Ahhhh, the gorgeous Natalie Waples. I chatted with her a bit on Twitter but finally got the chance to meet and work together during the Olympia 2011 weekend. She’s one of those lucky girls to be born with not only great genetics (a physique rewarded with a IFBB Pro card), a classically elegant face that reminds me of Old Hollywood, but also a wicked sense of humor and intellect. My kind of chick 🙂
Of course because of her interesting background and envious physique, I had to get her to do an interview with me. Find out how this Sponsored athlete and Canadian Figure star has made her mark in the industry, as well as her fitness, diet, and tips for those looking to follow her path.
1. Can you tell us about yourself?
I currently reside in Vancouver Canada and work for the Canadian Federal Government as a Human Resources Professional. I am originally from Ontario, Canada where I pursued and Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Ottawa. I am fluently bilingual (French and English) and am a very proud Canadian!
2. How did you get started with physique shows?
I competed in my first Figure competition in October 2006 and haven’t looked back! I competed at the regional, provincial and national level, prior to winning my IFBB Pro card at the 2008 North American Figure Championships. That same year I also won my class at the Arnold Amateur Figure Championships. I stated competing as an IFBB Pro in 2009.
3. Can you tell us a little about your competition history and the titles you’ve won?
As an amateur competitor, some highlights are: Canadian National Natural Overall Figure Champion in 2007, Class E Winner at the 2008, Arnold Amateur Figure Championships , one of two overall titles (IFBB Pro Status) at the 2008 North American Figure Championships.
As a professional my highest placing was at the 2011 California Pro Figure where I placed 3rd, and went on to compete in the 2011 Ms Figure Olympia in front of 8,000 people! I was also the first Canadian to qualify for this event since 2008.
4. You recently competed for the 2011 IFBB Figure in Olympia. What has been your preparation like? What is your dieting approach before the big show?
My coach Tad Inoue and I worked at paring down my dominant lower body while trying to keep muscle up top (I am one of the ‘taller’ competitors at 5’7 so this can be tough!). We focussed on high quality proteins and fats, lots of veggies, and starchy carbohydrate sources such as rice and oatmeal.
5. How is the Canadian CBBF/IFBB scene compared to the USA IFBB scene?
The Canadian shows run the same as the American ones, however Figure competitors tend to be a lot ‘harder’ in Canada than in the US.
6. You have a six pack and everyone is impressed by them. How long did it take for you to get them? What specific method do you find most effective in building ripped abs?
I trained heavy abs when I was younger (18-22) as part of my regime for the university cheerleading squad, so this is when I developed most of the muscle I have now. I used exercises like weighted crunches, throw downs, weighted declines to build mass. But as we all know, ab development is about 90% genetic so you have to look at your parents for the hand you are dealt!
7. Can you tell us about your personal training & nutrition coaching business? What can people expect from your training sessions?
As I have a full time job, my own training and competing, as well as a busy life at home, I train all my clients via ‘distance’. This includes weekly email updates and modifications to nutrition and if applicable, training programs. I specialize in contest preparation for Figure and Bikini, but also have several lifestyle clients as well.
8. You’re an accomplished fitness model, contest prep consultant and you also work as a Human Resources Professional, how do you balance work and your fitness career?
I love it all so I do it all! I have a planner, blackberry and calendar which I use extensively, so I schedule everything in and make it happen. How can I not pursue my passions? 😉
9. You came from a child beauty queen background. Was it anything like how we see on TV or was your experience different? How did this help you on the fitness /figure stage today?
I do not have enough good things to say about pageants. I competed along with my sister for 5 years, so my mom would truck us all over the place for our shows and I learned a lot about public speaking, interview skills, presentation, and just poise and polish in general. Also the quality time ‘us girls’ spent together is unequivocal.
10. What is your philosophy on nutrition? Have you ever cheated on your diet?
Anyone who tells you they haven’t cheated on their diet is lying. We are human! I follow my meal plan as closely as possible and am very diligent when I have a competition looming, but I also follow a clean eating regime year round, so dieting is not that difficult. My favourite cheat foods are homemade pizza, anything ‘skor’, and sour candies.
11. You’ve been modeling for some time now and have been featured in several magazines. What have you learned so far and what tips can you share to aspiring models who wishes to get published?
I went out there and got all of my modeling work and sponsorships on my own. I put together promotion packages for myself, including pictures, and a resume/accomplishments list, and always followed up with the appropriate people. Pretty girls are a dime a dozen so my best piece of advice is to try and tell a different story, and really only include the necessary information for their perusal – short and sweet!
12. What’s next for you? When and where can we expect to see you compete? What are your future goals in this industry?
My last show of the season is the Border States Pro Figure on October 29th, 2011. I will then officially be in my off season, and working hard to put on some muscle and improve my physique for next season. I also have a ‘Hardbody Confidential’ feature coming out in the December issue of FLEX magazine. In terms of future goals, a 2012 Olympia qualification would be great and continuing with the magazine and promotional work.
Having a full time job takes a lot of my energy, but having had the opportunity to learn my love of fitness into a second career has been great. I will also be doing more work with my sponsors Nutrabolics, Sunlove Athletics and of course continuing my Inside Expert column in Inside Fitness magazine.
13. Last words, where can we find you on the Internet?