Issue #38


by Juan Carlos Lopez

2008 Arnold Classic and Arnold Amateur Photos and Results

2008 Arnold Classic and Arnold Amateur Review

2008 Arnold Expo

2008 Ironman NPC Figure Photos and Results

2008 Ironman NPC Figure Review

20 Questions with Cover Model and NPC Figure Holly Powell

Video Interview with Cover Model and NPC Figure Holly Powell

Ask Misty
by Misty Green

Video Interview with Musclemania Figure Gail Sanez

Holly Powell, Kristen Samson, Norma Carrasquilla, Terri and Tiffany Carroll, Patricia Mello

Video Interview with CBBF Figure Twins Terri and Tiffany Carroll

Fixin' to Fast
by Jean Jitomir

Video Interviews Backstage at the IFBB Pro Arnold Classic

20 Questions with Cover Model and NPC Figure Holly Powell

Holly Powell

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Holly Powell?

My name is Holly Powell and I am a National level NPC Figure Competitor. I love modeling and have been in front of the lens since I was 15 years old. I am an upbeat, friendly mid-west girl who is rarely caught without a smile!

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

I married my high school sweetheart and we just celebrated our 16 year wedding anniversary. We have two beautiful children ages 3 and 7. I grew up in Ohio but have lived in Texas and Florida. I love the Midwest and the change of seasons, so it’s nice being back in Ohio and close to family. Once you have children you realize how important it is for them to know their aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc., and they make wonderful baby sitters!

3) How did you start competing in figure?

I did my first figure competition in 2003 after seeing Davana Medina win the overall at Figure Nationals; I knew this is what I wanted to do! I’ve always wanted to compete, but Fitness was not possible (I have a herniated disk in my L5 S1) and I didn’t feel my physique was muscular enough to compete in female bodybuilding. Needless to say, I was thrilled with the inception of Figure Bodybuilding!

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

Personally, I like a “soft” look as opposed to a “hard” look in the sport of Figure. Let me further on that point; I like a soft look that is conditioned and matches from top to bottom with beautiful lines and symmetry.

Holly Powell

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 Europe they are very clear unlike in the USA.

I think eventually every figure competitor will know exactly what the judges are looking for, but we all have to keep in perspective how new the sport of figure bodybuilding is and with time it should all fall into place. I’m sure it’s not easy to control every judge’s view when they have been used to judging nothing but bodybuilders for years. The only thing I can control is me and I try to bring my best package to each show and hopefully the judges like what they see!

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

For my next show, Jr. Nationals, I have been working on building my shoulders and chest. I’ve also worked really hard on my glutes. I’ve always had nice glutes, but after dieting for shows they “flattened” out, yuck! Also, I’ve worked on the way I hold my torso. My natural stance tends to be very “lordotic” also known as a “sway back”, where my hips roll under. I’ve stood this way all my life, which is why I have a herniated disk in that exact region and is also why I have a lack of abs. It’s something I have to consciously think about all day long, so hopefully it will make a difference with my front pose and stage presentation.

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?

Before a show I weight train 5-6 days and do cardio 7 days a week. I do my weight training on my lunch hour at work, which consists of supersets, giant sets and circuits with reps in the 15-20 range. My cardio program is 45 min. first thing in the morning and 60 minutes at night.

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

I start implementing carbs about 5-6 days before my show. In the past, when I’ve tried to do a “super compensation” over a two day period before a show, I felt awful. My body just didn’t respond well. I felt so run down and implementing carbs two days before my show felt like a ton of bricks in my stomach. A week out from a show my diet consists of:
-Meal one – oatmeal, egg whites
-Meal two – chicken, apple
- Meal three – fish or chicken, sweet potato, snow peas
- Meal four – tuna, salad with lots of veggies
- Meal five – ground turkey, rice, asparagus
- Meal six – oatmeal, egg whites

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.

I’ve played a lot with my water load and water depletion, and must say what works best for me is to water load a gallon ½ up through the Wednesday before my show (assuming my show is on Saturday). Then I slowly start cutting my water until I’m at a ½ a gallon the day of the show. In the past I have cut water completely the day of the show and once again, I felt horrible! I get excruciating migraines and my muscles felt and looked very, very flat. So for my physique, I have to keep water in the day of the show and with that my muscle bellies looked fuller and rounder.

Holly Powell

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

My biggest motivation is seeing the changes I’ve made with my physique over the past 5 years from competing and I’m totally addicted. I look forward to the challenge and discipline it brings to my life. I am working hard to “dial in” for a show, which I haven’t felt has happened yet and so I really feel this is what keeps me going show after show. Like I mentioned earlier, I have always been a huge fan of Davana Medina, I love her physique. But since she is retired I would have to say I also like the new IFBB pro Jen Gates, her body flows so nicely.

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

My last show of 2007 was the North American Championships and it was such a great show! I have never been at a show where there were competitors from Canada and Mexico, so it truly felt like I was at the Olympics or something! That experience is one that I will never forget, it was so cool and Gary Udit puts on a really great production.

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

The fitness, figure and bodybuilding industry is slowly becoming more mainstream, which I think is wonderful and I feel much of this is due to the inception of figure. Not everyone who competes wants to turn Pro; I have many friends who compete just to say “I did it!” and I think that is awesome. It’s all about setting and achieving personal goals and feeling good on the inside and out and I think that’s what competing can do for so many people.

13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?

The hardest challenge for me in my competing career was after Jr. Nationals in 2004, where I placed 12th out of 32 girls. Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited with how I placed, however, driving home from Chicago I felt so ill and the next day I didn’t feel any better, so I went to my doctor and found out I was 5 weeks pregnant! I had so many mixed feelings I was trying to get a grasp on. I was happy to be pregnant, but sad knowing my figure career would be put on hold…and for how long? I struggled with this for many weeks, but then accepted this was my path and enjoyed my pregnancy all the while planning my first show post-baby!!

14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...

The biggest change I made for my last show was I kept ½ gallon of water in throughout the day of the show. It made a big difference!!!

Holly Powell

15) What is your opinion about the 20% rule the IFBB issued to some female athletes in which the more muscular competitors had to loose 20% of muscle mass? Why do you think they did it? Do you think competitors will follow it? Or it will get lost around somewhere?

Aahh…the 20% rule by the IFBB. What can I say, I agree with the rule and am happy it has been established, but once again feel it will take time for it to really take effect at a Local and National level. I feel some athletes are gonna do what they like best for their physique and bring that to the stage regardless of the 20% rule, which doesn’t make the judging any easier.

16) How do you balance your family life with competing and dieting for shows? Do you have a support system around you (family, etc...)?

I wouldn’t be where I am today in my figure career without the wonderful support system from my family and friends. My husband is a personal chef, so he cooks all of my food year round and I couldn’t be more spoiled!!! He is also one of the best Dad’s to our children and is awesome at taking care of the little ones while I travel for shows, I feel very lucky. My boss and co-workers are just as supportive and don’t mind when I’m heating up my 4th meal of the day and they have been some of my biggest fans (thanks guys!). My mom attended my very first show and my sister goes to as many shows as she can wearing a bright pink shirt that says “go lil’ sis Holly”!!!

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

My family moved around allot while I was growing up. I rarely went to the same school for more than 2 years, but I have no regrets. Being the new girl in school taught me to adapt to new situations and I learned quickly how to make friends. I feel this is why I am such an outgoing person who can strike up a conversation with a stranger like I’ve know them for years!! I do remember one Christmas while living in Texas it was so hot, our air conditioning was not working and all of the candy canes melted to the tree!!! Another reason I love living in Ohio!!

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

I do not have an athletic background. I ran track in 8th and 9th grade and cheered a little in 8th grade and my freshman year of college, but didn’t feel these sports “clicked” with me. I didn’t have the passion for them as I do for figure competitions.

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

I wake up at 5:30am and do cardio, get myself and the kids ready for work/school. I do my weight training on my lunch and then after work I take the kids to gymnastics, basketball, baseball, or whatever sport they’re currently participating in. Then I go to the Rec center to do another cardio session (during contest season). Once we all get home we do homework, eat dinner, read books, maybe watch a little TV and then it’s baths and bedtime! Finally by 9:30pm-10:00pm I can enjoy some time with my husband.

Holly Powell

20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do you specifically do in your job?

I am an administrative assistant for a public finance department of an investment firm. I have worked with the same bankers for 7 years and I currently assist 2 Managing Directors, 2 Vice Presidents and 2 Financial Analysts. My work is just as busy and fast paced as my home life but I love the people I work with and that makes all the difference!

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