Friday, October 7, 2011

Lisa Hamm Interview

Q: First, Lisa, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you so much for the opportunity to be interviewed.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am 44 years old and live in Roanoke, VA. where I was born and raised. I’ve been married to my husband Jerome for 21 yrs and have 2 children; a 27 yr old daughter named Shara and a 20 yr old son named Jared. I work full-time as a Bank Branch Manager and part-time at Gold’s gym as a personal trainer. I’ve been in the banking field for 26 years and a personal trainer for 6 years.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or
A: I’ve always been active and involved in sports since running track in Jr. High and High School. After graduating High School, I continued to stay in shape by doing aerobics and light weight training in the gym.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: The need to stay in shape and fit for the runway modeling that I did, plus live and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started
to see results?
A: I did pick it up easy and enjoyed the results. I’ve been told that I’m just genetically built, so it didn’t take long to see results, especially once I started changing the way I ate. But it always is and always will be a work in progress to make improvements.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first?
A: I became interested in Bodybuilding after going to my husband’s competitions about 15 years ago. People used to tell me that I should consider competing because of my muscular build, but I never thought I could stick to the diet. After going to watch my husband compete and seeing women my age or older on stage, I told myself; if they could do it, so could I. So I begin competing 9 ½ years ago and haven’t looked back.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: Overall, everyone has been very supportive. My family has gotten use to my dieting and has come out to watch me compete in several local shows. I’m surrounded by great friends and clients who do nothing but encourage me more

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I thought I would be shy to get up on stage in that “tiny” posing suit, but my 25+ years of runway modeling helped me to not have stage fright or be nervous. I enjoy the rush of being on stage and showing all my hard work and sacrifice. The one thing that surprises me is the camaraderie of competitors in the sport. For the most part, people tend to support and help one another even though it’s a competition and you’re competing against others. I’ve meet a lot of great people and made a ton of friends in my 9 years of competing.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2003: Overall winner of the Women’s Novice division at NGA Potomac Cup and 5th Masters division
*2003: NGA Mt. Roger’s-2nd Place Open Heavyweight and 2nd place Master’s 35+
*2004: NGA Potomac Cup- 1st Place Open Heavyweight
*2004: NGA Mt. Roger’s- 2nd Place Open Heavyweight and 3rd Place Master’s 35+
*2005: NPC Elite Muscle Classic-1st Place Lt. Heavyweight
*2005: NGA Mt. Roger’s-1st Place Open Heavyweight, 1st Place Master’s 35+, Overall Women’s Bodybuilding winner (Pro-card) and Best Poser
*2006: NPC Elite Muscle Classic- 4th Place Open Lt. Heavyweight
*2007: NPC VA State- 1st Place Open Middleweight
*2009: NPC Lenda Murray Bodybuilding Championships-3rd place Open Middleweight, 3rd place Masters
*2009: NGA Pro World Bodybuilding & Figure Championships- 1st place-Women’s Pro division
*2010: NPC Lenda Murray Bodybuilding Championships- 2nd Place Open Middleweight, 4th Place Masters
*2010: NPC VA/DC State Bodybuilding Championships- 2nd Place Open Middleweight, 2nd Place Masters
*2011: NPC Jr. USA’s- 2nd Place Light Heavyweight
*2011: NPC Muscle Heat Bodybuilding competition- 1st place Masters, 1st place Women’s Open Middleweight and Overall show winner
*2011: NPC VA State and NPC VA Cup: 1st place Women’s Open Middleweight in both shows, Overall winner in both shows and Best Female Poser
(2 shows in 1 and 5 awards won)

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My back and my overall symmetry

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I don’t have a favorite exercise but enjoy doing plyometric exercises and prefer weight training to doing cardio.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I weight train 5 days a week (on and off-season). When I’m prepping for a contest, I increase my cardio to two sessions per day ranging from 30 mins to an hour per session. I start my contest diet 12-16 weeks out from the show and it gets pretty strict. I eat 6-7 meals a day of mainly protein, vegetables and clean carbs such as oatmeal and yams and drink up to 2 gallons of water daily.

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: More positive. People are impressed by the fact that I’m lean and muscular but still remain and look very feminine. I wear suits.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you
are most sick of hearing?
A: "You look strong. How much do you bench press?"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the
one thing you wish people understood?
A: That not all women (or competitors in general) take steroids or other performance enhancing drugs to compete in this sport. Muscle can be built without the use of drugs and there are many natural athletes that are very successful in this sport.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part is how good I feel afterward and of course how it keeps me in shape and ready for the competitive stage. The worst or bad part is the strict dieting when I’m contest prepping and the amount of time it takes away from other things I enjoy doing. Focus during those 12-16 weeks is strict and solely on me prepping for the show.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Lenda Murray is my favorite female bodybuilder and I also like Phil Heath and “Big” Ronnie Coleman.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: My all time favorite is Peanut M&M’s, and of course I like Pizza and anything with peanut butter.

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: Surround yourself with positive people and those who are currently competing in the sport or have in the past. Ask them for their help and guidance. Also, attend some shows so that you’ll truly get a feel of what the sport is about.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as
opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: Yes, because I think that women are seeing or recognizing that lifting weights helps to give you a more toned and shapely physique. Cardio is still important as well to shed body fat and remain lean.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to shop, travel and spend time with my family. I also enjoy attending Pro bodybuilding competitions and expos and have been to many over the years; including the Arnold and the Olympia.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Lisa Hamm.
A: I have a very busy schedule since I work two jobs. I often start my day with morning cardio (pre-contest) and even train a few clients in the morning before going into my Full-time job. I do my weight training on my lunch hour so that I get it in and once I’m off work from the bank, I go back to the gym and train more clients for 2 hours, do another cardio session and then head home to cook my meals and prepare myself to do it all over again the next day.

Q: Describe Lisa Hamm in five words.
A: Committed, dedicated, driven, focused and disciplined

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I’m a very insecure person in regards to my physique. I’m harder on myself than anyone else is.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: My main goal is to continue making improvements in my physique with each contest I do and therefore also improve my contest placing. Of course, it’s always nice to win (or be in the top 5), but if I can improve my physique or placing with each contest, I am happy. I’m also considering switching over to compete in the new Physique division next year.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I just recently began working with Jason Fuller, of Xtremely Fit for my contest prep. He has helped me make phenomenal improvements in my physique and also helped me improve my posing.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so what are they getting in Lisa Hamm the athlete and competitor?
A: YES, would love to have sponsorship. A potential sponsor would get a loyal, dedicated and hard working athlete who would represent their name and company well. I’m focused and committed to my goals, no matter what obstacles my arise and I train consistently to stay in shape year round. I also enjoy reaching out to help and encourage others to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

Q: Lisa, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thanks so much for your time in interviewing me.


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