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We will be posting various interviews with the pros and promoters leading up to the 2007 event.                                 Kristal Richardson
George Farah
Heather Mae French
Valerie Waugaman
Mary Jo Cooke
Jill St.Laurant
Silvio Samuel
Johnny Jackson
Dennis James
David Henry

5 Questions with Kristal Richardson
by
Shawn Ray

 
1) Please explain your Contest History briefly and how you wound up becoming an IFBB Pro Figure Competitor?
A)
My contest history is short and sweet.  I entered my first competition in March of 2006. It was the San Francisco Steel Rose. I won my class and the overall.
My second competition was the 2006 North American Championship. This was a big show as there were 120+ competitors. I won my class and took second in the overall-this is where I earned my Pro Card.
The Colorado Pro will be my Pro debut and my third competition.
 
2) Residing in Miami, Florida does it have any advantages for being a Pro Figure Competitor or is there a desire to move out West for the Bright Lights of the Mecca in Fitness?
A).
I love training outside and living in a warm climate, I’m able to do this year around. I do believe that the West coast is more fitness oriented, so I love making frequent trips to LA for photo shoots and to train at Gold’s Gym in Venice. The  energy there is like nothing I’ve ever felt in a gym-I love it!
 
3) Being a Married Competitor what advantages or disadvantages have you encountered?
A)
My husband is the most encouraging and supportive man. I’m so lucky to be married to someone who supports my vision and travels this journey with me. He is actually more than just supportive…he is like another coach to me, he knows his stuff.  I would not be able to do this without him, so I guess you could say, for me, there are only advantages to being a married competitor.
 
4) 5 years ago if someone told you that you would a Pro Figure Competitor one day competing in the Shawn Ray Classic what kind of response would you have given and why?
A)
Honestly, I would have said…”What is Figure?” I just learned of the sport about three years ago when I went to support my good friend and trainer, Bill Wilmore at one of his competitions. This is where I saw the Figure competitors and knew right away that this is what I wanted to do.
If you told me that day that I would be a Pro and competing at the Shawn Ray Classic, I would have told you to “get out!” No way… I was just a skinny girl who did cardio all the time. I had no idea that, with a lot of hard work, I could make the gains I have made and be one week away from standing on a stage with the Pros!
 
5) We fast forward to your best condition and the biggest contest, what 3 Ladies would you like to be called out with?
A)
Mary Lado, Jenny Lynn, and Valerie Waugaman

5 Questions with George Farah

by Shawn Ray 

1) Please inform us the events in your life that have transpired since last year that now allows you to jump back onstage and do battle in COLORADO this year?

A) Well to be honest, I was waiting on the doctors to OK my back for me to resume my training. That is the only reason I had to wait until this year! I wanted to be 100% and hopefully I can impress Shawn :).

2) What are your short term goals as a Pro BBer and your long term life goal as a man?

A) I want to have one pro title under my belt! I'm very happy where I'm today in life. I love my family and proud to be a father and hopefully to be a great ambassador to the sport that I love and saved my life.

3) Your feud with Kamali is well documented from the NY Pro, where do you guys stand now and how will you handle the next comparison call out with him?
A) King is a good guy but he handles himself differently. I like the man, we talked and handled things like professionals should. I don't let negative stuff effect me to long, it's not a good thing. After all, God give me another chance at life and I'm doing the best that I can to show the lord that I appreciate it!

4) Share with us your journey to the US and what being a Professional BBer means to you?

A) Since I was a little kid and opened the first Muscle and Fitness Magazine, right then I know that someday I wanted to be an IFBB PRO not just another Pro,  there are so many of them out there these days :).

5) What do you do in your spare time to make ends meet and what would be your Ideal Call out comparison onstage with what 3 Pro's?

A) I'm a Nutritional Consultant, I work part time in a local hospital ( in the obese clinic). I also have an office of my own that I share with a doctor.

 I do PT and nutrition out of Powerhouse not to mention, I represent one of the leading supplements company in out industry Optimum Nutrition / ABB which is by the way they have been super great and supportive in every way you can imagine.

* Comparison? Let's see, I know that lot of people like to see balanced non bloated mid sections physique out in that first call out!! So I will like to see Myself/ Darrem and Dennis wolf. I'm going to surprise you Shawn :).


5 Questions with Heather Mae French,

by Shawn Ray
 
1) How and when did you receive your IFBB PRO Figure Status?
A) By winning the figure “A” class at the 2006 Jr. Nationals, I received my pro status 
 
2) Living in Colorado, do you think it is helpful not having to travel and what benefits do you see for yourself being a "Local" Competitor as opposed to having to travel to another State or Country to compete?
A)  There is no advantage of being from Colorado on the competitive stage, as an athlete still must go through the same routine no mater the location of the competition.  If you prepare yourself well the same luxuries of home can be provided on the road.  I do feel competing in the town where you reside is beneficial in other peripheral aspects; family and friends are able to enjoy the competition, you are able to sleep in your own bed, and many other nuances.
 
3) What is your Short term goal as a Professional and what is your Long Term goal by the time you're done competing? 
A)  My shortest termed goal is making the top 15 at the Colorado Pro.  A three year plan is to be a consistent and formidable competitor in the I.F.B.B., and as my career comes to a close I hope to be able to look back and enjoy the journey I was blessed with.
 
4) What would you be doing if it weren't for Pro Figure Competitions?
A) I am a career woman, who is a regional sales representative for a large transportation company.  I have and will be doing this type of work long after the competitive career is over.  I also am a proud mother, and that is always my first priority in life beside my Lord and Savior.
 
5) Your Fantasy Call Out in a competition would include which 3 IFBB Pro Figure Women?
A) My DREAM would be the first of three called out on the Olympia stage with any other two women in the world.

5 Questions with Valerie Waugaman,

by Shawn Ray
1) Being the defending and reigning Shawn Ray Pro Colorado Pro Figure Champion, do you feel more or less pressure coming back?
 
Both. On one hand, it is fun being the underdog who can slip in and surprise the industry. Staying out of all the attention, hype, and expectations while quietly focusing and working hard to come in your best is definitely a nice place to be. Doing your own thing without distractions or high expectations, and focusing on your true purpose for competing is what it’s really all about.
 
It’s also motivating to repeat a rewarding performance. Challenging myself to “BRING IT” once again. To confirm it was not a fluke and that I can even improve on the package I brought last year. I think both are worthwhile experiences. The true pressure really only lies within yourself. A few weeks after the show is over no one really cares about how you did except you. If you do your best, you’re always a winner. If not, then it’s time to step it up a notch!
 
One thing I learned is to never take any show for granted. There are no guarantee shoe-ins for any competitor. With a highly competitive lineup, any figure Pro who brings their best package to the stage can take the title at any given show. There are plenty of new pros who are hungry for victory and have the package to go with it. I never assume anything. I just focus on improving what I bring to each show with a goal of being innovative and different each time to keep it interesting and fun for both myself and the fans of the sport. That said, I STILL TRAIN TO WIN!
 
 
2) Your last contest placing at the Arnold Classic left many fans booing the decision. Did you feel like it was just and how do you handle the decision and what the fans say?
A)
Placing top 5 in the world is a huge accomplishment that I am very proud of. My goal was to bring forth the best Valerie Waugaman ever to shake Arnold’s hand. I did achieve my goal as I introduced myself to Arnold backstage. I gave him my business card and photo of him and myself that I used for motivation. He even sent me a letter of encouragement in the mail after the event! Of course, I always train to win. Winning the title would have been the ultimate experience. But, I felt like a champion the entire weekend anyway. I met so many people who gave me positive encouragement and feedback. The crowd support was encouraging. I’m already living my dream. Winning the Arnold title would be the icing on the cake! (…. A fat-free, sugar-free cake that is J)
 
After examining the photos after the show, I could see that my legs (as crazy as they are) were a little too much for the marketability of the figure sport. Toning them down a bit in my posing is something to consider. We need to maintain as distinct differentiation from figure to bodybuilding for our sport to continue to grow as much as it has the last few years. I want to be a positive example for upcoming competitors.  It will be tough to hold those crazy legs back as they have a life of their own, but I can see the benefit to doing so.
 
I can’t wait to present again at the Colorado Pro. It’s always a fun challenge to bring something new to the table (or stage). This show has great significance for me as it was my first and only pro title. Plus I had such a great time in the city of Denver. I decided to promote my next figure camp in the Denver/Boulder area because it is so beautiful.
 
3) Is there much "Cat Fighting" going on between the Pro Figure or do you ladies get along and sort of coexist while competing for the same Prize Money?
A) The definition of “Professional Athlete” holds true for the Pro Figure ladies. Most of us keep it professional, courteous, and fun during the shows. We help each other out with suits, tanning, lending a hand or a pair of scissors for emergency adjustments. At the end of the day, we cannot control who wins, and it doesn’t do any of us good if we were not to support each other. Not all of us are best friends, but that’s really based on our different personalities. I think most of us agree that the better we all present ourselves on stage, the better it is for the growth of our sport, which in turn means more exposure, more pro shows and greater prize money. The truth is, there is not a lot of prize money to go around, so it’s better not to expect it. Focus on making your money in other areas, and if you win a show it’s like getting a bonus.
 
4) What advice would you give an Amateur seeking to compete as a Pro Figure Lady, things to watch out for or look forward to?
A) Look forward to a more professional environment. You will definitely notice a difference with fellow competitors, promoters, and industry people when you’re a pro. You’ll notice at the big shows that the promoters and IFBB staff truly want to ensure you have everything you need for a good experience.
 
A great thing to look forward to as a pro is that aspiring competitors will recognize you and they’ll be excited to meet you. This is really fun, but it’s important to remember that not too long ago you were in their shoes. Treating them with respect and empowering them to reach their own goals is the best thing a pro can do. It’s what helps our sport continue to grow in a positive direction. I think it’s a good idea to find a company, or show promoters to work with so you can stay involved in the industry year round. Get out there and learn what the business is all about. Some of my favorite shows are the small local ones where the true personal transformation begins for most competitors. They are just so excited to be there, and it is fun to watch and encourage them on stage.
 
This doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down. Watch out for people that want to jump onto your success train and guide you down a path that is not in your best interest. Some people may want to be your friend for the wrong reasons. Take everything you hear people say with a grain of salt and follow your instincts. If you don’t get a good vibe from someone, then politely direct your attention elsewhere. You will also run into people that think you are looking for advice on how to get noticed as a new pro. They may offer to train you or introduce you to a new process that they think is better for you. My advice is to stick with your gut and do what you know is best for you. Stick with the things that got you to where you are and focus on improving one thing at a time. You know yourself best, so don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
 
5) You’re now promoting Camps to help ladies get in shape and compete, explain what it entails and where others can find information about them?
A) Yes, I call it CHAMP CAMP! Actually, there are two types of camps that I am promoting. One is for anyone ready to improve their current level of health _ fitness and take it up a notch! We focus on how to develop the wellness lifestyle habits for long term change. It’s all about bringing forth the Champion Within!
 
I am also promoting figure specific camps that cover the basics and then some
* Figure Industry Overview: The first step, and the next steps
* Intense Workouts for muscle building/sculpting as well as environmental cardio!
* Posing Instruction
* Mock Competition
* Contest Diet Tips
* Motivation/Goal Setting Workshop
* Show Preparation Guide: Suits, Tanning, Hair _ Makeup, Emergency kit, Travel Necessities and more...
* Professional _ National Level Guest Figure Competitors to answer your questions
* Fantastic Meals fit for a Figure Competitor as well as a Queen: You’ll never want to be off your nutrition plan with these tasty recipes!
 
I have to acknowledge and give thanks to the Fit Mission team of fitness-minded friends who contribute to the success of Champ Camp. Without this team of super-power coaches, Champ Camp wouldn’t be possible. Thank you Sarah Sharpe, Patti Ellins, Kathleen Zamora, Dr. Gabrielle Young, Beverly Gabbay, and many others.
 
Next Champ Camp Figure is the weekend of August 4th in Denver/Boulder. It will be a 2-3 day camp. Visit www.Fitmission.com or www.Valspace.com for details and registration.


5 Questions with Mary Jo Cooke,

by Shawn Ray

1) Where did you earn your Pro Card and how is life as a Pro Figure Athlete changed compared to being an Amateur in the NPC?
A) This past June 2006, I earned my Pro Card at the Jr. Nationals in Chicago! That moment on stage as the announcer was calling out the top five winners will give me “goose bumps” for the rest of my life. It’s an indescribable feeling to achieve a goal that you have been working towards for many years! Reflecting back on those years I spent as an amateur and comparing it to my newer experiences as a Pro….well, I must say that it does feel different.  The level of expectations is definitely greater, both personal and industry wise, and there is a higher level of intensity to the entire competition process. As an amateur or national level competitor my main focus tended to be making all the necessary gains to qualify for a Professional status. Now as a Pro, the focus is on fine tuning the entire physique and going after the Olympia Qualification. 
 
 2) You are a School Teacher, at what point did you see yourself competing as a Pro Athlete?
A) I actually, began competing while I was still in college. However, it wasn’t until after graduation that I was able to focus more time and the necessary energy to push me to the next level. This coincided with my becoming a Physical Education Teacher and teaching actually provided me with the structure and routine that helped enable me to reach my current potential. I had always had that secret dream of maybe, just maybe making it to the professional level. Well, the security, structure, routine and amazing work hours (185 work days a year) allowed me to push my potential to a higher level and help me achieve one of my dreams…IFBB Pro!!!!!!!!
 
3) Residing in Southern California, has that helped you as a Pro, in other words is it an advantage over people living in the Midwest and why?
A) Location, location, location…yes, I do believe that to some extent it helps being in Southern California. The climate here is amazing and definitely conducive to an athletic lifestyle. This also lends to a population that seems to be more image and health conscience. For some of these reasons (did I mention that the whole Hollywood/L.A. thing helps too?), there tends to be a greater congregation of photographers, competitions, expos, events, agencies, etc., that can be a great asset to a competitor. Being in close proximity to all of these options definitely helps cut down on expenses, which can produce greater opportunities.
 
4) The Colorado Pro Figure Contest last year had 29 Competitors many of which wound up competing in the Ms. Figure Olympia. Is this where you ultimately like to wind up and why?
A) Yes, it would be an honor and a privilege to qualify for the 2007 Olympia!!! I have many smaller goals I would like to accomplish along the way, but ultimately, I would love to grace the Olympia Stage.
 
5) Being a Pro Figure Competitor, what message would you like to convey to young girls trying to follow in your footsteps?
A) Working with Junior High School girls on a daily basis, I personally witness their reactions to the media and the perceived images around them. In a culture that often represents unrealistic images, I find an intense need to teach and build the self confidence and self esteem of adolescent girls and young women. On a daily basis I stress the importance of character, goal setting, dedication, discipline, time management, patience and self respect. Acquiring these skills, will better allow these young girls to set and have realistic expectation for themselves and others.

5 Questions with Jill St.Laurant,

by Shawn Ray

1) Where did you receive your Pro Card and what is different from being a Pro compared to and Amateur?
A)  Received Pro Card at the 2006 Canadian National Fitness and Figure Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. 
The main changes I have had to make from being a Canadian Amateur Figure competitor to an IFBB Pro Figure competitor is with respect to my physique.  I have been training like an athlete to downsize my muscle mass and streamline my physique for the Pro stage.
 
2) What inspired you to seek out competing in the Colorado Pro Figure as opposed to other shows?
A)  I have family that resides in Denver and I am competing in the show at the recommendation of my trainer.
 
3) Where are you from and where do you reside? How do you fine traveling on the road while preparing for competition, any special tips or advice?
A)  I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada so, all my travel involves air travel and packing food.  I just pre-cook and pre-weigh all my food, freeze it and pack it in a travel cooler.  I ensure I have access to a fridge and microwave at the hotel and I am all set!
 
4) Who would you most like to train with and be called out with on stage regarding other Pro Figure Competitors?
A)  I am very happy with my current trainer, Mike Davies, whom I have been working with since August 2006.  Regarding call-outs, I don't have a preference of who to be called out with, but who wouldn't like to hear their name in first round call-outs?!
 
5) If there where one thing about Pro Figure you'd like to change what would it be and why?
A)  As I am new to Pro Figure, I'll reserve comment on this until I have some more experience and more shows under my belt!

5 Questions with Silvio Samuel

by Shawn Ray

1) It's your 2nd year as an IFBB Pro and you competed in 3 shows already
this year with at least 4 more including this one. Do you think you
can maintain your peak and get better or will you run out of gas by

Olympia
time where it counts most?
A)
June this year will only turn me 1 year since I turn IFBB pro, and I
will be competing in 3 more shows, including the three I have already done.
I do understand how my body reacts, and moreover with the good
standard of training and the support of my sponsors. As
long as the morale of competition is there, my body reacts more and even
bring more qualities the more I compete, so the gas will still be there and
even more for a better show in the Olympia.


2) You are now sponsored by Weider and Muscle Tech, how do these
contracts help you as a Pro?

A)
Yes of course, I have two great sponsors Joe Weider, and the Muscle
Tech, since I have my contract with them, my whole life career in
bodybuilding has changed, many things are happening.
There is a great difference from when I was without any sponsor. For the
past 5 years I've improved more on my quality and size, feel  stronger
then ever, I feel more detemined to put in more on my training and improvement.
I do have much more advertisment and lots of publications which is
helping me get closer to my my fans!.


3) You have relocated your living situation to California being from
Nigeria, Brasil, Russia and Germany. Looks like your living the Dream,
how has life changed for you?

A)
Actually, I am now living in California, I feel after all the ups and
down, living here and there, I hope and believe I have landed! My life has changed
now that I really can settle down and do what I love doing most and enjoying it,
Bodybuilding! Where everyone sees your value, as well as appreciate one's effort.
I am living a dream still not believing it is all happening.


4) What do you need to do to your physique to get in the top 10 of
this years Mr. Olympia being that you qualified by placing 2nd in
the Sacramento Pro and again by placing 6th at the Arnold Classic?

A)
Like I told you, I'm just a newcomer in the pro circuit, and I do
have a lot to learn and improve on, so it will take some time. I know
in order to bring all the good quality details that I need, but I am
working on that, and there are a lot of professionals and advisers
giving me day by day advice on those issues so one has to watch out for
the changes.

 

5) You were recently featured on the cover of Flex Maagazine after
only 1 year on the Pro Circuit, what does this mean to you?

A)
 First of all, it was a great suprise to see myself there, on the cover
of FLEX MAGAZINE. It really means a lot to me because I actually realized how
important bodybuilding is valued here and each time I see my picture in
magazines, I feel more of the power and energy to put in much more hard work to
reach more higher and to be among the top best in the world!
Thank you for this opportunity and God bless.

5 Questions with National Champion, Johnny Jackson

by Shawn Ray 

1) What do you say to thosee people that think Pro BBer's are weak?
A)
I tell them to buy my video.

2) You won your 1st pro show of your career last year, what do
you have to do to win this one?

A) Come in with a more balanced package.

3) Do you feel that Pro Bodybuilding today is better career wise that
it was in the 90's and why or why not?

A) Yes I think it's better because it seems we have a better opportunity to
 make a living at it

4) How is training in Texas with guys like Branch, Ronnie, Quincy and Art?
A)
I have been training by myself for the last past year or so, and i am just
focusing on that.

5) If you should qualify for the Mr. Olympia, tell us what you have to do
as a Pro Bodybuilder to break into the top 5?

A)
When I qualify for the O I will have to bring the best balanced and conditioned                                                          Johnnie Jackson judges have seen to date.

 

5 Questions with Mr. USA, Pro Dennis James
By Shawn Ray

1) Tell us about your recovery from your Hernia Surgery and how has your
training changed since then?
A) I recovered pretty well I would say, I stayed out of the gym from
October 4th 2006 to Feb.11th 2007. I had to change my training from going
all out heavy to modereate weight with higher reps and sets. I adjusted
real good and fast to that style of training and looking at my body now, I
think maybe I should’ve changed it that way couple of years ago.lol

2) What are your reasons for choosing to compete in the Colorado Pro Am
Classic, since you didn't last year?
A)
My goal is to qualify for the 2007 Mr.Olympia which will be my 8th
consevutive year doing the O. I would really like to put my name in the
mix this year by trying to win all 3 shows in May and June, plus the
prize money in Colerado is higher than the other spring shows and I think
that makes it worth dieting for an additional 3 weeks

3) How is life living and training in Germany since leaving Thailand?
A) Life couldn’t be any better being back in Germany, I had second
thoughts at first, since my daughter was not familiar with the German
language but she’s been in Germany school for 2 ½ years now and is already
one of the best students in class.
It feels great beeing back home were I grew up close to my parents, my
brother, my sister , nephews and nieces.

4) What is your goal this year for cometition weight and will that change
after you qualify for the Mr. Olympia?
A) My goal is to be in my absolute best condition and I really don’t care
how much I will weigh when I step on stage. If I would have to guess then
I would say anywhere from 245-253lbs instead of 260-65lbs. If the
judges like the way I look at this weight then I won’t change a thing for
the Olympia 2007

5) If you can change One thing about this sport, what would it be?
A)
I would love to see every pro making enough money from the sport to
atleast be able to support his family .


5 Questions with IFBB Pro, David Henry

by Shawn Ray

1) What do you feel you need to do to your physique to get back in the top 3?
and qualify for the Mr. Olympia at this Colorado Pro Show?

A) I feel there is nothing I need to seriously do. I know my mistake in
prepping for these shows and I have learned my lesson. I do have more size
so that will take getting used to for ripping it down to what I have been
known for. I do want this though, make no mistake. I have the will to win
and that's what I will keep in my head coming into any contest, including
this one.

2) How tall are you and how much do you feel your Height has helped or hurt
you as a professional bodybuilder?
A)
I am 5'5" and I don't think height should play a factor at all on the
stage. If it has hurt me, I can't see what else to state about it. I cannot
help the fact I am a short person and as long as my body is where it should
be, vertically challenged comments are nothing but negativity I choose not
to feed into.

3) Word on the street is you will soon be married, do you feel this will be a
distraction or a help to you as a Bodybuilder and why?
A)
Word on the street is YES...I am getting married to the most awesome
woman (Nicki) I have ever known in August of this year. I feel blessed to have her here
in this regard and her assistance has been nothing short of amazing for me.
She's the reason I have changed my whole dynamic as far as thinking and
attitude toward this sport. So it will not be a distraction at all, and if
it is a distraction, I'm sure it's one I don't mind having! She knows my
dedication and keeps me on track, no matter what.

4) What do you think about the Best Presentation Award of $5,000.00 and
what will you do to try and win it?
A)
Well, entertainment is definitely one of the areas I want to work on but
that's not my focus. Qualifying for the O is first and foremeost, the rest
is a bonus, if it happens!

5) How has being in the Military, serving your country helped you and your
Bodybuilding career?
A)
When I was in the military, I can't really say it helped with this. I did
have the mindset to keep my integrity intact and my repect for others as
well. But as far as helped my career, I go with, well it hasn't really done
anything that I could not do on my own merit.



2006 INTERVIEWS:

5 Questions with Pro Figure Competitor Alana Hernandez
Q. Living in Florida, does that make it easier for you or harder since California is known as the "Mecca" for Fitness?
A. I Have never lived in California, so I don’t know the difference..but I can tell you that living in Miami is VERY NICE! Beautiful people with beautiful bodies ALL year long! It definitely keeps ME motivated to stay fit and in shape! Florida, in my opinion, has a HUGE potential for being the next “Mecca” of fitness.

Q. When and where did you receive your Pro Figure Card?
A. I happily turned pro last August in my home state of NEW YORK! I came in second, class E, at the Team Universe.

Q. If you won this contest, what would that mean to you and what would happen next?
A. Winning a contest where the caliber of athletes is as high this one is, would make me estatic! I would then plan to compete at as many shows as I can to tune up for the Olympia at the end of the year! It would be GREAT!

Q. Does competing in contests make training easier more enjoyable or does it cause undue stress and anxiety?
A. Competing itself is very enjoyable for me- the only negative factor about getting ready for a show is that I have to CUT BACK on PIZZA and BURGERS! Hahah..( LOOVE JUNK FOOD!)

Q. If you could make a call out of all the girls competing today and in the past, which 3 girls would you most like to stand next to?
A. Alexis Ellis - just because her and I have similar body types, and I think she LOOKS WONDERFUL!
Monica Brant - Because she is absolutely beautiful and great competition!
And last- Tara Scotti - because I also think she has a favorable physique that is hard to beat!

5 Questions with Pro Figure Champion Christine Pomponio Pate
Q. When and where did you receive your Pro Figure Card?
A. I received my pro card in 2001 in both fitness and figure, though there is some confusion about that since there wasn't a figure pro division created yet, I still qualified in both, placing first in fitness and second in figure. Team Universe 2001, New York.

Q. You won your 1st pro Figure last year in Orange County, Ca at Jon Lindsay's show, what did that mean to you?
A. Winning the Tournament Of Champions was a tremendous accomplishment for myself. My goals in this industry were to compete in the Arnold Classic, the Olympia, win a pro show and get a magazine cover. So winning that show completed my personal goals. One of my main focuses at this point is more mag. covers, (and who knows maybe another pro victory!!!)

Q. You're one of the few Pro Figure women in the business with an actual Professional Endorsement Contract, what does that do for your career and mean for your achievements?
A. I believe it is good for both myself and the sponsor in this business. I couldn't ask for a better sponsor. I am fortunate and grateful to VyoTech for their support, and also because they are such a fabulous company. It has helped my career by being able to promote them and attend National shows working at the booth. I am proud to be a VyoTech athlete!

Q. Do you think there should be One Class for Pro Figure or Two Classes due to the height disparities and soo many women competitors?
A. I absolutely believe that there should be two classes for Pro Figure, there are sooo many pro cards given out over the course of a competitive season that the pro shows are becoming too large to judge accurately. Being the shortest competitor on stage, I feel it is harder and harder to compare to the "tall" girls.

Q. If you could change one thing about Pro Figure, what would it be and why?
A. I don't know if I would change anything about Pro Figure, although I am still a little confused about the judging criteria being that the idea behind the creation of Figure was a "softer" look.


5 Questions with Troy Alves Mr. USA
Q. The year 2006 started off tough but you qualified for the Mr. Olympia placing 3rd at the pro Ironman and missed the boat 2 weeks later at the Arnold. Why suddenly jump in the Colorado Pro Classic?
A. I didn't allow myself to get out of shape and I knew I was going to be guest posing with Ronnie, Jay and Gunther at the Emerald Cup, so I stayed on my diet and training...After that show, I evaluated where I felt I was and got feedback from a few of the pros there that I respect and decided to go for it. I felt from that point, I could easily be ready with 3 more weeks to go for the Colorado Pro.


Q. You were Rookie of the Year not long ago but at 39, you're no spring chicken. How much longer can you keep at it and enjoy the game?
A. By the way, I'm 38!!! :) Well, to be honest, I started late at this and feel great right now. I never abused my body by getting too far away from my competion weight and not yo-yoing, forcing strenous and lengthy diets/training to get in shape. I feel like my body has actually gotten better visually as I've gotten older. Simply from the maturing muscle. I will compete until I feel like it's not enjoyable...and I think I will know when we get to that point.


Q. Winning the USA's was quite an achievement, do you have any other moments in the sport that impact who you are and what you're trying to accomplish?
A. Mainly the status bodybuilding has given me has enabled me to have an impact on the lives of others. I get so many emails from people who have been inspired or who had a troubled life and they followed me and my career as motivation. The positivity and encouragement I've been able to pass on to other young athletes and people striving to be better has definetely been the highlight of bodybuilding. I often think how lucky I am to have this opportunity.


Q. You are a top Personal training in the Phoenix, AZ area, do you feel that helps you as a Pro Bodybuilder or drains you as you prepare for a show?
A. Neither. The one thing I can say is that I have a very supportive clientele who understand if or when I do need to take time away, but most often, I stop training clients 1-2 weeks prior to a show. Just to really focus on the final details. I'm trying more and more to just approach a competition as part of my job and not stop my life like I used to when I was younger.


Q. What do you hope to do with the rest of your life after competion?
A. I really don't have anything set in stone. My wife and I have talked about a few things and we try to invest as much as possible now to prepare and allow myself the ability to do something that makes me happy at that point in my life. I will continue training others, as I do enjoy it, but I don't know...I may finish my degree or go to work with my wife...or maybe I'll be a stay at home dad! I will just enjoy my life, no matter what.


5 Questions with JoJo Ntiforo
Q. When and where did you receive your IFBB Pro Card Status?
A. I earned my pro card at the 2002 NPC Nationals by winning the heavyweight division. I came from placing 12th at the USA's that year to winning the Nationals with a perfect score.


Q. You haven't competed alot since turning Pro, what else do you do beside Professionally Bodybuild?
A. I also help run a personal training business owned by my brother here in Albuquerque called Training Innovations.

Q. Why did you decide to do the Shawn Ray Colorado Pro Am Classic?
A. Numerous reasons: First, like most of the other competitors, I have been a fan of yours since I started bodybuilding. Second, the timing was right for me. It gave me time in my offseason to make the improvements that I felt were necessary. Third, the location, Colorado is close to home.


Q. You were injured awhile back, who are you doing now and what was the nature of your injury?
A. I tore my right quadricep muscle back in 2003 during a heavy set of leg press, It had to be surgically reattached. Unfortunately, I was relegated to bed rest for a few months. I tried to make my pro debut at the 2004 GNC, but my knee was still recovering and was full of fluid. At this point, I am back to 100% and able to once again train with full intensity.


Q. If given a chance to have a call out in this line up, what other 3 Pro's would you call out with you?
A. Troy Alves, Darrem Charles and Phil Heath.


5 Questions with Travis Bagent World Arm Wrestling Champion
Q. Explain to me when and where you decided you wanted to becoem a Pro Arm Wrestler?
A. I started armwrestling at the age of 13 on a professional table at my Dad’s night club. When I got out of College and began to dedicate more time to the sport I quickly realized that armwrestling was another sport that I was truly gifted at. When I was 22 years old I won my first Nationoal Title. 5 years later I have become the most recognized figure in the history of the sport. I have not only become a Professional Armwrestler, I have defined the meaning of what it means to be a professional armwrestler.


Q. Is this Arm Wrestling more about Arm Strength or Leverage?
A. Armwrestling is no different than any other physical 1 on 1 sport. The main elements are strength, technique, speed, and mental discipline. I have mastered all 4.


Q. What is your role as an ambassador for this sport?
A. Armwrestling is the greatest, most participated in and most recognized sport in the world. It is a perfect fit with who I am. Now I have come along and landed in these modern times to propel the sport to professional status. I am a combination of Paul Tagliabue, Vince McMann, Joe Montana, Vince Kandis, Sean Ray, Chuck Liddell, and Dennis Rodman! I am not just the ambassador, I am also the Heavy Weight Champ and President!


Q. You were on the Best Damn Sports Show recently, where do you see Arm Wrestling in 5 years and will you still be the KING?
A. With the forming of the first professional league and myself as President and Heavy Weight Champion, armwrestling cold not be in better hands. I see the future of armwrestling as limitless. I see armwrestling as an organized sport in all the junior high school, high schools, and colleges around the country. I see kids going to college on armwrestling scholarships, making it to the pros and then getting crushed by me. Because of my strict training and dedication to my health I will probably continue to dominate for the next 30 years.


Q. At the Colorado Pro Show, what exactly will you be doing while there at the Free EXPO?
A. I will do what I always do... JUST BE TRAVIS BAGENT!!!!! Taken Photo's, giving some training tips, and taken on all challengers and non-believers!!!!

5 Questions with IFBB Figure Pro Tara Scotti
Q. Living on the East Coast, is that a benefit or detriment to your promotion in a California Media Based business?
A. It is both. The negative is I make at least 4 or 5 trips to California a year to do photo shoots since 90% of the photographers are out there. That gets a little draining mentally and financially. I sometimes will schedule like 7 photo shoots in 5 days. And as hard as that sounds physically, it is much more difficult to actually schedule 7 good photographers who you like in that small time frame.

On the flip side, I would not change a thing. Everybody knows I am from NY. Not an interview or article ever gets finished without NY being brought up. I love that. I think I stand out a little more because I am a NY girl. There are not to many competitors walking around the gyms here, pro or amateur, so when I am in the gym, I am getting recognized a lot and people always want to talk about it. I kind of dig that stupid stuff. If I were a California girl, I would be training at Gold's Venice, and I would just be another competitor walking around the floor.

Q. You won a Pro Figure show already, tell us what that was like for you the person as well as the Athlete?
A. Well as an athlete, it was great to cash that big check and go shopping. Just kidding. From an athlete perspective, it was nice to switch my resume from Pro Figure Athlete to Pro Figure Champion. When I first turned Pro, I noticed the same few girls were winning all the competitions. So I did not think to win a show was very realistic, especially in my first year. It was a great feeling to hear my name as winner of the Toronto Pro Figure Championships. I consider it the highlight of my competitive career ( if you call it that ).

Q. If you had a choice, what would you change about Pro Figure that would make a significant impact on your sport?
A. Prize money. I think it is pretty crazy that Miss Figure Olympia only gets $18,000. The IFBB is supposed to be the best organization in the country right ? That would make the Olympia the highest competition in the country, correct? And only top 5 get paid?? what's up with that? So technically, what that means is, the 6th best figure athlete in the country gets $0 to compete in the most prestigious figure event there is. It makes you wonder. I am sure the accountants for the
IFBB or the Olympia can explain on some chart how the ticket sales, expo money, expenses, etc... make it impossible to provide more money to figure and fitness athletes. But if everybody involved put their heads together, I am sure the prize money for the most prestigious event can be raised significantly.

Most of us girls are realists and we look at the competing aspect as a hobby. But if there was more prize money, maybe we can take it more seriously and devote more time to it.

Q. Do you find having a relationship and balancing a Pro Figure Career a delicate balancing act, explain?
A. Not at all. I have a relationship with someone who supports me 100%. I cannot imagine what it would be like any other way.

Q. When you compete what are some of your biggest challenges?
A. The biggest challenge is just to take a look at yourself from an outside perspective, and ask yourself what will make you better. It is the only aspect of this sport you can control. You have no control over judges, politics, and how the other competitors will show up. My goal for every competition is to improve my physique, not to improve upon placings.


5 Questions with IFBB Pro Johnny Moya
Q. You disappeared fromt he scene what happend and where'd you go?
A. I felt I need it a change, a brake. My body need it to relax, my mind need it to focus on other projects. I dont regret it, I feel I'm a better athlete now than five years ago, both mentally and physically.

Q. How and when did you become Pro?
A.I turned pro in 1997, I was the middle weight winner at the Nationals in Dallas that year.

Q. What do you feel you need to accomplish as a Bodybuilder and why?
A. I feel I need to be at my best generic potential. I hope that I can contribute to this sport by being a positive light, and not a negative one, like many others have done and continue to do so. I hope I can make a living out of the sport I love, and the sport I'm good at.

Q. If you could change one thing about the sport of Bodybuilding what would it be and how would you change it?
A. That is a difficult question to answer, at least, without sounding negative. The judging its gotten better. However, the sport needs to recognize physiques that the average person can relate to, more realistic bodies. I'm not saying that the monsters dont attract their share of fans, but I think we are missing the boat on another market. The more qualfied, the better conditioned athletes should be able to make a living out of the sport itself.

Q. If you should qualify for the Mr. Olympia again, what it mean to you and your career as a Pro?
A. Qualifying for the Mr. Olympia again would mean everything. The prestige of the event itself can contribute to the opening of different avenues. The promotion of the sport becomes alot easier for the public to accept whenever athletes that compete at the top of their sport speak. It would justified my life as something I always wanted to be, a professional athlete.

Ron Avidan from Getbig.com interviews Shawn Ray
Shawn Ray, one of the top IFBB pro bodybuilders, is not promoting his first IFBB pro show, called the 'Shawn Ray Colorado Pro Classic' featuring pro bodybuilding, pro figure, and an NPC national qualifier. Here are some questions that we asked Shawn regarding the Colorado Pro show, and some other topics of the week.

Click here for the full interview.

5 Questions with IFBB Figure Pro Jen Becerra
Q. How did you get into Pro Figure and who was your inspiration?
A. I made the decision to compete in Pro Figure due to a serious knee injury. It was a decision that would be difficult because of my love for performing in Fitness competitions, but it was necessary for me to get back on stage as soon as possible. This was the best opportunity that would allow me to still do what I love. There is not just one person that has inspired me to compete in Figure competitions. It was a team of the most supportive group of professionals that I've ever had the opportunity to work with that gave me the strength and inspiration to get through the training process. Charles and Christine Anderson at A Team Fitness, The Thompson family, Dr. Lowe, Lisa Bell and Susan Lilly at TIRR Rehabilitation Centers and most importantly my husband, were the most influential people that gave me the tools, motivation and support to compete in Pro Figure competitions.

Q. Where and when did you turn Pro?
A. I turned Pro at the 2004 NPC National Fitness Championships in Dallas, TX. winning 1st place in the Short Class.

Q. If you could change one thing about Pro Figure what would it be?
A. Honestly, right now I am too new to the sport of Figure to truly answer this question.  Personally, I love this sport and want to continue to learn and grow with it as the sport continues to change.

Q. You suffered a near career ending injury, care to explain?
A. On October 1, 2005, what would be my debut as a Pro Fitness Guest Poser, I was warming up my routine when the inevitable happened. Performing a skill I had done a million times in 6 inch boots (when dancing with the Houston Rockets Power Dancers), barefoot I went into the air twisting and before I knew it, landed and was on the ground. I knew it instantly, I had torn my ACL! The most excruciating pain!! I knew this was not good for my fitness career, but all I could think about was all the training put into that show and the 8 yr. old little girl, LeeAnn Thompson, who was depending on me to do the show with her. I made some changes to the routine and the the show went on!! A week later, I had the surgery and the next day, started rehabilitation. I knew competing in Fitness for 2006 was not an option, but I had to get back out on the competition stage. So, this competition being my first Pro Show and my first time back on the competition floor, means the world to me. I could have ended my career just then, but I have too much heart, passion and dedication to finish what I've started. So, I'm very glad to have the opportunity to compete in Pro Figure this year.

Q. Should you win the Colorado Pro how would it change your life and outlook on your future as a competitor?
A. This show would change my life in a way that would make me stronger and wiser. I have never competed at this level and have a lot to learn about competing as a Pro. If I happen to do well enough first time out, I would know that absolutely giving it 100% everyday for the past 6-7 months through the trials and tribulations that have occurred in my life, has paid off and was well worth it! I will continue work hard with the passion that drives me to do the best that I can with each and every competition. Either way, this show will help to establish me in the Figure industry and put my name on the map as a Pro competitor. I will look at this show as, "This is where it all started!!" This is the beginning of what I hope to be a successful career!


5 Questions with IFBB Figure Pro Zhanna Rotar
Q. How did you become and IFBB Pro Figure Competitor?
A. I won my pro card last August, 2005 at the Team Universe by winning my class, class C. I have already done 2 pro shows, the Arnold and the San Fransisco Pro, where I placed in the top five, getting 4th place.

Q. here are you orignally from and how many years have you trained?
A. I was born in Ukraine, but I moved to the United States 11 years ago. I have trained since I was 3 years old. First I was involved in gymnastics, and then in ballroom dancing competitively for 8 years. I also ran track in my Junior and High schools. When I was 17 years old I fell in love with weights, and kept that loving relationship ever since... :)

Q. What is your goal when you leave the competition stage once and for all?
A. I would like to become a business owner in the fitness industry and keep promoting healthy lifestyle to people all over the world.

Q. What do you think would be the best way to promote Pro Figure to ensure more prize money for the ladies?
A. I think that it is extremely important for the sport of figure to keep that clean wholesome image and for the ladies to keep projecting themselves as hard working and determined athletes that we are. To get respect and admiration from the general public and mainstream media we have to give that respect to ourselves first. We have to steer clear from being viewed as sex objects. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being sexy and having a nice body and being admired for all the hard work we do, but there is a thin line between that and reducing ourselves to just sex objects. Figure is a beautiful sport and has a lot of untapped potential, we just have to make sure that we streamline all of that potential into the right direction. Women around the world find figure look very attractive, so we have to make an effort to act as ambassadors of our sport by promoting healthy and fit lifestyle, and that can only be done by keeping our image clean and respectful, and as the one of a hard working and beautiful athlete. Once we achieve more respect and admiration from the general public more people are going to come see us compete, more tickets are gong to be sold, and then the promoters will be able to increase the prize money, because we will make more money for them. Also, Figure girls should try to raise aweareness about the sport by organizing all sorts of wellness seminars, and trying to get more mainstream attention by for example, trying to get on a National talk show, etc.

Q. Who out of all the women physiques that have ever graced and IFBB Stage, would you like to model yourself after as a competitor past or present?
A. There are a lot of amazing physiques in Pro Figure right now, but I would have to go with the classic Monica Brant. It does not get any better than that. She is everything I ever wanted to be in all respects. She is sweet and nice, yet firm, she is beautiful and has an amazing physique, yet she is a very smart business woman. She is the reason why I started competeing in the first place. When I was 17 years old, I saw her picture in one of the magazines, and decided that I wanted to look just like her. I was amazed by her hard yet feminine lines, and by her body's overall complettness. Later I got to know her as a fan, and now as a fellow competitor. Monica is a beautiful woman inside and out, and she is definitely my role model.


5 Questions with Mr. USA Phil Health
Q. How has your life changed daily since becoming an IFBB Pro?
A. My life has changed very quickly in regards to becoming an IFBB Pro, by being able to fully concentrate on competing and promoting the sport through the help of my sponsors, family and friends. I realize that as a professional, I must exhibit this label in everything that I do, in order to be respected amongst my peers and fans.

Q. Why haven't you left Denver, CO to move to the Mecca of BBing in California?
A. I decided to stay in Colorado for one major reason, because I started my new life [bodybuilding] here and the fan support and atmosphere here is fantastic. I love visiting other areas such as California, but here I get a chance that no other bodybuilder gets a chance to do, which is help create more notoriety toward this state in this sport.

Q. How many days a week do you do Cardio and what type of diet works best for you?
A. I am performing two a days of cardio, seven days a week preparing for this contest. My diet has changed since last year, which has been strictly based on white chicken and egg whites for my protein. My carbs have stayed very moderate and even lower than most others, but I feel that it hasn't taken anything away from my fullness and has kept me in better conditioning than in past competitions.

Q. Do you feel the sport of BBing is growing in popularity and what would you do differently to promote the sport better than it currently is?
A. I feel that the sport of bodybuilding is growing definitely because of our champions being on television commercials talk shows and even more mainstream non-bodybuilding magazines. I would help promote this sport more by being a true professional and showing the public that I have a humble, great personality and hard work ethic that many can respect. I would like to emulate previous champions such as Lee Haney _ Arnold Schwarzenegger in their pursuit to create greater opportunities for people in and outside of the fitness world. Earning the public's respect isn't that difficult when you carry yourself like a true professional and stick to being an ambassador of the sport and role model for others.

Q. Did you see yourself competing as professional in 2006 5 years ago and if not why?
A. I actually never even thought I'd be a bodybuilder, better yet, pro five years ago. I was playing college B-Ball and my main goal was to play overseas and then work in the field of computer science.

5 Questions with the Ahmad Haidar Mr. Universe
Q. What year did you turn Pro and besides competing how do you earn a living?
A. I turned pro in 1997 by winning world championship lightheavy-weight and overall, now I have SAN nutrition as my sponsor, it is great company, they have the best supplement nutriton.

Q. You are known for having the Best Abs in the business, do you do anything special? If not how do explain your Ab develpoment?
A. I like doing abs a lot because I enjoy it, I train my abs 3 or 4 times a week doing lots of crunches and legs raises with weight and high reps.

Q. Do you think the industry is changing to physiques like yours (smaller, proportionate and symmetrical?)
A. I been hearing things like this a long time, but it looks like they like to pick the big guys all the time.

Q. Being a father, has it changed your daily routine and can you explain a "Day in your Life"?
A. Being a father is the greatest thing happen to me it is wonderful to see your child growing every day and following them step by step. My day starts 7am wake up have 2 capsules of Tight, take my girl Leah to school then to the GYM to do my cardio and Abs workout. I come back home drink the Infusion shake then play with my Son Ali he is allmost 7 months. Then my wife Maguy prepares my food for the rest of the day, I take them and go to the Powerhouse GYM in west Palm Beach to train some people and my self and come back home at 8pm.

Q. What is your Strength against bigger guys and what do you need to work on most to improve?
A. My strength is I have a good symmetry and coming to the show in great condition, I been working on my back and my arms, my back and arms are getting better.



Questions with Marcus Haley:
NPC North American Champion 2005

Q. You have chosen the Colorado Pro Show for your pro Debut, what is the significance of that?
A. Well Shawn was the first pro to take me under his wing and I thought it would be fitting to pay him respect and do his show.

Q. How have things changed for you or your career since winning the North American Championships joining other great past winners like: Ray Mc Neil, Paul Dillett and Dexter Jackson?
A. Yes and no, I was lucky to get picked up by World Wide and that made it nice as I get ready for what will be my all time best showing yet. The weight has been lifted off my shoulder; I have reached a goal that many thought I wouldn't.

Q. The Prize Money available is $25,000.00 for 1st place is that a motivating factor for you to win or is this just another contest for you?
A. Prize money helps but I want to make an impact on my first time out. I know I can be a force in this sport I just have to be consistent.

Q. What will be the most important difference for you as an Athlete and Person competing as a Pro rather than an Amateur?
A. My off season practices I have to realize that I am a pro and with that comes responsibility and dedication. I have a good handle on things right now.

Q. You will have a lot of new Pros thrown in with some cagey veteran Pros in this show, does competing against guys you know motivate you and where do you think you will land when the dust settles?
A. I have the ability to get real hard and I have yet to really diet hard so with that being said my combo of hard muscle and good shape will put me in the top 3.

 

Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/Am Classic • coloradoproshow.com - June 1 _ 2, 2007 - Denver, Colorado •