Friday, September 13, 2013
IFBB Pro Moira McCormack Interview
Photos 1-2: Kurt Jones
Photos 3-5: Muscular Development/Dan Ray
To go from a ninth place finish to winning a pro card in your very next show is an amazing accomplishment. It is an accomplishment that Moira McCormack achieved when she earned her IFBB Pro card at North Americans. The figure competitor turned physique competitor has shown an ability to improve and will make her a formidable competitor in the pro ranks.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I was always active and played sports. In college I fell in love with weightlifting and training and also had a fear of the "freshman fifteen." I needed to make sure I was committed to training and staying in shape and not putting on the "freshman fifteen" that everyone says happens your first year of college. When I moved to Los Angeles I joined Gold's Gym which was a very motivating gym to be training in. Everything took off from there.
Q: What made you decide you wanted to try competing?
A: I think it was to have a goal, something to work towards. I find that if I have something to work towards, I stay committed and don't give up on that goal. I wanted to see what it was like stepping on that stage and seeing what I could accomplish through weight training and diet.
Q: Being in L.A., at a Gold's Gym, did it help being around so many other like-minded people?
A: Yes! It was a big change. I grew up in Massachusetts, a real rural area where health and fitness wasn't always a big focus for people. Being in a gym like Gold's, where the main focus is health and fitness and you have a lot of people who are competing, is very inspiring and motivating. Working with certain trainers also helped me keep on track and make things easier.
Q: The first time competing, were you nervous at all?
A: Yes! I still get nerves. You are standing on a stage by yourself being judged and looked at in every part of your body.
Q: A lot of people I interview say they do the first show and it becomes addicting, was that the case for you?
A: Yes! The first show was in figure in 2005. I knew that at that time that there was my work I needed to do. It drove me to take a year off to work on putting on more size. It definitely does become addicting.
Q: When you were putting on that size, did you get any negative reaction from that?
A: I would say more from family. In your off-season you work towards making gains and building and to do that you have to put on the weight. I find it funny that I diet down and everyone comments on how good you look and "stay this way, don't change." Then you put the weight back on and people don't say anything.
Q: You won your pro card at North Americans. When you realized you were a pro, do you remember what went through your head?
A: It was very surreal. It is something that the past three years as a physique competitor I was pushing towards and wanting. This past year was a tough year on a personal level so it was very gratifying and the best feeling I ever had to know I accomplished what I wanted to.
Q: Did you think going in that it was a realistic possibility?
A: I did! After USA's I worked with someone else on my diet and really started to enjoy things and keep that visualization and focus going. I did think it was possible. Having that determination and outlook made a big difference.
Q: I assume after pre-judge that you knew you had a shot, so knowing that, does it make you more nervous or determined to go back out?
A: Both! Determined to do my best and present the best package but at the same time your nerves kick in and you are wanting to showcase everything you worked towards. I think with the routine, that is nerve-racking because you don't wanna forget anything.
Q: Has being a pro sunk in or does something have to happen for it to sink in?
A: I still feel like it is sinking in. It still hasn't fully sunk in. I think it won't till I get on that pro stage.
Q: For you, does the pro card carry more responsibility as far as how you portray yourself to fans of the sport?
A: For me, I think there is more pressure. You want to be inspirational and motivating to people which I felt I have done previously from comments from people. But there is more in regards to people looking at you a little bit differently in that light. Like I said earlier with off-season and making gains, that is something where I have a feeling people will look at you a little negatively.
Q: When you switched to physique how much did you change training and diet?
A: I did take a year to make sure. I was told to either loose muscle or move to physique. I felt discouraged and worked so hard to gain the muscle and I like the look so I didn't want to loose it. It took time to wrap my head around having to do a routine and pose and display my physique to the best of my ability. The diet changed a little in regards to adding more protein and lifting heavier to build more size on my shoulders and legs.
Q: Was the posing hard to learn?
A: At first I felt intimidated by the posing. Once I started doing it, I fell in love with it. I felt like it was so much more enjoyable than standing there doing quarter turns. When I look back on that, at the time it was figure or bodybuilding. It is nice now that there are more avenues for women in the sport.
Q: Have you decided when you want to make your pro debut?
A: Right now it is looking like a Europa show or Chicago pro depending on what my trainer and nutritionist think. I listen to them.
Q: Where do you feel you need to be better for the pro stage?
A: More size on my quads.
Q: Do you expect to be more nervous for the pro stage?
A: No, I think it will be the same in regards to as long as I am prepared and made the gains I wanted. I will still be the same.
Q: When you are in the gym, do you get the stares or attention from people?
A: I do! I have been at Gold's for eleven years so most people I know and they have the same routine. If I go back east and train at a gym where I haven't been, I get the stares and people asking questions or when you are out and about at the store or walking. Most of the time it is very positive but once in awhile you hear a negative comment. Usually it is something that is nice to hear.
Q: If you could spend one day training with someone you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: It would wanna train with Victor Cruz of the New York Giants.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Charles Glass, my trainer, I have been with him on and off the past few years and on a regular basis since April. Robert Mathis, my former trainer and coach for challenging me to make the gains and giving me the confidence to compete in Women’s Physique. Stephanie Rodriguez and Brett Bauer for being the best training partners.