Sunday, May 1, 2011
IDFA Pro Nichelle Laus Interview
After competing in boxing and kickboxing, Nichelle Laus needed a sport where she could train just as hard. She found it in Figure. Not only did she find it, but she has excelled at it. Doing very well in her shows, including winning a pro card. This beautiful mother of three has worked hard and it shows. Definitely someone to keep an eye on.
Q: First, Nichelle, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Likewise, thank you for the opportunity to be able to share my story and my passion to everyone.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am originally from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada 11 years ago to pursue my full time career. I am the youngest of 7 children, and I am happily married and we have 3 young boys.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have been athletic and competitive all my life. Sports and fitness have always been such a huge part of my life. I played basketball, softball, track and field, badminton, volleyball, and basically anything that involved physical activity.
Q: What got you interested in boxing and kickboxing?
A: I started kickboxing in my teens when I was looking for a more challenging workout. I fell in love with the sport and all the benefits I gained learning it such as confidence, self-esteem, strength, and flexibility, that I decided to take it to a higher level. I competed at an amateur level up until I left Montreal. At the time when I moved to Ontario, amateur kickboxing wasn't allowed, so I transitioned into boxing.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I am lucky to be naturally athletic. I can pick up anything relatively quick and have always been a "natural" at picking up sports. The fact that I loved it, and that I am very competitive, made it even more easier for me to be successful at it. I saw results almost immediately, and still work on improving all the time.
Q: You used to compete in the sports. Can you give your records or some highlights.
A: I have had a total of only 13 fights in my career, both kickboxing, boxing, which include exhibition fights as well. I have had 3 TKO's, lost 1, and even my exhibition fights were exciting!
Q: You now compete in Figure. What led to that?
A: When my husband and I started a family, I needed to find a more flexible sport with the same competitive edge. I transitioned easily into figure competitions because the dedication, hard training, and focus is exactly what is needed to compete in figure. Weight training was always part of my boxing/kickboxing routine training, so it made it easy for me to transition over.
Q:Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A; The thing that surprised me the most was just how much nutrition really plays a major part in results. The transformation of my body was astonishing and extremely rewarding.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
*Nov - IDFA Toronto Pro - 4th
*Nov - UFE National Championships - 16th
*Nov - OPA London Championships - 1st (Masters), 5th (Open)
*July - IDFA Toronto Classic (Pro-Debut) - 4th
*May - OPA South Central Championships - 3rd
*May - IDFA Calgary Classic - 1st
*Nov - OPA London Nytro - 3rd
*Nov - IDFA Canadian Classic IV - 1st
*Oct - FAME Halloween Mayhem - 3rd
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I would say my arms, particularly my biceps.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love to train biceps, and shoulders. My favorite exercise is the pull up. It is great to work the entire upper body and I am always trying to challenge myself!
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: On off season, I usually keep my cardio to 3-4 times a week, and weight training to 4-5 times a week, incorporating all kinds of different exercises or challenges to mix it up. My nutrition is clean, eating 5-6 small meals a day with a cheat meal once a week. As I approach or am training for an upcoming show, my cardio increases to 6-7 times a day, and my nutrition is clean with no cheats 8 weeks out. I try to stay approx 10 pounds away from my contest weight so they prep isn't so intense.
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 tends to always be a positive reaction especially when they hear that I have 3 young children. They always ask me how I manage to fit it all in, and how I stay so focused and motivated.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: People think that I am training "too hard" and doing "too much". I always get asked "Are you sure that is healthy?"
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I think what bothers me the most is the misconception that figure competitors don't eat enough or work out too hard that "it may be unhealthy". The truth is, I am the healthiest I have ever been in my life, and I eat way more than people think!
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training is the way I feel after every single work out. I train hard, focus, and stick to my plan. Seeing results, tracking progress, and helping others achieve their goals is the best feeling in the world. The worst part is when the work out is over!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A; Of course I can relate more to any competitor that is a mom, but I admire ALL competitors. We all have our personal stories, obstacles, fears, and challenges that we have to overcome. We all step on that stage or in that ring with the same goal: be the best that we can be, and have fun while doing it!
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Even though it's not really a cheat, I absolutely LOVE natural smooth peanut butter. I eat it right off the spoon like a lollipop! Other than that, some great Indian food dishes always taste so good as a cheat!
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: Make a plan, keep it realistic, and take it one step at a time. The results will come, but you have to work at it, so stay motivated, and focused.
Q: Any plans on getting back into kickboxing and/or boxing?
A; Although I would love to fight again, I think I will stick to training, and teaching others. I am happy to share my experiences, and success with others and love inspiring them to be the best that they can be.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A; Spending time with my husband, and our children, and our family.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Nichelle Laus.
A; Depending whether or not I am working, my typical day is quite busy with the 3 children. I have mastered multi-tasking and setting priorities. A typical day includes getting up around 5:30am for cardio, prepare meals, get kids ready. If I am working, I head to work. If not, I head to the gym for a morning workout. Run errands, take care of the household, the children, teach kickboxing 3-4 times a week, and network.
Q: Describe Nichelle Laus in five words.
A: Loyal, Competitive, Hard-Working, Dedicated, Focused
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else.
A; I am planning to compete in the Toronto Pro Supershow in June.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A; I would like to thank my husband David for all his support. I would also like to thank my children, my family, my friends, and my fans for all their support. You can check out my website at www.nichellelaus.com or "like" my Facebook page "Nichelle Laus - Fitness Model, Figure Competitor, Kickboxing Instructor". I would like to thank the Ontario Physique Association for allowing me the opportunity to compete in such a great organization. I'd like to thank Inside Fitness magazine, Oxygen magazine, Clean Eating magazine, and Status Fitness magazine for allowing me to be featured in their pages. I would also like to thank Canam Karate Newmarket for allowing me the opportunity to share my passion of kickboxing with other eager women.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Nichelle Laus the athlete and competitor?
A; Yes, I am always looking for sponsorship. I would love the opportunity to be featured as a sponsored athlete for a nutrition/supplement/athletic company and will work hard to promote my sponsor. I can be reached through my contact form on my website, or through my page on Facebook. You will not be disappointed!
Q: Nichelle, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A; As I always say "Focus on your goals, not the obstacles". Keep dreaming big! Thank you very much for the interview!