Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Krystal Robens Interview
Photos 1-5: Muscular Development
After making her debut with an impressive second place finish at the NPC New England's, Krystal Robbins came back to win the overall at the Jay Cutler recently. She showed some nice improvements, especially her conditioning and showed obvious work into improving her posing. Still young and new to the sport, Krystal could be someone to keep an eye on as she could have a bright future in the sport.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I've been an athlete my whole life but never really into weight lifting until I was in college playing soccer. I played division one soccer so it was mandatory to do three lifting sessions a week. That really got me curious and intrigued in the whole lifting thing. I fell in love with it and decided to major in it. I got my Bachelor's in Exercise Science and have been personal training since, five years now. But I never got into bodybuilding till about six or seven months ago. I decided to do a show because one of my good friends had competed about fifteen times and talked me into it. I just dieted down, I never really trained for one, I competed and now I am obsessed.
Q: A lot of society is still not accepting of muscular women, did family and friends have trouble accepting it?
A: Friends were very supportive because they knew I loved it. Family has taken a little bit to get used to it, but it's much better now. Its been six or seven months and my parents are coming around. Them seeing how serious I am about the food and at the gym two or three times a day and are supportive. My dad won't even let my mom cook certain things when I am home, just saying "don't tempt her" haha.
Q: Your first show was the NPC New England's, were you nervous before you went on stage?
A: Well, at my second show I was not nervous at all. You have dieted so long and put everything into it, there is nothing you can do the day of the show that is going to make you more or less prepared. As long as you prepare, I was completely comfortable the second time around. The first time, I was a little jittery, but as soon as I was on stage for ten seconds, the jitters went away and I knew it's where I was supposed to be.
Q: At the New England's, you took second, how satisfied were you with that?
A: It was my first show, so I was happy of course because I had never looked that good in my life. You always want to come in first, but it was a growing experience and helped me focus and motivated me more for the second time around to be that much better and be that more precise with diet, cardio and lifting. Including specific parts and conditioning. So it was a good thing I didn't win the first show.
Q: At the Jay Cutler, you won the overall, going in, did you think that was a realistic goal?
A: I thought it was realistic because I looked that much better. I was a lot bigger than everyone else, which helps, but my conditioning was much better. That's what I have been focusing on, I have size and don't need to get much bigger, it's just the time you have to put in, the muscle maturity. I have only done it so long, so it's gonna take a little time to get those cuts and muscle separation that the older women have. I have been competing against women in their thirties who have done it five or ten years, and I have done it less than a year. I think I am doing good and felt positive and felt great going for and winning the overall.
Q: You kind of answered my next question, it seemed conditioning was your biggest improvement. Was that something you knew you had to improve?
A: Definitely! Conditioning was number one, especially my lower half. I had never trained this specifically before. So, hitting the right extensions and really squeezing, and high reps, high volume, made my conditioning better. Then, specific cardio helped, the bike or stepper instead of just walking on the treadmill. I revamped the workouts to hit the quads and hamstring and all that stuff. There is always room for improvement, but it was much better this time.
Q: Your posing was also much better, did you work a lot on that?
A: Yeah, starting four weeks out I would pose an hour a day. Whether at the gym after lifting or in my bathroom in front of the mirror just posing as long as I can till I couldn't stand the heat in the room. Just getting used to being in the poses as long as possible because you never know how long you will be up there and having to hit the pose. It's all about practice.
Q: After doing a couple shows, what has most surprised you about competing?
A: How much you can actually manipulate your body with the slightest things. Just increasing carbs by twenty-five grams, or decreasing them by twenty-five grams, or even your protein intake. The slightest adjustments make the biggest changes, especially the last three weeks. It's fascinating how much you can manipulate your body.
Q: In the gym, do you get a lot of attention and stares?
A: Of course! I am not the most typical sight to see haha. Its not always a positive stare, but I take it in a positive way because if I wasn't doing it right, I wouldn't look the way I do. You can always flip it around and take it in a positive manor. You have to have that mindset, its against the norm, but I am not here to please everyone. I am here to compete. I wanna compete and do good and will do what I have to do to do it.
Q: In public, are you more dress to show it off, or cover it up and avoid attention?
A: Haha, great question. It depends on the mood, but typically, especially, off-season, when you are heavier, I do more of the cover up. People ask questions every minute of every day if you look different. I love answering questions and talking, but you have to live your life to. I cover up unless its close to game time or show time.
Q: To you have competing plans for the rest of the year?
A: I am competing at the NPC Rhode Island in three and a half weeks because I want more stage practice. Then the plan is to do Nationals at the end of the year. I will get anther six months to progress and see what I can do at the national level.
Q: Safe to say, the goal is a pro card someday?
A: That's the plan. That would be fantastic.
Q: If you could spend a day training with anyone at all, who would you pick?
A: That is a great question. I have to say Kai Greene because he has such a mentality to him. He is very focused through his mind. I really agree with that completely because ninety percent of the sport is mental I think. I would love to train with Kai and take in what he has to say with competing and eating and cardio. He does high intensity with cardio which is different than what I do. So a different outlook would be awesome.
Q: Anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: Sure! Mick Souza is my trainer and former Mr. Universe. He has been the greatest thing to happen to me pretty much. He has brought me to places I never thought were possible. I see this as something great with the two of us together. Tracy De Escobar for being an awesome supportive friend. Ian Kauffman for being a great friend. He is my backstage guy and gets me all oiled up and pumped up backstage. I couldn't do it without the three of them.