The Inside Scoop on: Barbie Thomas....Fitness Unarmed!
What category do you compete in? Fitness!! To me, it’s the most entertaining, the most fun, and really combines beauty AND athleticism.
Date of birth? August 5
Hometown? Friendswood, TX It is near Houston.
Career? Domestic Engineer, mom, motivational speaker
2012 NPC Jr. Nationals - Chicago, IL - 5th Place
2012 NPC Jr. USA - N. Charleston, SC - 8th Place
2012 Natural Western USA Championships - Mesa, AZ - 5th Place
2009 West Texas Classic - Lubbuck, TX - 1st Place
2007 Arnold Classic Amateur Fitness - Columbus, Ohio
2006 Heart of Texas - Plano, TX - 2nd Place
2006 Europa Super Show - Arlington, TX - 2nd Place
2006 Western Regional - Phoenix, AZ - 5th Place
2005 Europa Super Show - Arlington, TX - 5th Place
2004 John Sherman Classic - Houston, TX - 1st in Tall & 4th Overall
2004 Western Regional - Phoenix, AZ - 2nd Place
2004 Northern - Flagstaff, AZ - 6th in Figure Tall
2004 America's Wild Wild West Natural Ms. Fitness - Laughlin, NV - 1st Place
2004 Natural Western USA - Phoenix, AZ - 4th Place
2003 Arizona Open - Phoenix, AZ - 4th Place
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. You apparently don’t have arms. Would you like to inform people how that came to be? Is it that obvious? Just kidding! I lost my arms when I was 2 1/2 years old in an electrical accident. I managed to get into a transformer. The electricity entered through my hands and exited through my thighs, which is why I have scars on both legs. My arms were burned to the point that they had to be amputated.
What challenges within the sport have you faced as a result of your impairment? The number one challenge is how they score me. I don’t think the judges really know what to do with me! There are 3 mandatories in the routine round that I am unable to perform: 1-arm push-up, straddle press, and L-press. Besides that, there’s the symmetry issue. Obviously, my asymmetries cannot be corrected in the gym.
What does a typical training session consist of? I do different types of training sessions. Some days, I’ll just do straight sets. Other days, I’ll superset with plyos. Some days I do all plyos. I also like to go heavy at times, while other times I will go a little lighter but do higher reps. I like to keep my body guessing! Of course, there’s always good ol’ cardio that I have to get in as well. I also get my stretching done after my training. Gotta stay flexible!
How has your life changed since you adopted this lifestyle and started competing? Honestly, I don’t even remember what life was like before competing! I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to make my workouts better and more interesting. I’m always thinking of new things that I want to try for my routines. Competition is always there in the back of my mind, no matter what I’m doing.
Who has inspired you? I usually say Adela Garcia and Jenny Hendershott. Through the years, they’ve both been helpful and very supportive of me! The both have such awesome attitudes, drive, discipline, and good hearts. However, this time I’d like to add to the list. I won’t name a name, but after I competed at Jr. Nationals a few weeks ago, I was told that I was not in shape, not lean, my routine wasn’t good, etc. That man’s words are definitely motivating me to do better!
What is something about you that would surprise most people? This is such a hard question because I don’t think there’s anything I do that really surprises people any more! However, I will say that I hate cardio, and I don’t like very many vegetables. Infact, I’d be a-ok without veggies and cardio in my life! Also, people do seem surprised when they find out that I always do my own make-up for photo shoots and competitions. I don’t understand why that’s so fascinating, but they’re always amazed.
What competitions are you looking to compete in, in the future? At this point, I am thinking that I want to do Jr. Nationals again next year and Team U.
Do you have any advice or suggestions for those who may have an impairment, but are interested in training or competing? Go for it! Do what you CAN do, and don’t worry about what you can’t do. There’s no sense in fretting over something you can’t change. Just give it your all, put your heart into it, and DO IT!! Twenty years from now, you don’t want to regret not trying and wonder what may have been.
Who would you like to thank? There are so many people I want to thank. However, to keep it short and sweet, I’ll thank my husband for being so supportive, helpful, and understanding throughout the entire time I was prepping for shows this time around from November - June!
Where can people go to follow your story or learn more about you?
www.FitnessUnarmed.com From there, they can get to my YouTube channel and my blog.
I also have a Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/FitnessUnarmed