Issue #42


by Juan Carlos Lopez

2008 NPC Jr Nationals Photos and Results

2008 NPC Jr. Nationals Review

20 Questions with IFBB Figure Pro and Cover Model
Julie Ann Kulla

Video Interview with IFBB Figure Pro and Cover Model Julie Ann Kulla

Irina Veselova MMA Trainer and more
by Robert Samborsky

Ask Misty
by Misty Green

Julie Ann Kulla, Darlina Brown, Nicole Pitcher, Ashley Renee, Holly Powell

Video Interview with NPC Figure Crystal Piercy

Work Out Wired
by Jean Jitomir

Video Interview with NPC Figure Tiffany Underwood

20 Questions with IFBB Figure Pro and Cover Model Julie Ann Kulla

Julie Ann Kulla

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Julie Ann Kulla?

My name is Julie Ann Kulla. I am a IFBB pro figure competitor. I recently won the overall at Jr. Nationals in Chicago and also the B class.
I am a Species Nutrition sponsored athlete, boot camp instructor, and full time graphic designer. There is nothing more rewarding than inspiring others to reach their fitness goals and dreams.
I feel very blessed and can't wait to make my pro debut. Look for me this September at the NY Pro Figure show.

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

I have the most amazing supportive family and friends. They all push me to be a better person and competitor. They are my rock and I am so thankful to have them all in my life.
It is very important to surround yourself around positive people when preparing for contests, they are the ones that keep inspiring me! At the end of the day if I can inspire one more person than I feel blessed.

3) How did you start competing in figure?

I was a competitive gymnast growing up and after I left the beam and bars behind, I needed to find another avenue to explore my competitive nature. I hit the weights again and was hooked. I also traveled to the 2003 Olympia and fell in love with Figure. One day I knew I could be standing on that stage myself. After 3 local shows and 2 national shows, I received my pro card. Dreams do come true, so never give up!

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

When preparing for a show I just try to come in with a balanced physique. I try not to use the scale too much, but instead go by how I'm looking in the mirror and progress photos.
I feel it is very important to find that look that is not too hard or too soft. The right combination creates the perfect feminine lines. Figure competitors should not be hard, overly veiny or striated.

Julie Ann Kulla

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.

This years seems allot more clearer on what the judges want. It just seems like some ladies are not following the guidelines and are still coming in too hard and striated. It's about balancing out the physique and being very feminine at the same time. All we can do is come in our best and improve year to year while following the criteria.

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

I personally would like to bring my shoulders up slightly, the front delts. I would also like to see my hamstrings tighter and more calve definition.

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?

Day 1: Legs
Day 2: Shoulders, rear delts, abs, plyometrics
Day 3: Biceps, Triceps, calves
Day 4: Back
Day 5: Cardio, plyometric day
Day 6: Repeat.. Legs
Day 7: Shoulders, rear delts, abs, plyometrics

Sets / Reps:

Legs: 16-18 sets / High reps 20-30 reps / Light to Moderate weights
Shoulders: 12-14 sets / 10-15 reps / Heavy weights
Arms: 12 sets for each biceps and triceps / 12-15 reps, drop sets are also added
Back: 18 sets / 10-12 reps, drop sets are also added / Heavy weights
Abs and calves: 20-30 reps

Pre contest cardio is about 30-50 minutes sessions twice a day. As the show get closer, I will add or subtract time according.

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

Meal 1: 1 Tilapia Filet, 2 teaspoons MCT oil
Meal 2: 1.5 Tilapia Filet, green veggie, 1 Tb Flax seed oil
Meal 3: 1.5 Tilapia Filet, salad with vinegar
Meal 4: 4 oz. Boiled chicken, 1 Tb MCT oil
Meal 5: Orange Roughy, green beans
Meal 6: Orange Roughy, 1 Tb Flax seed oil

My diet stay very low in carbohydrates, but most times zero carbohydrates as the show approaches. I make sure to get in plenty of essential fats and proteins. Once a week I will incorporate lean red meat into my diet.

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.

The Friday and Saturday before the show I start salting my food and drinking 1.5-2 gallons of distilled water. Sunday-Tuesday is the same with salt and water load, zero carbs and the training is increased in reps and sets to get all the stored glycogen out of the muscle. Wednesday through the show I start slowly carbing up, dropping the water and salt. Wednesday is down to 1/2 gallon of distilled water. Thursday 1/4 a gallon and Friday is 16-32 oz of water and Saturday is sipping as needed. These last carb up days I'm eating yams, rice cakes and dry oatmeal.

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

I get motivated by seeing how far I can push my physique year after year. I love challenging myself, it's amazing how much you learn about yourself after doing a competition. I look up to any competitor who can conquer the stage.

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

All I can say is winning my pro card and all the emotions that I felt in ONE night. It was amazing!

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

It's nice to see some structure on the figure judging at these last shows. The ladies were getting to hard and not feminine looking. It's great to see the judges taking a stand and telling the ladies that we are not bodybuilders, we are figure competitor.

Julie Ann Kulla

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

My hardest challenge was preparing for this last show. I gave it my all, day and night, every hour, but it all paid off. The training was insane, but very rewarding. I feel so blessed to have received my pro card. It's a dream come true.

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

For this show I kept that carbs lower, but still kept fish as a main source of protein. I see amazing results with mostly fish as my protein intake. The water intake and carbing up was kept the same, if it's not broke, don't fix it.

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?

I think the 20% rule needed to be enforced. It's finally nice to see feminine, balanced physiques.
Because of the judging at these last shows, I finally think competitors will follow it, otherwise they will not be rewarded.

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

As preparing for shows takes up most of my time, I don't see everyone as much as I'd like. I teach fitness boot camps with my sister and once in a while get in a cardio session with her. Friends will meet me for tea or salads. They all understand my drive and passion for this industry. It's also so important to share your life with someone who understands what you do. My boyfriend has been a great support and encouragement in the gym. He use to compete so he can relate to what I'm going through. It has to be a team!

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

I am the baby of five siblings, I loved it because I got away with everything. I mostly grew up in Iowa, it was a great place to raise a family.
I thank my siblings for being so supportive of my sports when growing up, they all taught me so much. My parents were so supportive of all of us, I don't know how they raised five children!
No interesting experiences, but very thankful for my childhood!

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

Growing up I was a competitive gymnast. I loved every second of it, but the 3 hour a night workouts took a tool on me at such a young age. It's so nice to be back to weight training and being competitive. I also played softball and volleyball.

Julie Ann Kulla

19) What is a typical day in the life of Julie Ann Kulla? From waking up to until going to bed?

I wake up about 5:30-6am, I get in my first cardio session on a empty stomach. After that I get in my first meal and get ready for work. I work 8am-5pm, so my time is very precious. I sometimes do cardio at lunch if needed. After work I head home, get in another meal and head to the gym for weight training and cardio. Twice a week I also teach fitness boot camps in the evening. I usually don't get home from the gym until 9-10pm. I then still have to cook and get ready for the next day and do it all over again.

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

I'm a full time Graphic Designer for the trade show industry. I've been there 7 years and they are very understanding and supportive of my competitive career.

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