I’ve become increasingly fond of training my back now too! The heavier the better for training both!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Training typically a 3 day split, with cardio and 2 days of routine drills or actual routine practice a week...as for diet, it changes from how I’m looking week to week. I leave it all up to my trainers Sandra Wickham and Ross Webb, I’ve been with them since 2006, they know me and my body and how it reacts and adjust my training and diet accordingly.

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: Always positive, they typically are impressed by the caliber of athletes and finally get a chance to see what I have been working so hard for.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: “What do you want to eat first?!” Granted after the first couple shows it was all about the food, but now it’s gone beyond that, and I’ve learned that food is there for fuel and although you can enjoy a good meal here and there, it really shouldn’t be the main focus post competition, ESPECIALLY if you have upcoming photo shoots!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I think for me it would have to be that you can’t obtain a competition physique naturally, and that you have to live in a gym and lift super heavy all the time. Everyone’s body is different, and the saying “my body was built in the kitchen” holds a LOT of truth!


Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: Not having enough time, having to juggle working full time and training is a constant battle; everything is timed down to the second it seems.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Of course my trainer Sandra Wickham, she is a Canadian Fitness Pro, but also the athletes I listed above: Monica Brandt, and Jenny Lynn, Jen Hendershott, and Adela Garcia

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Yes of course! Anything that involves chocolate & peanut butter, DQ Blizzards and Cheesecake are the top two!

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: To find a trainer that has been training athletes for a while and has a good reputation for results, and to put 100% trust in them, never pay attention to what everyone else is doing it will only mess with you.

Q: Do you think it’s becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: I have been witnessing more and more women getting involved in group weight lifting classes which is think is great, it takes the guess work out of things, especially if you don’t have the money to hire a personal trainer at the gym. However, there are still woman that walk the treadmill and wonder why they aren’t seeing results. I wish I could talk to them all and tell them what they should be doing!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activates you enjoy?
A: I am also a Make-Up Artist as well, so I try to do that as much as possible too, lately I have been fortunate enough to start doing the make up for a few local athletes on their competition day. It’s always been a passion of mine and if given the opportunity I would love to do it more full time.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Trish Lavender.
A: Up at 4am, morning cardio, work 7.5 hours for an accounting firm as a Sr. Administrative Assistant, back to the gym to train weights, home to prep meals for the next day and try to be in bed by 9pm.

Q: Describe Trish Lavender in five words.
A: Honest, Hard working, Passionate, Reliable, Friendly.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I’m 31 years old in August – fitness does a body right!!!!

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes! I am currently less than 6 weeks out from the CBBF Nationals in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on July 23, 2011!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Sure! Myself! I would really like to work more in front of the camera and with some of the leading photographers in the industry. I currently have a photo shoot with David Ford of Status Magazine and Arthur Kwiatkowski of Arsenik Photography for Inside Fitness Magazine coming up next month and am extremely excited for these opportunities!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Trish Lavender the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes always, I can be reached at plavender80@gmail.com, they would be getting a positive athlete/competitor that lives the lifestyle to the fullest and would represent them and their product with integrity.


Q: Trish, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank YOU for including me in your blog and for allowing me to open up a little bit about myself!

Erin Moubray Interview


Erin Moubray decided to compete just so she could say she did it. Something "scratch of her bucket list". Little did she know it would become her lifestyle. To me, Erin fits into that saying of "You never know what you are capable of". She has looked very good in her early competitive showings and is bound to keep getting better.




Q: First, Erin, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thanks for the interview!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I currently live in Prince George, British Columbia. I am married with a young daughter. I work from home doing personal training and helping people with nutritional goal.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was never involved in any sports growing up. I was always intimidated by sports and teams, and though only the "athletic types" could play them.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I think it was starting to read oxygen magazines and seeing the girls in there. I always admired the women in them and wanted to look like that.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: It really was. I am fortunate that I can put on muscle fairly easily. It took about 6 months of consistent training that I went from being lean...to toned and muscular.


Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: It was one of those things I wanted to say I had done. I didn't really ever think I would continue on with it...I felt it was going to be one more thing I could scratch off my bucket list. It wasn't until after that I realized this was what I wanted to do and make into my lifestyle.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: It really is! At first I was hesitant to tell anyone as I thought they wouldn't understand. Then came a point when people started noticing changes and I felt comfortable enough telling them what I was training for. Since then they have been behind me 100%! I am even lucky enough to have my mom making all my competition suits!

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It was so different than I had thought! I had imagined it to be very competitive (especially amongst that many women). I was surprised how open and supportive everyone is and was with each other. Backstage everyone is like a big family. We are all going through the same things...training, dieting, nerves etc....so everyone "gets" what the other is feeling and has had to do to get there.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: My first competition was last year with the BCABBA. I placed 5th on my bikini group. Then most recently I competed with the WBFF in Gatineau, Quebec. I placed 4th in my Fitness Model Class and 3rd in my Bikini Diva class. Next up is the WBFF Worlds in Toronto!!!


Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My arms! They seems to need the least training and are naturally very muscular.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love training my shoulders and glutes! Growing my shoulders has given my frame a much more proportioned look. As for my butt I have never really had one. I love doing deadlifts and squats and seeing my rear finally take shape!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A:
Mon- Back/ Chest
Tues-Legs/ Glutes
Wed- Arms/ Shoulders
Thurs-Back Chest
Fri-Legs/ Glutes
Sat- Cardio
6 days a week 20-30 minutes of HIIT cardio
If I can't fit in cardio i will do 3-4 rounds of Tabata Intervals. I am trying to add in 30 seconds of plyo's between my weight sets to keep my heart rate up as well.
As for eating I follow a predominately plant based diet. I don't eat any meat, eggs, or dairy. I am eating a small amount of fish occasionally. I am very consistent with what I eat. I need to eat every 2.5-3 hrs. A typical day would look like this:
6 am- 1/2 cup oatmeal with 1 scoop vegan protein power
8:30- Vegan Protein powder and water with an apple
11 am- huge green salad with cucumber, sprouts, red pepper, quinoa, seitan (vegan protein) and apple cider vinegar.
1:30- 3 oz of fish with chopped veggies and some almonds
4 pm- Vegan protein shake
6:30- Same salad as I had at 11 am
9 pm- cut up cucumber in apple cider vinegar- or a shake depending on how hungry I am!
I find keeping a consistent diet year round keeps me feeling good and not having the up's and downs of "off" and "on" season. I also never feel deprived or feeling like I am "dieting".


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: Most people are very supportive. They always think that it is "bodybuilding". I have to explain the difference between the classes and different physiques. I find it is usually women who are react to it more positively. I think most women secretly wish they could do this....however they are just too afraid to try.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Where do you get your protein from?" I hear that ALL the time. I find it interesting that people don't realize that you can gain muscle and get an incredible amount of protein from plant based sources!!!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I hear alot of women say they would like to lift weights...however they don't want to "bulk" up. Yet they walk around with "bulky" muffin tops and "bulky" overall bodyfat. I wish they would understand that lifting weights will only slim, shape and tone them!!!

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: Best-the feeling I get after training....a feeling of accomplishment and energy to get me through my day. Not to mention an huge stress reliever!
Worst- NOTHING! I hate missing a single day of training. It's a bad day for me if I haven't at least done some sort of workout.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I love following Jaime Eason. She is very down to earth and loves to share her training to help others!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Veggie pizza, peanut M&M's, and sushi ( avocado and yam!!)

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: You've got to want it more than ________. It's up to them to fill in the blank. They need to be able to identify why they want to do it and say that phrase to themselves as a reminder when things get tough.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: YES!!! I am on vacation right now and working out at a new gym. I am amazed at the number of women in the weight room!!! There were even grandmas in there lifting....I was really impressed!!!!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to cook and entertain. I really enjoy cooking healthy meals for those who wouldn't normally eat a plant based diet. They are always surprised at how good it actually is!!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Erin Moubray.
A: Cardio, eat, weight train, eat, play with my daughter, clean the house, eat, chase my daughter, get groceries, eat, write client plans, make dinner, more playtime...then try to fall into bed at a decent hour to do it all over again the next day!!!

Q: Describe Erin Moubray in five words.
A: Determined, Structured, Motivated, Compassionate, Unique.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I can sing opera:-)

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Next stop is competing with the WBFF at Worlds this August!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I would love people to join my facebook page! The link is:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erin-Moubray-WBFF-Athlete-Fitness-Nutrition/200405896669257


Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Erin Moubray the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes I am! I would love to get sponsorship from a company that makes plant based supplements. I feel that with competing I can really help promote natural products and show others the great results you can get using them.
They can contact me via email at emoubray@gmail.com.

Q: Erin, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you!! Remember ... If you want it bad enough you CAN achieve it!!!!