Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Andrea Banford Interview
Photos 1-3: David Aboody
Photos 4-5: Twix Pix
After getting a job at a gym and learning about training and diet, Andrea Banford made her bikini debut in 2009 and did quite well. Then she took some time off. She returned in 2012 on the figure stage and has now decided bikini is her best fit and will be on that stage in 2013 with a goal of qualifying for Nationals. Andrea is the kind of person I can really root for, and so should others. She has a great attitude and the right attitude to do well.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I started working at a gym when I was nineteen. It was an old school bodybuilders gym. I had no prior experience. My boss was an old school bodybuilder as well and started teaching me everything he knew. I started getting interested in it and researching it. After my shift I would go on-line and read how to train and eat properly. It really stuck with me since then. It has been about six years now.
Q: What led you to compete?
A: After I was lifting about nine months I met a local trainer and she prompted me that I would do good in a bikini competition. I started training for it about sixteen weeks out. It was in 2009 for a FAME show. I placed second.
Q: People who don't follow the sport may not understand bikini is fitness and not some T&A thing, did you have to explain that to people?
A: Yeah I did have to explain it to a lot of people. Especially my family, they didn't understand why I was training so hard. No one understood unless they were in the gym. They thought I was gonna prance around in a little bikini on stage. After they saw my physique develop into a healthy physique they started to understand, especially when I stepped on stage and they saw my hard work.
Q: Was that first show what you expected?
A: I wasn't sure what to expect. When I stepped on stage I was very nervous and didn't think I would be that nervous. Being on stage was very nerve racking. I learned that the girls backstage are very helpful and you meet a lot of new people and develop friendships. It is a great industry to get into and make connections with people that are like-minded.
Q: In May you came back and did the Western Canadians, why did you decide to come back?
A: After my first show I went through a little post-show blues and ended up not training for a half a year to a year. I realized it was a passion of mine and wanted to get back in the gym. About six months out from the May show I set the goal and met a new coach and we worked together on an off-season plan for me. I saw my body develop even better than it was in 2009. We decided enter that show and do figure. In my three year break I had gained a little muscle and wanted to try that category out.
Q: In any way was being on stage in figure different for you from bikini?
A: Figure was different for me. There is not as much attitude in the posing. The posing is a little bit rigid. I had to practice every day to get those poses correctly and hit them on spot on stage, as I was again nervous for that show. The big difference in the two shows is the posing.
Q: Why are you switching back to bikini?
A: I decided the way my body is and develops, it is more the bikini body. I have the smaller waist and bigger hips and have a hard time getting lean in my lower half. I definitely think my body is suited for bikini.
Q: Is there any difference in how you train now for bikini as opposed to figure?
A: Yes, instead of body part isolations, I do more circuit-style training. Not as much cardio as for figure. The training is more circuit-style, which I like and it's a great sweat.
Q: When do you plan to compete next?
A: I am going to shoot for the Western Canadians in May 2013 and hopefully qualify for the B.C.'s in June.
Q: If you were to look in a mirror, where do you need to be better by then?
A: I want to have more glute development. Definitely my shoulders and triceps are my weak point, so improve on those areas.
Q: So the plan is to be more active now with competing?
A: Definitely, I would love to qualify for the B.C.'s and with each show I do, I will get better and hopefully qualify for B.C.'s and my ultimate goal of Nationals.
Q: In the gym training, do you get the stares and attention from people?
A: I do get the stares from other girls. I do get a lot of questions, once I start leaning out, people are interested in what I am doing and training for. Once I am in my prep I start getting asked what I am doing and people are interested.
Q: Does it ever get annoying?
A: It gets annoying if I am in the middle of a set and have my headphones in. Other than that I don't mind answering questions or having a quick conversation. Usually in the gym it is my time to get in there and get my work done.
Q: If you could spend one day training with someone you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: Dana Linn Bailey. I think she would be a great training partner.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My coach Breanne Seward and my friends and family for supporting me while I train hard and diet and am a little bit distant.