Friday, August 5, 2011

Rachel Kipnis Interview

Q: First, Rachel, 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 was born and raised in Columbia, Maryland and have an amazing family! I moved to AZ in 2003 for college at the University of Arizona – Go Wildcats! I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 2009, I decided I needed to pursue my passion for fitness, training & helping others achieve a healthy more active lifestyle; so, I got certified through National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a Personal Trainer.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have always been very active. As a kid / teen I was on a competitive swim team. I also played soccer growing up. Throughout high school, I gave cheer, lacrosse, and softball a try too! In college I played intramurals and since I graduated I have played on softball and kickball leagues. I love trying and getting involved in new activities that keep me moving.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I started off in the gym very young – on the swim team, we were required to lift a couple times a week. We did it as a team to help build camaraderie and, of course, strengthen our bodies and condition us for races.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I have always seen results but nothing like what I saw when training for the show. Over the past few years I have done a lot of cardio (run, spin, swim, step-mill); however, didn’t do a lot of weights. I enjoyed it; however, just didn’t make the time. Once I started lifting on a regular basis (about 8 weeks out from my first show) I started seeing results almost immediately!

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: The challenge. It’s been something I’ve been interested in since becoming a personal trainer in 2009. I had some free time in between full-time jobs and decided to go for it – it was a challenge I wanted to overcome – with eating clean, giving up drinking, lifting, and proving that a healthy lifestyle change is possible. I am very internally motivated; therefore, the lifestyle adjustment was very rewarding!

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes and yes. My family especially loves the part of the “lifestyle” that keeps me from drinking – although don’t be alarmed – I have always been very social and much of the social gatherings revolved around eating and drinking! I can now go out with my friends and enjoy their company without the additional calories! My friends have been supportive. Sometimes they don’t always understand why I compete and wonder if it’s worth everything I have “given up” – it is!

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: It’s like a beauty pageant – so much glamour and “jazzing” goes into the show! The dieting came more naturally than I imagined, except for the last week! That was rough – my energy level plunged and with it went my mood!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Arizona Open July 23, 2011 – Bikini Class B – 3rd Place! I qualified for Nationals my 1st show!

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: People are always complimenting me on my legs – so I’ll go with that! I am also told I have great symmetry – which I can now see in my show pictures! It’s so rewarding to see the progress I made – the work and clean diet paid off for sure and it’s now a lifestyle change!

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: Back & Shoulders

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I tend to isolate muscle groups when training for the contest. I isolate legs / glutes, chest / triceps, back / biceps, shoulders and core. I do a lot of H.I.I.T. training on the stepmill too – 20 minute intervals 2 x / day work best for my body! I did some sprints in the tail end of my prep as well. Hot Yoga is my drug – I try to get there at least 1x / week. It’s a great workout and keeps me centered – it is great for both my body and my mind!

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: Definitely more positive! I usually have people compliment my physique when I am at the gym since many of times I workout in a sports bra! What can I say; it’s hot in AZ! They usually say that it’s really cool and ask me questions about my diet and training. That is followed by something like, “How do you do that? The diet is my biggest problem – you must have good will power.” I usually respond with something like –it’s a lifestyle change and you can do anything you put your mind, body and heart into! I also love helping others so am happy to answer questions and give pointers!

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 not eat carbs?" I am only sick of hearing it because I do eat them (except I limit them during Peak Week)! – Ezekiel Bread, Coaches Oats, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes and Oat Bran (thanks MOM) are just a few of my favs! I also eat a lot of fruit – YES, even during contest prep!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: This is a lifestyle choice that I make just like people choose to live their lives as they wish. Also, I transformed my physique very quickly because I am extremely internally motivated. I just do what needs to be done, always. Sometimes people think it’s easy – it’s definitely not. A lot of hard work, both physically and mentally go into getting up on stage. It is all worth it!

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best is seeing my physique change and transform! I love seeing the progress and knowing that I did it! The worst was cutting calories / carbs during peak week (Monday – Friday) before the show Saturday. I hope to get my body to a point where this is not necessary!

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I have been blessed as I have gotten loads of information from various bikini and fitness competitors in the industry – some who are Pro’s, some Nationals competitors and some that I compete against! Two pages I visited often during my contest preparation were and where I read up on advice, recipes and much more!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: FroYo – Frozen Yogurt and Trail Mix – YUM YUM! I also love pizza but try to stay away as much as possible. Sushi is also super yummy!

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Ultimately, you have to do it for yourself. The desire, drive and determination needs to come from within. It makes the whole process that much more rewarding! Also, set goals you know you can achieve – reach high but be realistic. Success is the most rewarding thing! If it’s a dream – never ever give up or let anyone tell you that you can’t do something!

Q: Do you think it’s becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: YES! I am a PRIME example! Everyone at the gym called me the “Cardio Queen!” I learned that I can do H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training) for less time and get a better more sweaty workout! I have also incorporated weights into my routine and look where it got me! Sweat and muscles are SEXY – especially on women!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Anything ACTIVE! I love Wakeboarding – really anything that has me on a boat or in the water. It’s so peaceful and fun! I love to travel – especially to beaches. During football season you can catch me watching the Ravens and sometimes I just like to relax and watch movies! I enjoy spending time and kicking it with family and friends as well – I wouldn’t be who I am today without them!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Rachel Kipnis.
A: I usually wake up around 4:00 – 4:30 and hit the gym. M-W-F mornings I train clients and Tues-Thurs mornings I train myself. I work in Medical Sales and Personal Training is just a passion that supplements my income. After work I hit the gym again. M-W-F evenings I train myself and Tues-Thurs evenings I train clients. Weekends are spent with friends and family (when they visit or when I go home) and relaxing! I also like to get in a grueling workout on the weekend and practice some HOT YOGA!

Q: Describe Rachel Kipnis in five words.
A: Motivated, Energetic, Determined, Loyal, Stubborn

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I went to college on an academic scholarship. I knew no one that I started with freshman year as I was clear across the country –I wanted to get out of my “comfort zone” and try something new! Bear Down! I love new things but change can also be scary!

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am looking to compete in Nationals in 2012. I am also hoping to do a couple more “National Qualifiers” to gain more exposure and experience.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: You can do anything you put your mind into. It’s never too late to start promoting / living a healthier lifestyle. Believe in and be true to yourself – if you don’t, no one else will!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Rachel Kipnis the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes, I am looking for sponsors! I qualified for Nationals and am looking for sponsors for my next shows and just exposure in general. I also love advice and learning new things from others in the industry. I can be reached at My sponsors will get a motivated athlete that never gives up and lives for competition. An athlete and competitor that is sincere yet tenacious, tough yet girly and highly energetic! I make competing and working out FUN!

Q: Rachel, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: I live by this quote in every aspect of my life: "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." ~Lance Armstrong

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