With back to school time just around the corner, summer seems to be drawing to a close. However, if you are under the impression that the end of summer means the end of fun, we’ve got great news for you: Super Sculptures is coming!
On Saturday, September 5th there’s another exciting Free First Saturday event happening at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Super Sculptures, inspired by the mythical sculptures in the Garden. To see a collection of superheroes living in the Garden click here. Events run from 10am-3pm, and all activities and Walker admission are totally FREE.
In anticipation of the Flexing Force performance by local bodybuilders, I asked our performers a few questions to help us better understand the sport of bodybuilding . Here’s what Laurey Heinrich, Michelle Soldo, and Ponce Saysomphou had to say:
How did you first get interested in the sport of bodybuilding?
LH: I sold memberships at a gym and was surrounded by people who were interested or competed in bodybuilding shows. I was absolutely fascinated by strong women who could still look feminine. A female competitor told me that I have the body shape to do competitions.
MS: I’ve always been athletic. In high school and college I ran track and played soccer. Both sports involved strength training. During the 20 years that followed, through law school and due to very long work hours, I became less and less physically active. In August 2005, six months before my 40th birthday, I thought back about the things I used to do, the sports I used to play, the healthy and active life style I used to have…it was then I realized it was time to make some important lifestyle changes.
What does a typical weekly training schedule look like for you?
MS: On weekdays I’m typically up at 4:30 a.m. I have coffee, eat the first of 7 daily meals and take the first of 3 daily courses of supplements. I’m in the gym by 5:30 a.m. I do 45 to 60 minutes of cardio every weekday morning. I prefer step mill and elliptical machines. I also train abs 2 to 3 mornings a week and sit in the sauna as often as time permits. I return home by 7:00 a.m., shower, dress for work and I’m off to the races. I begin work at 8:00 a.m. If I’m lucky, my work day ends at 6:30 p.m. After work I meet my training partner at the gym. We train a single body part each day, followed by 30 minutes of step mill or elliptical, or a 3 to 4 mile run. I get home by 9:00 p.m., eat my 7th and final meal of the day and prepare my meals for the next day. I’m typically in bed by 10:30 p.m.
Over weekends, my training partner and I go for a long run on Saturday morning – which is typically between 6 and 8 miles, Saturday evening we may also lift a single body part, and Sunday is a day of rest, unless I’m training for a contest, then it’s a day of cardio.
PS: I workout 5 days a week. 2 hours a day. Unless I’m prepping for a show then I’m working out 7 days a week.
Do you have to have a special diet when training? If so, tell me about it.
LH: Clean eating is a must. I eat whole grains, a lot of protein, and healthy fats and a lot of water.
PS: In my offseason I don’t really have a special diet. I’m just trying to gain more mass. But if I was training for a show, then my diet is very strict. It’s basically a high protein and low carb diet. I usually keep it simple nothing too complicated.
What kind of special preparation is involved leading up to a competition/event?
LH: I would say so much of the preparation for a show in mental! The diet and training are intense and you need to remain focused. There are many hours spent at the gym, cooking, planning your meals, and setting up appointments for suit fittings and tanning, etc.
MS: When I prepare for a contest, I lift weights 5 days a week, train abs 3 days a week, do a lot of cardio – typically 45 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes a day – 6 days a week. I also tan several times a week. Three days out from a contest, I begin to reduce my water intake from 200 ounces of water a day to 8 ounces the day before the contest. The day before the contest, I have spray tan professionally applied from head to toe. Contest morning, I set the alarm for 3:00 a.m. when I get up to have a bowl of oatmeal. I sleep until 6 a.m., put on my posing suit and mentally prepare for prejudging which typically begins at 8:00 a.m. At that point, I’ve done all I can do and I focus on enjoying the moment that I’ve worked so hard to get to.
PS: I usually train about 8-9 weeks for an event/competition, eating a very strict diet of high protein and low carbs, and doing cardio everyday for about 30 min.
Funniest/craziest bodybuilding moment?
LH: For about a month after I won the 2008 NANBF Ms. Natural Minnesota my 5 year old daughter would announce to strangers…”My Mom is the CHAMPION of Minnesota!” and of course no one knew what she was talking about.
MS: The first time I was professionally spray tanned for a contest, my skin color was so dark that when I stood up against a dark wall, you could only see the whites of my eyes and my teeth.
PS: The craziest moment was when I won my class in Natual Mr.U.S.A and got my pro card. I always wanted to become a pro natural bodybuilder. I just didn’t think it would happen that soon. I thought it was pretty awesome.
Are there any common misconceptions about bodybuilding?
LH: Yes! Some misconceptions are that all bodybuilders use steroids, they are not intelligent, and they are not flexible. That is far from the truth! Many of us use good old fashioned hard work to train and eat right. Bodybuilding takes a lot of discipline and the right knowledge is extremely important. And some bodybuilders are extremely flexible and actually do the splits on stage!
MS: There are many common misperceptions about bodybuilding. Two primary misconceptions relate to nutrition and motive.
In regard to nutrition, people often incorrectly assume we starve ourselves. We don’t. We eat more than most people, but choose our food carefully to maximize muscle growth.
In regard to motive, people incorrectly assume all bodybuilders pursue bodybuilding because they are vain. Some are. Some are not. For many like me, bodybuilding is a personal hobby, a personal passion – it’s not an attention seeking endeavor. Some people spend hours scrap booking, reading, playing golf, woodworking, watching sports, watching television, going to movies, gardening….I spend that time in the gym. In the words of my wise older brother Buddy Soldo, “The Soldo’s are artists. You Michelle, you’re canvas is your body. You’ve found you’re gift. Don’t waste it.”
What super power do you wish you had?
LH: To change people into whatever they would like to become.
MS: That’s a really great question. If there’s a superhero whose super power is the world’s fastest metabolism and they can eat all of the chocolate cookies they want without gaining weight, that’s the super power I want.
PS: I wish I had super strength and could burn fat without doing cardio.
Have you ever beaten anyone up?
LH: uugghh….no, because everyone is too afraid to take me on!!! j/k
MS: Yep – I sparred all through Junior High – no kidding!
PS: I’ve never beaten up anyone before.
Who was your favorite super hero when you were a kid?
LH: Wonder Woman and the Bionic Man!!
MS: I was a big Wonder Woman fan. I liked her outfit. When Xena the Warrior Princess was big, I liked her too. She’s the superhero I plan to emulate on Free First Saturday.
Can you give us any hints as to what families can expect to see on September 5th?
LH: You will see me evolve from a cocoon, into a butterfly, into a bodybuilding super hero.
MS: I anticipate that families will see athletes who love the sport of bodybuilding. Their enthusiasm and love of the sport will be evident through the unique routines they perform and will be evident in their smiles. Our goal is that everyone has a great time. Come join us!
PS: I’m looking forward to the event. It will be entertaining and fun! I can’t wait.