Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Beth Polisson Interview
Beth Polisson is one of those girls. One of those girls who never seems to place where she should, at least in my eyes. But you have to love her attitude, her "this is a hobby" attitude. She trains and competes because it is fun for her. In December she switched to competing with the OCB at the Yorton Cup, for reasons you will read in this interview. I am excited for her because this is her opportunity to prove how good she can be.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I have been an athlete since I was a little girl. I grew up as an athlete in an athletic family. I started lifting in high school for sports and then in college playing soccer and softball. It has been something I have been doing my entire life.
Q: How long had you been seriously training when you decided to compete and why did you decide to compete?
A: I had been training probably six or seven years but I wasn't looking the way I wanted to look. I hired a personal trainer who was a former NPC fitness competitor. She and I worked for a couple months and I saw drastic changes in my physique. So we thought it was something I should try given my genetics for it. So she kind of talked me into it and I did my first show eight to twelve months later.
Q: Were there any competitors you admired?
A: I've always looked at pictures for posing and stage presence and overall physique of Erin Stern and Candice Keene. They are the two that always caught my eye. I feel the two of them are the ones I identify with the most because they have such athletic physiques, not that mine looks remotely close to them, but because I am athletic I gravitate towards athletic woman. I love the two of them because they look like true athletic women.
Q: You are one of those girls who when I see your competition pictures I always feel you should have placed higher, do you ever get off stage and feel that way?
A: There was one show last year where I feel I should have done better. But at the end of the day I do this as a hobby and for fun, so if the judges don't like me or there is something political I can't control, you cant control your placing, you control what you bring to the stage that day. When I train I focus on bringing the best me and the best physique I can to the stage and the rest is in the judges hands. Yeah there are disappointments and you think you should have placed higher but I don't let it bother me.
Q: in December you did your first show with the OCB, the Yorton Cup, why did you switch to them?
A: You know, I competed in the NPC for two years and then switched to the OCB for a couple reasons. One was the drug testing factor. I didn't feel comfortable on stage against girls who outweighed me by ten or twenty pounds who had maybe taken something. If that's what they choose to do that's fine, but its not what I choose to do. So I wanted an organization I could be more competitive in. I had a great experience, you get more stage time, it isn't as political, and I really enjoyed my experience with the OCB.
Q: So its safe to say you want to keep competing with them?
A: Yes definitely. I am trying to do three shows this summer starting in August, and September and maybe October.
Q: From the last show, what improvements do you wanna make?
A: My trainer and I were used to the NPC figure physiques, leaning towards a softer look. So I came in softer than I would have wanted to for a figure competition, I favor a hard physique. The OCB turns out to favor hard, lean striated physiques. So I was too soft, and next show I am gonna come in harder than hell.
Q: The first thing that sticks out about you is your shoulders and delts, can you describe your typical shoulder day?
A: I work shoulders a couple time a week. Once on their own with heavy heavy sets and I don't super set, I do do some drop sets. I start out with a compound movement like over head military press on the smith machine. I typically work through a set of rep ranges, so for example, sixteen reps then twelve reps then ten then eight and then six. Then I usually will do something for rear delts whether on a cable machine or lay chest down on an incline bench and hold a pair of dumbbells and lift straight up and it hits the rear delts. Then I do another exercise for the medial delts like heavy lateral raises for four sets and a drop set at the end. Then I finish with something for front delts. To be honest people try to get to squirly with shoulders and the best you can do is an overhead press a front raise and a lateral raise and something like an upright row. I work them later in the week when doing metabolic circuits, so I hit them two or three times a week and it gives them more size.
Q: In the gym, do you get unwanted attention or stares?
A: To be honest with you I might, but I am so in the zone that I don't notice it. I say hi and smile. People are curious. I may hear a comment and get grossed out but mostly people are curious. Its not every day you see a woman in the gym with the guys lifting as much as them, so its more curiosity I think.
Q: In public are you more a dress to show it off or cover it up to avoid attention person?
A: I dress my physique to the best of its abilities. I wear something fitted but not revealing. I don't show cleavage but do wanna show off my shoulders. I don't cross the line skanky and classy.
Q: You have done photo shoots, do you enjoy that?
A: I do, I really do like it. For me especially before a show, although I do them in off season to, but before a show for me, its a chance to sit back, relax and pamper yourself. You work hard and want to document what you have done. I wanna show these to my kids one day and look back at what I accomplished.
Q: My trainer always talks about not wanting my weight to be much over what it is going to be when I compete, you never seem much over your stage weight, is that accurate?
Q: Why do you do it that way?
A: I like to be able to do a photo shoot or be in a bikini at all times. I am not a big fan of "bulking", a lot of people use off season as an excuse to get fat. Its not a time to shove whatever you want into your face. When you cycle your weight up and down like that it can lead to metabolic issues and with a myriad of issues. I stay eight to ten pounds above stage weight. Right now I am six or seven pounds above it. I am comfortable there. I like to wear the same clothes year round.
Q: You recently did booth work at the Arnold's, and with girls like you and Jillian (Reville) it was a popular booth, outside of the awesomeness of finally meeting me haha, is that something you enjoyed?
A: Haha yeah! I had such a great time. It was great to finally meet the people at Beast that I had corresponding with for a couple months. It was humbling cause people acme and introduced me and said they follow me and my recipe blog, and it was great to meet these people in person. It was awesome. Its hard work but to meet all these people with a common interest was awesome.
Q: Is it a chance for you to find out you have more people that follow you than you would have thought?
A: Yeah, I had no idea so many people followed. It was humbling.
Q: Anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: I have had a couple tough months. I broke up with a boyfriend of five years and started a new job. My closest friend Ryan Althoff has been an amazing support system for me. She is sponsored by Beast now which is awesome. She is a good genuine person and friend. She has been my rock the last couple months. I also need to give a shout out to Beast. I just got picked up by them a little shy of a year ago. They are great, I get to blog for them. The Beast team is so awesome and funny. They are very supportive.