A Pro figure competitor since 2006, Heather Mae French seems to have her life pretty much together…Personal Trainer, model, mother, Species Nutrition sponsored athlete…she is certainly a source of inspiration to both established and up and coming athletes.
I managed to get her on a rare ‘time-out’ and decided to find out a little more about what it means to be Heather Mae French. What got her into this sport, what keeps her going and what plans she has for the future….
So, first of all, I have to ask you what inspired you to become involved in bodybuilding/fitness training.
“I remember sitting in ‘Barnes & Noble’ reading all the fitness magazines wondering if I could be ‘that girl’… not necessarily the one in the picture but the one who shined with confidence, the one that looked so fit and happy…the girl that had it all figured out. By this time I was about 24 and I thought that I should try to get in shape, maybe this would help my confidence”.
I have heard that you were a ‘TV exerciser’ before you joined a gym…
“I watched “Getting Fit with Denise Austin” on Lifetime and soon after that I bought little 2 & 5 lb dumbbells and the VHS tapes of “Tammy Lee Webb Abs & Buns of Steel.” Let me tell you I still break those out and die!”
Where do you currently train?
“Armbrust Pro Gym 4240 Kipling St. Wheatridge www.armbrustprogym.com
You are a single mom and you have a full time job….is it difficult for you to fit in the time (and have the energy) to get to the gym?
“Yes! No doubt I have nights where I’m tired and can give every excuse in the book not to get to the gym. But then I remember all the people that support me, stand behind me and the other girls getting the job done. Also B6 & B12 help a lot!”
Contest prep must be challenging with your hectic schedule….
“It’s not too bad. Honestly I am great with food because I can’t cook to safe my life so preparing food is very simple and bland. Maybe that’s why dieting is fairly easy for me. What gets to me is having to work full time, have my daughter in full time sports (soccer & dance), getting my two 50 min cardio sessions completed, and making sure I have the energy to lift smart in the gym!”
You are also heavily involved in the Lingerie Football League. Can you tell us a bit more about that and how it got started?
“My current trainer asked me to try out for the league after the 2009 Arnold. I made the team as a starting running back for the Denver Dream and played in the first game (Even with two sprained ankles). Thereafter due to my involvement with the IFBB, the owner decided being in both sports was a conflicting interest since I could not play the Sept 25th Dallas vs. Denver Game. So on the night Denver Dream played in Dallas, I placed 3rd at the 2009 Ms. Figure Olympia. I feel my decision was well chosen!”
Oh, and what are these Bulgarian Training Bag workouts I see you are involved in?
“My coach met up with retired navy seal former BUDS Instructor, Stephen Nave and decided to bring a new form of training to my game! The bag was developed by Ivan Ivanov; an Olympic Wrestling Coach It is the ultimate fitness tool for both serious Olympic caliber athletes and the average fitness enthusiast. If you’re looking for a method of training that maximizes your strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness, mobility and overall explosiveness you can’t get any better than this. You can find out more by going to www.stephennave.com.
You stay pretty close to contest shape all year…is this difficult or easy for you and what diet ratios, meal plan do you favor?
“It’s pretty easy. I make sure during off season to eat more carbs and proteins. I like eating Oatmeal, Rice, Yams, Chicken, Fish and Broccoli or Asparagus. I eat about 6-7 meals per day. Each meal has 1:1 ratio of carbs and protein. My main fats come from Macadamia Nut Oil and almonds.”
What supplements do you use?
“I use Species Nutrition supplements exclusively. This includes ISOLYZE (100% Whey Protein Isolate), LIPOLYZE and SOMALYZE as fat burners, CARBOLYZE as a carbohydrate supplement, FIBERLYZE to add extra fiber to my diet, OMEGALYZE and MAC NUT OIL for essential fatty acids, CREALYZE for a great creatine supplement that does not upset your stomach and AQUALYZE as a herbal diuretic.”
What does your off- season training schedule look like?
“I stay pretty close to the same training style off and on season. Legs are couple days a week high rep/light weight, Shoulders once a week high rep/light weight, Back, Biceps and Triceps twice a week low reps/heavy weight.”
Do you do cardio year round or just pre- contest?
“I do cardio 4 mornings per week for 45 min. 2-3 nights per week for 35 min”
In last year’s Olympia you placed a very impressive third….how was the whole Olympia experience for you?
“Gosh…an athlete never knows what to expect. You always want to do your very best! I go into every show expecting last place, which is still an accomplishment within the Pro ranks. I always tell myself ‘hope for the best, expect the last place’.
Every show there are more amazing girls that are up and coming and the minute you begin expecting a high placing you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. So, rather than be upset, I am always happy with every outcome no matter what it might be. I take each event and learn from it and find where I can make improvements. These improvements are not always related to my physique. They may involve learning new business and marketing techniques as well as meeting new people who may be of help to me in the future.”
You recently had a photo shoot with ‘M&F Hers’…how did that go and are you planning more magazine photo shoots?
“I was called to shoot with ‘M&F Hers’ which was such a surreal experience. I have always wanted the opportunity to shoot with a publication on assignment and it actually happened! The whole experience was so professional …the planning, makeup, hair, location, photographer, lighting, clothes stylist, trainer… I could go on and on. I want to thank FMG for their help in setting up and Body Sport Model workshop for teaching me all the little things that I would have been so nervous about otherwise. We shot an entire work out using this new style medicine ball and then I was given the opportunity for a “Test Cover” try.”
You have also recently upgraded your website www.heathermaefrench.com What changes have you made?
“Yes, and I have to thank Sun God Graphics for all their help! I really wanted a more functional website where I could make regular posts and be more available to my fans and clients. I feel with the upgrades I have achieved that… but I am always open to new ideas and items to add.”
What do you do to relax away from the sport?
“I love watching movies! Sometimes I rent 5 movies on a Sunday and my daughter and I hang out in our sweats and pretty much don’t move all day!! Watching Autumn in her sports is so much fun also!”
Do you offer Personal Training and Nutrition services? How can people contact you for those?
“Yes definitely I offer both. On my homepage you can find an icon for training and nutrition and all the details are listed. I am so thrilled to say that I recently started a Team for Figure, Fitness & Bikini- Team Xposed. In our last show (NPC Rocky Mountain Cyto Charge Show) over 10 athletes on Team Xposed competed and rocked the House! We went away with three 1st places, 3 overall awards, 2nds, 3rds, 4ths and 5th placing awards. You can find pics on my homepage under Team Xposed Members icon.”
What do you have planned for the future and what is your ultimate goal in the sport?
“I have begun writing a book and have been focusing on helping others. As long as I have the opportunity of inspiring other women and, if by hearing my story they realize that dreams can come true, then I have attained my goal.”