An Interview With Fitness Olympia Champion Monica Brant.

Having accomplished everything there is to achieve in fitness, culminating with a win at the 1998 Olympia, Monica is now featured regularly in the top placings at Figure competitions. Find out what is new with Monica...
Upon earning her pro card in 1995, Monica Brant has made her mark on the women's fitness movement like no other. With a winning combination of good looks, aesthetically pleasing physique, dancing ability, athletic giftedness and business acumen, it is no surprise that Monica has, in the words of Weider Publications senior writer Jim Rosenthal, become the most important figure in the history of women's fitness.

The fine arts graduate has been featured over 100-times on the covers of various fitness publications and has been the subject of numerous articles and interviews.

An accomplished businesswoman, Monica has recently signed a three-year deal with Bradford Licensing Associates to promote the Brant name to secure book, DVD, product, and clothing deals.

In 2000, Monica began to produce, promote and host the annual NPC Monica Brant Fitness Classic - an amateur national qualifier fitness show (an opportunity she considers to be challenging and rewarding). Monica also has a solo slot in Muscle and Fitness Magazine - one of only six women to have been granted this opportunity in this publications history.

Having officially retired from Fitness competition, Monica has set her sights on the figure event. However, she still intends to promote the Fitness discipline internationally with regular guest appearances to promote the healthy lifestyle - after all, the name Brant has become synonymous with Fitness.

Having accomplished everything there is to achieve in Fitness, culminating with a win at the 1998 Olympia, Monica is now featuring regularly in the top placing's at Figure competitions - her most recent result being third in the Figure Olympia. Whatever Monica chooses to do, healthy living and physical fitness will feature prominently in her life, as will the continued attainment of the title Fitness Icon for the Millennium.


[ Q ] Thank you for this opportunity Monica. Please provide some background on yourself (age, height, weight, contest history).

    Stats:
  • 5" 4""
  • 10-26-70
  • Normal Weight: 135LBS
  • Contest Weight: 127 lbs
  • Blonde hair
  • Light Brown eyes

    Monica's Contest History:

  • 2004 3rd IFBB Figure Olympia
  • 2004 2nd IFBB Arnold Figure Intl
  • 2003 2nd GNC Show of Strength Figure Int'l
  • 2003 2nd IFBB Figure Olympia
  • 2003 2nd IFBB Arnold Figure Int'l
  • 1999 4th IFBB Fitness Olympia
  • 1998 2nd IFBB Fitness Intl.
  • 1998 1st IFBB Fitness Olympia
  • 1997 2nd IFBB Fitness Intl.
  • 1997 3rd IFBB Fitness World
  • 1997 6th IFBB Fitness Olympia
  • 1996 4th IFBB Fitness World
  • 1996 7th IFBB Fitness Olympia
  • 1995 9th Fitness USA Finals, CA.
  • 1995 1st Jan Tana Pro Fitness Championships- Lynchberg, VA
  • 1995 7th IFBB Fitness Olympia
  • 1994 1st Fitness USA So.CA.
  • 1994 9th National Fitness USA Championships -Las Vegas, NV
  • 1993 6th Fitness USA Texas
  • 1991 1st Fitness USA Arizona
  • 1991 14th National Fitness USA Championships- Las Vegas, NV.

    Also, many, many bikini contests from 1990-1994... too many to list! HA!


[ Q ] What are you current competition plans?


[ Q ] What do you intend to achieve before you eventually retire from competition?

    I am just concerned with doing my best at each competition. Since there is no way of knowing if my body style will ever be what they want for Figure, then I can never expect to win - as long as I do my homework... that is all I can expect from myself!


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    I am working on a Women's Fitness book now which will be done and published by the end of 2005 - I have no idea when retirement will come about. I don't plan on retiring any time soon as to me, retirement means sitting in a rocker and reflecting on my past. I may move into a different path of my life, but will keep fitness included at all times!


[ Q ] You obviously have a great body. Do you consider your physique to be more a genetic gift or largely the result of consistent training and dieting.

    Thanks for the compliment! Genetics definitely play a large role in my physique, but I don't have the perfect physique either. I am short waisted, so I have really worked on widening my back and rounding out my delts. I have slightly larger arms than most of the other ladies on stage and I haven't trained them (other than what they get with back/shoulder training) in almost 2 yrs now!

    My legs have always had a good amount of muscle to them. My key is to come in as conditioned as possible so that I don't look too short and thick on stage when I am standing next to ladies that are 2-4 inches taller than me! I do have to watch what I eat as I gain weight just like anyone else does! Any little bit makes me appear heavier too. My nutrition is definitely key!

    Learn More About Monica Diets Here...


[ Q ] Provide the readers with an outline of your current training and dietary programs.

    My training has stayed pretty close to this in the past 2 years of Figure preps:

    • 2 days a week sprints with coach at the track which includes stadium bleachers and plyometrics
    • Medium-Heavy: Shoulders one day
    • Medium-Heavy: Back one day
    • Circuit only legs one day
    • Cardio 6-7 days per week, 30-60 mins with heart-rate around 145-160 for the duration

    I use Kim Oddo (interview) for my diet and nutrition needs... he prepares my eating program each contest slightly different so that we can bring in a different package each time!

    Nothing fancy with the diet, and yes, I do eat carbs, protein, and fats with every meal!


[ Q ] How important do you consider aerobic training to be when preparing to compete, and in the off-season?

    I feel aerobic training is important for everyone, only it is up to that person to find the specific amount of time that suits their body - some need more and some need less!

    For me, I can handle the cardio for sure in the off-season as I am still travelling year-round making appearances and the cardio helps keep me leaner and feeling more energetic!

    Do You Travel A Lot? Check Out Our Traveling Articles...


[ Q ] Describe an average day for Monica Brant?

  • 7 A.M. - Get up, drink protein shake and make next meal.

  • 8 A.M. - Head out for 30-45 min. Run outside, down to the beach.

  • 8:45/9 A.M. - Eat and clean up.

  • 9:30 A.M. - Work on the computer, answer e-mails, update website, fulfil orders, make phone calls, arrange contracts for appearances, etc...

  • 11:30-12 - Eat and back to the office usually...

  • 1-2 P.M. - Head to the gym or track if it is a sprinting day.

  • 3 P.M. - Eat.

  • 3:30 P.M. - Run errands (grocery, post office, Staples, etc).

  • 5-6 P.M. - Eat, go back to the office. This will depend on what my travel plans are too!

Many days are unpacking and organizing my things from a trip or packing to leave. I usually travel 1-3 times monthly.


[ Q ] What do you consider to be your greatest achievement as a Fitness competitor? Any disappointing moments?

    Of course winning the IFBB Fitness Olympia 1998! Disappointing moments? Of course, I feel there are a handful of competitions that I could have easily won and there would have been minimal complaints!


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    I came in 2nd in the Fitness International 2 year in a row - only due to my routine round placing lower. I was ahead until then. I was NOT a gymnast or dancer, so this round usually kept me from winning - that was frustrating!

[ Q ] Do you have a body part you consider to be particularly outstanding? Are there any areas you have had to emphasize to "bring up" during your training career?

    Not really any outstanding body parts.


[ Q ] Explain how Fitness competition differs from women's bodybuilding competition. Why does fitness competition as opposed to bodybuilding appeal to you as an athlete?

    I never wanted to flex like a bodybuilder has to! I don't even do "bicep" curl shots with fans! Just not me! Also, I never wanted to try and gain the size muscles I would need for bodybuilding competitions.


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[ Q ] Who do you admire among the current crop of fitness competitors?

    I can't pick out one lady among all the talented fitness competitors. I know they all work their booties very hard to do the routines and develop a top physique!

    The contest is very gruelling at every level - not just the pros! I couldn't pick out only one, they are all impressive to me! I love watching the routines, I get all choked up when I watch them and happy for each of them as they go through their individual routines - accomplishing one move to the next. I tend to get emotional watching them. I am sure it is due to the fact that I used to compete in Fitness!


[ Q ] You are currently promoting the NPC Monica Brant Fitness Classic. Describe the process of promoting and running a show of this type?

    Yes, this will be our 6th event! It is so much fun and so much work! Most of my promoting is arranging sponsors and keeping in touch with competitors as well as keeping my name out there in the mags and competitions.

    The day of the show for me is very tough as it starts around 6 A.M. The athlete meeting is at 8:30 A.M. and then I head backstage with the ladies, helping them with tans, suits, glue, posing, makeup, oil, keeping them on time, etc... Around 11-12, I head to the booth after the fitness ladies are done with prejudging and work my booth that I have set up - signing photos and taking photos till 3 P.M. in which I head to the hotel for some food, shower, and prepare for the night show.


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Left: With Brenda Kelly At Last Year's Show. Right: With Some Of The Girls At The Bodybuilding.com Booth.

    At 5:15 P.M. I am back in the booth until the show starts in which I am either backstage with the ladies helping them with anything they may need or I am on stage co-MC-ing the Fitness portion. I will be in the booth for intermission and then watch some of the show - hopefully catching the guests and then handing out trophies, MC-ing again, then finishing the night out in the booth, saying bye to people and taking photos till the last person leaves!

    Steven McAdams does an amazing job running the show! He designs all of the staging and is very creative! I am spoiled rotten with him as a co-promoter and friend. He does everything first class! I am usually out of the expo around 11:30-12:30 at night and Steven gets out a bit later. It is a very long day - but definitely worth it!


[ Q ] What career opportunities have presented themselves since you gained prominence as a Fitness Olympia winner.

    Winning the Olympia was mostly a credit to my name. I was travelling and making appearances the first year I moved to California (in 1995) and I didn't win until 1998. I don't think winning the Olympia did anything super different for me.

    It is nice to say that I won though and is an honour to hold the same title (different event of course!) that Arnold Schwarzenegger held! Most of my opportunities have come (in my opinion) from my work ethic and my persistence in this industry, as well as modelling for the various fitness magazines for the last 10 years!


[ Q ] You are a spokeswomen for nutritional company Universal. What level of importance to you attach to supplementation? What supplements do you recommend?

    Yes, I have been with Universal for almost 7 years now and they are very good to me!

    I do believe supplements aid in recovery and can add some great nutrients to your diet; however, I try to keep them as simple as possible.


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    Whey Protein, multi-vitamins, EFAs, Glutamine, BCAAs, and of course fat burners! Thankfully my husband and I have Ephedrine stockpiled!!


[ Q ] What would you say to an aspiring fitness competitor wanting to do well in her first fitness competition?

    Hire someone knowledgeable in the competitions that can be a source of support. Be ready to spend some money but know that you will have a memory forever and can use the confidence you gain by stepping on stage in almost every aspect of life! TO HAVE FUN is most important!

    Each show will be different so don't be discouraged if you don't feel like you were your best in the beginning - it takes some time to develop the correct skills and put it all together!


[ Q ] What other hobbies and interests do you have Monica? What do you do when you need some time out from training?

    My other hobbies include horses when I can! Before I started competing in Figure I was leasing a Thoroughbred and showing in the Equestrian events! I really miss that part of my life and hope that I will be able to get back into it again!

    I am recently married! YAY! My husband and I are planning on moving to Austin, TX at the end of 2005 and getting our business started! We are planning on opening a ladies fitness studio and adding a Fitness/Figure Prep school to it for competitors! We are very excited!


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    As for time out from training. The only time I really take out is when we are travelling for the holidays, otherwise I am not one to take time off!

Thank you very much for your time Monica. Wishing you all the best for future competitions.

Thanks David! I appreciate your persistence in this interview!

BTW, www.monicabrant.com will be changing soon!! I am in the process of an overhaul! Be sure to come by and check it out after March 1!

More Pics:

    View More Pics Of Monica Here.
    Read Articles Wrote By Monica Brant Here.