Friday, August 24, 2012
Elaine DeLuca Interview
Photos 1-2: Alpha Design
Photos 3-5: RX Muscle
Sometimes I go to people for interviews and sometimes, as in the case of Elaine DeLuca, they come to me for interviews. I am glad she did. She was very enjoyable to talk to. Her goal was to compete and in 2011 she got on a figure stage and achieved her goal and looked great in doing so. Most recently she switched to physique, a division that is definitely more suited for her, and once again looked great. So here is a chance to learn more about Elaine DeLuca.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I had been working out on and off for a good number of years, at least fifteen to twenty. My weight fluctuates up and down and I was fine with it. The gym helped me keep things in balance. I got married and then I got divorced and found my way back to the gym and made it a priority. I was in my mid thirties. I had gotten very close to competing at that time, but life happens and a lot of stuff was going on in my life and I wasn't ready. Here I am seven years later and I competed in my first show last November and here I am, I have done two National shows and am ready to get better.
Q: What about competing appealed to you?
A: I think it is the idea of pushing yourself beyond what you believe your limits are. Being able to attain a goal that not many people can really ever achieve. I hear a lot of talk about it, I have lots of clients who tell me "I wanna compete I wanna compete", and they are not serious. It is a level of discipline, a level of commitment, a level of dedication, and really finding yourself and how hard you can push yourself. Being part of an elite group, whether you win or not, just being on stage and holding your own, for me, means something. I pushed myself as far as I could for something I love. I took something I love to the top level and that is important to me.
Q: Before you went on stage were there any nerves?
A: Of curse there were. I started off in figure, women's physique was not at the regional level in 2011. So I had to wear the shoes, there is something about how they make those shoes, I can wear the highest of heels and run and catch cabs, but something about those shoes. You feel like you are shaking and gonna fall down, the first time on stage I felt everyone would see me shake. I did a bigger show the following week, and you just work out those first show nerves.
Q: Some people say after they compete the first time it becomes an addiction, was that the case for you?
A: I think you already have to have some kind of an addiction to training and the lifestyle to start with in order to get to the point where you can get on stage. I don't think it is something that kicks in after you compete, you have to have it before hand. With that said, I think sometimes people feel a little lost after their first show and don't know what do do with themselves. So they get into this cycle of always competing, always competing, always competing because they don't know what else to do. I do believe in a balance, yes I did a lot of shows over the last eight months, but now I am fine with taking a break till next year to let my body heal. I don't think it is because of an addiction, I think it becomes an integral part of their lives and they feel lost with out it. That isn't just with bodybuilding, it happens in other industries where their job is their life.
Q: Why did you switch to physique?
A: I have a natural ability to put on muscle, I know a lot of people say that, but I really do. Even though at my first figure show I did place very well, my second was not so well. I was told by the judges that I was too hard and too lean. When I first saw women's physique at Jr. USA's and my idol Dana Linn Bailey won that show, I knew in 2012 I would do physique, even before I got on stage in figure. It was kind of like getting ready and getting comfortable with competing. Figure was the only option, I didn't wanna do bodybuilding, I knew I didn't have what it took to do bodybuilding but could get away with figure.
Q: Was it hard to learn the posing for physique?
A: No! It may sound silly but when you are in the gym you are always kind of posing. Of course you have to practice and good posing can disguise some things and show your best features and hide the liabilities. Of course you have to practice but as far as learning them, no, because anyone who spends time in the industry or follows it, you see what you have to do and practice it in the gym.
Q: Probably a dumb question but physique is where you want to stay then?
A: Absolutely. I love physique, it is the best thing ever created in the NPC. I wish more bodybuilding organizations would have this category, it suits a lot of women who are too big for figure but don't want to put on the muscularity of bodybuilders. Look at the Tampa Pro, the number of physique competitors outnumbered figure and bikini. That shows it is a good category and will keep growing. It is more fun than figure or bikini. You get nervous doing a routine but it is a lot of fun. You get to show off your effort which I don't think you get to do as much in figure.
Q: Any idea when you want to compete next?
A: I am planning to compete in 2013 most likely at Jr. Nationals. I do wanna do a pro qualifier since I did qualify at Masters Nationals. Whether I want to warm up with a regional, I haven't decided yet. We will see how I am feeling.
Q: If you were to critique yourself from your last show, where do you feel you need to improve?
A: My quads, easy. For a lot of women that is the hardest part. My upper body looks great, just gotta work on the conditioning in my legs. I always do what the judges have said. Going big, big numbers, big squats, and when it is time to cut it down I am confident I will look how they want me to look.
Q: What impresses me is your back....
A: Thank you.
Q: What are some exercises you like to do for back?
A: My philosophy is go big, big numbers, as many reps as you can. That is how you get size. I think genetics plays a part. My back and shoulders are my strongest point, I don't do anything different than other people as far as competitors, lat pull-downs, pull-ups, heavy barbell rows, that is just how I put it on. I don't think my back training is any different.
Q: In the gym do you get a lot of attention or stares from people?
A: For the most part where I work out, since I am a trainer there, people know me. At my gym we have a table in the front of the people who represent the gym and compete. So the regulars at the gym, they know, and everyone is sued to it. Everyone knows me so it is less of an issue. It becomes more of an issue outside of the gym, I get the stares like I am an alien. It comes with the territory, you just accept it. The only opinion that matters is yours, so I don't care what others think. haters are gonna hate and you just have to deal with it.
Q: In public do you dress to show it off or cover up and avoid attention?
A: Definitely show it off, that is an easy question haha. I work really hard. It is more than showing off. I am proud of course, but want to get more women in the weight room. Too many women are brain washed by publications that show these models picking up three pound dumbbells and say that is how you are gonna get in shape, and that is a load of crap. Get off the treadmill and get in the weight room and then you will look good.
Q: I think I know the answer based on an earlier question, but if you could spend a day training with any person, who would you pick?
A: It is a toss-up. I love Dana Linn, I met her at Team Universe, her an her husband, and they are really great people. She is an inspiration to many. It is a little disconcerting to me how she has placed at the pro shows. I would love to train with Juliana Malacarne, she won the N.Y. Pro. She has a physique I aspire too and has awesome legs. But if I had to pick, it is Dana Linn hands down.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: The trainer at my gym, Noah Levinson. My prep coach WNBF Pro Eric Goldfarb, my suit designer and former IFBB Pro Caron Hospedales. My posing coach and choreographer IFBB Pro Marie Allegro.