Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lynn Sambuco Interview

One of the things I enjoy about doing these interviews, is you never know where a really good interview will come from. Sometimes its the person you have forever wanted to interview, but sometimes its like the case of Lynn Sambuco. Someone I admittedly was not overly familiar with. I knew of her but knew little about her. I was contacted by a fellow competitor and Lynn was recommended to me. So we did this interview, and its quickly one of my favorites. Lynn competes in Bikini and has done very well including an impressive sixth place at the 2012 Arnold's. As you will read the was the oldest one in her class, which is amazing when you consider she looks so much younger. So please read and prepare to become a Lynn Sambuco fan.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: Pretty much I grew up as a tomboy, I was very good in sports. I vividly remember in gym climbing the rope, I was the only girl who could go up the rope and back down. Not only that, but, beat the guys at it. Sometimes they wouldn't like it and pinch or push me. What I had was kinda like a gift and was different from the other gals. When I was nineteen I started in the gym environment through a friend who invited me. I started lifting weights, and noticed I started to get a different look to me, and that was my first take on lifting weights.

Q: What made you compete?
A: I constantly got asked if I competed. I didn't even know what it was at the time. So me and a friend checked out a local show. I liked what I saw and said "wow, I can do that, I can see myself doing that". I liked that there was structure involved and goals to meet. I have always been goal oriented. So I trained for my first show.

Q: Most people know what bodybuilding is, but most don't understand that bikini is actually fitness and not some random T&A show. Did you have to explain to people around you what it was?
A: Yes! I constantly, and I still find myself explaining it. Even though its been around five years. People don't seem to equate bikini to bodybuilding. I think it is still misunderstood.

Q: A lot of people say that first show they do forms an immediate addiction, was that the case for you?
A: Haha, yes. Its amazing the adrenaline you get. The excitement I felt when I stepped on that stage, it was the whole journey of preparing for it, it was an amazing feeling I will never forget.

Q: You did a few shows in 2011 and did quite well, and then did the Arnold's this year and took sixth. Looking at pictures it seems your overall conditioning was really improved, was that a goal of yours?
A: Yes! I wanted to get smaller. I took up long distance running to achieve that. I joined Fitness Factory out of Columbus, Ohio, and he started me on his dieting plan. Prior to that I did it on my own. It seemed to dramatically help.

Q: Everyone hopes to win, but the Arnold's is huge, and sixth place against those competitors is impressive, were you satisfied?
A: I was just elated from the beginning to look around and see that in my class I was the oldest competitor. To come out in sixth place out of twenty-seven gals was an amazing feeling.

Q: Do a lot of people get surprised that you have competed in Master's, because looking at you, its hard to believe?
A: Yes! It makes me feel good. When I did Master's I was not under the direction of anyone. It was a local show and I decided to do it. I don't look at myself in the mirror and self evaluate like that. People say they cant believe I am forty. I am always humble and modest about that. It surprises me people make such a big deal out of it.

Q: long term, is a pro card the ultimate gaol?
A: I would love my pro card.

Q: Do you know your competing plans for this year?
A: I am going for Masters in my home town of Pittsburgh at the end of July, then North Americans and then Nationals.

Q: What improvements do you want to make for those shows?
A: In talking with a judge he encouraged me to keep leaning out my legs. So I will continue with that. Long distance running seems to help me dramatically. I am always evolving and growing and it makes me feel better. From 2010 till now, looking at my photos, there is a big difference.

Q: Recently I saw a bodybuilder say she takes offense to bikini girls saying they train hard, does that bother you?
A: It doesn't bother me at all, and this is the reason. My first show I started in figure, and I feel many figure girls they feel there is so much time and effort put into what they do and they don't feel bikini girls put as much time and effort in. In my case, I do, just in an opposite way. I tend to put on muscle easily, but the running and conditioning and cardio takes just as much effort, its just a different training. Everyone wants validation for their hard work.

Q: Do you have a set lifting routine or do you change it up?
A: I do like to change it up. I do have set things that work for me. I find shocking my body causes added gain. For instance I recently did cross fit and will start to incorporate that.

Q: At the gym, you are beautiful and look great, do you get a lot of unwanted attention or stares?
A: Most of my experiences have been positive. I have had some where I am trying to train and they keep talking. I allow it to a certain point then let them know I have to move on. I like to talk to all kinds of people, so I don't put anyone off.

Q: You have done photo shoots, do you enjoy that?
A: When I was younger, and this is part of my personality type being geared towards this industry. When I was nineteen I was asked to model swimwear, it was about when I got involved in the gym. I loved it. Loved walking the cat walk, the commercials, it was fun. But I didn't explore it too much, getting pictures out there and what not. I got caught up in dating my husband and it took precedent. Then I had a girl who had a massive stroke and lost the left hemisphere of her brain. I had to put everything aside. It was horrific, we were told she couldn't walk or talk. Those years were difficult. When she started walking and realized she would talk, we did a ton of therapy to get her back on track and it paid off. She is in a regular classroom today. Her brain astonishingly did a reverse where the left hemisphere produces speech, her brain did a flip flop. Maybe cause she is a girl and we like to talk a lot haha. She now uses big words and is a normal girl, its amazing.

Q: Anyone you want to thank or anything you want to add?
A: I want to thank Holly Powell, she is amazing. She is not just a great competitor, she is my best friend and someone people can admire, and I am one of them. I am glad she reached out to you so you could reach out to me. I am thankful for what i have gotten with all this. After my daughter got better I realized I wanted to rebuild the dream of competing. I am so much happier. I feel a lot of women struggle with it and wonder how I can do it cause they have families. I do to, and we work together and it accomplishes a stronger family. I would highly encourage everyone to not give up on your dream. Visualize it and set your goals to achieve it. You have to do what makes you happy. It causes everyone around you to be happy as well Fitness is my happiness, its been my life.


  1. Gorgeous and built so damn good! Lynn is an inspiration to many! Great interview and story of perseverance.

  2. New Diet Taps into Pioneering Concept to Help Dieters LOSE 20 Pounds in Just 21 Days!