Sunday, June 23, 2013
IFBB Pro Shannon Siemer Interview
Photos 1-5: RX Muscle/Jeff Binns
In one years time Shannon Siemer went from fifth place at Jr. Nationals to winning her pro card at that same Junior Nationals, putting her in a class with the elite, the same elite that she herself admires. To do that in the time that she did shows a ton of hard work and dedication, that same dedication that will make her a success on the pro level as well.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I actually started lifting in high school. I have been in athletics all my life with gymnastics, cheerleading, volleyball, softball, the works. I started weightlifting in high school for those sports.
Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and why did you decide to compete?
A: I was a competitive cheerleader at Eastern Illinois University. That is when I started taking weight training more seriously. Once I finished school I was ready to take it one step further. I had more time on my hands to do that so I pursued competing.
Q: Does the cheerleading help you with putting routines together?
A: Absolutely! Between the cheerleading and gymnastics, I had a background of being able to choreograph my routines, put my routines together, along with all the skills I have learned over the years to execute those in the routine as well.
Q: A lot of the people I interview say they do the first show and it becomes addicting, was that the case with you?
A: I don't know that it is addicting cause of the first show. I trained as a competitive gymnast from a very early age so a lot of those competitive aspects, I wouldn't say they are addicting, I would say it is comfortable, it makes me me. I like the competitiveness. It is not addicting but it catches my eye and my interest.
Q: You just won your pro card at Jr. Nationals, when you realized you were a pro, do you remember what went through your head?
A: It still hasn't sunk in. I don't know that I can see myself at that point. I still look up to a lot of those pros, so it is difficult to even see myself on that level. I still have a lot of progress to make. My first thought was "holy cow, I made it."
Q: Going into the show did you think it was a realistic possibility?
A: Definitely! I definitely trained as hard as I could, I came in leaner than I have ever been, I came in with a really solid routine. I knew I had a good shot, I just wanted to be able to follow through and execute what I had been training to do.
Q: One year ago at the same show you took fifth place, from then till now, where were you better?
A: I definitely came in a little leaner, shaped my physique up a little better, added more difficulty to my routine and also cranked up the endurance. I really tried to work on conditioning, I still have progress to make in that area.
Q: Does that pro card carry more responsibility as far as how you carry yourself in the industry?
A: Absolutely! That title itself, I represent that. I want to show myself in the best light possibility. When it comes to training and eating healthy, not that it wasn't before, but it is absolutely a lifestyle now, something I need to be able to carry out all the time, year round.
Q: Have you give any thought as to when you want to make your pro debut?
A: I have been looking at trying to train for Tampa, it will depend on how my physique comes in the next five or six weeks. I have also been looking at the Phoenix show in October, which will be more ideal for me, I would have more time to make changes I want to make for a pro stage.
Q: Is there somewhere specific you feel you need to be better for a pro stage?
A: There are so many things I want to be better at. My main focus is getting my physique on point so it is competitive with the pros on that stage already.
Q: Is there anyone you are excited to finally share a stage with now that you are a pro?
A: All of them, all of the pros. There are so many and they each have their own specific qualities and skills that they are great. I am excited to compete against all of them.
Q: For a long time it seemed some shows would have one or two girls do fitness, it seems like lately it is getting more popular, would you agree with that?
A: It did start to dwindle. I am hoping it does to continue to increase in the number of competitors. I think with some of the rule changes to what is mandatory has made and impact on some of the girls who are wanting to now try fitness and take that extra step. I would love to see it keep increasing.
Q: At the gym, do you get the states and attention from people?
A: Absolutely! I would like to lie and say no, but I get the stares. In the public gym I am really focused on what I am trying to do so I generally put of the vibe of being slightly unapproachable while I am training. I might get looks but I don't get approached too often.
Q: If you could spend a day training with someone you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: That is such a good question. There is so many. Obviously the top of the list has to be Adela Garcia, she is the seven time Olympia champ. I would love to train with a lot of the pros, Tanji Johnson, Oksana Grishina. When it comes to lifting stuff, who wouldn't wanna lift with Arnold Schwarzenegger? I would love to do that, that would be great.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I would love to plug our own studio, Siemer Works Studio and my husband Ben Siemer for all the training. He and I as a team, we have learned things by trial and error and try and set our our own path. Our cross-fit crew that has been there supporting me, there encouragement is overwhelming. Get Fit Family Fitness for all their support as well, they are fantastic. Friends and family for getting me where I am today, without their support it would be very difficult to be where I am.