20 Questions with Cover Model and IFBB Figure Pro Jeni Briscoe
1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Jeni Briscoe?
2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?
I have a huge support system and anyone who attended the canadian nationals this year would of seen that. My family and friends are behind me 200%. I am very lucky. I have a very understanding husband as well, which makes competing all that much easier. He keeps me on track with my diet, travels around with me, and he is my biggest fan! Also all my clients and members at my gym are very supportive, everyone was so excited to hear I had won my pro card this year. My gym looks like
I had first started competing back in 2000 in heavyweight bodybuilding. I didn't do to bad and I loved it instantly. After doing 3 shows, I decide to take a year off and then figure had started up, so I thought that was more my body type and would give it a try. In 2003, the canadian nationals were in Edmonton and they had open figure to anyone so I went. I ended up somewhere in the middle of 33 girls. A little disappointing, but the next weekend I went to the Western Canadian Naturals and placed 2nd and the went on to win my class at the 2003 Provincials. I was really hooked after that! Since then I steadily placed better and better. This was my 5th year at nationals. It took time and dedication, but it was all worth it. After placing 2nd at nationals last year and 3rd at the north americans, I was feeling pretty confident about this show.
4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?
I really like the look of a tight, conditioned body, maybe even a bit more muscular than what is called for. I really like the package that Valerie Waugamen brings to the stage. A bit of a harder look. But I do think shape is really important as well. I think as long as you bring your best package to the stage that is what is most important. You are judged on you first and then compared to others. So try to look your best. Some girls look way better with a softer look, others look great a bit harder, so its all individual.
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 think the reason its so tough to say what is the ideal figure is because we are all so different, but all look good at the same time. So how do you really choose? I think this year they were more clear on what they wanted. Tight, conditioned, not overly muscular, but shapely. I just think a person needs to come in thier best shape that she can and go from there.
6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!
I'd like to bring in my legs a bit more and build up my shoulders a bit. I think I have a great V-taper which is a super bonus in this industry. My trainers Sandra Wickham and Ross Webb and I, will have to sit down and discuss what we need to really do next. I constantly want to keep improving and bringing better and better packages each time.
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 usually did a four day split routine. Pyramiding, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps. But this year to help my physic look more athletic we did alot more interval training, lighter weights, higher reps. Also giant sets, no resting. I already had the size I just needed to re-shape it. I also had to do a ton of cardio this year compare to the past. Towards the end I was doing 75 mins twice a day. It worked, I came in the leanest I have ever hit the stage. I was under 135lbs this year and I usually competed at 142lbs. Somedays I was working out for 3 1/2 hours a day! Good thing I own a gym! My am cardio was more intense interval training, which was a good thing it made the time go by faster. I did make sure I had one day off a week for recovery.
I carb cycle. Its always worked for me. Weight training days I get a few more carbs than my cardio days. I was getting pretty low in carbs towards the end this year. Some days I didn't have any carbs at all, just good fats, protein and veggies. I actually felt better on those days than the ones when I could have some carbs. I ate mostly chicken, turkey, white fish, salmon, tuna and egg whites for protein sources. For carbs I used yams, sweet potatos, oatmeal and rice cakes. Im not a fan of brown rice and hate to cook it, so tend to shy away from it. I eat a ton of green veggies, usually green beans and aspargus. In the last days leading up to the show I used yams and sweet potatos to carb load with and cut back on my protein intake. At that point its a welcoming change, they are so sweet! I do get to have a steak and veggies the night before a show, and a pancake when I get up the day of, which also is a great treat! The day of I just eat yams and sweet potatos and chicken. Nothing fancy.
9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? Please be specific.
I started to water load 2 1/2 weeks out this year and it really worked. I first was having 6 liters a day and then bumped it up to at least 8 liters a day. Then on the friday at 6:00 I cut all water except small sips and that works for me. I really started to tighten up right away with this process.
10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you look up to?
The need to constantly get better is what keeps me motivated. Placing well at shows is also another one! Plus my clients doing well also helps keep me motivated cause they look up to me as a role model and I don't want to let them down. I really like Valerie Waugeman, Jenny Lynn, Nina Luchka and Debbie Leung. I look up to all the pros really. They are all inspirations and true testaments of what hard work and dedication will do for a person. Of course I like to see our canadian girls doing well at the pro shows!
11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?
Winning the overall and my procard this year at the canadian nationals was the most exciting night of my life! (next to my wedding day that is) All my family and good friends were there and they all cheered so loud it was hard to hear the head judge at times! They were all so proud of me and they let everyone know! Both of my parents made it to the show this year as well, which made it even more special to recieve my procard in front of them. They were soooo proud. My favortive part of the night was when my husband ran up on stage to give me a kiss and a box of timbits!! The poor guy was on the edge of his seat all day!
12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed?
I quite enjoy this industry in fact I even host my own show. Its a provincial qualifier called the Todays Techniques/BioX Northern Classic bodybuilding, fitness and figure show. We are now getting ready for our 7th year and they just keep getting better and better. I love getting people ready for shows. The one thing I would like to see change is making it more main stream and not seem so scarey for people. This is a great sport, but its just misunderstood. I really hate it when people accuse me of starving myself to get that lean, I don't know how eating 7 meals a day is starving myself, but its really hard convincing people otherwise. They think if you don't eat fast food your weird. Its quite a high for me to see my girls do well at shows, I'm like a proud mama!
13) From the shows you have competed so far during your career which one was the best (or most fun) for you and why?
Placing well at the north americans and nationals in 2006 was fun for me, but my favorite of course would be this years nationals cause I won my procard. I had to beat out 17 beautiful girls and it wasn't easy. There are alot of great canadian figure girls all deserving of pro cards. I'm just thankful it was my year.
14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep, diet or training for this show? Did you take in account the changes the CBBF wanted?
Yes, I tried to come in more athletic looking and not so much like a bodybuilder. I had a good foundation so it was easier to sculpt it and make myself less "built in a gym" look. The interval weight training was really new to me, I had always trained like a bodybuilder so I really had to retrain my mind as well. And get my self out of that bodybuilder mentality. It was really tough at times. Especially when my clients would make fun of me for lifting "girl weights". I guess I did a good job at training them that girls can lift heavy too!!
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? Is Canada enforcing it?
Its really hard to say, what is 20% less? Again everyone is so different. I think maybe they did it to stop the women from going too over the top, but the doesn't mean that that woman doesn't look good. I still think its so up in the air. Its a personal choice and if it they want to follow it or not. I think this year, yes, canada is enforcing it.
16) What did you feel on stage when they announced you the pro card winner? I remember the first words of the MC was "And it was worth the 7 hours drive..."
I couldn't believe it, I cried! All I could see was my whole section of friends and family jumping up and down at their seats! It couldn't of been more perfect! It was a great way to let us know who the winner was! I think my friends and family were more nervous than I was!
17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?
I have very loving parents and growing up in Fort St John was good. Even when the oil patch went bust in the 80's, my parents made sure we weren't wanting for nothing. We weren't spoiled, but lived a comfortable life. My parents instilled good working values in me and my sister Carrie. I started my first job when I was 12 years old and have been working ever since. When I was 19 I started waitressing and bartending at night in a cabaret as well as worked during the day as a florist. I made good money and was able to save and be in a good position to start up my own supplement company and fitness center. I still bartended well into the first years of start up. It was long hours but I enjoyed the work. Having great looking arms and shoulders was good for tips!
when I was a kid I played baseball/fast pitch, grasshockey, volleyball and basketball. When I got older I still played slow pitch, that was a lot of fun. I stopped playing when I started competing cause I didn't want to risk injury. To me it wasn't worth the risk of getting hurt after months and months of dieting. The gym became my life and I loved it.
19) What is a typical day in the life of Jeni Briscoe? From waking up to until going to bed?
My day starts pretty early. Most days I'm up at 4:00 am to open my gym for 5:00 am. I personal train clients all day. If I don't have a client right at 5:00am I do my hour-75 mins of cardio. I for sure always have clients from 7:00am -2:00 pm everyday. Then I get a few hours off. I try to get my weight workouts at that time or inbetween clients. Some days I have a few clients at 4:00pm- to 7:00pm and then I do my night cardio. If I'm really lucky I'll get to run home for a little nap in the afternoon, but those are few and far between. I usually get to bed around 10:00, watch a little tv then go to sleep. I do train clients long distance as well, so I always have to make time to get on the computer too and make sure my clients are doing ok. I got over 20 girls ready for shows this year. It was a true test of my patience while dieting myself, but I think I did ok! For my meals I try to cook in bulk. I cook for a few days at a time, so then I'm not always in the kitchen. I don't have a problem eating cold chicken so I'm lucky!!
20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do specifically do in your job?
I own Todays Techniques. Its a sport supplement and clothing store and a fitness facility. I have over 7500 square feet right now and I have just purchased a building and we are going to have over 14,000 square feet. Its going to be fantastic. I can't wait to start renovating! Like I said before, I also personal train. I used to manage my gym as well, but I finally had to step back a bit and let someone else take charge. It was all too much for just one person to look after. I'm a control freak so its a bit hard for me, but I'm getting better. My manager Tammy is the best and totally puts up with my dieting moodiness and freakiness and we work well together. I train around 50 hours per week with clients, so I'm super busy, which is fantastic. I couldn't ask for a better job/business. Everything is going really well right now. And now that I have turned Pro, I'm sure I'll be even busier.