Saturday, March 27, 2010
IFBB Pro Debbie Bramwell Interview
Debbie Bramwell is one of those rare people that if you are a fan of or support bodybuilding, you have to be a fan of and support Debbie. First thing you notice is the amazing physique, highlighted by amazing arms. Being an IFBB Pro tells you how great the physique is. But having a great physique doesn't mean you have to be a fan of the person. However Debbie's attitude, love of the sport, and hard work, is something that makes you have to be a fan. Debbie is one of those people that as incredibly beautiful as she is, she somehow is even more beautiful on the inside. She was doing local California shows until being convinced to do the 2002 USA's, and thankfully she was able to be convinced, because it allowed more people to see how amazing Debbie is, and gave her a chance to prove she is among the Elite. Debbie isn't just a bodybuilder. She is a great Representative for the sport, and the sport is better off for having Debbie as a part of it. So read this interview and then check her out even more on www.debbie-bramwell.com
Q: First, Debbie, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. It is a huge honor for me.
A: You are very welcome. It is my pleasure.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I am from New Jersey. I am the youngest of 4 children. MY dad was an athlete when he was young so he loved coaching and playing sports with us as we were growing up. I get my great genetics from his side of the family. I feel blessed to come from such an amazing family and having the best parents.
Q: Growing up, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything? A: I was very athletic. My favorite sports were softball, track and volleyball. I didn't like sports that require endless running, I am naturally an anerobic athlete(which is what bodybuilding is). Its funny looking back , I remember beating the boys in arm wrestling and excelling in gym fitness tests which proves genetics is a huge factor in an athletes success.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I think I was about 26 when I first went to the gym. I wanted to tone up and get into good shape so I joined an all girl gym and did mostly cardio, aerobic classes and eventually I worked my way into weight training.
Q: Was weight training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I did pick it up easily, I met all the right people since day one to show me the right way to train. I noticed results immediately. I was naturally stronger then the average female. I wouldn't look the way I do without having great genetics.
Q: You did your first show in 1997. What made you decide to go ahead and compete?
A: I trained at a gym where my ex boyfriend worked and one of his coworkers put me on APEX nutrition program. MY body changed alot once I incorporated proper nutrition plan. That trainer had competed before and suggested I do a show. I said heck no at first. LOL I was the shy type and not much of an exhibitionist so it wasn't something I was interested in or daring to do. However, after I completed the Tony Robbins 30 day personal power program I decided to do a show to conquer my fear of being up in front of people and improve physically.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: I have an awesome family. We all support each other in anything that we choose to do. My friends always admired me and supported me so I feel blessed in that regard.
Q: Your first National show was the 2002 USA's. How did you know you were ready for a National show, and what was the experience like?
A: I never planned on doing a national show or becoming a "bodybuilder". I did shows as a personal growth goal. I met Steve Wennerstrom(photographer/writer)In San Diego who did my first photoshoot. He talked me into doing my first National show. He saw me winning all the shows In California so he told me to do the USA's and see where I stood on that level. At that time I met a guy I dated who became my coach and helped me improve my physique with his expertise and guidance.
Q: You earned your Pro card at the 2007 Masters Nationals. What did it mean to you to earn your Pro card?
A: I was so excited to win my pro card(I have the best photo someone took of me the moment they called my name as the winner). After doing my first National show and placing in top 5, that's when I decided to set a goal of turning Pro. I became such a fan of women's bodybuilding and wanted to be up there with the best. I am really enjoying the journey and love competing on pro stages.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
*March 97 San Diego Championships Hw 1st
*March 97 Los Angeles Championships MW 1st
*Sept 97 Borderstates MW 1st
*March 99 San Diego Championships MW 1st
*Sept 00 Borderstates MW 1st
*Sept 01 Borderstates MW 1st overall
*July 02 USA's Mw 5th
*July 03 USA's MW 4th
*Nov 03 Nationals MW 6th
*July 04 USA's LHW 3rd
*July 05 USA's LHW 8th
*Sept 05 North Americans 6th
*July 06 Masters Nationals 1st
*July 06 USA's 4th
*Sept 06 North Americans 3rd
*July 07 Masters Nationals 1st Overall turned Pro
*Aug 07 Europa under 135 2nd
*Sept 07 Atlantic City under 135 5th
*May 08 New York Pro 7th
*Aug 08 Tampa Pro 3rd(qualified for Ms Olympia)
*Aug 08 Europa show 4th
*Sept 08 Ms Olympia 13th
*May 09 New York Pro 4th
Q: Do you keep track of measurements at all, and if so can you share them?
A: I don't LOL 15 inch biceps :-)
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I train 5 days a week during preptime and 4 days offseason. I do cardio all year just more during prep time(it increases as I get closer to show)I am doing keto diet now(no carbs except for once a week cheat meal)Since I have been doing keto diet I keep my reps lower(versus when I carb cycled I did higher reps and lots of supersets)I eat clean mostly offseason but do eat a little carbs and have my treats. I like to stay in shape all year.
Mon: chest pullups/pulldowns/abs
Q: Anyone who knows the sport knows your arms are among the best in the sport. Would you consider them your best feature or something else?
A: Hmm yes my arms are my best feature. I would say my triceps are my best bodypart(probably the best out there) My arms aren't the biggest out there but have a unique shape. I'M only 5 ft 2 so I have short limbs and don't want my arms to overpower or I will lose symmetry.
Q: Do you have a favorite part to train?
A: I love to train back. I love the pump and feeling I get when I train them. It is a stubborn bodypart though. Usually people with short arms have more of a challenge building a great back. I'm working on it!!
Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I have had positive experiences with people. I Have had men who never found it attractive love it on me. :-) I think its a combination of my being feminine, pretty, and having positive energy along with having pretty muscle shape that makes people appreciate it on me.
Q; When they see it that first time, what is the one comment or question you are most sick of hearing?
A: "How much do you bench?" LOL. They see my arms and ask me that. Benching builds chest.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about female bodybuilders or the thing you wish people understood?
A: I don't think anyone should ever generalize or judge a book by its cover. All female bodybuilders are different so I can only speak for myself. I love to train and sculpt my body but I am a girly girl. I don't dominate, beat up people (lol)arm wrestle. I think some fans think female bodybuilders are super human and do off the wall strength stuff while not at gym. The only difference now that I am a female bodybuilder is I'M stronger in the gym and having beautiful muscles. That's all.
Q: Do you think muscular women are becoming more accepted by society these days?
A: Hmm I get a great reaction from society but you will always have people who will judge women with muscles and think its "manly"
Q: Do you have any favorite bodybuilders or any you admire?
A: I remember when I first got into competing I really liked Laura Creaville and Sue Price. They were my 2 favorites. I love Heather Amburst, Betty Viana, Alina Poppa to name a few(women with great legs!!) I have to admit I am a fan of so many woman it would be hard to list them all.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Hmm I am on keto diet(no carbs) now so I get a cheat meal once a week. I would say a good hamburger and fries is probably my favorite.
Q: What is the best and the worst part of competing?
A: I don't like the tanning part, also peeking for a show. It is really hard to time it all just right and nail it when you are on stage. I am still figuring it out. I usually think I look way better before and after a show then I do on show day. Oh and I don't really like the waiting around part back stage. Sometimes we are back there way too long!
Q: When you are done competing, how would you like to be remembered as a competitor?
A: I would love to be remembered as someone who was passionate about competing and helping other people(I have a reputation for being bodybuildings big sis) I care about every girl standing next to me and always want the best for them as well.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is he one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: I would tell them to hire a trainer. I see people in the gym who are clueless about what they are doing. Hiring a good trainer will help them achieve their goals by doing things right.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love reading, watching movies, travelling, spending time with family/friends. I'm pretty simple :-)
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Debbie Bramwell.
A: Well there is no typical day, it always changes. I always start my day with cardio, train clients, cam for fans, train myself,cook, errands, emails, spend time with my husband. We watch a movie every night( we are night owls)
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I am hard of hearing. I wear hearing aides. I have a little speech impediment which people think is just my jersey accent :-) It used to bother me as a kid but not anymore.
Q: Describe Debbie Bramwell in five words.
A: Happy, Positive, Giving, Spiritual, Loving.
Q: You also have a great website. Can you give out the address and tell people what they can find there.
A: www.debbie-bramwell.com I update it every week with photoclubs or video clips. All kinds of fun sexy stuff. Come check it out!
Q: Any set plans for the future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am competing at the NY PRO show May 8th. I hope to qualify for Ms. Olympia there. If I don't then I will do Tampa Pro next.
Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I am sponsored by Species Nutrition which is owned by my coach Dave Palumbo. I love all of his products and would highly recommend to everyone to try.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they contact you?
A: My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm always open to different business opportunities .
Q: Debbie, again, I thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Anything last words before you go?
A: Thanks for reaching out to me and your kind words. I have been so grateful for the amount of support I receive from so many people. I love competing but more importantly for being able to give back to people. It has been an awesome journey. I hope everyone lives there passion and spends each day truly happy :-)