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Monica Brant Interview

Article care of www.star-interviews.com

DON: Hi Monica, to start off with, I want to know what ONE interview you did in the past that you were most proud of and when was the last one, besides this of course?
MONICA: I don't think any of them out rule the others. I always enjoy talking to people and giving others hope and encouragement for themselves.  I have done many interviews in the past 5 years.. but the most recent one was done for a new magazine called Energy.  I think it is only on the East Coast for now.

DON: What can you tell me about your body and the shape you are in that you think most people do not know.
MONICA: AAAhhhh, not much!!! Hee! Hee! I am too modest to talk about my body!  BUT.. I can tell you that most people think I am bigger and taller than I really am. I think the pictures in mags tend to make people appear bigger... more buff. But anyways, I am only 5'4" and weigh about 130 TOPS, unless I am home eating Grandma's awesome food!!!

DON: Per the fitness industry, tell me the best, and the worst experience you have ever had. Maybe the experience was actually with another person or happened to a friend.
MONICA: I honestly haven't had any bad experiences!  My trips are usually really smooth.  I plan very well, have contracts and know what is expected of me prior to my jobs.  The worst things happen in my dreams, for example, I dream that I show up to my contest without having prepared or tanned or
missing outfits... I wake up all stressed out!

DON: At that point in the gme it is natural if you feel your life is out of control. Next, tell me about the different fad diets you have tried. Could you figure out why they failed? What REALLY works?
MONICA: I never have tried  FAD diets!  I started training and learning about nutrition in 1991 and have somewhat learned what works for me since!  What really works is training consistently, eating clean with my foods carefully split up.  I try to stay away from starchy carbs at night and sugar as much as I can!! I think this form of eating really works good for most people!!!  I get headaches without carbs all together, so I am not into low carb plans!  I don't have a real big sweet tooth, but occasionally I have to have what I am craving!!! Protein is good.

DON: What routine exercise is your favorite? Do you like split routines, full body workouts, and what really showed the best results?
MONICA: I have to fit my training around my traveling, so whenever I can get it in is the best time for me! Nowadays I do chest, triceps, abs and legs one day and back, rear delts, biceps, shoulders another.  BUT I have been known to scramble up that up too! I go with how I feel and where I am.  I try to do cardio (running is my fave)  a few times weekly, mostly for fat burning, but also mental relaxation, and stress release!!!

DON: What was your last session like?
MONICA: My last workout session was a series of different push-ups for chest and some light incline dumbbell presses and flies, all high reps!  Oh, also I did triceps with rope push downs, tricep close grip push-ups, and bench presses.

DON: What was the last movie you saw, video rented, CD bought, concert saw, fancy meal ate?
MONICA: Me, Myself, and Irene... (funny), the video, can't remember!!  Faith Hill (Breathe)... No concerts in years. The last was Melissa Etheridge in `92 where I ended up falling asleep for a moment. I was SO exhausted!!!

DON: What supplement lines do you use besides what you endorse?

DON: What one thing should never be neglected (or more than one)?
MONICA: I think multivitamins and some minerals should never be neglected! Universal Nutrition makes a great package for women named Women's Fitness Pak that comes with special paks for that special monthly visit!!!

DON: What got you started in weight training?
MONICA: I started in `91 with training and nutrition... An exboyfriend got me interested and then I saw photos of Marla Duncan  and began competing in Fitness with my first show a few months after.

DON: When did you first pay attention to diet? Many people still think drugs or exercise is all you need and they tend to ignore trying to eat right.
MONICA: You are correct about that last statement, and I know from experience that it takes a clean, good diet to grow and get lean! The drug thing is usually just someone's excuse as to why everyone else is in shape and not them!! LAME!!!

DON: What is your crowning achievement? That ONE show. I know you have accomplished quite a bit but there had to of been one thing that really sealed the dream.
MONICA: Well, definitely the Fitness Olympia will have to be my biggest accomplishment, not to mention the one that I felt I would never win!!  But really all the shows were an accomplishment for me... I had fun with each and learned a lot getting ready for them!

DON: I always say, just getting on stage is an accomplishment in and of itself. Who cheered you along all the while and was there someone who said you couldn't succeed that you worked to prove wrong?
MONICA: I have a wonderful family who is very supportive and my best friend Suzie Sanii has been my biggest fan!! She has gone to sooooo many of my shows and even my jobs to visit! I have known her since 1991 as well... Not anyone to my knowledge has told me I couldn't do something!  At least not to my face!

DON: What is your actual job title and how long have you been doing it?
MONICA: I am a Professional fitness competitor since 1995... Model, and rep for Universal Nutrition for 2  1/2 years.

DON: What do you want to plug and what makes it unique?
MONICA: I am promoting my new web page.. monicabrant.com, which will have a pro shop and online training available soon.  Also,  I am promoting the NPC Monica Brant Fitness Classics which are held in Fairfax, VA. (Info at www.bodyrock.com) Hopefully it will be a regular annual event for me! I am really excited about it! I am doing a fitness cruise next year, and it's mentioned on my site.

DON: I know, my wife and I are supposed to be guests as well. What is your favorite 'good for you' meal and favorite cheat food?
MONICA: Favorite good meal... chicken, avocado, tomato, with cheddar cheese (low-fat). Bad meal... pizza with pepperoni and mushroom, and key-lime pie for dessert!

DON: Is there anything you think we haven't touched upon here yet you'd like to?
MONICA: Other than I am in love with a wonderful man named Curtis... I don't think so...

DON: Really? And how did you meet this.... Curtis?
MONICA: Curtis and I met through my last roommate Heidi.  She and I moved in together in 1996 and she started to tell me about Curtis and that she thought we would get along great.  At the same time she was also telling him about me, although we both had hesitations about being setup... His were about me being into the fitness scene. I had a boyfriend at the time still and besides, Curtis was dating someone.

DON: Who is Heidi and what was her motivation behind this Love Connection?
MONICA: Laughs, Heidi has been friends with his family for almost 10 years, and is from his hometown... Redding, CA.  Anyways, I answered her phone once in Oct. `98 and it was Curtis calling to chat with Heidi.  We started talking and he called me back on my phone and then we met in Dec.`98.  The last year and 1/2 has been awesome.  We both think Heidi was our cupid because the timing was perfect when we finally met.  I had just finished winning the Olympia and we were both actually single!  We feel God has blessed us and are anxious to live in the same city as well as doing the family thing too!!! Everything happens in time...

DON: That's true. What is your educational background? College. Certifications.
MONICA: I finished only my first year of college and just some in my second.  I started doing fitness and working in the industry during that time period and decided school could wait, especially since I didn't  know what it was that I was going to do with school.

DON: Was there any particular experience you've had that somehow you feel was important in getting you where you are today?
MONICA: I trained and rode show horses ever since I was little, so all the experiences of preparing mentally and physically getting the horses ready for show taught me a lot of discipline which I use today.

DON: What is your most frequently asked question?
MONICA: Most asked question is about diet and training.... Which already you asked!!

DON: Do you prefer a certain line of exercise equipment? I personally love Hammer, Nautilus and Med-x because I feel they are truly superior. Do you feel people have forgotten barbells and is this bad thing?
MONICA: I like many, I train at Gold's Gym, Venice Beach, so I get to use all different types... You know they get all the top stuff in there to showcase! I am spoiled!!! But I do like dumbells and barbells too! The machines are good for people who may not do the exercises correctly, so I think they are fine for most who lack knowledge of proper form...

DON: Machines are best for beginners but I feel the more experienced client forgets that machines were designed for them more so than the first timer. Interesting. Your top five favorite websites are:
MONICA: I don't do much surfing... so I don't have faves...

DON: Doesn't any of your friends have websites you want to mention?
MONICA: Ok.. Lena's site, www.healthfitnessnetwork.com, ummmm that's it! Mine! And yours!

DON: What makes you cringe and what makes you smile so wide your jaw aches?
MONICA: Cringing takes place when I haven't been able to train or run, my head hurts (I get migraines) and smiling happens a lot... because I like to smile!

DON: What do you want to see in the future and what do you want left behind as a legacy?
MONICA: Final goals, wow. God willing... for He is the only way I am still breathing, is to be married and have 2-3 kids who love our family and love the Good Lord Jesus!!!

DON: What honestly needs changed in your industry? Let it ALL out!
MONICA: The industry is good, it just needs more attention paid to the drug use and doing tests to make sure everyone is honest.  I think there is too much credibility given to the girls who are gymnasts from childhood too. It makes it hard to compete against them... 50% of our scores come from the routines! I still think it is a lot about who you know too... I am not real good with sucking up to people to see what I can get!

DON: So you are saying you want judged on beauty, physique and actual athleticism instead of dance?
MONICA: I grew up riding horses and running track in high school... I say lets add a race and see then who is fittest according to our times at a quarter mile!!!!  It would be nice to have the general public think of us as athletes (like Gabrielle Reece) and be able to get big endorsements like with NIKE!!! But most of the companies think I am a bodybuilder and don't like the negative connotations about the sport, thus are not interested in me as a 'Fitness' person. Very confusing!!

DON: I think I know what you mean. Thanks for the time Monica.
MONICA: Thanks for being so patient with me, I really appreciate your client's interest! Talk to you later!

Visit Miss Fitness Olympia, Monica Brant at www.monicabrant.com

Don Lemmon's Nutritional and Exercise Know How

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