Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Brianne Selino Interview
A veteran of just a couple competitions, Brianne Selino is set to make her mark in this industry, and with her obvious passion for the sport, it will be a big mark that she makes. With her original goal being to get toned and in shape, she has clearly achieved that and then some, and will no doubt continue to improve and look better each time she steps on stage. Here is a chance to get to know Brianne Selino, a name you will no doubt hear more and more.
Q: First, Brianne, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you John for giving me this opportunity.
Q: Can you start out by telling me a little about yourself?
A: I come from an Italian family and like most Italian families, it is quite large. My family is extremely important to me; and if there is one thing I get emotional about it is them. My mom is my best friend. I have two beautiful sisters, one older and one younger; and a wonderful brother-in-law. My father and stepmother live in New Jersey… I am also close to them. Then there is my dog, Kelso; he is simply the love of my life.
I grew up in West Harrison, New York and graduated from Harrison High School in 1998. I attended SUNY Cobleskill and graduated with an Associates degree in Travel and Tourism; from there I transferred to Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island where I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Hospitality Management. Right after graduation, I got a job as a Conference Coordinator with FLIK International, a subsidiary of Compass Group, which is known to be the largest foodservice company in the world. During my 7 years with the company, I have been promoted 3 times; my most recent position being the General Manager of a Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor, New York. I learned a lot about myself throughout those years both professionally and personally. I also got married and divorced during that time and that was a definite ‘life lesson’. I have come to believe that my experiences and some of my mistakes in life have made me a stronger woman.
In addition to my full time job, I worked part time for a catering company, was a martial arts kickboxing instructor, a personal trainer and an Executive Assistant for a motivational speaking company.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I learned how to swim at the age of 2 and was a member of a swim team up until my teen years. I have been snow skiing since I was 3 years old. In high school I played volleyball and was the captain of both the junior varsity and varsity teams.
I started working out about 4 years ago. I trained in martial arts kickboxing for 4 years and then got into weight lifting 2 years ago. Some people say it is an ‘obsession’, but to me it’s my ‘passion’.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: When I began training in kickboxing it was primarily to release stress. Kickboxing was always something I wanted to pursue; it ended up becoming a huge part of my life and became a passion of mine for many years. Two years ago I actually started weight training with a guy who trained my mom back in the day and he taught me the basics. At that time my primary goal was to get toned and in perfect shape. Months later I moved and joined a franchise gym, obtained my certification in personal training and began working there as a trainer.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Yes I picked it up very easily. I believe I am a natural however, I was shocked to find out how strong I really was and how much weight I could squat. Over a couple of months it became easier for me and adding more weight was a rush and enjoyment, rather something I rejected. I trained very hard and long; it was intense but I began to see results 2 months or so into it.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: At first it never occurred to me and it just wasn’t the right time in my life. At that time the person I was dating was not supportive of it; he believed it to be unattractive. In April 2010, I met my co-worker/trainer, who ironically turned out to be my boyfriend. We worked and immediately began training together at the gym. After one week into our workouts he mentioned that he wanted to compete and asked me if I would be interested and that was the beginning of the journey.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: Most of my family didn’t think I was serious. They probably thought it was disgusting. I’ve gone to numerous parties/weddings barely eating or drinking and I think they probably thought it was ridiculous. I am still not 100% sure if my mom approved, I think she thought the dieting wasn’t healthy, she was afraid I would look gross and asked me why would I want to look like that. My sister and her husband were my best supporters and they pushed me simply by just understanding that my time was dedicated to the gym. Most of my friends eventually became supportive.
Q: Was competing what you expected it to be? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: No, it wasn’t. I attended my first competition as my trainers “trainer.” I was there with him as a supporter, I helped him prepare by registering him, tanned him up and down, was his photographer, I pretty much was his Assistant. The whole event was interesting, in a good way. I noticed things I didn’t expect, all the competitors dedication, women walking in with their hair done up lugging in full length mirrors, men carrying coolers and bags of carbohydrates with free weights. I was like, what is going on? I was amazed at how nice people were to one another, although they were competing against each other. Everyone looked fantastic and they were all there for the same goal, after working so hard for many months. Furthermore, everybody’s goal that evening was the same, to stuff their faces with junk food that evening.
Q: Can you share your contest history?
A: I wanted to do a “trial run” before the big show on June 26th in INBF. I competed in a show a week prior to the INBF in Massachusetts with OCB. I wasn’t in tip top shape but went for it to experience, I met great people. I felt like a natural on stage and did my thing, I had fun with it. I didn’t place; however, I received great feedback from one of the judges. What I got from that experience was to work a little harder and push my body much harder that week, so I did. I ended up losing 5 lbs that week. I competed June 26th in INBF show in NYC. It felt great on stage; the event was huge but didn’t overwhelm me, again met great people. I placed 2nd place Figure Novice. I was ecstatic; I was so happy and proud of myself. I shared my happiness with my trainer/friend/boyfriend; he was the reason for my accomplishment! My family came to support me wish made me feel great, they were just as thrilled as I was, my mom especially; she was so excited for me and proud of my success.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: In the past I have always loved my toned arms and have always hated my thighs. I never realized you need what they call “wheels” in bodybuilding. So I would have to say that my legs are my best feature (as well as my strongest) when it comes to this sport, they are key. I like my back as well.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I hate cardio but I force myself to do it. I really don’t have a favorite exercise but I like to train my arms and back.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal training would consist of two sessions of cardio when it comes closer to competition; I train about 1-2 hours of weight training 5-6 times per week. As for the diet, like any other bodybuilder, lots of protein; egg whites and chicken, that’s all I can offer. My trainer and I have some of our own training secrets, sorry…
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: I get comments like this, ‘that explains why you look like that.’ Or, ‘wow that is awesome, good for you.’ Or, ‘what do you do, what do you eat?’ I get more positive than negative, but I am sure most people keep their negative thoughts to themselves, its all good.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: For one I don’t think people should be opinionated or comment on something they don’t know anything about. I think that women are perceived in bodybuilding as manly, too muscular or unhealthy. People are judgmental and that is fine however, I feel that if you haven’t experienced something or seen a competition, you shouldn’t be critical. People need to realize that if this sport was easy, more people would do it. It’s about pushing yourself, pushing real hard; you push your own body to limits it doesn’t want to be, its extreme dedication and one of the most difficult sports. I bet you to give it a try.
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: I love eating and you pretty much can’t eat what you want to. You can’t go out to eat when you want and as sad as it is, you have to keep distance from people. You are unable to party as much as you would like, if you know what I mean. The training is tough and it’s extremely tiring especially when I work long hours at my job. Weight lifting doesn’t bother me but I detest cardio, I would rather lift heavy weights. And I wish I could just eat some pretzels with a beer whenever I wanted.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire my trainer Roger “Judah” Clarke. He puts more effort into the gym than anyone, he is the strongest person I have met and he pushes himself beyond, as well as pushing me and others. I admire his dedication to the sport, so therefore, he’s my favorite.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Alcohol and chocolate. Anything I can get my hands on…really.
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: I would advise her following: make sure you have enough time, support, and dedication. If you are willing to give up on food and dedicate most of your free time in the gym and working harder than you imagined, which most people don’t have the strength to do, go for it! and make sure you have the right trainer. If you aren’t willing to give up on the things you love and enjoy, don’t do it, but always give it a try.
Q: Do you think it is becoming more common to see women training in the gym as hard as men?
A: Where I train, NO. I think bodybuilding is more common for men and you see more men working harder than women. However, I can’t personally can’t answer that question because I don’t belong to a large gym, but I know from my viewpoint, I have trained harder than most men in the gym that I work in. But that doesn’t mean that women don’t train harder, I think it’s more of who you are as a person and how hard you are willing to push. I know men that have “talked” about competing and have trained a bit, but it fell through, where I have continued to go along with the journey.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Yes, I love to travel. I am very adventurous and am up for anything new. I enjoy going out to dinner and relaxing and just having fun, I love to dance, you will always see my on the dance floor. I spend quality time with my boyfriend, my mom, my dad and my sisters and of course Kelso.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Brianne Selino?
A: Currently I am working in the city until my relocation. Depending on the day and my hours, I get up and go to the gym and do cardio, then drive from an hour or 2 hours to NYC. I leave kind of late most of the time and drive at least 2 hours home. I go directly to the gym and then go home and spend time either alone or with my boyfriend. Do it all over again… on the weekends I keep very busy, gym, clean, walk, eat/drink and hang out. I barely relax and sit around a lot, I keep active. In a month, I am moving to Chicago, so I think my life is going to be very different.
Q: Describe Brianne Selino in five words.
A: Dependable, Hard working, Caring, Tense, and Friend
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: That I do figure or bodybuilding of course and how strong I am for my size.
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I am competing in 3 weeks, so it’s a bit crazy at this time, I’m tired. But because I am relocating I wanted to compete one last time in NY. I would like to see how my life ends up in Chicago but yes I do plan on competing in the future. Well see where life takes me…
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Roger “Judah” Clarke, my trainer. Ask me again in a few months when he is running his own gym training MMA fighters and bodybuilders.
Q: Brianne , again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Yes, thank you Jason I appreciate this opportunity. This has been a new way of life for me and I enjoy it, no matter what others think. Many times I have cried and wanted to quit, but never did, I love the thrill. I enjoy spending time working out with my boyfriend, at times I would like to kill him for pushing me so hard and being annoying, but I cant thank him enough for it, I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without him.
I respect the bodybuilding world; it is something I take with me forever. This experience has made me a stronger individual and it has forced me to continue to push and work hard in all aspects of my life.