I recently received an e mail from the UK from Rosanna Harte, a bodybuilder who has been creating quite a buzz over there in the last couple of years. As it happens, she is also an avid reader of RX Muscle...which is good enough to qualify her for a bit of ‘spotlight treatment.'
So, without further adieu, let's put Rosanna center stage, turn on the lights and.... "Action!"
I guess the first question would have to be how did you get involved in bodybuilding?
"I started dancing as a young girl and went on to study contemporary dance at University when I was 22. The dance classes were very intensive and I was enjoying this new level of fitness. My dance tutor advised me to do some weight lifting alongside my dance to build up some more upper body strength to make some of the lifting and weight shift movements easier. So my boyfriend took me to the gym and showed me how to train like a bodybuilder. I began to notice changes in my body shape within a very short time. He also taught me about nutrition to build lean muscle mass.
"I loved feeling strong and the weights I was lifting went up fairly rapidly. It gave me so much confidence, and when I got my first vein in my arm I was totally buzzing! I was hooked. I was 84 lbs when I started training and now I'm 135lbs and still love watching my body grow and change shape."
Rosanna's contest history includes:
1st place at the 2007, NPA Heart of England Championships,
2nd place at the 2008 NABBA North East Championships,
1st place Sci Mentor,
2nd place Miss Yorkshire
6th place at the NABBA British Finals.
So, having a fair amount of contest experience under your belt, what is your overall opinion of the state of female bodybuilding in the UK?
"I think there are a lot of impressive female physiques in the UK at the moment. The ‘trained figure' girls in the UK are very muscular and get in amazing condition for competitions. This is the main reason why I have decided to take a year off from competing and just put on some size, because I felt like I was fading into the background slightly, as these girls are packing some serious muscle.
"I must admit I am slightly ignorant when it comes to the UK scene. I don't really go to watch competitions, or keep track of who is winning what. I just train, decide on a competition I want to do and turn up. I suppose I look up to girls like Rachel Grice and Malika Zitouni for size, femininity and condition, as well as great overall shape. These girls are both big names in the ‘trained figure' category, which is the class I compete in."
Who would you say are your biggest influences when it comes to your bodybuilding career?
"Honestly, I would say my boyfriend has been and still is my biggest influence in bodybuilding. He has always encouraged me, and made me realize my true potential from day 1. He trains with me and diets with me and has taught me about 80% of what I know about training, diet and supplements. I also take a lot of motivation from my friend Andrew Merrifield...the ultimate natural bodybuilder. I met him about 4 years ago, just as I had started weight training. He always gave me such positive words, and he is the most dedicated and focused guy I have ever met. Of course I get inspired by articles and video clips from the pros, but these two people have a far more resounding effect on me."
What is the magazine world like these days in the UK when it comes to bodybuilding?
"I only know of ‘Beef' magazine that is UK based, but we get all the other mags over here too. I think the main one would be ‘Flex' which is UK and US based. Flex actually did a feature on me in 2007, so I will have to say they are amazing! Seriously though, I think they seem to give a lot of coverage to the trained figure and bodybuilding girls over here. On the whole I think we get a lot of support."
What is your day job and how do you manage to fit training into your work schedule?
"I have always been lucky enough to only have to work 2-3 nights a week, at weekends. So I have been able to do all my training in the week with plenty of rest.
"I started off as a singer, then for the last year I have been a dancer. Most recently I have become a supply teacher, teaching drama and dance in high schools. My hours will change now and I might have to work 5 days a week. I might find it hard at first to get into a routine of training after work, but I'm sure I will soon get into it. If I find it starts to affect my training I will just go back to working weekends. I love having the whole week to just concentrate on training, especially when it comes to diet time when I sometimes have to train twice daily."
What is your current objective within the sport?
"At the moment I am taking in a lot of calories and pushing a lot of weight. I have decided to take the full year off competing and pack on some dense muscle. I would like to be about 113lbs in contest condition by May 2010, that's the least I will settle for. I want to compete next year and win the NABBA Britain and try and get my pro card at the UKBFF later in the year. I have set up my own website www.rosannharte.com and I am building up a nice little fan base after my trip to the USA in March. I am concentrating on building up my profile with photo shoots etc, ready for 2010 to make an impact not only in front of the camera but on stage as well."
At this point in time Rosanne's workout schedule involves working out six days a week with one day off, splitting up her body parts like this:
Monday: Back, biceps, abs, 30mins cardio
Tuesday: Chest, triceps
Wednesday: Calves, quads
Thursday: Shoulders, abs
Friday: Triceps, biceps, 30 mins cardio
Saturday: Calves, hams
As for her diet, Rosanne follows a 7 meal per day plan with an average day looking like this:
9am: 6 egg whites, 50g oats
11 am: Whey shake (1 ½ scoops), banana
1pm: Chicken Breast, baked potato
3pm: 6 egg whites, 50g oats, big spoon peanut butter
5pm: Turkey, brown rice, tomato ketchup, 20g almonds
7pm: Steak, potato, broccoli
10pm: Slow release protein shake, big spoon peanut butter
She also allows herself a treat every night like pizza, chocolate or ice cream
So what about supplements Rosanna?
"For supplements I use glutamine, amino acids, protein shakes and vitamins. I tend to keep things quite basic. If I had lots of money I would probably get loads of different supplements, but for now the most important thing is a good post training protein and good food."
Changing the subject, what is the greatest thing you have personally gained from becoming involved in bodybuilding?
"I've gained so much from bodybuilding...confidence, focus, dedication, willpower, friends, big appetite...lol! The list goes on and on. I think the greatest thing I have gained is knowledge. Knowledge of the body, how it works, how it responds to input and output. Bodybuilding is a great teacher and I am still learning!"
And finally, what do you see as your long term goals within the sport?
"Once I get my pro card in the UK I would like to come over and compete at the Olympia or the Arnold Classic as a bodybuilder. If they do weight classes I would be in the Lightweight class. I would like to win the Olympia within 5 years, and to have achieved the total package of a female bodybuilder. This package in my opinion should be beauty, femininity, sex appeal, tight waist, good muscle mass, symmetry, detailed lines and top lean condition. I would like to continue building up my supportive fan base and hopefully get a sponsor within the next two years."
Rosanna Harte...file that name away for future reference, because by the time the calendar rolls around to the year 2010 I am sure we are going to be seeing a lot more of her!