Saturday, July 2, 2011
Leslie Biernat Interview
Single mother of two, cancer survivor, works two jobs, and oh by the way.... still finds time to build a great physique. That is a description of Leslie Biernat. If ever you have been inspired by an interview on here, this could be the one. So read and prepare to become a Leslie Biernat fan.
Q: First, Leslie, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am 41 year old single mother of two boys 17,14. I currently live in Franklin, WI. I am a registered nurse, a Parish Nurse for a Inner City Church here in Milwaukee, an Author, and I am owner of Lifeway Fitness in Greenfield, WI. To say the least I am busy.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I played high school volleyball, basketball, and softball, and continued in college playing volleyball and basketball as well on scholarship to Irvine California.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I've always worked out through my sports but a desire to create the best body I could achieve sounded like a goal I wanted to take on. I am a goal setter trying to improve, grow, and challenge myself each and every year.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Being athletic to begin with weight training was easy for me I love lifting weights and learning how to sculpt your body amazes me.. still to this day as I continue to learn my body and work on achieving more muscle. I would say within 3 weeks I noticed a difference.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I am a Stage III Breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at age 33. I have been through chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, then total mastectomy with reconstruction, followed by total hysterectomy. I just finished my final chemo medication last December and now I am 8 years cancer free! So through this journey I learned alot and I learned how short life is and that no one is guaranteed tomorrow so I started setting goals for myself and doing things I thought were impossible or I only dreamed about. My main goal was to inspire and motivate others, survivors and non survivors, that they can achieve their dreams despite any obstacles. I started with Triathlons and in 2008 I completed the Ford Ironman in Madison WI. Then I moved onto figure competing because a trainer friend of mine said I had potential and I should consider doing one. And that they say is history.. set forth a goal and a challenge and I was hooked.
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Absolutely, my boyfriend is completely supportive. My kids, well I don't think my 17 year old appreciated having to paint his mom's back with tanning lotion, but all in all they support me as well. My friends were inspired and motivated and watched my determination and dedication.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It's what I was warned about. lol... I guess the the final prep week who could be prepared for that! All in all it's what I thought it would be and I loved every moment of it. Okay the dieting is a little tough.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I started in fall of 2009 first show didn't place did it on my own so I learned alot.. one under my belt. Over the next two years I competed in INBF, INBA, and tried one NPC show.
*2009 Muscle Mania - didn't place
*2010 Midwest Natural Bodybuilding Championship - 3rd in Tall Class
*2010 Illinois Northwest Bodybuilding Championship - 1st in Tall, 1st in Masters, Overall Winner
*2011 Illinois Northwest Bodybuilding Championship - 1st in Tall, 2nd in Masters
*2011 INBF Central USA Natural Fit Body Figure Championships - 2nd in Tall class, 3rd in Masters
*2011 Miss Millennium Reno Nevada- 3rd place in Masters, 3rd place in Open figure
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Well my best body part I feel are my legs.. seeing I am 6'0 tall 6'5 with my comp shoes. Overall I am very symmetrical and because of my height I am always working on building more muscle hard to compete with those short girls.. lol...
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love to train shoulders because I really need to work on those so I am excited to see what I can do. So I love tricep pushdowns they really give my tris a great pump.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Currently I am off season and I am taking some time to grow. I work out 6 days a week one body part a day with one day of rest. Abs are about every other day and cardio right now is a few times a week with bike or high incline treadmill. One or two times a week I will incorporate some sprints.
For contest prep I keep the schedule the same but my cardio increases to everyday and then twice a day, weights tend to be higher reps and more supersets and trisets with some plyometrics as well.
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: "Are you crazy???" When they hear about the diet that's what turns them off, they want the body but can't sacrifice the food.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Why do you do that? Aren't you afraid you will get too big?"
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That majority of us are not doing it for vanity we all have personal reasons for competing. Mine is showing that there is hope, beauty, and strength in my scars, for others they have just lost over 100 lbs and want to show their accomplishment. We are more than just a body.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
The best part of training is the "Pump" after you have lifted heavy and you can see the muscle you have worked and watching the body transform.
A: The worst is the time schedule. I am so busy with life to find the time is difficult but worth it.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A; To be honest I admire all competitors because I know the hard work and dedication it takes to be in this field. One of my new favorite mentors and friend is Clifta Perez with Phat Physiques she is currently training me and her philosophy is Christian based which I love.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I am well known for my cheat meals. My favorite is dessert and it's the molten lava cake at Applebees yummy.
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: Go for it! You can do it! Most importantly enjoy the journey.
Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: Absolutely, women today are realizing finally that they won't get bulking or look like a man if they lift weights they want the lean hard bodies and aren't afraid to go for it anymore.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: The most enjoyable time for me is taking a walk on a warm sunny day and spending quiet time with myself and God reconnecting about the importance and true meaning of life. I am so thankful for my life's journey; where I was, where I am, and where I will be..
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Leslie Biernat.
A: Up at 4:45am to go lift and cardio, off to job one, off to job two, cardio in the evening (on season), then home and bed. I do feed my children in between job one and two..
Q: Describe Leslie Biernat in five words.
A: Faithful, Honest, Determined, Passionate, motivated
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I published a book
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I plan to take these next few months to build and compete most likely next spring. I am on my road to a Pro card and I need more muscle so watch for me I am determined and dedicated when I set a goal and speak it I will achieve it no matter how long it takes i will continue my journey until I reach my goal.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I just want to let everyone know that life has it's challenges and obstacles but you can overcome them.. live your dreams, set goals.. what are you waiting for? Also they can read about my cancer journey in my book published in 2007 titled: "Faithful Journey: Memoirs of a Breast Cancer Survivor" by Leslie J. Reinicke (maiden name).
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Leslie Biernat the athlete and competitor?
A: I am absolutely looking for sponsorship and I can be reached at email@example.com. I am a fighter, I believe in dreams and achieve goals. I will motivate and show people how to believe in themselves! I want to inspire and reach as many people (competitors and non competitors) as I can and show them that there is so much more in competing it's a way of life, taking care of yourself, being strong and healthy, living life to the fullest that is what I stand for.
Q: Leslie, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: I am so thankful to you for allowing me to share my story and I hope it inspires someone somewhere to challenge themselves and live out their dreams. Thank You!