Jenny's success in the women's professional fitness arena could be considered a study in perseverance and determination. After turning pro at the 1999 NPC USA Fitness Championships, Jenny would compete each year at the Fitness International and Ms. Olympia, placing high at every outing, but not bringing the required package to win.
In 2005 that all changed, and Jenny walked away with the two biggest titles in women's fitness competition. She plans to continue her winning streak at the 2006 Fitness International, while building her successful Phat Camp business, where she uses her expertise to guide and mentor health conscious women of all ages and shapes.
Noted for her captivating routines and supreme conditioning, Jenny has made thousands of fans the world over. In the following interview, Jenny speaks about her recent successes, various plans she has and the methods she uses to become the best fitness competitor in the world.
[ Q ] 2005 was certainly your year, with wins at both the Fitness International and Ms. Olympia. How did it feel to achieve the highest honors in fitness competition, and how hard was it to make such a breakthrough?
A: It still feels amazing! It was one thing to win the Arnold, but to then pull off the Olympia was another, especially in the same year. I have waited a long time for this type of year. I have paid my dues and I have been beaten on days I am not really sure I should have been beaten. But honestly, it's been worth the wait. It has fired me up for the
Arnold 2006. Watch out, Columbus, here I come!
[ Q ] Describe the training program you used to prepare for your 2005 wins.
A: I trained the same as I always have, but my
cardio was a little different. I did, however, do lots of different programs and machines. I dieted hard and I think I finally figured out what works for my body and what doesn't. I finally figured out how the judges want me to look. But then I think it all boils down to my own personal life, spiritually.
I have taken a new leaf on life in many ways. So many things that preoccupied my time before don't even play a part now, and so on. I do believe in the power of prayer, and I do believe in a strong support system. I also think that I have become a little more selfish at times. To be the best, you have to be selfish - I guess.
[ Q ] Exactly how was your cardio different from previous contests?
A: I just did different machines and cardio classes. I spent more time
increasing the intensity of my cardio.
[ Q ] Could you elaborate on your spirituality? How does this help you as the contest draws near?
A: Again, I just believe in going out and having a good time. I have never done this sport to "
win". I have done it because I enjoy it, and I love performing. I did, however, want to be the most consistent pro in the sport, and indeed I have been.
Some people think placing 5th at the Olympia isn't that great. But it's the Olympia! It's an honor to even be on that stage. I mentally kept that mind set and I spiritually found the power in prayer. I have spent the last couple years really focusing on my relationship with God.
I have done lots of reading and gone back to church consistently. I had a personal life-changing experience and that gave me a reality check about my life as a person, a daughter, an athlete, friend, wife, and woman. Since then, my relationships are strong and my mind set is at ease. I am very confident when saying "what is meant to be, will be." Let God lead the way.
[ Q ] What else did you do differently compared to last year?
A: All these little things played a part. Again, nothing major was different other than getting rid of the negative influences in my life and focusing on the most important things for my life. I had a dream to realize, and I did it, and I did it my way - on my terms.
[ Q ] Describe the nutritional plan you used to win the Olympia.
A: Well, I ate nine meals per day. All very small, high
protein, very low
carb, and high sodium. I drank a ton more
slept 10-12 hours a day.
[ Q ] Will you defend your titles this year?
A: I am planning on taking the title one more time in Columbus at the Arnold. I have no comment on the Olympia 2006 as yet. I am still on a high from
2005, and I simply love competing in my home town. This will be my 7th Arnold Classic and I have nothing to lose. I have proven I am the best and now I just have to go out and fight for it again.
[ Q ] For you, what are the differences between the Arnold Classic and the Ms. Olympia?
A: Well, the Arnold Classic is in Columbus, Ohio. I have many friends and family there and it's so awesome performing in front of them.
It is a professional event and they make the athletes feel awesome. The Olympia is in Vegas and I love Vegas. It's hard for me to compete there because I love to gamble!
For me, Vegas is harder to compete at because there are more distractions. Both shows are great and I have really enjoyed growing up over the years by competing in these shows. Both titles are equal to me.
[ Q ] What else will your schedule include for 2006?
PHAT Camps, phat camps, phat camps! This is my calling in life. This is what I am meant to do. I absolutely feel complete by helping others succeed. There is nothing greater!
I will be traveling to three other countries and 12 cities in the U.S. I have very little time for vacationing and other things, but I don't care. These camps are like no other and living my passion is what it is all about. I have such a happiness for my job! I love to work and I love to travel and I love to make others happy.
[ Q ] Tell me more about your PHAT Camps?
A: Well, it is for everyone, honestly. I get
women of all different ages and sizes, and everyone has a different
goal to achieve. My camps are to help inspire and motivate women to be the best they can be. I invite all
athletes but it is not mandatory to be a competitor. You must want to work hard for two-and-a-half days and have a great time.
|WHAT'S YOUR GOAL?|
Phat camp is something I created and love doing, and all the women who have attended have had a wonderful time. They learn tons of new ideas for cooking, training, cardio and ways of thinking. This was a way for me to take my teaching degree and my years of teaching cheerleading camps and make a camp for women. I know there are a lot of camps out there, but none of them can touch what I do and my love for these women.
[ Q ] What will the average attendee learn from you over the PHAT Camp weekend?
A: You will get new
workout programs. New creative ways to do cardio. New ideas for
recipes and meal plans. You will learn to challenge yourself and it is a true test as to how hard people really work in the gym. I am one-on-one with the women for two-and-a-half days straight. I work hard to make sure they get all their questions answered.
To Learn More About Jen's PHAT Camps, Click Here.
[ Q ] The Arnold Fitness Fashion Show sounds exciting. Tell me more about this.
A: Well, this will be my 3rd year hosting it. It gets easier every year. I have a love for fashion and I am very organized, so I was asked by the
Arnold Classic Committee to put together their fashion show.
I am honored to host it and put it all together. There will be lots of new athletic clothing and lots of beautiful models to see. It will be on Sunday, March 5th, 2006 on the Expo stage at the Arnold Classic Weekend.
To Read About The 2006 Arnold Classic, Click Here.
[ Q ] What advice would you give to a women starting out in bodybuilding and fitness? What do they need to be aware of when planning a program?
A: I would recommend investing in someone with a 'name', someone who produces athletes already - you have to like what they offer. There are lots of good people out there in this industry that focus on the athletes. If you want to do it, do it right from the start. Don't waste a lot of time making mistakes and spending unnecessary money.
[ Q ] How did you get started in fitness competition?
A: My trainer and good friend
Mike Davies suggested I try it because I was graduating from college and college cheerleading, and I felt I was not physically complete.
Fitness was a great way for me to continue what I love doing - "performing". Weight training is made for me also - it's hardcore and rough. Growing up as a tom boy, I fit right in at the gym.
[ Q ] What is it about fitness competition you enjoy most?
A: Performing, and the challenge to out do myself from the last show. I want to get better and better. I love the sound of the fans in the audience, and I love the day of the show and all the adrenaline. I get fired up and absolutely thrive on competition!
|Jenny's Contest History.|
[ Q ] You have a background in cheerleading. Has this background helped you when preparing for fitness competition?
A: Absolutely. I was never a gymnast, but rather a cheerleader - and I will be forever. I am a great standing tumbler and I love to do all the facial expressions that go with performing. Cheering in front of crowds for years has prepared me for this time in my life.
|Jenny's Personal History.|
[ Q ] What other qualities must a good fitness competitor have?
A: Well, there are many. I don't think you have to be a former cheerleader or gymnast to be great in this sport. I don't think you have to have the perfect body, either. I think you do have to be a great person with patience, drive, and be humble. So many people get a big head and get way out of their league. I think you have to stay grounded and work hard. And I mean really hard.
I think you have to keep your mouth shut and take your lumps. No one hands you a damn thing in this sport. You want it bad enough then put up your dukes and fight for it. Stay true to who you are and don't let anyone in the sport change you. Have a sense of life after fitness. Nothing in this world is life or death, its a competition.
[ Q ] Describe the process of choreographing each routine. What goes into each performance and how far out do you start planning it?
A: Well, this is simple. Each girl is totally different. Each girl has different weaknesses and strengths. I simply watch what they are doing and then build a routine that suits them.
If they don't have a lot of skills then I get really creative and make it interesting. I think that there are some things that you can't avoid like similar transitions from routine to routine but other than that, I can make them each unique.
[ Q ] What makes you the best fitness competitor in the world?
A: Wow, that sounds awesome, thanks! You know I am very humble. I am a believer in knowing that there is more to life than winning. I value experiences, not trophies. I worked hard and I have never doubted myself once. I don't fear failure. I don't have a bad attitude when it doesn't go my way.
I share my strengths with others. I have the biggest and the best support system in the industry. I am loyal to myself and my family's values and I earned being number one my way.
[ Q ] Did any one person, or experience, inspire you to become a fitness champion?
A: Again, I have no one I have really looked up to. I inspire myself and I learn from mistakes. I am who I am because this is who God wanted me to be. My parents have played a big part in who I am. They raised me by hard work.
Coming from a middle class family of seven, we had to work hard for what we wanted. My parents spent their lives around us five kids. That, to me, is dedication and love. We had to make it on our own if we wanted to go to college. My parents made us earn it, they didn't hand it to us - which is great!
I was a champion the day I was born and the first day I competed, because when I put my mind to something I do it. So therefore, in my eyes, I am a champion every day of my life.
[ Q ] What hobbies and interests do you have?
A: I love lots of things. I love fishing. I
rock at fishing and have actually considered becoming a professional fisherwoman when this fitness career is over. I am interested in ballroom dancing also. Hmmm, we will see!
I love to be home just doing nothing with my husband. This doesn't happen very often. I love hanging with my friends for martini's. I love going to Vegas and gambling. I love hanging with my parents just shooting the sh*t. I love PHAT Camps.
[ Q ] Describe yourself in one sentence.
A: A strong, fun, loving woman of power and confidence, who is ready to inspire the world!
[ Q ] What are your long term fitness goals? Would you like to expand the PHAT Camps?
A: I have accomplished my long term goals of winning the Arnold Classic, being on the cover of
Oxygen (I will be on the cover in 2006) and winning the Olympia once. So now I might as well strive to win the Arnold one more time. What the h*ll! As for the camps, each year they grow and grow. I would love for them to be huge and I think they will be.
[ Q ] Is there anyone, or any sponsors, you would like to mention, or thank?
A: Wow, there are
so many people to thank! So many people, especially my parents, friends, family, and fans around the world who have played such a huge part in my life and my career. This is the support system you need to be number one. I need to thank Mike McCandless and Bulknutrition.com for their wonderful support over the past three years.
Click Image To Enlarge.
2005 Ms. Olympia Fitness, And 2005 Arnold
Classic Fitness International Winner.
They truly have been the best sponsor in my entire career. I would like to thank my husband for his complete support, keeping me grounded, and loving me through all the dieting. I love him dearly. Thank you to Mike Davies for the good and bad. Regardless, we are team that can not be reckoned with.
- Jim Lorimer
- Jim & J.M. Manion
- Jim Riggs of Schwartz Labs
- Brian Hill of Femme Athletic
- Terry and Elaine Goodlad
- Heather Bear
- Carla Sanchez
- and my Phat Camp staff.
Thank you to all the members of the NPC and IFBB. Also, thank you to:
Thank you to God for kicking me in the butt and inspiring me to move ahead.
| What Do IFBB And NPC Mean?
IFBB stands for the "International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness". Visit their website at http://www.ifbb.com/.
NPC stands for "National Physique Committee, Inc." Visit their website at http://www.npcnewsonline.com/.
Lastly, thank you to all the haters out there. You only pushed me to work harder and harder. Thank you!
[ David ] Thank you Jen, all the best with your career.
Jen: Thank you for the interview, David!