Monday, February 20, 2012

Amanda Alger

21 year old Amanda Alger grew up in Mansfield, Connecticut; down the street from the University of Connecticut. In high school (just a few years ago), she was a State-Ranked Runner in cross-country and track-one! This was where her career in athletics began.

After she graduated high school, she started working full-time at different gyms in the area to help pay for college, as well as, her gym memberships! She is currently in her senior year at the University of Connecticut studying Nutritional Sciences and Sports Nutrition. She is a personal trainer for Alpha Fitness in Glastonbury, Connecticut.

Shortly after she began working as a personal trainer and bodybuilding for one year, she decided she would put her efforts towards a bodybuilding competition and on modeling. She is now preparing to compete at the NPC New England in Boston this October.

"If I could change one thing about myself, I would care less about what people think. As a female bodybuilder, I realize that I do stand out and people will look; however, there have been many times when I let it get to me. I always tell myself, "I don't do this for them, I do this for me" and that usually makes me feel better!"

WP: At an early age, you discovered your love. Some people, it takes a life time. What caused you to go into bodybuilding?

As any typical person, I always struggled with my diet- I simply didn’t eat enough. After I had made the decision to compete in the NPC New England in Boston this October, I hired PJ Braun as my show prep coach and he got me on a diet that entirely changed my physique and bodybuilding career. I was much stronger, leaner and energized. That was when my body really started to change and I was certain of what I wanted to do and how far I would go. It really is incredible how efficient the body can work with proper nutrients. Just seeing how my body was developing was enough to assure me that I without a doubt wanted to do this.

WP: I bet you will really enjoy that! Good luck! It’s always exciting to see new competitors compete. Do you have any advice to people that wish to build more mass and/or more cut?

Diet is everything. You can’t build mass or get cut without committing to a diet. These diets are usually low in carbohydrates and fats and very high in protein. The protein helps you build more muscle while the lower carbs and lower fats will get you cut. A diet literally will make you go insane and at times crazy; however, it is so worth it to see the changes in your body and how good it feels to properly nourish your muscles.

WP: Since diet is everything, can you give us an example of your diet?

For my first meal of the day is 10 egg whites, half a cup of oats, and half a grapefruit. My second meal of the day is 5 ounces of chicken and a piece of Ezekiel bread. My third meal of the day is 5 ounces of chicken, half a cup of broccoli and half a cup of brown rice. My fourth meal is 5 ounces of chicken and a large green salad. My fifth meal of the day is a protein shake and a tablespoon of peanut butter; my favorite part of the day! It’s a strict diet to follow; however, I have not been disappointed in the results.

WP: Do you ever allow yourself a cheat day?

During my competition prep, I have not allowed myself a cheat day. However, if I were to cheat, I would go straight for the sweets. I have such a sweet tooth. The cravings for popsicles, apple juice and other crazy sugary items have driven me nuts at times!

WP: What supplements do you take?

Before my workout, I will usually use a scoop of Supercharged for energy, B-vitamins, and for that extra pump. After my workout, I use a scoop of Optimum Nutrition Cookies and Cream Whey Protein. It’s such a treat! I also put a teaspoon of Glutamine in my shake to help with muscle growth and recovery. Every day I take a multi-vitamin, calcium and magnesium, Vitamin D, Glucosamine and Chondroiton, fish body oils, Vitamin C, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and CO-Q10.

WP: How inspiring! Do you have anyone you can thank for helping you get where you are?

I have to thank my sister, Caitlin Alger. She has been an incredible support system for me. In addition, I have to thank Marc Andrade; he got me started in the bodybuilding world, Andrew Whitehill who has been a great friend and support to me, PJ Braun who has coached me and provided me with fantastic training, show prep knowledge and incredible diets, and John Mitchell because he really brought me to the next level with modeling and showed me the other side to bodybuilding! Last but not least, I want to thank all of my clients who have been a great support system!

WP: Tell me about your modeling.

Not long after I started my show prep-diet and the different workouts, my body changed quite quickly and responded well. I went with Andrew and Marc to a test photo shoot John Mitchell had set up with them. I was more, or less, there for the experience at that time. After viewing the pictures, John asked me to come back and shoot with Andre. I did and the pictures came out incredible! It wasn’t long until I had started doing a shoot with John every 2 weeks or so. I really enjoy modeling for a lot of reasons. It actually is hard work, but so worth it and it gives you something to be very proud of! The people I get to work with are absolutely beautiful people and after getting to know a few of the guys after the shoots, I have made a lot of really close friends! Bodybuilding is such a hard sport and prepping for a show can be very challenging at times and modeling sort of takes that edge off sometimes and reminds you that there is more to it.

WP: That is amazing! What is it like working with John? I am stunned because he doesn’t shoot with many girls.

Working with John is always such a great time! He is such a professional when it comes to photography and I truly feel privileged to know him. His work is absolutely stunning and he really puts effort and time in making sure everything runs smoothly, the pictures come out perfectly, and making it an enjoyable time. Modeling isn’t easy, but he really takes care of us and makes sure that we’re feeling okay. I have a real appreciation for his work!

WP: Oh geez! I see his head getting bigger from reading this! Ha-ha! What makes him stand out the most to you?

Not only is John an amazing photographer, but he has given me great advice on show- prep and posing. He is a great guy to go to for advice and is quite knowledgeable in the bodybuilding field. I really appreciate everything he has done for me!

WP: He is also a competition judge, so I can see how you could give out advice. How do you maintain your physique? What’s the hardest part?

Keeping this physique isn’t easy! I spend a lot of my time in the gym or prepping food for my diet. Bodybuilding is really like a full-time job. There is a lot that goes into it and a lot that needs to get done to stay on point. I do a lot of cardio on the step mill, I lift heavy, and I do abs just about every day.

The hardest part of keeping my physique has got to be the diet. There are times when I would sacrifice an hour just to have a taste of chocolate; but I never give in! It’s almost like a mind game you play all day, and eventually, you just accept food as fuel for your body and taste, texture, and sight of food is not important anymore.

WP: I like the way you put that. That is so true! Tell me about your future projects. Have any in sight?

I have a few shoots with John Mitchell at scheduled a few weeks before my show. I haven’t thought very far out from there yet; just because I am graduating college this year and will have a more demanding schedule in the spring.

WP: You have a lot going on in your life. How do you keep your relationship with your boyfriend healthy?

I am currently single; however, not opposed to relationships. It is hard to find someone who is compatible with me being in the bodybuilding world. It really does consume a lot of time and energy, so I think a relationship would be difficult to squeeze into the mix.

WP: Give me a sample of your workout.

On a typical leg day, I start with 5 sets of 20 hamstring curls; followed by a pyramid set on the leg press machine going from 4 - 45 lb. plates up to 10 - 45 lb. plates and back down. A superset on the hack squat (heavy weight, reps to failure) with leg extensions (20 reps) and this is done 4 times. Next, squats and front squats; 3 sets of each for 15 reps, followed by dead lifts for 4 sets, each with 8-10 reps. After all that, I finish up with various calve exercises.

WP: What are your interests outside of bodybuilding?

I love yoga and I do hope to become a Power Yoga Instructor some day. I love personal training. It is so rewarding for me. I enjoy shopping for clothes and sneakers. I like to travel to different mountains in New England and hike. I enjoy spending time with my friends.

WP: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

If I could change one thing about myself, I would care less about what people think. As a female bodybuilder, I realize that I do stand out and people will look; however, there have been many times when I let it get to me. I always tell myself, “I don’t do this for them, I do this for me” and that usually makes me feel better!

WP: Great reply! Many more people should do the same. Is there anything else you would like to add? Now is the time!

I would just like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to appear as a feature! It’s such a privilege!

WP: You are so welcome! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! You have a great head on your shoulders and you will do great in this industry! Thank you for your time and good luck in your future bodybuilding endeavors!

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