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Spotlight On IFBB Female Bodybuilder: Nancy Clark

Spotlight On IFBB Female Bodybuilder: Nancy Clark
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Category you compete in:  Women’s Bodybuilding, Grandmaster and Open Heavyweight.
Date of birth:  July 1, 1964
Hometown: Christina Lake, British Columbia (Born: Lillooet, B.C.)
Career:  Personal Trainer and Competition Prep Coach
 
Competition history:  
2009 NPC Empire Classic, Spokane Washington – 2nd Place Open Heavy Weight
2009 Sandra Wickham Fall Classic, New Westminster B.C. – 1stGrandmaster, 2nd Open Heavyweight
2010 B.C. Provincial Championships, New Westminster B.C. – 1st Grandmaster, 2nd Open Heavyweight
2011 B.C. Provincial Championships, New Westminster B.C. – 1st Grandmaster, 1st Open Heavyweight, Women’s Overall Winner
2011 Canadian Nationals, Laval Quebec – 1st Grandmaster, 5th Open Heavyweight
2012 Canadian Nationals, Edmonton Alberta – 1st Grandmaster, 3rd Open Heavyweight, Women’s Overall Masters winner, earned PRO CARD.
 
Next Competition:  2013 Toronto Pro Supershow
 
How has your life changed since you adopted this lifestyle and started competing? Wow, what hasn’t changed?  I live a more structured and regimental lifestyle for sure. Instead of being at the gym 3 or 4 times a week for an hour it is now 5 or 6 times a week for a minimum of 2 hours not including cardio.  I’ve traded in my evening glass of wine for a protein shake and my water is measured in liters not glasses. When planning my meals I use terms like complex carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats instead of steak and potatoes or chicken and rice.Bedtime is typically 9 pm which pretty much negates a social life outside of the bodybuilding circle. If we do travel all my food is packed and taken with me and when I am allowed a cheat meal I start thinking about it days in advance so that I can plan out the perfect cheat. If the T.V. is on,it’s tuned into the food network to give me some ideas. Burgers, pizza, chocolate, ice cream, spaghetti? It always changes by the time the day arrives but man is it good. The day after a cheat, not so good.  Lethargy and sick belly make me swear that the next cheat will be different.  But it never is. During my off season I typically live in sweat pants and pajamas. I can’t seem to pull my jeans up past my knees over my thighs.  Thank god for lululemon and the fact that my off season is winter and everyone else is pretty much doing the same thing.  In the end, I wouldn’t change it for anything.  I was told when I decided to do my first show that I would either love it or hate it.  Well, I have to say “I Love It”.I have never felt healthier or had more energy (outside of the last 6 weeks of contest prep). Pushing myself beyond what I ever thought I was capable of.  The sweat, pain and tears during the journey and then laying it all on the line for a few minutes in the spotlight.  What a rush!
 
What have you found to be the best way to balance family, friends, career, this lifestyle, etc…I guess I would have to say that balance will come when you figure out your priorities.  If competing is important to you, then you tend to surround yourself with people that love and support your lifestyle.  Lucky for me, my husband is one of these people.  He takes an active role in my training and nutrition.  He has always had a love of bodybuilding and living a healthy active lifestyle and was instrumental in getting me to do my first competition. On any given morning, you can find him in the kitchen cutting up and cooking the day’sportion of chicken.  He is a huge factor in the success I have experienced so far. As far as the rest of my family goes, they definitely dnats4idn’t understand the lifestyle.    They tolerated it thinking that I would do one show and then be done with it.But, over time, they have become some of my biggest supporters.  They see the work and discipline that goes into preparing for a show and the shear amount of time and dedication that it takes and they now have come to respect and admire it.  Unfortunately, the family and friends that don’t support this lifestyle tend to fade into the background.  Luckily for me, working in the fitness industry allows me to keep up with my training with minimum problems.  My clients are very supportive and constantly give verbal support and understanding throughout my contest prep.  It’s especially meaningful when you’re nearing show dateand the inevitable fatigue and irritation of constant dieting have started to take their toll.
 
If you could change places with one competitor for the day who would it be and why?4 x Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler.It would be great to experience what life is like for someone of his stature.  The fame, fortune and shear number of opportunities that come his way over the course of a day would be staggering.  Don’t get me wrong, he has earned every one.  He never got to where he is without hard work and tenacity.  But, unfortunately women bodybuilders do not receive the same notoriety and validation as their male counterparts, for whatever reason. The opportunities for sponsorship, promotion and monetary gain just aren’t available to women bodybuilders as they are to even figure and bikini athletes.
 
Name two of the most inspirational people in your life and tell why they inspire you.My husband, Allan.  His love of bodybuilding and everything associated with it is infectious.  As I said above, he was instrumental in getting me to compete.  He is my biggest fan.  He plans out my nutritional needs, designs and  pushes me through my workouts, offers guidance when asked and gives me encouragement and understanding. He walks away when I am being unreasonable and quick to temper and during contest prep does anything and everything to make the last vital weeks before a show as easy as possible.  I know I could never have come this far without him.  Bodybuilding is a very selfish sport and without understanding and support from your spouse, I just don’t think it would be possible to reach your full potential.  My second choice isn’t really any one person.  We watch a show on T.V. called Extreme Weight Loss Makeover.  Every single person on that show inspires me.  These individuals are chosen by the host to try and lose an extreme amount of weight in 365 days.  They are morbidly obese people weighing at least 300 pounds.  Some are as big as 500lbs.  They undergo a complete change in lifestyle.  Extreme diet and exercise,as well as emotional counseling and support.  I figure if they can stay focused and on track for a full year, I can keep it together for 17 weeks.
 
There’s a quote hanging on the wall of the gym in my favorite movie Million Dollar baby it says “ Winners are simply willing to do what losers aren’t”  That pretty much say’s it all. 
 
Tell one recipe or supplement you can’t live without.  It’s not very exciting but during this last contest prep it got me through two meals a day of Tilapia and greens.  
Spray a frying pan with Pam and add your tilapia.  Also, give a light spray of pam to the top side of the fish.  Pan Fry the tilapia until it has developed a nice crust and then turn the fish over and cook the other side.  After a few minutes, start breaking up the fish with your spatula until it is cut into small shredded pieces.  Cook for another few minutes and then transfer the shredded fish to your bowl of salad greens, usually spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, kale etc.  Now whisk ¼ cup of white wine vinegar and 1 pkg. of splenda.  Pour over top of your fish and salad mixture and voila’ a dish that will get you through your last 6 weeks of prep.
 
Tell about a typical training day for you. What exercises, how many sets/reDSC 1074ps…etc..Over the past few years I have tried a few different methods of training.  I have used D.C. training, Mountain Dog training and Pakman’s Mass intention training.  In late 2010, I was very fortunate to start working with trainer and nutrition wizard Jeremy Miskinis.  He designs my competition diet, my training schedule and workouts.It’s a trilateral arrangement between Jeremy, my husband Al and myself where there is constant feedback and consulting both ways with everyone’s inputessential for success.  During the past year my training exercises have changed week to week.  The following is a leg session that I did during this last contest prep.
 
Lying leg curls – 2-3 warm up sets. Then 3 sets of 10 and then on 4th set do 10 full reps and 30 partial reps. 4 Total work sets
Banded leg press – Attach black monster bands to press machine for added tension.  Feet slightly wider than shoulder width.  Do 2-3 warmup sets then pyramid up doing sets of 8.  When you get to a weight that you think you can get a hard 8 reps do your first set of 8 and superset it with leg extensions 25 partial reps. 3 Total work sets, Leg press 8 reps and then leg extensions 25 partials
Heavy walking lunge – Do these with heavy dumbells.  Lunge for 10 steps on one leg and then switch.  Superset with leg extensions 25 partial reps. 4 Total work sets, Lunges for 10 each side and then leg extensions 25 partials
Squats – Do 2 sets of 15 reps with a light weight. Go to parallel. 2 Total work sets
Barbell stiff-legged deadlifts – Do 3 sets of 8 on these. 3 Total work sets
 
In closing, who would you like to give a shout out to?I would like to give a shout out to all the other athletes, male and female, in competition and the volunteers behind the scenes.  We all know what it takes to stand on that stage, the constant dieting,endless workouts and extreme fatigue and I have experienced nothing but support, kindness and respect from everyone I have encountered in and around the bodybuilding network.  Thank you for proving that the stereotypical bodybuilder is long since dead and buried.

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