Issue #49


by Juan Carlos Lope

20 Questions with Cover Model and IFBB Fitness Pro Tami Ough

Salla Kauranen Interview
by Anne Pietila

Tami Ough, Tiffany Rabon, Brandi Binkley, Stacy Barta and Valerie Carlino

Video Interview with IFBB Figure Pro DJ Wallis Part 1

Ask Misty Green
by Misty Green

Video Interview with NPC Fitness
Wendy Fortino

New Year's Body
by Jean Jitomir PhD (c)

Video Interview
with IFBB Fitness Pro Mindi O'Brien


20 Questions with Cover Model and IFBB FItness Pro Tami Ough

Tami Ough

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Tami Ough?

My name is Tami Lynn (Durkee) Ough.  I was born on October 10, 1975.  I am the epitemy of the libra birth sign.  I am obsessed with balance.....in my training, my personal life, my surroundings... everything must be evenly balanced!  I am a wife, mother, nurse, trainer, IFBB fitness pro, and an avid outdoor person.  I ride the fastest YFZ 450 in Oregon, and if you don't think so, come race me :) jk  LOL

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

My husband Trent is my high school sweetheart.  We have been married for 15 years this coming June.  We have 2 children, Teagan is 11, and Taran is 9.  They are the light of my life.  We have 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 horses, and numerous pigs and steers that come and go throughout the year.  I am a redneck girl who grew up in my hometown of Prineville Oregon, population 10,000.  We live on a small piece of acreage 6 miles out of town. 

3) How did you start competing in fitness?

After 12 years of dance, 4 years of cheerleading, and 8 years of gymnastics... graduation was over, and I found myself longing for the stage lights and attention of competing.  A local gym was sponsoring a bodybuilding contest in November of 1995.  There was this "new" thing they were adding to the contests called "Ms Fitness".  There was a routine round, a swimsuit round, and an evening gown round......not too excited about the evening gown part, but I would do anything to perform on stage again! :)  I ended up placing 2nd in that contest, and I was hooked.  I competed in the 1995 Washington Ironman, then tried my hand at nationals in 1996.  Never really placing where I thought I should have......(my routine rocked- but my physique didn't).  Shortly after Emerald Cup in 1997, I found out I was pregnant with our first child.  I then took the next 6 years off to have my 2 kids, and concentrate on my family.  In June of 2003....it dawned on me that my 10 year class reunion was only 2 months away!  Of course I started eating clean and working out again to get ready for it.....and it just so happened that the Washington Ironman was exactly 6 weeks after my reunion.  It was meant to be.....

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

I love to see good division in my muscles, but not too much hardness.  I don't carry as much upper body muscle as some fitness pros, but I do have a very developed sweep in my quads and hams.  Unfortunately, I carry the majority of my body fat on my legs and butt.  In order to bring my lower body in tight, I have to come in to contest at about 5% bodyfat.  I constantly battle between having lean legs and maintaining the upper body muscle that I do have.  I always error on the side of coming in too lean than not.

Tami Ough

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 seems in Europe they are very clear unlike in the USA.

I honestly think that most judges look for a certain "impression" or "feeling" from a competitor.  Once you do your routine and then run off stage, not one judge could tell you any of the actual "moves" you just did......they are left with an "impression", and where they score you depends on that.  Once they find the competitors that present the best overall "package" (physique wise), they begin to compare them body part for bodyparts.  When a judge is very experienced, they can take a very quick look at a competitor and know if they like their physique or not.  Unless they have the same exact judging panel at every contest, there can never be totally consistent judging.  But if that were the case....all the same people would be winning every contest.  That would be no fun at all!

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

For me... I always need fuller shoulder caps!  I also need more anaerobic conditioning because my routines just get harder and harder as I go.

7) What is your typical training routine in the gym (per day, include sets and reps!)

In the off season, I primarily use the HIT training method, split into 2 workouts per week (shoulders and chest one day, legs and back the other).  I do very few sets, but use very heavy weight and go to absolute muscular failure).   This can only be done with a partner.

How much cardio do you do before a show?

From 12 weeks out, I am usually doing twice daily cardio.  Times of sessions vary every day depending on my diet (I cycle calorie amounts depending on the day).  Most days I do 30 minutes in the morning, and 45 minutes in the evening.  I prefer to run, elliptical, or stair climb.

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

Very boring!  My diet includes Tilapia, green veggies (asparagus or green beans are my favorites), and some baked yams here and there.  I find that tilapia is so easy to cook, and easy to eat (less chewing :)  I eat 3 to 4 oz of tilapia with each of my 6 to 7 meals, 1 cup green veggies steamed, and 4 oz yams with the 2 meals immediately following my cardio sessions.

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 have experimented with my week of contest carb deplete/ carb load cycle many times!!!!  What I have found is that my body does better if I stay on my normal diet of tilapia, greens, and yams, and only manipulate my water intake that week.  I start drinking 2 gallons of water per day on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.....then 1 1/2 gallons on Wednesday, 1 gallon Thursday, and 1/2 gallon on Friday stopping at 7pm....then sips through the evening Friday and the morning on Saturday.  Between the morning and night show, I drink 8 oz of water and lay down for a nap.

Tami Ough

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

The main reasons I do this is the thrill of performing on stage, and for the challenge.  I have gained so much insight into my own mental strength.  I really feel like I can do anything, now that I have competed.

Its hard to name everyone who influenced and motivated me over the years... I will never forget watching Kelly Ryan compete in the 1995 Fitness America Pageant....she was incredible.  I must also mention Carol Lynn Semple Marzetta, and Mia Finnegan.....they were such classy ladies that made this sport what it is today. 

Many other ladies who used to be my "idols" are now my fellow competitors :)  Of course, I love my dear friends Tanji Johnson and Michelle Mayberry.  They have been with me the whole way :)   

I have a special place in my heart for Jennifer Cassety, Lisa McCormack, and Heidi Fletcher because we all turned pro together in 2005 at the nationals in Atlanta (after competing together all that year).  And I can't forget my buddy Karen Patten who was my roomy through all the nationals that year too!  We painted ALOT of protan on each other that year....LOL
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 will never forget the first time I was spray tanned professionally at a show... I was a little nervous about having a stranger see me butt naked, but I had been told how great and easy it was....  I'm in the little tent and the guy tells me to quarter turn, and I do.....then he says to quarter turn, and I do.....then he says (with my back to him) bend over like you're doing a straight legged dead lift...(silence)......and my response was, "come again?".  He laughed and said " I thought that would sound less sexual than "bend over".  After I had laughed for about 5 minutes, I bent over in a "modified" straight legged dead lift, so I didn't have to display all my junk to him (and the whole room.....)

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

The industry is "interesting" to say the least... I sometimes miss the days of competing in the amateurs.   We were all there for the love of the sport.....not for sponsorships, or for the politics.....just because we loved it! 

The only thing guaranteed in life is change.  Overall I think the industry is moving in the right direction. 

I would love to see more (any) Pro Fitness contests on the west coast!!!!

Tami Ough

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

Being EVERYTHING for EVERYONE all the time!  I don't want to miss a minute of my kid's lives!!!  Their childhood is passing in the blink of an eye.....the hardest challenge is being there for my family AND getting all my cardio in, AND training clients, AND cooking my meals for the next day, AND being a great nurse.  There is not enough of me to go around most days.

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

Stopping the carb deplete, carb load thing.....just messed with my water intake the week of show.  I also kept cheat meals in my diet all the way up to the weekend before the show.

15) With the bikini division starting in 2009 what do you think fitness and figure competitors will look like and do you think fitness will have less competitors? 

I think it will influence figure numbers, but I think fitness will remain the same.  I think the "look" of figure vs fitness competitors has evolved to be something very different from each other over the last 2 years.  Bikini and figure will have to do the same.....

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 could not do what I do without my husband to pick up the slack!  He and my mother help me so much with the kids' activities.  My mom is also my routine coach.  She critiques my routine weekly, all the way up to the show.  She does not hold back... I get very honest feedback!

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

I was raised in the town that I live in currently.  My parents were married for 32 years, until my Dad's passing in 2001.  My father was a real estate agent, and we moved constantly!  I lived in 12 different houses while growing up.  I would get the word that we were moving, and I would have my entire bedroom packed by that evening... I was a pro!  I have one brother who is 6 years older than me.  During my childhood, my parents owned many local businesses in town.  I learned how to cook fast food, pump gas at a gas station, and work on laundry mat machines at night :)  My life was never boring!

Tami Ough

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

I am a labor and delivery nurse at a busy hospital in Bend Oregon.  I work two 12 hour shifts per week- I love being a nurse....it's part of my identity, I could never give it up!  The other 4 to 5 days per week, I have my own personal training studio called "Toughfitness Personal Training".  I have approximately 25 clients that work out with me each week.  My gym is approximately 5000 square feet, and is an incredible dream come true for me.

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