Jennifer Petrea has been competing for a few years in figure. She will be moving towards bodybuilding now. She is someone I have come to really respect and admire. Her physique is top notch. Also in every photo I see of her, she has an amazing stage presence. Jennifer is one woman who I can promise is going to go very far in the industry. She is someone that myself being very new to bodybuilding, can draw great inspiration and motivation from. So please take the time and read and fin out more about this beautiful and amazing woman.
Q: First, Jennifer, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: You are very welcome.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I am a 28 year old single mother of two little boys, Jake (6), and Aidan (2 1/2). I am a registered nurse and I work with terminally ill patients and their family through the Hospice Organization provided by our county. I am from a very rural town called Mount Pleasant in North Carolina. While there are no mountains withing a 50 mile radius, it is also sad to say we only had one stop light in the whole town. I am desperately searching for the man of my dreams, but until I find him, I am perfectly content with the way my life is now. I HATE tornado's and scorpions and would rather stay at home and watch a movie in my bed than go out and party. I have a twin sister and a younger brother. Married once. I am a bit random, I know.
Q: Before you started training were you a fairly active person? Play any sports or anything?
A: In high school I played soccer and volleyball. I attempted to play basketball, but hand/eye coordination was not my strength.
Q: What led you into the gym to begin with?
A: Unfortunately I packed on the "freshman 15" in college and got pregnant during my senior year of nursing school. After the birth of Jake, I had a hard time getting rid of those 50lbs that accumulated over my pregnancy. It was my fault though. I was clueless. I accepted that U could no longer eat what I wanted as I always had as a teenager. SO... I joined Weight Watchers.... It worked and I instantly lost 20lbs. But the downfall to that was all that damn counting.... I was literally obsessed with food... so I reviewed what my life was missing and what else could possibly be done to combat my insecurities and my fatness... and like a light bulb....DUH!! I knew I had to get to the gum and get moving.
Q: You are obviously a very beautiful woman. Did that make it harder at all at first to train. I see times where beautiful women start in the gym and just are not taken serious or have to worry about being hit on.
A: The gym I have been faithfully a member of is great. I never really had a problem working out or having been hit on. I am a very blunt woman. Cross the line with me and I assure you that you will feel my scorn. On a serious note, at first I think that a lot of people brushed me off when I asked about certain exercises, diet info, etc. After a while of getting 50 different opinions, I hit the net and educated myself. I am the type of person that likes to know about things I am involved in. Being a nurse and understanding the human body and its systems, I really dived deep into diet and nutrition and training. Now I can say that many people, male and female come to me for diet and nutrition advice and it is an honor. Also, over the years I have learned to hold my own as one of the strongest girls in the gym... men ahve even admitted to me that I intimidate them and put them to shame with my strength... :)... WHHAAT? Little ol me? Aw shucks
Q: You have up until now been doing figure. What made you decide to do your first contest?
A: Well, I had finally dropped all the baby weight and was in the best shape of my life. My trainer and friend, competitor Cole Beane encouraged me to do a show... so I put in 110% into the diet and training and was on point... until I began to get sick and not feel well. After 8 weeks of contest prep, I learned that baby #2 was on the way... so that put a halt to that show... after staying very active during Aidan's pregnancy (was on a treadmill when my water broke) I was back into contest prep... I stepped onto stage when he was 5 MONTHS OLD!!!! Go me!!! Sorry, I have to give myself props on that!! It was one of my biggest accomplishments.
Q: Was competing something your family supported at the time, and how do they feel now?
A: My family always supported me. My parents think it's great that I can live comfortably and take on the amount that is on my plate at all time, without them, I wouldn't do it. My boys think that it's great that mommy has bigger muscles than their daddy....LOL
Q: Was your first contest what you expected or did anything surprise you.
A: I did Jr. Figure the first time. It was hard but I surprised myself by competing at 5 months post partum
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: 9/07-NPC Mountaineer-Jr Figure-2nd place
10/07-NPC Carolina Clash-Jr. Figure-1st place
11/07-NPC Quincey Roberts The Elite-Open Figure C Class-4th place
10/08-NPC Carolina Clash-Open Figure C Class-1st and Overall Figure Winner
11/08-NPC Nationals Figure B Class
11/09-NPC Nationals Figure C Class
Q: You have decided to move towards bodybuilding now. Some women do that because they are maybe too muscular for figure. Is that why you are doing it, or is there another reason?
A: Well, I think that my physique is more muscular than most figure girls. Last year at NPC Nationals, I was told I needed more muscle, so I busted my ass in the off season and bulked up ( LIKE A LINEBACKER) and this year it appeared I was too big. The thing is... I love muscles and I love to be strong...also I love to eat...I hate cardio...it seemed all Iw as doing was cardio this year to get that tiny tight package. Well, guess what? Maybe I am genetically predisposed to being a bigger chick!!! That's ok...I'll go with it and we'll see.
Q: Bodybuilding, fitness, or figure, anyone in the sport you are a fan of or admire?
A: Bodybuilding: Ronnie Coleman, Victor Martinez (for doing this stuff after what he' been through), Lenda Murray.
Figure: Jamie Eason, Jessica Putnam, Valerie Waughman, Jenny Lynn
Fitness: Adela Garcia, Tonay Burkhardt, Kim Klein, Jenn Hendershott...TOO MANY TO NAME
Q: What do you consider your best body part, or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: UMMM... my back and booty!!
Q: Any favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love squats...my legs respond to them.
Q: When people see your physique for the first time, what is the most common response. More positive or negative?
A: Ordinary people- they look at me like I have a cancerous growth on my face... I think that it's now "abnormal" to be in shape. That is what modern society has come to.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question you are sick of hearing?
A: "Are you a gymnast?", "Do you work out?"
Q: Are there any misconceptions about women in bodybuilding or figure?
A: That they all do steroids...not true. Some women have better genetics on their sides.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how does it alter for contest prep?
A: The off season I add more carbs, fats, and protein to my diet. Eat every 3 hours and get 2 cheat meals a week. As far as training...I slow it down, increase the weights, lower my reps, and limit cardio to 3 days a week to low intensity. Contest time, I work with Mike Davis and he helps with that. It changes every three weeks. I do more cardio and a lot of running during prep time...that was for figure. I am of course going to have to change that for my new bodybuilding goal.
Q: Got a favorite cheat food?
A: Ice cream cake.
Q: What is the biggest difference between figure and bodybuilding?
A: More muscle i one regard, more glitter in the other- Seriously both are committed to being their all time best- so just size at that point
Q: If someone came up to you and said they wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would want to give them?
A: CONSISTENCY is KEY! Do not expect to see results over night...give it some time and they will be sucked in like the rest of us!!
Q: Do you get a lot of friends asking for diet advice and training tips?
A: Yes, and I help them anyway I can, but I do realize that you can;t do everything to lead a horse to water.
A: Someone says to you "women should not be that muscular.", how do you respond?
A: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My motto-You are your own trophy-if you like the way it looks, then you are truly a winner. :)
Q: What is the biggest mistake you see people make when training or preparing to compete?
A: Not being as educated as they should. Don't expect to rip out a page of a diet from a magazine and get the same results... GET A DAMN SPORTS NUTRITIONIST. Learn that early and save a lot of money and heart ache!!!
Q: Do you feel muscular women are more accepted today, than maybe five years ago?
A: I think so-but the way I see it is a woman must love and accept herself first- the stereotypes have changed.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Photography and cooking.
Q; Describe a typical day in the life of Jennifer Petrea
A: 7-8AM Get kids to school
9-5PM Drive around and visit patients. Stop every few hours to eat from my cooler.
5-6PM Pick up rug rats
8PM Home for dinner, baths, homework, and laundry
9:15PM Kids to bed
9:30PM Wind down, pack cooler, shower
10PM Nite Nite time, do it again tomorrow
Q: Favorite actor, movie, musician?
A: Actor-Nick Cage, Movie-Too many favs, Musician- Breaking Benjamin
Q: Describe Jennifer Petrea in five words.
A: Independent, Compassionate, Hardcore, Strong, and Experienced
Q; Any set plans for 2010 as far as comepting or anything else?
A: Taeking 2010 as a season to grow... may compete this fall.
Q: Anything you want to take the time to plug or promote?
A: The Great Lord in heaven. He is my rock and strengthens me. Mike Davis--goggle him!! My best friend Jess Benton and all my family...Love ya! Also check out my friends MMA nutrition line www.combatnutrition.com
Q: We know sponsors are very important. Are you looking for any for 2010, and if so, how can they contact you, and what are they getting as far as an athelte and competitor in Jennifer Petrea?
A: Facebook me... I am tough and give 100%. I will never say I quit or can't... thats b.s.
Q: OK, Jennifer, again, I want to thank you. You are someone I ahve become very impressed with in a short time, and am rooting for your success in the future. Anything you want to add before you go?
A: Make 2010 a year to win!! Shhot for the sky and push yourself beyond your own limits.
Love and fitness-Jenn