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MD 1 on 1 ~Tammy Interviews Elena Seiple

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  • MD 1 on 1 ~Tammy Interviews Elena Seiple

    MD 1 on 1~Tammy's Forum Leader interview with Top National Bodybuilder, Professional Powerlifter and Professional Strongwoman.......

    TP: Elena, you have had a very transitional year. Please tell us about your move to Atlanta and what you are doing there.

    ES: Well I moved to Atlanta OCtober of 2007. Prob not the smartest thing to do 6-8 weeks out from a show, but none the less. I was for 11 years the VP of Information Technology for banks, but now I work in the commodities business of non-ferrous metals (brokerage). Its a new career for me but worth it. I love what I do. Moving to Atlanta also put me in a good place mentally , physically and spiritually. I had for a long time put a big part of my life to the side, and thats God. Moving to Atlanta has opened the doors for me to get involved again in the church and putting God in a place he hadn't been for a while which is First in my life. Not easy to balance when you want to put other things struggle on a daily basis with that. Sure, the timing of my move was off, but the overall big picture of the better things in perfect.

    TP: Has the move been a positive experience? Do you miss New Jersey?

    ES:Absolutely positive. I have a great group of friends here who support my bodybuilding. Back in NJ Ill be honest, I felt several of my close friends ( not all) wanted me to retire and never understood why I did this. It wasn't for the attention or what not, but I actually love the challenge of making myself better and competing against me. Do I miss NJ? You bet. Mom and Dad are there, and most of my brothers and sisters. I have nieces there that I miss. But I get home quite a bit. My best friend lives up there. Since my move though I have been home alot. Just this month Ill be home twice. So it works out.

    TP: Were are getting geared up to start prepping for Nationals in Atlanta in November. How is your mind set going into this show? Do you have good support system in Atlanta?

    ES::Last year , I was not prepared at all for nationals mentally. I had ALOT going on. After the 2006 nationals I had two surgeries that I didn't announce, and then went through some personal challenges, and then moved to Atlanta, started new job etc. I didn't have time for themental prep for the show. And that is important. When you mentally prepare to diet and get ready you are in a different place. This year...I have been counting the days since I stepped off stage. I kept low key this year and just focused on me. I had a full time trainer this offseason, John White ( 4th Masters HW Winner) and a great training partner and best friend, Brad Childers. John wanted me to get my weight up a bit this year, and so I reached the 160 mark...not a place I ever want to get to again...LOL and he hammmmmmered my legs. No more fun days in the gym. I worked hard every day this year...and I am excited to peel back the layers to see what was created. As stated before I always felt that certain people in my "support" group in NJ wanted me to retire, but down here...they support me and push me. And outside of the gym, bodybuilding is not the most important thing in our lives which gives it a good balance. We know when to focus and when to just relax and have a good time and appreciate all that life has given us. I will say since John has trained me I have gained a plethera of nicknames....and I have learned that I am always wrong..LOL no matter what. Currently I am TURTLE....dont ask.

    TP: You have called yourself the "bridesmaid" of bodybuilding, taking 2nd many times at nationals. What keeps you hungry to comeback and keep trying for the #1 spot?

    ES:Sigh...yes always a bridesmaid, never a bride. The problem ...I have just never been the best. I don't blame anyone but me. I took second in my first nationals in 2000. Since then I have been second 4 times, third 3 times and 4th 2 times....I also have been top three in every weight class...except heavy... My entire bodybuidling career has matured at the national level. Why do I come back? because Im not a quitter. And I set a goal for myself and I want to achieve it...that goal was to win the Nationals.

    TP: A professional powerlifter, professional strong woman and a top national bodybuilder are just a small part of Elena Seiple. Tell us something we would be surprised to know about you.

    ES:I play in an orchestra. Been playing clarinet since the second grade, taught to me by my father who is an amazing musician....AMAZING. I stopped playing once I got so involved in Bodybuilding and left no time for the things that mattered to me. Since I started to play again its my "ME" time...on Wednsday nights. When I am there, I am just Elena. No one talks bodybuilding or cares. Its about the music. I sometimes just close my eyes and listen to the rest of the orchestra because its so beautiful. I have had the opportunity to play at the Cobb Energy Center ( ATL Symphony Hall) in April, and have performed in many other concerts, and I play most Sundays in church. Its my escape and my time of relaxation.

    TP: Training for strongwoman, powerlifting and bodybuilding are all very different. How did you get started? How do you avoid injuries?

    ES: I got started in powerlifting with Heather Lee in 2004. We were trained by a guy named Herman and he got me to my first 485 pound squat. We then started to train with Mike Miller and he got me my 500 pound squat ...My first meet I squatted 500, benched 285 and dead lifted 470. Thats a 1255 total which made me an Elite Powerlifter. I was very proud of that. THen Strongman , My ex husband got me involved in. And I just loved that. I started that in early 2006. I was never so nervous as I was for my first meet. I went on to get invited to the WORLDS STRONGWOMAN CHAMPIONSHIPS 2006 in Poland. What an experience. It was amazing. The disappointing this is in the USA no one know about it, but over there, I have four page spreads in their fitness magazines, people emailing me etc. It was just an experience I would never trade. I hope to do a few more competitions.

    Avoiding injury? its called training smart with out ego. Its about listening to your body and knowing when to not push and when to push. It means yes, so and so may have just done 1000 pounds but if you feel that its not in you that day, don't do it , put the ego aside and train smart. i also believe in training with as little assistance from equipment as possible to help strengthen your core and joints. Strong joints are very important in both of those sports.

    TP: You competed in the worlds strongwoman contest in Poland a couple years ago. Tell us about that experience.

    ES:Amazing. To compete with the top ten women in the world. No egos , just great comradarie and passion. The intersting about this sport is no on is good at everything. It tests grip, endurance, strength, speed , agility etc. I am good at strength and grip , but I am not the best at the speed . So some events you do well in , some not so much. My best events at the worlds was the log press, the car hold, the weight for height , and the dead should have been my best event. In practice I pulled it easy. It was only 405 which is a pretty easy lift for me. But when I got up there, I was third from didn't budge. It was so odd. The next two girls were supposed to do well it it too and they couldn't move it. After the show when they broke down the equipment , they found the weight had shifted as it was in a cart and it was back loaded and the weight moved forward making it front loaded and was appr 525 pounds at that point. LOL so I got zero points there on a lift I should of done well at. But oh well, live and learn and just have fun with it.

    TP: You started out as a light weight, moved to middle weight and are now a light heavy. Its rare that someone does that and stays high in thier placings. What do you think has been the key to your sucess?

    ES: You know, Im not sure. I guess because I don't try to be a certain weight or look. I am letting my body take me where it needs to be to be its best. ( except for last year, that does not count) I have been consistant in my weight gain over the years. If you look at it I have been at the nationals since 2000...thats seven years. I competed at 118 the first year and 139 seven years later. Thats a gain of 21 pounds....divide that by 7 years, thats only three pounds a year of muscle I have put on. Id say thats pretty consistant....I never made a big jump along the way. And the reason I went from MW to LHW was because they changed the classes and introduced the LHW class and thats where I fell.

    TP: What is the hardest part of contest prep for you? the easiest?

    ES:The hardest is am cardio. I just don't like it. But this year i prepared for it, and really its not that bad. The easiest, is not losing my strength and still having great workouts. So I don't get discouraged ...

    TP: Tell us about your 1st show.

    ES:you really want to hear that?My first NPC show was the womens extraveganza in NJ that year 1999. THey had the MS O with that show. It was the year they split up the men and women. Imagine your first show , and you go to get your bag, and KIM CHIVESKY is sitting on YOUR CHAIR where your stuff was. UHHHH lets say, I left the bag and got it later. Here I am a NOTHING in this sport back stage with Lisa Lewis, IRIS KYLE , Kim C, Vivki Gates, oh the list goes on. It was scary yet amazing. I never felt so odd pumping up...Felt pointless standing next to them. LOL

    TP: What would you like to see change about womens bodybuilding?other than more pro cards of course!

    ES: You know, Thats a hard one for me. More pro cards, would be nice. At least top two at the overalls like they do for the men. Me personally, i think if you place top three more five times you get an automatic one...LOL Just kidding. The sport is constantly plagued by negativity, and opposition. I have to admit, seeing how much coverage Dave has been giving the women is amazing. I think MD really has done a great job at bringing the positive back into the sport.

    TP: What has been your greatest reward in the sport? What show are you most proud of?

    ES: last year after we came off stage at the nationals, karen choat said to me...." I beat you....for so long its been Elena this and Elena that and I beat you" and she didnt' mean it in a disrespectul way, she meant it that she had looked up to me and for her to beat me meant somthing big to her and I knew what she meant and she had tears in her eyes. That moment, just made me feel great. The show I am most proud of....hasnt happened yet its going to be this year Nationals.

    I have to add, the people that I can help also make it rewarding and worth while...most of all Jess Rohm, new IFBB pro...working with her from 2005 to today has been super rewarding....Just to watch her discipline and determination and to have gained a friend that I can count on in so many ways. She is an amazing woman and has been there for me for so much since I met her. Its been an honor to help her reach her goals.

    TP: You are looked up to by so many women in this sport, who do you look up to? Whose physique do you admire?

    ES: You know , when I started it was Cory, Lenda and Gladys...but the truth is...there is an Ironman Magazine Cover with Kim C on it. And I remember just looking at that magazine in awe. She was just amazing. Today, I am a big fan of Heather Policky and Annie Riveccio. I love the shape they both have. I think Heather can be a future Ms O. I also admire Isabelle Turell and think she will be an amazing pro.

    TP:Now for the personal side of Elena Seiple....

    ES:your favorite....

    Food? i love mexican, and my own spaghetti sauce and meatballs, key lime pie and apple pie

    Music? everything, being a musician i appreciate it all

    Color? black

    Clothing designer? uhhh to be honest, if it fits i love it. it can come from target to long as it fits

    pets? my dog Elvis who is basset/beagle and my two cats Babs and Tom . And I still love Diesel( doberman) and Emma (lab).....very much. They do not live with me anymore but are in very good hands.

    movie? hmmm.......tough one...there are too many . I im a romantic I love all those sappy chick flicks


    TP:What are your pet peeves?

    ESh this is a long Ill give my TOP FIVE
    * atlanta drivers , lol
    * people who do not clean off their weights
    * clutter
    * the sound of people chewing food
    * the sound of people smacking their gum
    * John White on leg day.

    TP: Thanks Elena for taking time out to answer my questions. Good luck in your prep, and I will see you in Atlanta! All your friends here At MD will be rooting for you to get that pro card.
    Attached Files
    Team-TammyFitness code TAMMY

  • #2

    I can vouge for the insanity and the sadistical training of John "my brother is satan, you got a problem with that" White. Nothing is ever good enough and you r never suffering enough or doing anything right!! And without trying to compliment Elena (which she doesnt deserve); one of the most real, upfront, trusting light hearted, hard working, knowledgeable, giving people I have met since moving to ATL. She is part of this small lil family that has let me in im very grateful to meet all of them cause they are truly wonderful people. Elena may be the Sister I never had... more importantly never wanted!! She has busted her ass for along time... I think its time she gets her long awaited card that has been hers for quite sometime!

    Now ill never say another nice thing about you again u 4 foot tall mouthy lil s**t

    Oh and PS now I know more of your pet peeves... Im on it

    Last edited by Dan Newmire; August 4th, 2008, 04:40 PM.
    True Nutrition Athlete


    • #3
      Elena is in good hands in Atlanta, and its a nice little pocket of muscle heads when you want to be around one or two of them. I've seen John and I can also confirm there's nothing "fluffy" about him. God bless Elena for taking that on as "a typical day's training'!

      Thanks for sharing & best wishes for that "best show yet to come"! It will be well-earned.


      • #4
        Elena's great -- one of my big idols/inspirations. Thanks for the interview, Tammy.


        • #5
          awesome interview, Tammy.
 * *


          • #6
            One of my favorite top NPC competitors!
            Thanks for the interview, Tammy!


            • #7
              New fan here


              • #8
                met elana at 2005 jr. nationals and immediately took to her, she is one of the coolest women i know, i miss her and can't wait to see her in November in Atlanta!
                IFBB PRO Brad Davis


                • #9
                  Great job Tammy.



                  • #10
                    Hey all!

                    First Tammy, thank you for the interview! I appreciate it! I have had a great road at that nationals but its time I get this job DONE ! I am working hard this year to be the best I can possibly be...And the motivation is there.

                    I thought I'd add a few pics as well...from the strongmanm training, and THE WORLDS STRONG WOMAN CHAMPIONSHIPS that I have done. I love Strongman and hope to do a few events in the future. But I wanted to focus on the Nationals this year so I took the year off from strongman.


                    PS love me, you really love me!!! LOL Thanks for the kind words, even though you still wear retarded OHIO crocks.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by ElenaSeiple; August 5th, 2008, 10:11 AM.


                    • #11
                      Always thought she should have ben a pro long time ago....cant wait to see you at nationals i will make sure i give a holla


                      • #12
                        What a great interview.

                        I've known Elena almost 10 years and never knew that she played the clarinet.

                        Way cool.
               - "It's all about the muscle."


                        • #13
                          Elena is one of my favorite people I have met through this sport. Simply beautiful person, inside and out.
                 code TAMMY


                          • #14
                            This is Brad.
                            I have to say that of people that you meet in this sport Elena is one of the most genuine. She is not pretentious and speaks to everyone. As noticed by John White(aka Satan the trainer) and anyone who has been around Elena at an event carrying on a conversation with her as she walks through the crowd only to turn aand see she is gone, talking to friend and fellow competitors or stopping for photos with fans. I think John's words were, "Is there any one she doesn't know?" She is an inspiration, a kind soul with a warriors spirit.
                            You are as many have said "A Pro with no card", that you have earned numerous times but never recieved. I am proud of you and I am honored to be your friend. NOW GET YOUR ASS TO WORK!!! :|


                            • #15
                              The honorable Ms Seiple

                              Originally posted by ElenaSeiple View Post
                              This is Brad.
                              I have to say that of people that you meet in this sport Elena is one of the most genuine. She is not pretentious and speaks to everyone. As noticed by John White(aka Satan the trainer) and anyone who has been around Elena at an event carrying on a conversation with her as she walks through the crowd only to turn aand see she is gone, talking to friend and fellow competitors or stopping for photos with fans. I think John's words were, "Is there any one she doesn't know?" She is an inspiration, a kind soul with a warriors spirit.
                              You are as many have said "A Pro with no card", that you have earned numerous times but never recieved. I am proud of you and I am honored to be your friend. NOW GET YOUR ASS TO WORK!!! :|
                              I want to second that Brad.....She is amazingly kind and approachable and a fantastic trainer. We have worked together since Jr Usa, then followed by Jr Nats and now on to the North Americans....couldnt do any of it without her!!