Friday, August 31, 2012
Amanda Folstad-Ptak Interview
Photo 1: Gene X Hwang
Photo 2: Physique Art
Photos 3 and 5: Michael Simon
Photos 4: FT VIdeo
If I were to make a list of the most underrated bodybuilders in the sport, Amanda Folstad-Ptak would definitely be at the top of the list. I always see Amanda as one of the best physiques on the stage but her placings often do not reflect that. Recently Amanda brought that amazing physique to the Arizona Championships, and that physique was probably at its all time best, and she took home first place. Also, if I made a list of the nicest people in the sport, Amanda would be right at the top of that list as well. Always willing to help out-as she did when I started- and give some advice to people. Amanda is definitely a real asset to female bodybuilding.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the sport?
A: When I was eighteen years old, I had graduated high school and was self conscious. I wanted to drop a few pounds so I started working out at that time. It just kind of took off from there. The first year I hated it, but I stuck with it, I had a goal in mind and that is the kind of person I am, if I have a goal I am going to achieve it. So I started seeing some results and looking at the magazines and wishing I could like like the girls in the magazine. I continued to lift and in 2007 I went trough a traumatic experience in my life and needed to direct my energy in a different area to get my mind out of the place it was in. One of my friends at the gym asked if I wanted to do a show and others had said I should. So, I said "I am gonna do it. I am gonna try it and see what happens". I started getting ready in 2007 to do bodybuilding. A friend talked me into doing figure because she thought I had that "All-American Girl" look and would do well in figure. I did not do well, not bad, middle of the pack, so it didn't give me much of a direction on what I should be doing. So I did one more figure show and placed exactly the same. I kept getting told I was too muscular and too lean, too this and too that. So I decided I was gonna go the bodybuilding direction. I won my first show, tied for first with a lady who looked phenomenal in my eyes, so to tie with this woman was huge for me.
Q: When you look back to when you started would you have ever imagined adding the size you are at now?
A: No! I didn't even think about it. I have never wanted to be huge so I don't think about adding size even at this point. I think the size I am now is good and I don't wanna be any bigger. I have never thought of adding size.
Q: A lot of people say competing becomes addicting after that first time, was that the case with you?
A: Yes definitely. It is very addicting. I think that doing USA's and stuff.... it's kind of a knock at my ego haha. It makes me almost upset because I don't do well at USA's cause I'm not big enough but I don't wanna get bigger. I think it is an addiction, you take mental blows and to do it again it has to be like an addiction. I would say I am addicted to competing haha.
Q: Part of society is still not accepting of muscular women, did any family or friends react negative when you started adding size?
A: No, not at all. They have been super supportive of it. A lot of them tell me I am inspiring or motivating. My dad likes for me to be a little softer. He doesn't like when I get shredded for a show, but he is the only one that has told me he prefers me more in my off-season look. I think it's just cause he is my dad.
Q: You mentioned USA's, granted I am biased because you are someone I really look up to....
A: Awww thank you.
Q: You didn't place very well...
Q: Maybe you weren't as big, but to me, your physique I thought was one of the best up there...
A: Thank you Jason.
Q: You are welcome. In that case, is it hard when you don't place as well as you feel maybe you should have?
A: Yeah it is definitely hard mentally on anyone who thinks they should have done better. You put so much work into it and your life revolves around getting ready for a show for three to four months. Last year at USA's I knew I didn't look my best, it was my worst I have ever looked. So, I accepted it a little better, but I still don't think I deserved the placing I got, I think I beat at least one person that they placed above me. It is hard to accept but at the same time, when I know I was at my worst it was easier to accept it based on that.
Q: Just recently you won the Arizona Championships. You told me before we started this that you felt it was the best you have ever looked, from USA's till then how were you better?
A: I came in more conditioned. It was the leanest I have ever been. I actually was twelve pounds lighter the day of the show then I normally am at weigh-ins. I don't think I looked like I lost that much size. So coming in more conditioned with a tighter and smaller package, I still looked almost as big as usual but just better. hat's what I think.
Q: When you realize you are winning a show, what goes through your head?
A: Thank God haha. Happiness, pure joy, huge smile on my face. It is exciting, the crowd cheers for you. It is like your hard work paid off, a feeling of accomplishment.
Q: Do you have an idea when you want to compete again?
A: I don't! I wanna compete again, but I am waiting to see what happens with female bodybuilding in 2013. There are the rumors going around and I don't know what to expect. I wanted to do nationals this year but cant. next year my plan would be to shoot for Nationals. Whether it works out is a different story based on my career. That is the show I would like to do but don't know if it will work out.
Q: When you do compete, is there something specific that you want to be better?
A: Everywhere! I can always improve my physique no matter what. The areas I need to pay special attention to would be hamstrings, glutes and calves, which is always my weaker area.
Q: I have said that to me you have the best abs in the sport...
A: Thank you, I think that is one of my better ones to.
Q: Do you do a lot for abs, is it more genetics, or just made in the kitchen?
A: I think it is the genetics and made in the kitchen. I don't do a ton of abs, but I do crunches here and there. I have two exercises I stick to the most that have helped develop my abs. I think it is mostly genetics and diet.
Q: In the gym, do you get a lot of stares or attention?
A: Oh yeah! People do stare a lot. I would think at the gym it wouldn't happen as much, but it happens more often there than anywhere else. That is strange to me.
Q: Is it hard to block out?
A: No, not usually. I can usually pick up on people I feel are looking at me in a negative way. I think it is more positive than negative. If I am working out and have my mind focused on what I am doing, I can block it out pretty good. But I do notice it from time to time.
Q: In public are you more of a dress to cover up and avoid attention or more proud of it and showing it off?
A: I'm proud and showing it off.
Q: It seems that in the off-season you don't go much over your contest weight, is that by design?
A: I try not to. I think the most I have ever been over is twenty pounds which is too much for me. The past two years I watch how I eat in off-season. It is by design. I work hard to stay leaner than I used to. If I let myself go too much then I mentally beat myself up, so I keep it ten to twelve pounds over what I am competing at.
Q: When I got started you were very willing to help and give me advice. Is it accurate to say you like to do that stuff?
A: It is very accurate. I definitely will help anyone who asks me. I have written many diets for friends and given advice to many people I don't even know. I enjoy that part of it. Doing that and being told I am motivation are the two best parts of competing. That is what I like most. It isn't getting on stage and winning, it is inspiring people to better themselves physically.
Q: If you could spend a day training with anyone, who would it be?
A: I would say one of two people. Katka Kyptova, she is one of my all-time favorites. Or Anne Freitas, I think those two women have the most phenomenal physiques and I would love to train with them.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I wanna thank my husband Mikey. He is my biggest supporter and fan. He supports me know matter what direction I want to go. We train together for over five years. If it wasn't for him I would be where I am at. I have a lot of supporters, anyone who considers themself a fan of mine, I thank you, it is a big part of why I enjoy it so much.