An Interview With Ms. Olympia Andrulla Blanchette!

Since winning her pro-card in 1993, Long Island resident Andrulla Blanchette has risen steadily to the top of professional women's bodybuilding. Her win at the 2000 Ms. Olympia has solidified her position as one of the best women bodybuilders in history.
Since winning her pro-card in 1993, Long Island resident Andrulla Blanchette has risen steadily to the top of professional women's bodybuilding. Her win at the 2000 Ms. Olympia has solidified her position as one of the best women bodybuilders in history. Winning the Olympia was the realization of a childhood dream for Andrulla, 37, who aspired to become the best in the world at the highest level.

Andrulla's training regime is hard and heavy and her physique (a rock-hard 145lbs at 5.3) certainly reflects this. Although Andrulla continues to train to maintain her phenomenal physique, she no longer has competitive aspirations, but is, instead, focusing on modeling assignments and her personal training business. However, she has not ruled out a comeback.

A woman who enjoys the best life has to offer, Andrulla wishes to refine her artistic skills, exhibit her works, and take each day as it comes - a pressure-free existence conducive to the attainment of good health and a positive mind-set. One hopes Andrulla will exhibit her most significant artwork to date - her body - on stage in the near future, for as the photos accompanying this interview suggest, her physique is a masterpiece.

    A Short Bio

    • Age: 37
    • Height: 5.3''
    • Off season weight: 145 lbs
    • Competition weight: Last Ms. Olympia I was 133 lbs.
    • Current residence: Connecticut, USA
    • Occupation: To have fun in life and help others at the same time. I also own Dowe Dynamics Gym in London together with Ian Dowe.
    • Martial status: Free!
    • Listens to: Classical music

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[ Q ] Andrulla. Describe how it feels to have won the premier women's bodybuilding title, the Ms Olympia, and what were some of the events leading up to this win which instilled within you the ability to go all the way?

    A: The achievement of winning the Ms. Olympia and what it means to me? Well, the truth is, I had no words to describe the feeling on the day of attaining this title. Floating, may be one, Wow, followed. I was in total disbelief because it was my dream and now I am living it out, it is an unbelievable feeling of utmost satisfaction, food for my soul.

    As I prepared for the event I was planning to come in looking the best ever. However, having had an unfair decision at my last show, I was sure that they would never award the title to me. Ah, then why do I do it you may ask!? Well for me and no one else. I chose to get in fantastic shape and was planning to make that my last show for a while regardless of the result. Anyway I did win. I was truly elated and floating on a cloud for at least three weeks.

    I'll tell you a funny thing, the night after the event, I went out for a nice celebration meal with my friend. We drank some wine, and floated some more. I went to bed late. In the middle of the night, I woke with my head facing the table, where I had kept all my rice-cakes and other carb-up foods. On seeing this food, I thought that I had to get up and start carbing. I had completely blanked out on the last evening's events.

    Then as I got up, I saw my big fat gold Ms. Olympia medal sitting there on the bedside cupboard! Wow, it was a nice feeling and also a great relief not to have to shove another dry rice-cake down my throat. That must been like the dream a lot of women bodybuilders out there experience while they're asleep

[ Q ] And some events leading up to your big win?

    A: I first began to lift the iron in 1986. I discovered the bodybuilding way of life by accident. In fact, as a kid, I had absolutely no idea that a way existed for which people could attain extra muscule. I was of the belief that you either had muscles or you didn't. Then at the age of eleven, I began taking Judo classes.

    I followed this discipline for eight years. In the area in which my family resided, there was much anger, and hate in the way of racism. My family background is Greek-Cypriot on my Mothers side, and a Mix of Portuguese/French Canadian on my Fathers. The bullies always picked upon my younger brother, for his skin-tone which was a strange phenomenon to us.

    As a family, I faced this for the very first time, when I was eight. I would fight with these boys out in the street to defend my brother. It was very frightening to think what happened, and how un-controllable it was. Kids could have easily got killed. Finding Judo, was a Godsend and became a way to nurture the anger and resentment I felt.

    Once I began Judo, I couldn't get enough of it. I quickly progressed through the belt system, finally achieving my 1st Dan (Black belt) at age 15. I was in the British National squad as a junior, and won many titles, including European and world accolades. I was very determined, and focused. I felt like I could do anything with a main goal of going to the Olympics.

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    I made the Olympic team, however Judo had not even become a demonstration sport as yet. By the age of 16, I lagged on my training, and concentrated much more on schoolwork, and exams. At this time I began to drift from judo, and more toward my books. I had another goal. I wished to become a doctor.

    I had an overwhelming feeling to help people. I wanted to get rid of disease, and for that matter death itself. Unfortunately interruptions came about, and I never carried forward with my academic studies, so university and any chance of further education went out the window at this stage.

    At eighteen years of age, I picked up my bags, and left home. I loved and respected my parents, but god knows, I couldn't bare to live with them. Strong personalities all around, caused conflict so I took the escape route and continued with Judo. Training seven days per week which included running, isometrics, stretching, and technique work. I envisioned a dream and that was to be the very best that I could be... to be an Olympic Champion.

[ Q ] How has your life changed since you won the Ms. Olympia, and how did you motivate yourself to get into the sort of shape required to win this contest?

    A: Life hasn't changed a lot. My family and friends still treat me the same but those who don't know me obviously treat me a little differently. My family is pleased for all my achievements.

    The key to becoming motivated is not a secret, it is available to everyone. They just have to go with it when they feel it and with whatever they have it for. It's called "passion". I purely enjoy bodybuilding deeply. I find much fulfillment from my workouts and look forward to seeing the results.

[ Q ] Any plans to compete this year?

    A: None. I took a step away to have a well earned rest. When I am ready and really hungry for it, then I will probably enter another Olympia.

    For now, I am working on the business end of the sport. I have my new website So, I am getting into good shape to make new pictures and videos for the web site and for shows. I also do modeling when the opportunity presents itself.

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    I am still very involved in the sport, and have been training with some clients (I do this, as it is more enjoyable than standing over a person and telling them what to do. It's much more motivating and fun).

[ Q ] Since you are not preparing to compete, what are some of your other goals?

    A: In life, I take it a day at a time. This includes some painting and drawing. Have had someone offer to have an exhibition for me, once I have enough pieces together. So I am working on that without a date set as I didn't want the pressure, because it takes away the pleasure if I have to rush.

    I have been traveling quite a bit. I love warm weather and have some dream of living or at least owning a little holiday home somewhere like in California or even Cyprus.

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[ Q ] Sounds nice!! Describe your current training style and routine.

    A: I train alternate days usually, but take another day off when I am tired or muscles still stiff. I train instinctive. Feel my body and work accordingly. No set reps or exercises. Varied and by feel. It can take 11 - 14 days to complete all of the body. Some areas recover faster than others and I take adequate rest.

[ Q ] What differences do you make come contest time?

    A: My training routine stays the same but the weights can sometimes drop due to low strength levels as the contests approaches. Also, I add in more cardio.

[ Q ] Any favorite exercises?

    A: I enjoy most exercises, especially the leg press, where I get to lie down (LOL). The gym is a playground for me and I enjoy trying out new machinery.

Andrulla At Her Playground.
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[ Q ] Where were you born, and where do you live now? What is the bodybuilding scene like where you currently live?

    A: I was born in London / England. I am in Long Island, NY at present where there are many gyms, not all which have serious bodybuilding clientele. I know that there are shows; these are more spread around the country.

[ Q ] Tell me about your first ever contest. How well did you do?

    A: In 1986 I won a small local contest in London. I also won my second contest, which had prize money of $100 for first place.

[ Q ] What are some of your other passions Andrulla?

    A: At present, I am spending a lot of time with two puppies (English Springer spaniels). I never felt a big connection with dogs, but that has really changed.

    I have always loved birds even from the time when I was a young child. I had a history of finding them and bringing them home to take care of them after they had gotten lost from falling out of their nests. I had a pet pigeon that used to sleep on my bed, and when he went out, would come and tap on the window to return inside the house. He fell out of a tree with his sister (my brother kept her).

    Birds for me are about Freedom. They rule in respect of having the ability to go anywhere and dwell there. They can fly, walk and swim. They are beautiful, and to listen to them first thing in the morning is enlivening. I prefer animals that I can be affectionate with. That's why cats hit the top of my list. Then you should see my two little tigers...

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[ Q ] Describe your current diet.

    A: At the moment, while I am not preparing for a contest, the present diet is:

      Breakfast: 5 egg white and 1 yolk omelet with spinach, half an avocado, 1 -2 slice of flaxseed bread, with sunflower butter and fruit jelly. Sweet-potato or baked plantain. Water and fruit tea, of decaf coffee.

      Lunch: Salad, various lettuces, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, olive oil and flax oil dressing. I also throw in a little vinegar and lentils

      Snack: Apple.

      Dinner: Salmon or another fish, if meat Veal or turkey. Asparagus or broccoli, green beans. Baked squash.

      Treat: Apple pie, or pumpkin pie with ice-cream or dairy cream.

      I have treats when I feel like it. Can be every day one week, and then none for the next week. Menstrual cycle also influences my sweet cravings; then I go for the chocolate box.

[ Q ] What is your view on supplementation and what are your favourite supplements?

[ Q ] How important is aerobic training as part of a bodybuilding program? Is it necessary in the off-season? Why?

    A: I never did it myself. Only when I wanted to reduce my body fat to get very defined I would do cardio work.

[ Q ] How do you feel about the state of women's bodybuilding today? Is it progressing in your view?

    A: I have no opinion on this. What is progress? We could discuss progress for hours. It's all a matter of how you view this. Also to put women's bodybuilding and classify as "IT". What is this "IT" exactly? I see individuals and not a category.

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[ D. Robson ] Thank you Andrulla.

    Andrulla Blanche: No problem David.