Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lisa Cross Interview

Lisa Cross Interview By Female Muscle Guide

View Lisa's image gallery here!

Where were you born?

Lisa Cross: I was born in the North of England in a market town called Rochdale.

What is your profession?

Lisa Cross: Although I used to be a police officer and was once an English teacher, I am now training full time in an effort to attain professional status as a bodybuilder.

What do you do for fun that does not relate to the sport, do you have any hobbies?

Lisa Cross: As you can imagine when I’m not training I’m normally recuperating and so love to watch sports. In the North of England there is a great tradition of playing rugby and so I’m a huge fan. When I’m not watching rugby I’ll watch pretty much any other sport that’s going, that’s if I haven’t got my head buried in a book. I also love to read when I get the time and get caught up in a wonderful plot before realising that hours have passed by.

How and when did you get involved in weight training?

Lisa Cross: Like most other people I initially started working out just to tone up and lose a little weight. I used to run marathons in my younger days and so could often be found on a treadmill. I can’t recall when I first started lifting weights although have been lifting weight seriously or at least with intent for almost eight years.

How often do you train and could you give a brief overview of your weekly workout?

Lisa Cross: I will normally train five days a week although my training does tend to be very instinctive. I do not constrain myself to a set routine on set days, rather I train at times when I feel enthused to do so and when I know a workout will be productive. Here is rough outline of an average weeks training for me:

Monday – Chest (2 x heavy pressing movements, 2 x flye movements)
Tuesday – Arms (3 x bicep exercises, 3 x triceps exercises)
Wednesday – Legs (Heavy squatting movement with accessory exercises normally finished with walking lunges or dumbbell lunges)
Thursday – Back (Heavy pulling movement such as dead lift or barbell row with three accessory exercises)
Friday – Shoulders/Traps (Heavy pressing movement followed by two accessory exercises and two exercises for traps)

This would be a typical week in the offseason for me with one heavy compound exercise per body part followed by accessory exercises. When approaching a competition I will normally cut down dramatically on heavy lifting focusing more on repetitions and shaping the muscle.

How critical is a good diet in this sport and why?

Lisa Cross: Diet is everything and I really mean everything! Without a good diet most people could train all day long and end up looking like unsightly blobs. Although the nitty-gritty of a bodybuilder’s diet can be quite technical the basic principles are a good guide from which to start. Why they are important is because if you are training to lose weight and consuming a calorie surplus, it is no wonder that those love handles aren’t getting any smaller. It is important to know the numbers you are consuming in terms of calories, protein and carbohydrates. With that information you can then devise a diet to best suit your needs whilst making sure to consume the majority if not all of your calories from whole foods.

What is your favorite workout and why?

Lisa Cross: That’s an easy question. Legs! I absolutely love training legs. It’s probably because there my strongest body part and for the fact that I can show up most of the large men in the gym with the heavy weights I lift.

Do you train harder for competition preparation versus training in the offseason?

Lisa Cross: I wouldn’t say that I train harder, but I try to maintain the same level of intensity when I transition into competition preparation. With the calorie deficit associated with competition preparation and the increased cardio I would really struggle to train harder. Rather, I just change my focus from lifting heavy weights with low repetitions to lifting lighter weights for higher repetitions. When I approach a competition I’m not trying to gain muscle, I’m trying to shape and fill the muscle I have built during the offseason.

Did you want to compete from the day you started or did you gradually come in to it?

Lisa Cross: Although from the day I lifted my first weight I thought ‘this is amazing’, I didn’t necessarily think ‘I want to be a professional bodybuilder’. That ambition developed over time as I became more muscular and people began to say ‘you could compete Lisa’. It was almost a natural progression having been working out for pleasure; unbeknown to me I was actually good enough to try my hand on stage.

When and what was your first competition and how did you do?

Lisa Cross: My first competition was the 2009 NABBA England in which I achieved second place. I think a reasonable effort for a debutant.

How often do you compete now?

Lisa Cross: Having just won the British Championships I will now be competing in March 2011 at the Arnold Classic. I hope that I will be good enough to be able to focus all of my energy on competing only once a year at the Ms Olympia. Until that stage I anticipate that I will compete twice a year for the next couple of years.

Could you list the competitions you have competed in and your placement?

Lisa Cross:

2009 NABBA England (2nd)
2009 NABBA Universe (2nd)
2009 UKBFF Miss Hercules (1st)
2010 UKBFF British Finals (1st)

In your opinion what is your best body part?

Lisa Cross: My best body part is definitely my legs.

Is women’s bodybuilding as respected as men’s bodybuilding or is it criticized more?

Lisa Cross: I think women’s bodybuilding still has a certain stigma attached to it, although I think that is improving with the emergence of new athletes. In terms of respect for the dedication and commitment needed, I don’t think that is any less than for male bodybuilders, but in terms of equality in prize money and reputation, women’s bodybuilding still has ground to make up.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Lisa Cross: In ten years time I will be forty two and will have most probably retired from the sport. I would like to imagine myself having retired as a former multiple Ms Olympia winner. I can see myself still taking an active role in the sport maybe as a coach to up and coming athletes and will certainly remain as frequent presence on the show circuit.

Lisa's Websites:

- LisaCross.com
- Follow Her On Twitter

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