Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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!

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