Wednesday, May 1, 2013

IFBB Pro Jennifer Dawn Interview

Photo Credits:
Photos 1-3: LHGFX
Photos 4-5: Muscular Development/Dan Ray

Jennifer Dawn's resume speaks for itself. She began competing in 2010 and immediately was a success doing well at shows on a consistent basis before winning her pro card at Nationals in 2011. She continued doing well on the pro stage leading to competing at the Olympia in 2010, putting her in the elite Best of the Best class. Most recently she brought possibly her best package to date to the Europa and will next step on stage at the Toronto pro. With Jennifer's penchant for constant improvement, you can very well expect that after Toronto we can again say she brought her best package to date to the stage.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started with training and competing?
A: I got started in the NPC in 2010. In 2009 somebody asked if I competed and I didn't even understand what that meant. I started researching and found that had amateur shows. I figured there was no way I could be an IFBB pro but I felt with the amateur side I could challenge myself. For my news years resolution I decided I was gonna compete.

Q: Was there something specific about it that appealed to you when you researched it?
A: I was an athlete in college and for me it was another way to have a goal, an event to go to. I felt like the training before the competition was my training for the next event and a way to display all my hard work.

Q: A lot of people I interview say they do the first show and it becomes addicting, was that the case with you?
A: You know, my first show was so small. I got fifth out of seven girls and thought that was amazing, I walked away with a trophy. They gave me really great feedback, tighten my legs and things here and there. I felt I was ready for the next big show. The next one was way bigger, there were twenty girls in the class and six classes. It was amazing to do a small show and then go to a big show and feel more comfortable. It became addicting because I enjoyed it, not because I felt I needed to win or wanted to do better. I just enjoyed everyones company and training to get to that point.

Q: At Nationals in 2011 you won your pro card, when you realized you were a pro, do you remember what went through your head?
A: That show was so awkward to me because when they called my name for top five I went to the center of the stage where I was not supposed to go. I was supposed to go up the steps to the platform and get there with the girls. I walked to the center and was by myself and was like "oh man I messed up." I walked where I was supposed to and they moved me to the outside. In the middle you assume first place so I knew I had messed up. Then at finals they were calling numbers and didn't call mine and I was like "man, I must have got sixth", then I was there by myself and I was called for my pro card. It was so exciting and unexpected. It was just a really good feeling.

Q: Obviously the next show is a pro show, where you any more nervous for a pro stage?
A: Well the good thing was that it was the same stage where I won my pro card. I felt comfortable on that stage and it must have shown through because there were high quality girls at that show and I took fourth. Usually only top three get money and I got some award money. I couldn't believe it, I was really comfortable on that stage. I had no expectations, that is when I do my best. When I challenge myself working out and then just have fun at the show.

Q: Last year you got to compete at the Olympia, would you have ever thought you would be on stage with the best in the world?
A: Never! I started doing shows early in 2012 and it was shows that were out of my comfort zone, Arizona, St. Louis, I was by myself. It was strange to do a show and place top five and with the point system, there was a chance to go to the Olympia. So I did the next show and the next show, and I kept doing well. It was such an honor and I wanted to keep my numbers high to get there.

Q: When you are on that stage is it hard to not be in awe and focus on what you are doing?
A: Yeah, you really have to have tunnel vision, focus on judges or someone in the crowd and enjoy being up there. If you have personal issues going on, leave it behind and showcase what you worked so hard for and not worry about anybodies opinion at that time. At that moment you are up there to do your pose, stand there and look beautiful and feel confident. It is your moment to shine.

Q: One person I interviewed said during her Olympia prep, it didn't sink in right away what she was prepping for and she had a moment where it hit her, did you have that moment?
A: Not at first. At first it was "whats the next show" and I had all my shows lined up. For me, I was training for the Olympia, I wasn't training for the show I was gonna be in. It was "Olympia is my goal, it is within reach and I want it." You go to a show and everyone competes and wants a heavy cheat meal, I ate marinated steak and mashed potatoes and the next day was back on it. I felt I was given an opportunity and couldn't waste it.

Q: Just recently you did the Europa, how happy were you with what you brought to the stage?
A: I was very happy with my physique. I felt I had a good balance between my upper and lower body. I felt I brought my waist in more so than any other show except maybe the Olympia, but the Olympia I was a little too over-trained because I had done so many shows. I felt I brought a nice, solid package, hair and makeup, suit looked good, tan was spot on. I felt comfortable and my presentation was relaxed and showcased what I worked hard for. There is a lot of good competitors in the industry, everyone was on point, you have to do something different or stand out from the crowd.

Q: When are you competing next?
A: I am doing the Toronto Pro. Last year I took second at that show and it was a huge show. I am hoping I can bring a well-balanced athletic physique and have fun.

Q: For that show, is there anywhere specific you want to be better?
A: I will continue to work on tightening my waist up and maybe a little more in the glutes, with bikini it is never enough.

Q: Do you feel bikini competitors are getting more respect and not viewed as just T&A?
A: I think so as long as the competitors keep it classy on stage and stay positive with social media and have a good work ethic. A lot of bikini girls have professional jobs. It is a matter of balance between the two. Showcase the hard work they put in. We do train even though some don't lift as heavy as figure or physique girls, you have to have a different kind of balance for bikini. A lot of girls that do bikini could do figure or physique if they wanted. To do bikini you have to have less muscle and more athletic looking instead of the separation or striations.

Q: When you are in the gym do you get the stares or attention?
A: For me, going to the gym, I don't pay attention. I have my hair up, the shorter the shorts, the harder I work sometimes. The gym I work out at, there are other competitors there and they understand the process. When you get guys there to just get fit and healthy, they are the guys who are there and ask questions. Everyone has opinions, some think I don't have enough muscle, some think I have too much muscle, I don't even pay attention, I am just there to workout.

Q: If you could spend a day training with someone you have never trained with before, who would it be?
A: I would probably train with Nathalia Melo. She has a great physique. She has always been my goal girl. I did an interview in 2010 and mentioned her, I love the way she looks.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I am so thankful for my team, Team Bombshell with Shannon Dey and Rob. They have been there to push me through and always check up on me. My family that supports me one hundred percent. My sponsors, Dymatize and Pro Tan and I work with Muscular Development. Competitors who have pushed me and made me work harder.

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