Autumn Swansen, IFBB Physique Pro
Most recently, I came out on top at the 2016 Arnold Classic. It was very nostalgic as my now husband Brent Swansen and I were last there as a dating couple in 2009 when I competed in the amateur fitness category. One of the prizes I received was a black leather Tony Nowak jacket specially made for the winners. I arrived in Columbus this year wearing it and left with a 2016 custom hot pink one! It's so surreal because I just know how much I've admired the "top" tier of competitors in all divisions over the years. There are no words to describe how I feel to now be considered one of them.
How I started: The “how” has involved so many different turns in my life and influential people in my path. Essentially, I grew up watching the fitness women on TV mimicking their moves in my living room floor during my upbringing. As I grew older, I came across others that had competed and could give me an honest account of my potential and show me the ropes. I began competing in 2008 after driving a few hours to attend my first bodybuilding show alone not knowing anyone competing or even what I was going to see to get an idea if this was even for me. The rest is history.
After I've had my "feel" of post show goodies, I typically have more of a balanced diet of healthy carb, fat, and protein sources. Pre contest, I follow a lower fat diet with higher carbs and protein is always high year around. I rely on Shawn Snider with ACI medicine year round to assess my nutrient deficiencies and keep me healthy. He is a fountain of knowledge!
I think all healthy sensible plans are effective as long as they fit the individual. Some people respond better to certain food sources and macronutrients. Everyone has a different genetic makeup that they need to respect. I definately believe long term ketogenic dieting is counterproductive if over utilized and saw this straight away for myself when first contest dieting, but it has its place in "crunch time" circumstances and when a person is looking to shed more water for an event.
I have always and will continue to be a big proponent of heavy compound weight training, but I definately do more isolation and concentration work as a show nears especially. I am constantly inventing new ways to utilize equipment and switching things up for ongoing progress stimuli. I definately use to be more in my head, but anymore I tell myself the muscle doesn't "know" what you are doing per say rep wise, set wise, etc but it "knows" it has to adapt to what you ask of it. With the oversight of Mandus Buckle with Underground Athletes, I have really been enlightened by the "gaps" we are continually trying to fill. Mandus has a keen eye for this and his guidance has been a huge part of my success.
Most recently, posing coach Kenny Wallach has helped me tremendously in this area best showcase my physique. He is simply the best all around! I actually turned pro in fitness and began my IFBB career in that division until recently. Besides switching into the WPD from fitness, I began gymnastics and dance at the age of 3 and was a cheerleader in highschool and dancer in college. I also did some pageantry so needless to say I'm use to crowds. The bigger the better!
Future plans: Wearing creations from my amazingly talented suit designer Cynthia James, I will be guest posing at John Hanen's show in May at the Suncoast Classic in Tampa, FL, then in KY in August for Gene Goode’s Kentucky State as well as an anticipated Q&A in my hometown gym Club Fit owned by Landon Helm closely followed by the OLYMPIA!!!! Sure to be included are photo shoots with the super talented photographer Joe Bayer with Hdphysiques.tv where my clipstore can be found. I also plan to guest pose next year for Jeff Johnson at his Mid Illinois shows. I hope to again be involved with posing clinics such as his Posing with the Pros and those of Jack and Ann Titones' as well as anything and everything I'm asked to do in the industry that my schedule allows. I am truly honored to be asked to give back to this sport in whatever way that I can.
I can found on IG: AUTUMNIFBB, FB: Autumn Swansen (IFBB Pro), and my clipstore: http://hdphysiques.tv/mvod/studios_indv.php?studioid=33
And contacted at: email@example.com