GINA QUINN…THE HEART OF A CHAMPION by Lee Penman
GINA QUINN…THE HEART OF A CHAMPION
by Lee Penman
Gina Quinn may be new to the Pro ranks but when she sets foot on stage in Hartford this weekend there will be no doubts whatsoever that she BELONGS in that line-up. She may have come to the sport later in life than some athletes but her grit and determination has seen her rise through the ranks at meteoric speed. Gina is indeed living proof that it’s never too late to find your passion and follow your dreams. So, as she prepares to do battle for the first time as a Pro, I thought it was a good time to take a look at what has been going on in Gina’s world these past few months….
The last time I interviewed you it was just after you had won your Pro Card, so what have you been up to since then?
“After my win it was a case of straight back to the drawing board this isn’t a sport where you can afford to take too much time out. So, I took a few days off and then returned to the gym as usual.”
Of course for a lot of people reading this, Pro status is still a distant dream. Has it changed anything about the way you approach this, your first contest as a Pro? For example your mindset going into it etc?
“My diet and training over the past 5 years has taken me far……so why change a good thing. My goal has always been to get a little better each year. I feel I have done that and continue to be motivated by my progress. The mindset is simple….there are things I can control and things I cannot control. I stay focused on what I can control….my diet and training. Winning the overall as a light weight and earning a Pro card doesn’t happen often. I am still thrilled now 1 year later. But the reality is I will be one of the smallest girls on the stage as there are no weight classes at the Pro level. This is something I have no control over and spend no energy worrying about. My focus is on bringing my best conditioning and improving my posing each time.”
So how has your training been going in general this year and what areas have you been focusing your attention on?
“It has been a good year. I feel I have gotten stronger and have put more size on my upper body. Symmetry is key. For me, bringing out my lats will help to make my waist look smaller. The proof is in the pictures and I hoping that is what they will reveal this year.”
What training tactics have you been employing to bring your lats up?
“They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I looked at one of Iris Kyle’s training videos and she does pull-ups as a warm up before every upper body workout. I don’t think anyone would argue that that is a great exercise for the lats and, if it’s good enough for Iris, it’s good enough for me!”
As we discovered before, you came into the sport fairly late in life, any regrets that you didn’t make the move sooner?
“You always hear that you reach muscle maturity in your forties. For those who have been training 20 years….that is true. I didn’t step into the gym until I was forty…so I can’t help but wonder how my body would look today if I started training in my twenties. But things happen for a reason. Although the reason is not always clear – or may take a lifetime to understand. I am very happy to be on this journey and see it as an evolving lifestyle.”
How do your kids feel about having a Pro Bodybuilder as a mom? Do they get a lot of questions from the other kids at school?
“To my kids I am just their mother trying to get them to eat healthy foods that they don’t like. I think they appreciate that I am different from their friend’s mothers….but they don’t want me to stand out too much. My oldest son’s friends are curious about how much I can bench press. But what I think is the funniest is when he tells me I scare the shit out of his friends!”
When it comes to the sport of women’s bodybuilding itself, do you think it will stay strong?
”I mean there are some people who would say it is fading. There has been a lot of talk about that this year. I would hate to see it go away. I don’t think the interest in women’s bodybuilding is any less today than it ever has been. I think a lot of people would be disappointed to see it go. I’m hoping the number of women turning out to compete this year speaks for itself and keeps it alive.”
Turning our attention to contest prep….how far out from this show did you begin the dreaded contest diet?
“I usually start to get my head in the game around 20 weeks out. That means no more picking on the kids pizza crust and having a taste of this and that ‘kid food’ that is always in the house. It has been a long contest prep. Slow in the beginning… so I have been eating mostly white fish, egg whites and veggies.”
What is the hardest thing for you to give up when it comes to putting that diet together?
“It is not just one thing….its knowing I can’t have a taste of this or that. It’s not getting to have anything extra when I’m still hungry. It is getting to the point when that mental toughness sets in that is the hardest…from there it’s a little easier.”
Could you give us an example of a typical day’s diet right now?
“I start every morning with a cup of egg whites and broccoli-slaw omelet. Next meal is usually 4oz. of white fish and veggies. I alternate those meals throughout the day for a total of 5 meals.”
How about your workouts, how have you switched those up?
“I train 6 days a week….2 days on legs. 1 hour of cardio first thing in the morning. Then I have breakfast and go to the gym. The day ends with another hour of cardio. I always train as hard as I can throughout the year.”
In these final days before the show, what is going through your mind and what do you hope to achieve this time out?
“I am very happy with my conditioning right now. My focus is on posing and showing the results of my hard work. What is most important to me is that I present myself as a Pro.”
Finally, with an eye on the future, Gina Quinn, five years from now….where do you see yourself?
“I hope to be doing the same thing I am right now…training hard, getting better and competing!”
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