Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Claire Rohrbacker-O'Connell

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Claire Rohrbacker-O'Connell! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

I started lifting weights when I was 14 1/2 years old because of a weight lifting class in high school. Next thing I know I had talked my parents into buying me a gym membership. Then I went to see my first bodybuilding show, and right away I knew that I would someday like to be a professional bodybuilder.

I did my first contest when I was 16 years old. I competed for 5 years winning quite a few shows including winning the lightweight title in both the Teen USA and Teen Nationals in 1987. At the age of 21 my life took a slight turn and now 15 years later, with a lot of life up and downs and two beautiful children, I am finally back where I belong... competing once again.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

Off-season I found working out only one bodypart a day was the best way for my body to grow. I choose to do shoulders on Monday the first day of the workout week since that is my body part that needs the most work. Tuesday is legs, to give my shoulders a little more rest and grow time. On Wednesday I would work my back, Thursday was chest day, and Fridays would be arms day.

I usually pick between 3-5 exercises per body part and do at least 4 sets of 8-10 reps. During the off-season I stay away from cardio because it makes it easier for me to put on muscle size. I control my body fat by really paying attention to my nutrition.

Contest prep is different, because I then work each body part twice a week. Shoulders, chest, legs, back, and arms then back to the beginning and take Sundays off. I do pretty much the same amount of exercise as off-season, changing just a few, but I do more reps. Contest prep also includes cardio everyday but Sunday I do 30-50 mins and very strict on my nutrition.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

High protein, medium carbs, and low fat. Nutrition timing is critical. This includes eating the right foods at the right time through out the day, on season and off season. Eating well is the most important component for building muscle and staying lean.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

My favorite supplements are Cytosport protein powders, Muscle Milk, Evopro and Complete Whey. They not only mix well but taste awesome as well. When I have used Creatine I like V-12 the best. Also I like Branch chains that Cytosport sells.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding to me is a way of life. I couldn't image not working out. Even for the 15 years I did not compete I worked out with weights almost every day and stayed somewhat connected in fitness by either working at a gym or teaching fitness classes like cardio kickboxing and spinning. Bodybuilding makes me feel special and complete, as corny as that sounds it is true.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

2004 was a great beginning for me. I won the lightweight class and the overall title in both the Central Valley Classic and the San Jose Bodybuilding Championships. I also won the lightweight class at the Sacramento and the Las Vegas Bodybuilding Classic, plus I placed 2nd in the masters division at the Las Vegas Show to the women who won the heavyweight and overall title in the open division.

I qualified for the Nationals in 2004. 2005 is off-season time; I need to be a little bigger to compete at a National level. 2006 I will compete at the Contra Costa, The California State and a National show. My goal is to get my pro card by the age of 40 and I am 37 now. Three years... I think I can do it.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Be patient, it takes time for your body to change.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Pariso and Emery Miller.