Interview With Nikki Fuller

Author: Jonathan.L - owner Models Observer
November 2012

1. Nikki, how are you? Thanks for joining me.

Nikki Fuller: Hi Jonathan, I am fine. I have had a very big year as far as growing. I not only get in lots of hard workouts and get a huge pump in the gym every day, but I also have had a big career growth spurt as well. I have been working in television and film production, not in front of the camera but doing all the things behind the camera to product a televised program.

Nikki Fuller.

I am also launching a re-design of my website and video clip downloading site at the start of the New Year 2013.

2. So, what first got you interested in bodybuilding?

Nikki Fuller: After high school I had discovered in college that I needed some type of physical activity to balance the mental exercise that I was getting. I noticed that my athletic looking body was moving more toward a couch potato as I sat for long hours studying. It happened coincidentally that I met a guy that I later married and owned a gym together that I began to train seriously. I think there were many reasons for my starting to train in bodybuilding. I always liked the look of female muscle and I was set apart from other girls in high school due to my tall and muscle frame. I also was fascinated with the science behind it all and wanted to master the techniques of performance and physique development. I saw bodybuilding as a way to look young and preserve my youth through proper training and lifestyle methods that bodybuilding imparts. I love going to the gym and working out. I think it is the one most important thing I ever decided to do for myself and in doing so I have been able to share this love and knowledge with a lot of people.

3. Which of your bodybuilding victories and titles are most memorable to you?

Nikki Fuller: I would have a hard time answering this question of which contests and victories were the most memorable to me. I remember them all for different reasons. I think my first place wins will always be my favorites but I also cherish my losses as they probably helped me accomplish even more through the process of failure and learning how to do things better.

4. What sacrifices did you have to make along the way to be successful? What was the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome in the journey?

Nikki Fuller: I know very well the sacrifices that had to be made along the way. I can say that it was a decision not to finish and graduate college. I did not get to pursue a full academic schedule or get to work in the corporate world. I did not stop to have children or realize what it is like to be a mother of children. I did not get to relax and enjoy parties, vacations or leisure. I also had to choose my sport over all others. I could not learn to ski or bike or play tennis as these things would have gotten in the way of my being able to make the victories that I did in my professional career in bodybuilding. I probably would have worked long and hard at something else and been successful too but the trade off would have been that I would not have the cherished memories and feeling of exhilaration that only comes with be a champion in a highly competitive sport. Looking back on it all I don't think I would have done anything any differently.

5. Many remember you in the chainmail bikini on the cover of the book entitled "The Women" - photography of the top competitive female bodybuilders compiled by photographer Bill Dobbins. Please tell me about that glorious experience... Do you feel you've challenged the perception of the female body?

Nikki Fuller: Thank you, Jonathan for mentioning one of my most proud accomplishments. This may not be a short and simply answer. I believe this is one of my greatest achievements not for reasons you might think but for a few quite personal ones. The bikini idea came to me one night about midnight. I did not let the image slip out of my mind instead I went to the only store open that late and bought whatever materials I could find to immediately begin sculpting the shapes my imagination was demanding I design. With some pie tins, electrical tape and automotive dent filler, I sat down and made the molds for the silver (aluminum) pieces. I found a couple long necklaces at Nordstrom's that later became the chains that held the pieces in place and finished the jewel bikini.
I did not place high enough to finish in the top finals and so was not offered a photo shoot with any of the photographers. I decided to pay for my flight and my stay in California myself and bring my bikini with me as to not lose the opportunity to shoot the photos needed to capture the image that my mind had of the female Amazon warrior wearing a uniform of blazing metal armor. It truly would be as legend has it a true Amazon with breast removed to become the cover model for this coveted book. Random luck would have it that amongst all the other female Amazon bodybuilding warriors the publishing company would select my image to decorate the hard bound cover of the book, "The Women".
There had been so many obstacles that fell along my path and even opposition with people who were in key positions to help and did not. The NPC would not offer me an extension (due to a medical emergency) to my 1 yr qualification status for the Olympia. I flew myself into LA and asked to be photographed at my own expense. All these things stood in the way before that picture could get made. I am not going to cry about it at all, just to telling a story that has never really been told about the true beauty of the image on the cover of the book was not my image itself but also the bikini because it fought its way out of my mind and into reality in despite me, and the miracle of God's hand guiding me along the way.

6. Which groups of muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, hamstrings or calves) do you find relatively difficult to strengthen, and how do you train them?

Nikki Fuller: I have found that all the formerly impossible areas of training when they become your favorite soon are your best features. My hamstrings I remember were exceptionally stubborn and it wasn't until my fourth year of training that I felt them respond when I commanded them to lift "that damn weight up!" At that moment it just clicked when all the other muscle seemed to "get it much earlier on. My Chest back and biceps still seem to be my most responsive muscle and the pump always feels so much more incredible in these areas when fully loaded in a "all out" workout.

7. What is the best compliment you've received from fans?

Nikki Fuller: I think every compliment has not gone to the head but to the heart. Each and every time, when I experience the adulation of others I feel that there is a spark of Heaven touching the Earth. I remember one such moment when I was shopping for some new gym sneakers at the mall. I had my shoes off and my pants rolled up and I was lacing up the shoe when about four or five young boys pushed in close and sat down beside. Now, before the wrong thoughts get started going here, I have to say that this is an important preface and not to be construed the wrong way. They asked ever so politely through their pure bewilderment and attraction to my calves if they could feel my calf muscle.
I suddenly felt like I was on the bench of a grade school basketball team after a winning game with my team mates. It was so cool that I was looked upon as an enemy of color or age or coolness but was instantly excepted into their peer group for a brief moment to show them something that only made the gawk with bugged out eyes and then in touching my calves jumped up immediately and howled with shock and excitement over the revelation of something they had never dreamed of. This is that fleeting moment of WOW that cannot be rehearsed of faked. Sometimes compliments can go unseen or unnoticed but there are those that just make your day.

8. What advice can you give women who want to lift weights and get toned, but fear lifts like the squat and bench press?

Nikki Fuller: Mostly, women should learn to fear only fear itself. An old cliche but break it down and it applies to all things that prevent us from becoming something better. After that I would say that weight does not matter. It is only a number I hate math. What is truly important to remember is that every exercise has a benefit when done properly and Squatting and Bench Press are two exercises that have the most potential to change the physique for the better. The amount of weight you use directly contributes to how large the muscle become in size; less weight used with short frequency intervals or high repetition range creates smaller more compact muscle. This is the how women can become shaped and defined without getting too bulky or muscular.

9. How has bodybuilding changed over the last 20 years?

Nikki Fuller: I think the sport has grown in a lot of positive ways when it comes to the women's side of the sport. I think we see now that there are more than one ideal look for women and that we cannot really agree on which one is most popular. The new categories for women's competition has made it possible for more women to enter the sport and compete but has made the terms on what they are judges look for harder to understand. Yet, it is sometimes regrettable that the judging criteria formerly applied to just one group, the female bodybuilders has lost some of its intrinsic value by diluting it down to its smallest possible denominator.

10. Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor, is quoted to have said that "The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing." What do you think?

Nikki Fuller: Well, I like dancing and I like wrestling. I could make a strong argument for each: wrestling through life sounds very disharmonious, so I think it should be more like dancing, having fluidity, grace and style. On the other hand it is said that life is best when you work hard and play harder. Maybe the roman Emperor should have spoken more of balance of power.

11. What is a typical day in the life of Nikki Fuller like?

Nikki Fuller: If you had asked me that a year ago you would have gotten a different answer than the year prior to that. This year I have catapulted into yet other big life transition. I have applied myself in not only bodybuilding but wrestling, acting, and now Television production. I work for a sports television production company and get to record sporting events of all kinds. Just a few months ago I was part of the HBO Showtime boxing championships at the MGM Grand Casino. Something like this has been on my bucket list of things to do but I never imaged I would be seeing it from behind the scenes in a production trailer backstage. My day to day activity is much like it was when I was competing; I eat sleep and train like I did when I was competing. I have two male training partners and they are trying to get over the fact that I am still stronger than both of them. It makes it fun to grab the big weights when they are pouting about how they can't keep up.

12. How do you like to spend your leisure time?

Nikki Fuller: I usually travel a lot when I am not working. I like to visit, family and friends, or go to the beach and mountains. I like going to movies, keeping up with political news, blending new and unique smoothie combinations, playing with my little Pomeranian and 2 cats, construction and welding projects, clothes shopping, and graphic design projects. I have fun doing spontaneous things like attending a spur of the moment Burning Man event invitation. I went this past year and all I can say is "Unbelievable."

13. Tell me about your website

Nikki Fuller: My website is up and running now. I do have big things planned for it and working out the final phases of its re-launch on New Year's day 2013. I have a full High Definition production studio and mobile TV production trailer and all the resources to make my own television program series. The video content is going to be better than anything I have made yet. All I need now for a great TV show is the concluding 'blow something up or pawn something off segment' in order to make it real popular. Please send me any of your suggestions to

14. What are your future goals?

Nikki Fuller: I would like to do more things I have never done before…check off the bucket list. Last year I learned to ski and it was my first year snow skiing and I finished the season (due to lack of snow a very short season) hitting every black diamond at Squaw Valley and Heavenly ski resorts. I even tried some off trail down hilling and some aggressive mogul fields. I would like to write and direct TV programming and perhaps in retirement become an author of how to body build.
By competing in bodybuilding I have learned how to reach new goals. I want to continue to promote female muscle to the average person who is not athletic. I know most people just go through life sometimes completely uninspired. Some people live for not much more than paying their bills without any dreams to chase. I can share my love of bodybuilding with other people. When I do this, I share something very beautiful and know that someone else's life has become more special because of this.

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