Tuesday, April 15, 2014

IFBB Pro Alana Shipp Interview

Photos Credits
Photo 1: Bluddi.com
Photo 2: Mike Yurkovic
Photos 3-4: Dan Ray/Muscular Development

Each year we welcome several know IFBB Pro bodybuilders. In 2013 there were several, but the one who impressed me the most was Alana Shipp. The physique was obviously amazing, but she had a stage presence, a look of confidence in herself, like she was commanding the stage and your attention. On top of that, she has a tremendous attitude, the right mind set to achieve big things in the sport. I am not alone in that thought as for my site the fans voted her as the 2013 Amateur Bodybuilder of the Year, up against some very good competition. She is set to make her pro debut soon at the Toronto Pro in May. I think very quickly, Alana will become a serious threat at pro shows. Due to where each of us is located, we had to do this interview on-line as opposed to recorded or on the show, but still, was very happy and honored to be able to have Alana do this interview. Here is your chance to learn a little more about Alana Shipp.

Q: First, what initially got you interested in weight training?
A: was desperate to lose weight and hired a trainer who incorporated weights with cardio. I realized then that I enjoyed lifting.

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and why did you want to compete?
A: I was training for about 4-5 months. As my body began leaning out. My trainer saw the muscles surfacing and suggested it and suggested I give it a try. I felt I had nothing to lose so I went for it.

Q: You currently reside in Israel, how did you end up living there? Is bodybuilding at all popular there?
A: My husband came here for a job and my kids and I joined him here over 5 years ago.
Bodybuilding is not very popular here and definitely not for women but it seems to be catching on a bit more.

Q: Going back to the first show, were you nervous at all?
A: was extremely nervous going back to the 1st show. However, I felt like I dug deep and did everything I needed to in order to prepare for that moment so I had to ignore the nervousness and give me my best. When I step on stage all nervousness vanished and I came alive.

Q: After it was over, did you know you wanted to keep doing it?
A: After it was over I was sure I wanted to do it again because it came and passed much too fast. Not only that, I didn't feel like I took the time to enjoy it enough because of nervousness. I wanted a chance to do it all over again while appreciating every moment.

Q: Were your family and friends supportive of your bodybuilding?
A: My family and friends have been very supportive of my bodybuilding. Much more than I could ever have imagined. Without their support this would not have been possible.

Q: You won your pro card at Nationals last year, did you feel going in like you had a real shot at it?
A: I'm a person who typically doubts myself but my coach drilled in my head that the pro card was mine leading up to Nationals last year. I had no option to believe anything else other than I was leaving Florida as a pro. I felt very confident that I had a real shot at it.

Q: After pre-judge you obviously knew you had a good chance at it, did that make you any more nervous for the finals?
A: After pre-judging I relaxed a lot because I felt even more confident that I had won. I pretty much just enjoyed the rest of the time after that.

Q: When you realized you were now a pro, do you remember what went through your head?
A: All I remember thinking was "I did it. It's official. I'm a pro."

Q: Some of the pros I interview say that it didn't sink in right away, that it took something, did you have a moment where it sunk in that you were now a pro?
A: It took a while to sink in for me that I was a pro. There are some moments even now when I still can't believe it. For a long time it felt like a dream. I don't know what it will take for it to really sink in. Maybe after I step on a pro stage.

Q: Does the pro card carry more responsibility in your mind as far as how you represent the sport?
A: I don't think it carries more responsibility as far as how I represent the sport because I've always given 110% of myself. I continue to do just that.

Q: When are you making your pro debut?
A: My pro debut will be at the end of May at Toronto Pro.

Q: From Nationals, was there a specific area you wanted to improve?
A: I always want to make improvements to my physique. An area that I've worked the hardest to improve is my back. I continue to be a work in progress.

Q: Competing on a pro stage, do you expect to feel more nervous at all?
A: I expect there will be some nervousness competing on a pro stage as it's something I've never done before. Actually, I think there will always be some nervousness stepping onstage but I welcome that feeling. It will keep me on track

Q: As an amateur you competed at lightweight, do you feel adding more size is important for you on a pro stage?
A: As an amateur I competed at the METS at lightweight, I added size and competed at Nationals as a middleweight. I've also added a bit more in preparation for my pro debut. Ultimately, I would like to add around 10 more pounds to my weight at Nationals.

Q: Is the Olympia the goal, now that you have a pro card, is that the next challenge?
A: Yes, Olympia is the next challenge for me.

Q: Less and less of the local shows have bodybuilding for women, and when they do, there are not as many competitors, as a bodybuilder yourself, does that upset you?
A: Yes this is upsetting. When I began competing, my goal wasn't to be a bodybuilder, I wanted to compete in a smaller category. I feel my body led me down this path. Now I enjoy being a bodybuilder. It's hard to work so hard and have limited opportunities to display that hard work.
Q: Do you see any way to start getting more women to do bodybuilding?
A: I don't see a way to start getting more women competing as bodybuilders but I hope to see more do it, as well as more shows that include female bodybuilding.
Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: First of all I would like to thank you for this opportunity. I'd like to thank my amazing family and friends as well as my coach and my incredibly supportive teammates. Without the support of the people mentioned above, I would not have made it this far in this sport.

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