Sunday, October 31, 2010
Ana Tigre Interview
For a long time I have been aware of and impressed by Ana Tigre. Clearly she is beautiful, clearly she is and has been a great competitor, and her attitude about fitness and competing is very admirable. Luckily I was able to use a friendship to get to know Ana and get an interview with her. I am now even more impressed. Ana is an amazing woman. Between her competing, modeling, clothing, training, and now being a member of the Vitrix Model Team, Ana is going to continue to do big things.
Q: First, Ana, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you Jason.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in the land of cowboys near
Argentina and Uruguay.
I moved to the United States by myself when I turned 20 years old to follow my
dreams and go to Fashion Design School.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or
A: I grew up very active. I was a competitive equestrian and I won many tittles
from the time I was 8 years old until I moved to the US at 20 years old.
I also used to danced ballet, play tennis, swim, play soccer, anything other
than sit at home. But I never stepped into a gym or lifted weights until I was living in the US.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: After moving to America, I starting Fashion School full time and was working as
a food runner at a Japanese restaurant full time. The busy schedule combined with the new American body started to take a toll on my body.
I wanted my body back so I joined a gym and started learning about weight
training and nutrition.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you
started to see results?
A: Once I started to lift weights I was hooked.I loved the feeling it gave me of
strength and power. I build muscle easily, but it took me a while to figure out the diet part, I followed too many crash diets until I learned what worked for me... that's when my body really changed.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: Once I transformed my body with training, I started to get a lot of questions
from friends and even random strangers about how to train and eat. I have a passion for helping people, so I became a certified Personal Trainer. Being in that environment and working as a role model inspired me to push myself harder and towards new goals. That's when I found out about a new division called Figure and was intrigued... I decided to compete for the first time in 2002 and have competed in over 20 shows since.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: Not at all, my family did not supported me competing. They came to accept and
respect my lifestyle but they still don't understand it.
A lot of my friends from when I first got started were not comfortable with the
lifestyle either. and were quick to criticize. I had to leave a lot of negative people in the past.
The people I have in my life now understand and support what I do.
Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: Competing was not at all what I expected. I had always competed on performance
based competitions, so being on a subjective sport at first messed with my head.
After I competed a few times, I realized that I was not competing against others
but against myself, and that made me enjoy the experience regardless of how I placed. I still enjoy it... bettering myself and getting on stage to present my hard work.
Q: Can you share your contest history
A: I have competed in over 20 NPC Figure shows over the last 8 years, with many top
National Level Finishes. In 2009 I decided to retire from Figure competitions and
mainstream my physique to focus on my modeling career.
A year later I found out about WBFF's Fitness Model division and it was exactly
the kind of physique I was working towards, so going back on stage was an easy decision to make.
I competed at the WBFF World's Championship September 2010... I am back on stage
and feels great.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: My think my best body part is my legs, I have strong legs from being an
equestrian for so many years, and it just happens to be my favorite body part to train.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I absolutely love to train legs, specially glutes and hamstrings. I have MANY
favorite exercises, one of them is Smith Machine Reverse Lunges.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter
it for contest prep?
A: I worked very hard for the muscle I have, I am at a point where not only I am
not building more muscle but since I switched form Figure to Fitness Model I have been streamlining my physique (and getting rid of some muscle) without starving the muscle (keeping them full.
I train 5 times a week, legs once a week and shoulders/abs once a week, the
other 3 days I train intense conditioning circuits that are a mix of fight training,
kettlebells, plyometrics and sprint work. Contest prep is very similar, I just add 2 more days of conditioning and clean up my diet.
Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Very positive. It is actually different from when I first started. I think the
Fit look has also became more mainstream. I usually get a positive feedback and questions about training and nutrition.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment
you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Do you workout?"
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or
the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That we are obsessed with our bodies, have no balance in our lives and do not
"enjoy" life. If you live a healthy lifestyle and take care of your body while
watching what you eat... you can have fun once in a while and still be healthy.
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part of competing is working towards and achieving a goal. The worst
part of competing is learning how to deal with the post competition blues ... missing the goal. It took me a while to learn how to be just as happy off season.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire Monica Brant for having such an amazing career on and off the stage,
and always presenting herself with class no matter how the judging went.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pancakes. A second choice would be sushi.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one
piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Take your time learning proper weight training and diet. Embrace the lifestyle
and new habits. Don't rush to the destination, build a strong foundation. You will enjoy the results for many years to come.
Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: Modeling is my passion. I am an artist at heart and everything creative and
artistic fascinates me.
Modeling is one outlet where I create art. Every picture has a meaning and a
story,feelings and emotions expressed in a snapshot, like a movie.
Modeling is a release for me, a place where I get to be vulnerable while safe.
There are no walls when I model, I will allow all facets of my personality to come out. It is also a little tough sometimes to see my pictures out there. I am a private person.
Q: You are also part of an amazing group of women on the Vitrix Model Team.
Can you explain what that is for those who may not know.
A: Nutrex research has offered each of us on the team a tremendous opportunity to promote ourselves and promote the group in a multi dimensional way using images, audio interviews, written articles and video. It is an unique concept where we control the information we put out there about ourselves so we can portray ourselves as the real people we are and not just what a company or publication wants us to be.
We each have creative input with all the content that goes on the website which is unprecedented in the fitness industry. Although the Vitrix Model Team is very new, we have generated far more interest than anyone ever anticipated. Of course Nutrex and the Vitrix Brand benefits as well from this exposure, as they should as they are a great company.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I recently went camping for the first time and I love it! I love nature and
The beach is a sanctuary for me and if I am near it, it is my favorite place to
I enjoy live music, I am not a club kind of girl, I prefer a place where I can
talk to my date.
I love to travel...anywhere.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Ana Tigre.
A: Wake up and every morning I make my breakfast of scrambled egg whites, oats and
coffee (my favorite way to start the day). Tackle emails, texts, updates on the website, and train. That's a typical start of the day... after that EVERY DAY is different...
I work for myself and I do many different jobs: I might be working on my Sweet
Revenge clothing line (www.Bodysportmall.com) training clients, teaching posing classes, taping radio shows for Bodysport.com or writing articles.
I am a personal stylist for makeovers and photoshoots, and some days my job is
to go shopping or to style a client for her photoshoot or for a brand new wardrobe.. I also do make up and hair for photoshoots and stage...
Not 2 days are alike.
Q: Describe Ana Tigre in five words.
A: Patient, Reliable, Warmhearted, Loving, and Determined
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you
A: I speak fluently 3 languages, English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I recently competed in the WBFF World's Championship in the Pro Fitness Model
category, and it was a great experience. My plan is to train and go back to compete in the 2011 World's Championship.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I would like to promote a new project I was invited to be a part of: The Vitrix
Model Team ( www.Vitrixmodelteam.com ), sponsored by Nutrex Research. It is an amazing project that built a platform for athletes/models to present themselves and what they do in more ways than just pictures, we also get to show our personalities by writing blogs doing video,radio shows etc.
I also would like to plug www.Bodysport.com, a women's online Fitness magazine, and a project close to my heart.
I have been working with Bodysport for over 2 years now. Bodysport.com mission
statement is to educate, motivate, promote and inspire a healthy and fit lifestyle for women, and we are committed to helping individuals reach their potential.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors?
A: I am so honored to have been invited by Nutrex Research to be a member of the
Vitrix Model Team. It has been a wonderful experience working with Nutrex, they are an amazing company and treats all of their athletes with a lot of respect, I am looking forward to what we can do together in the future.
Q: Ana , again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words
before you go?
A: Being a part of a physique sport presents its challenges since it is a
subjective sport and a sport you are not being judge on your skills but instead you are being judged on your flaws.
In my mind, every athlete that has the focus, determination and discipline to
get themselves on a stage has already won. Nobody can take away your accomplishments. I work very hard for a physique that suits me, that makes me proud and that I can present proudly.
The most important thing I have learned during my journey for the last 10 years
is to stay true to myself. I train, eat, and compete for me, for the gratification of achieving a goal, the adrenaline of being on stage and the goal that makes me push myself to the next level as an athlete and as a person. I refuse to train or compete to please a trainer, a panel of judges or my friends and family.