Issue #27


by Juan Carlos Lopez

20 Questions with Cover Model and IFBB Figure Pro Tara Scotti

Video Interview with Cover Model and IFBB Figure Pro Tara Scotti

Contest Prep for Jr. USA's Part 3
by Jean Jitomir

Tara Scotti, Holly Powell, Rebekka Armstrong, Shaushi Zike, Christy Resendes

Video Interview with IFBB FBB Irene Andersen

Summer Montabone's
Nutrition & Exercise DVD

The Cost of Competing
by Rebecca Slatt

Video Interview with IFBB Figure Pro DJ Wallis

Ask Misty
by Misty Green

Breaking Through a Plateau
by Jean Jitomir

Video Interview with IFBB Fitness Pro Mindi O'Brien


20 Questions with Cover Model and IFBB Figure Pro Tara Scotti

Tara Scotti

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Tara Scotti?

Hi, I am IFBB Pro Figure Champion Tara Scotti. I am a New Yorker in every sense of the word. I am edgy, fun, driven and ambitious. I do everything 110%- I do not like lazy procrastinating people. I try to be the best at everything I do- the best trainer, competitor, model, sister, daughter, friend and girlfriend. I set my limits high and demand a lot of myself.

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

I have the most amazing support team. My boyfriend Dominic is the best- he helps me handle all my business- he is selfless. My mother is my biggest fan- she is so proud of all my accomplishments and carries around my magazine clippings in her purse. I have a great step dad and a brother who I have always been super close with. I live in White Plains, NY - which is around 20 minutes north of NYC- which is where I grew up.

3) Please tell us about your 2005 Olympia experience? What did you like and dislike?

Just being on the stage at the 2005 Olympia was a great experience for me. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to get there- so to be able to recognize a dream is always a blessing. I loved the energy that the weekend has. The union that is formed among the competitors is pretty amazing too. I had my family out in Vegas so that was very cool for me as well. What didn't I like?hmmmm....MY PLACING!!! LOL just kidding ( a little bit). No, really, I can't seem to figure out those judges and the placing's. I admit I was a little confused and upset by my placing, but that is only because I am so competitive with myself and I have never in my whole career in this sport ( both in the NPC or IFBB) ever placed in a double digit - so to say it was a humbling experience is an understatement. The commentating and announcing was a bit unprofessional too- there were so many bloopers and blunders it was embarrassing.

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

I always tell anyone who is confused on how they should come in to a show - to just get your best package and that's that. Some of us are made to be a little harder or more muscular, while others are softer or smother. I personally though always want to look like an athlete. Conditioning is super important. I never want to look like a swimsuit model- that is not a sport to me. So, I rather get penalized for being a little too hard than coming in softer and not being as conditioned.

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? I must admit it has gotten harder to tell who is the winner from behind the camera.

With out sounding bitter or anything....I have no idea what they want. When Figure was first introduced - they said the same body that we needed for Fitness, just minus the routine. Now I think they say "the total package". That is fine- but what is the total package? It beats me. I stopped trying to figure it out and just bring in the best package that I can.

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

I am very hard on myself so whenever I feel I have a lagging body part or something that needs improvement I make it my goal to bring it up and improve on it. But as of now...honestly I am not changing a single thing. It doesn't get any better for me from the 2005 O- so who knows what is going to happen from here on in.

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 train the same all year long. Very intense. I train 5 days a week with weights and 6 days cardio. I do a lot of super sets and drop setting during my workouts. For cardio I do between 30 and 50 minutes a day and that pretty much is the same on or off season. My diet is what I rely on to drop body fat and get my conditioning dialed in.

Tara Scotti

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

I eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours with my first meal at 6 am. I have 3 food meals a day and three protein drinks a day. I eat egg whites and chicken as my protein sources and oatmeal and sweet potatoes for carbs. I eat a lot of veggies, no fruit or dairy for 14 weeks before a show. I eat very clean with hardly ever a cheat meal when I am focused on a show.

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

Because my diet is high in sodium ( I use condiments like ketchup often) I cut back on them a few days before the show and keep my water very high. This right off the back starts to dry me out. I then proceed to cut the water by half every day that gets closer to the show until the night before the show I eat a big steak meal and reintroduce the salt back in- with no water!! This is hard to eat salt with out drinking, but it gets you super dry.

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

I am self motivated by the desire to look and feel my best. And for me I am happiest when I am lean and ripped. I am too competitive a person to commit to competing at a show and then not give it my all. I have a lot of pride which sometimes gets in my way. When I first started to compete in Fitness I simply adored Monica Brant she is just an icon of the sport. So to be competing on the same stage as her now is also cool for me.

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

Placing 14 at the O- not so fun!!! Sandy Ranalli was doing the call outs at pre-judging. In both rounds she called me out dead last. And I don't know if I was imagining this, but when she called my name out both times, the tone of her voice changed. In my head, it sounded like this, " Oh yeah, and Tara Scotti too. " I mean, I knew she wasn't a fan of my physique begin with, but that made me feel like she doesn't even think I belong on the stage at all. I am not bitter at her or anyone else, but it was weird. Please understand that I am not taking anything away from the competitors that placed ahead of me. Everyone looked great on stage. I am just saying that I maybe I just suck............:)

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

When all is said and done- I love the sport and I love to compete. Of course I would like to see the judging more consistent and maybe a specific outline for us girls on what we are being judged on. But do I think that will happen? NO.. So I chose not to complain publicly because it will only make me seem biter and I truly am not. I think we could stand to get our monies raised.

Tara Scotti

13) From the shows you competed this year which one was the best (or most fun) for you and why?

The Toronto Pro- because I won LOL!!! Other than that one, they treated us great at the Charlotte Pro. We had our own dressing areas which was nice and they ran the show extremely professionally. That show sticks out in my memory.

14) Tell us about your win at the Toronto Pro show, how did you feel before and after?

Winning that show was definitely a high light of the year and my career for me. I wanted a win under my belt so to attain that was a relief. That show was the 4th show in 5 weeks for me, so to say that I was getting tired is an understatement. It just proves that in order to get a lot from life you have to give a lot of your self.

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?

For me it was a blessing. I like my physique so much better that I scaled it down a bit. I used to be much bigger and I am happier now that I am more compact. But as a whole- it is silly to use a number such as 20% to go across the board as everyone is so different and the degrees of muscularity vary so much. I think it was directed to the bigger girls, especially the body builders who were getting exceptionally large as of lately.

16) Our sport is changing a lot , even figure now is being judged quite differently sometimes favoring politics. Promoting oneself is becoming more and more important everyday. What would you recommend other girls to do to promote themselves better?

Just be yourself and measure out your priorities. To some, placing higher is everything so they go out and align themselves with this one or that one. To some ( and me included) it is a business and about making money and getting fans. My web site generates me an income and to make new fans and keep my fans happy is what I am about. I want people to know my name in the sport- that is more important to me than my placing's.

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

I was raised my mother who worked very hard ( always at least 2 jobs) to give me and my brother the best that she could. I did not want for anything, but looking back now as an adult I did not realize just how hard she was working just not to say NO to any of our requests. She is an amazing woman and my idol. My father was not in the picture so it was hard for all of the obvious reasons that goes with not having a parent- but my mother tried to be both a mom and dad to us. I grew up in a tight knit community of Queens, NY. I had loads of friends who lived on my block and I have many memories of playing outside on my street- for years.

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

Absolutely not. I was the girliest of girls when I was growing up. I had no interest in sports what so ever. I did take dance for many years as a kid though. I loved to perform at the recitals. I loved clothes and makeup- nothing that would make you sweat or dirty.

Tara Scotti

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

Non-stop!!!!! I get up before 5 am some days. I eat upon rising :) and then go and train a few clients- some days my first is at 5- other days at 6am. I always have my food with me so I eat in the car between clients and then train in the early afternoon. After training, I run a few errands or clean my house ( I am a clean freak:) and then head out for my afternoon clients. I get home and cook dinner ( I love to cook- it is one of my biggest passions) and then prepare my food for the next day. I clean up after dinner, take a shower and try to sit and hang with my man for a little while before going to bed which is usually at 11ish. I only need 6 hours of sleep!!!

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

I run my own personal training business. I train my clients from their homes. I have an upscale clientele and train some celebrities as well. I love what I do and feel lucky to have the business I have. I also do some fitness modeling and have been sponsored by Twinlab for 3 years now.

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