Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Erika Guerra Interview

Photo Credits:
Photos 1 and 5: Hot Shotz Photography
Photos 2-3: NPC News Online/ Amir Mirandi

Very rarely am I impressed as much by a new competitor as I was when I saw Erika Guerra's photos form the Natural Eastern USA's. Erika won her class, Novice, and the Overall. She brought an incredible package to the stage and for someone so new, she had an incredible stage presence. Erika has such an incredibly bright future in the sport and is definitely pro material.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I started when I was about fourteen years old. Both of my parents growing up were bodybuilders and fitness had always been a huge part of my life. My mom and I would run everyday and weight train in the gym. She taught me a lot of what I am still doing today. I always loved being fit and they way it made me feel was something I could never get enough of. I really started to structure my training in 2011 once I gained more knowledge about working out. I was consistent since then and made huge gains and have been hooked ever since.

Q: What made you decide to compete?
A: It was always in the back of my head but I felt afraid to go through with it. I started to see results in my body and was putting in so much effort, time and hard work, so I thought "why not make something of it?" That is when I decided to compete.

Q: You are still very young, is it hard to pass up the partying that people your age do to live this lifestyle?
A: For me, not at all. This is something I am extremely dedicated to and I would rather be doing this then doing things other kids my age are doing. For me, this is so rewarding.

Q: Was there anything about competing or the prep process that surprised you?
A: Not really. I was pretty much prepared about the diet. It got tough but I stuck with it and everything turned out perfect.

Q: You did the Natural Eastern USA's and won your class, won Novice, won overall, when you won overall, do you remember what went through your head?
A: I was just extremely excited to know that all my hard work had paid off. That everything I ever wanted actually came true. That was my moment and it was the best feeling. That I worked so hard and it turned out how I wanted it to.

Q: Did you feel going in that it was a realistic possibility?
A: I did! I was confident that I worked really hard, I felt that I deserved something like that.

Q: Two things impressed me. First was your posing and stage presence, how much work did you do on your posing?
A: Honestly, I really didn't practice as much as they say you should. I just got up there and didn't think about anything. I just wanted it so bad that I just did it.

Q: Were you as comfortable as you looked?
A: No, I actually wasn't. But I pulled it off well and I don't think anyone noticed that I was scared. It didn't look like it was my first time either.

Q: The other thing that stood out to me was your lats. Is that something you work on more or just genetics?
A: I definitely worked very hard to get my upper body to that point. I wanted my shoulders bigger and my back. It was something I was going hard on.

Q: Do you know when you want to compete next?
A: Yeah, I was looking at June, the NPC Bev Francis Atlantic States and then Team Universe in July.

Q: For those shows, where do you want to be better from last time?
A: Definitely I want to tone up my legs, get them more cut. I want my back wider. I am working on that now.

Q: You have the body frame to hold a lot of muscle, would you ever consider physique?
A: I have thought about it but I think I like the figure look better than physique. Although I do think I could do well in physique also.

Q: When you are in the gym, do you get any of the stares or attention from people?
A: I do! It is something you get used to. I used to be bothered by it but it is more now not creepy, it is more people looking at me as an inspiration and I appreciate it. People like to see someone who takes care of themselves and is dedicated. It is something I like, to inspire others.

Q: If you could spend a day training with someone you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: I would really like to train with Erin Stern. She has an amazing physique and is a huge role model.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Definitely my friends and family that have supported me through it all. Both my parents have been great, my dad helping with training and my mom helping with food. My boyfriend who kept pushing me and giving me confidence.

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