Interview with Sarah Connors, NBPFA Bikini Competitor

Check out my Interview with the gorgeous Sarah Connors!

I found her blog Super Set Sarah  and was really amazed by her progress and transformation.  She’s currently training for another competition where she hopes to place even better than her first.  Take a look at her interview and be sure to follow her along on Twitter @SarahJConnors!

FFTF:  Thanks Sarah for this interview – Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I was born May 26th, 1992, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. I’m a student at the University of New Brunswick in the Business Administration program. In my spare time I take care of my families four Quarter Horses which I travel all over North America competing with. Fitness has become a huge part of my life. I’ve done two competitions so far. The first being the Atlantic Canada Inside Fitness Model Search, which I placed 4th out of 9 in the Elite Beauty category. My first real fitness competition was the 2012 NBPFA Bodybuilding & Figure championships. I competed in the Bikini Tall category and placed 6th out of 15 competitors.

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FFTF;  My favorite part of your blog is the Contest Prep Mistakes – I love that you put yourself out there and explain how you learned from this experience.  Is there one big piece of advice you would tell the potential bikini competitor our there that you wish you would have known?

Do your research!!! This applies to many, if not all aspects of competing. Go see a bodybuilding show before you decide to compete, talk to past competitors about their experiences, research what is healthy to do during a contest prep and what isn’t….but most importantly, do your research and find a good coach! I personally, would never be able to do a show without.

DSC_3697

This past off season I worked so hard to get some decent muscle mass, so I’m going to work hard to protect it.

What was your first competition like? Specifically the day of the show and getting up on stage?

-I’ll admit my first competition was not easy. I dieted for 12 weeks leading up to it. By the end I was tired, hungry, frustrated and many other things. However, it was all worth it for that one day. It was such an exhilarating experience, from getting all dolled up like Barbie, making new friends backstage, and then showing off all my hard work in front of hundreds of people. Throughout my 12 weeks of dieting, I told myself I would never compete again because it was too difficult, but as I stood on stage striking a pose with a huge grin, all I could think to myself was “ I can’t wait to do this again!”. After the show I received some very good advice from one of the judges, as well as the show photographer who has been in the industry for decades. They were very supportive, and told me little things to fix so I could come in even better next time. Both my parents came to watch the show and they were both proud and surprised at how confident I was on stage. The only negative part about the whole show day experience was the final result. I was more than thrilled to make top call out, but unfortunately they only call the top 3 numbers out for placings. When I didn’t hear my number get called, I was crushed. Overall I placed 6th out of 15 girls, which I’m now more than proud of.  Just more incentive to work even harder this time!

Since I’m all about food these days, I must ask – Did you indulge as soon as the show was over?  I’m already looking forward to my first meal post competition. 🙂

-Oh boy, did I ever indulge! Probably way more than I should have. Since my competition was in early November, my boyfriend Corey(who was also competing) and myself took advantage of all the post-halloween candy sales. We had so much candy, that it took weeks to get through. That was a huge mistake because I had a much bigger rebound than I had intended. I certainly won’t be making that mistake this time around. A few small treats is more than enough!

Sarah in Summer 2008
Sarah in Summer 2008

I’d always had jokes thrown at me that I had “no ass” and “chicken legs”… I never thought there was anything I could do about it. I’d accepted that I’d look like that for life.

FFTF:  I read that you had an “apple” shaped figure and you thought you were destined to always look that way.  Any particular occurrence that sparked the idea to change your body?

-All throughout high school I was considered the tall skinny girl, and that’s how I always saw myself. It wasn’t until I met my boyfriend of 3 years, Corey Janes, that I was introduced into the fitness world. I thought the gym was just a place for overweight people to get skinny, and for only men to get big and muscular. Corey started me lifting light weights, and I would go to the gym a few times per month. When I went to watch my first Bodybuilding and Fitness show, I was inspired and decided that day that I would do whatever it took to stand on that stage. For the past two years the gym has become a huge part of my daily life. I get a special kind of high from lifting heavy weights and seeing the positive changes in my body. I never knew until I started lifting weights, that you can change your body composition! The once tall, skinny high school girl…is now a tall, shapely woman with a booty!

FFTF:  Did you have a coach for your first competition?  If so, how did you find them?

-I did have a coach for my first competition. I trained with Andrew Pierce of team Just4Show. He is considered one of the top trainers in Atlantic Canada. I had trained with him before to get ready for the Inside Fitness model search last June, and really liked my result, so I knew there was nobody else I’d rather train with for my first Bikini competition. I got connected with Andrew through my boyfriend, Corey, who had trained with him the year before. Just4Show is a great team because we do a lot of group workouts, group posing practices as well as mock shows in the weeks leading up to a competition. It creates a supportive and friendly atmosphere which makes all the difference on show day.

FFTF:  What was your friends/family reaction when you said you were going to step onto a stage wearing a bikini for a bodybuilding competition?  Did they “get it?”

-My mom was supportive from the beginning. She saw the hard work that I was putting into it and therefore knew I was serious about it. My dad was a different story, at first he didn’t quite understand why I couldn’t eat certain foods and the idea of me wearing a bikini on stage was unheard of. They both came to watch the day of the show and finally understood why I had worked so hard.

FFTF:  You are currently 14 weeks out from your next competition – What, if anything, are you doing differently during this prep as opposed to your first one?

-For this prep I started dieting 16 weeks out, as opposed to 12 weeks out like last time. I believe the extra four weeks will give me an opportunity to get a head start so I won’t have to stress as hard for the last 12 weeks. I’m also trying to preserve my muscle this time around. Last year, I was more concerned with losing fat and didn’t care about the muscle I was losing as well. This past off season I worked so hard to get some decent muscle mass, so I’m going to work hard to protect it.

You’re on Twitter and you have a Blog.  What can new followers of your page/twitter expect to see from you on these pages?

-My blog, Superset Sarah, is updated frequently with my competition progress, delicious healthy recipes, educational nutrition articles on all the latest health fads, my personal workouts as well as new and exciting exercises to try! By following me on Twitter at @SarahJConnors, you can stay up to date on when I add new blog posts and follow me as I update on my day to day life as a student, bikini competitors & competitive equestrian athlete. I also follow back!

Crongress Ronnie 10002

 I currently own four of my own horses that I travel all around North America competing with.

FFTF:  What are your other interests besides fitness?

-I have been horse back riding since before I could walk! My mom had horses throughout her life, and she passed the passion down to me. I currently own four of my own horses that I travel all around North America competing with. Some of my biggest accomplishments include representing Team Canada at the AQHA Youth World Cup, being an All American Quarter Horse Congress Finalist as well as being Internationally Qualified. I also have an extensive musical background. As a child and teenager I played piano & trumpet, as well as taking vocal lessons. I competed at various music festivals as well. Unfortunately music has taken the backseat to my horseback riding and fitness lifestyle, but it will always be a huge part of me.

FFTF:  What’s next on the horizon for you besides this next show?

-Shortly after this show I hope to compete at the Inside Fitness Model Search being held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After that, it’s back to work and continuing to improve from here! I’m also a Business student at the University of New Brunswick working towards a degree in Business Administration.DSC_3613

Thanks again Sarah – We look forward to seeing how you do at your next competition!

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