Thursday, January 14, 2010

Check out my interview with !!

How did you get started with bodybuilding?After suffering from a deep depression on my 40th birthday, which I spent crying in my room, drinking red wine, smoking and feeling extremely stressed at work, I decided that it was time for a change. I began to see a therapist and refused to take the anti-depressants they offered me knowing they were just a band-aid solution and I needed to heal from within. Therapy made me stronger, but not yet wiser.

I finally mustered the courage to join a gym in January 2003.

I walked into the weight room and walked straight out feeling terrified and intimidated in not knowing what to do. After finding out that I was a “skinny” fat person at 110 pounds, 5’1” and 32 percent body fat I hired a personal trainer and started educating myself by reading fitness magazines, and changed my diet. One day, I asked my trainer about a woman I saw at the gym and wondered why she was literally melting in front of my eyes and I was still struggling to lose body fat – she was training for a show. When he told me not to concern myself with that because “you don’t have what it takes, it’s not for you,” something clicked.

With the support of a trainer who believed in me, I stepped on stage for the first time at the age of 45.

I was terrified! My goal was to be anything but last place. I was second last and happy with that. I had only intended to do just one show to prove I could do it, and before the first one was done I was hooked and signed up for the next just two months later. And I haven’t looked back since.

Where does your motivation come from?I love weight training and competing so I don’t need a lot of external motivation. Most of it comes from within; it’s a part of who I am. I am also very fortunate to have an incredible support network — TEAM EP, a collection of friends and clients who have become my extended family. I’m always amazed and humbled by their continued support year-after-year whether it be supporting my business and training studio, personal struggles or just being in the crowd cheering me on at shows, and of course enjoying the celebration dinners with me as well. Perhaps a little part of me does this for them, but as long as I’m winning and placing I’ll continue competing.

So what is the bodybuilding training routine that you use to achieve that killer physique?Off-season

I experimented on my own with 5 sets of 6 reps, working one body part a day — five days on, two days off. I love the feeling of lifting heavy. My goal is to increase upper body mass for more symmetry in 2010. For cardio, I generally do 45 minutes, five days a week; using a variety of machines and often taking advantage of the great walking trails in my neighbourhood with my dog, Tequila. I’m not a big fan of cardio!
On Season
For competition prep, I basically stick with a body part a day — 4 sets, 8 – 10 rep for upper body until I get closer to a competition, and then increase the reps to cut and define. Legs are my weak point so I usually keep in the 15 – 20 rep range. My leg workouts are split into quads one day and hamstrings another, so I train six days on, one day off.

When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?Twice a day, low-grade cardio starts early for me to lean out my legs. At the four week mark, I like to add some all out one minute sprints every five minutes or so to my morning cardio routine.

What is your Diet like?Off-season my diet is approx 2,200 to 2,500 calories. I use avocados, walnuts and Omega 3’s for my healthy fats. My sources of starch vary between brown rice, wild rice and sweet potato. I’m gluten and lactose intolerant so I tend not to eat breads, cheese or pasta unless I’m having a cheat meal. I also eat small amounts of red meat every day for natural creatine. My competition prep diet is very similar except the calories and carbs drop at several points along the way. All starches are eliminated at the six-week mark using green veggies and fruit as my carbs. I also eat lots of tilapia, egg whites, chicken and ground turkey for my protein sources. I like to chew my food, so shakes are kept to once a day. I love to eat and cook so I often experiment with the items from my meal plan to create some really tasty meals.

What is your supplementation like?My supplementation is very simple. Most of my nutrition comes from my food — omega 3’s and the addition of magnesium and potassium once starches are eliminated. I add some leucine and BCAA’s to my daily intake and that’s about it.

Plans for the future?My first competition goal for 2010 is to compete in the figure category in the CBBF Canadian Nationals in Laval, Quebec in April 2010. To be able to compete at this level at the age of 50 is a dream come true. I’m hoping to place to advance to the Worlds later in 2010.

I’m also considering venturing into the world of bodybuilding for the next season.

Personally, I’m focusing on growing my personal training business and adding more group classes to my weekly schedule. Since my camps are limited to six people, there’s lots of one on one and coaching, and it’s one of the more rewarding facets of my business. I’m also looking at getting my motorcycle license this spring.

Favourite Bodybuilders?Darrem Charles is one of the most graceful posers I have ever seen. I was fortunate enough to see his routine at one of my shows and was absolutely mesmerized. James Banks was also a huge influence on me and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him. He’s the trainer who believed in me and convinced me that I was competitive and got me on stage for the first time. As for women, when I first started out Jenny Lynn was my motivation. I had a photo of her on the fridge to remind me I didn’t need to be in there.

In August of 2006 Canadian IFBB Fitness Pro Mindi O’Brien presented me my trophy at the CBBF Canadian Nationals.

I remember watching her with the competitors backstage and chatted with her. She was so friendly and helpful, and I wasn’t even one of her clients. Over the years I ran into Mindi backstage at every show and she was always so friendly and approachable. I finally got the courage to contact her and meet with her in December 2008. It has been an incredible experience and I’m looking forward to working with TEAM O’Brien for the upcoming season.

Favorite Quote?I do because I can. I can because I want to. I want to because you said I couldn’t.