If you know anything about fitness, a couple names are probably synonymous with certain generations. The first name is Jack Lalanne and the other is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Two different people from two different background and two different methodologies. Jack was more of a functional fitness enthusiast as Arnold was a body building enthusiast. Their enthusiasm led to highly profitable personal branding and inspired the next generations of athletes and body builders.
I fall somewhere in between the way Jack trained and the way Arnold trained but I mostly was inspired by Bruce Lee. Of course, that is another story for another time.
I recently interviewed a good friend of mine who is a very successful, seasoned bodybuilder who was and still is inspired by the most famous bodybuilder of them all, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Rhonda Lee challenges what the prototypical woman is supposedly supposed to look like. She has a wonderful balance and her work ethic is on a whole different level and is extremely inspiring for that reason.
Rhonda Lee is someone that has overcome a lot of adversity to get where she is today. She is someone that is a free spirit that values hard work and pushing the body to its true capability. Happy for #SoCrucialMD to sponsor RLQ. – MD
Interview and links below –
MD: Well Rhonda, thank you for joining me for this interview with michaeldadourianc.com. Tell me, when was the last time you competed?
RLQ: Oct 2013.
MD: Were you happy with how you placed?
RLQ: No! Because who doesn’t want to win! i placed 16th. And I wasn’t given much if any feedback from the officials as to why. So I had to use my own judgement since then to try to figure it out and so far I’ve improved by far! BUT I have to keep myself in check and not take it too much to heart and keep pushing forward till I accomplish what I wish. And I am determined.
I was in amateur bodybuilder in Canada until I won for Canada in 1995, which earned me professional status. I did one pro show in 1998, then life threw me a curveball and wasn’t able to compete for some years. During this time the women grew bigger than my life at the time allowed me to keep up with. So I figured my time on stage had been. Then they implemented women’s physique. Feeling like I still had unfinished business and the excitement of seeing this category was made still for muscular women but not with the bulk and with lines, I re-emerged in 2010. Did first physique show for me, then 2013, now doing October this year.
MD: How did you feel after you did your first competition and is it still the same now?
RLQ: Yes and no regarding the sameness. So whats expected is the same. Now, after re-emerging back to competing, I know what to expect for the most part and I mentally prepare for it and it’s a different time. Otherwise, regarding when I actually started competing and even now, no, because even tho it’s still ridiculously hard, the shock of the unexpected hardness of the prep is over. Let me explain using my post first show. And then keep in mind that everything I will say never changes while getting ready for a competition, except the shock of the post first show. In reflecting after I competed for the first time ever up until today in a nutshell, these were my thoughts.
That It was way harder than could even be imagined before taking on the endeavor. That I had willpower and not just outer strength, but an inner strength that by perhaps that unexplainable life force, I was enabled to conquer so many test of wills! To many people, they think us bodybuilders are shuffling around a few weights, to make ourselves the perfect body as though in an Adonis contest. Its far more than that! I assure you!
It encompasses every molecule of our being, no exaggeration! Your mind, emotions, and body, waking and sleeping, are used to the maximum to prepare for what needs to be done to change your physique. You must do your homework, and you can’t veer off course, or miss any beats….IF you want to be your best, and IF you are trying to win! Even then you may not even win.
BUT, the effects of following thru on what it takes to compete, knowing you did the best you can do, to be a bodybuilder or any physique competitor, Is what being a Pro is about, and what makes Potential athletes become Pros. It is uber empowering and Life changing. After my first show, I looked back at what I had done, (and at an early 20 years of age) it set the tone to believe I could do anything! It set a baseline for me to remember in other areas of my life that there are no shortcuts. IF you do what it takes, you will be rewarded in some definite positive way! And it made me want to live it and help others know they can if that so be their desire too! 🙂
MD: You have done so well as a IFBB Pro Female Bodybuilder. What honor are you most proud of and how long did it take you to earn it?
RLQ: I would have to say the honor I was most proud of was winning the overall Canadian nationals in 1995. It was the determining factor why I got my pro card. It also was my first time at a national level show. It usually takes years if ever to get this, and I did it when that was really hard to do. Only 2 men and 2 women a year earned this elite status. There’s way more opportunities in the bodybuilding realm to become pro today in the sport. It was also the show I thought I was finally not going to place! I wasn’t being negative. I knew I had potential to win, but the reality was more realistic to understand it’s a long shot. Wow right!?! Who knew?
Actually I did well as an amateur. Perfect record actually if you are speaking about competing. Off season was harder for me then. As a pro I’ve not done as well on stage but am now a seasoned good off season bodybuilder.
MD: What keeps you motivated to wake up early, train for hours a day and stay with the strict regimen you have?
RLQ: Its a matter of how bad you want it! How CRUCIAL is it 😉 to your life, For your purpose, and for your happiness and well in essence, who knows?! The universe works in mysterious ways! My life’s passion is my health and fitness and competitive bodybuilding world. Broken down, taking care of and working with my body for some reason puts me in a state that’s like a set point or something (if I were to describe that state since there’s no exact definition of what I’m speaking of). I have a strong brain body connection. The workouts make me feel good like I took a drug after that puts there. And the results and control over myself always do what I put into it. So I know it’s done ….it never lies. When I’m in this state, then everything else can run smooth for me. For example, I just finish training, and I go, ok, now everything else can be done and it will be because I’m in balance. It’s like my shower, brushing my teeth, etc. That being said, there’s only so many waking hours we have to work with. So I have to make sure I get in my training! I also have to work, etc. So I must ensure I grasp those moments I can because they are valuable time!
The amount of time I train is dependent upon what my goal is. Showtime is hours a day. Off season not so much but more time doesn’t mean better results. Time allotted to the right places and amounts equals better results.
Then the hardest part, Willpower! Seeing the goal and being determined and believing you can get it and doing your homework and not compromising will get you success. Perhaps a bit of obsessive compulsiveness helps too. 😉
MD: You recently met Arnold Schwarzenegger, what was that like?
RLQ: You can check out the detailed experience on my blog at www.rlqzone.com.
Meeting him for me wasn’t just because he was a legendary bodybuilder, actor or politician, etc, etc. It was learning how he accomplished everything he did, and learning from him. Early on in my training career, the encyclopedia of bodybuilding was like my bible for training. It was written by Arnold and Bill Dobbins. Still today it is an excellent guide and it taught me key points to apply in my training to continue a career of sculpting my body. Then when I would hear him in interviews with his absolute positive sureness of action unfolding into his life events, I was hooked! So intelligent. And then there were a couple life parallels which I hope and dream of sharing in a conversation with him one day!
So, thru out the years, I decided that one day I HAD TO meet the person who I would say I have used as a Mentor. He inspired, encouraged, gave me insight and wisdom. (there are a few others that share in a little peice of this for me as well). I wanted to feel the energy of such a successful human in my presence and be grateful. So, when I ran smack right into him that day at the gym…..Wow! Wow! I don’t know what else to say except, could I really get to have a human conversation with the Austrian Oak in the future!? You will be one of the first to know here on this blog if I do!
MD: You also model and personal train other people. How are you able to do all of that and still designate so much time to your own training?
RLQ: Sometimes I even wonder! I guess you just do what you have to do when you have to get something or it’s your standard.
MD: Do you have a favorite muscle group to train? What are some of your favorite exercises for that primary muscle group?
RLQ: It used to be legs, but my goals and body has changed as time has moved on and i really don’t have an absolute favorite! I like them all for different reasons now. I tend now to think of my body parts as a whole. Before legs were fav because it was the faster responding and stronger body part, but now I train differently.
MD: How do you feel preparation for this next competition is coming along? Do you ever get nervous when it comes to competing?
RLQ: A bit frustrating just because if setbacks. Now I’ve moved my date from June until Oct! Haaa, nervous is my head game battle to make or break me. Especially since reintroducing myself on stage after many years. I’m better this show coming up though. I’ve done 2 previous since coming back onstage and my confidence has improved. It feels kind of like I am new like in the very beginning in some ways! Yikes!
MD: What is the best advice you can give someone just starting out in competition?
RLQ: To follow the diet exactly! That’s the most important part to how you will look show day! Hopefully you have somebody who knows how to coach, train or advise you during show prep!
MD: Well we are going to continue to follow your progress. In the meantime, how can people contact you for sponsorship opportunities?
RLQ: You can email me at email@example.com. Or there are donate buttons thru out my websites and store items on my websites. Or PayPal directly via donation at firstname.lastname@example.org
RLQ: Just some extra details.
SPONSORSHIP DETAILS for COMPETITION
NEXT SHOW – OCTOBER 2015
Titles Held –
- Miss Kingston Lightweight – 1st place
- Miss Ottawa Lightweight – 1st place
- Miss Ottawa Lightweight – 1st place
- Miss Ontario Lightweight – 1st place
- Miss Canada Middleweight 1st place and overall
- Miss Canada ‘95- Winning This National title got Rhondalee Professional international status as a bodybuilder
International Federation Bodybuilder Professional (IFBB Pro)
- Jan Tana 1998 Pro debut-13th place
- Night of Champions- New York 2003 IFBB Pro figure-17th place
- IFBB Toronto, Ont, June, 2012 Canada Pro Supershow Women’s Physique category 13th place
- Titan’s Grand Prix Oct 2013 Culver City, California, USA-16th place
My brand is my combination of muscle and femininity, considering having reached professional standards as a female bodybuilder. – RLQ
Rhonda Lee is an IFBB Professional Physique Competitor now, Private Pro personal Trainer, Model & Entertainer. Check out Rhonda Lee’s Official Website, RLQZONE.com
Rhonda Lee’s Tricep workout is So Crucial! Check it out below and subscribe to her YouTube channel, by clicking here.