20 Questions with Cover Model and IFBB Figure Pro Corry Matthews
1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Corry Matthews?
Corry Matthews is the embodiment of health and fitness. She is the founder of Corry Matthews Enterprises, Inc. which encompasses her for-profit and non-profit businesses entities which include: Max Muscle Sports Nutrition Franchises, Fitness by CorryTM, Strength & Grace FitnessTM, Fit & Healthy SchoolsTM and Fitness for Warriors TM.
I loved everything about learning in school, especially Math and Science. In college I majored in Kinesiology and fell in love with the mystery of the body. I began teaching group exercise classes at the University and to the ROTC military students. It was during my junior year that I met my husband, a Marine Officer. Two short months after graduating we moved to Okinawa Japan for three years.
While in Japan I worked for Marine Corps Community Services as their Group Fitness Director for the 7 Marine Corps base gyms. I also created the Marine Corps, Mom's N Babies Getting Fit Program, which consisted of educational lectures, group exercise classes, yoga and personal training for pre/postnatal moms. Today the program is implemented in several Marine Corps bases. During my free time I began to pursue my passion for fitness competitions and entered my first two, taking 2nd the first year, and 1st the second year…I was hooked.
We returned to the US in 2003 where I entered and won the NPC Mid-USA Fitness and Figure Championships, qualifying me for National level shows. I suffered a bad hamstring tear in my only competition of 2004, and it would continue to affect my competitive decisions until 2006. During 2005 I began training with Mike Davies, owner of the Fitness Factory and watched my body change. I placed higher and higher in national level shows. My 2005 accomplishments summed up nicely…I finished my Masters degree in Sports Medicine (Summer 2005) and placed in the top 5 in 4 NPC National Fitness competitions. I also made the list of 12 athletes selected for the “Road to the Pros” reality show. Although I missed my PRO card by one point, I knew God has a reason for everything…and right then he was saying be patient.”
In 2006 the re-occurring injuries from the lasting hamstring injury eventually lead to my pulling out of the fitness component of Team Nationals in July, but I competed and one my class with a perfect score, winning my Pro card. Mike Davies said he would help me to turn pro within two years, and together we did it in 23 months. I knew I was where I needed to be. I was honored to be chosen this same year to represent the United States at the World Nationals in Spain. The country was beautiful and the experience unforgettable.
3) How did you start competing in fitness and then switched figure? Why do you compete in figure now?
I have always competed in both fitness and figure, since the very beginning. I enjoy both of them. In 2004 I suffered a really bad hamstring tear to my left leg. As many people know, athletes who suffer muscle pulls/tears usually have other issues associated with the injury. My hips are off of alignment, which eventually lead to unbearable pain...and competing with fitness was taking its toll on my body. My left hip was really painful in 2005 where I placed "one-point" away from my Pro card in fitness...and I was ok with this...asked God to give me patience and to understand. Fast forward to Team Universe 2006, and one week prior to the competition, planning to compete in both Fitness and Figure I pulled my hip flexor...all related to the initial hamstring injury. So, I pulled out of Fitness and won my height class with a perfect 10. I thanked God...it was the sign I was looking for. After talking with my trainer Mike Davies, we agreed together it was best to stay with Figure and retire from fitness. Getting ready for the Arnold...I can definitely tell you, the lack of joint pain is great!
Neither...I am lean yet still very feminine. After the name of my personal training company...I am a lot of strength and a little bit of grace (Strength and Grace Fitness, LLC). Put me in regular clothes and I am a very fit female...but put me in a posing suit and my muscles come to life with a few quarter turns.
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 seems in Canada they are very clear unlike in the USA.
I think they are still trying to figure out what it is that they are looking for in figure competitors. I think of Figure competitors as the perfect Fitness model...a great fit look, and very beautiful. Strength and elegance combined.
I am always trying to catch my shoulders and my back up to the rest of my body. My lower body and abdominals always have the right amount of muscle and feminity...I personally think my arms could be bigger...well bigger deltoid caps.
My training routine varies based on what Mike feels I need. I see him every 3 months and send pictures every 3 weeks. I will never give up training this way. As a personal trainer myself I can easily motivate myself to follow a program given to me...I have actually transferred most of my clients into the same type of program, based on my limited ability to actually train them with everything else going on in my life. I want to inspire and motivate my clients to learn how to take care of themselves. My own training is 35-60 minutes, two times a day; 6 days a week...Mike has designed some killer programs using the stepper, bike, elliptical, treadmill and the ARC trainer. I do either a 3 or 5 day split based on my goals...maintain the muscle I have, gain muscle or lose fat. I take one full day off a week. As far as sets and reps...3-4 exercises per body part working out and reps vary from 6,10,12,15, and 20.
This too varies a lot. My staple diet includes oatmeal, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, egg whites, chicken, orange roughy, tuna, asparagus, lettuce/spinach all timed perfectly around my training times.
Usually up to two gallons leading up to the show, one gallon the day before by 6pm and then sip the day of the show...then like a fish after the show...followed by a Diet Coke.
11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?
I would say it was being backstage at the Arnold, looking at all the other competitions I have helped with tanning working for Jan Tana, or seen in a magazine. It seemed like I was working with them, until they called the line up to go out on stage...and there I was number 3 in the mix of all the girls I had been watching compete for the last year and a half. It finally caught up to me at that moment, OH MY GOSH...I AM A PRO, AND I AM COMPETING WITH THE BEST. Overall, the Arnold was the most amazing and most terrifying experience of my career as a competitor thus far. I am very much looking forward to my next show as a Pro, I think I will be a lot less nervous...but know I will still be nervous.
Not really, I think the evolution of the sport will continue. As Mike always tells me on the days when I get frustrated or overwhelmed..."Remember this is suppose to be fun" and it is so true. I will continue to compete so long as I am having fun...and right now I am having the time of my life!
13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?
I have grown up without a father since the age of 7. He was killed in a plane crash (Air Force Pilot) and I always wonder how different my life would have been had he been here. I know he is up in heaven watching over me...but I would really like to know...did I grow up to be everything he hoped I would be.
14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for this show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...
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?
17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?
I have always been a dancer...hence my love of Fitness.
20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do specifically do in your job?
Corry Matthews is the embodiment of health and fitness. She is the founder of Corry Matthews Enterprises, Inc. which encompasses her for-profit and non-profit businesses entities which include: Max Muscle Sports Nutrition Franchises, Fitness by CorryTM, Strength & Grace FitnessTM, Fit & Healthy SchoolsTM and Fitness for Warriors TM.In addition to managing her business entities, Matthews is a corporate health and wellness speaker; health and fitness mentor/coach; certified personal trainer; certified group fitness instructor; certified sports nutritionist; certified yoga instructor; International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) Professional competitor; fitness model; Gold’s Gym International Pre/Postnatal Fitness Institute Expert and a member of Prince William’s Regional Chamber of Commerce. She has been featured in numerous print and broadcast media outlets including: Potomac News, NBC News Channel 4, Body Fitness Magazine (UK), Flex and Oxygen.