Monday, September 9, 2013
Antonietta Luigini Interview
Photos 1-5: RX Muscle/North American Bodies
I discovered Antonietta Luigini while looking at photos from the NPC Treasure Coast, a show in which she won her class. I was blown away by her. More so when I found out it was only her second show and even more so when seeing the incredible improvements from her first show. If she continues at that rate, I can very easily see Antonietta winning a pro card in the near future.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I actually had been playing soccer since I was around four years old. I saw my brother play soccer and told my father I wanted to start playing on a team. I did high school and college soccer. After college I didn't go pro so I joined a Fit Camp and the trainer was a competitor and his girlfriend was a competitor. We would do challenges and I was always wanting to win, always competing and talking about how my body was changing and asking questions about diet. He suggested that I compete. I did some research and watched some YouTube videos and decided I wanted to compete.
Q: When you decided to compete did you have any idea what all went into it?
A: No, no idea. You see the glam and say you want to do it. Then once you get into the nitty gritty of it, it is all or nothing and that is when you continue or break.
Q: Were you nervous that first show?
A: It's funny you say that. I was more nervous when I put my suit on. I got my suit five weeks out and to me, I looked the best I had ever looked in my life. It is more cocky than anything. Five weeks out I got my suit and had a mini freak out because it got real for me and the suit was very tiny and put it in perspective for me. The first one, it was a National qualifier, over my head. I was in for a rude awakening and I learned a lot from it.
Q: Looking back, do you wish you had picked a smaller show?
A: I do! Maybe done more research. Throughout the course of my prep, because my body was changing every week, I did cut corners in my prep and still felt I looked great and was gonna do well because I had never been on stage or seen what the girls looked like.
Q: A lot of people I interview say they do the first show and it becomes addicting, was that the case with you?
A: Yes, very addicting. As soon as I stepped off stage I knew I wanted to do another one.
Q: You just won your class at the NPC Treasure Coast, your second show, when you won, do you remember what went through your head?
A: We had a smaller class and I remember being in pre-judging, and of course you are backstage looking at these girls and it is a competition even though you cant do much else once you are on stage, your body is where it is going to be. I just wanted to place and was feeling confident after pre-judging. When they said I won, I was really excited. I remember looking over at my coach and he promised to kiss my bicep if I won, so that is what I thought about.
Q: How happy were you with what you brought to the stage?
A: I was very happy. My physique this time compared to the last time was one hundred and ten percent different. I knew this because I was sticking to the diet, I wasn't skipping out on cardio. I was one hundred percent dedicated for sixteen weeks every single day. It showed in my body and I could see the difference. I was more confident. Not cocky, but confident and you could see a difference. At that point it becomes fun.
Q: I saw your second pictures first and was amazed when I saw your first pictures and the difference between them, after the first show, would you have imagined that you could look as good as you did for the second show?
A: No! Honestly, it is just the way my body has changed. Even now, looking at pictures, I cant believe it is me. I am three weeks out now and it gets me excited because now I know I am only gonna look better. People tell you you wont always look like the first show and you are gonna get better and better and I never thought in a million years that that is what I could look like. I look at pictures and cant believe it is me. You do the exercises and the diet and every day you see yourself and don't see the little changes. Once you start drying out and put your tan on it is amazing.
Q: Your upper body was very hard, your abs were better than the figure competitors, did you worry going in that maybe you were coming in a little too hard in the upper body?
A: Yes, we did worry about that. My upper body, arms, shoulders, they just grow. I can bulk them very easy and actually have to take them down. He asked me what I would do when the judges said I was too hard on top. I said I didn't know, I like my shoulders, I like my abs. We stopped doing them a week out. I think it was all diet. The judges said to take it down a little bit. I don't know how we are gonna do that but we are working on it. They also said it was uneven, my legs were more soft and my top was too hard. If it was more even then it wouldn't be as extreme. We might soften me up a little in the stomach area and it is unfortunate because I like being that way.
Q: Would you ever consider figure so you can maybe continue looking that way?
A: I don't know. When I started this second prep he said "you have gained weight but you also gained muscle, is figure an option?" Right now, I don't feel like figure is in my heart, I don't feel comfortable with the poses. His girlfriend went from bikini to figure. In street clothes I love the way they look, a little more muscle, it is beautiful. Being on stage in that suit I don't have it in me at the moment. I love bikini, you can see in my face that I enjoy being on stage and being feminine and sexy and saying "this is my body, I've worked for this."
Q: You are three weeks out, not a lot of time from the last one, but is there somewhere you can say you want to be better?
A: My legs. They told me my legs need to come down. Glutes are a lot fuller than the last show and I am excited about that. It will be difficult to get my legs more leaner and more cuts, and less cuts on top. So finding that balance is a challenge but we are doing it. My legs are looking a lot better. Not training upper body as much is very hard for me.
Q: When you are in the gym, do you get the stares and attention from people?
A: I do unfortunately. I really try to wear sweaters during cardio, pull my hood over my head. I am on the stairs busting it and guys come next to me and try and talk to me and I say "sorry, but I am in the middle of something. I don't want to be mean. I don't wear tight clothes and wear long pants. I may wear a tank top but no sports bra. It is kind of overwhelming you know?
Q: If you could spend one day training with someone you never trained with before, who would it be?
A: I think you would expect a girl, but I would love to train with Kai Greene. I watch his videos and he talks about the mental aspects and this sport is eighty percent mental. He is very humble and I would love to meet him. I love listening to him and the whole mental aspect he speaks of. There are times I wake up and don't wanna train and sleep in and have pancakes for breakfast. At the end of the day if I don't believe I can do it, no one will.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I would love to thank my coach Brandon Sellnow, he has been there from day one through all my mood swings and taught me everything I know. It is because of him that I have the support system I do. Of course my boyfriend, he stuck by my side through everything. The gym has given me the support system that even my own family doesn't give me cause they don't understand it.