Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Shannon Courtney Interview
Photos 1-5: Fifth Element
You have seen me write on here a couple times that I was unaware of someone, but saw a picture of them and knew I had to get them on my blog. That is the case with Shannon Courtney. I saw one single picture of her, a stage picture and had to get her to do an interview. I was so impressed by her physique. Shannon started off in figure and then moved to bodybuilding. This year she has done both physique and bodybuilding, but her plans are to continue in bodybuilding. Just recently she took first place at the Contra Costa and is now preparing to compete at USA's. Where she places is yet to be seen, but at a young age she has a very bright future in the sport and is a name I expect you to hear more and more of.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I was a long distance runner throughout high school and college, very competitive with it. During that time I got certified to become a personal trainer at Gold's Gym, so I was always in the gym. I met my boyfriend at that time, my husband now, he was actually prepping for a show. So he got me more involved in the bodybuilding scene.
Q: Why did you decide to compete?
A: I was always getting injured throughout cross country. I was running over ten miles a day and kept getting achilles injuries, so I had to take a break. I wanted to do something in the meantime to keep my strength up. I thought it would be a good challenge, something fun and different.
Q: With you still being so young, do you have friends who don't get the bodybuilding lifestyle and cant understand why you cant go out partying?
A: Yeah actually, ninety percent of them are still in the whole party scene. I kind of isolate myself and focus on my goals, I don't mind doing that, I am only gonna better myself.
Q: The first time you did compete, how nervous were you?
A: Actually I had never even gone to a show, so I had no idea what to expect. I had watched youtube videos learning how to pose. I did figure first. I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't to nervous until I was on stage and couldn't see anything but the lights. I kept my cool and didn't do too bad for my first show.
Q: Some people say after that first show it becomes like an addiction, was that the case for you?
A: Definitely! Once you get your body to that level and see what it an do, it amazes me. I wanted more and to challenge myself to look better and more defined. That's why I switched to bodybuilding.
Q: So was that the main reason you switched to bodybuilding or were there other reasons?
A: Pretty much. I wanted to stay in figure but my placing was horrible. Judges kept telling me I needed to switch and would do fine. So I stopped being so stubborn and I didn't want to change the way I train and diet, I like how I look, so I had no problem making the switch. But I got addicted to the bodybuilding division.
Q: This year you have done both physique and bodybuilding, which one are you doing long-term?
A: Bodybuilding definitely. Physique I would have to get smaller and like I said I like the way I look.
Q: Why did you decide to try physique?
A: Well, I didn't know what they were gonna look for with it being new. The new pros, some look harder and more muscular, but I wanted to see how I placed. I didn't place well, so it wasn't the category for me.
Q: You just took first at the Contra Costa, what was the feeling like to win a fairly good sized show like that?
A: It was amazing. I have always been in the wrong class and placed low. To go from eleventh to first is a huge different. It felt great.
Q: Going in did you think winning was realistic?
A: Definitely! I always believe in myself and have high expectations for myself. I felt really good going in. I am always prepared in advance.
Q: You mentioned your husband competes, how much easier does it make it to be with someone who understands the prep thing and what you are going through?
A: As far as the food and diet is concerned it is easier, but we get on each others nerve's haha. Mood swings and things. We do everything to make it work. We have a one year old to so that makes it more challenging. We get through it and support each other.
Q: What show are you doing next?
A: I am competing in fifteen days at USA's in Vegas.
Q: Granted it isn't a great deal of time, but where do you want to improve from Contra Costa to USA's?
A: Even though I am young I always go for first so I am trying to take it all.
Q: What about physique wise?
A: Physique wise, come in a little tighter, the weight I am at now is what I was on stage at Contra, so I will be tighter. Little things like lats and a little bit of shoulders, bring my legs in more, I have good sized quads so need to bring them in tighter.
Q: First thing I noticed when I saw your picture was your arms, can you give an idea of an arm day for you?
A: A typical arm days is, I always start off with cables, tricep extensions over the head and ninety degrees, bicep curls, twenty-ones with the cables, a lot of skull crushers, tricep dips with the plates. A lot of isolated moves.
Q: When you are in the gym do you get a lot of attention or stares?
A: It is a little ridiculous. At first, I'm not gonna lie, I kind of enjoyed it. Sometimes it is to the point, you don't know what they are thinking, you always wonder. I get a lot of stares too much. People don't see it that often.
Q: Is it hard to block it out?
A: It is sometimes. People remind me they are always thinking the best, but of course everyone has their own opinions. But like I said, I like how I look, I have a goal in my mind and no one will draw my attention from that.
Q: In public, do you dress to cover it up and avoid attention or sometimes proudly dress to show it off?
A: When I do go out, I try and cover up a little bit. I am always in the gym, my gym clothes are tighter clothing. So it's a little hard to cover up sometimes.
Q: If you could spend a day training with any one person, who would you choose?
A: Anne Freitas. She is amazing. She kind of popped out of nowhere. My trainer did the same show as she did in Chicago. Love her physique.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My family, my husband, my mom has been a great support, she is amazing and helps take care of my son. Also my trainer ED Cherry, he is an amazing mentor and always keeps me on track.