Spotlight On IFBB Fitness Pro: Whitney Jones
Category you compete in: IFBB Fitness Pro
Date of birth: August 11th
Hometown: Chandler, Arizona
Career: Owner of AZ Pro Physiques Gym
Competition history: Fitness:
2011 Orange County Classic – 1st
2011 Jr. Nationals – 2nd
2011 Team Universe – Pro Card
2012 Pittsburgh Pro – 6th
2012 Toronto Pro – 9th
2012 Miami Pro – 2nd
Next competition: Discussing 2013 show plans now
In your opinion, how important is motivation and confidence when aiming to accomplish a goal?
It’s crucial. Without motivation or confidence the likelihood that you will achieve your goal is slim. Especially in a sport like this. So much of this is a mental game and it takes an enormous amount of mental strength. You have to constantly keep yourself motivated and find whatever it is within you that lifts you up when you are down. These same principles help with building confidence and that is vital for those moments on stage.
In your eyes, what combination of hard work and natural ability is needed to reach the top?
Very few are blessed with all natural ability and even those lucky ones still must work hard. This sport is getting extremely competitive and you must be at the top of your game come show time. Regarding fitness competitors there is so much work that goes into prepping for a show. Not only are you pushing hard with your weight training, cardio and dieting but you also must add in gymnastics/tumbling training, dance choreography practice, flexibility training and posing practice. So there is no question that hard work is imperative, in addition to any natural ability one possesses.
What are some motivational strategies that have or currently work for you?
I’m extremely competitive so when I’m struggling or having a tough day I envision my competition and realize they are out there pushing and working hard and there’s no time to waste if I want to be in that top mix. I also remind myself that I compete because I love it. Nobody is making me, this is something I choose to do because I love performing and love the challenge that competing presents. For me that helps put so much into perspective and helps me get refocused. Also I always have a “go to” playlist of crazy, funky, upbeat music that is sure to always lift me out of a funk! :)
Give me some examples from your life where confidence has helped you to achieve?
I have battled ongoing heart issues for 8 years that doctors have not been able to fully get under control. In spring of this year as I was laying out plans for my pro debut and 2012 competition season, my heart issues magnified. All troubleshooting efforts were failing and it was decided that I would need to undergo exploratory heart surgery. Implanting a pacemaker has been an option on the table for two years now and there was a chance I would wake up from this surgery with that outcome. After careful consideration and getting the approval from my doctor we decided as a team that I could push surgery just a few weeks to give me the opportunity to step on stage as a pro for at least one time. The reality was I did not know what lied ahead with my heart issues and it was unclear if competing would even be a viable option any time in the near future after this surgery. My trainer and I looked at the schedule and the Pittsburgh Pro was ten days out. I booked my flight and spent the next 8 days choreographing my routine, pulling together a costume and prepping for the show. Jumping into something as huge as your pro debut with only 10 days notice knowing you’ll be stepping on stage with some incredible athletes was enough to strike fear in every cell of my body. But I was ecstatic at the opportunity to finally step on stage as a pro and I just wanted a chance to perform and take in every moment of that experience. I knew I was not at my best and had not been working on even basic skills or tumbling for several weeks as a result of not feeling well. But there was no time for self-doubt. I had 10 days to pull it all together and confidence was a must if I was to step on that stage. As I boarded the flight to Pittsburgh 8 days after making the decision to jump into the show I remember telling myself “I can do this, face fear head on, and enjoy every moment of it” and that’s exactly what I did. Without confidence in my abilities as an athlete and a performer I would’ve never made my pro debut that day in Pittsburgh.
What do you find the most challenging about competing?
For me the biggest challenge is battling my various injuries and medical issues. Competing in fitness does a number on your body due to the training that is required to compete at this level. Most fitness competitors go into shows with some sort of injury because of the intensity of the sport. I recently competed at the Miami Pro and went into this show “healthier” than any previously. For this prep I was battling a shoulder rotator cuff tear with AC separation, strained glute and hamstring and sciatic nerve issues. I also have ongoing heart issues as I mentioned above so that always presents some difficulties. As I previously said I pushed off heart surgery to compete in the Pittsburgh Pro and two weeks after that procedure I competed in the Toronto Pro. Why did I do this – because I could, and because my doctors gave me clearance to do so. I was not at my best for either show and I knew that going into each, but I didn’t care I just wanted the opportunity to compete and perform. Everybody has their own set of challenges that they must overcome to compete. My biggest challenge has and probably will always be my injuries and medical issues, but I will not allow that to stop me. I have and will always continue to push through until I no longer can.
What are your top 5 key strategies for success?
Focus, outline goals, self motivate and remember these things:
1. “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will” – Vince Lo
2. The three C’s of life…Choice, Chance, Change…You must make the choice to take the chance if you want anything to change.
3. Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself. When faith replaces fear then success will replace failure
4. Learn to thrive on stress and convert it into energy focused on attaining your goal
5. Nothing that is ever worthwhile is ever easy
What is your favorite protein powder? Why do you like it?
Dymatize Iso 100 – Chocolate. I have a sweet tooth and this helps curb my sweet craving because it has just the right amount of sweetness.
Favorite Inspirational Quote:
“People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do” – Lewis Cass
“If you rest, you rust”
“I couldn’t tell you who is watching me because I’m not watching them. Eyes on the prize”
“You gotta fight your bad days, to deserve your best days”
In closing, Who would you like to give a shout out to?
First and foremost my trainer Damian Segovia - Team AFD, who has been with me from day one. He is a genius when it comes to contest prep, by far one of the best in the industry. My family for all the encouragement and always being by my side. My incredible sponsor Gamma Labs for the ongoing support #TeamGamma! My business partners at AZ Pro Physiques and my incredible staff who make it possible for me to take time away from the business to fulfill my desires of competing