Sunday, August 28, 2011

NAAFS Rock-N-Rumble Report


On August 27th NAAFS put on Rock and Rumble 5. Great card with some great finishes as well as surprising finishes. It was a chance to some some good pro fighters as well as some up and coming amateurs show what they can do. From an eleven second KO to some exciting fights that went the distance, Rock and Rumble had a little bit of everything.


1. Amateur Lightweight
Khama Worthy (5-2 PTT) vs Joe Goyette (6-2 Air Gad-Fly)

RD 1: Goyette opens with a leg kick followed by a cross. They trade hooks and Goyette lands a jab. Leg kick by Worthy. Worthy catches a kick and lands a hook. Worthy lands a hook. Goyette shoots but gets stuffed. Worthy drops him with a hook and goes down after him but Goyette gets on top in guard. Worthy gets up and lands several punches. Goyette lands a hook and a jab by Worthy. Kick to the body by Goyette. They trade punches and Goyette closes the round with a takedown.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Worthy

RD 2: Both fighters land jabs. Worthy lands a hook. Goyette also lands a hook. Both fighters using lots of feints. Goyette is bleeding from the nose. Leg kick by Worthy and Goyette shoots in by Worthy gets his back. Worthy stands up and drops punches down before letting Goyette up. Hard hook by Goyette. Leg kick by Goyette. Goyette shoots but a good sprawl by Worthy. They clinch on the cage and Worthy lands a knee to the body.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Worthy

RD 3: Goyette gets a takedown. Worthy does good avoiding damage. Worthy lands a punch from the bottom and looks for a triangle. Goyette gets out and tries to stand up, but Worthy stands up first and keeps Goyette down. The ref stops the action to put Goyette's mouth guard back in. Goyette shoots but good sprawl by Worthy.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Worthy
My score card: 30-27 Worthy

Result: Khama Worthy by Unanimous Decision (30-27/29-28/30-27)

2. Amateur Middleweight
Serge Mayeku (1-0 VIP D-Boyz) vs Dave Lastafka (3-0 Vanyo Fight Team)

RD 1: Mayeku shoots in and gets a takedown and side control. Mayeku lands punches to the body. Lastafka gets guard. Mayeku lands body shots. Lastafka hooks an armbar and gets the tap.

Result: Dave Lastafka by Tapout (armbar) at 1:02 of Round 1

3. Amateur Lightweight
Mike Williams (5-3 All Out Assault) vs Kenny Jackson (6-4 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: A jab by Williams and a cross by Jackson. The clinch on the cage and Williams takes it down. Jackson tries for a guillotine but Williams pulls out. Williams lands body shots. Jackson lands a shot from the bottom. Jackson doing good avoiding damage. Body shots by Williams. Jackson reverses and gets on top as the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Williams

RD 2: Jackson accidentally lands an illegal kick to the head (illegal for amateurs) but Williams doesn't need a break. They clinch on the cage and both lands knees. Jackson gets a nice slam and is on top. Now he moves to side control but Williams avoids damage. Jackson is warned for hitting the back of the head. Jackson stands up and lands kicks to a downed Williams legs. Jackson gets back into Williams guard as the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Jackson

RD 3: Hook by Jackson. Jackson misses a punch and they clinch against the cage. Jackson gets a takedown and side control. He moves to north south but right back to side control. Jackson lands body shots and now head shots. Williams lands punches from the bottom. Williams gets half guard. Two punches from Jackson. The ref stands them up and they clinch on the cage. Jackson gets a takedown.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Jackson
My score card: 29-28 Jackson

Result: Kenny Jackson by Unanimous Decision (29-28/29-28/30-27)

4. Amateur Welterweight
Dave Gabig (4-2 PTT) vs Kevin Cummings (4-1 Buffalo BJJ)

RD 1: They trade hard shots. Gabig lands more shots and they clinch against the cage. Punches from Gabig. Cummings tries for a single leg and after much effort gets the takedown. Gabig reverses and gets on top. Gabig lands some punches. Gabig postures up and lands more. Cummings also landing from the bottom. Cummings is cut over his right eye. Gabig lands more punches to close the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Gabig

RD 2: Jab by Cummings and then another. Gabig drops him with a punch and lands a couple more till the ref stops it.

Result: Dave Gabig by TKO at :20 of Round 2

5. Amateur Welterweight
Todd Bevan (5-0 Bullpen) vs Josh Oppenheimer (5-3 Evolve MMA)

RD 1: Oppenheimer lands two punches and they clinch on the cage. Bevan drops down and gets a double leg takedown. They stand back up and Bevan takes him down again and gets his back. Bevan gets one hook in. Bevan lands a punch and gets the second hook in. Bevan tries for and gets the rear naked choke for the tap.

Result: Todd Bevan by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:29 of Round 1

6. Amateur Heavyweight
Jeff Hughes (7-2 Evolve MMA) vs Nick Dowe (3-1 Kim's Martial Arts)

RD 1: Hard leg kick by Dowe. Hughes throws a kick but Dowe catches it and takes him down. Dowe gets side control and lands body shots. Dowe goes for a choke but Hughes stands up. They clinch on the cage and Dowe looks for a takedown. Dowe has a body lock. Hughes lands a knee. They separate and Dowe lands a leg kick. They clinch against the cage but quickly separate. Leg kick by Hughes and they again clinch.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Dowe

RD 2: Dowe lands punches. Kick to the body by Hughes and then a leg kick. Dowe lands some punches and they clinch on the cage. Two knees by Hughes. Jab by Hughes. Dowe hurts him with punches and lands some more. Hughes tries to get away and they clinch on the cage. Dowe drops down for a single but Hughes gets his back. Hughes takes him down and has his back still. Hughes lands punches. Dowe holds onto a leg. Hard shots by Hughes and he hooks a rear naked choke for the tap.

Result: Jeff Hughes by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:58 of Round 2

7. Amateur Middleweight
Steve Burton (5-1 Evolve MMA) vs John Burbol (5-2 GriffonRawl)

RD 1: Body kick by Burton. Burton charges in but Burbol lands an uppercut. hey clinch against the cage and Burton lands knees. Burton lands more knees and then starts landing them to the other leg. They separate and Burton misses a kick. Hard hook by Burbol followed by an uppercut.They clinch against the cage with Burton trying to get a takedown. Burton lands knees but one goes low stopping the action. They resume and Burbol lands an uppercut. Burton tries for a takedown but the round ends.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Burton

RD 2: They clinch and Burbol lands a knee. They move to the cage and Burton lands knees. Burton tries for a takedown and lands knees to the body. Burton gets the takedown and lands body shots. Burbol pulls guard. Burton lands punches to the head. Burton lands more shots and goes for a leg, but Burbol pulls out.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Burton

RD 3: Jab by Burton. Burbol misses a hook and Burton clinches. They move to the cage and Burton punches Burbol's leg. Burton gets a takedown and lands punches to the body. Burton stands and goes back down into half guard. Burton lands shots to the body. Burton stands and drops into side control. Burton lands knees to the body. Burton lands head shots as round ends.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Burton
My score card: 30-27 Burton

Result: Steve Burton by Unanimous Decision (30-27/30-27/30-27)

8. Amateur Welterweight
Reggie Parks (GriffonRawl) vs Dave Vandevelde (5-0-1 Kim's Martial Arts)

RD 1: Body kick by Vandevelde. Hard hook by Parks. Parks hooks a guillotine and drops to the mat. Vandevelde pulls out and is in Parks guard. Body shots by Vandevelde and now head shots. Vandevelde lands more shots. Punch to the body by Vandevelde. The ref stands them. Parks shoots in but can't get the takedown.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Vandevelde

RD 2: Both land jabs. Hard cross by Parks. Action stalls. Parks rushes in and clinches on the cage. Parks trying hard for a takedown. The ref separates them. Parks shoots in but gets stuffed and put on his back. Vandevelde is in side control. Vandevelde gets the mount and lands punches but Parks sweeps and gets on top and lands punches as the round ends.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Parks

RD 3: Both land punches. Vandevelde lands a kick to the body and they clinch on the cage. Parks lands punches to the head. Parks then lands more shots to the head. Vandevelde lands a knee answered with a knee by Parks. The ref separates them. Parks lands a cross. Vandevelde accidentally lands an illegal kick to the head stopping action. The doctor checks on Parks and he can't continue. The fight ends and we go to the score cards scoring the first two rounds only.
My score card: 19-19 Draw

Result: Dave Vandevelde by Majority Decision (20-18/20-18/19-19)

9. Amateur Featherweight
Mark Cherico (7-0 PTT) vs Mike Putnam (4-1 Team Titan)

RD 1: Cherico lands a kick low stopping action. They resume and Cherico lands a jab. Cross by Putnam. Leg kick by Cherico. Body shot by Putnam. They clinch on the cage and Cherico gets a takedown. Two punches to the head by Cherico. Putnam gets up. Cross by Cherico answered with one by Putnam. Both lands hard shots. Cherico lands a hook and drops down and gets a takedown.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Cherico

RD 2: A hook by Cherico. Putnam shoots but a good sprawl by Cherico. Cherico has his back while standing. Cherico lands knees. Cherico gets a takedown and gets his back looking for the rear naked. He gets it for the tap.

Result: Mark Cherico by Tapout (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:35 of Round 2

10. Pro Middleweight
Moses McCraney (3-1 Hollywood MMA) vs Kevin Zalac (10-0-1 Next Level Jiu Jitsu)

RD 1: Leg kick by McCraney and they clinch on the cage. Knee to the leg by Zalac. Knee to the body by McCraney followed by more. Zalac trying for a single leg. Elbow by McCraney. Both land knees. Beautiful slam by McCraney. McCraney gets side control. Zalac gets up and they clinch against the cage. Hard punches by McCraney. McCraney tries for a single leg. Zalac lands a knee to the body. McCraney lands a knee to the leg. McCraney lands a knee low stopping the action. They resume and Zalac lands a hard hook and then drops him with another. Zalac looks for a guillotine but can't get it.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 McCraney

RD 2: They clinch in the center of the cage. Zalac lands a knee. They separate and Zalac lands a hard hook. McCraney slams him but Zalac is looking for a guillotine. Now he looks for a triangle but McCraney escapes and stands. McCraney gets a takedown and looks for and gets a choke putting Zalac to sleep.

Result: Moses McCraney by KO (guillotine) at 1:25 of Round 2

11. Pro Lightweight
Clint Musser (6-0 Evolve MMA) vs George Comer (9-0 GriffonRawl)

RD 1: Musser shoots but gets stuffed and they clinch on the cage. Musser takes him down. Comer avoids damage. Musser moves to side control. Now he stands and drops punches and then drops into guard. Musser postures up and lands two punches. Two more shots by Musser. Comer scrambles and gets up. They clinch against the cage and Comer lands a head shot. Musser gets a takedown by Comer gets right up. Kick to the body by Musser. Punch to the body by Musser. Comer tries for a single leg but can't get it. They clinch on the cage and Musser gets a slam. Musser lands an elbow. Short punches by Musser.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Musser

RD 2: Takedown by Musser. Musser lands punches and Comer tries for an arm but can't get it. Short elbow from the bottom by Comer. Comer is doing good avoiding damage. Short punches from the bottom by Comer. Musser lands an elbow. More good elbows by Musser. Now Musser lands punches. Musser stands and drops into side control. Comer pulls guard and Musser lands more punches.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Musser

RD 3: Good jab by Comer. Comer shoots but gets stuffed. Musser goes for a takedown and eats a good kick by Comer.Musser gets it down and lands two punches. Comer lands from the bottom. Knee to the body by Musser. Elbow by Musser. Comer pulls guard but Musser gets his back and then side control Elbows by Musser. Comer goes for a leg and then pulls guard. Musser lands punches. Comer lands an elbow and then another. Comer goes for an arm but can't get it. Musser is bleeding from the forehead. Punches from the bottom by Comer.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Musser
My score card: 30-27 Musser

Result: Clint Musser by Unanimous Decision (30-27/29-28/29-28)

12. Pro Featherweight
Matt Montalvo (6-6 Fighters United) vs Kevin Rothacker (6-2 Strong Style)

RD 1: Punch to the body by Rothacker. Montalvo drops him with a punch but Rothacker is up quick. Jab by Montalvo. Push kick by Montalvo. Head kick by Montalvo. Rothacker lands a knee to the body. Jab by Montalvo. Leg kick by Rothacker. Montalvo with a kick to the body. Both land crosses. Two punches by Rothacker and then a kick to the body. Rothacker takes him down and gets side control. Montalvo gets on top. They stand and clinch against the cage. Hard hook by Rothacker. Rothacker takes him down and gets side control. Elbow by Rothacker and then another. Knee to the body by Rothacker. Rothacker gets mount and lands punches. Rothacker stands and let's him up. Montalvo lands wild punches and Rothacker takes him down. Rothacker lands an elbow and then punches.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Rothacker

RD 2: Hook by Rothacker. Front kick by Montalvo. Jab by Montalvo. Hard punches by Rothacker. Montalvo drops for a takedown and can't get it. Rothacker drops him with a knee and gets on top and lands punches. Elbows by Rothacker. More elbows and punches by Rothacker. Rothacker gets mount and lands punches. Rothacker stands and drops punches. Rothacker gets side control and lands elbows.
I scored RD 2: 10-8 Rothacker

RD 3: Cross by Rothacker. Jab by Montalvo. Hard punches by Rothacker. Cross by Montalvo. Rothacker is cut over the left eye. Knees by Rothacker. They clinch on the cage and Montalvo lands a knee. Rothacker drops him with a hook and gets mount. Now into half guard. More punches by Rothacker. How he gets side control and lands knees to the body. Rothacker gets mount and lands punches. Now Rothacker gets his back and then side control. Montalvo is bleeding over his right eye. Rothacker gets mount and lands punches till the ref stops it.

Result: Kevin Rothacker by TKO at 4:05 of Round 3

13. Pro Lightweight
Nick Sorg (8-8 Black Force MMA) vs Terry Blackwell (6-1 Instigator)

RD 1: Jab by Blackwell. Punch to the body by Sorg. Punch to the body by Blackwell. Leg kick by Blackwell and then a jab. Sorg lands an uppercut and then another. Jab by Blackwell. Both land kicks to the body. Hook to body by Sorg. Sorg throws a kick and Blackwell catches it and lands a leg kick. Two jabs by Sorg. Nice jab by Blackwell. Leg kick by Blackwell. Hard punches by Sorg to close the round.
I scored RD 1: 10-9 Sorg

RD 2: Both land punches. Cross by Blackwell. Jab to the body by Blackwell. Another jab by Blackwell. Hook by Sorg. Leg kick by Blackwell. Both land hard leg kicks. Jab to the body by Blackwell and then another. Hard hook by Blackwell. Both lands jabs. A hook by Sorg. Hook to the body by Sorg. Jab by Blackwell and another. Two punches to the body by Blackwell. Jab by Sorg. Cross by Sorg. Hard hook by Blackwell.
I scored RD 2: 10-9 Blackwell

RD 3: Jab by Blackwell. Cross by Sorg. Jab by Blackwell. Sorg charges in and lands two punches. Jab by Blackwell and a cross by Sorg. Two nice jabs by Blackwell. Jab to the body by Blackwell and then a cross. Hook by Blackwell. Leg kick by Sorg. Hard hook by Blackwell and then another hard one. Punch to the body by Sorg. Jab by Blackwell. Leg kick by Sorg. Hook to the body by Blackwell. Leg kick by Sorg. Cross by Sorg. Both land hard shots. Blackwell lands a jab and hook. They clinch on the cage to end the fight.
I scored RD 3: 10-9 Blackwell

Result: Terry Blackwell by Split Decision (29-28/27-30/29-28)

14. Pro Featherweight
Doug Kulbis (9-2 Evolve MMA) vs Frank Caraballo (14-7 Fearless Fight Team)

RD 1: Caraballo drops him with a hook and lands a few more to finish him off.

Result: Frank Caraballo by KO at :11 of Round 1

15. Pro Welterweight Title
Kyle Baker (9-3 MMA Institute) vs Nick Duell (18-4-1 Strong Style)

RD 1: Hook by Duell. Duell lands a kick to the body and then a head kick. They clinch against the cage. Duell lands a knee. They separate and Duell lands a leg kick. Baker drops him with a hook and lands punches till the ref stops it.

Result: Kyle Baker by TKO at 1:12 of Round 1

Submission of the Night: Dave Lastafka

KO of the Night: Frank Caraballo

Fight of the Night: Matt Montalvo vs Kevin Rothacker

Renee Aberle Interview







Q: First, Renee, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: My pleasure! Thanks so much for asking me!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: My name is Renee Aberle. I'm 37 years old. I live in Wilmington, MA . I have been married for 13 years to my high school sweetheart. Right now I'm a stay at home mom to three children. I have boy/girl twins that are 8 and a 6 year old son.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Growing up I played softball, took dance , gymnastics and cheerleaded. In high school I continued cheerleading and playing softball.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: To help me in the process of recovery from an eating disorder. When I was 22 I was hospitalized with Anorexia. At my lowest weight I was 85lbs and on the verge of death. All I wanted to do was to disappear. My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time stuck my my side thru the whole ordeal and never left my side once. Its him that I owe my desire to get better. I saw how much he was hurting because of what I was doing to myself. He feared for my life and begged me to get help. I didn't want to hurt him any longer so I agreed. Once I was well enough and got my weight back to stable number I wanted to add some shape back to my body so I decided to join a gym. At first I was intimidated but stuck with it. I'm so glad that I did. Weight training has not only changed my physically but also mentally. Its has helped me with my self esteem, self confidence, and has taught me that food is fuel and not the enemy.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I picked it up fairly easy but it wasn't till I hired a trainer to help me that I saw real results. I learned about proper form and more importantly about the proper nutrition I needed to feed my growing muscles.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Seeing the women in the fitness magazines that competed is what got me thinking of wanting to compete. I decided to check out a local show and knew right away that this was something that I wanted to do. So I set a goal to do just that.


Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes, I'm lucky to have my husband behind me 110%. He is my biggest supporter and often believes in me more than I do. I couldn't do this without him.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I was surprised at how everyone was so friendly backstage. That even though people were competing against one another everyone supported each other. It was nice to be surrounded with people who knew exactly how you felt. I was also surprised how comfortable I felt up on stage. I'm not known to like the spotlight on me at all and often try to avoid it. But once I hit that stage It felt like I truly belonged up there.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A:
*2007- NPC Maggiefit- 4th place
*2007- OCB Cape Cod Natural-3rd place Novice, 5th place Open
*2008- OCB Cape Cod Natural- 1st place Novice, 4th place Open
*2009- Ocb Cape Cod Natural-3rd open, 5th masters 35+
*2009- NGA Granite State Open-1st open
*2010- OCB Cape Cod Natural-3rd open, 3rd masters 35+
*2010- NGA Granite state Open- 2nd open, 2nd masters

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I would have to say my calves as they are naturally developed and really don't have to work them.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I love training shoulders. I have been told that I need to add size to my shoulders so I love hitting them hard as I can in order to get them to grow.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I'm in offseason right now and have just started working with a new trainer this past November. He changes my training every 4-8 weeks to keep me progressing. Right now I'm doing a 5 days split. We have been slowly upping my calories and decreasing my cardio. I eat every 3 hours and stick to clean foods like oats, br rice, sw potatoe, chicken, egg whites, veggies, lean beef, olive oil, and sometimes peanut butter. As far as far as contest prep I have never worked with coach so I'm excited to see how prep goes and what the final product will be.

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: I would have to say positive. People often cant believe that I have had twins and ask me how I find the time to fit it all in.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "I don't know how you do it all?" I just tell them that this is something that I want bad enough and I make the time even if that means getting up at 3am everyday.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is beating a previous lift and the feeling I get reaching a goal. The worst part is the guilty feeling I get sometimes taking time away from my family to train.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Ava Cowan and Erin Stern

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I love Pizza and Nachos

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: That its not going to easy. Its going to take dedication, time, and consistency. You have to give diet and training both 110% effort not just either or for the results happen.

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 do see more women attempting the weights now but there is still alot of those cardio only women that fear they are going to big and bulky.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to read. Anything from books to magazines

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Renee Aberle.
A: I wake up at 3am eat my fist meal and get ready to hit the gym by 4am. I'm home by 6am so that my husband can go to work. I shower and get the kids up and ready for school. I take the kids to the bus and then go do any errands that I have to do. I come home do any household things that need to be done like cleaning and laundry. After school, I take the kids to any activities or appointments they may have. Then make dinner, do homework, get lunches and clothes out for the next day. Put the kids to bed at 8pm and I'm usually in bed by 8:30pm. and do it all over again the next day!

Q: Describe Renee Aberle in five words.
A: Loyal, honest, dedicated, caring, helpful

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I'm really shy and don't like to have the spotlight on me. I guess except when I'm competing! LOL!

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I'm taking this year off to make some improvements but will be returning to the stage next spring in hopes of a pro card!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I want to thank my sponsor Big Rig Supplements for believing in me enough to let me represent them. I'm honored to be a part of such a great team of people and cant thank them enough. I also want to thank my coach John Yobst of Lean Physique Training Studio in CT.I just started working with John this past November and the changes I have seen in my body are amazing. He has also helped me to believe in myself
more and has talked me off the edge more than once. He Is a great trainer that truly cares about each one of his clients and puts his heart and sole into his job.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Renee Aberle the athlete and competitor?
A; Sure, I can be reached at Aberle 531@verizon.net. I would do anything I can to help promote their company anyway I could.

Q: Rene, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A; I just want to thank you for giving me opportunity to do this and for what you do for women in fitness.

Brandy Anderson Interview







Q: First, Brandy, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: My name is Brandy Anderson, I was born in Temple, Tx and then raised as an Army brat moving from here to there. My dad settled in North Pole, AK and that is where I have chosen to stay. I am a single mom of a 15 year old son and 9 year old twin girls. I am a rescue specialist/system's operator for a helicopter SAR program and I volunteer as a firefighter and EMT.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I wasn't especially athletic, I would play sports with friends, but nothing like on a dedicated, committed team. I also did some hiking and outdoor activities, but nothing really challenging.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: Two years ago, when I left bar tending and decided to join the fire service, I found my calling. This is what led me to the gym, I was 120 pounds and needed to be able to rescue people. So I started off with at home DVD's (like p90x, Insanity, etc). Then I stumbled upon a bodybuilding competition, after seeing all of the competitors, I decided that bodybuilding is what I wanted and needed to do.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Once I got in the gym and started lifting, I began to see results in my strength and my physique almost instantly.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: After having seen my first show and having trained, I decided the next step was to compete. It was actually what my end goal was when I had started training.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: I had a lot of support from my friends, my family wasn't exactly sure what it was that I wanted to do or why I felt this need to get up in a suit in front of all those people. Once they watched the first show that I competed in, it all came together for them and they then understood and fully supported me on top of being extremely proud of what I had accomplished.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It was not what I had expected at all, besides the nervous part. I had never thought that there would be that much camaraderie between all of the competitors that were competing against each other and me. Everyone was so supportive and positive.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A:
* 2010 Crystal Cup - 2nd Place Women's Masters Bodybuilding
* 2011 Heart of Alaska - 2nd Place Women's Open Bodybuilding

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My glutes and thighs. I am able to build my quads up and they cut very nicely.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I love to work Quads, glutes and calves. I don't say legs entirely, because hammy's are just really not part of my favorite muscle group to work.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I normally lift weights 5 days a week and do cardo 5 days/week for 30 minutes. During this time, I train a different muscle group each day and normally only hit each group once a week. My diet is lots of meals at certain times of the day, to ensure that I am getting enough carbs, proteins and fats at the right times. During contest prep, I am still lifting 5 days a week, but I up my cardio to 7 days/week for 1.5 hours, with half of that being fasted cardio and the other half after my weight training. My diet, then changes rapidly every week to ensure that I am cutting and getting stage ready.

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: I would say that it is usually more positive and that there aren't to many people that have negative comments. I hear a lot of questions like, "how long do you spend in the gym? Why would you want to spend that much time in the gym? How can you eat the same thing all the time? and questions along those lines, but most of the comments are positive.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I guess it would be, "Why would you want to spend that much time in the gym?"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: How much work truly goes into contest prep and keeping your body fit and in shape all year round. Also, that just because a female is in the gym pushing weights, that they aren't going to grow big and bulky like a man, women's body's are just not designed that way.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is achieving new personal records all the time and the worst part is the diet, I have a bit of a sweet tooth and so giving up chocolate and gummy bears is the hardest part.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Shawn Wolfe, he has recently become my trainer and competes as an all natural bodybuilder. He is just an all around humble guy, truly genuine and an amazing athlete.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Nachos and Ice Cream

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 be prepared for a lot of hard work and self-discipline. Also, to believe that she could do anything and that there isn't anything a women is incapable of doing.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: Yes and No. I have seen a lot of women in the gym training with weights and I have heard from a lot of women that don't think women should be "making those faces" or "grunting" while they are lifting weights.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I LOVE fishing! I also enjoy geocaching, hiking, bike riding, anything outdoors with my family. I really just like being active and having fun.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Brandy Anderson.
A: Off Season: Get up get the kids ready for school, make breakfast and then hit the gym. I usually like to get my workout in, maybe talk to a couple other gym regulars, tan and then head home for lunch, a dog walk and house work. Then the rest of my afternoon is kids and kids sports. Pre-Comp: Mostly the same, but I get up an hour earlier then normal and do fasted cardio on my bike trainer in my bedroom.

Q: Describe Brandy Anderson in five words.
A: Outgoing, Dedicated, Funny, Committed, Motivational

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I really enjoy eating sweets and other junk food, and I force myself to eat all the healthy things I eat on a regular basis.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes, I plan on competing in the 2012 ABFF March All Natural Bodybuilding competition - Women's Middleweight

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I would like to promote BAMFit, which is a fitness group that I am a part of. We can be found on Facebook as BamFit or on our website: bamfit.org
I would also like to promote wolfe 4 life training and nutrition. He can be found on Facebook at wolfe4lifetrainingandnutrition

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Brandy Anderson the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes I am looking for sponsors. They can contact me at bamfit.brandy@gmail.com I am an all natural, hard-working, motivated and dedicated athlete that would do my best to only achieve the best for myself and for their company.

Q: Brandy, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to tell you a little about myself and interviewing me. It is a pleasure and I love what you are doing for women athletes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tenecia Phillips Interview







Q: First, Tenecia, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: You're welcome, Jason! I appreciate you giving me the opportunity.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born in Richmond, VA but moved to Tucson, Arizona with my mom when I was almost 2 years old. I've lived in Tucson since then with the exception of the time I spent in Flagstaff at Northern Arizona University. I've been married for almost 7 years and my husband is a firefighter with the Tucson Fire Department. I'm also the mother of a gorgeous 10 year old daughter. I work as a public librarian and yes, I know the Dewey Decimal System and will shush someone if I need to! :)

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I did play...or shall I say...I attempted to play sports in high school. It was strongly encouraged that I play basketball because I was taller than most of the girls my age so I played in middle school and throughout high school. When I was a freshman in high school, my P.E. teacher decided to do several lessons on tennis. For some reason, I was a natural at it and my teacher encouraged me to tryout for the tennis team. I made the junior varsity team, played one match on that particular team, and then was moved up to varsity! I played varsity tennis for the remainder of my high school "career". I love the sport and fantasize about being the AZ version of Serena Williams :)

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I wanted arms like Angela Bassett's in What's Love Got To Do With It and Linda Hamilton in The Terminator. I found out that the only way that was going to happen was if I lifted weights...heavy weights!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes, training was something that did come fairly easy to me. I am fiercely competitive so my husband/trainer would say things like "I'm sure this is too heavy for you to lift" just because he knows that I HAVE to prove him wrong...lol! I have to say that I've been blessed genetically so I see results, whether it's putting on muscle or dropping weight, fairly quickly.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: My husband has been in love with the sport of bodybuilding since before we met and he is the one who introduced me to the sport. After watching my first competition, I longed to step on stage like the women I had seen. It did take some time from the point that I decided I wanted to compete to actually stepping on stage but I finally did it in July 2010!!!

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My family is definitely supportive! My daughter will remind me that I need to get my cardio done or will even ask me if I'm allowed to be eating something! It did take some time for some of my friends to support me but I have never had anyone be outright negative about my desire to compete.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It surprised me that I would be so determined to improve my physique each time I stepped on stage. I was surprised that I felt like I needed to know what kept me from walking about with the win so I always ask the judges for feedback. I may not always agree with the feedback I received but it's still beneficial to receive it.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A:
*2010 NPC Arizona Open Class E Last place
*2010 NPC Western Regional Class E Last place
*2011 NPC Orange County Muscle Classic Class E 4th place
*2011 NPC Terminator Class B 2nd place

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My biceps! I don't have Angela Bassett's arms but I'm pretty darn close :)

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I enjoy training back. Right now, I'm trying to build up my back and one of my favorite exercise for back is barbell bent-over rows! I love them!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal routine is cardio 3-4 times a week and lifting 3 times a week. I try to eat fairly clean but allow myself treats if I want them. Since I am currently prepping for my next show, I am currently doing 45 minutes of cardio in the morning 5 times a week. I am lifting 3 times a week with one workout focusing solely on back and the others are full-body workouts. I am currently following a keto diet with occasional re-feeds.

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: People are mostly positive in their reactions - they are usually in shock that I am able to balance competing with my job, family, friends, etc.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "You must work out ALL of the time to get a body like that!" I want to shake some sense into them...lol..but I just tell them that of course I spend time in the gym but I have life so all of the hours of my day are not spent there.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Every woman who competes is not taking steroids!! I'm so tired of people assuming that because I have muscles, I must have taken some type of steroid to get them. It can be really annoying and I try not to let it upset me but it does at times.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training is seeing improvements. I love looking at my progress pictures and seeing improvements from the previous days, weeks, months, etc. The worst part of training is feeling weakness. I hate that there are times during my training where I feel weak and unable to do a lift or exercise but I always remind myself that weakness is temporary!

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I definitely worship at the feet of Erin Stern, Teresa Anthony, and Candice Keene! These ladies have incredible physiques, are well-spoken, intelligent, and have such grace & poise.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Carne asada fries! French fries topped with carne asada, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, pica de gallo, and jalapenos! Trust me when I say, it's heaven on a plate :)

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: Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for help! I have heard so many women say that they want to get into working out but they didn't know what to do and were afraid to ask for help. How will you learn if you don't ask questions???

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. I think women are realizing that there are more options to working out than treadmills and aerobics! Weight training can be fun and challenging and women are starting to realize that.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I enjoy bikram yoga, spinning, spending time with my family, and just sitting down & reading a great book.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Tenecia Phillips.
A:
4:45 Wake up
5:00 Cardio
6:30 Wake up my daughter, make her breakfast, and get her ready for school
7:10 Out the door and off to school
7:45 At the gym for work out
8:45 Out the door and off to work
9:00 - 6:00 Working at the library
6:30 Dinner with the family and homework
7:30 Put my daughter to bed
8:30 Time for bed!
*I eat 6 meals somewhere in that day too :)

Q: Describe Tenecia Phillips in five words.
A: Stubborn, determined, funny, sarcastic, reliable

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I'm very very uncomfortable in front of large groups of people and I'm a klutz. That's why I'm always thankful that I didn't pass out or trip over my own feet each time I step on stage :)

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I will be competing on October 29 at the NPC Border States in San Diego, CA. After that show, I'm going to give my body a rest and I'll look at show schedules at the beginning of next year.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I write a blog entitled Boobs, Barbells, and Broccoli and I talk about my life, work, competing, and other random topics.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Tenecia Phillips the athlete and competitor?
A: I would love the opportunity to partner with companies that share my passion for healthy living, family, music, and food :) I can be contacted on my blog, on facebook or via email Tenecia21@msn.com

Q: Tenecia, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to do this interview. It was a great experience!

Rachael Novello Interview







Q: First, Rachael, 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 27 years old and from a small town north of Boston. I currently work for Citizens Bank in the mortgage division and have been with the company for just under 7 years. My husband and I were married in 2008 and in 2010 we adopted a beautiful miniature Australian Shepherd named Berklee. We purchased our first home about a year ago and have been updating and renovating ever since. I graduated college this past May (after 9 long years) and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Human Resource Management. My husband is a manager for Enterprise on the northshore of MA. I have two sisters, one of whom is in her sophomore year of college and the other is a second grade teacher. My mother is a kindergarten teacher and my father is a computer software engineer. (anything else you want to know?)

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I wouldn't consider myself an incredibly athletic person. I swam in high school and my first year of college and have completed two triathlons but do not participate in any team sports now.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I have been a gym goer since I was about 16 years old when my father got a family membership to Gold's Gym. When I moved away for college I would attend the campus gym on a very inconsistent basis. It wasn't until I moved back home and met my now-husband that I wanted to get in shape. I began working out with my trainer in 2007 and never looked back.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Initially my training was to maintain my weight and tone up. It was something that I found I greatly enjoyed. Within the first two or three months of regular training I noticed that my body was getting tighter and I felt better about myself overall.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: In June of 2010 after taking some time off from regular training sessions I started to feel unhealthy again. I contacted my trainer and we put a plan together to get me back on track. At the time she was training to compete in the INBF Monster Mash in Massachusetts. She introduced me to another one of her clients who she was training to compete and I got the bug. I watched as the two of them drastically changed their figures and both did amazingly well at the show (my girlfriend took 5th in Novice Figure and my trainer took 1st in Heavyweight BB). In the month before the show my trainer asked if I would consider competing the following June. I told her that if she could get my body to that level that I would definitely take the stage.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Initially I found it hard to get support at home and from friends. My family didn't really understand why I wanted to compete and the more they "learned" about the sport, diet & exercise regimen, the more they thought it was unhealthy for me. It took a lot of one on one conversations with them before they began to see that this was something I really wanted to accomplish and that made me happy. On top of which they started to see that the diet wasn't restricting in terms of how much I ate, just the types of food I was eating. My husband is now hugely supportive of my decision to compete and has many times kept me on track when I felt that I was floundering. It's definitely a learning curve for family and friends, but you just always have to be honest and keep the lines of communication open. I think that is the key to gaining understanding and support from others.


Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: Nothing about competing was what I expected. It was emotionally and physically exhausting at times to the point where I questioned if this was something I truly wanted to do. I thought the other competitors would be judgemental of me, a first time competitor, but I found that every single person I have met has been warm, friendly and willing to help and support each other. I have never met such a large group of people all with the same goal (winning) that are truly proud of each other's accomplishments. It's an amazing group to be a part of!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: To date I have only competed in two shows - the 2011 INBF Northeast Classic and the 2011 OCB Yankee Classic. I place 3rd at the INBF show in Novice Figure. I placed 1st in Novice Figure & 2nd in Open Figure at the OCB show!

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My abs are probably my favorite body part. They came in very early on in my training and never went away. It's definitely one part that my trainer has taught me to emphasize on stage.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: As much as my abs are my favorite body part, my favorite part to train are my shoulders. There is something to me about the shape of my shoulders and the exercises that I do to train them that make me look forward to shoulder day at the gym. My favorite exercises are shoulder presses and lateral raises.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal routine is a clean, healthy diet and 3 - 4 full body work out sessions per week, with 30 minutes of cardio on those days. However, when it comes to contest prep my diet changes according to what my coach feels my body needs and we increase my cardio to 6 - 7 days and up my weight lifting routine.
My diet is typically a 3 day protein/carb/fat rotation.
Day 1: 150-100-30
Day 2: 150-75-30
Day 3: 175-50-35
We limit my carbs to sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice and oatmeal. Fats are usually naturally occurring in the foods I'm eating, but if I have room I'll add in some natural peanut butter or olive oil. Proteins typically consist of chicken, white fish and the occasional steak on my higher fat days.
We change my lifting routine to one body part per day with 3 - 4 exercises per part and two days a week of ab work.
Day 1: SHOULDERS & ABS - upright rows, lateral raises, overhead presses, reverse flyes, cable front raises (3 sets of 12), reverse crunch, incline crunch, hanging crunch, oblique crunch (3 sets of 15-20)
Day 2: BICEPS - concentration curls, incline bench curls, barbell curls, dual cable curls, hammer curls (3 sets of 12)
Day 3: TRICEPS & ABS - press downs, over head cable press, weighted dips, close hand push ups, kickbacks (3 sets of 12), hanging crunch, bosu oblique, double crunch, straight arm/straight leg weighted crunch (3 sets of 15-20)
Day 4: HAMSTRINGS/CALVES - single leg standing curl, seating curl, physioball curl, deadlifts, seated calf raise, standing calf raise (3 sets of 15)
Day 5: QUADS - hack squat, power squat, lunges, split squats, plie/sumo squats (3 sets of 20-30)
Day 6: BACK/CHEST - pull ups, cable row, olympic row, lat pull down, smith machine incline/flat chest press, flyes, cable cross, push ups (3 sets of 12)

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: For the most part I get a lot of positive reactions. I find that because I compete in figure up until the last week before show day my physique isn't anything "shocking" per say. I am lean and muscular but not in a way that garners negative attentions. I find that once people know that I'm competing they tend to ask a lot of questions about how long it took to get where I am, what my diet is like etc but the reactions I get are primarily positive.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "How can you stand the diet? You must miss "real" food" - initially it's hard to know how to react to something like this because it's not meant to be an insult, but what we eat is real food. It's just not the same food we used to eat or that others are eating. We are much more careful in choosing the types of food we put in our bodies because we have an ultimate goal. Over time I've come to realize that you just have to say "The diet is tough, but I've been eating clean for so long that my body is used to it. I am getting the fuel that I need to reach my goal and when I get on stage it's all worth it"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I think the biggest misconception is steroid usage. I have had many people make comments to me about "eventually you'll have to use steroids". I have found myself explaining many times the difference between a "natural" competitor and those folks that use enhancement drugs. The other big misconception people tend to have is they assume that if you compete that you are/will be a bodybuilder. The idea of a "figure" competitor isn't something that I have found to be commonly known so I've had to explain the difference there quite a few times!

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training for me is when I exceed a personal best. When I can put another plate on the leg press or throw another 5 pounds up on a shoulder press. Knowing that my body is getting stronger with each session is so empowering to me! The worst part is when I can't train to my fullest. Whether it's because I'm tired, or sick or just off my game - I get very frustrated on those days and feel like I'm not reaching my potential.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Jamie Eason was the first high profile competitor I read about. Her story gave me that initial boost to want to learn more. Since then I have met so many incredible women that I couldn't possibly pick just a few. I admire each and every competitor in this industry for what they've accomplished and all that I can learn from their journeys.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Grilled pizzas! My husband makes a mean sausage, mozzarella and balsamic pizza!

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 to a show! If the thought of competing has ever crossed her mind I would tell her to find a local show and check it out. That way she can get a real life view of what the actual competition day is all about and the types of people that compete. I personally never did this and found that I was more nervous that first show than I may have been if I checked one out before. I also think it gives her the opportunity to meet some past and present competitors and ask them questions about how they got started too.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: I think it becoming more common place. I find that many women are coming around to the idea of lifting weights on a regular basis to maintain their physiques.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to read! I got a Kindle for Christmas last year and I do not go anywhere without it. I also love to cook - which has helped me get through tough dieting days. I love to make food and watch other people enjoy it - I'm always experimenting with new flavors, ingredients and textures.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Rachael Novello.
A:A typically day consists of a training session in the morning (usually around 530am), followed by work until 4pm or 5pm, then cooking dinner with my husband, taking the dog for a walk and relaxing on the couch. It's a very simple life and I enjoy every minute!

Q: Describe Rachael Novello in five words.
A: Driven, Caring, Strong, Loyal, Funny

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I am a two time triathlete.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: My next competition is going to be the OCB Cape Cod Natural show on October 8, 2011!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Rachael Novello the athlete and competitor?
A: I am definitely looking for sponsorship opportunities in the future. I would love to be able to represent this sport in anyway I can! I can be reached at rachael.novello@gmail.com. I am currently working on my website rachaelnovello.com and hope to have that up and running soon!

Q: Rachael, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Diane's Diary by Diane Mueller







This past weekend I was given an opportunity which brought me pride beyond measure. I was given the opportunity to present awards to the female bodybuilders at the 2011 ABA Natural North America in Bolingbrook, Illinois. It was such a thrill and a great honor for me to represent female bodybuilding and Natural Athletics. I love the sport of bodybuilding and I’m always proud to show my support whenever possible. In addition to representing female bodybuilding, I was able to support my wonderful Coach, Jennifer Abrams, and my fellow teammates with Team Abrams. Team Abrams is the name for a group of individuals that Jennifer coaches and prepares for competitions. She works with both male and female bodybuilders, as well as, figure competitors. Coach Jen takes care of all our competition needs; from detailing our training and nutrition programs, to choreographing our routine, and perfecting our posing. Jennifer has us so well prepared for our competitions that we have no choice but to be successful. Here I am raising the hand of my teammate, Cortney Schmitt, in victory as she was the Female Bodybuilding Novice Class Champion.




Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

This is one of my favorite verses, as it provides a simplistic blueprint for achieving success in life. If you live your life in the most positive manner possible, good things are sure to follow. I’m certainly not a perfect person, nor do I claim to be. I do strive, however, to be a better person each day, than I was the day before. That’s called positive progression. Negative thoughts will never produce positive results. There’s a lot to be said for the power of positive thinking, and I am a perfect example of this. The more positive my outlook has become, the more wonderful opportunities have come my way. My life has been exceptionally blessed this year. I’ve received more blessings than I ever could have imagined, or even thought to ask for. The Lord was testing me by providing me with a few gifts to begin with. As I demonstrated that I was responsible enough to be trusted with more responsibilities, He provided them for me. I had proven that I was capable of using my achieved status to help strengthen and empower others, and not use them for malice. I had exemplified positive progression, and right now, it feels as though my opportunities are limitless. My fate is in my own hands, of course. Opportunities don’t last forever. It’s up to me to prove that I can continue to be worthy of receiving such blessings, or they will be taken away. I can continue to grow and uplift others, or to create my own downfall by becoming arrogant and conceited. Since I don’t foresee the latter happening anytime soon, I believe I will continue to receive great bounty and be able to share my blessings with others. Booker T. Washington said it the best when he said, “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”



Bodybuilding has given so much to me that I am proud to give back to the sport whenever possible. I will always be an advocate and supporter of Natural Athletics. There is no greater pride than knowing all your achievements, and all your accomplishments, came from hard work and dedication to your sport. Your gains may take longer to materialize, but you can take pride in knowing that all the gains you have achieved, were earned in an ethical manner. Being successful in your own right, will give you a far greater sense of pride in your triumphs than knowing you compromised your morals, and cheated, in order to win. “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” Matthew 16:26. That’s a powerful verse, but if you take a few minutes to reflect upon it, you will see that it perfectly describes the thoughts and emotions of a Natural competitor. A Natural competitor is willing to sacrifice building freaky amounts of muscle mass, for a more streamlined, lean mass of muscularity. In the opinion of majority, the physique of a Natural competitor is much more appealing to the eye, as it is the way the human body was intended to appear. Not to mention the profusion of health benefits for refraining from using chemical enhancements. Where is the pride in winning a show, if you know deep in your heart, that you cheated to win? It’s not just a legal topic; it’s a matter of personal morals. If you’re willing to compromise your principles to compete, where will you draw the line? Are you willing to sacrifice your soul for ANY goal that you desire? Always remember, you may be able to fool the majority, but there is also a greater power watching over you and monitoring your choices. While you are on this earth, you will always have to live with yourself and with the consequences your decisions. So my recommendation would be to make choices that aren’t difficult to live with, that don’t compromise your morals, and won’t negatively impact your health. Train Heavy, Train Hard, and TRAIN NATURAL.
~Diane



As always, thank you to my sponsors: 911Strong.com and Big Rig Supplements for your continued support of me and of my bodybuilding goals. You have opened doors for me that I never dreamed possible. And thank you to my mentor and coach, Jennifer Abrams (www.jenniferabrams.net) for your guidance and support, and for making me believe that even the sky is NOT the limit.






Jennifer Abrams offers many services through her personal training business. Whether your goals are to get back into shape after having children, add muscle mass to your frame, shed that stubborn body fat, or to compete, Coach Jen can guide you on your path to success! She approaches each client as a unique individual and doesn’t believe there are any cookie cutter recipes for success. She believes in catering to the needs of every individual’s personal situation. To do this, she offers many different options to help you reach your goals. These options include: One-on-One Personal Training, Buddy Training, On-Line Training and Coaching, Phone Coaching, Contest Prep Coaching and Choreography. Jennifer also available for: Motivational Speaking, Guest Posing, and Modeling or Promotional Work.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Renee Hart Brown Interview


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

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I born in a small town called Zachary Louisiana. I grew up in Baton Rouge. I grew up with my mother and my stepdad and my step brother and half-sister…I have quite the blended family! I went to a private Catholic school 9 years in LA before moving to Florida in 89. I started my high school years in Cape Coral, FL. I currently live in Fort Myers, FL with my fiancée and my two children Emily 12 and Zachary 8. We have five children between us the oldest at home is 17 Tom’s son Tommy. The other two are in college Erica and Tori.

Q: Before the gym, were you especially athletic? Play any sports?
A: I wasn’t especially athletic growing up. I was active in the local swim team during the summers and I did play soft ball during grade school, I also recall trying many different activities and never really sticking to any of them for long.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I must say I became complacent in my early years when I got married and I didn’t eat well or really exercise much. I reached 207lbs when I had my daughter and hardly recognized myself. My husband at the time was not supportive of the gym scene so I educated myself on diet and started exercising with videos and small workouts I would cut out of magazines. I began to run out side and crave more. I had lost a lot of weight but just looked thin not fit! I was actually a little less than my high school weight by then. I went to play it again sports and bought an Olympic weight set. I put it in the garage and then added an elliptical a treadmill and mirrors and made my own gym. I remember some nights out there it was over 95 degrees but I was determined to continue on my path of transforming my body! I would work out after I worked all day got kids home took care of them put them to bed and did the financial books for my ex-husbands business…..It didn’t matter what time it was I did it anyway! To make a long story a little shorter one of the first things my fiancée did for me was get me a gym membership and I have been there ever since. I love the gym :-)



Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: I picked up training pretty easily and the gym made it all that more satisfying, I made lots of friends and developed a strong circle of support. I started going to some of the classes there and increased my intensity and even hired a trainer. My fiancée took before pictures and in several months I made still another transformation. I get results pretty quickly when I apply a clean diet and intense exercise.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: There are several women at my gym that compete, the woman I was training with some started competing in bikini competitions and suggested with my body I consider it. Also a few of the trainers were supportive also. So I decided to meet a nutritionist to start gathering the information and requirements of diet. I told him I just wanted to learn and to give me some basic knowledge that I could apply but that I wasn’t going to stick to its requirements 100% I really enjoyed going out on weekends and a few beers on Sunday when out on the boat. But even with that knowledge of how to weigh my food and numbers to apply to my type of body and muscle mass. I still again made improvements. So the next year I went to him and said let’s do this. I had a show picked out locally and I was ready to commit.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: I am lucky to have a very supportive family my fiancée is wonderful and diets with me when I am on mine he packs his food the same way I do (of course he gets way more food) but we enjoy the process together and spend many weekends cooking and planning together. My children also understood! Don’t touch mommy’s buckets of food! My parents at times were concerned with me getting too lean. But they were very proud of my level of commitment and discipline! Most of my friends were very understanding also. I became somewhat antisocial at times due to the strictness of my diet and reduction of temptation. I find my attitude better with these issues this go round.


Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you?
A: I had no idea besides what my friends/competitors had told me about competing and I initially thought I would just try it once! But WOW I was so amazed at how I looked and felt and the final reward for my journey that I had shown myself and others I could accomplish! My dad told me after he saw my pictures “the world better watch out when you put your whole self into something!” I did the best I could and brought the best I could and with no expectations at all it changed me forever!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: My first figure competition was The Gulf coast Championship in Cape Coral FL on May 21 2011. I placed 1st in novice and 1st in Masters 35+ and overall Masters Winner! I am currently prepping for All South to take place in St. Augustine November 5th!



Q: What do you feel is your best body part?
A: As far as body parts I feel that my legs are very naturally muscular I am always getting comments on my calves….which I do not specifically train. Genetics! But I must say on stage I loved the way my abs looked!

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train?
A: I don’t have a favorite body part to train! I just love to train anything but I do often find myself training legs, delts and back to improve! Always room for improvement.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal training is 5 days a week and a generally clean diet during the week with a few indulgences on the weekends. But for contest prep it’s all measured and prepared (no chance you will find me unprepared) and training is 6 days a week! All fresh ground nut butters are removed from my pantry! I never allow myself any excuse to stray. If I have a cheat meal it’s planned and I take advantage of it for sure!

Q: When people see or hear you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction?
A: When someone sees my physique and notices especially when in contest prep, as I am leaning out people will ask; are u a body builder? Are you a personal trainer? But mostly it’s I WISH I HAD YOUR DISCIPLINE!


Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Most asked questions after my competition are "what do you eat" and "how do you train" and "can you help me to look like you?????" It can be somewhat frustrating. I have helped a few friends but only one I know of did the work and actually lost the weight she wanted to and completely changed her lifestyle! Oh one other girl I hooked up with a few people, and she is going to compete in September. It is very rewarding to hear I am their inspiration and have helped them make positive changes:-).

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Many people don’t understand women who train and lift heavy and compete. The biggest misconceptions I run into is are you going to look like a man? I try to explain that quickly! NO! I have been training for years and I am still very feminine and I laugh it off!

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training is setting new personal records all the time and watching my physique change. I love to continually change the way I train and the different tools I do it with. I can’t say there is a worst thing, because there isn’t!....Well it is time consuming but I love it!


Q: Are there any competitors you are a fan of?
A: Yes I love Ava Cowen, Erin Stern, Monica Brant, and a few local pros Amy Vetter and Shannon Hart Dittmer. Their commitment and success are truly amazing!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Yes my contest diet is low in fat so I love to eat sushi and seared ahi tuna. They are not included of course fresh ground nut butters and chocolate….lots of chocolate!

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: I would tell someone who wanted to start training to stay vigilant and they will get the results but it’s not just the training you must commit to a clean diet to really see results!

Q: Do you think its becoming more common to see women working with the weights as opposed to just cardio and things?
A: Yes its becoming more common to see women near the weights and not just all cardio they are learning through great articles and studies and of course watching the women that do the benefits of lifting weights as well as a well-rounded cardio plan. I personally don’t do tons of cardio if you lift weights hard and heavy it’s a cardio workout itself!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Outside of training I enjoy boating with my family to the beach and love date nights with my fiancée I don’t have tons of extra time for other hobbies training has been a big part of my life for years now and nothing else has stolen my attention from that.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Renee Hart Brown.
A: A typical Monday and Wed. would be up @5 get ready for work and kids ready for school of course pack my cooler and head out the door by 7am drop kids off scrub in cataract surgery then off to the gym I go for 1.5-2.5 hours depending on training plan. On Tues and Thursday, Friday and Saturday I’m at the gym early am then on with the day.

Q: Describe Renee hart Brown in five words.
A: LOYAL, LOVING,ORGANIZED,STRONG,ACTIVE

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I think most people would be surprised to know that I was very overweight at one point in my life….Once a girl from the gym said to me your one of those skinny girls that eats whatever they want right? I laughed and said NO.

Q: Any set plans for the future as far as competing or anything?
A: Yes I am planning to compete in November and if I qualify I may try to go to a National level competition after that. I would love to achieve my pro card! I am planning a wedding for December so I will definitely be taking a little time off to enjoy.

Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I can’t say enough positive things about clean eating and what it can and will do for you and learning and studying what works for you! I am a firm believer in what you eat shapes your physique.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors and if so, how can they reach you?
A: I would love to be involved with a great company if they are interested they can reach me at rhart4u@aol.com.


Q: Renee, again, thanks for doing this. Any last words before you go?
A: I love to cook my food and I enjoy being creative lots of my friends ask me for recipes but I just fly by the seat of my pants. I’ll post pictures on Facebook and many friends start messaging me for recipes if they don’t ask right then I have no idea how I made it exactly, I make some yummy clean food!
Thanks you for the opportunity :-)

Trayce Garabo-Torres Interview


Q: First, Trayce, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you I am very appreciative and happy to do do this interview.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am 36 years old from the Bronx N.Y., I have been married for 7 years and have a 6 year old daughter. I am a full-time dental hygienist for 10 years now and really enjoy working out and being healthy.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Before the gym I was into martial arts for several years.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: When my daughter was about 2 years old I decided it was time to get back into shape so I started with a personal trainer at MR.Americas personal training in the Bronx.


Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: From the first day with my trainer I knew I made the right choice. The training was rough but I definitely enjoyed the challenge. By sticking to an eat clean diet and training 5 days a week the results showed rather quickly, within a month I would say.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I made the decision to compete for the first time when I realized that there was a figure world out there and I wanted to challenge myself to see how well I would do.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My family and friends are very supportive. My husband helps me out a lot so I can find the time to get into the gym 2 times a day. They come to all my shows to cheer me on and my daughter copies my posing.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: Competing was a lot harder than I expected from the training and diet aspect but to get out on that stage and show my accomplishments was amazing, I get such a rush from it. I was surprised to see how many fantastic woman there are in this sport.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: My first competition was in 2009 and it was a Nabba National where I placed third. I than competed in May 2010 in Nabba Garden State Grand Prix where I won the class, In June 2010 I competed in the Nabba Key Stone Classic and won the overall, The last competition was in Nov 2010 where I won Ms.Figure America in the short class at the Nabba Nationals.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I feel my best body part is my heart because it gives me my drive and determination but if you are looking for a visual body part that would be my overall symmetry.


Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: My most favorite body part to train would be back and lat pull downs are my absolute favorite.

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 broken up into body parts, I start with back and bi's than the next day is chest and tri's than shoulders and calves than legs. I also do a boot camp class 2-3 times a week and stick to a very clean eating diet. When it is time to prep for a contest there are no days off of the gym and cardio is done everyday for 45 minutes. Depending on my work schedule I will do my cardio in the morning and my weights at night. My diet is altered by eating every three hours where I stick to a very simple menu egg whites and oatmeal for breakfast grilled chicken and fresh green vegetable for three of my meals, two of them will include three ounces of sweet potato, and a protein shake. Everything during competition time is measured and logged into a book, where my trainer can see if any changes need to be made such as taking out a carb or even adding.


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: I get a lot of positive reactions such as my body is in awesome shape and that I should keep up the good work.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "OH MY DO YOU EAT, YOUR TOO SKINNY" LOL

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: The biggest misconception is people don't understand what goes into preparing for a competition, I wish they understood how hard we work to get on that stage, it takes soo much determination and want not everyone realizes that. This is a complete change of lifestyle.


Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training for me is to see the transformation in my body, it amazes me at what the body can do. The worst part of training would be the time not spent with my family.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire my trainer MR.Butch Nieves and of course without a doubt Jamie Eason.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: OH boy, dark chocolate for sure.

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!!! set your goals and stick to them, there is nothing better than making the decision to change into a healthier you I would also offer to help in anyway I could.


Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: I definitely see a lot more woman in the gym moving from cardio and making their way over to the free weights. I think it is a great thing.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: What I enjoy most of all is family time.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Trayce Garabo-Torres.
A: A typical day in my life is very busy, I swear there are not enough hours in the day. My schedule is different everyday do to my work schedule but I basically wake up and get to a 5:30 am bootcamp class giving by my trainer I than get home to have breakfast and get my daughter dressed, fed and off to school. I than make my way to meet my trainer to do weight training or I go to the gym and train on my own. If it is a day where I start work early than I will train at 7pm when I get out of work, after done at the gym I go home to prepare food for my family and myself, shower and get ready to start all over again. Not to mention find time to spend my daughter and husband,check her homework and make sure the house is clean and the laundry is done. Thank god for a supportive family.

Q: Describe Trayce Garabo-Torres in five words.
A: Hard working, hyper focused, bright, committed and energetic.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: As much heart as I have I am PETRIFIED of roller coasters...

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I plan to compete in my first INBF Ms.Fit Body competition in October 2010 and would love to one day compete in the Arnold's also do figure modeling and be in oxygen magazine.

Q:Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I would like to promote my trainer Mr.Butch Nieves at Mr.Americas personal training without his support I would not have come this far.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors. If so how can they reach you?
A: I am absolutely looking for sponsors, they can reach me via e-mail rdhrdh75@yahoo.com or through facebook.


Q: Trayce, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: I would like to thank you for doing this blog with me. I look forward to keeping you updated in my success in competing.