Tuesday, September 4, 2012

IFBB Pro Jill Rudison Interview

Photo Credits:
Photo 1: Mike Eckstut
Photo 2: Jeff Binns
Photos 3-5: RX Muscle

In 2011 Jill Rudison made the switch from figure to physique, which seemed like a very wise choice for her as she really was a great example of what I thought physique would be about. In 2011 she had two impressive finishes and myself and others felt a pro card could come her way in 2012. The year got off to a rough start with a disappointing eighth place finish at USA's. However she rebounded at North Americans by winning her class, the overall, and her pro card. Jill's dedication and desire led me to believe she will quickly become one of the top pros in the division to.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I have always been athletic. I played softball, dancing, ice skating, you name it. Eventually in high school I started training, just messing around with weights. My dad always had dumbbells in the garage and a bench. I played around with that. My sophomore year in high school we had to choose an elective, one of which was weight training. I chose weight training, not so much because I was interested in lifting weights, but because I figured I would be the only girl in haha. I figured I could get away with skipping class and be the token girl in the class who could get away with stuff. Once I started taking the class I found that I liked it. From there, that is when I joined a gym and started lifting weights on my own.

Q: What made you decide you wanted to compete?
A: Back in 2003 I started with a trainer who was a fitness pro named Maria Bellando. We were training one day, me and some friends, it was leg day, and she looked at me and said "I have a show coming up, I think you should do it, you could do well". I laughed at her and said "whatever, I'm not a pageant girl". From there she challenged me and said "I think you're scared, you couldn't do it" and she dared me. Then she double-dog dared me and I haven't looked back since. It wall started with a double-dog dare.

Q: A lot of people say after they compete the first time it becomes an addiction, was that the case with you?
A: A little bit. Growing up in high school I was kind of like the fat kid, it was a rough crowd and I was always like a guys girl. I had a lot of girl friends but got along better with the guys. Also in high school I got overlooked a lot for dating. I didn't date much. I had two boyfriends that I actively pursued and got. I was never the girl whose phone rang off the hook for dates, I didn't have a date for prom or home coming. I wasn't fat, but I was bigger than my tiny petite friends. I always considered myself like the funny fat friend. The girl that never had guys chase after her, but chased after her for advice or to talk to a girl for them. Competing did a lot for my self-esteem and gave me a considerable amount more understanding of my self worth and what I was capable of. It also helped me be o.k. with being fit and pretty. It kind of girlied me out a bit. I am a Leo so by default I like to be the center of attention and commanding the room. To get on stage and do that was really cool and stroked my ego. I can see where people say it became an addiction. It became a fire in me to do better. My first show I placed eighth out of eleven girls, which isn't to bad for your first show, but it also encouraged me to try harder for the next show. It fueled the fire for a number of interests in me and culminated them all together.

Q: For 2001 you switched from figure to physique, why did you make the switch?
A: When I started figure in 2003 the look was a little different. I was inspired by Monica Brant, I loved her look and still love her look. Over the years the look of figure has changed and when I started I may have been better for the category, but I have always had large legs and it has been a blessing and a curse. Once the looks tarted to change to be a little more lean and not so muscular, I had to change with it or be left in the dust.When they created physique it was suggested to me to give it a shot cause it was good for figure girls with a little more muscle, and that's where I was. So I gave it a shot. Plus we got to loose the stripper heels and do a routine on stage to music. That really interested me more than anything, to perform on stage. I grew up watching the fitness stuff on ESPN and that was inspiring. I would have loved to do that but I don't have the gymnastic capabilities for that. Physique seemed like the perfect fit for me.

Q: Was the posing hard to learn?
A: Yes and no. It is something you want to spend a lot of time on. You can train and have the perfect body but if you can't get on stage and show it off, then there is no use in having it. I worked on posing a lot between USA's and North Americans. I got these big legs and wasn't showing the off the best that I could. I worked hard between those shows to restructure my posing to showcase my physique. It made a world of difference. The muscle was there to begin with, I just wasn't showing them off properly. Posing is as important as training and dieting.

Q: For physique did you make any big changes to the way you diet or train?
A: As you advance through the years in training and dieting, it is a learning experience, you learn what works for you and what doesn't. With my diet, I am always making little changes to see what works best. As far as massive changes, I feel like with physique I get to eat more because I am doing more and need to fuel my body more. I am still doing multiple small meals. Another big difference between USA's and North Americans is I adjusted my diet to where I was doing Keto and eliminated carbs altogether. With the exception of my birthday, I didn't have a single carb for almost six weeks. It really helped lean me out. We now know me with no carbs is a much better look.

Q: In 2011 you took third at USA's and fifth at Nationals, both good showings, did you feel like 2012 that a pro card was a realistic goal?
A: I did. Ideally I was hoping to attain one in 2011. The mind-set after Nationals was to hunker down and 2012 would be my year. I set my sights on USA's and didn't place how I wanted. That was a big blow, I felt like "shoot, only two National shows left in the calendar, it has to be one of those two or I have to scrap this plan of going pro in 2012". So, I hoped 2012 would be my year. I got discouraged after USA's, but took it as fuel to make sure I would walk away from 2012 with a pro card.

Q: After a disappointing placing at USA's was it hard to get motivated for North Americans?
A: It was! I had forgone a lot of plans this summer to do USA's, I missed a friends wedding in Greece and another in California, I put a lot of events on hold to focus on USA's. After USA's, everyone said "are you gonna do North Americans?", but I wasn't planning on it. I planned to go to Hawaii and do other stuff. But I gotta do what I can do, so those things could wait. I was gonna work hard, come in leaner for those five or six weeks. I did, and to be honest, two weeks before North Americans I was considering not doing the show. I had paid my entry fee and airfare, but my body one morning was protesting. It was saying "I don't wanna work in unison with you, I am tired, I am hitting a wall", so I was teetering on not doing it. But I read a quote that said it is when you feel discouraged and saying you are done, and that is when you are closer to your goal and keep pushing. I kept saying that quote in my head and said I was gonna take a chance and do it.

Q: I told someone the other day that from pictures, men and women, you had the best package on that stage....
A: Thank you!

Q: It isn't a lot of time, so from USA's to North Americans, where were you better?
A: Definitely my legs. I looked at a picture from USA's of my front and my back, and I have looking at comparison photos from USA's to North Americans non-stop. It is amazing what I was able to do with myself in that time. I did so much cardio, I couldn't tell you how much. I did cardio in my head while I was sleeping. I really did cardio till I was blue in the face. I got super crazy about my diet. I have been having my good friend Brad, a National level bodybuilder, he does a meal prep service, and I used him for my prep. That has been my saving grace, if it isn't in the little container from Brad, I am not eating it. Really having someone prep my meals, there is no "let me have an extra piece of fish", if it wasn't in the container, it wasn't on the menu. That really helped me. I wanted it bad and was willing to do whatever it took. If it took going to bed and doing cardio in my head and starving, drinking three gallons of water, doing three hours of cardio a day, that's what it took. At the end of the day it was how bad did I want it? I wanted it bad enough to do anything to get it. So I did it, with a smile.

Q: When you are on that stage, that first moment you realize you are now a pro, what went through your head?
A: Well, after I looked at my number four or five times to make sure they called the right number, I just couldn't believe it. I saw my parents jumping up and down and heard some crazy war cry come out of Chris. The other girls came and gave me hugs and I realized "holy shit, I am a pro". Even standing in the middle was surreal because I have never won first place at a show, much less an overall. I am used to walking out and there still being girls left to collect their trophy after me. It was surreal, I was stunned. I would love to see video because my face was probably confused as all hell. It still hasn't sunk in. I went to the gym today and people started coming to say congratulations and pros welcoming me to the club. I cant believe I made it to the club, it feels good to be here.

Q: For the pro stage, where can your physique get better?
A: I am on a continual mission to improve my legs. I was able to bring an amazing leg package to North Americans, I hope for the pro stage they are even more impressive. I am a big fan Patricia Mello's glutes, I hope I can get mine to look like hers. I would like to work on my abs and get that nice tight side ab thing going on. I would like to see my lats a little better. Overall I am happy with the package I brought. There is always room for improvements. RX Muscle told me "you came in looking like a pro" and that was a hell of a compliment. On the pro stage I hope the compliment is "you came in looking like an Olympian". Every time I show up I want to look like I am ready for the next stage.

Q: At the gym do you get a lot of the stares and attention from people?
A: At the gym not so much because I am fortunate to live and train in Venice at Gold's Gym, so at the gym I am pretty common. There are far more interesting people than me, I blend in and keep to myself. I am stealth in the gym, I get in and get out. I see where I may be a spectacle at other places but the gym not so much. When tourists come in to Gold's, I do get asked to take photos. A few months ago someone told me people in the corner thought I was Ms. Olympia, that was pretty funny. In everyday life, that is where I get the stares, in the gym I am normal. Outside the gym I am weird haha.

Q: In public do you dress to cover-up and avoid the attention or proud of it and showing it off?
A: I definitely show off my assets. Normal clothes don't fit me to begin with. My legs are huge, so by default I am in shorts anyhow. Or I am in gym clothes cause I work out a lot during the day. My physique is interesting in that if I am un-covered it is obvious I workout and ripped but I could just as easily throw on a hooded sweatshirt and you would never know. I am in a good spot, I can tone it up or tone it down.

Q: If you could spend a day training with anyone, who would it be?
A: I would love to train with Cory Everson. She is a big inspiration. She is the golden girl that physique i centered around that look. She is amazing on stage, so full of life. When did bodybuilding get so serious? It is supposed to be fun. I like her attitude. She would be cool to train with, rings wisdom and experience in a feminine manner. I would love a stage seminar with her.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I definitely want to thank my coach, my trainer, my dear friend, my mentor, my rock, the amazing Chris Cormier. He has been there every step of the way. I am so happy he was my coach and trainer that was along side me when I won my pro card.


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