Interview with Bikini Pro Simone Sinclair
Favourite Quote: “It’s not over when you’re losing terribly. It’s over when you quit” – unknown Interview Questions TF: Tell us a bit about yourself. SS: First and foremost, I’m a mom to 3 amazing children, ages 9, 7 and 5 (at time of interview). I’ve been married for nearly 13 years to my best friend and partner in crime. I’ve worked in reality TV, in the tech sector and now as a hypnotherapist and nutritionist. I’m part Moroccan, part French, part Spanish, part Russian but all Canadian 🙂 TF: When did fitness become a part of your life? SS: I’ve always been extremely active. My parents enrolled me in just about every style of dance at the age of 3 and eventually I took up competitive Tai Chi and Wushu. As much as I loved dancing, I committed myself to ballet exclusively because the style required the greatest amount of precision. Needless to say, I’ve always been a stickler for good form, which serves me especially well today in bodybuilding. Once I had my 3 children, I wanted to regain my strength and build the sort of physique that didn’t only look good “for having kids” but looked amazing period! Committing to my first bikini competition helped me fine-tune my level of discipline and the rest is, well history, as they say.
TF: What is it you enjoy most about competing SS: Competing gives me the opportunity to celebrate myself. Unfortunately, women are often taught to be “humble” when it comes to promoting their own strengths. We’re much quicker to compliment someone else than we are ourselves. The competitive stage forces us to acknowledge our accomplishments and turns a spotlight on our sense of pride. As athletes, we spend a lot of time focusing on deficiencies and our bucket list of things upon which we can still improve. On stage, it’s all about the bucket list items we’ve already checked off. TF: You recently won your IFBB Pro Card at the IFBB International Qualifier in Winnipeg, Congrats… What was that like for you? SS: Winning my IFBB Pro card was exactly as I had imagined it. Yes, I imagined it long before it happened. I believe that’s one of the most important parts of preparing for any level of success; envisioning the achievement in technicolour detail. Meditation is a daily ritual for me. I meditate over every aspect of the day and focus not so much on what I will look like but rather what I will feel like being in my own body. Stepping on stage should feel like you’re reliving all of the moments you mediated on so sincerely. I felt proud for having seen such a huge goal through; especially since only a few months prior, I really was ready to throw in the towel. TF: What is your secret for balancing your personal and fitness lifestyles? SS: PLANNING!!! It has been said a million times but nothing holds truer to an athlete than the old adage “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. I plan my meals. I plan my training. I plan my mindset and my plan B in the event that some unforeseen circumstances impede my initial map. Of course, there must some allowance for social, physical and emotional variables but even that forgiveness, is part of the master plan. TF: What is your training philosophy? SS: I believe in having two mandates. There is the obvious logistical mandate which dictates how specifically we will eat and train. Then there is the ethical mandate which dictates how we will behave along the way. I learned the hard way that along your path to the stage, there will be moments of weakness where the easy way out will seem all too desirable. Mapping out your ethical training philosophy, ie/ “I will train naturally, I will not cheat, I will nurture my body, I will only do things that I would be proud to share with my children…”, gives me a gauge against which I can measure the worth of the easy way out. If it doesn’t jive with my predetermined ethical mandate, it doesn’t get to be part of my path to the stage. TF: That being said what does a typical training week look like for you? SS: I train my upper body 2 days a week. I train legs/glutes 2 to 3 days a week. I lift heavy until my final week pre-contest and keep my rep range at about 8-10, depending on the exercise. I prefer to stick to variations of bodybuilding basics such as deadlifts, squats, lunges, presses and pull-ups. I always add in some sort of plyometric work on my leg days and aim for as many reps as are required to make me fall 😉 This season, I added HIIT to my routine. I’ve grown to love the stairs and car pushes – yes, car pushes. TF: What is your philosophy on nutrition? SS: Hormonal balance is of the utmost importance for me. I’ve found that restricting any specific macronutrient wreaks havoc on my system. I consume proteins, carbs and fats at every meal except for my pre and post workout meals; at which time I restrict my fat intake to optimize glycogen uptake. My contest prep nutrition resembles the way I eat during an improvement season. The primary difference would be that I am more diligent when it comes to measuring my portions. I also limit my cheat meals to once or twice per week at most. I’m sure that there are many different methods that work for many different types of people. I have to contend with various physiological disorders and feel that my body responds best to 4-5 meals per day and a moderate carbohydrate and fat intake, spread throughout my day, until the minute I go to bed. TF: Are supplements a part of your regimen? If so, what are some that you use? SS: ActivX is my favourite multi-vitamin. I love the added ginseng/ginkgo biloba and the heavier B-complex/Folate profile it offers. I’m obsessed with SciVation’s Xtend. I only use Perfect Nutrition’s Perfect Whey as a protein supplement. It’s free of rBGH or BST hormones, gluten, lactose and aspartame. Depending on my goals, supplements such as Creatine and Beta-Alanine might be used. I’ve tried pre-workout energy supplements in the past but didn’t enjoy the jittery feelings, the energy crash and the often metallic taste that would be left on my palette. Meal timing has made the greatest impact on the quality of my training. TF: What or who motivates you to keep going? SS: My sense of responsibility to myself motivates me to keep going. For as long as I’m in possession of health, I owe it to myself to use it to improve. I don’t know that we will ever reach our fullest potential but I do know that I wouldn’t ever be satisfied going to sleep knowing that I didn’t at least meet the full potential of any given day. On the days when I feel my least motivated, I look to my family. My children and my husband have supported me through some very difficult times. Using the support they continue to provide me with to create something bigger, better, is my way of saying thank you to them without having to really say much of anything at all. Athletes that I’ve met on stage, in the gym and that I follow online serve as an immense source of motivation. I once read that we’d love everyone if we took the time to read their story. Everyone does have one to tell and reminding myself of how much more challenging other athlete’s paths have been helps contextualize my struggles and lets me quickly refocus my energy. If all else fails, a good Kai Greene video is enough to send my motivation levels to the moon and back. TF: What’s your favourite bodypart to train? SS: This is actually the question that is taking me the longest to answer because quite honestly, I don’t have a favourite bodypart to train. I could very well go into the gym and spend an entire day training my toes if it meant I would leave feeling stronger. I suppose if I had to choose just one, I’d say whichever requires the most work at any given time. TF: What’s your least favourite bodypart to train? SS: Does my heart count as a bodypart? I have a condition called Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome as well as a coagulation disorder that can make cardio dangerous at times. I need to be extremely well rested and well fueled and very much in tune with any symptoms that may arise both going into my workout and over the course of the session. Being forced to worry about cardiac arrest during a cardio session really puts a damper on things 😉 TF: What accomplishments are you most proud of in the world of fitness? SS: Winning my IFBB Pro Card on a Canadian stage and as a Natural athlete is my absolute proudest moment in fitness thus far. TF: What’s next for Simone Sinclaire? SS: My Pro debut will be taking place here in Toronto on May 31st 2013 at the Toronto Pro Supershow. I have several other Pro shows planned out for the remainder of the season but will be waiting to apply the judges’ feedback before I commit to any stage in particular. As for my professional goals, I’m currently working on an updated version of my site as well as a new program that will allow me to extend my work online. Otherwise, expect to see a collaborative effort with another well-known Canadian athlete that will turn the spotlight on some incredible women doing some incredible things. TF: What can you tell us about yourself that most people wouldn’t know about you? SS: Simone Sinclaire isn’t my real name! Several years ago, I was the host of a reality TV show which aired both in Canada and the U.S. on Mark Cuban’s network, HDNet. Prior to shooting our first episode, it was decided that my family name wasn’t “wow” enough, so I was left in a hotel room in New York City at 3am to choose another before morning. I called my husband frantically and of course, he came to my rescue as he always does. He reminded me that superhero names often have a double alliteration. Take for instance, Clark Kent, Peter Parker, Bruce Banner… Something about the repetitive diction feels very powerful. It’s a technique applied by top advertising agencies to increase the likelihood of brand recognition. The idea was to choose a last name beginning with S that would sound powerful, roll off the tongue easily and of course, help make me a little more difficult to forget. The phonebook served as a midnight baby name book, so to speak. I don’t know if I actually loved Sinclaire or if I just got tired of reading and needed some rest, but either way, I chose it, they approved it and it stuck.