Friday, August 5, 2011
Ana Frias Interview
Q: First, Ana, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: My pleasure! Thanks for inviting me Jason!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Sonora, Mexico and moved to the United States when I was 18 years old. I come from a large family (I'm the youngest of 9!!) and it was pretty wild growing up as 6 of my siblings are brothers. I have two boys; 18 years old and the oldest will be 20 in less than two months.
I'm getting married early next year and can't wait to spend the rest of my life with my soul mate! We've been together for over 5 years now .
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Yes! My love of competing started when I was 8 years old in P.E. class where I developed a passion for Track and Field. I was pretty fast and soon enough the coach took me under his wing and trained me for 100 meter sprints, relays and obstacles competitions. I did that through high school. When I was about 28 years old I picked up Martial Arts and trained in Wado Karate for about 5 years. I got my brown belt and was pretty close to testing for my black belt but never did. I competed in Kata & Kumite at the national level and loved the adrenaline of each match! My sensei used to call me "The Killer" lol. Fast forwarding to now, after training for 3 years, it was a natural progression to compete in Figure. I guess I'm a competitor at heart!
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: About 3 years ago, I got sick of looking skinny fat! I knew it was time to do something about it. I started researching on the web for my next "workout" plan and somehow I came across a photo of a figure competitor and my jaw just dropped to the floor! I loved how sexy and strong the muscles made her look. There is nothing more beautiful on a woman's body than the curve of a muscle. At that moment I knew I wanted to look just like that! So I asked my fiancée to show me how to lift weights since he used to be a personal trainer in his 20s and he agreed!. He's been my trainer from day 1 and we haven't stopped since!
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I took my training very serious since day one and lifting with good form was my trainer's priority. When I commit to something I do it 150% so yes, it was something that came easy for me. I'm a hard gainer since I have a very small bone structure so it took about 6 months before I saw the signs of the muscle I was looking for.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: As my physique progressed, people started asking me in the gym if I was a competitor. That sparked my curiosity. When I started training I wanted to learn everything about nutrition and how your body works. The process of getting lean for a competition fascinated me so I thought I might as well do a show so I could go thru the process.
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: YES! I'm blessed to have friends and family that support me 100% and they have never said anything negative about it.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It exceeded my expectations! It was so much fun! However, I was surprised how lean I had to get in order to look the way I wanted. I was also surprised how nervous I got when I was on stage for the first time! I was shaking like a leaf! I felt pretty confident during my prep but the minute I was about to walk on stage it dawned on me what I was about to do lol!
Q: Can you share your contest history
*2011 - July 16th - NPC Tucson Terminator - 2nd in Jr Masters and 1st in Open Class Tall
*2011 - July 23rd - NPC Arizona Open - 2nd in Jr Masters and 2nd in Open Class D
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Definitely my back.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Back & Delts. My favorite exercise is conventional deadlifts! There is nothing better than the feeling of your entire body hurting after heavy deads :-D
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal training is four days in the gym. I'll work 2-3 body parts each workout. We switch up the workout every six weeks. Most of my sets are in the 6-10 rep range and I've been able to increase my intensity (more reps or weight) every cycle. For the contests we adjusted slightly based on my strength but I stayed strong and lifted heavy right up to the end.
During the off season I try to eat 90% healthy with 10% treats but always counting my calories. I'm a believer of the calories in - calories out method. During my contest prep I worked with Erik Ledin from Lean Bodies Consulting as my diet Coach. We did a pretty balanced plan that included all types of food. We never cut carbs, sodium or water - even on the day of the shows. I didn't do fat burners or any supplements other than fish oils & multivitamins.
My cardio during contest prep consisted of 90 minutes TOTAL of steady state cardio during the last week before the show. I can honestly say I had one of the most sane contest preps out there! (never turned into a lunatic even on the last days before the show haha!) and I was pretty lean if I may say so.
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've never encountered a negative reaction but I do get a lot of stares wherever I go (and I'm not even big!). I get stopped a lot in the gym by women asking me about my workout routine. They tell me they want my legs or my arms lol!
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: " I couldn't do what you do" ... I wish women had more commitment to their health. I don't like lazy people so I don't have much tolerance for that kind of attitude.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: People think that I live in the gym and that's why I look the way I do. I'm only there 4 times a week and anybody that's committed to improving their health could do at least 3 workouts a week. No excuses!!
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is that I'm healthy (have not been sick in over 3 years!) and I feel like I'm turning back the clock. The worst part? I can't get enough of it!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I love Erin Stern for the way she trains. She's not afraid of lifting heavy weight!!! I also just became a fan of Janet West. She's over 50 years old and she looks amazing!!! Wow! She looks better than most 20 year olds. She started doing competitions not too long ago and it gives us "late bloomers" hope.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Cheeseburger with LOTS of french fries :-)
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 not be afraid to hang out in the "big guys" area (they're harmless hehe!) and to learn how to lift properly. Either by asking a friend or a trainer. Nutrition is also a big role in body composition so I suggest they learn what works for their body as much as possible. Learn from someone that knows their stuff based on real studies and not just "broscience".
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's more common to see women lifting weights. However, the very few I see are always doing countless repetitions at a very low weight. They're only working on their endurance and won't be changing their body composition like that. I think most are still afraid to lift heavy or don't know how to do it.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love photography and blogging. I'm also addicted to collecting recipes and experimenting with them. I'm a foodie what can I say.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Ana Frias.
A: Most days are pretty unexciting actually. I work from home so I get up at 5:30 am and start to work at 6 am. I'm done by 3:30 then I make dinner. After dinner is gym time (yeah! My favorite part of the day!) then night time consist of relaxing either by watching a TV show, chatting with my fiancee or boys, blogging or getting ready for the next day.
Q: Describe Ana Frias in five words.
A: Goofy, passionate, driven, positive & happy.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I can out eat any guy at any time! I have a huge appetite and I know how to eat LOL! It's a miracle that I manage to stay pretty lean (and no, I don't do cardio at all!)
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I wanted to do these shows to see what I looked like on stage and make improvements from there. I'm taking about a year off from competing to make the necessary improvements. I'm thinking about doing a California show next year or go straight into a National show since I'm qualified.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I have a blog (Fit, Fun & Delish) where I documented my recent competitions, my workout routines & creative recipes. The address is: http://anacheyer.blogspot.com/ .... I also have a facebook page for my blog: https://www.facebook.com/Fit.Fun.N.Delish
I also want to thank my fiancee, Paul, for training me the way he does and working with me during this time. I could not have made it this far without him. The judges told me they liked my symmetry and a lot of it has to do with the way I train. Quality versus quantity foremost.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Ana Frias the athlete and competitor?
A: Honestly I have not thought about sponsors since I'm so new to competitions but who wouldn't welcome them? My goal is to inspire women of any age to make a change for their health and in the process, be rewarded with a great physique. I can be reached at email@example.com
Q: Ana, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: THANK YOU Jason for allowing me to share my passion with you and your readers.