Brenda Raganot Interview

IFBB Pro bodybuilder Brenda Raganot is a master of the supreme art of sculpturing physique through dieting and training. Brenda, with her full muscles, symmetry and looks, won the 5th place in the recent prestigious Arnold Classic. This unique interview provides an insight into the life of one the gifted athletes in the bodybuilding industry, and explores how she sustains bodybuilding efforts with admirable stamina for more than 20 years.

Author: Jonathan.L - owner Models Observer
April 2008

* Brenda, your competitive history is truly fascinating. You've already won the Arnold Classic (LW) twice - in 2000 and in 2005. What motivates you to be your best? Is it the way your body looks in the mirror or simply a desire to be as healthy, strong, and energized as you can be?

Brenda Raganot: What motivates me is simply wanting to achieve to be the best bodybuilder I can be. Its about total discipline in the areas of training and eating the right foods.

* Let's talk about your gradual transformation into one of the most massive bodybuilders of our time. How did your road to exellence start?

Brenda Raganot: I started in 1984 back in high school. I saw a film called "Pumping Iron 2" with Rachel McLish ( a Ms. Olympia in her days). I was fascinated when I saw muscles on her and she was strong and sexy. Thats a woman! I walked into the local gym for the first time and I knew as soon as I walked in there that this is what I wanted to do...BODYBUILD!!

* What is a typical day in your pre-contest diet and training programme? How many weeks out from a contest do you begin your pre-contest diet and what are the most common foods in your pre-contest diet?

Brenda Raganot: A typical day would be getting up at 3:30am to do an hour cardio before having to be at work by 6am. Work until 2:30pm. Go train for an hour sometimes 1 1/2hr. On some days I would take a nap if I'm really tired then go train. Go home to eat and do another hour of cardio.
I started dieting for this 2008 Ms. International at 9 1/2 weeks out. The day after Xmas. Thats when the list came out. It was kind of late this year. I normally start 12 weeks out.
For pre-contest foods, its chocolate protein powder, lots of turkey breasts, 4% lean ground beef, sometimes tuna sashimi, sometimes egg whites. Then for carbs its oatmeal, yukon potatoes, vegetables, strawberries.

* How do you feel about your 5th place in the recent Arnold Classic?

Brenda Raganot: I was happy to qualify for the Ms. Olympia this year.

* Is there anything you will change in your preparation for your next bodybuilding competition?

Brenda Raganot: Yes, I will and need to be tighter, drier and bring more fullness to the muscles. With the tough competition, I need to be ON! There is no room for error.

* What has been your favorite moment in your bodybuilding career so far?

Brenda Raganot: Of course, winning the lightweight classes at the Ms. International in 2000 & 2005.

* What do you think about when you hit the stage?

Brenda Raganot: Hitting each pose precisely.

* How much does it cost to compete as a pro bodybuilder?

Brenda Raganot: ALOT!! LOL... I eat between 7-9 meals a day. I love red meat in the off season. I'm definitely a steak & potato kinda girl! Protein powders aren't cheap either. Between the red meat & supplements, I'd say $2000 for me. Thats just food!

* What is your favorite and least favorite part about bodybuilding?

Brenda Raganot: My favorite is just living the bodybuilding lifestyle. Eating every couple hours and training and continually to improve myself. The least part I would have to say is when precontest time comes around... I HATE getting up at 3:30am on a workday to do an hour cardio... but I just get up and do it.

* Do you have any advice to give ladies that are looking to get into bodybuilding?

Brenda Raganot: Find a personal trainer, one who has even competed in bodybuilding or better yet a pro bodybuilder. Someone who has the experience and knowledge. Another advice, is to keep a daily "journal" and write everything you do and eat especially during pre-contest so that you can fine tune and be better for your next show.

* What are the responses people give you when they see someone as shredded as you walk down the street or swim in the pool?

Brenda Raganot: First, I don't know how to swim. I'm like a cat in the water... LOL! I've always gotten nice compliments. People do stare at times but they look like they are just amazed or something. That look. Like Wow! You're in great shape!

* How is your family involved in your career?

Brenda Raganot: In the beginning, my parents weren't too crazy about muscles on women but now they have accepted me as a bodybuilder and they have come to some of my shows to support me.

* Does your zodiac sign (Virgo) accurately match your own personality, or is it completely opposite?

Brenda Raganot: I'm not sure what the Virgo sign says but I know I'm a stubborn horse at times and in the pursuit of perfection. Always striving to be better.

* I see your hobbies include nightclubs and dancing all night long, as well as going to movies. What genre of movies do you like?

Brenda Raganot: I like action, some love stories, some comedies and thrillers.

* What are your future goals?

Brenda Raganot: Improve on some bodyparts and bring a total package to the stage and of course, to be a Ms. International and Ms. Olympia champion. That is the ultimate goal!

Brenda can be reached at: Brendaraganot@aol.com.

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