Texas Titan: An Interview With Pro Bodybuilder Bonny Priest.

New IFBB pro and heavyweight and overall USA Champion has been hard at work at her gym in San Angelo, Texas getting ready for the 2005 season...

New IFBB pro and heavyweight and overall USA Champion has been hard at work at her gym in San Angelo, Texas getting ready for the 2005 season.

At a very young age of 12 years old...Bonny dreamed of being a bodybuilder. She loved to look at the fitness magazines. Now she's in them. Bonny and I hooked up for a talk about her plans and women's bodybuilding.

[ Q ] OK here we go Bonny. Where I train? I understand you have a big PT business, tell us about it?

    A: I workout at the gym that my husband, Alan, and I own, The Fitness Zone. I am a certified personal trainer who trains people with lots of different fitness levels, goals & needs.

    I don't know if I'd call it big or not, but I usually personally train a total of about 7-10 women all during the day. I usually start at about 7:00am and the last client leaves around 6:30pm. It's long days, but the money is pretty good.

    I trully enjoy helping people. I love to see them get results that they never thought they could achieve or at least couldn't achieve by themselves. Them being happy, makes me happy.

    I never train men (I leave that up to my husband) and I also don't ever train bodybuilders (I leave that up to him as well). When it comes to contest prep for other people, he and I work with them together as well as posing and posing routines. I've got a couple of clients who are figure competitors, but the rest of them are just normal people trying to get in shape. Some for the first times in their lives and others who just want to get back in shape and get lean.

[ Q ] How long have you been competing?

    A: I've been competing since 1997. I did my first show after I'd been training for a little over a year. I competed in 5 shows before I turned pro in 2003. Since then, I've been in 3 pro shows. You know, it's been really strange too.

    In 2002 I had to requalify for Nationals where I won the overall, the next show was Nationals where I placed 7th, the USA was in 2003 where I won the overall, then the 2004 Ms. International where I tied for 7th, then the SW Pro Cup (won the overall), then the Ms. O...where oddly enough, I placed 7th again. Seems a little funny, but oh well. I plan on taking some time off from contests until September 2005. I need to make some much needed improvements.

[ Q ] Has things changed for you when you turned pro?

    A: No changes really. The only thing is maybe is just getting a little more recognition (not locally though) and publicity. It has really helped business for our gym. Otherwise, it's the same old grind everyday. Train clients in the morning, go to lunch, train another client, workout, train more clients and go home.

[ Q ] Are you orginally from Texas?

    A: I was born south Texas, raised in central Texas, and now live in west Texas.

[ Q ] What do you like most about bodybuilding?

    A: You know, bodybuilding or should I say the love of bodybuilding is sometimes hard to explain. It's kind of a love/hate relationship. I love competing, but I hate dieting and cardio. I love the muscles and the strength, but I hate working most bodyparts. I love the way bodybuilders' bodies look, but hate trying find clothes that fit properly.

    Of course, the biggest hate is the money. You spend a lot and get back very little (just like in your letter to MMI). But...you have to overlook the hates and do it for the love of the sport. The only time it's trully comfortable and fun is at a show when you're around other bodybuilders. Otherwise, I tend to stay pretty covered up. It is just easier.

[ Q ] Are you married or is there a significant other?

    A: I've been happily married to Alan Anderson for almost 7 years.

[ Q ] Yeah, I tend to cover up very well, and I hate it. So what's your opinon do you think its us girls hurting our sport or the industry itself?

    A: Honestly, I think it might be a little bit of one and a lot of another. Some girls tend to take bodybuilding WAAAAYYYY too seriously. Like it's do or die. They try to move up the ranks as fast as possible and only end up hurting themselves. I'm not saying that I'm an advocate of muscle enhancement supplements (gear), but we all know who does and who doesn't.

    I know that it can be a necessary evil in our sport, but some of the women take it too far. They do no research or take advice from the wrong people and then all of a sudden their not feminine any more. It just looks a little too obvious.

    In my opinion, it's smart to keep people guessing about that sort of stuff. The "sessions" that a lot of the women do...well I don't think it hurts the sport, but it can give a certain stereotype to women's bodybuilding that may not be so good.

    The big one though is trully the industry itself. There are too many people against women's bb'ing. It becomes hard to battle all the negativity. We don't have the same amount of shows, we don't make a fraction of the prize money, we don't get a fraction of the publicity and contest coverage, etc.

    How can our sport become even a little more popular (not even mainstream) if we have no support from the bigwigs of the industry? Take a look at all the pro figure contests for 2005 and then take a look at women's bb'ing. It's really a shame.

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[ Q ] Since you added in you're taking time off until the September 2005 for competition, what's your off-season training look like?

    A: I just try to go heavy and pretty basic, but use the time to also focus on the body parts that need to be brought up. I don't do any cardio and eat fairly clean during the week.

[ Q ] What are your favorite supplements?

    A: My husband and I both use a lot of Beverly International products. I use about a half dozen of their products. In our opinion, it's the best money can buy.

[ Q ] Bonny what's next for 2005?

    A: My original idea was to sit out from competition until later in the season. I was planning on growing a little and trying to bring up some of my weaker body parts. I'll still be working on that, but with the new mandate from the IFBB & AMI, I'm not sure what I really need to do. They are wanting all female bodybuilders, fitness, and figure competitors to drop 20% of their muscularity.

    We're not exactly sure what that even means, so I guess I'll wait until the first two shows of the year and see what they've done. I guess then, I'll have to follow suit.

[ Q ] Don't follow suite to do what they want. It will only hurt you mentally and physically. Just like my Editorial in Musclemag said, the bodybuilding ho-dos are messing with female bodybuilding again. 20% of "muscle" Well, how do we do that? Sorry you lost your show today you where not at 20% muscle loss. What kind of crock is that?

    A: Sorry, I'm off again.

[ Q ] Bonny, do you have a web site for others to contact you?

    A: My web site address is www.bonnypriest.us. Let me know if you need any other info!


Thanks Bonny. Good luck in 2005!