An Interview With National Level Competitor Christine Sabo.

After winning her first contest in 1994, with the help of her husband Kevin, she began placing higher in competitions. Here is her story and how she feels about female bodybuilding.
With a physique built upon heavy power movements, Arizona's Christine Sabo is clawing her way up the women's competition rankings, as she works toward a career in the pro division. Describing her gym as home, and an environment she feels connected to, Christine plans to refine her already impressive 139 ripped pounds into an "awe-inspiring" package, before competing in, and winning, the 2006 USA.

A pure love for the sport of bodybuilding is something Christine feels will eventually lead her to success on the pro stage. "I would love to compete as a pro," she says.

Patience, time, commitment, motivation, mental toughness, and tenaciousness are additional attributes Christine considers important determiners of bodybuilding success, and she hopes to inspire other women to take up the challenge and compete, to better themselves, and to keep the sport alive.

Indeed, Christine would like to see women's bodybuilding as a respected sport, something worth striving to better oneself through.

After winning her first contest, the 1994 NPC Illinois State (middleweight and overall), Christine, with the help of her husband Kevin, began racking up high placements in competitions. But first she would have to endure defeat.

In 2002, Christine placed a disappointing 14th in the heavyweight category at the NPC Jr. Nationals. However, a year later she turned her competitive fortunes around by winning the heavyweight and overall at the 2003 NPC Arizona State championships.

Following a year of hard training and precision dieting, Christine, again, placed very highly, this time at the 2004 NPC USA - Christine placed 2nd in the light-heavyweights, her best showing yet.

Christine is now training with a view to turning pro next year. With her work ethic and combined attributes, she should have every chance.

RELATED ARTICLE
A Talk With Christine Sabo!
Coming off back-to-back shows, Christine was kind enough to answer a few questions for Bodybuilding.com.
[ Click here to learn more. ]


[ Q ] Christine. How did you get started in bodybuilding? What is it that attracted you to the sport initially?

    A: I liked the look bodybuilders had. I always was intrigued with muscle and strength, so I started lifting when I was 17 after I saw a bodybuilder on the beach.

    I decided I was going to look like that one day. When I started, I never stopped. I connected with the gym like a best friend. Now when I go to the gym it feels like home.


[ Q ] What are your current bodybuilding goals and competitive plans?

    A: I would love to compete as a pro. I will do another show in 2006 and give it another try for pro status.


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    Christine Sabo.


[ Q ] How did it feel to come so close to winning your class at last years NPC USA? Do you feel you should have won?

    A: I feel very proud of my placing 2nd at the USA for my first go around but it sure did put the pressure on for 2005. I believe that it was won by Carrie Ledford Baldwin, that day.

CONTEST REVIEW
2004 NPC USA Review!
One of the hottest shows of the year (literally) took place in Las Vegas, NV on July 15-18. The contest was talked about and hyped by many.
[ Click here to learn more. ]


[ Q ] By the way, congratulations on your win at the 2004 junior nationals. Describe the build-up period for this contest. What diet and training plan did you have?

    A: I trained hard and heavy with basic power moves for mass. I did cardio 4-5 days a week to keep a more athletic look and maintain good cardiovascular condition. My diet is designed by IFBB Pro Chuck Sanow.


[ Q ] What sort of diet principals did Chuck Sanow suggest you follow?

    A: Very simple: he suggested I follow a high protein, same food intake with no high low carb flux. His view is that the carbs get subtracted as the cardio increases. This program is not for the weak-minded. Chuck is known for his focus on conditioning.

    Christine's Competition History:

    • 1994 NPC Illinois State 1st middleweight/overall
    • 1994 NPC Mid States 1st middleweights
    • 1999 NPC Western Regional 2nd middleweights
    • 1999 NPC Ironmaiden 3rd middleweights
    • 2000 NPC Ironmaiden 1st middleweights
    • 2002 NPC Jr. Nationals 14th heavyweights
    • 2003 NPC Jr. Nationals 10th middleweights
    • 2003 NPC Arizona State 1st heavyweights/overall
    • 2004 NPC Jr. Nationals 1st light-heavyweights/overall
    • 2004 NPC USA Championships 2nd light-heavyweights


[ Q ] What would you credit primarily, for your success in bodybuilding? Loving the sport and sticking with it.

    A: I would have never made it this far without the support of my husband Kevin. He is a tremendous athlete and training partner. He believes in me and we are a team.


[ Q ] Who inspired you when you were starting out, and why?

    A: I was inspired by Kim Chizevsky for many years. I like the way she conducts herself as an athlete and she is a super lady. She proved to me that working hard and staying focused is the right combination for success.


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    Kim Chizevsky @ The 2003 Show Of Strength.


[ Q ] Describe some of your more positive experiences in bodybuilding.

    A: I have met some of the most inspiring ladies in the world through bodybuilding. I also get to inspire others to reach their fitness goals everyday, by just being a bodybuilder myself.

    Ladies come to me with questions and admiration, and I can give to them experience and motivation to set goals and reach them. It seems possible when you just tell someone they can do it - just try.


[ Q ] Describe your off season diet and training approach.

    A: I train hard and heavy and try to keep good form. I do cardio to keep a more athletic look and strengthen my heart. I eat whole foods, which are natural and organic.


[ Q ] What supplements do you use both pre-contest and off season? Which ones work best do you feel?


[ Q ] What type of protein powder do you use, and what are its benefits for you?

    A: Optimum Nutrition: it mixes easy on the go and gets you the quality protein you need to retain muscle.

    I like the natural variety with no artificial sweeteners.


[ Q ] Describe your cardio routine, pre-contest and off season.

    A: Cardio off season is hiking 2 1/2 miles early am with 3 crazy dogs. During contest time, I just add on to that to make it approximately 2-3 hours total daily training.


[ Q ] Do you consider yourself a good poser? How do you design your posing routine?

    A: I am a fun poser, who is not afraid to whoop it up. Some have said I am a good poser. I enjoy that part of bodybuilding. I have a dance background and I do my own routine.


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    Not Afraid To Whoop It Up!


[ Q ] You list your occupation as registered nurse. Do you currently work in this profession, or is bodybuilding all encompassing for you at this point?

    A: I still work full time as a school nurse and per diem as a surgical nurse.


[ Q ] What skills from your role, as a registered nurse, do you feel are applicable to your bodybuilding endeavors?

    A: Nurses need to be tough as they deal with a lot of emotions and life-changing events everyday. It has helped me to deal with the upsets of bodybuilding, and know that things could always be worse. I do not take life for granted.


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    "I Do Not Take Life For Granted."


[ Q ] Would you recommend bodybuilding as a sport for females to get involved in? What are the benefits of a bodybuilding lifestyle in your view?

    A: I would recommend lifting to all women who want to improve their fitness level. I would recommend bodybuilding to the ones who can commit long-term to a passion. Bodybuilding can keep you out of trouble because it is so time consuming, HAHA.


[ Q ] What are your views on the future of women's bodybuilding? Does it need to improve in any way?

    A: Women's bodybuilding needs more respect. They need to know what they want in terms of judging. The MR. and MRS. Olympia's need to be together as one event. Female bodybuilding's future is uncertain. But figure and bodybuilding, should not be meshed or compared.


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    Women's Bodybuilding Needs More Respect.


[ Q ] What is it about the judging in women's bodybuilding that needs to be addressed in your opinion?

    A: Regarding judging criteria, I do feel certain changes need to be made. For example, what do they want? A look they set a standard by should be suggested to give the ladies direction when getting ready - So when they tell you that you are too conditioned, or too dry, you know you will be marked down for that from the start.

    Also, set the standard and keep it that way, instead of changing minds like the wind.

    Judging Criteria Articles:


[ Q ] What qualities do you feel you have, which have helped you to achieve what you have in bodybuilding?

    A: Patience, solid work ethic, spiritual guidance, and a true love for weightlifting and bodybuilding.


[ Q ] What one word would describe Christine Sabo?

    A: Tenacious.


[ Q ] Describe an average day in the life of Christine Sabo.

    A: I begin with a hike at 5am with my three crazy dogs, and the rising sun. Work 7am at the elementary school: 900 student body.

    To the gym 4 pm - I love this part of the day. Then home at 6-7 pm to eat. Prepare food for next day, wind down and start all over.


[ Q ] List your five keys to bodybuilding success.

    A:
    • Patience
    • Commitment
    • Time
    • Motivation
    • Mental toughness


[ Q ] Thank you for your time Christine. Is there anything else you would like to add? I appreciate the opportunity to be interviewed for the Bodybuilding.com site.

    A: I hope to bring a improved and awe-inspiring package to the 2006 line-up. One thing I can promise is I am working hard everyday... thanks again.


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    Working Hard Everyday!