An Interview With National Level Competitor Giana Holder.

Despite Giana's seemingly meteoric rise as a national level competitor has not been without its share of bumps. Learn more right here about what Giana is up to with her life and much more!
National heavyweight competitor Giana Holder feels this will be her year to cement a spot as one of the world's top female bodybuilders.

After placing seventh at the last years Nationals, Giana, 34, promises to come in fuller and harder this year to boost her chances of walking away with the amateur division's top prize.

Giana built her great physique with heavy compound movements, and, to this day, hoists mind-boggling poundage's as a regular part of her training regimen. How heavy? Try a 1,100-pound leg press for 10-repetitions, 405 pounds on the squat for four, and 235 pounds on the bench press for six!

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National Heavyweight Competitor Giana Holder.

Demonstrable, for such heavy workloads, is the massive amount of muscle Giana has gained over her five-year bodybuilding career (Giana begun at middleweight and now competes at the top of the heavyweight division).

Despite Giana's seemingly meteoric rise (she has achieved all her personal goals, and is well on her way to becoming pro), the road has not been completely bump free.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Giana moved to Texas at age eight, where she now resides. As a young child, Giana was anything but athletic. In her teens she developed eating disorders, due to external pressures to conform, resulting from the excess weight she carried at the time.

However, as would be expected, the strictness and illogicality inherent in her erratic eating behaviors caused Giana to become even more self-devaluing.

"As a teenager, I developed eating disorders because, in school, I was so tormented by the other students about my weight. I went from 145 lbs. of pure fat to 116 lbs of pure fat! But at the time, it seemed logical," says Giana.

Fortunately, around this time Giana met someone who provided her with information about the bodybuilding lifestyle - specifically its emphasis on eating well, and maintaining a healthy bodyweight.

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This Sport Is For The Long Haul.

Giana began reading Muscle and Fitness and Flex, and became hooked. Giana feels she has now developed a good balance in her life, and credits bodybuilding with providing the necessary nutritional and motivational frameworks for this success.

"I learned that this sport is for the long haul and not something you can do in your spare time. It is a lifestyle. It's like making a diamond. It takes time and pressure."

Giana is now among the sports best amateurs. Her desire for self improvement should see her among the pros in the near future.

[ DR ] Hi Giana. Provide the readers with some background on yourself.

    GH: I am 34 yrs old and reside in Texas. I am 5'8" and weigh between 160 and 185 depending on the season. I am a customer service manager for Whole Foods Market.

[ DR ] What is it about bodybuilding that attracted you to it in the beginning?

    GH: The discipline that the athletes have, not to mention the incredible physiques they build.

[ DR ] What are the benefits of a bodybuilding lifestyle in your opinion?

    GH: Some of the benefits to the bodybuilding lifestyle are that I feel I am very healthy. I have learned a lot of discipline. I also have a lot more self confidence. It also correlates well with my faith, and has helped me grow spiritually.

    Lifting And Spirituality!
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[ DR ] In 2004 you placed seventh in the heavyweight division at the Nationals. How did you feel about this placing? How do you plan to improve on this?

    GH: The 2004 Nationals was my first experience at the National level. I was very pleased with my placing. This year, I have just continued to train heavy and stayed leaner than I did last off-season in hopes of coming in a little fuller and harder in order to have a better placing this year.

[ DR ] What are your competition plans?

    GH: My competition plans are to compete in Nationals in Atlanta, in November 2005. I will reassess after I see how it goes.

Giana's Contest History.
Contest Rank
2001 Ronnie Coleman Classic First Place, Novice Middleweight
2002 John Sherman Classic Fourth Place, Open Heavyweight
2003 Heart of Texas First Place and Overall, Open Heavyweight
2004 John Sherman Classic Second Place, Open Heavyweight
2004 Nationals, Dallas Seventh Place, Heavyweight

[ DR ] What do you consider to be your best muscle-group and how do you train it?

    GH: I don't think I have a "best" muscle group, although, a lot of people say it is my back. As for training back, I do basic, heavy compound movements and some machine work as well for fine tuning.

[ DR ] Describe your pre contest and off season training routines.

    GH: My training stays basically the same year round. Mostly heavy weight with moderate reps (15-20 range). When I get closer to competition, the reps increase (50-150) and my cardio increases.

    A Unique Combination Of Science And Experience Based Pre-Contest Advice.
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    I train five days a week in the off-season and six to seven days a week at contest time.

    Training Split:

    At contest time, I add cardio up to two hours a day six to seven days a week and I do 1000 crunches daily.

[ DR ] Describe your diet, off season and pre-contest.

    GH: My diet as well stays about the same. I weigh and measure most everything I eat. The typical bb diet, mostly chicken, fish, lean beef, rice, yams, oatmeal, egg whites and green veggies. I do eat some sweets in the off season. Pre-contest, I cut all sugar, alcohol, and refined carbs.

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    I Stick To The Traditional Bodybuilding Diet.

    Usually I stick to the traditional bodybuilding diet. Even in the off season, I weigh and measure most everything I eat. However, I don't hold back if I need a carb fix! (See above list of favorite foods!) At contest time, I cut back carbs and stay away from sugar all together.

[ DR ] Pre contest, how do you stay on your diet? Do you have a cheat day?

    GH: Pre-contest I stay on my diet with a whole lot of prayer! :) I am not allowed any cheat days from about 10 weeks out so towards the end I am going nuts but I keep telling myself "All this food will still be here when I am done!"

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Incorporate a cheat meal into your plan. Regardless of what kind of cheat day you have, it is necessary. Today I am going to share with you some ways of incorporating the cheat meal. Learn more here!
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[ DR ] What are the most important variables when it comes time to get into shape, in your view?

    GH: The most important things for getting into contest shape are diet and focus.

[ DR ] What supplements do you use, and why do you use these?

    GH: I don't use too many supplements. Multivitamin/ mineral complex, amino acids and glutamine to help recovery, and I use a no2 supplement to help get as much blood into the muscle as possible. I also use digestive enzymes to help break down the massive amounts of food I consume.

[ DR ] Which no2 supplement do you use, and exactly what sorts of results have you seen from using this?

    GH: The no2 supplement I use is called Supercharge from Labrada. I have seen a significant improvement in recuperation and it gives the muscles an awesome pump.

Super Charge
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[ DR ] What has been you greatest competitive achievement, and why?

    GH: My greatest competitive achievement has been my placing at Nationals last year. I am basically new to the sport and to be ranked seventh in the heavyweight division in the country in my first national level show, that is BIG to me.

Giana's Vital Stats.
Name: Giana G. Holder
D.O.B.: 04-04-71
Occupation: Customer Service Associate Team Leader at Whole Foods Market in Plano, Texas.

Giana's Contest Measurements.
Body Part Inches
Biceps: 14.75"
Calves: 14.75"
Chest: 42"

Giana'a Best Lifts.
Exercise Pounds/Reps
Bench: 235x6
Squat: 405x4
Leg Press: 1100x10

[ DR ] What are your strengths and weaknesses, from a bodybuilding standpoint?

    GH: In bodybuilding my strengths are discipline and ability to work hard. My weaknesses are lack of confidence, mental stresses and finances. This sport is EXPENSIVE!

[ DR ] What hobbies and interests do you have outside of bodybuilding?

    GH: My interests outside of bodybuilding are food and sports! I love to cook and eat. I also have a sick love for pro sports. I also love my church and am actively seeking more time to volunteer and help others in need. When I am not in the gym, I attend fellowship at my church (bible study, functions, etc.), EAT and play with my zoo of pets.

    I have four cats and three birds including two budgies and a black-headed cacique parrot. I also love to buy clothes. (Hate the actual "shopping" process but I do love to buy when I find something that actually fits!).

Giana's Favorites.
Favorite Movies: A Few Good Men, The Shawshank Redemption, The Usual Suspects, The Fugitive, and Forrest Gump.
Favorite Foods: Anything chocolate (that includes bumpers, shoelaces or anything! Lol!), sushi, pizza, any kind of nuts and STEAK!
Favorite Female Bodybuilders: Cory Everson, Lenda Murray, Yaxeni Oriquen, Sandy Riddell, Jackie Paisley, Kathy Unger, and Tonya Knight.
Favorite Music: Mostly Christian Contemporary (Point of Grace, Jennifer Knapp, Michael W. Smith) but I also like The Dave Matthews Band, Classical (Beethoven, Mozart), Rock (Metallica, Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam) and R&B and Jazz (Sade, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Kenny G).
Favorite Quote: Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

[ DR ] How does your Christian faith influence your training progress do you think?

    GH: My Christian faith has influenced me greatly during my road of life in bodybuilding. It helps me understand the importance of discipline, patience, respect and love. It also keeps me more positively focused as opposed to looking for the negative.

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[ DR ] What are your feelings on the future of women's bodybuilding? What needs to be changed for it to become as viable as the men's competition?

    GH: I have mixed feeling about the sport today. Firstly, I don't ever think it will be as viable as the men's division for several reasons. Mainly, I think mainstream America has a generally negative view of females with muscles. I think they are either uneducated, indifferent, or just plain jealous.

    Another reason, too many gals are taking the sport to the dark side. Too many of them are posing nude or doing other things of the sort that degrade the sport and themselves.

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    Giana Is Positively Focused.

    I don't think I have ever seen Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan or even Ronnie Coleman have to take their clothes off to be viable in their particular sport but sadly, if the gals do that, it reflects badly on us all.

    As far as what can change? I am at loss there. I am happy to see the 20% rule come into effect with the judging, though. We will see if it helps us at least get back to being in some bodybuilding magazines, having more mainstream interest in the sport and more prize money.

[ DR ] On your site, some of your training poundage's are mentioned. These are very impressive. Are you a fan of hard heavy training, as opposed to lighter weights? What are you maximum lifts?

[ DR ] Who is the greatest female bodybuilder of all time in your view? Why do you think this?

    GH: In my view, the greatest female bodybuilder has to be Lenda Murray. She has a very symmetrical physique that is still muscular yet very feminine. She is also a class act. Certainly someone I admire in the sport both on stage and off.

[ DR ] Do you have a career other than bodybuilding? How does this career compliment your bodybuilding lifestyle?

    GH: I work at Whole Foods Market. It has helped in my BB career by giving me a place to shop for quality food at a discounted price. Can't beat that!

[ DR ] What does your job at the Whole Foods Market entail? Does this job work in with your bodybuilding career?

    GH: I am a customer service manager for Whole Foods. I basically make sure all monies are tendered properly, ensure customer complaints are handled professionally and timely and train others to do the same.

    I have a staff of about 55 team members to train, motivate and discipline. My Store Team Leader is very supportive of my bb and I am blessed to work for an understanding group of people.

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    I Would Love To Compete On The Olympia Stage.

[ DR ] How far do you want to go in bodybuilding? Where do you see yourself in ten years, Giana?

    GH: In ten years, I see myself as a pro BB. Hopefully a successful one! Lol! I would love to compete on the Olympia stage and further my career with my company.

[ DR ] Thanks you for your time Giana. Is there anything you would like to add?

    GH: I just want to thank you David, for the opportunity to communicate my thoughts on this great site and I want to thank all of my fans who have been very supportive.


An Interview With Gina Holder.

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