Q. Lets start here, what is your name?
A. Amanda Gail
Q. How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
A. Mornings are important to me. I don’t have the option to go to the gym because I work full time, I’m a single mom, and I teach Zumba in the evenings. First thing I do every morning is drink a glass of water, take my preworkout supplement(Currently I’m using Momentum and Hydrocore from Star Chem) then get busy with my home workout routine. After that I shower, get ready for work, then wake up my two boys to get them ready for school.
Q. How long have you been training?
A. I started in the gym when I was in the 7th grade. Haven’t stopped since. The gym has always been there for me no matter where I live, or what I am going through in life.
Q. What made you get into Fitness and Competition?
A. The competition world was introduced to me when I was 19 and working in a gym. I was into modeling and acting at the time, and was suggested to me by a few gym members to get into fitness competitions. That’s when I began my competition journey.
Q. How many people have you encouraged into the sport since you started?
A. I hope I have encouraged many. I admire all of those who get up there on stage. And the hard work, dedication, and sacrifices they take.
Q. What was your body like before you started training?
A. Since I started training so young, back then I was very skinny, with a boyish figure and everyone made fun of me. My body did not start to develop and shape until mid high school. And ever since I’ve had a very firm body, and seems to get better with time.
Q. How do you keep yourself motivated and on-track through the grueling dieting in the last few weeks?
A. I have been eating clean so long, that I do not put myself through such grueling dieting techniques. I want to feel great when I hit the stage and not feel like I want to eat my arm. That is not motivating to me. I take care of myself and my eating habits year round and do not encourage such strict dieting. Work smarter not harder…as we all have heard:-)
Q. How do you handle the stress of it all?
A. My outlook is very calm and I enjoy everything I do. I don’t allow myself to get stressed out, especially because competition is a hobby, you should enjoy and love your hobby, not be stressed out about it. Then it becomes no longer fun.
Q. Do you get more attention from the people now that you are in such good shape?
A. No matter what my entire life I have attracted wanted and unwanted attention. I don’t know if its my red hot hair, the crazy clothes I wear, the way I smell, the way I walk, who knows;-)
Q. What do you feel is the most important thing athlete can have in order to be successful in this sport?
A. For any athlete to be successful is to have passion for what you do.
Q. What is your favorite energy/pre-workout supplement? Protein supplement?
A. I use Star Chem Labs products. Their Pre-workout I love because it doesn’t have creatine in it and it doesn’t upset my stomach. Their Protein has fiber and oatmeal in it and tastes delicious!
Q. How many days a week do you work out?
A. I do something 6-7 days a week. Now that I work a full time job, my workouts are short, high intense, and creative.
Q. How many exercises per body part do you typically do in a workout?
A. Currently, I am not training like the old school, typical weight training. I do higher repetitions, giant sets, circuits, plyometrics, and target specific muscles directly or indirectly.
Q. How much weight will you normally gain during the off-season?
A. Typically I stay within a 10 lb radius:-)
Q. How about tanning/makeup/hair preparation for a contest. Can you tell that I’m still overwhelmed?
A. This is an entire chapter I could write about;-) I have found shortcuts and through trial and error and learning from other competitors throughout the years.
Q. What is your philosophy on diet?
A. I believe dieting is temporary and can cause unwanted, excess weight gain if not done properly! Eat healthy, clean and moderation to feel good and for long term results.
Q. Any holiday eating tips?
A. Eat in moderation and continue eating your 5-6 small meals throughout the day, or find healthier ways to make your favorite holiday foods and experiment.
Q. What kind of workout program do you follow?
A. I’m huge into Zumba Fitness, and I love to box. I box 2-3 days a week, 4-5 hours of Zumba Fitness a week.
And 4-6 days/wk of circuit/plyo/wts/HIIT
Q. What about working out while you are on the road?
A. I love working out on the road because I like seeing gyms in different cities and states. If I can get to a gym, I always have my jumrope, tubes, music, and creativity to still get a great workout.
Q. Do you believe in workout programs like Insanity or P90X?
A. Yes I do, as long as you do them. And have a plan on how to maintain after the program.
Q. What competitions have you participated in and what were the results (bikini/fitness/figure)?
A. I started competing in 2006 in ABA/INBA for Miss Fitness 3 months after giving birth to my 2nd son. I continued in ABA/INBA
competing in Physique, Bikini, Mixed Pairs, Model, And Miss Fitness. After placing well for a few years I decided to go into NPC Figure.
2009 I competed in Figure and went to the USA’s. After that I decided to try Bikini and competed at the 2011 Arnold Classic.
Q. What do you wish you had known before you started doing shows?
A. I wish I would have known someone to help me and guide me instead of figuring everything out on my own along the way. However, I’m thankful for the journey I have been through and hope to help others from my learning experience.
Q. Looking back on what you have accomplished so far, what is one thing you would change if you could, knowing what you do now?
A. For my very first NPC Figure competition, I would have invested in buying a figure bikini instead of making my own.
Q. What is one of the biggest sacrifices you’ve made, and was it worth it?
A. One of the biggest sacrifices was closing my business,(which was a gym I opened when I was 24years old), so I could travel doing competitions and represent a supplement company in tradeshows. I was unable to keep the doors open without the revenue of my personal training and teaching classes, so I had to sacrifice something I put so much work and love into, and all of the members I miss so much.
Q. What do you feel is the most important thing a bodybuilder/fitness/figure/bikini can have in order to be successful in this sport?
A. I think it’s important to always stay humble and remember why we do the sport and to never forget to enjoy the process.
Q. Is it not very hard to exercise and lift on such a low calorie diet? I am talking about the pre-contest diet. I know you follow a very low calorie pre-contest diet. Don’t you get hungry?
A. Luckily I do not deprive myself to that level. We all have those days regardless of low calorie or not, when we feel low on energy, but we push through no matter what.
Q. Does your social life include others that are not into fitness or competition?
A. Yes, however I notice that my lifestyle motivates them to live healthier.
Q. How much this kind of active life style, being (bikini/fitness/figure) athlete changed your life?
A. I have been doing this for so long that this IS MY LIFE. I know I do things different than others, and eat different, but they are all habits for me and I feel amazing living this lifestyle.
Q. Who is your favorite bodybuilder, fitness model, and/or athlete?
A. I constantly meet athletes in the health and fitness industry and constantly look up to them and admire their passion. There is not one specific athlete who is my favorite.
Q. What is your favorite healthy meal?
A. Anything with peanut butter or almond butter.
Q. Favorite guilty indulgence?
A. An entire jar of peanut butter or almond butter:-)
Q. What is your favorite exercise?
A. Anything to do with the Booty. I love training my nalgas.
Q. What is that one body part that you just can’t seem to bring up or make it look like you want?
A. My waist is wide and I cant seem to shrink it as much as I would like. I’m constantly experimenting new exercises and new techniques to shrink my waist.
Q. What made you get into Fitness and Competition?
A. My love for working out and the gym, I belong on stage, and this is something I can do for a long time.
Q. What is the best asset of your physique/body?
A. I’ve always had rock hard abs and great legs(I get the legs from my mamma)
Q. What are your methods for breaking through a plateau?
A. Overload, HITT, and sometimes even rest.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. I’m in the process of changing everything from my married name “BUTZ” to “AMANDA GAIL”. I’m working on great BIG things with STAR CHEM LABS supplements, so get ready! Long term plans,,,,I want to write a book about my journey, and I want to share my fitness secrets with others. I’m taking my time to get back on stage, going to take a break then hit the stage in 2013 with a BANG! And a new NAME:-)
Q. What do you want our readers to know about you that they couldn’t find out from seeing you on stage or in print?
A. I’m a mother of 2, working through a 9 year marriage divorce, I went from homeless for 2 months to working my ass off to support myself and my boys, having nothing but our clothes, now I have our own place, a full time job, and I couldn’t have donw it without the support from the true friends I have been blessed to have in my life. No matter what happens in life, I always keep my head up and never, never, never give up.