Nicole Ball Interview

She wins bodybuilding competitions year after year. Nicole Ball, from Alberta, Canada, tells us about her long journey in bodybuilding. What motivates her, how much does it cost to be a bodybuilder (hint: a lot), and how is it to rear three dogs?

Author: Jonathan.L - Owner Models Observer
July 2006

* Nicole, your achievements in bodybuilding are incredible. You were placed first in middleweight both 2004 and 2003 Canadian Bodybuilding Championships, in 2002 Alberta Bodybuilding Provincials, and in 2000 Alberta Muscle Beach Classic lightweight. What does it take to win bodybuilding shows, and is it easy to stay at the top as a successful bodybuilder?

Nicole Ball: I believe in order to be a successful winner you must believe in yourself first. A winner is only one who has faith in themselves and trusts that no matter what each year brings that there can always be set backs but you truly are the best you can and could be. I always train and keep a focus on each day of my life. There are differences in my life that I have overcome but having so many people behind me who love me and support me in the world. I have so many people who contact me through my web site who continuously tell me how motivated they are by me and my story in life, and that I keep them going for hope day to day. That is enough to keep me on the top!!

* How was the beginning of your bodybuilding career? When you started bodybuilding, did you imagine you would reach so far?

Nicole Ball: Oh my.... now that is a question. I began the beginning of my career on a rocky road. I met this gentleman who made me believe in myself. Being in a bad relationship I found myself in hospital battling from an eating disorder. I was so afraid to work out and eat because I saw the scale move.
Being surrounded by so many people in the sport who were so positive about themselves I began to feel comfortable. I was approached by Brian and Donna Logue (trainers) about doing a show. I felt there was no way I could present myself to the public not being fully covered up. I decided to give it a try but gave no promise on if I would go on stage. I started to gain weight and then a year later decided if I was going to really move on that I had to do this!
Entering my first competition I went out on stage and as you mentioned before I won!! Being photographed by FLEX and other great photographers who liked the way I "looked". I decided that it was O.K. There the road was opened for me. As for doing this well... In a dream; not reality, but that reality is now my life.

* What motivates you, or who inspires you to continue bodybuilding?

Nicole Ball: Wow, I am surrounded by so many people. My boyfriend and my family are a recovery period after any injury or accident. For example, in May of 2006 I had an incident with a table saw where I cut through my tenants, arteries and nerves in the middle three fingers and the Physician set my physio therapy till late September and I was back in the gym tying weights to my wrist as I continued to prepare for my show in September. Eight weeks after surgery I have 90% full range use of my hand and the scaring is near invisable. The amount of energy the body has huge part in my life. The love I feel from them is untouchable. Brian and Donna who gave me the strength to believe I could do this and to my trainers now Helen Bouchard and Daphne Madgin. I come from a little town of 500 people!!! So to all of them thanks so much for the interest they have taken and the on going support. I truly thanks them all from my heart. And from above I thank God.

* How do you feel on stage in bodybuilding shows?

Nicole Ball: I love the stage presence. I never feel nervous but proud of what I have accomplished. I strive off the crowds involvement. It is an indescribable feeling of having fun and loving life.

* Describe the physical abilities you've developed during the bodybuilding process.

Nicole Ball: Everyday I push my body to its limits. Trying to out do what I have accomplished in the past. Lifting more weight than ever expected by about 20% more my body weight in some areas.
From being continuously active and in such good muscular shape I have an incredible good physical shape. You seem to be able to do so much more. With good physical health and strength there is not much in the world that could ever hold one back.

* Would you say bodybuilding is profitable? What are its main expenses and revenues?

Nicole Ball: The only profitable part of bodybuilding is that it makes you feel like anything that money can buy. Without sponsors it is a very expensive sport. Travelling to competitions whether it is air fare, hotels or regular travelling expenses, it is all cash out of your personal savings. My food bill a month on a precontest diet averages $1000 month. On top of all that if there are pictures you want of your competitions and enter fees you are responsible for paying those to. So a show with 20 weeks of dieting down and the expenses can cost a average of $6000 a show.

Last but not least you have to pay for a personal trainer to prep you through this period and do your diet changes. That can range any where from $1000-$3000 for amateurs and much more for pros. Especially when the payout to win a Amateur show (In Canada) is about $1000 for the overall winner.
So unless you love the sport and what it does for you as a person the money may seem ridiculous. But it helped save my life and made me believe in myself and no amount of money can buy that!

* What do you think about the public's attitude towards female bodybuilding?

Nicole Ball: I truly believe that the general public is getting better once they learn more about it. I know in my town at first some of the people that were negative, now they are quite interested and supportive. I have so much respect for all levels of athletes. But I personally feel that real muscular women are not drawing the general public to the sport like a feminine muscular women may. An average person may want to look athletic and a bit muscular, but not massive or "manly" looking.

* How would you define an efficient training at the gym?

Nicole Ball: Any training is considered a good training if you feel pumped. Pushing each body part you are training to it's fullest. Doing drop sets till the muscle burns is always a positive feeling. I never train each body part for anything less than 12 sets including 4 rep's each. Each athelete will be different but overall if they are full and burned out it's been an efficient work out.

* From you experience, which component is more significant in building massive muscle mass - nutrition, or training?

Nicole Ball: As I mentioned before, being a female bodybuilder I believe it is important to keep your feminity. So, excluding mass I would have to put nutrition and training as being more significant. If you are not willing to give each of these components everything you got - you will not reach your best. Without consistant strict nutrition and training you also will not receive the muscle mass growth you may be looking for.

* Which one of your three dogs - Martina, Dillon and Rivers, is your favorite? What do you like to do with it?

Nicole Ball: I know it is not fair to pick a favorite but my rotweiller (Martina) is my baby!! She is so spoiled rotten. She just likes to hang out and cuddle. She sleeps with me every night. The boys (Dillen and Rivers) are more spoiled by their father (my boyfriend). They are hunting dogs and I personally am not into bird hunting....boring!!! So when they go to the U.S.A. every year for training and trials, Martina and I are usually home alone. Sometimes we will go watch the boys compete depending on work. All the dogs get new stuffed animals at least twice a month. Just like kids the are spoiled!!!!!

* What can make you smile?

Nicole Ball: My family and friends. I love to be around company and enjoy to have fun. My boyfriend has such a dry sense of humour it kills me! In general I love camping and stand up comedians. Best of all though Ellen DeGenerous Show and Regis and Kelly and my dogs.

* Where do you see yourself in the near future?

Nicole Ball: Hopefully still doing the sport I love. I set goals all the time and so far this year I am hoping for a photoshoot with another magazine besides a bodybuilding one. Eventually I would like to be a featured athlete in Maxim, Sports Illustrated or something along that line. Or even a feature model for Muscle Mag. I would love to do more photo shoots with different photographers and companies. To be discovered and recognized.

So far the goals I have set have followed my heart and allowed me to accomplish so much. I also hope I can be a influence to so many others about self worth and taking care of the most important person in the!!!

Nicole's website

* Recent updates: Nicole Ball won the 2006 Canadian Bodybuilding Nationals and got her Pro card. In 2007 Ms. Olympia, she was placed 8th.

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