Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jaime McAlister Interview

Not new to the gym, but fairly new to competing, Jaime McAlister is someone to keep an eye on. Having done three shows and already a 2nd and a 3rd place on her resume, Jaime is already doing outstanding, and there is no doubt that there will be more great performances to come with a 1st place attached to her name more than once. She says she wish she started competing earlier, and I think anyone who sees her wishes that, but it is great for fans that she is competing now and we get to watch her as she continues to get better.

Q: First, Jaime, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: You are very welcome, thanks for having me!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born & raised in Greenville, SC. I grew up with a great family, very supportive in all my endeavors! I graduated from Clemson University in 2004. I am a national level NPC figure competitor, Marketing Director and New Homes Sales Agent.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have always been a bit of a tom-boy so growing up I loved doing any outdoor activity. I played soccer for 8 years, volleyball for 4 years. Then in college I was on the Women's Rowing Team. I then got into powerlifting a bit before becoming a figure competitor.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I have always loved working out, I lifted some in high school but just didn’t really know what I was doing. When I joined the Clemson Rowing Team we had to hit the weights pretty hard. That’s where I realized I was strong for my size and I absolutely fell in love with it!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I have been going to the gym for years so it’s definitely something that comes easy for me. The diet part was the area that I needed some direction on. Once I decided to compete and started dieting, it only took a week or two to see some changes.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I was introduced to the sport by a friend when I was in college. Ever since I went to my first show, I knew I wanted to compete. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to actually get on stage! But it was last year at the SC State show that I realized there was absolutely no reason or excuse for me not being up on that stage. So, I decided to start training and did my first show in October.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: Oh yes! Very much so! I would not be able to do this sport without all the support and encouragement from my friends & family.

Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
AL Honestly, I had no clue what to expect! My trainer is an IFBB Pro Figure Competitor so she gave me tons of tips & stories but I really didn’t know what to expect. Every show has been a blast though! You meet some amazing people and get to show off all your hardwork!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2009 - Mid Atlantic Carolina Classic, Charlotte NC – 2nd
*2010 – Palmetto Cup, Columbia SC – 7th
*2010 – Victory in the Valley, Hickory NC – 3rd

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My back has always been my strong point. I think rowing & powerlifting has definitely helped me in that area.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love training arms & shoulders! I love shrugging & deadlifts. I have to limit those though because I am trying to lean down my legs.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Off-season I lift about 4 days a week. I lift heavier than I would training for a show, just trying to put on some more size. I try to get in a variety of cardio workouts. I will be doing a lot of plyometrics, sprints & running during this off-season trying to work on the lower body. I try to eat pretty clean with the occasional cheat meal. I up my protein & carbs on the off-season. I start dieting for a show about 12 – 14 weeks out and the cardio goes to twice a day.

Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: It’s been mostly positive. Usually people have tons of questions once they know I compete. There are always a few people that are negative and just don’t know why I would want to do this to myself.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Are you hungry?" Or "Do you workout?"

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that some girls think they can just “diet down” for a competition and do well. Yes a clean diet is a must but you need to have the muscle too!

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Best is looking your best, showing off your hard work & meeting some amazing people! Worst part for me is the waiting between pre-judging and the night show. Also not being able to shower! haha

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: My trainer, Marie Ann Newman and also Trish Warren, Gina Trochiano, Nichole Wilkins-Lee and Erin Stern

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Well if I could choose anything it would be cereal! I usually go for pancakes or sushi for a cheat meal though.

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: Just one? Oh boy…I guess it all depends on how she looks but I would emphasize how important diet & cardio is and to keep her eye on the prize. It’s so easy to lose focus. Stay positive. You are CHOOSING to do this.

Q: Do you think it is becoming more accepted by society for women to be in the gym training as hard as men?
A: Absolutely! I love it too! I love seeing women right up in there with the men hitting the weights just as hard if not harder!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love traveling, going to the lake/beach, hiking, camping, movies, fixing up/remodeling homes, shooting pool and I love my furry babies – I have 2 labs & 2 cats.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Jaime McAlister.
A: Wake up about 5:30am and hit the treadmill for some cardio, breakfast, get my food ready for the rest of the day, then off to work. After work, I usually hit the gym then after dinner I usually take my dogs on a walk.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: People are usually surprised to know how much I have deadlifted

Q: Describe Jaime McAlister in five words.
A: Independent, Strong, Dedicated, Caring & Resilient

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: The plan is to take the rest of the year off to focus on leaning down my lower body, getting more definition in my legs and continuing to build & improve the rest of my physique. My next competition will be the Junior Nationals in 2011.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Anyone looking for contest prep should contact Custom Fitness and join The Dream Team. Their website is: I couldn’t have done it without their knowledge, support & encouragement. I also love Applied Nutriceuticals. Their products are wonderful, I have seen amazing results. Check them out at

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you?
A: I am always seeking sponsorships. It would be so exciting to represent great companies & great products! You can reach me at

Q: Jaime, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Just want to thank everyone that has helped me and supported me over the past year. It has been an amazing journey so far and I look forward to what is to come

1 comment: