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Q&A: Figure Champion Brittney Hall

Over the years, I have been to countless bodybuilding shows, yet I still have this reoccurring feeling every time I go. As each competitor gets on stage, I can’t help but analyze them and their tremendous physique. I try to picture them in the weeks leading to the show in hopes of seeing them in another light. It’s the tortuous training and lonely hours spent on the treadmill that nobody seems to realize. This consuming lifestyle is what it takes to make it in this industry.

 Professional bodybuilders of all categories deserve credit that never seems to be given. They work day in and day out, eating the same bland food everyday just to win a trophy or some money. It’s a vicious lifestyle that only few can manage to perform, but they still do it, not for prizes, but for pride and accomplishment. It all is nice in the grand scheme of things, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see them as they began this journey into a world they’d never dreamed of? I wanted to explore this route by having a firsthand interview with an up and coming amateur bodybuilder. Her name is Brittney Hall.

Brittney Hall is a native of Tennessee, where she was born and raised on a farm in Clarksville. Bodybuilding may not be the most popular sport in this small town, but it sure has gotten some notoriety from this rising star. Brittney is an amateur figure competitor that has recently started her career off with a bang. After training less than 7 months, Brittney Hall shocked the stage with her superb performance at the 2009 Northern Kentucky NPC Invitational. Brittney came in a novice, and left a veteran as she clinched the Class “A” title. Brittney is only 20 years old, which makes her the youngest competitor to win a figure title that day. Oh, did I mention this was her 1st show ever?
Before leaving for the trip, I had to privilege to sit down and discuss with Brittney her current condition and thought process leading up to the show.

Pre-competition (23 hours from show)
Adam (A)    Brittney (B)
A: First off, I want to thank you so much for taking the limited time you have to conduct this interview with me; I know you must be in a focused state of mind.
B: Oh it’s my pleasure, I am happy to help. In fact, I wish I could have read something like this before this competition to give me an understanding of how everything works. My trainer, Wendy Gardner, has done a great job preparing me for stage though.
A: So, tell me how you feel about your current condition? Are you feeling confident in your physique and posing being that this is your first time on stage?
B: Obviously, I feel a little tired due to my diet taking effect, but aside from low energy, I am really looking forward to showing what I’ve been working for. My mid section and back have come in perfectly, and I feel very confident in my performance. I have one of the best diet coaches and posing trainers, so there are no regrets there.
A: Looking at last year’s lineup, how do you feel coming into this show? What made you decide to pick this show?
B: That’s a good question. I really didn’t understand how big this show is until everyone kept talking about it. This is one of NPC’s biggest amateur shows in the nation, but I think that made me even more determined after realizing this. I’ve trained over four months to be more than ready, and I think I am. The girls from last year looked awesome, but their legs looked a little soft, so I believe I have an advantage going into this. Years of cheerleading has helped me build a strong sweep and overall size to my quads and hamstrings. I believe the judges will be looking for a harder look with overall symmetry and size for my height class.
A: It’s obvious you have a great build, can you tell me how you’ve prepared in the past months in regards to training, dieting and posing?
B: I’ve had a tough schedule to maintain, but nothing was going to stop me from doing this. This sport isn’t for everyone, so I can’t expect to have it easy. I started around 134 lbs, and have successfully dropped to 110 lbs at the moment. I’m sure after tomorrow, I’ll be lower considering my water is dropping today. My diet coach, Wendy Gardner, has kept me on a great diet consisting of various poultry (orange roughy, chicken and tuna) and consistent complex carbohydrates. I was dreading the low-carb diet, but it worked quite well for me because Wendy has a lot of variety in her dieting skills. She is a pro at posing too, so I feel very blessed going into the show knowing what I know. Training was very routine, for I’ve been on two-a-day cardio sessions for over 2 months now with no cheat meals. Yes, no cheats at all!
A: What is your mood like coming into this tournament?
B: That’s the famous question I seem to hear lately (laughing). I feel good considering my carb meals didn’t get taken away this week, for we didn’t want me to lose too much weight too fast. At the moment, I’m doing fine, although I can tell that my mood has shifted towards irritability and hunger as the day progresses. I can’t wait to have my first piece of cake after all this is over!

Post-competition (1 hour after the Class A figure finals)

A: Well, that was absolutely amazing! How do you feel about being the Class A women’s figure champion?
B: Words cannot express my emotion at the moment. I think I’ll cry if I go any further (laughing).
A: Can you describe what it is that separated you from the other competitors?
B: Well, to start, I want everyone to know how stiff the competition was here in Kentucky. In fact, one of the girls had competed in the Arnold Classic last week. I was very nervous, but it seemed to settle once I walked on stage. I think my legs and overall symmetry is what they judges were looking for. I was very confident in posing and tried to really stay tight on my quads and abdominals. My shoulders are my weakest feature, so I tried to keep them flexed and striated as much as possible. I didn’t get to turn to the side much, which was unexpected. That is my best shot, but they didn’t want that until the night show, so I knew I had to step it up in my front poses. The other girls had great upper bodies, but I think it was the lower body that separated me from them.
A: This win now qualifies you for a national figure show, what are your plans regarding this?
B: To be honest, I’m not even there yet, so I want to focus on my victory tonight and get back to normal life -- if that even exists. I am so grateful to have this honor, and I want to share it with my friends and family who were here to support me.
A: A modest approach nonetheless, but do you have any advice for those considering this sport at such a young age as yourself?
B: This sport isn’t for everyone, and it can literally drive you crazy if you let it. I don’t live my life in regrets, so anything is worth trying to me. My advice would be to shoot for the moon and aim at the stars, for accomplishment isn’t just in winning, it’s in the experience you went through. I could easily complain about the vigorous weeks leading up to this, but to be honest, those tough weeks are what really test someone’s drive and determination the most.

Final Thoughts:
A true southern belle, Brittney Hall sure has captivated the attention of her fans and fellow competitors. It was amazing to witness such a young athlete perform as if she was a pro. It will be very interesting to see how this will all play out one day. I suppose the underlying message in all this is to never give up, no matter the age or experience because success isn’t determined by these facets alone. 

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