An Interview With Figure Champion, Jenny Lynn!

Jenny won the Pittsburgh Pro Figure this year. Learn more here about her reasons for withdrawing from the Arnold, future plans, training, interests, and much more. Read on for the facts...
From as far back as she can remember, figure champion Jenny Lynn has enjoyed challenging herself in competition. As a child, she would seek the spotlight in talent shows she alone organized to entertain family and friends. As a teen, cheerleading would take her around the U.S. competing against other teams.

With this background, combined with her job as an aerobic teacher and her passion for weight training, it would only seem natural for Jenny to put these talents into a discipline where she could go achieve major success on a professional level. This is exactly what she did in 2001 when she turned pro by winning the NPC USA fitness championships.

Jenny Lynn Jenny Lynn
+ Click Image To Enlarge.
Jenny Lynn
At The 2005 Olympia.

Although Jenny had some degree of success (placing as high as 5th at the 2002 Show of Strength), fitness proved demanding as Jenny had no formal training in dance or gymnastics - two skills vital to a good fitness routine. In 2003, Jenny made the switch to Figure and showed she had the winning package by taking the 2003 Arnold Classic Figure International title.

She has continued her winning streak by besting the competition at the recent 2006 Pittsburgh Pro, an event in which Jenny admits she could have been better conditioned.

Should she win, her ultimate prize will be this year's Olympia 2006, an event Jenny feels confident about winning. Last year, Jenny placed 2nd at the Olympia 2005. One thing is for sure, however - Jenny is at the top of her game and will very tough to beat!

Who Will Win The 2006 Olympia Figure?

Jenny Lynn.
Davana Medina.
Monica Brant-Peckham.
Amber Littlejohn.
Mary Elizabeth Lado.
Christine Pomponio-Pate.
Valerie Waugaman.
Amanda Savell.
Jennifer Searles.
Tara Scotti.

The Interview

[ DR ] As a three-time Arnold Classic Figure International champion, you are one of the world's top figure contestants. How do you plan on maintaining this position in 2006?

    JL: I am planning on bringing my very best physique to the 2006 Figure Olympia. Now, clearly it's impossible to say what the judges will decide this September, but I will do everything in my power to present the best physique they've seen from me thus far.

[ DR ] At the 2006 Arnold Classic, you had to withdraw due to injury. What happened here?

    JL: What a nightmare this was!! I was all ready to go... felt great, very prepared, and had been dieting since mid-December. We got to Columbus the Wednesday prior to the show. Not long after I arrived, I began carbing up on the food I'd brought with me from California.

    I'm still not positive if I got food poisoning or the stomach flu, but by noon on Thursday, I couldn't keep any food down. I went to the competitors' meeting Thursday night with a 103°F fever and couldn't even stand that night to get my tan on.

    We tried all night long to get some food back in me, hoping that by morning I'd be okay to at least stand up so I could get on stage. But unfortunately, it didn't work out! I was so incredibly disappointed but have to believe everything happens for a reason...

Jenny Lynn
+ Click Image To Enlarge.
Jenny Lynn Winning The
2005 Arnold Classic Figure.

[ DR ] That was unfortunate, but on a brighter note you did win the Pittsburgh Pro. What strategies did you use to win the recent 2006 Pittsburgh Pro Figure event? What gave you the edge do you think?

    JL: Ironically, I was not in my best condition at the Pittsburgh Pro this year. After dieting since December, my body was so tired and stopped responding to diet manipulations. It's plain to see why most top competitors do only one to two shows a year!

    Dieting for six months straight is simply too hard on our bodies. I was fortunate to win this show although, personally, I was not real pleased with my physique here. So, live and learn - and thank goodness I'm finally getting to rest and feed my body now!

[ DR ] Six months seems a long time to be dieting. Why do you need to diet for six-months straight? Is this a common practice in figure?

    JL: No, it's generally not the case. I started dieting in December for the Arnold Classic in March. I got ill the day before that show and was unable to compete. My manager and I decided I would stay on my contest prep and do the May shows to make up missing the Arnold. So, I had 10 days off after the Arnold and dieted straight through to mid-May for those shows.

[ DR ] What qualities have made you the champion you are today?

[ DR ] How did you get started in figure?

    JL: I started competing in Fitness in 2000. I turned Pro by winning the overall at the 2001 NPC USA's Fitness Championships. I competed as a Pro in Fitness in 2002.

    I always placed somewhat well in the physique rounds of Fitness, but struggled with the routine rounds due to lack of technical dance or gymnastics training. In 2003, Figure was offered as a Pro Division and I quite happily jumped out of Fitness and into Figure then.

[ DR ] What is it about figure competition you like most?

    JL: I like the challenge and structure of preparing for a contest and making changes in my physique from show to show. I feel like as long as I've made positive changes with each show, then I'm pleased regardless of the judging outcome.

Jenny Lynn
+ Click Image To Enlarge.
I Train Glutes On Day 3
Of My 5-Day Training Split.

[ DR ] Describe your current training program. Does this differ in any way from the one you used when starting out? If so, how?

[ DR ] So you believe in giving the muscles plenty of rest between workouts? Have you always done this?

    JL: I have always given my muscles quite a bit of rest. My legs get two track workouts weekly, in addition to splitting quads and glutes/hams each week, which is plenty - otherwise they never recover.

[ DR ] How does your pre-contest diet differ from your off-season eating plan? How was your diet structured leading up to the Pittsburgh Pro figure?

    JL: Pre-contest, everything is very structured and weighed so I know the exact calories and macronutrients I'm ingesting.

Macronutrients Vs. Micronutrients
The four macronutrients are protein (source of amino acids), carbohydrates, lipids (fats), and water - all of which you need in plentiful (hence the term 'macro') amounts each day.

Micronutrients - mainly vitamins and minerals - are needed in relatively small amounts (hence 'micro'), and have been shown to be essential to growth and development, and for good health and winning athletic performance.

    In the off-season, my diet is a lot more relaxed. I eat a lot of the same foods but I don't weigh anything and generally eat when I'm hungry. Also, I'll eat meals out at restaurants whereas on-season I prepare all my meals myself and eat per the clock, every three hours.

Restaurant Dining Tips For Athletes & Healthy Eaters! Restaurant Dining Tips For Athletes & Healthy Eaters!
Find out how to go out and eat and still stay on your diet. Follow these simple suggestions and you can go out and eat, whenever, without the guilt.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

[ DR ] What are your strengths as a competitor?

    JL: Determination and mental strength are probably my biggest attributes.

[ DR ] How would you describe yourself as a person?

    JL: Kind, Driven, Compassionate, and a multi-tasker.

[ DR ] What are your long-term figure goals?

    JL: I want to win the Figure Olympia before I retire; so for now... that's the goal!

[ DR ] The Olympia is a big goal. How do you plan on winning this contest?

    JL: I'll continue with my track workouts twice a week because I feel like that really helps me tighten my lower body. Last year before the "O", I flew down to Venice, CA and trained with master trainer Charles Glass every two to three weeks to train legs. I'll definitely do that again... he's amazing!

    I have been working with nutritionist and contest prep guru, Hany Rambod, since last year's Olympia too, which is a huge benefit. He lives close enough to me that I can see him periodically. I had always done my own nutrition until last fall, so it's nice to have another set of eyes to help guide me!

[ DR ] In your experience, what is harder to prepare for, Figure or Fitness, and why?

    JL: No question it's harder to prepare for Fitness. The routine portion of those contests, at least for me, was brutal. For a lot of girls with dance or gymnastics backgrounds, I'm sure it's a lot more fun than it ever was for me.

[ DR ] What interests do you have, other than figure?

    JL: Honestly, between training clients, helping other girls prepare for contests, my own training and contest prep, and traveling for appearances with MuscleTech, I truly don't have much time for anything else. I would have to say that any free time I do have is spent with friends and family.

Jenny Lynn
+ Click Image To Enlarge.
I Do Contest Prep Online

[ DR ] You mention being a personal trainer. How is this going?

    JL: I do personal training about 30 hours a week at a personal training studio in Walnut Creek, CA. Additionally, I do contest prep both in person and online through my website for girls preparing for shows. Everything is going well.

[ DR ] What, in your view, makes a good personal trainer?

    JL: I think a good trainer is knowledgeable, caring, motivating, and a good listener.

[ DR ] What advice would you give someone wanting to compete in figure for the first time?

    JL: Hire someone who has either competed previously or has experience with Figure competitors. There are a ton of intricate details including diet, workouts, posing and suits that go into preparing for a contest. Save yourself the time and money by enlisting help from an experienced person right away.

[ DR ] What are some of the mistakes that women who are starting out tend to make?

    JL: I've seen lots of things, but a few that come to mind are:

    • Improper diet, which often leads to not being in good condition on stage.
    • Poor suit choices.
    • Body color too light for the stage lighting.
    • Wrong shoes.

    I could go on and on...

[ DR ] What benefits, physical and otherwise, has competing in figure provided for you?

    JL: Truly it's beyond physical, although that has certainly led to increased self-confidence, which transcends into everything I do. But mostly, it has allowed me to help other people achieve their goals of leading a healthier lifestyle.

What's Your Goal? What Is Your Goal?

Is Your Goal Not Listed?
Click Below To Learn More About Goal Setting.

    I get e-mails all the time from people I work with or have touched in someway that tell me how I've helped inspire them to make positive changes in their lives and that for me, is what it's all about!

[ DR ] Thank you for your time, Jenny, it has been good talking to you. Is there anyone you would like to thank?

    JL: First, I'd like to thank for interviewing me and letting me introduce myself further here. And secondly, I'd like to thank my very supportive friends, clients, manager - J.M. Manion, nutritionist Hany Rambod, sponsor: MuscleTech, family and boyfriend, Blair, for always being there and blessing my life!

    Visit Jenny at