20 Questions with our cover model: Tamee Marie
1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Tamee Marie?
Tamee Marie, 30 years old California girl now living in Omaha Nebraska. Nothing too out of the ordinary here however I am leap year baby so technically I'm only 7 1/2.
2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?
I was born in Orange County California and grew up in Southern California. I met my husband in San Diego when he was stationed there in the military. He was from Omaha Nebraska and when he got out he decided to go back and he took me with him. We've been together for eleven years and married for nearly six. I have a two year old daughter who is as energetic as they come. I have one sister who is older and lives in Phoenix and my parents and grandparents are still living in San Diego. My husband comes from a rather large family and we enjoying having his five siblings and extended family around Omaha when we are unable to make it back west.
3) How did you start competing in figure (NPC)?
I've always been fond of the fitness competitor’s physique. I remember loving to watch Mia Finnegan and Monica Brant back in the days. I always told myself I would do it someday but never actually followed through. After having my daughter two years ago I wanted to get back into shape and fell in love with the gym on a whole new level. So I set my eyes on my first show, The Carol Semple Classic, December of 2004. Since then I competed at Jr Nationals in 2005, back to the Carol Semple last December and most recently I competed at the Ironman in Pasadena.
4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?
Someone once told me to always come into a show looking the way I feel I look best. If it's what the judges like, great, if they don't, at least I walk away holding my head high and feeling like I looked and gave it my best. I personally like the harder more muscular look, but not to the point where it distorts the face and takes away from the natural beauty of a woman.
5) What is your idea of what judges want in a Figure competitor? Do you think judges are clear enough with competitors about how they want you on stage?
It's hard because I think it varies from competitor to competitor and then again from judge to judge. Some girls can hold more muscle where others don't have the frame. I think the judges are looking at each competitor and thinking "could she improve her physique and does she look her best" and judging with that perspective. This is a subjective sport so unfortunately each judge’s opinion is going to be slightly different. So although every judge may be clear and forward with their decisions and criteria it will never be consistent from show to show as judges and panels vary.
6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!
I need to develop my legs and pay special attention to my glutes; I have a hard time putting size on in these areas. I also need to be careful not to lift my shoulders too hard since they grow very fast and easily over power the rest of my body. I think my biggest shortcoming is my posing. I get so nervous on stage I start to shake and forget all the little things I have changed. It’s hard to break an old habit and even harder to remember when you are nervous. As I continue competing I find myself more relaxed at every show and things I once had to think about are gradually becoming habitual.
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?
I love to lift and lift hard. I stay away from cardio as much as possible and try and control everything with my diet. I am very fortunate that this works for me because like most competitors I hate cardio!!
My schedule looks like this:
I don't vary this much on or off season. I may go heavier with lower reps in the off season for areas that need some development but the majority of my training does not change through out the year. When I get closer to a show I will do cardio 45 minutes three times a week, three weeks before a show and 45 minutes six times a week two weeks before a show. I usually don't have to cardio the last week if I am very strict with my diet and supplements.
8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)
7:00 Muscle Milk
9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show?
I like dandelion root and teraxatone. But I find drinking a ton of water and regulating/eliminating my sodium intake drops it pretty fast on its own. I think the dandelion root and teraxatone is more mental than anything but it continues to work for me so I’ll stick to it!
10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you look up to?
I just want to improve each and every time. Getting on stage and standing next to all these amazing competitors is what motivates me. I would be lying if I said I'm not a competitive person, just the word competition gets my heart beating faster. I enjoy pushing my body to extremes and seeing how much will power and drive I can find in myself. There are a ton of competitors that I look up too. I love the look of Michele Troll and I admire many others to include Monica, Jenny, and Val. The images of these girls scroll through my head when my body wants to quit. I picture standing next to them on stage and that usually gives me that extra push to get through my work outs.
11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?
Due to weather my trip to Pasadena was quite the experience. Carb depleted, tired, full of anxiety with a two year old at tour side is not the way to find out you missed your flight! Sitting around the Denver airport for 5 hours with a tired husband, tired 2 year old that doesn't want to sit still, and know I should start to carb load soon, but only have airport food is extremely frustrating. I eventually made it to the show and walking around the expo prior to check in I ran into Monica Brant. Monica has been an inspiration to me from the start of my training! Just seeing her and remembering why I love this sport so much erased every negative aspect of the trip.
12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed?
I wish there was a better understanding/appreciation of what we do! Too many people think there is a magic pill or maybe a steroid that we take to get the way we do. We work our butts off year round and many times don't get the credit we deserve. It seems like everyone on the outside is always attempting to discredit our accomplishments instead of praising us for them. This is another reason I love to go to shows when I am not competing or why I enjoy a good forum! I love to be surrounded by those that “get it”!
13) From the shows you have competed so far during your career which one was the best (or most fun) for you and why?
The 2006 Iron Man in Pasadena was my first IFBB show with pros present. Seeing all of the guys backstage for the first time up close and personal is an experience that I will never forget.
14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for this show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...
This time I allowed myself to eat Pizza the night before. (A LOT OF PIZZA) That was a little difficult mentally as I feared what could happen if all of my training and preparation was wiped out by one carb load meal. I found I was getting too lean and too hard so following the advice of a close friend I indulged the night before and seemed to work pretty well. I will do it again!!
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 think the 20% rule was to just give the girls a heads up in fitness and figure. They want us to slow down and limit how muscular we get. They want a little more defined line between figure/fitness and bodybuilding. Too many of the girls were looking like they could cross over into bodybuilding so I believe they implemented the 20% rule. I think for the female bodybuilders the rule is there to encourage the ladies to keep their femininity and not allow themselves to look too masculine. I'm not sure if I agree or disagree with the rule however I understand why they implemented it.
16) What was your overall experience at the Ironman? What did you think of its organization? Tells us the good, the bad and the ugly about this show?
I like that there were only 35 girls, that allows for a much quicker show. We were on and off the stage within an hour and a half. Too often these shows go forever and this one seemed well organized and it started on time! I was really shocked that there wasn't a "pump" up area for the girls. I know we are girls, but we still could use some free weights to get ready to go on stage. But we passed around our weights and bands, did push ups, we all survived and had a great time.
17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?
Typical 2.5 kids, dog, picket fence working dad and a stay at home mom. Nothing too crazy or out of the ordinary. My grandfather is a Baptist minister so I spent a lot of my time at school, church, or sports. Growing up my family had a summer home in Lake Havasu ever since I was 12 years old. That led to some very interesting and extremely fun summers. My parents have always been very supportive and they continue to show their support as they attempt to attend all of my shows and help me in any way that they can. Thanks Mom and Dad!
18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, or what?
My parents enrolled me into gymnastics when I was 3. I was extremely adventurous and that was the only way they could keep me under control. I thought I was going to be the next Mary Lou Retton however someone forgot to tell me I was going to end up 5'9". I found it too difficult to keep up with the little girls so my focus went from Olympics into completive cheerleading. I did that until I was in college while still enjoying softball, water skiing, and snow skiing. I pretty much enjoy anything that involves being athletic or is competitive.
19) What is a typical day in the life of Tamee Marie? From waking up to until going to bed?
20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do specifically do in your job?
I am a sales representative for a Dental and Orthodontic supply company here in Omaha. I talk with offices all day checking inventories and helping them restock on all their supplies. I have developed some very good friends and fans through my job and developed a tremendous amount of industry knowledge. Who knows, I may decide to chase another one of my dreams one day which involves becoming an orthodontist.