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How did you first get started in the bodybuilding/fitness game?

I started about 3 years ago..kind of on a whim. I just really admired the physiques of figure girls. I figured I wasn’t getting any younger and decided to simply dive into it head first. I had no real clue what I was doing!! I did a lot of research and asked questions of a friend that had competed once before. We just kind of used each other as resources to help get prepared!

Was there a defining moment that got you to start training at a whole different level?

After my first show I was “bitten by the competition bug”. I enjoyed it more than I ever expected and it really caused me to get more focused in my training.

What are the top 2 ways you keep motivated?

Results and the feeling that comes from doing what you set out to do!

In your opinion what is the biggest hurdle you or most people have to overcome in regards to their fitness career and goals?

Themselves. You have to be completely focused and want it enough to stick with the training and diet! If you feel deprived it is hard to stick with it. I tell my clients to think of this as their choice. You can do whatever you want, but this is your choice. You choose to eat chicken instead of devouring a cookie!

Why do you think some people are able to overcome this hurdle, but others are not?

Those who truly want it will stick to it! It is not easy at all and we all slip up at some point. I think it gets easier though. Once you learn self discipline and realize that you are capable of meeting your goals, half the battle is done!

"Once you learn self discipline and realize that you are capable of meeting your goals, half the battle is done!"

If you had to ratio the importance of training, diet and rest, what would the percentages look like and why? (e.g. 20% training, 30% diet, 30% rest)

Good question! I think diet is about 60%. You are what you eat!! The other 40%…hmmm…25% training and 15% rest. You have to have good recovery time that is when your body repairs and muscle is built so I hate to short change it, but if your training sucks it doesn’t matter how much recovery you get, you won’t see results!

How useful do you think supplements are? Do you use supplements? What is your current top supplement?

I feel they certainly have an important place within the training plan, but again they can’t replace or undo crappy training. My off season consists of PRIDE Respect Protein post workout and PRIDE Retaliate pre and post workout.

In general what does your current training routine look like?

My splits are pretty traditional. Chest, Back, Legs, Shoulders, Arms, and I usually work abs 3 times a week.

What is your current diet routine?

I eat 6 small meals a day. Each meal consists of protein (egg whites, chicken. lean beef, white fish, PRIDE Respect); I get my carbs in early in the day (oats, ezekiel bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes). Fats are generally later in my day (almonds, natural peanut butter, olive oil).

How do you feel about ketogenic diets and extreme diets in general?

I try to stay away from anything too extreme…I don’t want metabolic damage!

How did you get those awesome arms of yours?

I struggle getting size in my upper body, the size you see has certainly been earned! I work hard, time my meals, and supplement to optimize my results.

How did/do your family and friends feel about your training?

I get mixed responses. A lot of people don’t understand what I do. That lack of understanding can lead to a bit of judgement from others. I deal with it and simply chalk it up to exactly that, a lack of knowledge.

Can you give us a brief summary of your competition history?

  • 2009 NGA Heart of America, 3rd Open Short Class
  • 2009 NANBF Great Lakes, 4th in Novice, 2nd in Open Medium Class
  • 2010 INBF Central USA, 3rd Masters, 5th in Open Medium Class
  • 2010 NPC Foxcities, 2nd in Masters, 4th in Open Medium
  • 2010 NGA Heart of America, 1st in Open Medium Class, Awarded PRO Card
  • 2010 NPC WI State, 2nd in Masters, 3rd in Open Medium, Nationally Qualified
  • 2011 NPC Foxcities, 5th in Open, 3rd in Masters
  • 2011 NGA Heart of America, 4th in PRO Figure Division
  • 2011 IFPA PRO North Americans did not place

What are your fitness/bodybuilding plans for 2011?

I am through with my 2011 season and will now work towards a better package for 2012! You will also see me judging a couple of shows in the Fall!!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 20 years?

I never say never to anything. But you will see me still working the stage. I am very fortunate to be able to do what I love and will continue to do it as long as I can!!! I hope to grow with PRIDE Nutrition and my own business Iron Diva Fitness. I will hopefully continue to judge shows and grow as a competitor!

Who is your favorite fitness model? (other than yourself!)

Ha that’s funny! I really admire how Ava Cowan has been able to market her wonderful physique and great looks. I LOVE Larissa Reis’ edge. She always stands out in the crowd! And Jamie Eason is simply remarkable. She has such an amazing physique and flawless beauty!

Describe what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror every morning!

I am so pleased with how far my physique has come. I always try to keep in perspective where I came from and how hard I have worked, but I see more work to be done! :) We are all works in progress, right!?

"Be consistent and stick with it!! A lot of people want immediate gratification, but fitness takes time and effort. "

What did your physique look like before you started training?

Depends on which point in my life we are talking about. I have carried too much weight and I have been “skinny fat”! It has been a lot of work to get where I am at…work, sacrifice, and discipline!

Do you feel that you are treated differently because of your physique and fitness goals?

In all honesty, I feel like some friends treat me differently now. I think they just don’t understand why I do what I do or how I could enjoy it.

If you could tell a fitness noob just one sentence of advice, what would it be?

Be consistent and stick with it!! A lot of people want immediate gratification, but fitness takes time and effort. They fall off the wagon if they don’t see immediate results. Guess what, if you have been consistent and true to your plan and you are not seeing changes, it is time for a new plan! :)

What is your all time favorite workout song?

That is tough because it totally depends on my mood. If I am jump roping I love “Deify” by Disturbed. I love to lift to Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch, Korns old music, and other various hard rock bands. When doing cardio, I have been turning more to hip hop lately!

What is your favorite quote?

‎”Flattery is like chewing gum. Enjoy it but don’t swallow it.” – James Dean

What do you feel is the best type of cardio for yourself and why?

I see the best results from HIIT Training. This is not to say I won’t do steady state, I do at times. I just like the intensity from HIIT because it gets the bodyfat moving for me!

What is your favorite cheat meal?

I LOVE ice cream after a competition! I have been choosing cheeseburgers and fries a lot for my planned cheats lately!

If you were to upload your arms to our muscle voting site (http://vote.ratemyarms.com/) right now, what do you think you would rate?

So subjective…lol. I would hope they rate high…I work hard for my lil gunz!

Outside of training and dieting how do you like to spend your time?

I stay busy with my kiddos, personal training, and my business. There is not much time for anything else!

What is the dumbest thing you yourself have done or witnessed in the gym?

A guy that comes into the gym often and spends about 20 minutes “b**ch slapping” the punching bag. He will open palm go at the thing! I have trouble even concentrating on lifting when he is going to town on that thing!

What is your favorite body part to train? What about your least favorite?

I love to train shoulders! It is a stubborn body part for me so I always look forward to giving them a good session! I really can’t say I enjoy chest day. It just seems uneventful to me! LOL

The RateMyArms team would like to thank you greatly for taking the time to do this interview. Do you have any last words for our readers?

Just want to give a quick shout out to those who have supported me in the industry:

Jason Adams for allowing me to be a part of his Promoting Real Women Team, Liquid Sun Rayz for the wonderful job they have done on my competition color, Sunless Expressions/Cabana Tan for keeping me photo shoot and event ready, and PRIDE Nutrition for providing the best quality supplements!

Also I have to say thank you to my husband and kids for putting up with me and supporting all my efforts. You guys go check out www.IronDivaFitness.com too!!

Bodyspace: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/SandyW1/

Photo Credits: John Lathrop and R!OT

Categories: Interviews, Women