20 Questions with Cover Model and FAME Figure Gail Sanez
1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Gail Sanez?
a. I would say that I’m a girl who loves to be entertained, very driven and goal oriented, productive, and hospitable. I strive to live a life that’s honoring to Jesus Christ. My family, friends, and clients are very important to me… I love helping others! My passion is in fitness, well being, and modeling. Helping people succeed toward reaching their true potential is what keeps me ticking.
b. I also love to watch TV! My favorite shows and channels are Comedy Central, Reno 911, Food Network, House, American Idol, the Biggest Loser, and My Name is Earl. In my “next life” I’d like to be a singer… I love music! Maybe someday you’ll see me auditioning to be the next American Idol?!
c. I’ve been on the covers of:
i. Muscle and Fitness Hers March 2005
ii. Max Muscle February 2005
iii. Natural Muscle December 2005
d. I’ve also been featured in Natural Muscle Magazine and used for Max Muscle’s promotional ads
2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?
a. I come from a family of 5 with 2 older sisters. My parents and sister Jill live local to me; Lynn lives in Atlanta. My husband Ray comes from a large Filipino family. His brother, parents, and a few other relatives live local. Everyone else is scattered. Living in Washington DC can be very challenging. It continues to grow at a very rapid pace. And with that, comes very heavy traffic… almost all the time! Other than that, I love the fact that Virginia is blessed with all 4 seasons. It’s also nice being surrounded by a large historical setting.
3) How did you start competing? What are your future plans regarding this?
a. Being a former elite gymnast allowed me to carry my athletic muscular build. When I became a personal trainer, I was highly encouraged by my much respected manager to compete because of my symmetry. Deep down inside I had always dreamed of becoming a fitness model/ competitor. So with that in mind, I sought training from Coach Atherton to help prepare me for my first show with the WTF obstacle course challenge.
4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?
a. Be all that you can be! The tighter the better in my opinion!
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.
a. This is a very difficult question for me to answer because I think that most girls who are physically able to reach the extent of a figure competition are all in phenomenal shape! I understand that symmetry and looks are important, but you never know what to expect from the judges! It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.
6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!
a. Gaining some more muscle mass and tightening up my core. I’d like to have a bigger butt, but God got mixed up with butt and gave me a gut instead! Just kidding.
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?
a. I typically train 6 days per week; 5 days lifting and 1 day just cardio. Sunday- Hamstrings/ Biceps, Monday- Pecs/ Calves, Tuesday- Legs, Wed- OFF, Thursday- Delts/ Triceps, Friday- Back, Sat- Cardio. For lifting I try to shoot for 13 sets per major muscle group, and 6-9 sets for arms.
b. I usually throw in double cardio sessions as much as possible a couple months before a show or shoot. It really depends on how I look and how busy I am with clientele.
8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)
a. Protein choices are turkey breast, lean fish, egg whites, protein powder, and chicken. Carb choices are grits, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, and Parrillo energy bars.
b. I eat 6 meals a day with each consisting of a complex carb, protein, and vegetable… except the last meal which has no carb. No dairy, no fruit, little fat. Than, I have a nice juicy sirloin steak the night before a shoot or show… really!
9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? How much water do you drink the day of the show. Please be specific.
a. I try to cut back on my sodium intake as much as possible and sip on water throughout the day.
10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you looked up to?
a. What motivates me most to compete are the challenges and personal growth behind striving toward a goal. I can’t stand to see wasted talent! I believe that when God gives us the talent and potential, we must give the effort. For this reason I personally look up to Josh Beach, my training partner and mentor. Josh won the 1999 NPC Junior National Heavyweight Championship. He’s been gifted with extreme knowledge, words of encouragement, great wisdom, a solid physique, and on top of that a great sense of humor.
11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?
a. I have a feeling this story will change the way you think about me forever! But what do I have to loose, right?! As you know, diet and travel can cause some back up issues in the intestinal area while prepping for a show. So being I had been in this situation for a couple of days, I decided to take some over the counter stuff to assist the process along… if you know what I mean? Unfortunately it didn’t kick in during the normal time frame that most aides would. The following day was the skills challenge in the Woman’s Tri-Fitness competition in Las Vegas. I had reached the box jump round. The goal with this is to jump up and down onto a 20 inch box for 50 repetitions as fast as possible. After my heat had ended, it was a fast sprint to the restroom… need I say more?!
12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed?
a. I’d like to see more pay, better prizes, and better endorsements!
13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?
a. I feel that having 3 knee operations within 1 year of each other has been my biggest obstacle to overcome. Each operation put me on crutches for 8 weeks. That’s a lot of upper body bicycling! I pray that no one in their lifetime has to do the UBE as their main source of cardio!
14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your shows? Water intake, carbing up, etc...
15) What is the advantages and disadvantages of living in Washington D.C. regarding fitness opportunities.
a. There are very few opportunities for modeling in this neck of the woods. It seems like most of the fitness stuff is on the west coast? If there is anything going on here in DC, please let me know!
16) What are some of your favorite cheat meals or food you want to eat after dieting for a long time?
a. Hamburger with fried onion straws and mayo, steak fries with ranch dressing, Lebanese food, Asian pork bun called Sho Poi, anything with dough, bread, or pastry shell! Than for dessert, 1 scoop of Cold Stone light vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups and cookie dough mixed into a waffle cone… yum!
17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?
a. I was born and raised with 2 older sisters in a Christian household in Lynchburg, Virginia. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been extremely active and full of energy. I started gymnastics when I was 8 years and advanced very quickly. Traveling and competing nationally and sometimes internationally before the age of 15 was my neatest experience growing up!
18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?
a. I was a former U.S. National Team gymnast from 1995- 97. It was my life. I trained 6 days a week with 3 of those days having double training sessions. I was 13 years old when I had my first elbow operation and 15 years old when I had my second! I was forced to stop gymnastics just shy of a college scholarship.
19) What is a typical day in the life of Gail Sanez? 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?
a. I’m an independent personal trainer that owns Fitness Potential, LLC. I have both NASM and Parrillo Certifications. I’m a huge believer in the “Parrillo way” and encourage this type of lifestyle with most of my clients. I also give meal plans and nutrition advice.
b. And of course fitness modeling for hire!