Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Jenni Barry Interview
At this years Arnold's, like every year, I spent a lot of time around the booth that my trainer was working. One of the benefits of doing it this year is that a girl named Jenni Barry was also working the booth. I was unaware of her before the Arnold's, but am very well aware now. At the time, I didn't know she competed, only knew that by looking at her, I knew she could do very well in fitness modeling. Since then I have learned she is also a bikini competitor, and a really good one at that. I think there is no limit to how far Jenni can go both competing wise and modeling wise. Most recently she took second place in the OCB Yankee Classic and is soon to be making her NPC debut. Jenni is someone who definitely can be expected to be the owner of a pro card.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: The first time I started training seriously in a gym was in my senior year of high school. I wanted to play field hockey in college and was recruited to play. I followed their workout regimen in hopes of doing well in pre-season. So I did anything from your basic strength training to a lot of time running on a treadmill haha.
Q: Why did you decided to compete?
A: I was a personal trainer at a gym and there was a girl named Jackie who was obviously training for a competition. Her and I became friends and I ended up going to watch her compete. It was the first bodybuilding event that I went to. She was so good, she ended up winning the overall and her pro card in figure. Everyone told me I had the frame for it. I went home that night and looked at myself in a bathing suit and was like "I think I can look as good as some of these girls on stage". So I decided to train for a competition. When I first met Cathy Savage in Boston when I attended my first fitness camp she told me she could get me ready for a competition in twelve weeks. I signed with her and had ten weeks to put myself on stage. I trained for ten weeks for my first competition. Is tarted clean eating a little before that. It took me four and a half months and I lose thirty-five pounds. I went from weighing 153 to show day I was 118.
Q: Sometimes you say "bikini" and people think it is a T&A thing. Did you have trouble explaining to people that it was actually fitness?
A: It's funny that you say that. Yeah, one of my best friends didn't take it so well. He thought the opposite, when he hear fitness, he thought I would look like those girls who would be line-backers on a football team, not knowing anything about it. It is such a small part and if you aren't in the fitness world, people don't have a clue what you actually do. My parents didn't understand it till they came to my first show. It really wasn't until any of my friends saw me and attended a show that they understood why I spent all this time dieting and training. It's not like I am just posting pictures of myself in a swimsuit for the world to see. They are classy pictures taken by professional photographers.
Q: Were you nervous the first time you competed?
A: I was nervous up until I was driving to my competition. Every day I would train really hard, I had a bodybuilder help me, my good friend Stafford Ferguson. He has been my biggest inspiration in bodybuilding, he is more motivated than anyone I know. Every day he would train me and push me and yell at me. I had no idea what it was like to be on stage. I was nervous everyday wondering how girls were training and comparing myself to other people. It wasn't until show day when I woke up that morning and looked in the mirror, got my tan done, got my make-up done, I came out and Stafford was in the car and looked at me and he was wowed, blown away at how pretty I looked. I never felt more beautiful. Once I saw it come together I was like "this is gonna be awesome". I didn't care if I took first or fifth or dead last, I was just so happy with where I came from.
Q: A lot of people say after they compete the first time that it becomes addicting, was that the case for you?
A: I don't know about addicting. But I took it more as a challenge. Each show you do, you know what it is about. I spent my first year, I guess you could say federation shopping, doing different types of shows and seeing what federation I fit best in and ideally where you have fun competing. If you aren't having fun on show day then competing isn't for you because you have to have fun doing it, it is such a subjective sport. It is a challenge for me and something I will continue until I become a pro.
Q: Recently you took second in novice and open in the OCB Natural Yankee Classic. While you gotta be happy with that, at the moment you find out you are second, are you more happy or is it more "so close"?
A: It was bittersweet. My first competition I entered the INBF and entered the best body category and I did figure to see where I fit in. I took second in best body, so that is how I felt at my first show. In terms of the Yankee Classic, it was great show, I was in class A and took second to another girl. My coach told me I would probably get top two. You don't know what the girls look like next to you, so I had no idea how I would place. My friend ended up in class B and she won first place. So if I had won first I would have had to go against her for the pro card and that would have been interesting. I was glad it worked out this way and she won her pro card. She would have beaten me at this point. I am happy it worked out this way, and it gives me motivation to know I am right there and if I go in this direction I can take the title at another show.
Q: Do you know when you are competing next?
A: Yes, I am making my NPC debut on August eleventh.
Q: Granted it isn't much time, but for that show, where can you be better than the last one?
A: It's funny, your body responds a little differently depending on where your hormones are at during the month. I wont get into much detail but I am sure you know what I am talking about. I can always improve my posing I think. I do well with stage presence but you can always improve posing. Also I think water is a big thing. I need to make sure I am drinking enough water. Lately I get in my gallon but should be at a gallon and a half. So if I drink more I will dry out better.
Q: We met at the Arnold's, you were working a booth, is that something you enjoy doing?
A: Absolutely, I loved it. I was honored. There wasn't even a doubt that crossed my mind when I got a facebook message from Egg Whites International asking if I would be willing to work their booth. It was the first time I got a chance to attend something that big. I always dreamed of going to the Arnold's. I plan to attend this years Olympia, I am not working anything as of right now. I would love to in the future. I am very open to any of the traveling and excited about that in the future.
Q: You have also done photo shoots, what do you enjoy about that?
A: Haha, I am never gonna pass up an opportunity to get dolled-up. I enjoy having my make-up done and going shopping for photo shoot outfits. I gives me a chance to show everyone who I am as a person. I love to be myself. As long as I am comfortable with who is shooting me. Recently I had a shoot with LHGFX. I just got a preview of the pictures a few days ago. Once I pick out these proofs and have them edited, you guys will get a sneak peak of these awesome shots. These are great guys, it i the second time I have shot with them. We took anything from swimsuit, gym pictures, I even got a chance to put on my zumba gear so I can show everyone what I do, cause I started taking zumba dance classes.
Q: What do you enjoy about training others?
A: I have been coaching my entire life. I was originally a Health and Phys-Ed major, so I always planned on teaching health and fitness. In school I started training to generate income and feel like I fell into fitness I realize I don't just love teaching kids, I also love teaching adults. I had someone at my gym that was fifteen years old and was autistic and also had a sixty-three year old woman that I was doing corrective exercise with. I realize I can work with a more diverse group of people. I became a fitness manager and never made it into a real class-room haha. I graduated with my degree in Psychology because I just believed at that point that there was more to health and exercise than just fitness. It is about what motivates people and what really gets them to perform their best. My goal is to help a client to do their best in anything they decide to do.
Q: When you are in the gym training, do you get a lot of the unwanted attention or stares?
A: Haha it's kind of funny you would say that. I actually, when I work out, I keep headphones in my ears, but the music is actually rarely ever on. I just do it so I don't get interrupted, but I can hear what people say about me. It is entertaining haha. There are guys in the back and they see me doing dumbbell chest press or burpees with heavy dumbbells and pull-ups, all this crazy stuff. And they make fun of each other saying "she is working harder than you". I am Cuban so I have thicker legs and a big butt, so I turn around and catch people starring at me haha.
Q: If you could spend a day training with any one person, who would you pick?
A: I can only pick one?
Q: I am not super strict on the one.
A: You were at the Arnold's, so you know how I felt about Jamie Eason when I met her. If you talk to Danny-J at all she will tell you that is the main reason I went to the Arnold's, is because she has been such an inspiration to me. It would definitely be Jamie Eason, so I could talk and learn about where she comes from. I would love to see how she trains, she has the physique I would ideally like to have. The other person I would love to train with who I got to meet at a fitness camp a couple months back is Dana Linn Bailey. She is amazing. When you see her in real life she screams hard work. She trains hard-core and doesn't take anything from anyone.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Lindsay Messina and Kim Pearson with N.Y. Divas, Team BBW- Body By Warren- Warren Fahrenfield and Elise Firestone. Diamond Gym and Dwayne McDaniels.