2007 Bodybuilding.com Site Awards - Interview Series!

We continue the 2007 Bodybuilding.com Site Awards by following up with 5 of the award winners. Get a glimpse into the lives of these five people to see what has led them to this level of success!

Here are 5 unique interviews with some of the winners! Those highlighted on this page include: ChickenTuna, David Robson, Shannon Clark, Kenyatta Wilson, and Myron Meilke. Continue reading to learn more about them and what seperates them from others on the site!

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BodySpace Member Of The Year
Arrow ChickenTuna
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ChickenTuna
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ChickenTuna.

    BodySpace: ChickenTuna
    Born In: Islip, New York
    Current Residence: Charlotte, North Carolina
    Occupation: Real Estate Broker

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[ Q ] 1. How did you come up with the name "Chicken Tuna"?
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    [ A ] At the time when I made the screen name, I was eating a LOT of chicken and tuna. Now, I am still eating plenty of chicken but have added other fish like Tilapia for more variety in addition to the yuckity old tuna.

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[ Q ] 2. What is your favorite feature on BodySpace?
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    [ A ] My favorite feature on BodySpace is the " Recent Comments" on the front page. They are so entertaining to read, and I get to see many new profiles I might not see each day without that section.

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[ Q ] 3. Have you met any of your BodySpace friends since joining?
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    [ A ] I haven't met anyone in person yet, but I have some plans for a few meet ups in 2008.

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[ Q ] 4. How has BodySpace helped you in your quest for a better physique?
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    [ A ] BodySpace has definitely helped push me harder to have a better physique. After all the encouragement I get from everyone, it keeps me wanting to do better in my attempt to set an example of still improving with age.

    There is so much support on BodySpace and people are at all different stages of fitness. I've had hard days before where I was ready to just give up, and after seeing a comment from a BodySpacer saying, "You're doing a great job, keep doing what you're doing...," it really turned my day around. BodySpace helps motivate me to be my best and I hope I've helped others to do the same.

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[ Q ] 5. What has been the highlight of being a BodySpace member?
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    [ A ] I think the highlight of BodySpace is having fitness friends all over the world. I've met people from my old home town, the new city I live in, many from the USA, and international friends covering the planet.

    Everyone is so different... male/female/older/younger, in all stages of life, yet we all have a common goal of fitness with so much information to share, it's a great thing. The BodySpace population has really grown in this past year and I hope it keeps growing and more and more people become fitness oriented.

BODYSPACE: STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
BodySpace BodySpace!
Create your profile, start a BodyBlog, meet others with similar goals, upload photos, and share effective workout diet and supplement programs with others - quickly and easily!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

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Male Writer Of The Year
Arrow David Robson
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David Robson
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Author, David Robson.

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[ Q ] 1. How did you first get interested in writing?
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    [ A ] Writing was something I think came as a natural progression of my love for reading. From as far back as I can remember I have always enjoyed reading almost anything. And an interest in bodybuilding at a young age sparked a passion for writing in this field.

    Throughout University I would enjoy writing up reports and completing essays more than anything else. From there I decided to gain an official qualification in journalism and haven't looked back.

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[ Q ] 2. What inspired you to write on health & fitness?
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[ Q ] 3. What aspect do you most enjoy about writing?
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    [ A ] Writing about various personalities within the bodybuilding industry is enjoyable because it helps to bring these people into the consciousness of bodybuilding fans and followers.

    When I first became interested in bodybuilding I was always curious as to what the experts (trainers and nutritionists) and professional athletes did to achieve such amazing conditioning and size, and how the professionals themselves lived their lives in general, what their influences were and what ultimately drove them to be the best in their field.

    My interest in human behavior prompted me to complete a psychology degree in 2002 and the research I did as an academic requirement sparked an even greater interest in the human psyche. Being an observer of how and why people do what they do prompted me to specialize in interviewing top professional athletes to find out exactly what makes them who they are.

    Accomplishments:

    • Bachelors Degree in Leisure Studies.
    • Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences (Psychology).
    • Fitness Leader certification (Network).
    • Golden Key International Honour Society inductee.
    • National Diploma in Journalism (Hamilton Polytechnic).
    • Extensive experience as a personal trainer (1994-2006).
    • Rugby player (1990-1993).
    • Bodybuilding competitor (17-competitions).
    • World Bodybuilding Championships 1997 (2nd).
    • New Zealand Tae Kwon Do Championships 1998 (2nd).
    • Oceania Tae Kwon Do Championships 1998 (3rd).
    • Registered New Zealand boxer 2003.
    • Over 320 published health and fitness related articles.
    • Bodybuilding.com featured writer.
    • Athletes.com writer.
    • Martialedge.co.uk writer.
    • Muscle Training Illustated writer.
    • Physiquebodywareusa.com writer.
    • Classic Anatomy writer.
    • Natural champion writer.
    • Winner: March 1996 Cyber Contest, (www.midwestchristianbodybuilding.com/).
    • Second place NABBA Auckland bodybuilding championships, 2006.
    • Class winner and overall champion, Midwestchristianbodybuilding Cyber Contest, November 1996.

    We can all learn a thing or two from those who have made it to the very top. So interviewing successful athletes and providing these people on an intimate level to the public is an important job as it can educate, inform and entertain. Writing educational articles on training, nutrition, supplementation and everything in between can also educate to help people achieve their goals. And this is what I enjoy most about writing.

    Also, specifically writing about people (as with interviews and profile articles) is most enjoyable as you get an exclusive look into the minds of these people on a level very few people reach. Asking the right questions and conducting yourself in a sincere and ethical manner can take you to places that have not been traversed before and this brings its own unique set of dynamics and challenges, which I also find enjoyable.

    As most people could probably appreciate, bodybuilding professionals and those who form their support team are operating at the cutting edge of training and nutrition science. The sacrifices they make and the lengths to which they will go to be the best is a study in perseverance, heart and commitment.

    Being an interviewer and writer of these people often puts me in the privileged position of having access to their lives for that one moment in time, which is always an honor for me. Being at the forefront of this field has led to many opportunities. Book writing is something that has recently presented itself and this allows me to do what I love as a writer, but on a much larger scale.

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[ Q ] 4. How long does it take to write an article from research to publication?
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    [ A ] This really does depend on the article (the length, scope, number of contacts made, whether it is an interview or a training/nutrition/supplementation research article), but typically an article will take between ten to 16 hours. But again, an article could take longer depending on what is required.

    Sometimes an interview will take a while just to secure. There is often much time spent emailing, making initial phone contact, planning the questions to ask and reviewing possible angles for the eventual write-up. And this is before the interview is even conducted and written up. There is also often much follow-up work involved and sourcing of photos and additional information to complete the interview.

    The research process is ongoing from the article/interview concept through to its completion. Information will often need to be substantiated with additional facts, and commentary from the interview subject. There is a lot that goes into just one interview.

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[ Q ] 5. Do you get a lot of feedback from readers and do you have any notable stories from fans who have been inspired by your work?
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    [ A ] I receive a lot of feedback from fans and readers who are inspired by my articles and who enjoy hearing from top bodybuilders. I receive many comments from those who, after reading one of my articles, have decided to get back into training after an extended layoff. They gained the motivation needed to resume training. This is always a good feeling, knowing that you have influenced someone's life in this way.

    There are also those who love to hear from bodybuilding champions from the golden era of the '60s and '70s, bodybuilders I tend to enjoy conversing with most as they always have great stories to tell from back in the day. I also hear from people who, with my help, have been able to make contact with an athlete (who was a friend of theirs, often from way back) after they read one of my interviews.

    Taking the time to respond to each person who emails me is something I try to do and I set a certain amount of time aside each day to do just that. However, sometimes work must take precedence.

    I would like to thank those who have read my articles for the kind comments I have received from them over the years. I will continue to provide cutting edge interviews and articles.

    David Robson

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Female Writer Of The Year
Arrow Shannon Clark
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Shannon Clark
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Author, Shannon Clark.

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[ Q ] 1. How did you first get interested in writing?
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    [ A ] I believe I first got into writing when I saw an ad posted on the Bodybuilding.com site for writers. I'd always been interested in writing, when I was younger I wanted to be a writer "when I grew up," and so, I figured I'd give it a shot. I sent in a few articles and that got the ball rolling. It wasn't until a few years later though that I started to expand outwards, writing for a few other sites.

    At this point it was all pretty much a fun hobby and something I did while I was in school. Then, about a year ago, it took off a little more and I started doing it full-time. It's been great seeing the different developments of the sites I write for and building contacts in the industry through my writing.

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[ Q ] 2. What inspired you to write on health & fitness?
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    [ A ] I used to compete in figure skating competitively, and after I quit, I needed something to put my energy towards. Fitness became my replacement. From there, I started up an Exercise Science degree and since it was such a large passion of mine, it was obvious it should be what I write about.

    I have tried my hand at fiction and while it's fun, it's definitely a different challenge. I also do a small amount of writing work on dating and relationship articles, which are always enjoyable as well.

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[ Q ] 3. What aspect do you most enjoy about writing?
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    [ A ] I think what I enjoy about writing the most is that it's a way for me to express what's on my mind. There's something to be said for sitting in front of a blank page and just having the words come out of you. I believe it's called "flow"; quite the experience.

    Otherwise, I really enjoy meeting the people that I have in the industry, whether it's editors, publishers, other authors, or readers. Knowing that my writing is serving to help others is incredibly rewarding, so a big thanks goes out to all you readers who've sent in thank-you e-mails over the years!

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[ Q ] 4. How long does it take to write an article from research to publication?
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[ Q ] 5 - Do you get a lot of feedback from readers and do you have any notable stories from fans who have been inspired by your work?
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    [ A ] Yes, generally I can always tell when a new article goes up because there will be a number of e-mails in my inbox. Most I try to answer and I do apologize for those I miss, sometimes they end up in my junk mail box, especially if they aren't appropriately titled.

    As for notable stories, I've had a few success stories sent in that were fantastic, some really good, well-thought out questions, and met some people who have definitely been very helpful to talk to.

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Photographer Of The Year
Arrow Isaac Hinds (Lift Studios)
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Isaac Hinds
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Isaac Hinds, Owner Of Lift Studios.

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[ Q ] 1. Which show was your favorite to shoot and why?
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    [ A ] I shot over 20 shows this year and enjoyed each show, but my favorite show to shoot was the NPC Jr. Nationals. Everything is in one place, it's a great venue and the promoters are great. The atmosphere is laid back and I'm able to shoot backstage and in front with ease. Pam Betz and her crew does a great job. Shooting the UFC fight with Randy Couture was also an awesome event to shoot.

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[ Q ] 2. Who has been your favorite athlete to shoot and why?
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    [ A ] Men - Chris Faildo. The Team Universe Champ is a joy to work with and very animated. He's always in great shape and comes with his own ideas that add to the shoot ( view photoshoot pics).

    Women - Toss up between Krissy Chin and Heather Green. Krissy is a natural in front of the camera. Every shoot with Krissy provided some entertainment. We were nearly arrested in New York and hit by a car in Chicago and nearly melted in Dallas. Heather Green lights up in front of the camera and is a beautiful model. We had a great shoot in West Palm Beach and she's awesome to work with on a shoot.

    Krissy Chin Heather Green
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    Krissy Chin, Left; Heather Green, Right.

    Arrow More Isaac Hinds' Photos:

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[ Q ] 3. Have you ever accidently wiped a memory card? If so, please give details.
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    [ A ] No, thankfully, but I did have my camera break at the Arnold this year.

    I had to rush to a camera store and buy a new camera. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as my photos quality improved drastically and I use my old one as a backup. Lesson learned - always have a back up camera with you.

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[ Q ] 4. A lot of your contest pictures have been taken from the side or the rear of the stage, can you tell us why you take pictures from this angle?
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    [ A ] I get the necessary straight on shots of every competitor but then I go to the side or backstage to give people a different perspective on the show. There are a number of sites you can look at and get the same straight on shots, but not many web sites have photos from different angles or backstage.

    I like to present a show from more than just a straight-on view. I've had some people complain but for every complaint I get ten people who thank me for the different perspectives on the photos.

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[ Q ] 5. What advice would you give to someone wanting to become a bodybuilding photographer?
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    [ A ] Stay grounded and have fun. Anyone can hire a few assistants, invest in expensive camera gear and call themselves a photographer.

    Don't let your ego get in the way of the job. If you're hired for a specific task don't overstep your bounds and/or be something you're not. If you want to be successful you have to deliver what the viewers/clients want. This may not be what you want but that's why they are paying you.

    Love what you do and strive to be better each show and each year. Have a strong portfolio and don't put any photos out you're not proud of - once their online they are out there for good.

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Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Year
Arrow Kenyatta Wilson
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[ Q ] 1. You seem to have the potential to leave the amateur ranks and go pro. Have you any aspirations to go for a pro card?
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    [ A ] Yes, my main goal for 2008 is to become a WNBF pro. I know most guys are trying to obtain an IFBB pro card but I feel I can make more noise as a WNBF pro. I want to become the face of natural bodybuilding and promote it as much as possible, especially to the up and coming bodybuilders.


    magnifying glass Click Image To Enlarge.

    I feel it's realistic for guys under 200 lbs to be competitive on the natural scene. At this point I haven't decided which INBF pro-qualifier show I'm going to test my luck at but that decision will be made in the next few weeks. I would love to go back to Grafenwoehr, Germany to compete in the U.S. Forces-Europe Natural Bodybuilding Championship in September which was my 1st show in Oct. 2005.

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[ Q ] 2. You look extremely lean in your pictures; do you find it easy to be ripped all year round?
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    [ A ] I've always been pretty lean and haven't had an issue staying that way. I think since I've been stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii I make it a point to stay lean. It seems as if everyone here's a bodybuilder so I make sure I'm always on top of my game. I feel like I can wait to the last minute and decide if I want to do a show or not b/c I stay in shape year round.

    I maintain a clean diet normally with one cheat meal or a cheat day on the weekend.

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[ Q ] 3. What has been the most important contribution to your amazing muscle gains you have experienced?
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    [ A ] I will always credit my Ramstein powerlifting team for my personal success. Troy Saunders, Robin Riley, Willie Williams, Horace Youson, Jimmy Scott & Derrick Baldwin all took me under their wings and taught me the proper weight to squat, bench, and deadlift.

    My strength increased dramatically as well as my muscle gains. I was by far the weakest link on the team & they worked with me and helped me become a pretty decent powerlifter & a great bodybuilder. Powerlifting is key to my bodybuilding success.

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[ Q ] 4. What would your advice be to someone wanting a physique like yours?
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    [ A ] Don't assume you know everything. I'm willing to listen to anyone's advice. I get great diet tips & exercise tips from my figure competitor friends. I see a lot of people in the gym doing exercises incorrectly.

    So before you begin trying to lift the world, learn to do each exercise properly and your strength gains will come. I also think you have to find a diet & routine for you and be consistent. I've been lifting for 8 years so don't think its going to happen over night.

    Finally I want to say that drugs aren't needed. I never have & never will use steroids. You don't need that to build a great physique; just hard work, good diet & the drive to be the best.

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[ Q ] 5. Whose physique do you most admire?
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    [ A ] IFBB pro Daron Lytle. I competed against Daron at my 1st show in Oct. 2005. When he walked in the room all the competitors crowned him before he took the stage. Some of us thought he was the guest poser. I really respect Daron for staying drug free & obtaining his IFBB pro card the right way.

    We've been in touch over the past week & I thank him for his tips. He has an amazing physique and I wish him the best at the New York Pro in May.

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Fat Loss Article Of The Year
Arrow Beyond Ripped: Enter The Shredded Zone This Summer - The Diet!
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Author, Myron Mielke.

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[ Q ] 1. Why do you think your editorial was named "Fat Loss Article of the Year?"
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    [ A ] It was a common-sense approach to weight loss that produces results. People can see through diets that are trendy and this plan has stood the test of time. It's an easy read and I never get too technical while explaining information in my articles.

RELATED ARTICLE
Beyond Ripped: Enter The Shredded Zone This Summer - The Diet! Beyond Ripped: Enter The Shredded Zone This Summer - The Diet!
Summer will be here soon and it's time to start preparing to get in your best-ever condition. Whatever your reason, here's a plan to help you achieve your goals.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

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[ Q ] 2. Do you research prior to writing an article like this? If so, how?
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    [ A ] I have more than 25 years experience in bodybuilding and fitness and I've trained a number of champion bodybuilders and have assisted them in their nutritional programs.

    Most of my research for the article was based on a lifelong accumulation of information. Based on that information, I know what works. In addition to real-world testing I educate myself by trying to stay up-to-date on the latest research other people in the industry have published.

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[ Q ] 3. Did you have feedback from readers after this article was published?
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    [ A ] Yes, I received feedback and questions from many people all over the world. Based on reader feedback, this article and my 8-Week Summer Slim down article have been my most popular ones.

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[ Q ] 4. Did you try and test the value of the article on yourself?
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    [ A ] Yes. I've been a guinea pig for all the articles I write. If I write about training or a diet for Bodybuilding.com, it means I've tried it and have had success with the plan.

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[ Q ] 5. What makes this article popular?
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    [ A ] It seems every bodybuilder wants to lose body fat and/or get ripped. The average person might only want to drop a few pounds, but they can utilize the same principles a bodybuilder uses to get ripped. Even though the article's primarily written for a competitive bodybuilder seeking to get shredded, the article encompasses many aspects of losing body fat and is written for a quick and easy read.

    Thanks again and Merry Christmas!

    Myron