Wednesday, January 30, 2013
IFPA Pro Alex Ellis Interview
Photos 1-3: Chinga Moalusi Photography
Some people you want to interview because they are a great competitor and some you want to interview because of the great job they do helping competitors. Rarely is there someone you want to interview for both reasons. One such person is Alex Ellis. Alex herself is a phenomenal competitor, winning her pro card in 2011, but she has also done a great job working with other competitors who have been very successful as well.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I started by losing fifty pounds on my own. I had hit rock bottom. I needed to get myself back on track and started working out. I switched from the partying and drinking scene into workout out and that is pretty much how I got started.
Q: What made you want to try competing?
A: I had been working out at this gym in St. Louis and they had a bunch of fitness competitors and bodybuilders pictures on the wall. I would always look at them and think "this is a possibility for me." I wanted to step up my game in the gym and I loved doing the diet. I set a goal and a date to compete and I just did it.
Q: A lot of the girls I interview say that after that first show it becomes addicting, was that the case with you?
A: Addicting, no. I think it was more that I wanted my pro card, I had a goal. So I was gonna do whatever it took to get my pro card. I did three shows that year and realized to get to the next level I needed to take time off and build some muscle. I was driven to win my pro card.
Q: You won your pro card at the Southern States in 2011, do you remember what went through your head?
A: It was hard for me to wrap my head around it at first. I knew that I wanted to immediately do a pro show. I had been training to win my pro card so I could immediately do a pro show. From the minute I won my pro card I was just determined to do well in the pro ranks so I went into training right away. I was on a mission. I was excited and figured ways to better myself and do well as a pro.
Q: For the first pro show were you any more nervous than previous shows?
A: No, I was actually really relaxed and excited. I never get nervous I just have so much adrenaline when I get on stage. I know I put one hundred percent into everything I do, so I just put it all on stage for the judges to determine.
Q: Outside of the fact that it is tougher competition, is the pro stage any different for you?
A: No, I think it is more motivating knowing that the competition is tough, tougher than an amateur show. At first it was difficult because I had looked up to the women I was going to compete against. Putting me in that category with those women was inspiring. It wasn't nerve racking, it was just exciting.
Q: In 2012 you did several shows, overall how happy were you with the year competing wise?
A: At the beginning of the year I was extremely happy with my progress from the previous year. My body just kept getting better and better every show that I did. I was not extremely happy with my placing in one show last year but I used it to motivate me to alter the direction I went for the last two shows I did in 2012.
Q: Do you know when you will compete next?
A: I am going to compete at the NGA Heart of America on May 4th and the the Pro Body Solutions the week after that on May 11th.
Q: From last show, is there somewhere specific you feel you need to be better for the next show?
A: I feel I can improve everything. There's not really one part of my body where I feel that is worse than the other. I just wanna better myself every show. Better quality muscle and come into shows harder than I usually do. Some divisions I compete in like a softer look so it really just depends on which show I do.
Q: Your shoulders, especially your delts are incredible, can you give an idea of what you do for them?
A: Thank you! I work hard on my shoulders, I train them twice a week, but I don't over-train them. I usually pick five exercises. I do a series of lateral raises, pinkies up, knuckles up, thumbs up, military press, upright rows on the smith machine. I don't always go heavy on my shoulders, sometimes I go light and do fifteen to twenty resp, and then sometimes I go heavy. I do a lot of drop sets, just to confuse the muscle.
Q: Outside of that, you also run The Complete Package, where you pretty much do everything helping girls compete, what got you interested in that?
A: I started doing my own nutrition in 2009. I couldn't find a nutritionist that really was in sync with my body. I took over my own nutrition and did a ton of research and went to school for dietetics. It was trial and error on my own body fro two years and still is. I am always trying new things, adding different foods, to see how it does with my own body. I started taking on clients about a year ago and realized I am passionate about it. I love seeing other bodies change through nutrition and the different training and most of all I love the relationship with my clients because they all strive for the same goal. It all went from there. My passion is helping other people.
Q: You have had several girls do well recently, some winning their own pro cards, can you describe the feeling when they succeed?
A: Oh my gosh, I am ecstatic. Every time one of my girls is on stage I get more excited than when I am on stage myself. Kristin Flanery won her pro card first and I was so happy and proud of her. I worked with her nine months before she got her pro card. Seeing what these women have gone through is the most rewarding job. Same with Melissa Johnson, I cried when she won her pro card, and Amy Lescher, she is a fighter and never gave up. Also Ashley Lewis, she is a fighter to and very close to her pro card. Pushing them and helping them is very inspiring for me.
Q: If you could spend a day training with someone you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: My biggest inspiration, Terri McBee, the 2011 World Cup Champion. She has been there for me a hundred percent. I have never trained with her but we talk all the time.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My boyfriend Chinga Moalusi for being there for me and supporting me through everything. Pro Body Solutions, my sponsor, for putting my name out there and supporting me. My suit sponsor Tamee Marie, my TCP girls for inspiring me and making me the best coach I could be, my family, my friends and fans for the support. I wanna thank Fit Fuel 365 for the meals, the are gonna do my contest prep meals and help out my clients. My Super Fit clients and my gym St. Louis Fitness Club for their support.