Sunday, February 28, 2010

Laura Marenco Interview

Want to know what dedications is? Dedication is doing a show and finishing 4th place, then having a baby and gaining 50lbs, then coming back to do the same show and finishing 1st place. That is what Laura Marenco did. Laura has a love for fitness and it comes across in her being a personal trainer, her wanting to help others achieve their fitness goals, her own competing, and her own hard work. Laura is a beautiful woman who we will hopefully soon be seeing doing fitness modeling work. The idea of a fitness model is to be fit, beautiful, and energetic, and Laura is all of these things and more. Laura is someone I have gotten to know and am so impressed and inspired by, and I know you will be too.

Q: First, Laura, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I am originally from El Salvador, I moved to the U.S. with my parents when I was a teenager. I am currently married (4 years now) and have a beautiful 19 month old son named Diego. Current city of residence is Carmel, Indiana.

Q: Before you started training, were you an athletic person? Play any sports?
A: I wasn't into sports growing up. I actually didn't get into the weight room in college. I was always on/off in shape. It wasn't until 2007 that I decided to enter my first NPC Figure competition, that I got really serious about fitness.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I got tired of being "chubby". I am one of those unfortunate individuals who tend to get fat quick if I don't watch my diet closely and quit working out.

A: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes actually, I never really had a trainer. I just learned through trial and error. I worked at a gym in my early twenties and I would get suggestions from co-workers and friends. But I loved lifting weights and getting a pump! I was able to get some good muscle about 10 years ago, but I wasn't able to lean down until I got ready to compete in 2007.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: That was one of the goals I had set for myself ever since I saw competitors onstage in 1998. I just knew that once I had a stable job and a stable relationship, I would be able to focus on my training and diet as necessary, so I did the first chance I had.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: Yes, my husband has always been supportive of all the decisions I make. He continues to be this way to this day.

Q: Was the first contest what you expected or did anything surprise you?
A: I wasn't really sure what to expect. I actually was overconfident at the time because I had never seen myself so lean before, but once I got to the day of competition I was blown away bu other competitors level of muscularity and leanness, so I now know better! LOL

Q: Can you share your contest history.
* 2007 NPC Indianapolis Championships- 4th place
* 2009 NPC Indianapolis Championships- 1st place

Q: What do you consider your best body part, or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: My shoulders and arms, they tend to stay pretty lean, even off season.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: Really like training abs, they seem to respond fairly quickly, as well as arms.

Q: When someone sees your figure for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I think I get mixed reactions a lot. Sometimes people seem to not know how to react, maybe because of where they find themselves fitness wise at that point in time. The less fit someone is, the more they seem to have a negative opinion.... I think sometimes it might be jealousy. But I try to make sure they know that I had to work really hard in order to achieve my level of fitness. That seems to work.LOL

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "do you get to eat???" I hate that comment! Especially around 4 to 6 weeks out from competing. I always tell them I eat all day! Which is the truth! HAHA

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Off season I try to eat clean 80% of the time and continue to work out at least 5 times a week, limiting my cardio to no ore than 30 minutes a session. During on season, I clean up my diet by allowing one or two cheat meals throughout the week, hit the gym 6 times a week, cardio 5 times a week. The closer I am to competing, the more cardio I try to get in. But I hate it! LOL

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Best part is the journey, how psyched I get about visualizing myself up on stage, getting the 1st place trophy, seeing how lean my body becomes every week and how I can see nice definition in my muscles. The bad part is post-competition week, I overeat!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pizza :-)

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Gina Aliotti is one of my favorites. She has accomplished so much at such a young age.

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: To be persistent and learn how to use visualization as a tool to achieve her goals.

Q: Now, you are also a Certified Personal Trainer, as well as teach Zumba and Group Fitness. What got you interested in training others?
A: I love training people! It gives me a great sense of accomplishment when I know that I can help someone change their lives by guiding them through a process I have been through so many times. I love to be able to bring out someones hidden potential and encourage them to never give up on their goals in any aspect of their lives.

Q: What is the biggest mistake you see people new to training make?
A: Bad form when lifting at the gym, and lack of consistency..... also, they think that by working out they will see results tomorrow and in the meantime they don't acknowledge that they are lacking the nutrition aspect.

Q: What are the benefits of being trained by Laura Marenco?
A: I give great attention to detail! Form is my biggest concern when I am training clients. I always make sure that they are using correct form at all times so that they can get the most out of their workout, efforts, money, and time! Plus, avoid any potential injuries. I also like to instruct clients with proper nutrition, necessary to achieve their fitness goals.

Q: If anyone wanted to find out more about your training or contact you about how, how can the do that?
A: They can visit my website at or simply send me an email at

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I like to play guitar and write and perform my own songs. I haven't been on stage for a while, but I continue to write and play at home. I also enjoy looking for healthy recipes and spending time with my son and family.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I was kind of chubby growing up! LOL

Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show, and musician?
A: Love Daniel Craig! I love comedies and action. Austin Powers is one of my favorite movies as well as Forgetting Sarah Marshall to name a few. My favorite musician is Chris Cornell without a doubt!

Q: Describe Laura Marenco in five words.
A: Giving, hard Worker, Dreamer, Positive, and Disciplined.

Q: Any set plans for 2010 as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes! I will compete at the Northern Kentucky this coming March. I am also working on a modeling portfolio, I would like to get into fitness modeling. I think it will happen! As well as getting first place in my class! :-)

Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: If you live in the Indianapolis area and want to get in the best shape of your life, call em! Whether you want to compete, lose the baby weight, or simply live a healthier life, I am your trainer!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they contact you and what are they getting in Laura Marenco the athlete and competitor?
A: I would like to share my story. I had my son in June 2008, I gained 50lbs with the pregnancy, came home after a c-section and the scale was still at 180lbs. As soon as I was able to start working out I got into it 100% and was able to lose 40lbs in 46 weeks. The following June (2009) I was again on stage, but this time I placed 1st in my class!!! I achieved this by great discipline, support from my family, and an array of different supplements I utilized in order to reach my goal. I am the perfect before/after picture of I LOST THE BABY WEIGHT! LOL. Some of these products are Redline, Princess and Meltdown by VPX, Lean Dessert Protein by BSN, Turbo Diet by ON, Muscle Milk Light by Cytosport, Hydroxycut Hardcore by Muscletech, Vitamins and herbs from GNC to name a few. I would love to get some work at the upcoming Arnold or any other big events, as well as some print work! :-)

Q: Laura, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Believe in yourself and follow your dreams! Don't allow those around you to bring you down!

A Note From IFBB Pro Colette Nelson

I am including with this Post a note from Colette Nelson. Colette, and krissy Chin had a great radio show that is no longer on. The fitness industry misses the show and these women and we need them back on. If anyone can help it is appreciated. The not I include from Colette will explain. If anyone can help or has ideas, please let me know. Email me at, and I will forward to Colette and her manager.

From Colette
Time to get you know, I had a highly successful radio show with Krissy Chin last year and it seems that a lot of people want us back! We are now looking into finding a host website and need help with sponsors and production. If anyone out there can make this dream a reality leave me a message and I will get back to you...

Becoming What You Love by Macey Leigh

"Things I’ve Loved Along The Away"
So I’ve been thinking about how you get back to where you want to be…after you haven’t been that for a little while. The same things would apply even if you’ve never been where you want, but you see it…you feel it. You know down deep it is who you will become. It is the very foundation of your being.
As I’ve been staring through the rear view mirror, I realize that I got where I wanted because of the things that I loved. It was the good things, the best things, my favorite things that got me through, that kept me going. The things I’ve loved along the way, have been people, places, things, feelings…they have been things that have given me a glimpse of my soul when I couldn’t feel it, couldn’t see it.
Living in gratitude for the things that you have done, places you have been, people that have touched your life is the very best way to reshape your attitude. When you shift your attention on things you love, you will begin to feel joy. Joyful feeling will bring the light out…the things that are behind you—the things that make the sparkle in your eyes.
So, my challenge to you is to start to relearn the person that’s behind your stare. Remember all the things in your life that you’ve loved along the way. Don’t just remember them. Instead, let them resurface, let them come alive. Let yourself feel again…because the things that you have loved along the way, have shaped you. They have given you the strength to be the person you are.
Stay strong, chin up,
Macey Leigh

Theresa Ivancik Photos

Theresa Ivancik Interview

I don't think I have come across to many people who love fitness as much as Theresa Ivancik. She has done it all at such a young age. Personal trainer, fitness model, Figure competitor, and this year moving to Bodybuilding. Just her words, as you read them, you can tell she lvoes training, and loves helping others with training. She is a beautiful woman with a long career ahead of her in the industry. It is my pleasure to present my interview with Theresa, and I am sure you will be as impressed as I am.

Q:First, Theresa, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: My name is Theresa im fron Butler PA i am 26 years old i grew up in PA all my life, my grandfather who is now 83 was the genitc side I took.! He still today works out as he did back in his days ... He is staking machines and looks amazing, we are trying to get him to do my frist bodybuilding show with me... I currently have been involved heavily in fitness ever since i was 18 years old.. I currently now own a personal training company with my boyfriend and are looking to buy a gym. We work out of two studios and have about 130 clients give or take... Very busy and becoming well known ... We are looking to start our own protien line as well as doing tv shows and fitness tapes.. I've competed in six different figure shows starting in 2007 this year 2010 will be my frist bodybuilding show i took 2009 off for we just got too busy! My family, I have one brother and one sister both younger then I am. My brother is in to fitnes as well as a hobbie not a sport.

Q: Before you started training, were you an espeically athletic person? Play any sports?
A: In school I didnt play any sports I was on the dance team and loved to exersice and stay active. Before I trained I acutally started off doing tae bo in my basement and I fell right into it ...I worked at a gym as a receptionist and would just do cardio, no weights until one day I decided I wanted to try to do a figure show ... and thats acutally how I found my boyfriend. I went to his gym not knowing who he was and wanted to train for a figure show ... I was very .. he told me I had to eat so I didnt want to work with him.LOL. So amazing seven years later we ran into each other again and me not knowing that he was after me for the whole time we finally got to gether and he helped me train. We've been together for almost 2 years now already and have acoomplished alot.

Q: What got you into the gym to begin with?
A: Just seeing the magazines and what girls could acutaly look like with a little bit of resistance training ... I loved the look on the females and thought it was awsome to make your body stand out above all the other women in the world was a feeling that made you feel different.

Q: Was weight trainign something you picked up fairl easy? How long before you saw real results?
A: I picked it up fairly easy I can say.... lol. I over trained.LOL. I loved it soo much. Every day I would train ... untill my body told me to slow down lol ... ummmm I acutally dont even remember I was fit from doing the cardio tapes at home so as soon as I added a lil protien to the diet I would say I changed pretty quick!

Q: What made you decide to compete?
A: The drive and the thrill of being on stage, the center of attention and the drive to hopefully one day be in a magazine that millions of people pick up! To be a great represenative for the fitness feild!

Q:Was comepting something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: At frist no my family didnt like the idea about puttin on muscle they thought I would look realy bad ... more like a man .. but now they support my sport and my passion for the competitng and the lifestyle change I have to live ! They acutaly follow off of me!

Q: Was the first contest what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: It was a small show to get my feet .... so i wasn't sure what to expect. I went alone and thought I did pretty well .... with not much compeititon I got first place so I still won! Each show you grow to learn more of the do's and the dont's.

Q: Now I understand you are moving from Figure to Bodybuilding? Why the switch?
A: The figure girls now have the look of being too thin. I figure if I'm going to lift I'm going to lift! I love the muscle look and looking more dominant!

Q: What do you consdier your best bodypart, or teh one that gets the most compliments?
A: My legs or my arms ...I love the question most people ask! LOL "Do you lift?".. I want to tell them "No I was born like that!"... Then the personal training conversation always comes around.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love doing shoulders ... I love the pump you get and the hardness you feel.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like?
A: When I bulk I eat somewhat bad, but not too bad more like poptarts and some candies and cookies and white carbs so I have something to cut for the compeition. Food calories are normally way up...then I clean it up for the show ... routine wise bulking I do less reps heavier weight three times a week and cardio two times ... when gettin ready to cut I'll do more reps and prob five days a week training with intervals ....

Q: When somone see's your physique for teh first time, what is teh most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: OMG, more positive then negative. I get attacked and drilled for questions and answers about fitness! And complimented all the time ! Its a great feeling to know your recongnized for such a great thing! ... I love it.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are sick of hearing?
A: "Do you lift?" ...or "How much can you bench?" ...two most rediculous questions ever lol .... or "what do I eat or how I train or make me look like that?"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders or teh thing you most wish people understood?
A: The true value and meaning of good health and diet to help benifit in the future and the drive and dedication that it takes to try to pursue in the career!

Q: Do you thnk muscualr women are more accepted by society today than five years ago?
A: Yes I do ... for more and more women are trying to get involved ...everything isn't just males anymore. The women are coming around to prove their points ! I feel we have alot more respect for the dedication we put in ..

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Definitley the dieting... other then that its fun... posing training is harder then anything though ... but other then that its a thrill and a drive of perfection.

Q: Do you ahve a favorite cheat food?
A: Ummm not really I tend to eat pretty clean most of the time besides rasionettes!

Q: Do you ahve any competitors you are a fan or or that you admire?
A: I love the way kristy Hawkins presents herself ....along with Jamie Eason.

Q: Now you are also a personal trainer. What got you interested in training others?
A: The drive to help others seek their goals and make the clients get the dreams body and goals they have always wanted ... I feel sometimes I get too involved in training my clients. I want the best for them and wont hesitate to go the extra mile for them ... to guide them in all the right directions.

Q:What is the benefit of being trained by Theresa Ivancik?
A: You get me LOL .... everything always a variety... always guidence and most importantly making it fun for them... I will tell you right now all my clients will never miss a session! They always feel so good when they are done! It's more of a one on one relationship I have with my clients 100%.

Q: If someone wanted to talk to you about possibly training, how can they contact you?
A: Through phone or email ... or even my myspace .. my business cards have it all writtin on them. I always get back to you the same day!

Q: What is the biggest mistake you see people new to training make?
A: The diet most of all and the many people over training!

Q: You ahve also done some modeling. Is that something you still do and what do you enjoy about doing that?
A: I don't currently model although I would still love to. Just been focusing on bodybuilding this past year and have been at a bulk state but now that I'm dieting down I'll be doing some shoots before the show! I love the modeling side of bodybuilding and figure ! It's a wonderful feeling to see the final product ! In modeling I always make sure not to let the photographer photo shop my pictures for I want it to be the real me when people see my pictures.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I cant say that I have any other activites besides family ... training is my life ....but I try to keep hold of the love ones as well and spend as much time as I can with them for life is too short.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Theresa Ivancik.
A: Yes in three words LOL. Eat .....Sleep ....Train....

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Pretty much everyone knows everything about me.... I'm a very personal person and love to meet new pople and try new things ... You live one time so live life to the fullest!

Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show, and musician?
A: Ummm hard to say I dont watch tv. If I do its Family Guy ..LOL sad to say ... Music I listen to all pop music ...alternative ... anything but contry ...but tv wise never get the time to watch anything!

Q: Describe Theresa Ivancik in five words.
A: Fun, Loving, Outgoing Goal Driven, and Independant.

Q: Any set plans for 2010 as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes to make this my year to become Pro and be seen and become a very sucessful fitness model

Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I look forward to meeting many new people and helping many more suceed in all the goals! Help guide everyone in the right direction.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they contact you and what are they getting in Theresa Ivancik the athlete and comeptitor?
A: Yes in fact I am ... Thats my main focus is to find sponsors to help me in my fitness journey.... They can contact me through email phone or my

Q: Theresa I want to thank you again for taking the time to do this. ANy ast words before you go?
A: Thank you for giving me the oppertunity to do this for you and I appreciate your intrest in all the questions on the finess industry .... Anything I can do to help anyone it would be my pleasure!
Stay fit .....stay motivated and make it fun ! In the words of our HPT Harlans Persoanl Training company we Change lives one Rep at a Time!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jodie Preston Interview

The first time I talked to Jodie Preston, was asking her advice. She didn't know me at all, yet still took the time to help me out. That is the kind of woman Jodie is. Not only is Jodie beautiful, not only is Jodie a super sweet woman, but simply put, Jodie is everything that is right about fitness. Jodie returned to the stage in 2009 after 23 years, and looked better than women who were not even alive the last time she was on stage. Jodie is the kind of woman you have to root for to be a success, and she has been a success and will continue to be a success. She trains as hard as anyone, and looks as good as anyone. If you do not know Jodie, take the time to get to know her, you will be impressed and inspired.

Q: Jodie, thanks for doing this. As someone I really respect and admire, this is an honor for me.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: My name is Jodie Preston. I was raised in Riverside, California and lived there for 36 years before moving to Newport Beach, California after my divorce. I have been in fitness since the 80's. In bodybuilding it's safe to say I have at least 24 years under my belt.

Q: How many show have you done and what was your placing?
A: Well in the 80's Fitness wasn't around yet, it was all bodybuilding. I competed in around 8 shows, my placings from 83-87 were as follows:
*Golden Empire- 2nd
*Inland Empire- 2nd Individual and 1st in Couples with Troy Zuccolotto
*Jr. Cal.- 2nd Individual and 2nd in Couples with Troy Zuccolotto
*Grand Prix- 5th
*Southern California Championships- 1st
*Pacific USA- 1st
*California Championships- 1st
*Nationals- (did not place top 5)

Q: What first inspired you to get in the gym and do weight training?
A: My ex-husband loved bodybuilding. He brought home a muscle magazine with Lisa Lyon in it. She was one of the first women bodybuilders. I remember thinking OMG, this girl has the most flawless PERFECT body I have ever seen. I had never seen ANYTHING like it in a bikini. She was like a statue someone carved to be the standard of what the female form should look like.

Q: What was your family and friends thoughts at the time? Did they support it then, and how about now?
A: No one supported it at first.LOL. Back then only MEN went to gyms. Women went to "Figure salons" or Health Clubs. And even then, the health clubs were segregated into two sections, Men's and Women's. OR they would have alternate days for Men and Women. Everyone who in the beginning did not support me have now realized that it has rewarded me with the body of someone 25 years younger.

Q: What do you feel is your best body part, or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: Best body part used to be abs, but after 2 hernia surgeries, I have slacked on them. Now I would say it has to be my delts, and arms.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: Favorite body par to train is shoulders, but lately I have been getting into legs. Legs are my focus this year.

Q: Do you prefer to train solo, or with a partner, and why?
A: I prefer to train solo. I have more focus and it doesn't take as long.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how does it change for contest prep?
A: I train 6 days on and 1 day off all season. Cardio once a day. My diet is pretty clean other than I have a sweet tooth. Contest prep, I am very disciplined. I amp up the cardio just a bit, but make sure to always do ESC (Empty Stomach Cardio) for maximum fat burning.

Q: Is there anything people do at the gym that really annoys you?
A: Biggest pet peeve in the gym are guys who leave the leg press stacked to the hilt with 45lb plates. I can lift them off, but the time it takes is disrespectful of my time and my sets.

Q: When people see your physique for the first time, what is the most common reaction? Is it more positive or negative?
A: I get a lot of stares and whispers. I am sure they are not all positive. But the compliments make up for it. Guys usually remark on my cannonballs or guns, and girls always want to know how to get arms like mine.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question you are most sick of hearing?
A: Most annoying question HAS to be "How much do you bench?"LOL

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women whoa re into bodybuilding and fitness?
A: Most women are so afraid to train with weights for fear of getting too muscular or big. They have no idea how far from reality that is. It doesn't happen overnight. And a woman doesn't have the capability of getting big.

Q: Do you have anyone in the sport you admire or are a fan of?
A: Right now there are so many incredible women. my preference is a little more muscle than FIGURE and a little less than BODYBUILDING. Ava Cowan has my favorite abs, they are off the chart. But overall I would say Monica Brandt is MY ideal. She is SPECTACULAR.

Q: You have given me some great advice before. If someone came up to you and said they were going to start serious weight training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give them?
A: I would say train heavy or go home.LOL. Just kidding. I would say "Think of your body as a piece of clay. You are the artist. You can sculpt that body into the shape and form of your desire. When you enter the gym, don't just go through the motions just to get it done. Focus on the body part you are working. VISUALIZE what you want it to look like. Take that weight and give full attention to your form and execution of the exercise."

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pumpkin Cheesecake, cookies, pies, chocolate..... you get the picture :-).

Q: Any hobbies or activities you enjoy outside of training?
A: I taught ballroom dancing when I was in my 20's. I am still in love with Latin Ballroom dancing, and of course like any woman, shopping, shoes,and handbags. I love theater and live shows.

Q: Describe a typical day in the life of Jodie Preston.
A: Typical weekday is very routine. Alarm goes off at 3:30am. I shower, get ready, make breakfast, and head off to the gym by 5am. Workout until 6:45am, then off to work until 4pm. Then I usually have a couple of Airbrush tans to do if there are appointments. That is a side business of mine. After that, it's home to do cardio (I have gym equipment at the house), then relax with the family and my 2 dogs, make my lunch for the next day, where it starts all over again.

Q: Any favorite actors, movies, TV shows, or musicians?
A: Actors- George Clooney and Johnny Depp. TV shows- Seinfeld and Two and a Half Men. Musicians- That's a tough one. I like so many, and my taste is all over the map!

Q: Describe Jodie Preston in five words?
A: Cheerful, Good Natured, Focused, Self Critical, and Tolerant.

Q: Do you have anything going on you want to plug or promote?
A: I would say my side job Airbrushing. I only wish I had more time to devote to it.

Q: Do you plan to compete in 2010? If so , are you looking for sponsors, and how can they contact you?
A: 2009 was my first time back on stage in 23 years, in a new arena, "FIGURE". What I realized was how much I love being on stage, and love the whole process of contest prep. It's amazing to see what the body is capable of.
I would of course love sponsorship. I feel I am an excellent example to women not only in their 40's and 50's, but also younger women too. I am proof that life doesn't stop at 30. Training is my passion, weight training will positively reward you. You can keep your beauty and your body with healthy eating and weight training. I would love to show them that they don't have to FEAR the bikini. I LOVE BATHING SUIT SHOPPING MORE NOW THAN EVER !!!! In fact, most women my age, in this sport are more beautiful now than they were in their 20's. Weight training is the "FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH". It is never too late to pick up that weight. You can contact me at or from my FACEBOOK page.

Q: Jodie, thank you for doing this. I have told you the admiration I have for you. You have given me some great advice. You are everything that is right about the sport. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you Jason for this opportunity that you are giving to all of us out here in this incredible sport. You are allowing us to expose the truths and dispel the myths, and for that we are all grateful.

Jodie Preston

Michelle Russell Interview

I started this blog to help promote women in Bodybuilding, Fitness, and MMA. Get them some attention, attention they deserve. Michelle Russell is one woman who REALLY deserves some. Michelle is someone I respect so much, and am honored to have become friends with. She is an amazing and special woman. Michelle has give me some bodybuilding tips, and I know when i ask her, I am getting a good answer. Not only is Michelle beautiful, not only does Michelle have an amazing physique (highlighted by great biceps with incredible peaks), but Michelle is a sweet and kind woman. It is obvious from my words I am very fond of her. I think there are very few in the sport that can match her beauty, and very few who can match her physique. You can stare at those amazing arms, but take the time to look, and you can see the rest of the physique is incredibly impressive to. And like I said, Michelle is also one of the nicest people I know. One thing I like, is look at her stage photos, she always seems to have a smile on her face and enjoys what she is doing, evident by her wining Best Poser at both her competitions. Michelle is someone who as long as she stays with it, has everything it takes to be a very big name in bodybuilding. This is Michelle's first interview, and I am honored that I got to do it, but I can promise it won't be her last.

Q: First, Michelle, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. As you know I am a big admirer of yours.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I was born and raised in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada. Live out West in British Columbia for 5 years and recently moved back to Ontario.

Q: Before bodybuilding, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: Sure was.I was a rower for 6 years, winning gold medals at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in 1997, and Canada Cup 1997. I won over 80 gold medals in the 6 years, as well as travelling through the U.S. and Europe.
I was also on my high school ski team and was the Niagara Region over-all winner for down hill snowboarding.
Played field hockey for the Niagara Region team, 3 years of kickboxing, and I love outdoor sports.

Q: What initially led you into the gym, and was bodybuilding the goal from day one?
A: Rowing got me into the gym when I was 15. I was always interested in weights and used to workout with my older brother and his friends. I remember seeing one girl in the gym that was a bodybuilder and always though it would be amazing to look like that.

Q: Was weight training something you picked up fairly easy? How soon before you started to see results?
A: Weight training has always been easy for me. I started when I was 15, so it's hard to look back and remember when I saw results.

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete?
A: I decided to do a show in February 2007 and walked on stage November 2007 for my first show.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: My family supported it right from the start. I have lost many friends since I started bodybuilding. I find for the most part, people don't understand "bodybuilding".

Q: Was the first show what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: I had a great time at my first show. I didn't really know what to expect, so I took it in stride.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
2007- Sandra Wickham Fall Classic- 3rd place and Best Poser
2009- BC Provincials- 3rd place and Best Poser

Q: I would put your biceps up against anyone's. To you, what is your best body part or the ones that gets the most compliments?
A: Of course my arms would be number one. I love my peaks. A lot of people compliments my shoulders and traps, and of course my butt.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love training legs, but have a real hard time with leg days. I'd say back is one of my stronger training days.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I hope to get some help with that this year. I've been doing all my own diet and training and I think for myself, it's time to get myself a solid coach.

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: A fair bit of positive. Some people have nasty things to say, but I brush it off. I find most people are intimidated by my physique.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Wow, how much do you bench?" Soooo sick of hearing that one.LOL

Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders, or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I find a lot of people ( especially guys) always say "I can't picture you in a dress." I'm still a girl, I wear heels, and VERY short shirts. Just cause I am built, does not make me any less of a woman than any other woman out there. I'm probably more "girlie" than anyone can imagine.

Q: Do you feel muscular women are more or less accepted by society today then five years ago?
A: I think it is becoming more and more accepted.

Q: Someone says "Women should not be that muscular." How do you respond?
A: I'm not sure I should write down what I usually say.

Q: I started this blog because of how unfair it is that the men in the sport seem to get so much more credit and coverage than the women. Do you ever see that changing, and what would it take?
A: Yes, that is very true. Unfortunately at this point in time, that is the way it is. I'm sure over time it will change.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pizza. I love sweets, I have a major sweet tooth.

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start bodybuilding, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: It will change your life. It will make you a stronger person inside and out on so many different levels.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I am very artistic. Love outdoor sports, beach, rollerblading, fishing, weekend get-a-ways.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Michelle Russell.
A: My life is pretty low key. I get up, make my meals, go to work, hit the gym, come home and putt around the house. I like to spend my weekends catching up with friends or relaxing.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I like very girlie things and love to fuss over people. I am really affectionate.

Q: Any favorite actors or movies, or music?
A: OMG the Rock is SO hot!! He's Just no Into You is a good movie. Music, I listen to all kinds of stuff.

Q: Any set plans coming up as far as competing or anything?
A: I have Ontario Provincials coming up, but I'm thinking about going another route.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can the contact you?
A: Any help from a sponsor would be awesome. I can be reached on Facebook or my email at

Q: Again, Michelle, it has been an honor to have you do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you for asking me to do this interview. It's the first one I have ever done. :-) I hope everyone enjoys.

Brains & Biceps

Brains & Biceps

A Weekly Column By Laura Kline, BSN-RN and future NPC Figure Competitor

Ready, Set GO GO GO!!!!

So Jason recently told me that there were a couple questions that some readers wanted answered. Sorry it has taken me so long to get to them, this little lady has been busy!!

The first one is how did I know I was ready to compete? Hmm.. Well I wanted to compete last year as soon as I discovered figure competitions but I knew that was impossible because I needed more muscle. So then when I got started on lifting heavier I discovered I was doing too much cardio and not gaining as much as I could. THEN (this was a couple months later) I was focusing solely on lifting and not on cardio. It was then that I knew I was not going to compete last year but that 2010 would be my year! I was totally excited about this too because I would be 25 years old and as silly as it sounds I always wanted to be 25 when I was a little girl. There was something so glamorous about the age to me, again I have no idea why, so getting to compete during my 25th year of life definitely feels right, as if it was my ‘fate’ to compete this year… Haha! In all honesty I could use more musculature I personally think but so far as the fat is disappearing what I am seeing is good J

If you are someone who is interested in competing my personal advice is to find yourself a really good coach and let them make the decision as to whether or not you’re ready. When I met with my coach we decided to spend some more time putting on muscle before my knock down drag out prep began. It is extremely extremely extremely important to know that what works for one person may not work for you! Everybody is different and so each and every one of us may need something different. Yet another reason why finding a coach is a very good idea. I learned as much as I could on the topic and this is also very important to one’s success. Research your brains out! Know what is going on in the industry and who is winning because that will help you know what you are going to strive for.

The second question I have been asked is; what body parts were my easiest and hardest to see progress with. I have always had strong legs so as far as strength gains go these are my easiest, but they are not the first to lean out. Actually, my glutes and legs will probably be one of the last things to lean out but they are strong little suckers. My shoulders were probably the hardest to see progress with because I had NONE!! I have trained my shoulders two times a week for quite some time now and it took a long time for me to see them. Once I started adding in cardio though and the fat started to come off I really started to see them and each week that goes by they look better and better. Again, everybody is different! There are some girls who have leaner legs or girls that don’t store as much fat in their hips. Some girls have ghetto booty’s, some girls don’t!!! You have to accept your body for what it is and make it the best that you can.

I can not even begin to count how many times I have been told NOT TO COMPARE MYSELF WITH ANYONE ELSE! Do NOT do this! You will only drive yourself mad and you will feel disappointed. It is ME against ME in this sport. Everyday that I do my cardio or lift my weights I am only looking at myself in the mirror or keeping my eyes focused on my magazine telling myself “keep on pushing, keep on pushing, win win win!!” I hope whomever reads this applies it to their life and takes it with them through their career.

“A competitive world offers two possibilities. You can lose. Or, if you want to win, you can change"

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Trials and Tribulations of My First Figure Show by Lindsey McFerran

The O' Shit Experience Part 1

Hello fellow blog readers,
It's me again, Lindsey, and this time, like I promised in my last blog, I am going to tell you a tale about my first Figure show experience. This will be especially valuable to those first time competitors or you VETERANS can relate with me about your experiences, or just laugh your ass off at mine.

So here it goes. My first show, where to begin. I guess I will start in the beginning. So, like maybe a 4 days before the actual show. That is when the workouts stop and basically all you do is the girly things (something that is not really my thing), like get your nails done, work on your posing, and get everything ready for the BIG day. Because, let me tell you, it is a BIG DAY. I could hardly sleep in those last 4 days, waking up in the middle of the night because I was so nervous and excited at the same time.

But on another note, my co-workers loved me in the week leading up to the show. Why you ask? Because I was ALLOWED TO EAT CARBOHYDRATES, so my sparkling personality was beginning to come back. After going extremely low carb for about 16 weeks, that 1/4 cup of oats tasted like a LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN.

So fast forward to about 2 days before the show, this is when the dreaded DEHYDRATION BEGINS. My trainer cut my water to about 1/2 gallon a day. I went from drinking as much H2O as I wanted to about 1/2 gallon and let me tell you, I felt like I was on an episode of Survivor, but the only good thing about this was that I was not peeing every 5 minutes.LOL

So now I am carbed up and water depleted, I am ready to hit the stage. Not just yet, there is one more thing I need, fellow bloggers can you guess it? YES, I NEED COLOR, a fancy name for being tan. And not just "I came back from Hawaii on vacation tan." I need to be BLACK so that I can be seen on stage under all those bright lights. I will tell you one thing I learned from my first show, YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO TAN. So to all you first time competitors out there, keep this little fact in mind.

OK, now I am tan, but not tan enough as I come to realize. But it is the morning of the show and about 2 hours till pre-judging will take place. So I get in the Casino where the show was being held (and no, I was not able to hit the slot machines before I hit the stage if any of you were wondering). I go backstage to start getting ready and what do I see? A SEA OF WOMEN. Well for someone who is into girls, if you know what I mean, this is a dream come true. So what is the first thing I do, work on my pimp game of course. Just kidding folks, well half kidding. No, actually I was trying to scope the scene, take everything in. Since it was my first show, I was like a little kid the first time parents take them to Disney Land. I was hanging out backstage with all the competitors and getting ready for my debut on the stage.

20 minutes before my class was set to hit the stage, I started pumping up, applying the bikini bites, which prevents me from having a thong on stage, because it keeps the suit from riding up and applied to my oil.

So now I am tan, pumped up, glued into my suit and lubed up, I am ready to rock n rolls. What happens next >>>> Guess you will have to stay tuned.

Keep training hard and your eye on the prize. AYO AYO AYO ladies and Gentleman.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sarah Barrick Interview

Sarah Barrick is someone I have gotten to know a little about. Sarah is what Fitness is all about. Some people you know will be a success, some people you want to be a success, and some people you root for to be a success. Sarah is all three. She has an obvious love for training and it comes across in her words. She is also a fun and kind woman. She hasn't been competing long, but is already making a name for herself, and it is a name you will be hearing more and more. She has a great physique, is very beautiful, and is destined to be a top woman in this sport for a long long time.

Q: First, Sarah, I want to thank you for taking the time out to do this.
A: Well, thank you for allowing me the opportunity. I'm excited about this!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: Alrighty, well, first I am 21, I'll be turning 22 in April. I was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas. It's a smaller city, where everyone knows each other... I currently live in Albuquerque, New Mexico with my boyfriend of 5 years. We moved to New Mexico so he could join the police force. Back in Lubbock, there were only a few gyms to go to, but they are really nice and I miss them and the people so much! I will be going to college in the fall for Health Education.

Q: Before you started training, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: Well, I have played one sport or another since I was four years old. Started out with gymnastics, soccer and T-Ball. Then, when I was 12, I tried out for a Junior Olympic volleyball team. I made the team, and our club team stayed together through out high school volleyball. After my sophomore year, I took up competitive kickboxing. So yeah, haha, I've been doing something my whole life. :)

Q:What initially led you into the gym?
A: In junior high, we lifted weights, nothing really serious, but I noticed I was always one of the stronger girls out of the whole class. It motivated me to keep lifting, but I didn't really get into it seriously until I started kickboxing. In kickboxing, you had to be quick, but strong, so lifting was a must as well as condition. While in kickboxing, I met an amazing figure competitor, and she got me started into the sport.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes, I picked training up pretty quickly just because of my athletic background and habits. I really started seeing results when I kept a close eye on my nutrition and in about 1-2 months I could already see differences in my physique. I was little, but I was getting leaner and putting on some good lean muscle.

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and what made you decide to compete?
A: As I mentioned earlier, athletics and being in the gym was something I've been doing for most of my life. It wasn't until I met a national figure competitor during a kickboxing class that I knew exactly what physique I wanted to achieve and I wanted to see if I could push my body to that level. As soon as I saw her physique, I knew I wanted to try to compete and just ran with it and never looked back. I'm still pushing harder and harder every day; it's a lifestyle!

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: At the time, my family didn't know much about the world of bodybuilding. The more I complained about the diet and the workouts the more they questioned why I was even going through it. But I suppose after hearing all the horror stories from kickboxing sparring sessions and cardio, they knew if I wanted to do something I may complain now, but I would be very satisfied with it later on. Now my family couldn't be more proud. They like knowing I'm doing something that I am passionate about, and not to mention it's healthy!

Q: Was the first contest what you expected or did anything surprise you?
A: My first contest was the Mid USA / New Mexico State. I had no clue what to expect, other than what my trainers told me at the time. They helped me a lot with the reparation and backstage chaos. Getting on stage for the first time, I am pretty sure there's no way to prepare for that feeling and nervousness. Your adrenaline is pumping and your heart is going crazy. I think I remember freaking out because my cheeks started shaking, I wasn't used to smiling so big for so long. Haha

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Sure thing! My first show was the Mid USA / New Mexico State which I placed 1st in my classes in both shows. My second show was the NPC West Texas Classic- This one was a National Qualifier and I got 1st place in my class. My third show was the NPC Los Angeles Body Building & Figure Championships- I placed 5th in the tallest class.

Q: What do you consider your best body part or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: I think I like my arms and shoulders the most, but my legs get a lot of attention. When I am show ready, they are pretty sliced-and-diced not to mention BIG. For my height (5'9.5") legs are hard to make look as big as my upper body because they are so long. I give a lot of credit to my volleyball past for my wider quad sweep.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love training everything.. I often complain the days that I have to take off. But if I had to pick one, I'd say legs. I am fairly new to the thought of having a complete physique, so I like to make sure that my hams, quads, and glutes are all up to par with everything else.

Q: What is your normal training routine like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My training routines are pretty much similar all year round. Always heavier, and make it burn. Controlled negatives and mind muscle connection are important to me. I usually alter my nutrition and cardio routines for off season vs. prep. With that being said, like always, if I have more food to work with, I train heavier.

Q: When someone sees or hears you train and compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I am pretty sure 98% of the time, people's reactions are positive. Every now and then I'll come across a girl, in my line of work, that thinks it's not feminine to be more muscular. Or people that say they could never eat the way we eat, etc. I try to educate them, and they usually come around.

Q: When they see or hear it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Haha- That would be, "What do you eat?" or "Why?". I end up telling them I actually eat a lot, just frequently! And when they ask "Why?", sometimes I just want to say, "Why not!?" But I tell them it's the challenge and the healthier lifestyle I enjoy following.

Q: You actually have great muscle already. Is moving from Figure to bodybuilding something you have or would consider?
Believe it or not, that was almost one of my answers for the previous question. Haha, But no, I don't have any intentions of going into bodybuilding. I know a few female bodybuilders, that are shorter than me of course, and I know what kind of weight and muscle I'd have to pack on to look proportional. I currently go on stage about 145-150lbs at 7%, so for bodybuilding I'd have to step on stage about 170-180lbs about 4%. I find the seemingly limitless potential of the human body fascinating, but I really enjoy keeping my feminine look, but also being hardcore with it; like being ripped, but still very sleek and sexy.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Well, there are a few that used to bug me when I first started. Things like we are all self-centered, drama queens. Although there are times when I am very hungry and I know I still have another session of cardio that night and I easily get a little grouchy, but I don't let it bother me too much. Also, another would be, "competitors don't do anything but eat sleep and workout." That's totally not true, most of us have careers or are in school. We've just perfected the whole time-management thing, we're good at it because we have to be.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best thing about competing would be seeing your body transform and seeing what you can accomplish with your physique. For me being only 22, and only been training for Figure exclusively for 1 and a half years, I have changed so much. I find it very interesting. I call it my life science project. Nothing about competing is really THAT bad, but definitely the amount of cardio while hungry and sore is really hard to get through. It definitely takes a mentally strong person to get through it.

Q; Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Yup- For my last show, the LA Figure Championships, every Sunday after posing practice I got a cheat meal. And every Sunday I'd go to Coldstone Ice Cream and get something really yummy. By the time I was 2 weeks out, the crew that worked there knew pretty much what I wanted and would already have it being worked on when I walked in. It was really funny and cool. They are awesome.

Q: Are there any other competitors you are a fan of or admire?
A: Oh man, there are quite a few, but there's only a certain couple that I follow and are totally inspirations to me. That'd be Erin Stern, Mary Elizabeth Lado and Valerie Waugaman. I haven't seen Mary or Valerie in the circuit lately, but their attitude and philosophies about training are something I really admire. And Erin's physique is really amazing, it inspires me!

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: I would tell her to just do her thing. If she's got a trainer, do what they say, don't let it get too complicated. It's supposed to be a fun journey, so HAVE FUN! Don't skip out on any cardio or one rep...Every rep counts.

Q: Outside of training, and other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I like to play video games, I enjoy cooking, and I like to paint, draw, or do some photography. Oh duh, hanging out with my pups and my boyfriend and watch some movies!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Sarah Barrick.
A: Let's see here... I wake up and eat my first meal and get my things ready for the gym. Head off to the gym train and cardio with a purpose! After the gym, I usually go grocery shopping if I'm running low on food or other stuff. Once home I eat again, do some laundry, dishes whatever needs to be done around the house, pack my meals for the day. Then I head off to work at Max Muscle Sports Nutrition until about 8:00PM. Right after work, I hit the gym a second time for some more cardio and tanning. Eat a meal on the way home, shower, prepare more food for the next day, and chill out on the couch. Certain days I'll practice posing or something like that too.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Usually when I first meet people in real life, they are surprised to know that I'm only 21. The level of determination and discipline isn't found in a lot of younger people. But I don't think much about it, I just do what I think is fun and stay happy with it. Also, I am a little nerdy. I like video games and in school I was kinda one of the class nerds. Really interested in science especially in the area of Atmospheric Science. In my early years of high school I interned at Texas Tech University's Atmospheric Science Department while juggling all sorts of sports and activities. I love storm chasing, it's totally exhilarating and fun. Oh- and I'm really goofy, always saying something funny, having a good time at the gym. Sometimes I am really blonde....Uh-oh... Blonde moment! AH

Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show,and musician?
A: Hmm... Favorite actor: Michelle Rodriguez. Favorite Movie: Pursuit of Happiness or Twister. Favorite TV Show: Biggest Loser or The Soup. Favorite Musician: I really like all kinds of stuff, but I like what gets me moving in the gym, so either Black Eyed Peas or Lil' Kim.

Q: Describe Sarah Barrick in five words.
A: Fun! Silly! Determined! Persistent! Goofy!

Q: Any set plans for the future as far as competing or anything else?
A: This year I want to compete in a national show for the first time. I believe my physique is right there, so it's just getting a new suit and coming in just a tad harder. I also want to finish up my degree to teach Health to 9th graders.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: My wonderful trainers near and far! Mike Davies- Fitness Factory ( and Jojo Ntiforo ( They believed in me when most people didn't and have taken me to new and higher levels of fitness. I've learned a lot with them, and I am totally grateful. They are the best!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they contact you and what are they getting in Sarah Barrick the athlete and competitor?
A: I am actually in dire need of sponsors... haha! They'd be getting a hard-working, determined, young'n with a lot of potential for the future in figure as well as the fitness modeling world. I'm laid back and willing to have a lot of fun! I want to inspire other young girls to make the time to get in incredible shape now! My e-mail address is I check it constantly as I get e-mail on my phone.

Q: Again, Sarah I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to tell a little bit about myself. What you're doing for competitors is totally awesome! And I just want to tell any woman reading this that may be thinking about competing, to GO FOR IT! You'll never know how easy or hard it may be until you try. You'll have fun, I promise. ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lindsey's in DA House

What's up fellow blog readers.
My name is Lindsey and this is my first column. But before I start I want to thank Jason for giving me the opportunity to write this column. That being said, lets get started. Like I said, my name is Lindsey. I am 23 years old and a recent college graduate. I am a college basketball player turned Figure competitor. I have done two shows and right now, I am getting ready to compete again in July, so right now I am trying to add a little bit of SIZE. YES, I know radical thought for a WOMAN trying to add size. But I am attempting to do it with as clean a diet as possible.

I am not like some of those bodybuilders as well as Figure competitors that go off the deep end. And when I say DEEP END, I mean adding a ton of extra body fat in the off-season and use the excuse I AM BULKING SO IT IS ALIRGHT. NO WAY JOSE. That does not fly with me. i still like to look at my stomach in the mirror and SEE A SIX-PACK. I mean, you work your ass off dieting and training, why would you want to just add a ton of unnecessary body fat. Don't get me wrong, I know when you are trying to add muscle some of it is going to be fat, that is just FACT. But you can help minimize fat gains by doing some things. Like........ what I do, which is.........
* Maintaining a clean diet- So my diet does not consist of McDonalds Big macs like a lot of Americans.
* Do some form of cardio- And when I do cardio, I am not able to text or read a newspaper like a lot of the people I see at the gym. It still baffles me how people are able to text or talk on the phone while doing the stari master. If I tried to do that I would definitely fall on my ass. But more power to some of my competitors (who shall remain namesless) who can do a good cardio session and text at the same time.

SO that is where I am with my training. I am out, next time I will tell you about my first show experience. So for all you first time competitors, stay tuned.

Ayo Ayo Ayo Ladies and Gentleman. Keep training hard and your eye on the PRIZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fitness and Friends by Jenny Phantharath

Fitness and Friends

I decided to write about the subject fitness and friends because I believe those two come in hand while you are getting ready for a competition or just simply trying to lead a healthier lifestyle.

I am writing this blog from personal experience, as I draw closer to my second competition and finding it more difficult to be part of a social circle so I can avoid the alcohol, and the foods which are not part of my diet, but luckily I have a great support team.

As my adventure began into the world of fitness and bikini, I have my boyfriends, and friends, Stacy Alway, Mari Lara, and Ashley McTucker. All of these people contribute to my healthy lifestyle and success in many different ways.

Stacy is a hard working mom of two kids, owns her own bagel shop, and is ten years older than me. She has been pushing me hard mentally and physically when i wanted to give up. She was the one pushing me on stage and I thank her for that.

My best friend and sister I call her, is Mari. She is one of the most unselfish people I know. I will wake up at 3am to drive an hour just to work out with her, because I love being around her. She has lots of positive energy. She supports me and we never get jealous of each other. We incorporate each other with any new details of diets, training, modeling, etc..... We love to see each other succeed. I could never ask for a better friend. Plus she does my hair and make-up backstage.

Then there is my friend Ashley. We have a long history with each other. I was the skinny tooth pick girl and Ashley was a little heavier in high school. We would spend our spare time eating out of her mom's refrig. 24/7. It wasn't until a couple of months ago we got back into contact after high school. Now we are health nuts together. Ashley texts me at 4:30am every morning to wake me up and encourage me, does anyone have a friend that does that? Ashley is inspiring to em because she has turned her life around completely, and she is beautiful inside and out.

Lastly is my soul mate Will, we have been together over six years and we are closer than ever because of "our" new passion for a healthier lifestyle. We support each other every way we can by making our weeks meals together, he trains me on legs, makes sure I measure my food, and workds extra hard so I can have the best trainer, and food possible.

I hope everyone is as lucky as I am to ahve a great support team. It is one of the most important things o ahve, because we all fall and we need great people to help pick us up.

If you need a little encoruagement or motivation please feel free to follow myself and friends on Facebook.

Competitors Edge

A Weekly Blog By Nationally Ranked Bikini Competitor Vanessa Prebyl

Hello to all!!! I am now 7 weeks out from my competition and I am already starting to get "creative" with my meals. As many of you already know, flavor is one of teh key components to keeping cravingss away and increasing the satsifaction of your meals. I would like to share with you this week an AMAZING dish my husband made for me.

* 2 sprays of PAM
* 3 TBS. Lemon Juice
* 1 TBS. Jim Beam BBQ Sauce
* 1/4 of a Red Onion (diced)
* 5 Sun Dried Tomatoes (halves sliced)
* 1/2 Cup Brown Rice (cooked/steamed)
* 4 oz. Turkey (chopped)
* 1 cup Greens (chopped) (any steamed greens you would like, asparagus/broccoli)

In a glass baking dish, fill bottom with lemon juice, place turkey breasts in dish, sprinkle with garlic pwder and pepper. Cover baking dish with foil and put in the oven for 35 minutes at 375*. Let turkey cool and slcie thinly.

In a large pan, spray 2 sprays of PAM and combine lemon juice and BBQ sauce. Once the sauce is warmed over low heat, add brown rice, chopped red onion, sliced tomatoes, and cooked turkey. When all teh ingredients are hot; lunch is served. I lvoe to eat mine with chop sticks!! It makes me feel like it is a cheat meal :-)

You can change the amounts based on your own nutritional needs. My nutritionist has recommended that I eat for lunch, 4 oz. tirkey, 1/2 cup brown rice, and 1 cup asparagus.

If you have any additional questions feel free to psot a comment on this blog. Also, if you would like to ask a question and don't want to ask it in a blog setting, feel free to email me at

Quote of the week:
Don't count the days, make the days count"
Muhammad Ali

Talk to you all next week!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lindsey McFerran Interview

Lindsey McFerran is a woman who i just a short time has become one of my favorite people not just in fitness, but anywhere. I came across her because of another interview I did, and at first glance, like anyone who sees her, found her to be stunningly beautiful. Then I got to know her. Talk about impressed! How impressed? Never have I ever asked anyone to write a weekly column so shortly after meeting them. I am so honored that she said yes, and so Lindsey will begin writing weekly for this blog, and no doubt you will love it. An athlete all her life, Lindsey has used that to begin competing in Figure. She is young, looks amazing, and has all the time in the world to achieve her goal, which I believe she will achieve, the coveted Pro card. SO here is a great interview with a great woman.

Q: First, Lindsey, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Hey Jason,
Actually, I want to thank you for having me. It is my pleasure. Also, I want to say good luck to you in your journey. Once you reach you training goals you will see that all the cardio and weight sessions were well worth it.

Q: Can you start by by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: Sure, I would love to talk about myself. Well, I am a Washington native, born and raised. I just moved back here because I spent 4 years in California attending the University of Redlands. So I am still trying to get used to the weather change again. My dad says that the four years down at college made my blood thinner.LOL

Q: Before the gym, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: Yes, I was definitely a very athletic person before the gym. I was not gifted with musical talent or a lot of book smarts. But I was definitely good at sports when I was growing up. Growing up I played soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball, and was a pretty good skier.

Q: What initially led you to the gym?
A: What initially led me into the gym was when I was getting serious in basketball in high school, my coach introduced me to weight lifting. I picked it up quickly. I had not a lot of knowledge, but all I knew was it helped me to play better in basketball. I was able to jump a lot higher and when I fell on the court, I would just hop right back up.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: When I first started training I was just doing it in order to help me with my basketball game as well as help to prevent injuries. The results at that time were making me a better ball player. Also at this time, I had no clue about nutrition and how big a role that plays in training.

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and what made you decide to compete?
A: Let's see, well I went off to college an played basketball. So I knew I was not going to be able to do both. So it was not till the end of my senior season that I began to get serious about my training and thinking competition. Then when I moved back up to Washington after I graduated I hooked up with my trainer from Elite Body, Dan Meese. Who I have to give a shout out to him, he is a wonderful guy and he really knows about training and nutrition. I owe a lot to him for helping me get ready to compete.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: Let's see, my family and friends were supportive about it ONCE I told them exactly what a Figure competition was. See, if you are not in the fitness or training arena when you talk about muscular women strutting around in high heels and spray tanned like Malibu Barbie, sometimes they look at you like YOU ARE THE CRAZY ONE. LOL
But for the most part my family and friends were very supportive because I had told them that I was going to do one even before I started contest prep. It was also nice because one of the gals I work with has also done bodybuilding competitions so she was very supportive as well.

Q: Was the first competition what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: Let me tell you my first competition I was scared shitless, but once I got on stage I literally crapped my pants. My posing for the first show was horrendous, I did not even place. All the judges told me I had the best physique, but my posing was so bad that it was hard to tell. Which is the truth because I look back at photos of the Ironman when I was on stage posing and it looks like a semi-truck could have gone through my legs.
I guess what surprised me was I never though I would get that nervous on stage. But I loved the mixture of nervousness and exciting and then I WAS HOOKED.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Well my contest history is pretty short as of right now. I have only competed in two shows. My first show was the Washington Ironman in 2009, where like I said my posing was a train wreck, so I did not place.
Well, you learn a lot from your first show. Then I did my second show about a month later, it was Northwest Champions in Olympia, where I came in second. So not too shabby for a rookie.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Umm, that is a tough questions; personally I like my shoulders and back a lot. Also I get a lot of compliments on my abs, but the funny thing is I HATE DOING AB EXERCISES, so I rarely do them.LOL

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: Let's see, lately since I am trying to put some size on my back, I have been loving training back using dumbell rows, those are one of my favorites. Also I have enjoyed doing leg extensions. A couple weeks ago I did 240lbs on them and I was pretty gosh darn excited.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: A normal training routine, well right now I am trying to add size so I lift weights 6 days a week focusing on a different body part each day. I train legs twice a week.
Here is my usual split:
Day 1: Legs (focus on hammies)
Day 2: Shoulders
Day 3: Chest
Day 4: Legs (focus on quads)
Day 5: Back
Day 6: Arms
It does not always go in this order, depending on my rest days as well as what I work with my trainer. But it gives you an idea. Also I try to go as heavy as I can.
As far as cardio is concerned, since I am trying to put on some size, I don't do a lot of it. As of right now I am 20 minutes about 5 or 6 days a week. This is really hard for me right now because I am a cardio whore and enjoy doing it. But at the same time, I want to pack on some quality muscle so I will have to put cardio impulses aside. :-)
Well, when I alter it for contest prep, the cardio WILL DEFINITELY GO UP. I will start doing cardio before breakfast right when I wake up, so that I can get the maximum fat burning benefit. A lot of people don't like doing cardio first thing in the morning, but I enjoy it because of various reasons. It gets it out of the way, it amps up your metabolism for the whole day, in my opinion it really helps to lean you out and I am all for that.
Also in terms of contest prep, I will begin changing my nutrition, like lowering my calories slightly as well as my carbohydrate intake.

Q: When someone sees or hears you compete for the first time what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Wow, that is a good question. When someone hears I compete for the first time there first reaction is "wow, I could never have the discipline and dedication to do that." Then there second question they always ask is " WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO TAN?" LOL

Q: When they see or hear it that first time what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: Probably the one question or comment that I am sick of hearing is "Do you eat normal food or are you allowed to eat food?"
So I pose the question to you and fellow bloggers, WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER NORMAL FOOD because normal food in my opinion is oats, eggs, chicken, and veggies. Now a Big Mac and fries (only on my cheat meal maybe, but probably not because fast food gives me gas.LOL)

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete, or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Umm, let's see, the biggest misconception, that is a hard one. I guess I will have to say, and it does not have to do with competing, just weight training in general. But the fact that a lot of women who believe they are going to get bulky from lifting heavy weights. I always have to tell them, actually correction, I have to SHOW THEM. I lift heavy weights and do I look bulky? NO? CASE AND POINT.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: OK, I cant pick just one, so I am going to give you a list of the best and worsts.
*Hanging out with all the competitors backstage
*Hitting the stage and knowing that you have reached your goal
*The fatty cheat meal you eat after the show with your friends and family
*All the people that come out to see and support you
*Getting oiled up backstage
*Putting glue on your butt so your suit does not ride up on you.
*Trying to shave your back so that the tanner stays on (I had to ask my mom to do this for me)
*The fact that the tanner stays on for about 2 weeks after your competition
*DEHYDRATION- the fact that you aren't allowed to drink a lot of water, so you feel like you are on an episode of Survivor
*And the absolute worst is the wait time between pre-judging and the night show.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Yes I do, in fact, let's see, I admire Nicole Berg a female bodybuilder who I was able to hang out with backstage with at my Olympia show. She recently got her Pro card so that is awesome for her. I also have a lot of respect for Diane Rudholm because of her awesome spirit as well as her wonderful stage presence. As far as physique's are concerned, I admire Gina Aliotti's.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Let's see, favorite cheat food; well I really enjoy any burger from Red Robbin and their endless supply of fries. Also I have a sweet tooth too so give me a good dessert and I am a happy camper as well.

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: One piece of advice I would give her would be to stick with it even if you are not seeing results at first. Also, I would also tell her to consult with a trainer so that she is able to find out what works well for her.

Q: Any set goals as far as your competitive career?
A: Well, since I am just a rookie in my competitive career, I have a lot of goals. On of my big goals is I want to get my Pro card. But as far as other goals are concerned, I am excited to work on my physique, put on some size, work on my posing, and get ready to hit the stage in the summery where I will hopefully be UNSTOPPABLE.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Outside of training, I love to dance, especially to hip-hop music or give me some Michael Jackson "Beat It" and I will throw it down. Actually When I was prepping for my show, I was getting a lot of bruises on my knees from dancing so my trainer said I had to stop dancing.LOL
Other activities for me include coaching and playing basketball, watching movies, playing on Facebook of course, and hanging out with friends.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Lindsey McFerran.
A: A typical day in the life of Lindsey Nicole McFerran, let's see.......
Get up at 4:40am, hop out of bed, go to the kitchen and make my favorite meal, oats with chocolate protein powder. Then get my stuff ready to hit the gym for weights. I usually workout from 5:30 to about 7:00am, I know it is an early time, but Is seriously can't wait to get my butt into the gym. Then I come home, shower, eat again and get ready for work. I work as a secretary for a law firm. Then I work till about 2:00pm. Then it is off for me to coach BOYS BASKETBALL. Yes I coach boys basketball.
Then once I am done with practice, I come home around 6pm, eat more and relax for the rest of the night, and prep my meals, and just hang out.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: One thing people would be surprised to know about me, let's see, I am a nude model, it that surprise enough for you.LOL

Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show, and musician?
A: Favorite movie- Love and Basketball
Favorite TV show- This is a tough one; I like One Tree Hill and Degrassi. But my absolute favorite TV show in the whole wide world is THE BIGGEST LOSER. I love Jillian Michaels.
Favorite Musician- As of right now, I am a huge Lady Gaga fan. Pokerface was my anthem to my contest prep.

Q: Describe Lindsey McFerran in five words.
A: I only get five words?LOL. Dedicated, Driven, Disciplined, Easygoing, and Funny.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Let's see, I am hitting the stage again in July, so I can't wait for that. Other than that, I am a recent college graduate, so I am trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, as well as finding a job so I have a steady source of income because COMPETING CAN BE EXPENSIVE.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Well can I promote that I am SINGLE. LOL JK
Actually I want to just plug a campaign that Diane Rudholm is heading up as well as some other athletes in the Washington area, including myself are going to be a part of called Saving Strength. It is basically promoting weight training and clean eating to women and trying to put to rest a lot of stereotypes associated with training. The main message is to help to promote positive self-esteem to women through training. We are just in the beginning stages of it, but thanks for letting me plug it.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they reach you and what are they getting in Lindsey McFerran the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes I am definitely looking for sponsors, and they can reach me at my email at or they can Facebook me as well.
As far as what they are getting in Lindsey McFerran the athlete and competitor, they are going to get a RUN FOR THEIR MONEY LOL. I mean I love training and I would love to be able to promote in in any way I can.
Also if any of those sponsors in the Washington area know of any jobs, Like Is aid, I am a recent college grad and am looking for work.

Q: Lindsey, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thanks for letting me do this Jason, and it was a pleasure. Any last words? Let's see, to all the people out there, keep training hard.
Also check me out because I will be doing a weekly column for Jason, so I also want to thank him for that opportunity.
I guess I will leave you with this quote, I love it:
"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength"