Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Competitors Edge by Vanessa Prebyl

A Weekly Blog By Nationally Ranked Bikini Competitor Vanessa Prebyl

Hello to all!!! As I promised I am dedicating this week's blog to what I learned at the first Pro-Bikini Show in the U.S.. I was fortunate enough to be able to go and watch all of the lovely ladies strut their stuff. I watched both pre-judging and finals, and both shows were AMAZING. I really have to hand it to the women, they really brought i. I did take notes on certain aspects of the show in order to help improve myself as a bikini competitor and my devoted readers which are as follows:

1. Body Composition/Balance: It is all in the bootay!!! All of the ladies were fit with nice curves and not overly muscular.
2. Presentation/Poise
A. Walk: All of the ladies walked flawlessly in their heels and looked very comfortable in them. Tip: to look comfortable in those 5" crystal-clear heels then makes sure to practice, practice, practice.
B. Poses: Many of the women hit their pose and held it. They did not fidget or move around too much.
C. Turns: All of the girls turned beautifully keeping their eyes on the judges as much as possible.
D. Hand Placement: I did notice that each girl had different placements of their hand and pose. Tip: Find what works for YOUR body. Try them and make sure to ask others what they think as well.
3. Suit Selection: There was an array of different Bikinis from Dianna Dahlgren's glittery zebra striped bikini to Sonia Gonzales's circle pattern to Amanda Latona's solid royal blue color. The one thing that was consistent was that all of the bikinis FIT their bodies. The top of the bikinis were not too small and the bottoms did not cut into their sides or were loose in the caboose. All of the bikinis flattered and showcased how hard the women have worked for their bodies.
4. Tan: All of the girls had great color.
5. Accessories: Sparkly Bangles are all-the-rave. Tip: Bling up that wrist and ear lobe, just make sure it helps and nnot distracts from your overall look.
6. Hair: Bigger is better! Volume is KEY when you are on stage. Tip: Think Victoria Secret hair.
7. Make-up: All of the ladies had consitent body to face skin tone and did not over do their make-up.
8. Personality: Many may feel this should be udner the heading Presentation; however, I noticed that the women that really thrived on stage had a great personality that you were able to see above their stage presence. Competitors such as Monique Minton light-up-the-stage with her AMAZING smile even when she was waiting on the side of teh stage for her turn to pose. Another competitor to mention is AManda Latona with her very related and confident demeaner on stage. My eyes kept going back to these girls. Tip: Learn from these ladies presentation any way you can :-)

BIkini Pro placings are as follows:
1. Sonia Gonzales (Overall winner)
2. Monique Minton
3. Amanda Latona
4. Stacy Thompson
5. Natalie Pennington
6. Alea Suarez
7. Dianna Dahlgren
8. Michelle Gullett
9. Sherlyn Roy
10. Leigh Lingham
11. Jennifer Dietrick
12. Zhanna Rotar
13. Michele D'Angona
14. Carol E. King
15. Christie Marquez

I would also love to let you know what exactly judges are looking for; However I am still unsure of that myself. One of the Bikini Pros that was ncie enough to asnwer some of my questions on this subject was Jennifer Dietrick who said "If you are a strawberry, BE a strawberry. Don't try to be a pineapple." At first you might think "what the heck does fruit ahve to do with bikini competing?" This is how I interpreted it. This is a new sport and even though there are some determinable factors wich as being in shape, the overall package should be your own. I saw all shapes and sizes of women on the stage, from soft to more muscular and from tall to short. BE THE BEST YOU. There is no reason to try to strive for anything else but the best of YOU. Who knows, the judges may be looking for exactly your type.

Above all remember that you are representing the sport of Bodybuilding whe you are competing so do it with pride. Not many people can do what we do and we should be very proud to be able to compete. Thank you NPC and IFBB for making a Bikini Division. GO BIKINI!!!!!

IF you ahve any questions feel free to elave a comment on this post. If you ahve any questions and don't want to ask them in a blog setting feel free to email me at I hope this information helps you as much as it has helped me.

Quote of the Week:

"they expect to see a professional presentation, so the expect to see a "professional". Dress appropraitely for the occassion, but don't be one of the crowd"
-Wess Roberts

Much Love,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

IFBB Pro Michelle Laurin Interview

Michelle Laurin is simply an amazing woman. Her physique shows her hard work and all her accomplishments speak for themselves as far as her bodybuilding career. She now has two more accomplishments to add to the list. Competing at the 2010 Arnold and taking 3rd place in a great class of competitors, and now...... IFBB Pro. Michelle was just awarded her Pro card, and she deserves it. She has worked so hard to get to where she is, and is now being recognized for all that hard work. That is Michelle the bodybuilder, but let's nor forget Michelle, the person. She is a very kind woman and someone I am happy to know. Michelle is going to keep getting better, keep bringing an even better package to the stage, and more and more people are going to know the special woman that is Michelle Laurin. Now you can read about her experience competing at the Arnold's and her newly awarded IFBB Pro card.

Q: Michelle, thanks for taking the time out to do a second interview.
A: My Pleasure Im honoured to be asked...

Q: FOr those who may ahve missed the first interview, can you tell a little
about yourself.
A: Well Im a single Mother of three, I live in New Zealand,
Originally from Ontario Canada. I am a Christian. I have been bodybuilding
in NZ since 2000 and have won many many regional and national titles and
Overall Titles in New Zealand. I recently took third in the middle weight
category at my first International , Arnold's. Was the best week of my
life.Not only competeing and doing well but spending time with my friends
over there that i miss so much. I also recently was awarded my Pro Card. Ima
Personal Trainer, I have a nursing and Ambulance officer Background. I love
Muscle cars, Muscle bikes, Muscle Boats, Muscle Dogs and Muscle food!! lol

Q: I suppose congrat's are in order for being awarded your IFBB Pro card.
How did that come about?
A: Thank you ! Well after having competed for the NZfbb for 10 yrs and acheiving so many titles than my international Success , I was finally recognized and presented with my card in New Zealand at the the figure and Bikini Pro show held by our beautiful President Moe El Moussawi. I cried. lol

Q: What does it mean to you as a bodybuilder to have that Pro card?
A: Everything, I have been wanting to reach this level for a very long time and
I am now so motivated to take my physsique to the next level and to make the
people who awarded me with it proud.

Q: FOr those who do not know what that means, can you explain the
significance of haveing the Pro card?
A: Well having a Pro Card means that I can now compete for cash Prizes and share the stage with an elite group of Atheltes .......

Q: YOu just recently competed at the 2010 Arnold's. What was that experience
A: That was the most amazing experience bar none!! I really cant explain it accept to say it was surreal and I thnk God everyday for blessing me with that experience. To compete on that stage and to be surrounded by like minded positive people and to share the room and the incredible atmosphere with my heroes is just a dream come true......

Q: FOr those who haven't seen, you looked amazing. Were you satisfied with
the overall package you brought to teh stage?
A: I was But I can do better, I will do better....

Q: Was there one aspect of your physique you thought could ahve been better
or you want to improve on for next time?
A: Yes my hammies and glutes, thicker legs and better posing control.

Q: Was your prep for teh Arnold any different than your normal prep for a
A: Totally different, far more intense. I had help from Melody Spetko and Phily Nuku (NZ) I trust these two with my life. I knew I had to step it up a notch or two and these two were amazing!! Thank God for them....

Q: After a show like that, is teh first thought happy that you did so well
against so many great competitors, or is it "ok, what do I have to d to take
first place next time".
A: Definitely first thought , ok how do I win this thing next time than hey I did ok, but how do I

Q: The week before a show like that, what are you thinking about? Nervous or excited, or what?
A: Very excited but , pensive, Do I belong here? have I got what it takes? Am I at this level??

Q: How about those last 5 minutes before you hit the stage, what are you
thinking about?
A: Im praying lol its true. Im praying and going through my poses and trying to stay calm and focused.

Q: When you are on stage do you try and read the judges reactions at all or just focus on what you are doing.
A: A little bit but mainly focused on posing, I know they have poker faces lol.

Q: Whats the first thing you ate once it was over?
A: I didnt i drank 14 ltrs of water in 6 hours lol...yes I paid for that later, when I finished drinking I had a smoothie and a peice of pizza and my hot pretzel.

Q: SO many great amateurs were competing. Was there anyone you noticed who
really impressed you?
A: The Girl who won my class, forgive me I forget her name but beautiful sweet lady from russia 25 yrs old and stunning, beautifl balance and symetry. Lovely. and very feminine.

Q: ANyone you got to meet for the first time that you were excited about?
A: Frank Zane!!! wow what an honour, Jay Cutler, Sylvio, Monica Brant, Heather
Mae, Debbie Bramwell, Nicole Watkins Lee, Rosa Romero, Shaun Ray , Ned Matarso, Ken Sen ( friends but never met in person) Harper, so many amazing people.....

Q: Did you take in any of the convention itself or were you to focused on
A: Oh I took it all in !! didnt want to miss a thing, spent way too much money and was absolutley exhausted but I didnt know if I would ever get back so I took it all in!!!!!

Q: What is the greatest memory you will take away from the 2010 Arnold?
A: Definitely the comradery and the atmosphere, I will never forget it, I hope I can afford to come back I miss everyone sooooo much :(

Q: Where does the Arnold rank in your list of accomplishments in
A: Oh No contest , Number One!!!!!

Q: Have you decided when you will be on stage next?
A: Am Hoping that I can compete at the Pro show in Pheonix or the Europa in texas?? need to make some money or get financial sponsor. Im not sure of dates as I keep getting different info lol

Q:Next time you are on stage do you think there was anything you did in
prep for the Arnold, that maybe you would want to do different?
A: Yes, I think just some tweaking with regard to carbing up and timing, also maybe arrive 10 days before comp instead of 5....

Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: ME !!!!! lol Im a great trainer and spokesperson, Melody Spetko, People this lady Rocks, Phily Nuku this man is one amazing human being, Xtreme Nutrition awesome
supplement shop and of Course Moe El Moussawi ...for giving me the opportunity and beleiving in me.....I love you all

Q: Looking for any sponsors? If so what are they geting in Michelle Laurin
the athlete and competitor?
A: I am a real spit fire I am hard working and loyal and I walk the walk and talk the talk, I live the lifestyle, I am vibrant and a great communicator, I am very intelligent and loyal and love the industry!

Q: SO how does this sound to you? IFBB Pro Michelle Laurin.
A: Sounds fabulous!!!! Dream come true , I know Im the newbie and will have to earn my stripes though but I am hounored and humbled beyond beleif to be included in such an elite group.

Q: Michelle, again, thanks for taking the time to do a second interview,
and congrats on the Pro card. I am so happy and excited for you. ANy last
words before you go?
A: I want to thank you Jason for taking the time to Interview me, and thank all the people who support me and say such nice things to me, Its so wonderful to be recognized and appreciated. I hope to make you all proud ! God Bless you all xxxx

Mental Stength: Do you got it? by Lindsey McFerran

What's up fellow blog readers?

Hope everyone is still hitting it hard, after all swimsuit season is just around the corner and don't you want to look damn sexy?

Ok ladies and gentlemen, so this weekend I experienced the joy of KIDNEY STONES. Let me tell you, those things hurt like a b*tch. If this is what childbirth feels like then I don't want any part of it. But it got me thinking about mental strength and how it relates to the training lifestyle. SO actually as a result of having this kidney stone experience, I developed an even deeper physical toughness but more importantly I developed a GREATER SENSE OF mental strength.

So how does that help me in my training you ask? Oooo baby you better believe it, my lifts this week have been great. I am sore like a MO FO because of going through that intense amount of pain; I am able to withstand a lot more when lifting because it not only strengthens my body, BUT IT ALSO STRENGTHENED MY MIND.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am going to let you in on a little secret, living the training lifestyle or "bodybuilding lifestyle" is all about

Drum roll please............. MENTAL TOUGHNESS!!!!!!!

Mental toyghness can take on many forms..........

It can include how hard you push yourself inw eight training. It is about squeezing out the last rep. Or when your body is screaming in pain, it is about pushing through. it could be mental toughness in the form of doing exercises you hate. But I will let you in on a little scret, usually exercises you hate the most, are usually the ones that work your msucles the best. HENCE WHY YOU HATE THEM>

Mental toughness in terms of cardio (refers to how) and how intensely and religiously you perform it. It is about pushing through the last 10 minutes on the stairmaster when your mind wants to stop. When you feel like your legs are going to fall off and every minutes seems like an eternity. Mental toughness to get out of bed in the morning want to eat breakfast and go perform cardio instead (because it burns the most amount of bodyfat). I know it is nice and warm in your bed, but that is not gonna help you to reach your training goals.

Mental toughness is to go to a party and not give into the temptation of junk food, even when everyone around you is eating it.

Mental toughness in terms of going to a bar and not drinking alcohol because instead you know you would rather be fresh for your morning workout.

Mental toughness to not give into your co-workers, friends, and even family for making fun of you because you do not fit into what society believes in. Believe me, I know a lot of people who do not understand the training lifestyle and you will be called a lot of things. For me anal and boring come to mind.

Competitors or ordinary folks that live the training lifestyle are a unique breed of indivduals who posses an enormous ammount of MENTAL TOUGHNESS. Why do you think not everyone sports a ripped physique or a six pack? Because it takes a sheer amount of discipline, dedication, and you guessed it, MENTAL TOUGHNESS!!!!!!


AYO AYO AYO Ladies and Gentleman, keep training hard and your eyes on the prize.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tara Ballard's Contest Prep Update

Keeping It Real

In this post, I had planned to discuss the importance of rest days and the part they play in training. But I'm going to save that for another time, as the events of the last couple weeks have made me realize I need to write about something I believe is equally important when training to compete....keeping it real.

Anyone training for a Figure, Fitness, or Bodybuilding competition will tell you that the process can be extremely stressful- the sometimes two a day cardio sessions, the hard-core strength workouts, the strict diet, the planning and preparation... all of these things can turn the calmest, nicest person into a hot mess, especially as showtime approaches. It can be all-consuming, and any of you who have been through it know what I mean. When I was training for my last fall contest last year, I remember preparing one of my not-so-tasty dry ground turkey meals; Nick (as he often does) reached over to take a bite, and I basically went Ninja on him- this from an otherwise cool, calm, and collected person! But that's what carb deprivation and dehydration can do to a girl!

So, you already have all the stresses of training for a competition. Now throw in a dose of real life, and the curveballs it can throw at you when you least expect it, and you have what could be a recipe for disaster. How do you handle it? Do you completely wig out, get angry at everyone and everything, or do you just suck it up and deal with it? This is where it's extremely important to remember that we made the decision to compete; we made the choice to endure the grueling hours of training and to eat dry chicken and asparagus when our friends are eating things we can't have. No one forced us to do this. It is our choice. I have learned that hard way over the past couple weeks that real life takes the priority over all else. It has to. And when real life throws curveballs, then you just deal... and you know what, most of the time your world stays intact, no matter how much you think it's going to fall apart. As difficult as it gets, especially when you feel like no one gets what you're doing, take a step outside your stress and remember the things that mater most in your life; love, family, friends, health, is these things that will be around long after your big moment on stage.

I'm saying these things as much for me as for you. If you've read my prior posts, then you know that my dad has been struggling with a rare blood disease called Amyloidosis. A little over a week ago, Dad was rushed to the hospital. I'm really not sure if he would have made it through the night if he had not gone. His blood pressure was down to 70/40, he was totally incoherent and unable to even sit-up on his own. After a barrage of tests, it was found that his one good kidney was basically non-functional. My sister, step-mom, and I pulled several all-nighters, and even when we did get sleep, it was fitful. Luckily, the wonderful team of doctors at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center were able to get Dad stabilized, but it took several days. In the meantime, he developed shingles (very painful) due to his suppressed immune system. Over the past two months or so, Dad wasn't able to eat a whole lot; anything he did eat went right through. As a result, he was severely dehydrated and down 40lbs.

Remember those curveballs I spoke of? So how do you think I dealt with this situation? Did I stress because I was missing my incline treadmill HIIT workout?Or because I missed a meal and didn't get my gallon of water in? Was I angry that this had to happen NOW right when I'm in my training groove?? NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT... I have said it before and I will say it again- my dad and his health take priority over all else. Granted, I'm still 9 weeks out from showtime, but it would have been the same had I been one week out or one day out. Keeping it real....sucking it up when real life takes over...being there for my dad when he needs me. THAT'S what it's all about. There will always be another competition; I only have one dad.

Dad is doing better. He came home from teh hospital a couple days ago after a week-long stay. He is still fuzzy, and we still have a lot to deal with, but hopefull we are on the right path. One wonderful thing that happened this week; the insurance company overturned their decision to deny coverage of the medication Dad needs to keep his disease under control. It took some heavy-hitting legal scare tactics to accomplish this, but they relented!!!! Yeah!!! He wills tart back on his medication as soon as he is a bit stronger.

I'll get back to training in the next post.

Until next time, train hard, find happiness in every day, and above all else, KEEP IT REAL.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

IFBB Pro Debbie Bramwell Interview

Debbie Bramwell is one of those rare people that if you are a fan of or support bodybuilding, you have to be a fan of and support Debbie. First thing you notice is the amazing physique, highlighted by amazing arms. Being an IFBB Pro tells you how great the physique is. But having a great physique doesn't mean you have to be a fan of the person. However Debbie's attitude, love of the sport, and hard work, is something that makes you have to be a fan. Debbie is one of those people that as incredibly beautiful as she is, she somehow is even more beautiful on the inside. She was doing local California shows until being convinced to do the 2002 USA's, and thankfully she was able to be convinced, because it allowed more people to see how amazing Debbie is, and gave her a chance to prove she is among the Elite. Debbie isn't just a bodybuilder. She is a great Representative for the sport, and the sport is better off for having Debbie as a part of it. So read this interview and then check her out even more on

Q: First, Debbie, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. It is a huge honor for me.
A: You are very welcome. It is my pleasure.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I am from New Jersey. I am the youngest of 4 children. MY dad was an athlete when he was young so he loved coaching and playing sports with us as we were growing up. I get my great genetics from his side of the family. I feel blessed to come from such an amazing family and having the best parents.

Q: Growing up, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything? A: I was very athletic. My favorite sports were softball, track and volleyball. I didn't like sports that require endless running, I am naturally an anerobic athlete(which is what bodybuilding is). Its funny looking back , I remember beating the boys in arm wrestling and excelling in gym fitness tests which proves genetics is a huge factor in an athletes success.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I think I was about 26 when I first went to the gym. I wanted to tone up and get into good shape so I joined an all girl gym and did mostly cardio, aerobic classes and eventually I worked my way into weight training.

Q: Was weight training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I did pick it up easily, I met all the right people since day one to show me the right way to train. I noticed results immediately. I was naturally stronger then the average female. I wouldn't look the way I do without having great genetics.

Q: You did your first show in 1997. What made you decide to go ahead and compete?
A: I trained at a gym where my ex boyfriend worked and one of his coworkers put me on APEX nutrition program. MY body changed alot once I incorporated proper nutrition plan. That trainer had competed before and suggested I do a show. I said heck no at first. LOL I was the shy type and not much of an exhibitionist so it wasn't something I was interested in or daring to do. However, after I completed the Tony Robbins 30 day personal power program I decided to do a show to conquer my fear of being up in front of people and improve physically.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: I have an awesome family. We all support each other in anything that we choose to do. My friends always admired me and supported me so I feel blessed in that regard.

Q: Your first National show was the 2002 USA's. How did you know you were ready for a National show, and what was the experience like?
A: I never planned on doing a national show or becoming a "bodybuilder". I did shows as a personal growth goal. I met Steve Wennerstrom(photographer/writer)In San Diego who did my first photoshoot. He talked me into doing my first National show. He saw me winning all the shows In California so he told me to do the USA's and see where I stood on that level. At that time I met a guy I dated who became my coach and helped me improve my physique with his expertise and guidance.

Q: You earned your Pro card at the 2007 Masters Nationals. What did it mean to you to earn your Pro card?
A: I was so excited to win my pro card(I have the best photo someone took of me the moment they called my name as the winner). After doing my first National show and placing in top 5, that's when I decided to set a goal of turning Pro. I became such a fan of women's bodybuilding and wanted to be up there with the best. I am really enjoying the journey and love competing on pro stages.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*March 97 San Diego Championships Hw 1st
*March 97 Los Angeles Championships MW 1st
*Sept 97 Borderstates MW 1st
*March 99 San Diego Championships MW 1st
*Sept 00 Borderstates MW 1st
*Sept 01 Borderstates MW 1st overall
*July 02 USA's Mw 5th
*July 03 USA's MW 4th
*Nov 03 Nationals MW 6th
*July 04 USA's LHW 3rd
*July 05 USA's LHW 8th
*Sept 05 North Americans 6th
*July 06 Masters Nationals 1st
*July 06 USA's 4th
*Sept 06 North Americans 3rd
*July 07 Masters Nationals 1st Overall turned Pro
*Aug 07 Europa under 135 2nd
*Sept 07 Atlantic City under 135 5th
*May 08 New York Pro 7th
*Aug 08 Tampa Pro 3rd(qualified for Ms Olympia)
*Aug 08 Europa show 4th
*Sept 08 Ms Olympia 13th
*May 09 New York Pro 4th

Q: Do you keep track of measurements at all, and if so can you share them?
A: I don't LOL 15 inch biceps :-)

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I train 5 days a week during preptime and 4 days offseason. I do cardio all year just more during prep time(it increases as I get closer to show)I am doing keto diet now(no carbs except for once a week cheat meal)Since I have been doing keto diet I keep my reps lower(versus when I carb cycled I did higher reps and lots of supersets)I eat clean mostly offseason but do eat a little carbs and have my treats. I like to stay in shape all year.
contest routine
Mon: chest pullups/pulldowns/abs
Tues: quads
Wed: off
Thurs: shoulders/hams/abs
Friday: pullups/rows
Sat: bis/tris/abs
Sun: off

Mon: chest/tris
Tues: legs
Wed: off
Thurs: shoulders/bis
Friday: back
Sat: off
Sun: off

Q: Anyone who knows the sport knows your arms are among the best in the sport. Would you consider them your best feature or something else?
A: Hmm yes my arms are my best feature. I would say my triceps are my best bodypart(probably the best out there) My arms aren't the biggest out there but have a unique shape. I'M only 5 ft 2 so I have short limbs and don't want my arms to overpower or I will lose symmetry.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train?
A: I love to train back. I love the pump and feeling I get when I train them. It is a stubborn bodypart though. Usually people with short arms have more of a challenge building a great back. I'm working on it!!

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I have had positive experiences with people. I Have had men who never found it attractive love it on me. :-) I think its a combination of my being feminine, pretty, and having positive energy along with having pretty muscle shape that makes people appreciate it on me.

Q; When they see it that first time, what is the one comment or question you are most sick of hearing?
A: "How much do you bench?" LOL. They see my arms and ask me that. Benching builds chest.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders or the thing you wish people understood?
A: I don't think anyone should ever generalize or judge a book by its cover. All female bodybuilders are different so I can only speak for myself. I love to train and sculpt my body but I am a girly girl. I don't dominate, beat up people (lol)arm wrestle. I think some fans think female bodybuilders are super human and do off the wall strength stuff while not at gym. The only difference now that I am a female bodybuilder is I'M stronger in the gym and having beautiful muscles. That's all.

Q: Do you think muscular women are becoming more accepted by society these days?
A: Hmm I get a great reaction from society but you will always have people who will judge women with muscles and think its "manly"

Q: Do you have any favorite bodybuilders or any you admire?
A: I remember when I first got into competing I really liked Laura Creaville and Sue Price. They were my 2 favorites. I love Heather Amburst, Betty Viana, Alina Poppa to name a few(women with great legs!!) I have to admit I am a fan of so many woman it would be hard to list them all.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Hmm I am on keto diet(no carbs) now so I get a cheat meal once a week. I would say a good hamburger and fries is probably my favorite.

Q: What is the best and the worst part of competing?
A: I don't like the tanning part, also peeking for a show. It is really hard to time it all just right and nail it when you are on stage. I am still figuring it out. I usually think I look way better before and after a show then I do on show day. Oh and I don't really like the waiting around part back stage. Sometimes we are back there way too long!

Q: When you are done competing, how would you like to be remembered as a competitor?
A: I would love to be remembered as someone who was passionate about competing and helping other people(I have a reputation for being bodybuildings big sis) I care about every girl standing next to me and always want the best for them as well.

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is he one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: I would tell them to hire a trainer. I see people in the gym who are clueless about what they are doing. Hiring a good trainer will help them achieve their goals by doing things right.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love reading, watching movies, travelling, spending time with family/friends. I'm pretty simple :-)

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Debbie Bramwell.
A: Well there is no typical day, it always changes. I always start my day with cardio, train clients, cam for fans, train myself,cook, errands, emails, spend time with my husband. We watch a movie every night( we are night owls)

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I am hard of hearing. I wear hearing aides. I have a little speech impediment which people think is just my jersey accent :-) It used to bother me as a kid but not anymore.

Q: Describe Debbie Bramwell in five words.
A: Happy, Positive, Giving, Spiritual, Loving.

Q: You also have a great website. Can you give out the address and tell people what they can find there.
A: I update it every week with photoclubs or video clips. All kinds of fun sexy stuff. Come check it out!

Q: Any set plans for the future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am competing at the NY PRO show May 8th. I hope to qualify for Ms. Olympia there. If I don't then I will do Tampa Pro next.

Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I am sponsored by Species Nutrition which is owned by my coach Dave Palumbo. I love all of his products and would highly recommend to everyone to try.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they contact you?
A: My email is I'm always open to different business opportunities .

Q: Debbie, again, I thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Anything last words before you go?
A: Thanks for reaching out to me and your kind words. I have been so grateful for the amount of support I receive from so many people. I love competing but more importantly for being able to give back to people. It has been an awesome journey. I hope everyone lives there passion and spends each day truly happy :-)

Friday, March 26, 2010

IFBB Pro Zoa Linsey Interview

If you know bodybuilding you surely know Zoa Linsey. Zoa is becoming one of the more popular women in the sport, and it isn't hard to see why. From her amazing physique, to her obvious beauty, to her great attitude towards people. One woman I really wanted to meet at the 2010 Arnold's was Zoa. I knew going in she was beautiful and had one of the best physique's in the sport. However in person she was even more beautiful and her physique was even more impressive. Even though she already agreed to the interview, so we had talked, I was so nervous meeting her, that I didn't even tell her who I was.... I didn't know what to say. Zoa has her IFBB Pro card, so that tells you how good she is, and has also qualified for this year's Olympia, which as you know means, competing with the Elite, which means Zoa is one of the Elite. Zoa is a great spokesperson for the sport too, because you will not find a nicer woman. To show you her popularity, since I announced she was doing an interview, I have ever before received so many messages and emails asking when it would be posted. Zoa is everything that makes you fall in love with the sport, and deserves any praise, respect, and admiration she gets. So here is my interview with IFBB Pro Zoa Linsey.

Q: First, Zoa, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. It is a real honor for me.
A: It's my pleasure to be on your blog, thank you for asking me.

Q: Can you start out by just telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I am was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I didn't even know about bodybuilding growing up, but grew up on healthy and natural foods from the garden and home-made. I still remember the smell of the rye bread my parents baked every week when growing up! My parents were both hard-working people who expressed a lot of love to us and also tried to push us to be our best. To some people we might have seemed very conservative and extreme but my parents just wanted us to commit to doing things and following through. This training has helped me immensely as a bodybuilder. I have had a couple different 'life paths', including working in the business world in marketing and business management but found my niche as a motivator and coach to people who wish to change their lives for the better. In 2005 I married my husband and moved to Japan where I dramatically changed my life. Since then we have moved to Okinawa, Japan which is a tropical island off the mainland of Japan. My husband works for the American military and we enjoy the lifestyle here on the island having access to both an American style life, as well as the variety of living overseas in a foreign culture.

Q: Now, I know when you were young, you studied both classical piano and violin. What got you interested in that?
A: I grew up with music in our house. My grandmother played the violin, my grandpa played the organ, my mother played the church and organ in church, very was a natural progression. I started with piano first then once I reached Grade 8 Royal Conservatory Level in piano at 13, I was allowed to start the instrument I really loved, the violin. In school I also played flute. I loved being able to create something beautiful and at the time that is what music was for me.

Q: Is music still a part of your life?
A: I've intermittently started back at violin but have just found that bodybuilding and the rigors and time demands during prep season have just prevented me from committing too much time. However I still enjoy a wide variety of music and I truly hope that at some point in my life I will have the opportunity to return to my original passion.

Q: Did you play any sports or anything at a young age?
A: We were very active but didn't do any organized sports except for a few years where we trained as figure skaters. This was a fun time and I still enjoy skating. In another life I think I would have enjoyed being a speed skater!

Q: You also battle anorexia and bulemia at one point. What caused that and was it the gym that helped beat it?
A: I believe that my parent's divorce as a teenager contributed to the confusion and feeling of being out of control that caused the eating disorder. It progressed as I entered my early 20's into something more habitual and a part of my life and I'm sure evolved with me into a coping mechanism for stress and confusion (which many young people experience in their 20's). I was always very concerned with excelling and this also is a part of developing eating disorders, this unrealistic expectation of how the body should look. In a surprising way, competing in bodybuilding helped fix this issue by teaching me how to eat properly, with good nutrition as well as putting right in my face the body images I had tried to remain hidden. It was much like being forced to face your own demons and deal with them head on! It also over time gave me the experience of knowing that I was in control of what my body looked like and that how my body looked was completely independent of other stress I may be experiencing in my career, school or personal life. Training also gave me a positive outlet to reduce stress and gave me a focus for all the energy I had. Setting long term goals and following through made me feel organized and helped me free up my mental energy to start healing from the pain and confusion I had felt with my parent's divorce. I was able over time to understand and accept the changes in my life and learn to deal with other stress. I'm very appreciative of all I have gone through as it has made me better equipped to understand and help the women I deal with every day in my coaching business.

Q: When you started training, was it something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: To be honest, I really don't remember any set time that I saw specific results. I have pics from being 19 to now....almost 20 years of training...and there have been gradual changes every year. The biggest change was when I began training 1 bodypart per day and focusing more on my eating, this was about 2 years before my first show in 1998.

Q: You did your first show in 2000. What made you decide to compete?
A: I had wanted to compete for a couple years but lacked the knowledge and perhaps the confidence to go ahead and do it. Also, previous to this I was still finishing university. At the time I began competing I was working in a full-time career and much more able to focus on scheduling as well as having the finances to prepare for competition. I had admired a woman in my gym who I saw training for a show and after watching her prep I decided I would get off my butt and give it a shot. I was already training hard for a few years and was more concerned about the diet and how to prep. When I did my first show however, I had not even yet attended a bodybuilding show before! My first show was truly my first show! (much like my first pro show!)

Q: Was that first show what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: I had a lot of fun my first show and while doing my routine on-stage in the evening remember distinctly saying to myself -- THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO!

Q: You recently won your Pro Card at the 2009 North Americans? What did it mean to you to earn it and be recognized as one of the best in the world?
A: Wow, I have never thought of myself as one of the best in the world although I have heard other people say this. And of course this last year, earning an Olympia spot and being invited to the in answer to your question...winning my pro card, particularly at a prestigious show such as the N.A.'s was a dream fulfilled. It was like taking a big step from one country to another...moving into a level that I have always dreamed of being a part of. Bottom line, I was thrilled and happy, it was many years in the making.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2000-first show, 1st place Novice
*2001-2003, 6 shows, all top 3, 3 first place and overall (local and regional shows)
*2004 - HW and Overall BC Champion (provincial champion)
*2005- 3rd HW Nationals
*2007-got ill right before the show flying in from Japan, could not compete
*2008 - 3rd HW Nationals
*2009 - 2nd HW Nationals
*2009 - N.A. HW Champion and Overall Champion (pro-card), Masters HW champion and Overall Champion (pro-card)
*2010 - Phoenix Pro show, 3rd place (Olympia Qualified), Ms. International 7th Place

Q: What do you consider your best bodypart or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: It's usually my legs and glutes however I'm always happiest when people compliment me on my smile and personality. I want to be known for more than my physique!

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: I have a love/hate relationship with squats and deadlifts. I love the feeling of lifting heavy and feeling like I've put in 100%.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I usually train 2 on, 1 off and keep it the same for contest prep but have to add in cardio.

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I have very rarely had any negative reactions. Maybe 1 in a year. And it's usually from someone online who has never seen me in person. Most people, women and men are very complimentary and like the look of my physique. Perhaps it is my height but at 5'10" I don't really look 'bulky' even off-season.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I truly don't get sick of hearing things because I understand that many people do not understand the sport. So I try to put myself in their position and help them understand what I do. I do get a lot of 'how much can you bench press' ...or ... "do you train?"....I try to give each person a good answer and have some fun with them.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders, or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Most people think that female bodybuilders are HUGE. They are surprised to learn that so many of the top bodybuilders in the world are actually quite small in person. Photos don't give perspective on size.

Q: Are muscular women more or less accepted by society today than five years ago?
A: I think that a fit woman is more acceptable. The 'gym culture' is more pervasive and many women are able to achieve a physique like the pioneers just through consistent training. As far as bodybuilding, in my opinion it will always be a niche sport and that's OK with me. I enjoy what I do and try to project a positive image of the sport and if that helps the sport, then I'm happy with that.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: I enjoy so many parts of it, it's hard to pick a 'best part'. I enjoy the process of change, the commitment to a lifestyle that is challenging, the feeling of success when complete and the HUGE cheat meal afterwards! I have enjoyed more recently meeting some other amazing competitors as I've done the shows in the U.S. This has been a huge part of my enjoyment of competing.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors?
A: I have always looked up to Kim Chizevsky as she is tall and competed successfully as Ms. Olympia at approximately my size. I admire many of the other women who have laid out a path for us to follow as well. It was very cool to meet Lenda Murray at the Ms. I last month!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Frozen low-fat ice-cream, white chocolate covered pretzels, steak, Mexican food.....the list goes on!

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: Make sure you understand the time and money commitment and if possible have a strong support network around you. It's not easy to do this if you have to fight others as well as diet! In addition, always remain thankful the chance to compete, no one is making us do this so don't allow yourself to get grumpy and take out your diet-induced crankiness on others! Stay grateful!

Q: You also have a great website, can you give the address out and tell people what they can find there.
A: Thanks! My web-site is and my facebook fanpage is!/pages/ZOA-LINSE Y/108919095811?ref=ts
On my website you will find out more about me, what is going on in my life and competition plans as well as the services I provide to clients.

Q: You also do personal training. What got you interested in that and how can people contact you to find out more?
A: I began training in 2001 and have enjoyed being part of the changes in hundred's of peoples' lives. I am ISSA certified and believe that my experiences have helped me understand and connect with my clients in a more real way. If anyone has questions they can email me at

Q: What is the benefit in being trained by Zoa Linsey?
A: I am a certified trainer with many years of experience in both nutrition and detailed physiological issues, including injury rehab and weight-loss. I enjoy solving issues and believe that a good coach will empower and push the client to become their best. I believe I do this for my clients, as well as giving them detailed help with improving their own personal life and removing obstacles that they may have created over many years. To me, fitness and well-being is a holistic's not just about the muscles, it's about creating a better life.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: My husband and I enjoy travelling and experiencing the beautiful island we live on. Off-season we like to go out and try out different restaurants and I also love to cook and bake.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Zoa Linsey.
A: I begin my day with about an hour of email work then head to the Air Force gym where I am a contracted trainer. I work there at my own schedule for 1/2 the day, then return home for a couple more hours of work before I head over to the Army gym where I train with my husband. He is Sports Director there. In the evening I cook us dinner, get organized for the next day and often watch movies and relax with my husband while he updates and works on his websites. Most days are enjoyable and relaxing, although busy!

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Not sure.........I'm pretty much an open book on most things!

Q: Describe Zoa Linsey in five words.
A: Happy, Passionate, Intense, Hungry, and Loyal.

Q: Any set plans coming up as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am thinking about doing the Olympia as I earned my qualification at the Phoenix Pro.

Q: Anything you want to take the opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I'd like to thank Marilyn of Liquid Sun Rayz who offers a great competition colour, as well as Amy from who makes all my suits.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? IF so, how can they contact you and what are they getting in Zoa Linsye the athlete and competitor?
A: I would like to work with a supplement sponsor. It is a unique opportunity here with the over 50,000 overseas Americans who train, eat and work here. The military community that I am very well-known within is a phenomenal opportunity for a supplement company who wants to extend their marketing into an area with major purchase power.

Q: Zoa, again, thanks so much for doing this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you to everyone who continually supports me and sends emails or notes...I appreciate each of you and hope to continue to meet many of you!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Allison Moyer

I wanted to take a second to let you all know about a great site. This is Allison Moyer's new site. Before I tell you about the site, let me tell you a little about Allison and why I would do a post about her website. If you know me you know I love Allison. She is ridiculously beautiful, she has an amazing physique, and most importanty she is a beautiful and kind woman on the inside. She probably does not remember this story. Many many months ago she did a post on Facebook and I commented. Before that she was just a Figure girl I was a fan of and enver dreamed I would talk to. She responded to my comment and suddenly we were sharing messages that night about my depression I was having, and she was cheering me up. I was a total stranger to her and yet she still did that. Since then I had the honor of meeting her at the Arnold's and have talked on Facebook. Allison is not just a pretty face. I have grown to have such respect for Allison the competitor, the athlete, and the person she is. Allison is going to win a pro card and it won't be long from now. She is a great represntitive of women in fitness.

Now about this great site. This is a site that enables you to get into contact with Allison and get online training or nutrition help from Allison herself. She can help you just get in shape, or if you just want to work out a little with no competing goals, or help you if competing is your goal. There is an on-line store to purchase these things. Why learn and be trained by Allison? Simple..... She is more than qualified. She is a Nationally ranked Figure competitor and will be a Pro one day. SHe has a Bachelors Degree in Wellness and Sports Science with a minor in Atheltic Coaching. SHe is a certified trainer, aerobics instructor, and nutrition consultant. Her website also ahs tips and recipes to help you as well. Take a look at the photo above. Look how great she looks. That should tell you she knows what she is talking about.
So do yourself a favor. Go to and find out how you can let Allison get you in the best shape of your life.

IFBB Pro Jeni Briscoe Interview

IFBB Pro should tell you all you need to know about Jeni Briscoe. Jeni is a beautiful woman with an amazing physique. I was already impressed so much by what I saw, but strangely, somehow I had only seen front pictures. After some time I saw photos from behind, and her back is really incredible. But to talk about her physique and stage presence, only tells the story of Jeni the Pro and Jeni the Figure competitor, and there is so much more to her than that. First and foremost, I have found Jeni to be a very kind person and someone who is easy to root for. Jeni also runs Todays Techniques, a great training facility. You can tell Jeni loves to train others and takes great pride in helping them and seeing them achieve their goals. Jeni, simply put, is the kind of woman who makes me happy and honored to do these interviews and allow you to see more of these women than just their outer appearance. Here is your chance to know more about Jeni Briscoe.

Q: First, Jeni, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you again for having this great site!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A:I'm from a small northern town in BC Canada. I'm the oldest of two daughters.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I played fastball in the summer and curling in the winter. And as I got older I started to play slow pitch. It was a great social way to get some exercise.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: Growing up my mom always did aerobics, so when it was time for me to start doing something to stay in shape I went to our local gym for the classes. I started right after I graduated. I didn't know any girls who lifted weights at that time. Once I was there I saw a few girls getting ready for a show and I was really intrigued. That's when I started with the weight training.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes, I instantly fell in love. My body changed fast and I became really strong. It was the best feeling in the world. I was always just tall and skinny. To build up my shape became an obsession.

Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and what made you decide to compete?
A: I had been training for 5 years before I saw my first bodybuilding show. There was only fitness and female bodybuilding back then. I loved how the ladies looked. It took me two more years after watching my first show to finally get on the stage. I ended up doing 3 shows that year, going all the way to Nationals. Placing 6th in the middle weight class.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: I've always had a great support system at home. They may not understand what I do or why I do it, but are behind me 110%. The year I won my pro card, close to 30 people drove 6 hours to come and watch and cheer me on. I could feel their love from the stage. They were so loud I couldn't even hear the judges!!

Q: Was the first competition what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: I was a super shy person, so getting on that stage was very hard for me. But I've never been one to walk away from a challenge. I placed 3rd at my first show and I was so proud of myself. I've never looked back. I knew from that first one that this is what I wanted to do in life.

Q: What did it mean to you to win your IFBB Pro card?
A: It meant everything to me. Every minute, every hour, every day I spent in the gym was so worth that moment. Like I said earlier to have all my friends and family there cheering me on was so exciting. When they announced that I had won the theater exploded! Earning a pro card in Canada is very difficult so I don't take it lightly. They year I won there was only two given. One to me for the overall and one to the 1st place in masters. I was very proud.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I started competing in 2000 in Bodybuilding, but switched to Figure in 2003
* 16th-2009 Sacramento Pro show
* 13th - 2008 Tournament of Champions Pro Show
* 20th - 2008 Europa Pro Show
* 1st Tall & Overall - 2007 Canadian Nationals (IFBB Pro Card - Figure)
* 3rd Tall - 2006 North Americans
* 2nd Tall - 2006 Canadian Nationals
* 3rd Tall - 2005 Canadian Nationals
* 8th Tall- 2005 Emerald cup
* 1st Tall - 2003 BC Provincials
* 2nd Tall - 2003 Kelowna Western Canadians

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I love my back and shoulders and abs. But I'm known at the gym to have and people
want a "Briscoe Bootie".

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: Again back and shoulders.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I've had to change my training regime alot over the past few years. After winning my pro card. I had to stream line my muscle more to be competitive in the pro circuit. I was a bit too bulky. So I do alot more interval type training, MET style training. High intensity, lighter weights. Also cardio machines are my best friend throughout my 16 week prep time. Diet is really clean. I like to carb cycle. And if things are going good I get a cheat meal once per week.

Q: When someone sees or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: At first negative. But in 2001 I started hosting my first show here in FSJ. Its a BC qualifying event. So over the past 9 years, it has really grown and this town of mine has really welcomed it with open arms. Everyone comes out to watch, all age groups from young to old. So for the most part its a positive thing. People
who wouldn't normally even try it are getting on stage. There is for sure still the nay sayers. I still get weird looks when I walk through a store close to contest time. My husband thinks its funny to walk behind me and watch how people stare at a woman with muscles. It does get some mixed reactions.

Q: When they see or hear it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: My favorite is when people ask if I workout. I get really tired of people asking what I eat, or if I starve myself. That one I get asked everyday. Going to the grocery store is always fun. People are always trying to look to see whats in my cart.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women you train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That we don't starve ourselves to get lean. I eat 7 times a day, balanced meals. Closer to a show I cut back/out my carbs, but for the most part I still eat more than the average person. It upsets me when I get accused of not eating. I"m always eating! That its takes hours and hours of training, perfect diet and dedication. There is no easy way or magic pill.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part of competing is all the wonderful people you meet along the way. I've made some wonderful friends through this sport. The worst part is the diet and the moodiness that can come with it. But after 12 years it does get easier.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: The first time I saw Rachel Mclish was the first time I was hooked on the female, muscular form. I wanted to look like that. Of course I love Jenny Lynn and Monica Brant. When I switched from Bodybuilding to Figure, they were what I wanted to look like and looked up too. But to be honest I look up to anyone in this sport. It takes will powder and dedication and anyone who can do it year after year has my respect.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Anyone who knows me knows I'm a quarter pounder from McDonalds freak. Gross I know, but I love them!!

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 able to put 100% into training and diet. If you have too much going on in life at the moment don't try to add this too it.

Q: Can you talk about Today's Techniques? What it is, where people can find out more?
A: We are heading into our 10th year at Todays Techniques. I moved the gym into my own building 2.5 years ago. (our 4th expansion) We have 18,000 square feet and are the largest gym in town. We offer over 100 classes per month, a full fitness facility, separate cardio room, tanning, child minding, and lots of certified personal trainers. Our website is We're also the host of the Northern Classic Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Bikini show. This year its on June 12/2010

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Just hanging with my friends and family. I really don't have alot of down time, so when I get some I'm really grateful.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Jeni Briscoe.
A: My day starts at 4am. I usually open up the gym and hit my cardio before I start a full day of training clients. I train in house and long distance. With hosting my own show, being an IFBB Pro Figure and the BCABBA Figure rep, it all keeps me very busy. I put in long days. Usually work until 7:30/8pm. If I'm really lucky, I'll sneak home for a nap in the afternoon! I put in long hours, but at the end of the day I get to work at my dream job. Helping people reaching their goals. Whether its losing weight, building muscle or hitting the stage. I've very proud of all my clients.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I am still really shy. Its way easier for me to strut my stuff on stage than
it is to talk in front of a group of people! This sometimes gets mistaken as snobby, but really I'm just shy.

Q: Describe Jeni Briscoe in five words.
A: Hard Working, Dedicated, Always There.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I'm looking at the NY pro in July for sure and probably a few in the fall.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: My website I am a BioX sponsored athlete. I love their products. I'm also a part time monavie rep cant live without my BioX supplements or monavie!
I also have a fan page on facebook now too that people can stay up to date with.!/pages/Jeni-Briscoe-IFBB-Pro-Figure/355045112573

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Jeni Briscoe the athlete and competitor?
A: A competitor can never have to many sponsors. I am very grateful to my BioX sponsors and love their products. I've been very lucky to be signed with them for years and years.

Q: Jeni, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thanks again for letting me tell my story.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Competitors Edge by Vanessa Prebyl

A Weekly Blog By Nationally Ranked Bikini Competitor Vanessa Prebyl

Hello to my Pro-Bikini Followers!!! For all you who don't know, this weekend, March 27 2010, will be the first IFBB Pro Bikini Show in the USA EVER!!! The GNC IFBB Muscle Contest 2010 Pro BIkini Championships will be held in CUlver City, California at the Veterans Memorial Building. Pre-Judging will start at 11am and finals will be at 6:30pm. The top 3 placings will earn their spot to compete in the 2010 BIkini Olympia. I am so EXCITED!! I am fortunate enough to be able to go and watch the show with my husband and cheer on my fellow competitors.

My mission for attending the first Pro-Bikini Show is to attain more information on WHAT exactly the judges are looking for in a Bikini COmpetitor. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but some of the Bikini winners and placers seem to be inconsistent to me. I would like to see what the judges are seeing and take notes in order to better myself and the Bikini Competitors that are reading this blog.

Therefor, next Tuesday I will write my blog on what I ahve learned and what we all can do to improve as Bikini Competitors. I truly hope you check-in next week for my findings.

Bikini Pros that will be competing are as follows:
*Dianna Dahigren, USA
*Michele D'Angona, USA
*Jennifer Dietrick, USA
*Sonia Gonzales, USA
*Michelle Gullett, USA
*Carol E. King, Barbados
*Amanda Latone, USA
*Leigh Lingham, Canada
*Christie Marques, USA
*Monique Minto, USA
*Natalie Pennington, USA
*Zhanna Rotar, USA
*Sherlyn Roy, USA
*Alea Suarez, USA
*Stacey Thompson, USA

* This list of competitors was updated 3-21-2010 and taken from

If you have any additional questions please post 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:
"It takes one hour of preperation for each minute of presentation time."
- Wayne Burgraff

Stay tuned for next weeks Pro Bikini Results!!!

Vanessa Prebyl (Bikini Competitor 3 1/2 weeks out from my next show, Emerald Cup) GO BIKINI!!!! :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dallas Malloy Interview

My three greatest loves are MMA, boxing, and bodybuilding. I first became a Dallas Malloy fan because of boxing, and an even bigger fan because of bodybuilding. I remember being in high school and reading about this teenage girl who was trying to fight in a sanctioned amateur bout and U.S.A amateur boxing wouldn't let her. I remember rooting for her in her fight and lawsuit against U.S.A. boxing and being so happy when she was finally allowed to have a sanctioned fight. Sure, part of it was like any high school kid, I thought she was cute, so I rooted for her. But it was just as much a case of "why wouldn't they not want females to fight? Doesn't seem fair" Then she stopped fighting. Then one day I saw a picture of a bodybuilder. Had no name on the picture, but I knew that face looked familiar. Then it dawned on me..... "that's Dallas Malloy". She was still beautiful, and her physique was incredible. I found out Dallas had been competing in Bodybuilding and had done rather well. But let's be clear here. There is so much more to Dallas Malloy then boxing and bodybuilding. Dallas, is a trainer, an actress, play piano, and is simply an inspirational woman. To me, if you are a female who competes in an individual sport, you should really take the time to learn about Dallas, because she helped make things easier for you. I consider it a huge honor that Dallas took the time to do this interview, and am very honored to now present it to you.

Q: First Dallas, I want to thank you for taking the time for doing this. I am a huge fan, and am so honored to have you a part of this.
A: Thank you~it's my pleasure.

Q: Can you start out by just telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: Born in Southern California, but grew up in Washington state

Q:Now, there are alot of people who may read this, who may not know how important somethings you have done are. Can you share a little bit about your successful challenge of the U.S.A boxing bylaw and becoming the first female amateur to have a sanctioned bout.
A: I started boxing at 15, I found out that females were excluded from sanctioned amateur boxing in the U.S., so in order to do what I loved, I filed a discrimination suit against the U.S. Amateur Boxing Federation with the help of the ACLU and we forced them to set up a women's division. After winning in court, I finally had the first ever sanctioned match with another female boxer, and won by unanimous decision. I was 16 years old then.

Q: Do you think the female fighters today realize how big of a thanks they owe you?
A: I suppose you'd have to ask them :) I do receive acknowledgement for my work and I'm proud of what I've been able to do, and of course it makes me so happy that many others have been able to benefit.

Q: What do you remember about the first fight?
A: I was so focused, I had been through it over and over in my mind so many times, I wasn't really nervous, I was ready, it goes by so fast too, it's surreal.

Q: Not long after that you decided to quit boxing. What made you decide on that?
A: I'd been boxing for about a year and a half--I've always done a lot of things in life, and especially at that age I was prone to change and do new things often, it didn't seem strange to me.

Q: Do you still follow the sport, and if so, any favorites to watch?
A: I don't follow boxing now, but I love it and I always will.

Q: How long after the boxing did you move onto bodybuilding, and why bodybuilding?
A: Bodybuilding was actually my first love, I started lifting at 14 when I was inspired by Terminator II. It left a very strong impression on me in many ways, I started lifting the next day. I also saw Bev Francis, one of the first really big female bodybuilders in the 80's, and loved her physique.

Q: Was bodybuilding something you picked up fairly quickly? How long before you started to see results?
A: I just started, I didn't know how to train, or about nutrition or anything, but I was driven. I did power lifting in school, learned some things there, a lot of trial and error, later I had a couple different trainers to guide me. I'm mostly self taught and continue to learn every day, it's ongoing, it's for a lifetime. I got stronger quickly, having a strong mind is everything.

Q: Was competing the goal from day one, and if not, what made you decide to compete?
A: It wasn't, I didn't really know about shows or anything, I just wanted to look like that. I decided to compete later on after learning about competitions, then going to one and then I knew for sure that was something I wanted to do.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: Yes, however, competing is a very solitary thing, at least to me, and I've always done what I wanted to do, felt driven to do, regardless of having support or not.

Q: Was the first show what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: I just went in with an open mind and learned as much as I could, it's all very surreal.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*Jr. California 2006-- 2nd Place
*July 4th Venice Beach 2007-- 2nd Place
*Jr. California 2007-- 1st Place
*Venice Beach Labor Day 2009-- 2nd Place, Best Back Award
*Tournament of Champions 2009--1st Place, Overall Winner

Q: What do you consider your best body part, or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: Legs/abs.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: That changes all the time, I have to change up my routine frequently to keep myself challenged. I usually like training glutes and shoulders. I love posing.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how does it alter for contest prep?
A: The training routine is usually 5 days a week, with a boxing workout and/or other cardio 3-4 times/week, the diet is too complex to get into, but contest prep is the most difficult, very strict, hungry all the time, but looking my best for sure so it's worth it.

Q: When people see your physique for the first time, what is the most common response? More positive or negative?
A: I get a mix, admiration, fear, jealousy, hate, attraction, you name it, I get it.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question you are sick of hearing?
A: I have to pick just one? :) OK, how about: "so you must work out a lot huh?"

Q: Are there any misconceptions about female bodybuilders, or things you wish people knew?
A: I don't pay attention to stereotypes, I think bodybuilding is very misunderstood, and anytime people generalize or make assumptions they're in the wrong. Sometimes people are shocked to find out I'm a classical pianist, or that I'm a writer, because they've judged me as one-dimensional. I guess some people think bodybuilders are narcissistic, I can only speak for myself, and it couldn't be further from that: Bodybuilding is half sport, half art, looking in the mirror is to critique, to see where I need to sculpt, add muscle, learn to display better with my posing, not to admire. It's complex, it's 90% mental, and requires intelligence. Most people have no understanding of this.

Q: If someone came up to you and said they wanted to start the sport, what is the one piece of advice you would want to give them?
A: Save yourself a lot of time and energy by getting someone to train you properly (like me), someone who knows Bodybuilding, the nutrition, everything it takes. It is not for most people, the mental toughness and discipline required is not something most people seem to have or want to find even if they do.

Q: Are there any bodybuilders you are a fan of or admire?
A: I love Bev Francis from the 80's/90's, David Henry, and Hidetada Yamagishi.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pizza, Mexican food

Q: You also do personal training. How can potential clients contact you and what all kinds of services do you offer?
I train in the LA area, in-home and gym training, all skill levels, mass building, fat loss, boxing, core/balance

Q: What do you most enjoy about training others?
A: Being able to help them get the body they want--but also to see their self-esteem, confidence and energy get better and better--to be a part of helping them change their life is awesome!

Q: Lets talk about your acting. You have done many different things. Can you share where people may have seen you, or at least some of the highlights?
A: Here is some of my work: To mention a couple things, I portrayed myself in the opening of Jerry Maguire, have done extensive theater work, had a major guest starring role on Eli Stone on ABC.

Q: How did you get involved in acting and what do you most enjoy about it?
A: I intuitively knew I'd be an actor since I was 14, I've done many other things most of which I can tie into my acting. It is difficult to verbalize what I enjoy most about it because it is such a part of me, it is just something I must do, something I've actually always done. When I was a kid and would watch movies I would sort of become one of the characters, I would embody them, their energy ... it's an exploration of the self, different aspects of who I am, a totally live creative process.

Q: When you actually find free time, any hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I don't really have free time because everything I do is in some way related to my work-either bodybuilding, acting, writing or music--I've played the piano since I was 6. But I will take moments to observe and escape into nature, of course I love movies although I'm studying while I'm watching. I love my cat :)

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Dallas Malloy.
A: If I have an acting job that can be all day, if I don't, then train clients, do my own training-weights and boxing, check the breakdowns (acting job listings) and email about 20 times throughout the day, go to a networking event and/or auditions, watch portions of a movie, practice the piano, work on a writing project, remember to breathe.

Q: What is one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?
A: Most people are surprised when they find out I play the piano.

Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show, and musician?
A: Russell Crowe, Marlon Brando, Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Daniel-Day Lewis, Linda Hamilton, Robert Deniro, Phillip Seymour Hoffman ... too many to mention.
A Beautiful Mind, Life is Beautiful, Lord of the Rings trilogy
(mostly re-runs) Arrested Development, MASH, Taxi, Seinfeld, I love Lucy

Q: Describe Dallas Malloy in five words.
A: Relentless, Tenacious, Disciplined, Passionate, Courageous.

Q: Now you also have a great website. Can you give out the address for that and tell people what they can find there.
A: You'll find info about my acting, reels and other clips, info about my boxing, video of my fight, my popular inspirational blog, press photos and personal training information. I'm always adding more to it too!

Q: When all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
A: What a great question! That I helped and inspired people in all of my work, that by living my passion regardless of the barriers I had to overcome to get there or what society may have wanted for me, I was always true to myself and my art, and by doing so gave permission to others to do the same, that I was someone who only brought good into this world.

Q: Any set plans for 2010 as far as competing or more acting or anything?
A: I have some things coming up for acting that I can't talk about just yet, and competing will revolve around that. In the meantime I keep training and creating every day.

Q: Anything I may have missed that you want to take the time to plug or promote?
A: My website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated! And please check out my blog entries under Dallas' Musings.

Q: Assuming you compete again, sponsors are important. Are you looking for any, and if so, how can they contact you and what are the getting in Dallas Malloy the athlete and competitor?
A: I am looking for sponsorship right now, they can reach me at I'd like to represent a sponsor who sees who I am and where I'm going--that I am absolutely relentless when it comes to my work including BB and competing, that I am a reliable professional that's passionate and enthusiastic about what I do, and I'd want them to be the same.

Q: Dallas, again I want to thank you for doing this. It is a huge honor for someone who has been a fan for 16 years. Anything you want to add before you go?
A: Thank you Jason, it's a pleasure and honor for me also!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't Get Like Stael Bread In Your Training by Lindsey McFerran

What's up fellow blog readers?
Sorry for not writing soon, but I have been a little under the weather, but I am back to it. Now that it is spring and contest time is quickly approaching, I got a little spring in my step.

Hope training is going well For ALL. For all my fellow friends and competitors prepping for Vancouver and then the Mack Daddy E-Cup, you are in the HOMESTRETCH. So stay tight on your cardio and diet, this is not time for slip ups, even if you think it is not gonna hurt ya. Because it is!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, enough said about that. So today I am going to talk about keeping your training fresh in order to prevent the dreaded plateaus, as well as BOREDOM. Because let's face it, you see those people in the gym day in and day out that do the exact same routine. If I was doing that, I would get soooo bored that it would make me not want to wake my ass up to get to the gym.

So if you are a newbie to training, it will take a lot longer for your body to adapt to a certain routine. So this might not be the best blog for you, but keep it on file and in a year or two, it will provide you with some valuable insight. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.

Ok for you intermediates and advances, in order for your body to be constantly growing, developing, and most importantly obtaining a DRUM ROLL PLEASE......

TRAINING EFFECT, you need to be switching up your workouts constantly. You can change up sooo many variables. Bu just changing one variable you can change your workout completely. So I am going to give you some variable that you can manipulate like a match problem to prevent stagnation like a glacier in your workouts.

Here are some: You know you love the bullet points (easy for us muscle heads)

* Rep Range-
There are tons of different rep ranges. I know all the "experts" say to build muscle you need to stay within the 8 to 10 range. But that can get boring if you ask me. So what do I do? I am constantly changing up my rep range from workout to workout. Or even during the workout. I might start off trying to hit 15, but then I might move onto 20 or down to 10 depending on how my muscles are feeling. Then sometimes when I am nearing the end of the workout, I might try some high rep stuff of 40, 50, or even 100 reps. By utilizing different rep ranges, you can workout the muscles in a totally different fashion. Of course, you will not be able to push as much weight doing 50 reps as 10 reps, but you will have to concentrate more on form. But more importantly, utilizing different rep ranges is just another way to create a drum roll please.... TRAINING EFFECT.

* Lifting Tempo
Sometimes I don't think people think about lifting tempo, instead they are too busy thinking about doing their workout at a tempo just to get it over with. But it is just another variable that can cause a training effect. Think about it if you lift at the same tempo all the time, then your muscles will get use to it. So if you are doing dumbell chest presses and lifting super fast, then your muscles are getting use to that motion. But if you change the tempo and start lifting super slow, then Ladies and Gentleman, you will get muscle contraction and nipples poppin to no end. Just trust me on this one. By slowing down your tempo, you can get a lot more contraction from the muscles. Plus is also FORCES you to focus on working the muscle. SO try it out and tell me how you feel.

* Add some Body Weight exercises
Don't underestimate the power of body weight exercises. They can be great finishers and in my opinion a good pain in the ass at the end of a hard workout. Plus, you don't need any weight for them because trust me, you will not need it. Some good body weight exercises for Chest and Legs.
Chest: Push ups- But you can put a lot of variety on push ups, you can manipulate the grip length. You can put your feet on the bench and make them incline push ups. You can pause on the bottom, then bring yourself back up. The possibilities are endless, you just need to be creative.

Legs: The MACK DADDY and one of my staples in my leg workouts is WALL SITS. These babies are brutal. You can also change it up by changing how wide you stance is, you can play around with the length of time you site on the wall for, you can even do wall sits with one leg, and these ones are a challenge.
*Then you can always do some ABS with your own body in between sets to create more of a BURN......

* Other intensity techniques
OK Ladies and Gentlemen, you can also incorporate some intensity techniques in order to create a training effect as well. Some of my personal favorites include SUPER SETTING, which is you do one set of one exercise, then immediately hop into another set of a different exercise WITHOUT ANY REST IN BETWEEN. This can help work your muscles longer and harder. Another one of my favorites is drop sets or also known as running the rack. Basically lets say for leg extensions you start doing 10 reps for 100lbs, then you drop down and do 10 reps for 90lbs, then 10 reps for 80lbs, until your legs are screaming in pain. That is another way to keep your training interesting. Also you can incorporate different rep ranges into these as well. You can do ascending and descending sets. If you don't know what that means, browse through the glossary terms on to get a better feel.

My main point is the possibilites for what you can do with weight training are endless. YOu should not be stuck in the same boring routines. I ahve been lifting since I was in high school and I feel I ahve not even scratched the surface of what is out tehre to do. There are sooo many different exercises and variations that the possiblites are LIMITLESS>

So don't get like Stale Bread in Your Training, incorporate and manipulate some of these variations and you will never get bored in the gym. If you need more ideas, shoot me an email and I can give you more stuff to play around with to get those nipples poppin again.

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