With near-perfect shape and size, as rewarded with a six place finish at last year's Ms. Olympia, 2006's most improved female bodybuilder, Lisa Aukland, is an Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic frontrunner.
With a passion for powerlifting it is not hard to see where Lisa acquired the dense muscle she has become famous for. With her latest improvements - back and mid-section being main areas - she should have no problem securing a top placing at this year's Arnold.
With one pro win behind her - the Atlantic City Pro - Lisa could be in the line for a second, come March 2. Her 5th invite in as many years, the Arnold stage is familiar territory for Lisa. As she makes her way through the ranks, one thing is for sure: she will do her best to again hit this year's Olympia stage. And that means trouble for her competition.
In the following interview Lisa discusses her Arnold plans and how she has become one of the best in the business.
[ Q ] You won the 2006 Atlantic City Pro and placed a respectable fifth at the Olympia the same year. Do you think 2007 will be an even better year for you? Why?
So far I have continued to improve every year. I have no reason to believe this year will be any different. I still train with the same, if not more of the kind of passion and dedication that has brought me this far.
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Lisa At The 2006 Atlantic City Pro.
View More Pics From The 2006 Atlantic City Pro Here.
[ Q ] What physical improvements have you made since 2006?
I have made improvements in my back and midsection that have given me an overall better shape.
[ Q ] How did it feel to win the "Flex Most Improved Female Bodybuilder Of The Year" award? Was 2006 your best year as a competitor? Why?
That award was such a pleasant surprise! To be recognized for your hard work in front of a group of your peers is a feeling that is hard to quantify. It was certainly an honour I would not trade for anything.
Yes, 2006 was my best year as a Pro by far. I feel very fortunate for my experiences in this sport. Some Pro's will go their whole career and not ever win a Pro show or ever be invited to the Arnold. In 2006 I won my first Pro show, placed 5th at the Olympia and was invited for the 5th time to the Arnold/Ms. International. I don't take anything for granted and I am very happy to be where I am.
[ Q ] I understand you also power lift? How has this helped you as a bodybuilder?
Powerlifting was an important beginning in weight training for several reasons. Powerlifting taught me the fundamentals of weight lifting. I discovered technique was crucial to getting the big lifts and to avoid injuries.
I also learned discipline and consistency are essential in order to reach a goal. These factors have carried over into my bodybuilding career. Power lifting has also helped me develop a great foundation from which I have built upon.
[ Q ] How are you looking right now? Are you on target for a good showing at the Arnold Classic?
I am actually ahead of schedule. I came in early so I will "coast" until the show. I'd rather be ready the week of the show but better two weeks early than two weeks late!
[ Q ] Who do you see as being your biggest competition at the Arnold and how do you plan to overcome this?
I see all the women as my competition - I don't rule anyone out... ever. You never know who will come in top shape, or out of shape and that can completely change the outcome of the show. This past Olympia is a good example. Surprisingly several top women placed out of the top five. I just plan on coming to the show polished and ready to rumble!
[ Q ] How would you describe your physique? What are your strengths as a competitor?
I think my strength is not having any outstanding body parts. I believe my physique to be rather symmetrical in that respect. I don't want to be known as the one with the best biceps or the best abs - I'd rather have everything flow into a neat, pleasing look with nothing overpowering.
[ Q ] Describe the training program you have used to prepare for the 2007 Arnold?
I train five days a week with one main body part per day- legs, shoulders, back, chest, and arms. Abdominals are done on three of those days. Aggressive cross training is done on my two days off and cardio sessions are done one to two times a day morning and night after training. I also work a full time job so time management is essential!
[ Q ] How would you describe your current diet?
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Just yummy! No, seriously I am ready for some pizza immediately after the show. I need some carbs! My diet is the usual high protein, low carb bodybuilding diet. I add in fats in the form of flax oil and walnuts.
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I eat eight small meals throughout the day. Carbs are taken in the morning after cardio and before and after training. My favorite proteins include orange roughie, buffalo, turkey and ostrich meat, although I also get a lot of egg whites and chicken. When you eat so much protein, variety is crucial.
[ Q ] Have you made any changes to your training and diet since your last show? If so, what have these been and why did you make them?
My diet is always changing in substance so no real changes there. In my training I have added more cross-training programs. I include everything from sprints to Pilates. I am doing more stretching and flexibility moves than I ever have and that is mainly because I feel I am lacking in those areas. I am always trying to improve myself in any way possible.
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Lisa Aukland & Betty Pariso.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.
[ Q ] How do you expect to place at the Arnold? - Any predictions at this point?
Well obviously it is up to what the judges feel is a good look, but I will say my conditioning now is superior to my last show. We will see what happens.
[ Q ] Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Of course I have to thank my husband, Tom, for not only putting up with all this craziness, but for supporting me every inch of the way. He is my rock. God bless him.
I thank my family, friends and fans who actually understand my passion for the sport even when I may lose sight. Also my poor, poor training partner Mike Rossellini on whom I beat up every workout (he checks his ego at the door!), my trainer Mike Davies who gives me crazy and varied workouts and diets, and my sponsors Schwartz Labs and APT Pro Lifting Gear.
... and thank you David for the interview.