Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monica Clyde Interview

Monica Clyde just recently did her first show, and even though she "is new to the sport" she looked great. She is taking the next six months to add muscle and lose more bodyfat. New to the sport and looked that good? Imagine Monica when she isn't so new anymore. And reading her words you can see her passion for training, which means when she isn't so new, she is going to look even more amazing.

Q: First Monica, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you for inviting me to do this interview!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am a true California girl, born and raised in the Central Valley. I moved to the San Francisco East Bay about 15 years ago. My husband and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary! He has 3 children, all out of the house and living productive lives on their own. We have one grandchild. I am 54 years old!
I am a consultant to the Fitness and Wellness Industry; I write and facilitate Wellness and Fitness programs in all phases. I am a Master Pilates Trainer through Balanced Body University and hold numerous fitness certifications, although I have semi-retired in lieu of perusing my own passions, like bodybuilding!

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I grew up dancing classical Ballet and have been active all my life. Anything movement oriented, including windsurfing, hiking, cycling and dancing. I had a severe knee injury about 6 years ago that put an abrupt halt to my activities, so for most of the past 5 years I was only practicing yoga and swimming. I was unable to walk for months, so imagine how good it feels to have made a comeback from that!

Q: What Initially led you into the gym
A: My initial experience at the gym was when I was about 20 years old. I did a work exchange for free membership and hooked up with a wonderful man who was and incredible trainer. Leon Applegate was his name; he was born with Cerebral Palsy. The doctors told his parents to institutionalize him, but instead they took him home and worked his body every day. He studied classical bodybuilding and passed his knowledge of proper form on to me. You have to use your imagination here; back in the day (the 70’s) women didn’t hang out in the weight room, so here I am with a rock hard ballet dancer body and a guy who moves spastically due to CP, working out while throwing loving insults at one another. My career took off and so did his, so my weight workouts were put aside until 6 months ago when I saw a photo of a friend of mine who had just competed in her first figure competition. I was shocked to see her transformation, the smile on her face, the light in her eyes and the confidence she exuded we astonishing. “I want that”, I whispered to myself! I called her and she inspired me to take the plunge. Also, I did a 28 day body detoxification and cleanse program a couple of years ago, which changed my life. One of the concepts that was introduced in the program was using Burst training for fat burning. That got me back into the gym on the cardio equipment, so moving to the weight room was not quite as scary!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy?
A: Right away I knew I needed a trainer, and was blessed to find my trainer John Cunningham. John has competition experience and was able to help me understand what I was doing and why. I LOVE the training aspect so while it is not easy by any means, it is my favorite part of the whole bodybuilding lifestyle. I had a fair amount of muscle to start, but was deconditioned for bodybuilding. I had a yoga body, pretty stretchy, but not much stability, so it took about 9 weeks to start to see some real change. Remember, I am over 50 so it takes a little longer!

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Seeing the smile, the glow and the confidence in my competitor friend, I asked myself “who would I have to be to be able to have that?” I decided I wanted to have what she had; that glow of beauty, grace and confidence that comes from the inside out. You can’t buy that kind of beauty and it doesn’t come in a bottle. It is cultivated and I wanted to cultivate that within myself. I knew that entering a competition, which in my mind reads “getting up on stage in a bikini and hooker heels”, would be very compelling and a great motivator.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My husband has been incredibly supportive. The rest of the family….well, I think they mostly wonder “what is she doing NOW?” I’m always up to something. My friends have all been behind me cheering me on.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: I didn’t really have any preconceived ideas about the competition. I was, however, pleasantly surprised at how all of the women backstage banded together and looked out for one another. I met some wonderful, intelligent women. That was a delightful part of the experience!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: The Contra Costa Classic, May 9, 2011 was my very first competition! I am training for another in November.

Q: What do you feel is your best body part?
A: Hmmm…that is a tough one. I haven’t been training that long so have a long way to go. My arms seem to respond to training very well, which doesn’t help me that much in Figure!

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
AL I really love training. Working hard and pushing myself beyond what I think I can do is a great feeling, so I love it all. I have a love hate relationship with training my shoulders, but I love the results from doing pitcher-pourers!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like?
A: My routine comes from my coach Nancy Georges. I do a 5 day split, one body part per day with the exception of abs and butt. I do abs every other day and a hard butt workout on leg day and light butt work every day, mostly Pilates mat and yoga to keep those glutes awake. As for my diet, I started with a detox cleanse from Cambiati Wellness and stuck with their clean eating Paleo based diet, that made it easy to transition into prep. I did 15 week prep so the longer time period was easier on my body and my training.

Q; When people see or hear you train and compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: When people see my physique the reactions are universally positive. I am surprised and inspired by the number of women who secretly have the desire to either compete, or get into competition shape. Another comment I hear is “I would never have the discipline to do that”, and that reminds me that we are a special group of people who can hone our inner selves to become our very best inside and out.

Q: When they see it that first time what Is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I’m not really sick of hearing any of the feedback. I feel sad for those would like to have what we have, but who don’t give themselves the opportunity to even try. It is human nature and I accept that in people. My goal is to inspire, so I just move on.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: When I first tell people what I am into and mention the word bodybuilding, if they haven’t been exposed to the bodybuilding world, they think BIG, like a man. Women are afraid of getting too muscular; they think they will lose their femininity, but don’t understand the divisions within bodybuilding. I would love to expose both men and women to the bodybuilding world so they can be inspired by ALL of the divisions!

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training for me is working hard, pushing beyond my perceived limits. I love it so much that I don’t really have a “worst” part. I feel grateful to have the time, strength and health to train hard.

Q: Are their any competitors you admire or are a fan of?
A: I’m new to this sport, so I haven’t really followed anybody, but one competitor that I watched at the Contra has stayed with me, Rebecca Boyer, who you did an interview with recently. She is awesome to look at, but it was her being-ness that really stuck with me.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Mex, with cerveza! I am super disciplined, so don’t EVER cheat until I am given a cheat meal.

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: DO IT! Don’t think about it, just get down to it.

Q: Do you think it is becoming more common to see women using the weights and not just doing cardio?
A: It certainly is more common than back in the day! It is great to see women young and old working out in the weight room. I think women feel more comfortable now than they used to.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to move, so anything active. I walk my dogs, do Bikram Yoga, I’m learning Spanish and working on writing a program for women who want to change their life through changing their physique.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Monica Clyde.
A: A typical day…I teach a Pilates class 3 mornings each week, then go for a walk with my dogs and then I’m off to the gym. Most days I spend an average of 2 hours at the gym. I work in the afternoons in my home office, and then some days I go to Hot Yoga. After dinner, I catch up on Facebook and Spanish class, and then hang with my hubby and that’s about it!

Q: Describe Monica Clyde in five words.
A: Integrity, grace, fortitude, heart, soul.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I am a published author.

Q: Any set plans as far as competing or anything?
A: I’ll take the next 6 months to pack on some more muscle and lose some more body fat for the NPC Sacramento show in November.

Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I’d love to promote Nancy Georges, my coach and Cambiati Wellness, www.cambiati.com for my diet and nutrition support. And, of course, I’d like to promote Promoting Women in Bodybuilding, Fitness & MMA for giving us all the inspiration to dig deep and become our best!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, what are they getting in Monica Clyde?
A: I would love to be sponsored. What would they get? A very outspoken spokesperson who is always out on the cutting edge, highly visible a HUGE work ethic and who has a reputation for blazing the trail.

Q: Monica thanks so much for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Jason, thank you so much for honoring me with this interview. I hope it inspires others to DO SOMETHING, even if it is just to get off the sofa and go for a walk. You have been a great inspiration to all of us who have been able to friend you!


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