“My father was a bodybuilder in the early 50’s. In those days they had no real facilities and had to work out with weights they made themselves from empty cans and cement.” Nora Girones
Now, although Nora knew nothing about her father’s background in bodybuilding until she actually began to compete herself, you have to wonder whether the ‘bodybuilding gene’ was dormant in her system just awaiting an encounter with a gym to be activated. I mean as Nora herself points out it was a definite case of ‘love at first sight’ when she walked through the gym door. From that point onwards there was no holding her back and having made the switch from figure to bodybuilding a few years ago she appears to be making quite a name for herself on the scene.
Having received expert guidance from our very own Dave Palumbo Nora is now moving forward with a view to securing her Pro Card next year. Personally, after meeting her a few months back and now looking at these pics I can see nothing standing in her way of achieving Pro status in 2011.
So with that in mind, I think it is time we got to know Nora a little better…..
First of all, when did you start to get involved in the bodybuilding world?
“I started working out when I was 20 years old and I fell in love with bodybuilding the moment I first set foot in a gym. I saw all the photographs on the walls of competitive bodybuilders and I just knew that was what I wanted to be doing. I had no idea how it was going to happen. I just started to work out hard with a picture firmly etched in my mind of myself up on the stage. At that time I was going through a difficult situation in my life and training helped me feel stronger inside.”
Who would you say was the biggest source of inspiration to you back in the early days?
“Without a doubt Cory Everson and Anja Langer were my biggest sources of inspiration back then. They had, in my mind, the best physiques of any women competing at the time.”
You started as a figure competitor, what made you decide to switch to bodybuilding?
“Yes, I started as a figure competitor and competed in that division until three years ago. I really started gaining too much muscle for the figure class, added to this I also really wanted to get into the physique class so it was just a logical step in my case.”
When it came to changing your physique to adapt to the new class, which area was the hardest foryou to bring up to standard and how did you do it?
“Really the hardest part for me was to get that lean, ripped look. The rest wasn’t too difficult as gaining muscle was never a huge problem. I finally managed to get the lean look I wanted though by asking for Dave Palumbo’s help. He got me into my best shape ever!”
How do you split up your body parts when it comes to training and do you believe in doing cardio in
the off season?
“I used to do each body part once a week. However, I have now started working out with Sibil Peeter
and everything is completely different. I know that with her help I will be able to make great changes to
my physique and I am very grateful for the opportunity of working with her. As far as cardio is concerned yes, I do believe in doing cardio in the off season.”
How far away from contest condition do you allow yourself to get in the off season?
“I always try not to get too far away from contest weight in the off season. It makes things so mucheasier when it comes to dieting for a show. Also I don’t think it is necessary to put on a lot of extra weight in order to gain muscle…I think that whole idea is very outdated.”
How easy is it for you to get into that ultra-ripped contest condition?
“It has always been very hard for me to get totally ripped, that has, in fact, always been my greatest battle. This year though I got into top form in 16 weeks with Dave Palumbo’s help – and that was after surgery. I am now working to get even better for next year.”
What sort of diet do you currently follow?
“I have been doing the keto diet for a long time. However, now with Sibil it is a little different. My diet these days has more calories and a moderate amount of carbs. It seems to be working for me so far…”
When it comes to contest dieting how far out from a show do you begin and what is the hardest food for you to give up?
“I generally begin my contest diet at least four months before a show. That gives me plenty time to get into shape without over stressing my body. I am a great believer in slow and steady weight loss. Also, because I don’t let myself put on too much extra weight in the off season it is a little easier. In terms ofthe hardest food for me to give up, that would have to be cheese!”
When it comes to ‘leaning out’ for a show what area for you is the hardest to get into shape?
“The hardest area would have to be my legs. I have always had difficulty getting them ripped. I am trying a lot of new things now though so I believe it is just a matter of time…you will see, by the next time I get up on stage they will be ripped!”
Taking a step away from the bodybuilding world, what do you like to do in your spare time?
“Away from the sport I work as a coach and sports massage therapist as well as teaching Pilates
and giving spin classes. I like to use my time increasing my knowledge about training, nutrition and
everything related to my sport. I also love to listen to music while I read RX Muscle, chill out and
meditate while stretching. I like to play the guitar too and I love animals and nature. I have three cats
and plants all around my house.”
Is there anyone special in your life and if so how do they feel about your involvement in the sport?
“I am very lucky in that respect because everyone who is special to me in my life supports me in every aspect of the sport and understands how much it means to me.”
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of being a female bodybuilder when it comes to
dealing with the non bodybuilding public?
“Oh well that is easy to answer! I find it very hard to deal with people who just don’t understand the sport and make ignorant remarks due to their lack of education. I try to distance myself from such people.”
What are your goals both inside and outside of the sport?
“Next year I want to really focus on getting my pro card. My main goal is to obtain that and then live in the USA as a Pro for a while. Outside of the sport my goal is to be the best version of me I can possibly be…in all aspects of my life!”
by Leigh Penman