Friday, September 30, 2011
Cari Atkinson Interview
Q: First, Cari, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you for giving me the opportunity Jason, I appreciate it.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself?
A: Sure, I grew up in Illinois and moved to Missouri about 11 years ago. I have two wonderful children, Robert and Ali. I am a training coordinator at The Police Academy and a Personal Trainer for Club Fitness.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I am currently employed at The Police Academy and do PT with the recruits. I haven’t really played any sports in years.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I was getting ready to turn 40 and felt I needed to better myself inside and out and what better way to do that but to get fit!
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I had a great trainer which made it easy for me. I did so well that the Director at the gym asked me if I would be interested in becoming a trainer for them…what a great compliment. Of course we all want the immediate results, but it did take a bit for me to see them in my upper body.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: My trainer and I went to a show in April and it inspired us both to complete. We only had 11 weeks, but did it!
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My daughter was totally supportive, Thanks Ali! It did take my Mother a bit as she thought I would end up looking like a guy…lol. All my friends thought it was awesome.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I wasn’t sure what to expect. Right before walking on stage I could feel my legs shaking. I found out I wasn’t the only one, all of us girls were shaking. The adrenaline rush was great!
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I have only competed once, July 9th, 2011. I entered three categories: 40+ and took a 2nd place, Beginner’s and took a 3rd place and Novice and placed 8th. Not too shabby!
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Legs for sure!
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Again, legs are my favorite….give me those deep lunges and “butt to the floor” squats as Nick would say!
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I train 6 days a week all the time. I eat clean for the most part, but do have a cheat meal every once in a while. Prep consisted of only 1 cheat meal as it made me sicker than a dog…so not worth it…lol.
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 positive!
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: “You look great, take some time off”. That is not an option for competitors.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: It takes a lot of hard work to train for a competition. There are no over-night results for anyone. We take it very serious and it is part of our life.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is the satisfaction I feel after seeing results and feeling that burn. The worst part is the diet as it is hard to eat on the required time frame that is necessary with work and life schedules.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Nicole Wilkins and Alex Ellis!
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Peanut butter….so love it!
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 prepared for lots of hard work and dedication, in time it will pay off and you will look and feel wonderful.
Q: Do you think it’s becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: I think women are finally realizing you burn more calories with free weights then cardio and you get defined by lifting which is what my clients are looking for.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love running and hope to complete a half marathon in 2012.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Cari Atkinson.
A: I work full-time at The Police Academy and part-time as a personal trainer. I am also a volunteer first responder for my community so my days are packed with work, training, board meetings and then home life.
Q: Describe Cari Atkinson in five words.
A: Wow, ok, Petite, Driven, Dedicated, Organized, Outspoken!
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I am outspoken, but also have a shy side.
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I would love to compete again in March or April 2012. Gotta build those muscles!!!
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I would like to thank O’Fallon GNC and Max Muscle for all their assistance with supplements, etc.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Cari Atkinson the athlete and competitor?
A: I would love to have a sponsor for my next show….I have the dedication, 110% commitment and drive to prove myself a winner. I can be reached via personal e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Cari, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Again, thank you Jason and ladies…keep pumping that iron, it makes you sexy!