One of my favorite fitness competitors is back to the Arnold stage despite her saying she was retiring in 2007. She's known for her routines and this year will sure to repeat. Jen's not letting us in on what she'll be doing for her routine but she was kind enough to answer a few questions less than one week from hitting the Arnold stage again.
[ Q ] You've been here a time or two before, the Arnold that is. Does the feeling of competing in your home state ever get old?
NEVER! Columbus, OHIO motivates me. I have so many fans, family, and friends coming. I cannot wait. I can't believe this is the 9th Arnold. I am making history right??? I plan on making this the funniest one of them all.
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Jen Hendershott At The 2008 Olympia.
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[ Q ] Any insight on what we'll see in your routine?
No, but your jaws will drop! I am dedicating my performance at the Arnold to my good friend Rhoda who died in November of cancer. The actual theme of my routine is funny but it also has a serious side and reason for doing it.
After the show or at the show I will share the explanation of the theme. Rhoda was a dear client and friend of mine that I have helped raise money for and was a huge part of the Phat Camp and Hendershott family. She is dearly missed, but myself, friends, and family will be honoring her Friday night.
[ Q ] How do you continue to have fun with competing?
Keep it all in perspective. Don't focus on winning but focus on being better than last time. Then if I win it's more exciting and I am not let down. I think in a sport that is subjective you have to be realistic or you will not last. This is a business and that is the way you have to treat it.
[ Q ] Do you feel being a veteran to the stage helps you or hurts you when it comes to the final placings?
Totally helps being a veteran. Having the experience is something you cannot teach someone. It all comes through the years. I would hope that my dedication and loyalty to the IFBB would be respected in the end at the final placing.
I plan to look my best and be my best but the final decision is out of my control. I respect the judges and hope they respect me back. I know that winning is not everything but this time I am going to say, I am not going for 2nd place, I deserve 1st. I am committed and in this industry commitment is hard to find in athletes.
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Jen Hendershott At The 2008 Olympia.
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[ Q ] Have you done anything differently for this year's Arnold prep?
I have done lots of new things and some old. All I can say is that I am in a GREAT place in my life. You have to have the things in your life like marriage, job, friendships, your environment etc... all in the right place to be your best. If you are struggling in one thing, it can affect you. I am fortunate to have lots of good things going on and a great amount of good people around me.
[ Q ] Some may not know this but you've been traveling and conducting Phat camps during this prep. How are you able to do that when prepping for a show?
EASY... the busier I am the better I am. WHY? Because all I think about is food!!! So when I am busy I am focused on running my businesses and working so I am less likely to cheat on my diet. This time has been very busy again - I thrive on the challenge of balancing a busy lifestyle. No need to worry. I am ready!
[ Q ] You don't feel you need to be one of those competitors who hibernates and only goes for the gym and gymnastics?
Well, believe it or not; THERE is MORE TO LIFE THAN THE GYM. I am an individual who loves her life. I am blessed with some many things and opportunities. Life is to short to hibernate, hibernating to me is taking this all way to serious. You have to have a life and you have to know how to balance competing, work, family, marriage, and friendship or you become to self-absorbed.
[ Q ] Have you always been balanced with contest prep and business or did it take some hard lessons to find that?
Nope. I have always been like this. My parents are both workaholics and so am I. I guess there are worse things you could be addicted too. I have always worked hard for what I want and I have always wanted more out of life, so I have always balanced my life so I can make it all happen.
[ Q ] Ruth Silverman, who is a writer for Ironman Magazine predicted you to place third in the show. What do you think about that?
I think that SUCKS! Ruth is a friend of mine and I adore her, however, she also use to think Kelly Ryan would win every show, but she didn't. So I will let another bad prediction slide and tell Ruth, I still love ya.
[ Q ] Do you find yourself getting annoyed by people like me who say things about your physique, routines or predict certain placings?
Not really opinions are like butt cracks everyone has one. I have an opinion and I don't think anyone really cares what I think so I really don't care what others think. YOU either like me or hate me. Magazines, websites, etc... are just doing their jobs.
[ Q ] Who do you think is bringing something great to the stage in terms of routines in the pro ranks?
Oh geez, honestly I don't really pay that much attention to anyone else. I will say this. EVERYONE coming up is obviously a little less experienced or a little younger. I just know that I always have to be as good or better because there are more great women working hard to catch up to me.
[ Q ] Are you a fan of what Oksana Grishina brought to the Olympia stage with her routine?
Ok, I only saw a little of this routine. What I saw was beautiful, but very slow! I would love to see her routine faster with the same movements and beauty. I already know that there is a slower trend starting and I don't think fitness should go that way.
Oksana is the only person I have ever seen move that slow that moves that gracefully. I don't think or I hope NO one tries to do what she is doing, this is her thing. Everyone has their own way of performing and I personally think its to hard to compare her routine to someone like mine. They are not in same league. WE both bring two different styles and that is hard to judge.
[ Q ] Some people say doing a slow routine is harder others say it is easier? H-ll I think any of them are amazing but in your opinion is it tougher to do a high energy routine like yours?
I want to see the people who have anything to say about performing a routine do a damn routine. ARE you kidding me. Slow or fast it is not easy. However, FITNESS is what this is called. Its not a gymnastics meet or a ballet competition, its FITNESS.
It should be athletic, high energy, non stop, and entertaining. I remember back in the day I took 3 steps between 2 moves in a routine and I was told later that I walked to much in my routine. ARE YOU KIDDING me. If this is the case then NO one knows what they want, fast or slow?
[ Q ] Do you feel the routines have gotten better, stayed the same or gone down in recent years?
I think some individuals have gotten better. Some have gone the opposite direction. I would like to see the routines get more challenging. I would like for some of the girls to come out of their comfort zone and try to do bigger things.
[ Q ] Who motivates you?
My Phat Camp Fans, my staff, my ability to impact women to compete, and myself. I am happy, healthy, and able, so do it.
[ Q ] What inspires Jen Hen to keep doing her thang?
I would say again, "the ability to say I can." I love performing the most. I have some amazing friends in the sport that I love seeing at each show. I love the fact that I am a role model for women who want to be bigger and better. I am just JEN and I can inspire myself to do anything if I truly care about it.
[ Q ] Why are you a better competitor than your biggest rival on this stage, Kim Klein?
HUMMMMMM, interesting question and simple. I have paid my dues and I have worked EXTRA hard this time. I will be the most deserving and I will have the better package!
[ Q ] Now you spouted off last year after the Arnold and said you were retiring. Will you spew similar bologna this year or will we see you on the Olympia stage in September?
[ Q ] Will you ever compete in figure or when you leave the fitness stage you're done?
[ Q ] You didn't try to pull a Lee Priest and off yourself after the Buckeyes lost in college football this year did you?
NOW you really have me laughing. The Buckeyes. OH MY! We can't get a break can we!
[ Q ] Did you eat endless amounts of chocolate to cope with their defeat?
No, I was dieting and have been dieting a LONG time. I kinda have no idea what day it is, or month... when is the show???
[ Q ] Where can fans find you at the Arnold Expo?
At the Phat Camp booth, #1205. I hope everyone will stop by and say hello! Come take a picture with me!
[ Q ] Anyone you want to thank?
There are so many people. First all, my husband; it takes an amazing man to stick with someone for 10 years with all the dieting, training, and cardio. He is a true Gem. I am blessed!
My staff for being with me every day, pushing me, and making me the best I can be. My parents, in-laws, and brothers for their endless love. Mr. Lorimer and his staff for the opportunity to take part in this years 20th Anniversary of the Arnold Classic.
The IFBB for teaching me so much about life, business, competing and myself. Mike Davies for his friendship and coaching. iSatori and Stephen Adele for my awesome contract and support. Stretchalicious.com and Femmeathletic.com for their great support.
Lastly, all my friends (like you Isaac), fans, and phat camp family for sticking by me and loving me NO matter what. I love you all.
[ Q ] Where can people find more information on you and your upcoming PHAT camps?
[ Q ] Thanks Jen. I know you won't disappoint your fans. With a kick @ss routine you're my pick to find yourself in the winner's circle. Thanks for taking the time to share a bit of what's going on with you less than one week from the show.