Tuesday, April 2, 2013

IFBB Pro Nita Marquez Interview



Photo Credits:
Photos 1-3: Tim DePriest
Photos 4-5: RX Muscle


Nita Marquez won her IFBB Pro pro card in 2008, something she worked very hard for. She has not competed since late 2010, and whether she does compete again or not is yet to be determined. But she is still living the healthy lifestyle and has co-authored a book as well as training people and helping them reach their goals and inspiring a great many people. Nita is an interview I have wanted for a long time. I really like that she is in it for the right reasons, a genuine desire to help and inspire.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started training?
A: I first started in the gym when I was in high school. I got a membership to a gym and I don't know that I took it really seriously but I was in to the idea of working out and getting fit. I had a weight problem and early on in my teen years I was very self conscious. In high school I had a job bagging groceries and right next to the store there was a gym called Angel's gym and I got my membership. I got more serious when a boyfriend in college went to the gym every night and I got super serious. That is when I started getting more weight off and doing it healthy. It started in high school and I got more dedicated after college.

Q: What made you decide to compete?
A: A couple things. I had always loved performing, always been into dance. My ex-husband -who I am still good friends with- encouraged the idea of me competing in fitness. I had already been considering the idea of doing a competition in bodybuilding or fitness. I had a trainer when I lived in Phoenix and we started looking at shows and then I met my ex-husband and it was ironic that as we encouraging the idea of competing I got pregnant with my first daughter. It was more of something where I wanted to perform. My trainer said it would be a great outlet, and my ex-husband and he said "you would kick ass, you have great stage presence." So I did my first competition, which was bodybuilding, and I was hooked.

Q: In 2008 at Team Universe, you won your pro card, when you realized you were a pro, do you remember what went through your head?
A: Oh my God, absolutely. There is a picture somewhere on the Internet, my knees buckled when they announced me as the overall. I had already won my pro card by winning my class. I remember my knees buckled, and it wasn't that I was a pro, it was more like after ten years, ten years to the month I had wanted and coveted that title, the National Fitness Title. I remember crying and being really overwhelmed. That ten years was an immense amount of growth, I had given birth to two more children and gotten a divorce. I walked into the industry as a naive twenty-three year old and then got my pro card and was feeling like I could claim myself whole-heartedly. It felt like it was a new birth. It wasn't what the pro card represents itself, it was a culmination of events in my life.

Q: Was competing as a pro any different?
A: I would say there were no major differences. Just knowing that every time you go up there, you are standing with the best of the best and you get to claim that stage, you get to be the best of the best. That is the only difference as far as competing on the pro level. Of course there is more competition, you are competing with the best in the world. It is not any different in terms of the process, you still work your ass off. You still have to keep your head in the game and make sacrifices to get to that stage and show up right. Overall, the experience and process is the same, but what is different is you finally get to say "I am one of them, one of the best of the best" and that is an incredible feeling. You work that hard, and I am not talking about one of these people that step on stage their second show and get a pro card. When you are a pro and you understand dedication and sacrifice and you know the pros up there with you also do, that is when it is a really rich experience.

Q: In 2010 at the Sacramento Pro, you did bikini, why did you make that switch?
A: Most of the people in the industry who know me, know I have always been a go-getter, always had an entrepreneurial spirit, like many in the industry. When I say I am gonna do something, I don't care if it takes a decade or two, I will make it happen. I have been working to get funding for television projects and a movie where we get involved with people who are possibly gonna fund what me and my partners have to bring to the table. Sometimes it makes sense for those people that I am in the fitness industry and have a name and face and a voice that some people wanna hear. That makes a difference for them. When I switched over to bikini, it was a decision based on a business move with a potential group of investors who were gonna be attending that event. That was something that was to motivate the people we were in business with. It was not just my decision, I have companies that sponsor me that are not in the industry, production companies, editing houses, that put stock in me. They wanna see me show up to the investors as an athlete and someone on stage, someone who is seen. It wasn't my first choice. I would have loved to do better, but my physique is not tailored for bikini. Do I regret it? No, I never regret anything, life has no room for regret. I got a lot out of the experience. I would not do it again unless it would be business motivated.

Q: Do you have any plans to compete again at some point?
A: I would like to compete in fitness again. There is some question for me as to whether or not the IFBB would reward me for those efforts. It is really hard in the pro ranks if you are not in the favorite circles as you know. The only way it would happen is if either sponsors were backing me and hell bent on me competing, if I got my product line launched and was sponsoring myself with my own company, or if I was going back because I had so much money and time to do that. The fact of the matter is, I have three kids, I am divorced,their father lives in Arizona and I live in Los Angeles, and my daughters are blossoming, they are amazing signers and actresses, they dance, do theater. My priority is on their future so as much as I can lead them with my examples, it is that much more important to ensure they have the tools to set examples for themselves. I would love to compete again, I miss my friends, I miss my colleagues and I miss the stage. Until one of those three things that I listed happens, I don't see it being in the near future. I miss it, my heart is there.

Q: You co-authored a book called Fit For Combat, how did that come about and can you talk about what the book is about?
A: It is a book I co-authored with JD Johannes whose work you can read on bodybuilding.com, I think he has been through Siouxcountry a few times. JD was a heavy-set guy who was doing a documentary for the war, which you can find at Barnes and Noble and Best Buy. There he was standing in the line of fire doing these documentaries, a heavy-set guy carrying fifty and sixty pounds of camera equipment. He got struck by a bullet during filming in Iraq and it dawned on him that if he didn't pull his head out of his ass when it comes to how he lived his life, he would not survive making a living because it was getting harder and harder. He needed to get in shape because you have to be agile doing what he does. He came to me a couple years before regarding a project he had in mind, he was getting into shape and along the process of developing the show concept, we developed a program that is now known as the Fit for Combat System. The system is first and foremost the system that helped him get in the best shape of his life and what we wanted to provide for the public as a way to educate themselves in layman's terms, a tool for people to read something and teach them how to create their own customized weight training, fat burning, nutrition plan. There were people starting threads on Twitter about it. It was cool, the number one response was it was the easiest book to read. Terry Goodlad and Carl Lenore had us on their shows and Carl said there was stuff in the book that even IFBB pros need to know and don't know. It is tips and tools and easy systems for people to create their own plan. There is no plan that works for everybody but this book shows you how to create your own plan, dictate what is best for you.

Q: You also created America's Hottest Fit Moms, can you talk about what that is?
A: It is the theme for my new website. When I revamped the site and started re-branding, I came up with it. I really wanted to brand something that not only people would identify me with, but I wanted people to be able to identify themselves with. What I love about the concept is that tag line is Fitness Empowerment For Everyone. It is not just for moms, but if you think about it, who empowers everyone in the community? Mom does!Mom takes care of her kids, takes care of dad. I have this need to really connect with other women who are like the alpha-mom. America's Hottest Fit Moms was created to empower that group of women so they could continue to educate and empower others.

Q: Some competitors train people as an extra source of income, but with you it seems you genuinely like to help people, is that accurate?
A: First of all, let me say thank you. Yeah, I would say that is accurate. It is very important to me to help people with not only self-esteem but to realize their goals. Those things affect a person's self esteem. If you empower others, you are also empowering both of you to go empower others. The more power we create, the more knowledgeable people will be out there. Of course, everything in business is about conversion, but my business model was never set up for client retention. It was for clients to learn, acclimate to themselves, and how they can teach others. I tell every client that I will not be here at some point in time. At some point in time, duty calls to other directions, whether it is my kids, my other work, and sometimes people don't have the money to keep paying. I wanna know that after three months working with me, every person knows what to do, even if they still need a trainer and get another trainer, they know if the trainer is full of crap or knows what he is doing.

Q: When you do start working with people, what is the biggest mistake you see people knew to training make?
A: The biggest mistake I see is people don't want to give up their alcohol. It is so important to have that drunken night out with friends, so important to embrace and celebrate, it is so important to them. If you come to me and wanna spend a lot of money -I'm not cheap- to have me teach you to live a fit lifestyle, but you don't wanna get rid of that one thing that you have to pull back on. If it is that important it makes me wonder why people are confused when they don't get results. I see them holding on so much. There is an analogy that a monkey that is insane will hold a bar and bang it against a cage that it is in and continue to do it and cant get his hand back in the cage, well all he has to do is let go of the bar and he can get his hand back in. That mistake is what I see with people with their alcohol.

Q: You do fitness modeling, a lot of pictures are getting more risque, as a mother is that something you are extra careful with, to make sure it is something you are not afraid to let your children see?
A: That is a really good question and thank you for asking with such sensitivity. I do think there is a fine line. I think also that as an attentive mother, you should communicate openly with their kids, let them understand you are human. I do have a lot of very risque shots from early in my career, because at that time in your life, you are new to the business and your hormones are going berserk and you feel like a sexy bitch and wanna show it off. Do I think they are getting a little out of control? I think the girl on girl stuff, it isn't so much something your kids will be embarrassed by, you just look really retarded. You are not a lesbian so why are you pretending you are. If your whole goal in life is to be this candy girl fantasy for guys who are into lesbian action, then your goal is met. My main thing with all the photos, is realize you are contributing to an ultimate goal and if you aren't, you should maybe step back before you do something you regret, because a future goal may be thwarted because of a decision you made when you weren't clear on your destiny. I try and teach my daughters that while I am a certain way, they don't have to follow suit, they are creating their own path.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I wanna thank everybody. The people that make this industry up, with their breath and energy and fighting the good fight, trying to empower the world through fitness. I have to give accolades to people that are dedicated and not in it for the vanity aspect, people like yourself, Dave Palumbo and my cousin Shelby Starnes, people that are so dedicated to this lifestyle and empowering others through it. Thanks to you guys, you give me fuel for inspiration. When I feel like the bad people are running the industry, it is easy to look at you guys and say "this is what it is all about". Thanks to you guys for how you spread the word and share the glory with the rest of us.

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