Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Spotlight Interview: "Super J" Jill Lundy
Whether you call her Jill, or Super J, you have to respect her. Jilly Lundy is one of those few people I have long wanted an interview with and was ecstatic when she contacted me to do one. Jill always bring a spot on physique to the stage and always has fun doing it. I think it is that having fun part that makes her the kind of person you just automatically root for. Photo shoots, on stage, or even in every day life, she always seems to be enjoying herself. Jill is someone I feel young people or people new to the sport should look up to and try and learn from. Jill will be competing at the upcoming Arnold's and I am excited to see the package she brings and have little down her physique, her personality, and that amazing smile, will shine on stage.
Q: Can you start out talking about how you got started with weight training?
A: Actually I started when I was in college. It was primarily a hobby. Something that I saw a lot of kids doing, primarily the guys. I was more of a tomboy in some respects, now that I'm older I just think I liked men haha. So, I wanted to be around, and found it was interesting, I felt like it was a challenge and so I enjoyed it and started to do it that way.
Q: Was it something that came natural to you?
A: Well, you know, put it this way, I thought I knew how to lift, until I became a bodybuilder and started really to know how to lift. But what I did was pretty natural. It wasn't anything that seemed terribly difficult. But I did enjoy the challenge of the intensity of the workout.
Q: How long did you train before you started to compete, and why did you decide to?
A: When I was 35 I was working as a personal trainer in a gym in Maryland. I wanted to do something competitive, I have always been competitive, so I decided at that time, and I didn't know what competitive Bodybuilding, Figure, Fitness, what the difference was, and I had a co-worker who was training to compete in Figure. I said "ok, I am gonna do Figure" and I had this trainer named Warren James, some people may remember him from Nationals in 2000, he told me "You aren't a Figure competitor, you are a Bodybuilder", and I didn't understand. He introduced me to Donnie, who was Kevin Levrone's trainer, he was old school pimp daddy kinda guy. So bodybuilding chose me, I didn't choose it. When it came down to as far as how long I trained, I started in February 2003 and did my first show in November 2003. And I have competed ever since.
Q: Bodybuilding isn't your "typical" female sport. Is the lifestyle and look something people close to you had trouble getting used to?
A: My children no, my kids are closest to me, then my immediate family. I was living by myself with my kids, a single parent, so I didn't have a lot of opposition in my house. It was actually when is tarted to venture outside my home. Like I said, I didn't have a lot of info on women's bodybuilding, except Lenda Murray, I thought she was a queen, Cory Everson, I thought they were beautiful and had no problem wanting to aspire to be like them. I found alter that a lot of times men were intimidated, and women often times didn't understand thought it was extreme. Because I was such a fluffy feminine person, they were amazed at the transformation I made to become a female bodybuilder. But overall, I have gotten a lot of support. I didn't get a lot of flack and bad stuff. I just found out about the dark side of bodybuilding a year ago.
Q: Anyone who see your stage pictures or sees you on stage or in person can see you are always smiling. Is that something you make a point to do, to make you stand out?
A: Haha, no its pretty natural. In fact sometimes I wonder if I am a little retarded, and I don't mean that in a disrespectful way, but I was told when I was young by an older man, "Baby girl, you just keep smiling and you will go far". I never realized I smiled as much as I did, and continuing to smile has taken me far. Its engaging and makes it easier for me to encounter and talk to people because I am not so intimidating when they see I am not what they thought.
Q: You will be doing the Arnold's. Looking at past shows, are there any improvements you need to make for this one?
A: Absolutely! I just had an injury, I did Masters Nationals last year, and people don't know I competed at that show with a torn hamstring. Got injured in May, nine weeks out. I had a complete tear. Imagine my devastation when I had planned to actually go and just sweep the show, that's my mentality and drive, nothing was gonna keep me from being there. I couldn't train legs for nine weeks and all I could do was upper body, light cardio and diet crazy. I was able to come down and get lean, however everything looked wonderful from the front, but I wasn't hard from the bottom. If you look at pictures, from the top up and bottom down it looks like two different people. So Jill was on the bottom and Super J was on top haha. So I was quite fluffy, and if you compare it to the year before at the Arnold's, you can see something happened. I didn't talk about what happened, but had the heart to not quit and wouldn't let it stop me. Eventually I had to have surgery to repair it. They had to re-attach it cause it was lifted off the bone.
Q: Have you started prep?
A: Yes I have. I am dieting and training. Doing my two a day cardio, train 4 times a week, and dieting. So hopefully I can not only beat the upper body I had at Masters, but also the lower body I had at Arnold's the year before. If I can put them together I am a bad mamma jamma.
Q: When the Arnold's is over, what will it take for you to be happy? Does it Have to be winning?
A: Its interesting that you ask that because, if the world was to give a response of who won last time on that stage, the answer may not be the person awarded the win. I think I was the peoples champion that year. Even as I left the stage, the people working the show began to apologize to me when I was called 2nd. I was like "what in the world...... I just got 2nd at the Arnold Classic, an International show, which means all that stood between me and the win, was the International World Champ, who I believe I beat her" haha. But that's here nor there, at that time, I was just trying to celebrate, I came in better than ever and felt great. A win would be wonderful, but if I can come in better than 2009 I will be extremely pleased.
Q: When you train, is there a part you like most to train?
A: I enjoy training legs. They are my most difficult part. I enjoy and dread it at the same time. I always say its the part I love to hate.. Once I started to train with Dennis James, it took on a whole new dimension. Then Menace is crazy.
Q: When you are in the gym, you are a beautiful woman, the muscle, do you get a lot of unwanted attention?
A: Jill will answer that one haha. In the presentation I am in when not 100 percent in shape, I don't get a lot of attention at all, which is interesting. Now, when Super J shows up, everyone knows it. So the only unwanted attention is when people feel they are entitled to touch me "oh my God, look at those muscles" and put their hands on me. That's a problem.
Q: You are a trainer, and do motivational speaking, so you obviously like helping others. What is it about that that you enjoy?
A: Its purely the gratification I experience when I help people have a major breakthrough on something that could have taken their life, or helping them accomplish something and honoring me to be able to go on the journey with them and guide them to some extent.
Q: I know with my trainer, and my weight loss, I always say I want to be on stage and make her proud, she says she is proud already cause of the work I did. Is that kind of how you are?
A: Yeah it is. I have a young girl I am training. She is 12 years old. Her mother came to me and said "I want you to train my daughter". Her daughter is 235 pounds. She told me "she has low self esteem and this is a challenge for her". I asked her "Does your daughter want a trainer", and she said "I don't know, it doesn't matter, we a re desperate". As I began to engage this girl, she was very quite, but I am finally starting to breakthrough. I asked her "I know your parents want you to train with me, but do you want to train with me?". She said "I don't know" so whats happening is I am breaking down walls. It takes trust to get through a barrier, someone that age, been harassed and feels less than. So I am honored to be able to do this and see her do the things I ask her to do, knowing its a challenge. I see her do some workouts and am like "Whoo, that one would have kicked my butt" haha. So I get excited about that,w e have a year together, they hired me for a year, and we will do what we do. Ask me in a year, it will be a success story.
Q: OK, explain Super J. Whats the difference between Jill and Super J?
A: OK, you want the truth?
Q: I do.
A: The real truth is I did not come up with Super J. In fact, for a long time I would not acknowledge the existence of Super J. I had a client who was training, a former military person, after my first or second show. I trained him, he was 6'7" and 300 pounds but out of shape. Not lean mass. I had him doing something, I don't remember what,and some girls came over to talk to me and said "we're sorry we don't mean to interrupt" and the client said "Please interrupt cause Super J is kicking my ass" haha, so that's were it started. Then in 2006 my friends James ans Cheryl came up with the concept of using the Super J name and he put together this music that starts with the Superman theme and she made a cape, and they went through all this choreography. I said they were crazy. This was the 2006 Body Rock. I said I would be bold and use the music and cape and Super J was born and been here ever since. She has actually involved into a stage persona. I am more shy then she is.
Q: Before we finish anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: There are so many people I owe gratitude to. My parents, my mom is no longer here, she died of a massive heart attack. She inspired me to become what I am. My family, Mike Davies of Fitness Factory, and the Menace, Dennis James, they both have taken me under their wings and helped to develop and create what people get to see. My children. They endure, they are 12 and 18, and were young when I started. My daughter was just a baby. Its been a blessing to have them, they cheer me on, my daughter did 3am cardio with me. I couldn't get it together and she said "come on mommy, you can do it, Super J can do it", and I got it together real quick. I have had that from them, my son sued to run bleachers with me, my daughter would ride with me. They have been my core support.