Friday, October 21, 2011

Johanna Buchholz Interview

Q: First, Johanna, 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 in Arlington, VA on January 28, 1983, which makes me 28 years old! I am very thankful growing up with a very supportive family in Fairfax, VA. I attended W.T. Woodson High School and graduated in 2001. I then went on to James Madison University and graduated in May of 2005.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have always been a very athletic person! I was actually the youngest person (age 3) to ever join my swim team. From age 3- 12 I swam competitively and set a couple of pool records. During that time I played select basketball and tennis. When 7th grade came around I had decided that the swimming career for me was coming to an end and I was excited about trying something new. At that point I picked up lacrosse which I later ended up playing at the Division I level and for the USA National team. While I was in High School I lettered in 3 Varsity Sports (Lacrosse, Indoor Track and Field Hockey). Once I graduated from college and I retired from the USA National Lacrosse team I ended up moving to Wilmington NC where I found a new love for strength training, endurance sports, and MMA.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: With my athletic background I basically grew up in the gym, but it was not until I went through a divorce and a layoff in the same month (December 2009) that I absolutely found my love for the sport of bodybuilding. I was in the gym training for various events I had signed up for like my first marathon and my first back to back century cycling ride I felt this incredible feeling knowing that the body can change in so many ways by changing your nutrition and training style. It was like I was my own little science project and I loved it!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes! Athletics and sports have played such a big part of my life that I built a great foundation for training over the years. I like to consider myself a student of it though, I learn something new everyday!

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I have a bucket list :-) This had been on mine for a while but it was not until I was two weeks away from running the Boston Marathon when I had to go in for knee surgery. After surgery I was wearing a leg brace for 6 weeks and for me that was torture! There was NO WAY I was going to sit around and feel sorry for myself…So, I started a plan of my own. I went to the gym everyday and trained upper body or my healthy leg. At this point I knew there was no better time to sign up for a show and to get serious about competing.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: There will always be those people that will think I am crazy for doing it. Or those that will try to get me to cheat my plan but I am very lucky to have a family that has supported me since day one. They support me with my training and competitions because they see how passionate I am about it and I want nothing more than to compete against the best and earn my pro card!

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: The thing that still amazes me is how amazing the people are that I have met through competing. It is a family of people that all understand what it takes and there is an incredible bond that is formed. I have made some amazing friends!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I knew I wanted to compete in figure from the start because lets face it….I have the shoulders and build for it but after surgery I had set a goal for myself to compete in a show by July 31. So I signed up for the NPC Lenda Murray Show which was on July 16, 2011. For this show I knew I was not physically ready for figure and I decided to get my feet wet by competing in Bikini, which don’t get me wrong..its not any easier. I just knew my look at that time after surgery was more appropriate for that division. I ended up placing 3rd and qualified for nationals. Then on August 20, 2011 I competed at the NPC Muscle Heat show in Greensboro, NC. I placed 2nd and qualified for Nationals. I was happy with my placing because I trained on my own and without a coach. For that second show I had someone tweak my nutrition 4 weeks out which helped a lot! As I sit here I am 17 days out from my next show, NPC Elite Muscle which will be on November 5 in Greensboro, NC. I AM PUMPED!!!

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I love every bit of training!! I like training areas I need to improve on because I know it will make me better and I love to train areas I feel are strong already because again.. There is always room for improvement!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I am a morning person for sure! I get to the gym as soon as the doors open at 5am for morning cardio. I head home to eat and shower then I hit the road for work (Medical Device Sales) I always have my meals packed and ready to travel with me! Regardless of whether I am staying out of town for work or I make it home at the end of the day, I am always back at the gym in the PM for weights and a second cardio session.

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: Usually, when I am training at a gym someone will approach me and ask me whether I compete or not and they usually say its because of my focus and energy in the gym.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I get sick of people asking about whether all competitors take steroids or if we eat.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I wish people really understood what it takes as a whole! There is so much discipline that comes into play and everyone that competes comes from so many walks of life that it is frustrating when people speak so close mindedly about the sport or the athletes.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: I TRULY LOVE EVERY OUNCE OF IT!! I count my blessings each day that I can get up and do the things I love!

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: WHERE DO I BEGIN... They all amaze me in one way or another! Nicole Wilkins because she is fresh and definitely a force in this sport!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: While competing I miss SUSHI like crazy!!! I never really had a sweet tooth but now I want Gelato from time to time.

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 her that it is a great thing for her and tell her to set some goals so that she can see her progress!

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: Absolutely!! I think it comes down to women feeling comfortable around the weights and knowing how to use them properly and then seeing what weights can do for you. Once that happens women are all in! Strong is definitely the new sexy!!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to cook, travel, watch movies and read!! I LOVE FOOTBALL and will watch practically every game starting with Thursday night college games all the way through to Monday night NFL Games…GO SKINS :-) Spending time with friends and family will always be a must and I do spend a lot of time mentoring others. Oh, and like I said earlier I have a bucket list and it has anything from Sky diving to walking the great wall on it and you can guarantee that I like to cross things off of that list!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Johanna Buchholz.
A: Wake up at 4:30am, get to the gym for cardio at 5am back home for breakfast and to get ready for work. Then I head back to the gym to train and do a second round of cardio. On Mon, Weds and Fridays I coach a Bootcamp that runs 8 weeks at a time. I am usually back home by 730 for dinner and to unwind for the night before heading to bed and lights out by 10.  Day in the life!

Q: Describe Johanna Buchholz in five words.
A: Enthusiastic, Optimistic, Competitive, Passionate, Hardworking

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I am truly a genuine person! As competitive as I am and as dedicated to my own success as I am, I still will do anything for someone else to make their lives a bit easier!

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: NPC Elite Muscle November 5, 2011, NPC North Carolina State Show in 2012, Jr. Nationals and Nationals in 2012

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Well if given the chance to be a sponsored athlete I would appreciate every bit of it and would represent the company with class, energy and to the best of my abilities! They would NOT be disappointed! I am fluent in Spanish too :-)

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Johanna Buchholz the athlete and competitor?
A: I would be honored to earn sponsorships!! I am truly passionate about this sport and you will NEVER catch me with a negative attitude or in a bad mood …even when my carbs are low :-) Ask anyone that knows me or that sees me around the gym! I am never too busy to help others out either! I am coachable yet I don’t need hand holding. You give me a goal and I will get there! I will have a blast doing it too!

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


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