Issue #11


by Juan Carlos Lopez

2005 NPC Fitness and Bodybuilding Nationals

2005 NPC Fitness and Bodybuilding Nationals Review

20 Questions with our cover model: Kristi Wills

Cover Model Video Interview: Kristi Wills

Journey to my Pro Card by Kim Seeley

Kristi Wills, Tami Ough, Yamille Marrero, Heidi Fletcher, Rhonda Riley and Kat Taylor

Plyometrics: A Great Way to Mix Up your Workout
by Misty Green

Video Interview: Alicia St. Germaine

Helpful Hints for choosing a Contest Suit
by Merry Christine

Video Interview: Heidi Gay

Fitness in Finland
by Kaisa Piippo

Egg Whites, Sweet Potatoes, Blah, Blah, Blah
by Katie Szep

Video Interview: Angi Jackson

Interview with Swedish Pro FBB Klaudia Larson

Watching my Figure
by Waleska Granger

Fitness Team BC Helps you (for these winter months)
by Linda Cusmano

20 Questions with our Cover Model Kristi Wills

Kristi Wills '05 Nationals

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Kristi Wills?

My name is Kristi Wills and I'm a 4th grade teacher in MA. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Connecticut in 2000 with a Masters in elementary education and a minor in math. I earned a full softball scholarship in softball and played outfield for 4 yrs. I continue to stay involved with softball, as I give hitting lessons to softball players of all ages during the summer. I have been a NPC fitness competitor for the past 2 yrs. and hope to earn my Pro Card in 2006. In the future, I would like to earn my personal trainer certification, gain some sponsorships, and promote an all-natural healthy lifestyle.

2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?

I have always lived in MA and have an extremely close relationship to my family. As the years pass, I have become more aware of how important it is to keep close ties with family and friends. No matter how hectic life can get, I always make time for the ones I love. Because of my strong support system, I have gained the necessary confidence to make and achieve numerous goals. I couldn't be more blessed!

3) How did you start competing in fitness (NPC)?

I attended a local show and fell in love with all the excitement that goes along with watching the fitness routines. I then contacted my current choreographer, Cathy Savage from Walpole, MA and after she evaluated my physique and skills, she sent me in the direction of the NPC.

4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?

I like to come into a show more on the softer side. I find this look to be more feminine and it also allows me to train/diet in a way that gives me more energy for my fitness routines. I've also started coming in a little bit smaller and this also makes me lighter and faster when performing my routine.

5) What is your idea of what judges want in a Fitness competitor? Do you think judges are clear enough with competitors about how they want you on stage?

Lately, I have found that the judges are looking for competitors to come in soft and they want you to have a big v-taper and a tiny waist. I think the judges need to be clearer on exactly what they are looking for and that the criteria should be consistent at all levels.

6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!

For my future shows, I plan on working on having a larger v-taper and rounder glutes. I also want to continue to make my fitness routine high energy and use a lot of expressions to entertain the audience.

7) What is your typical training routine in the gym (per day, include sets and reps!) How much cardio do you do before a show?

Kristi Wills '05 Nationals

I do 2 full body workouts a week and one glute workout per week. During my full body workouts, I do 2 exercises for most body parts and for each exercise I do 3 sets. I do not train my biceps and do very little for my triceps and chest. My reps are 18-15-12. For my glute workout, I do 3 exercises and for each exercise I do 3 sets. My reps are in the 12-15 range. I usually do the butt blaster, single-leg squats, and step-ups. Sometimes I mix in dead lifts and reverse lunges. I do abs 3 times a week and each workout consists of 3 sets of 30 of 3 different exercises. Some exercises I do are crunches with weight, bicycles, torso twists with weight, hanging knee raises, decline bench sit-ups, and v-ups. When I'm about 1 month out from a show, every day I do cardio twice a day for about 40 mins. each time. I also do bike sprints twice a week.

8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)

My pre-contest diet varies but here is an example:
Meal 1: ¼ cup of oatmeal with raisins and 3 egg whites
Meal 2: banana and apple
Meal 3: 4 oz. of chicken, 6 oz. sweet potato, and 1 cup of green beans
Meal 4: 2 salt-free rice cakes with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
Meal 5: garden salad with 4 oz. of turkey burger, 1 cup of green beans, and ¼ cup of avocado
Meal 6: ¼ cup of oatmeal with 10 almonds

If I need to bring my fats up, I’ll have two handfuls of almonds during the day. Usually, when I'm 2 days from my show, my meal 5 will change to the following: garden salad, 1 cup of veggies, 6 oz. sweet potato, and 6 oz. steak.

9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? Please be specific.

Prior to the show, I drink a gallon of water a day. During the day of the physique round, I will either have 8 oz. of water with each meal or I’ll just sip water throughout the day, depending on the look I'm trying to achieve. I never take my water out completely because I don't want to be dehydrated/lose energy for when I have to perform my fitness routine.

10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you look up to?

I have always been actively involved with sports, so I've always been competitive. After I was done playing softball in college, I became regularly involved with weight training. I wanted to find something where I could use my past gymnastics skills and current work in the gym. Fitness competitions were definitely the answer for me. I have always been one who has many goals and dreams and once I have them in my mind, I am able to discipline myself to do whatever I need to do to try to reach them. Through my determination, stubbornness, and the support of my family, friends, choreographer Cathy Savage, and nutritionist Kim Oddo, I am motivated to go through the strict dieting and training that comes with preparing for a competition. Being on stage is an adrenaline rush, as all of the hard work is done and it’s time to have fun and show everyone how hard you have worked! In terms of competitors, I look up to everyone who is involved in this sport because there is no easy route to get to the top. Everyone has to work hard and be strong day in and day out. Because of fitness, some of my best friends are my own competition. However, I don't see them as competition; rather I view them as my motivators and supporters. We push each other to reach personal goals and we are there for each other when things do not always go our way.

11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?

My friend Jodie and I were in Atlanta for my Nationals and we were trying to get a taxi from the airport to the host hotel. A man came up to us and asked us if we’d like to share a taxi with him since we were all going to the same place. He then said that he was a great contact. Soon we found out he was Stacy Kaufman, the president of Pro Tan. Jodie and I both use that product so received some great tips for my show prep and some inside information on future products. He even ended up paying for our ride!

12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed?

I would like to see more coverage of figure, fitness, and women's bodybuilding in magazines and on television. A vast majority of the population does not even know about these sports or what the differences are between the 3. A lot of hard work is going unnoticed.

13) From the shows you have competed so far during your career which one was the best (or most fun) for you and why?

I had a lot of fun competing at Team Universe in August. At this show I made several friends backstage who I know will be lifelong friends. We had a lot of laughs backstage and this allowed us to be relaxed and enjoy all of our hard work. In addition, my parents were in the audience along with several girls who I train with back home. They made a road trip with my choreographer and it was the first time many of them had ever seen me compete. They all got together to help me with my show prep and it was an amazing moment to be on stage and have them all in the audience.

Kristi Wills '05 Nationals

14) Please tell us about your routines, who choreographs them and how do you and your choreographer come up with the theme?

My choreographer is Cathy Savage and Savage Choreography is located in Walpole, MA. Because Cathy is so creative and knows me so well, she comes up with my themes. We try to come up with themes that show power and strength. Because I have a 10 yr. gymnastics background, Cathy creates a routine that mainly involves gymnastics and strength skills, along with moves that allow me to interact with the crowd. Lately, she has been creating my routines while lying in bed or driving. She is extremely dedicated and will not stop polishing a routine until she's 100 % happy with it. In addition, I usually meet with her 2-3 times a week drilling the routine by working it in halves, until the final 2 weeks before the show when I do it full out.

15) What is your opinion about the 20% rule the IFBB issued to some female athletes? Why do you think they did it? Do you think competitors will follow it? Or it will get lost around somewhere?

I feel the 20% rule varies from person to person and it seems unclear exactly how much 20% is. I think some competitors are following it but are not getting rewarded for it. I think eventually it will get lost because of it’s unclearness and because competitors are still going to come into a show looking the way they personally want to or think is best for them.

16) Since you first started competing what were some of the most challenging moves you have ever tried? Do you have any favorite moves you like better than others? Any signature moves?

Since I first started competing, I had to take some refresher gymnastics classes. I hadn't done gymnastics for 10 yrs. so I had to get use to flipping around again. I also had to make the adjustment from a spring floor used in gymnastics to the hard wood found on stage. I absolutely love doing strength moves, especially creating combinations of strength moves. For example, I do a back tuck to a push-up, press into a handstand, do a handstand pushup, press down into a straddle, and then do a backward roll extension. I also like doing one-arm push-ups with one leg up. I also have a move called the “Black Hawk.” I do a headstand with my legs in a straddle, move my legs into a split, and then slowly come down into a side plange. Then, I push my legs around and press up into a handstand and do a straddle pirouette.

17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?

I was raised in a very loving environment by my mom and dad. I have an older brother named Chris who I have always been very close to. My parents always included my brother and I in trips and they always sacrificed themselves for us. I couldn't have asked for a better family and to this day we are as close as ever. We’re all there for each other during the highs and the lows and we bring out the best in each other.

18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?

I did gymnastics for 10 yrs. and played softball for about 16 yrs. In high school, I played softball and volleyball, and competed in track. I then earned a full scholarship to UConn to play softball.

19) What is a typical day in the life of Kristi Wills? From waking up to until going to bed?

Kristi Wills '05 Nationals

I usually wake up around 6 a.m. to get ready for work and to eat my first meal. I get to work around 7:50 a.m. and I do all my preparation for my day, such as passing out papers, photocopying, lesson plans, correcting, etc., I usually leave work around 4 p.m. and head to the gym for about 2 hrs. I head home and eat dinner around 7:30 p.m. Then, I pack all my meals for the next day, along with my gym bag. I correct any papers I have and have my last meal around 9:30 p.m. I usually watch a little t.v. as I prepare for bed and try to be in bed by 10 p.m. so I can get 8 hrs. of sleep. When I'm about a month out from a show, I get up around 4:30 a.m. and head to the gym to do a session of cardio. Then, I return home and start getting ready for work and do the same schedule as above.

20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do specifically do in your job?

I am a 4th grade teacher at an elementary school in MA. I have been teaching 4th grade for 6 yrs. My mom has been a teacher for 20 + years and after being in her classroom and watching her teach, I was influenced to do the same. She is definitely a role model and I hope to be half the teacher that she is. She also teaches 4th grade, so every year, we have our students be pen pals with each other and we get together at the end of the year. Our classes love it and it’s another bond my mother and I share. My students are 9 and 10 years old and I teach all of the elementary subjects. I am currently on the Health and Safety Committee and the Principal’s Advisory Council. I have always enjoyed working with children and to me there is no better reward than helping to shape the minds of our future generations and a child saying, “Now, I get it Ms. Wills!”

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About the Author...

Kristi Wills

My name is Kristi Wills and I have been a fitness competitor for 1½ years. I compete in the NPC. In April of 2004 I was the overall fitness winner at the Jr. USA's. I then went on to place third in the short class at the USA's in July. My goal for 2005 is to earn my Pro Card. I am very fortunate to have great genetics and a strong background in gymnastics. In addition, Cathy Savage from Savage Choreography and Kim Oddo from Body By O have developed a workout schedule, diet, and fitness routines that have helped me to be a top contender at the national level. The best things about competing for me are being able to entertain the audience with my fitness routines and walking out on stage with the confidence that I know I did everything I could do to look my very best. With each competition, I learn how to better prepare myself, not only physically, but mentally. However, the most important thing is that you compete for the love of the sport and strive to reach your own personal goals.

As a 4th grade teacher, I promote a healthy lifestyle to future generations. I have led class discussions about the importance of diet and exercise. In the past, my students have nicknamed me “Miss Muscles” and get excited when they know I have a competition coming up. They wonder about some of the foods I have to eat and ask me if I went to Florida recently because of the tanning products. In the words of a nine-year-old, they find it to be “cool” and “I can’t believe my teacher can do flips and one-arm push-ups.” Besides the students looking forward to seeing how I do in competitions, I also hope that they will choose to follow my example of eating healthy and exercising regularly.

For present and future fitness competitors, I am also available to help you learn the ins and outs of the sport. Over the past year and a half, I have gained many resources necessary for the high heels you need to walk in, the stage make-up you should wear, costumes, DJs, etc. This is a sport that you can’t go into blindly, as too much goes on behind the scenes. If you have questions about anything, feel free to e-mail me at:

With my past experiences and list of reliable resources, together we can get you the help you need. Good luck to you all, and remember, it’s all about having fun and being proud of the personal goals you have reached.

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