Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Andrea Barlow Interview

Q: First, Andrea, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you for giving me this opportunity and making this possible by Promoting Women In Bodybuilding Fitness and MMA

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am from Hampton, Va (born and raised) and currently live in Smithfield, VA. I am 36, married to my husband of 10 years and the mother of a daughter who is almost 13 years old. My mom and dad have been married for 42 years and I have an older brother. I was in the Coast Guard for four years where I lived in Alameda California and in San Diego. When I got out I came back home to Hampton. I went to a technical college for 2 years where I met my husband

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A; Yes I was. When I was younger, I took ballet and gymnastics but only for a short while. I enjoyed playing volleyball, basketball and softball in my teens. I was unable to play sports in high school because I was a average student and my Mom told me I couldn't play unless I brought my grades up.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: When I was 20, I joined the Cost guard ad wet to boot camp where I got into pretty good shape. I got pregnant with my daughter and my weight shot up. Right before delivering I was 204 lbs and after delivery I was at 184 lbs. in 1999. From 1999-2009 I yo yo dieted, occasionally worked out and was able to get down to 155 lbs. In march of 2009, I had my Epiphany or wow moment where it just clicked. I told myself either be quiet and learn to live with my body the way it was, which was
overweight, or do something about it. I chose to do something about it. I started working out again and it was slow going at first until I met a friend who told me I needed to change my diet. I was reluctant to change my diet at first but as soon as I did, I saw awesome results. From March 2009 to October 2009 I had lost 20+ pounds. I had wanted to compete in figure competitions when I was 30 but never thought I could discipline myself enough to do it. It wasn't until 2010 when I
reconnected with an old high school friend, who does figure competitions, and told her I wanted to do one too. She gave me lots of helpful info and gave me that push to compete. In April 2010 I decided to start training for the 2010 NPC Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships Lenda Murray where I placed 5th. Its an amazing feeling to compete. I never thought I would get so hooked on it but I can't
imagine my life without it. There definitely is no magic pill but if you are willing to do the work, you will definitely see the results.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I was scared and intimidated at first to go out on the weight floor at the gym. I didn't want people to look at me but now I love being on the weight floor and pushing my body to the limits and seeing the results. It took me about 6 months to see results.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: A friend who pushed me to do it. Also, I didn't want to be that person that says I want to do things and then doesn't follow through.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My husband and daughter are my biggest fans. For the most part my family and friends support me. I do have those occasional "haters" but I have to remember that people are scared of what is unknown to them. I try to educate but sometimes that is hard. When I have a person that makes a comment on how I must not eat anything or that I look too skinny I usually tell them that I eat 6 meals a day and that usually squashes their comments. As for the ones who say I am too skinny, I just ignore them. As my friend told me, you just have to get thick skinned and try not to let it bother you.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: Even with the help my friend and coach gave me, I really went into the figure world very naive. I didn't know anything but as with anything it's a learning process and over the couple years I have been doing it I have learned and I am always still learning. When I meet new competitors at the shows I try to help them in any way I can. I always make new friends at the shows too, which is nice.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*I placed 5th at the 2010 NPC Lenda Murray Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships
*I placed 3rd at the 2011 NPC Va Gran Prix
*I placed 5th out of 9 ladies at the 2011 NPC Lenda Murray Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I have 2, my back and my abs

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: My quads, hammies and glutes. I love watching them change for the better. I have to say that I love doing pullups.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: When I am prepping for a contest, I would lift 5 days and do cardio 7 days. When I am in off season its all about bulking and trying to put on more muscle and some fat to get ready for the upcoming season. In my off season, I lift 4 days and do cardio maybe 1-2 days a week. the diet is night and day. In off season I still eat clean but have an occasional cheat. When I am in contest prep there is definitely no
cheating and the diet is stricter.

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: It's tied really. For the most part, people think its really cool that I compete.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "You need to eat a cheeseburger" ( I am dead serious) another one is "don't get to manly looking". ( I have to laugh at that one)

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: People think that because you are a woman and you lift weights that you are going get big muscles like a man. Women don't produce enough testosterone in our bodies to become manly looking. Also they think that we don't eat food and are anorexic which is not the case at all.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is the feeling of accomplishing something and changing your physique. The worst part, I don't really have any worst parts.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Ava Cowan, Erin Stern, Jamie Eason, Nickie Clark and Melissa Commons. I really admire all the competitors because I now what they have to go through to get ready for the competitions.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pizza and trail mix with the real m&m's in them

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: Be patient, it takes time to transform your body. There is no magic pill. It takes motivation and dedication.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: Yes, slowly but surely its happening. The weight floor isn't just for the boys anymore.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love the outdoors. Surfing is a new hobby of mine. Pole dancing (for exercise),

Q: Describe Andrea Barlow in five words.
A: Funny, loyal, adventurous, dedicated and motivated

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I don't cry

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I will compete until I can compete no longer, I just love it that much. I would like to get into the fitness modeling industry. I am currently working on getting certified as a personal trainer.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Andrea Barlow the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes, Sponsors would be awesome. They can email me on at agbarlow@charter.netThey would be getting not only a motivated but a dedicated athlete and competitor in Andrea Barlow who would be willing and able to promote her sponsors and their products to the best of her abilities.

Q: Andrea, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A; Thank you again for the interview. I really appreciate it.

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