20 Questions with Cover Model and IFBB Fitness Pro Summer Montabone
1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Summer Montabone?
My full name is Summer Lynn Stevenhagen-Montabone.
2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?
Family is very important to me. After college I moved to be near my family. I am the oldest of 6 children. My husband,Jeremie, and I spend a lot of time with my brothers & sisters and parents. We lost my Mom this year to cancer. That has been very hard for us, but we stick together and keep her memory alive.
3) How did you start competing in fitness (NPC)?
I had always wanted to compete in fitness. I liked the "athletic beauty contest" concept. After college I decided I would just do it! I like the look and the ability to show what I can do.
4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?
I just do the best that I can. I strive for balance first- I come in softer than most of the competitors- that is just my body, but I feel I present a well rounded package. I would say I am full, symmetrical, & feminine- not too hard, not too soft- just athletic.
5) What is your idea of what judges want in a Fitness competitor? Do you think judges are clear enough with competitors about how they want you on stage?
It is not always clear what the judges want, after all it is a subjective sport. Every judge is going to have a different opinion.
For the fitness routine I try to entertain the audience with a performance that displays strength & flexibility. I do not do a lot of dance- I stick to the strength moves.
As far as physique, the requirements should be the same as in figure, although it seems that fitness does usually go a little harder. I think the judges have the hardest job. Everyone is different so you have to present what looks best for your body.
6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!
Since I am tall, I always look a little "thinner" than the other competitors. I try to put on a little more muscle, but keep my feminine lines & curves, I don't want to risk a thicker waist or my look just to get a little bigger.
I just do the best I can and I am happy.
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 train one body part per day. I do a different workout each time. Anywhere from 5-7 different exercises, 3-5 sets, 3-30 reps. A do a lot of superset & tri-sets closer to a show. It just depends. I can't give a typical day- because every time is different.
The amount of cardio I do before a show can vary as well. I practice my routine 3 times per week. I do 4-6 days of cardio for 30-40 minutes first thing in the AM and 3-6 additional cardio sessions for 20-35 minutes. It depends on how I am coming in.
8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)
The week of a show:- depends on how I look-
Mon & Tues are "deplete" days- less carbs, more veggies, and lots of water
Wed - I have more carbs
Thurs- another deplete day & some carbs in the afternoon
Fri- show day- a mix of carbs & protein
9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? Please be specific.
I basically just taper it off. I keep it up Mon & Tues & then cut back a little each day. I sip the day before the show & day off. I don't want to cut it back too hard or i will go flat.
10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you look up to?
I am a pretty self driver person. My whole life I have competed in athletics. I just keep trying to work hard and do my best- no matter what it is I am trying to accomplish. If there is something I set my mind to -- I ask myself," How bad do I want it?"
I do look up to other competitors that have overcome obstacles or who have really worked hard to succeed as an educated person, business person, and athlete. I would have to say Jen Hendershott, Tracy Greenwood, and Julie Palmer are all women who I look up to for a variety of reasons.
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 had a judge tell me that it is easier for tall people to put on muscle than shorter people--I thought that was interesting.
12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed?
I think it is hard to know exactly what the judges are looking for. It is a subjective sport, so opinions are going to vary.
13) From the shows you have competed so far during your career which one was the best (or most fun) for you and why?
The best was probably the 2004 NPC Nationals. I worked hard to get there. I felt mentally & physically ready for that show. I wasn't "expected" to win. I went their and did my thing. I swept the physique rounds with 1st places from all the judges and took 3rd in routine. I was very happy. As the tallest competitor, routine round is a challenge for me. So I guess winning the Fitness Nationals- I felt one, had fun- it was well run- and I was successful.
14) Being now a IFBB Pro and seeing the up and coming new fitness competitors compete at National level what are your thoughts about their overall package? Do you feel in general fitness is dying? Do you see better/worse physiques and better/worse routines?
There definitely are a lot more girls competing in figure. I think there needs to be something more athletic or with education, added to figure. in Fitness it is a lot more hard work, time & sacrifice. Fitness is more athletic. I do like the athletic aspect. So if you can do some of the skills you should take a stab at Fitness- you don't have to be a gymnast, just an athlete.
I have 3 of my amateur competitors who are going to switch from Figure to Fitness this year. I explained to them there was not always the option of figure--so now go for fitness & then you do have a 2nd option on figure--if you can compete in fitness- you can do figure 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?
Over the years the sport has begun to look very "hard". It feminine appeal is part of the package than yes some athletes need to come on a little softer. It is challenging though to "judge" what that is 20% is and who needs to follow it. I personally look at shape & symmetry first, then muscle definition & hardness. Tight lines, but not striated.
Fitness & Figure I view as an "athletic beauty contest."
16) Now more than ever I am seeing many shows not sell well or have many empty seats and few competitors. As a competitor and business woman what would you recommend promoters to change in their shows and make them more interesting for audiences?
I know that when I first started competing I never found out about shows until the last minute. SO if I wanted to enter, it was too late. Promote, promote, promote. I have done a ton of newspaper and radio interviews in my area. Show promoters have to get the info to the general public. Yes maybe having some other activities to go along with the show may help.
As a competitor, it is heart breaking. You are there to perform. You have put in so much time & effort.
17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?
I was raised by both my parents. I am the oldest of six children. I participated in a variety of sports. I probably tried everything. I used to do cartwheels everywhere- in the grocery store.. I often got in trouble for dancing & doing gymnastics in the dining room too.
18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?
I tried them all: gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming, dance, cheerleading, and basketball.
I was most successful in:
Volleyball I was named co-captain of my High school team and First Team.
I was named Top Baton Twirler in Two different contests.
I ran track in HS and was part of the 4x400 school record team and went on to college to run track as well.
I took bowling, badminton, table tennis, and square dance in college too.
19) What is a typical day in the life of Summer Montabone? From waking up to until going to bed?
I wake up everyday @ 7:30 am and do my AM cardio. I get my things together and then head to the gym to begin training clients at 9am. I train clients all morning and then Mid- Day I do routine practice, lift, or do more cardio-whatever I need to do that day. In between clients and training, I answer phone calls, eat, use the rest room,and schedule appointments.
After my training I train more clients and squeeze in eating and restroom breaks until 7 or 8pm.
I then go home, answer emails, do paperwork, return calls, make my food fore the next day.. I hope to be taking a shower and getting ready for bed. before 9:30. I try to be in bed by 9:30 or 10Pm.
I work from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. It is hard being athlete & business owner.
I have to be my own secretary and accountant on top of the "normal" stuff.
20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do specifically do in your job?
I run my own training & fitness business.
You can view a full list of services on my website www.summersfitness.com I offer training, classes, nutrition, services for teams, individuals, families, business. Everything- you name it. Even "beauty" services.
With my background in teaching- health & phys. ed as well as being a Certified Strength &COnditioning Specialist and IFBB Fitness Pro I offer a variety. Summer's Fitness offers something for everyBODY.
I also have a partner and we have Resistance Band Training business and service. We offer the sale & distribution of Resistance bands, as well as DVDS and educational services. Those can be purchased on my STORE.