Tracy Hess - IFBB Physique Pro

Author: Jonathan. L, Models Observer
April 2017

1. Tracy, how did you start to compete?

Tracy: I got started right after having my 3 beautiful children. I gained over 60lbs after my twin boys were born, I hired a trainer to help me lose my baby weight which I accomplished In 6 months I lost all my weight and added lean muscle and decided to compete.

2. You've been competing for 20 years (!). Any one moment that stands out most in your mind?

Tracy: The best moment that stands out to me was at the 2013 North Americans when I received my PRO Card. I get goose bumps everytime I think about that amazing day in Pittsburg, Pa.

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3. Please describe your diet and training.

Tracy: In my off season I have more calories to support new muscle growth and when I start pre-contest I keep my calories fairly high till the last 5-6 weeks, then I dropped them back to lean out more... I like carb rotation diets in my off season & prep, I feel this is more beneficial for me.
I train 5 days a week in my off season and 6 days a week when prep starts! I always do fasting cardio at a steady pace, then I train in the pm followed by another cardio session, all my meals are 2-3 hrs apart 7x a day.

4. What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goal and how did you overcome them?

Tracy: The biggest obstacle was being a mom working a full time job balancing training, diet, raising my children etc. But it was easy to overcome I was very organized and learned how to balance my schedule so I could train.
It takes a lot to be a top athlete, I'm always on call, meaning I have to be in shape at all times for expos, guest appearances, photo shoots workshops, seminars, guest posing etc. It's very demanding I feel like you have to sacrifice so much! But it's so worth it, I love what I do! I had so many obstacles, I had many injuries in my bodybuilding era: L-4 herniated disc, dislocated shoulder, right knee tear. But, thank god the Women's Physique division was announced I was able to rehab and start training lighter & smarter to overcome all of my injuries.

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5. Please share experiences and feelings from one of your recent contests.

Tracy: My recent contest was the Tampa Pro it was so overwhelming from check ins to pre-judging meeting my Idol Lenda Murray and so many other legend bodybuilders was priceless! This was a huge show before the Olympia so the competition was fierce, but the experience gracing that stage was a memorable experience.

6. How has the industry changed over the last 10 years from your perspective?

Tracy: I feel its changed for the worst it seems like no one is judged truly on their physiques anymore which is so sad that the well balanced physiques are getting over looked for the athletes that are sponsored or have top name coaches.

7. According to Google Trends, Physique Competition is less searched than Bikini Competition or Figure Competition. How would you explain it?

Tracy: It seems like Womens Physique is starting to be categorized as Womens BB. There has been a huge decrease in WP shows apparently they don't sell enough tickets. I think women search more for bikini because it doesn't require as much work, money, time as Women's Physique. As a coach I have more athletes interested in bikini because they like that look better, most women generally do not like the muscular look they're not comfortable with carrying so much muscle. Each division is different in its own way.
Bikini is different from figure & WP. Less muscle, more shape (curves) tight glutes.
Figure: more balanced physique with lean muscle, good shape, symmetry.
WP: Balanced physique with more muscle fullness with good symmetry.

The training for bikini is way different from figure & women's physique, it is lighter but 1 thing we all have to conquer is Cardio! Everyone that competes all have the same goals & motivations to obtain a Pro Card and market themselves in the Industry such as modeling, sponsorships etc.

My advice to any newbies to this sport is to make sure you have plenty of time, money & support from your family & friends. This business is tedious mentally & physically but rewarding if you're doing it because you love it!

8. If you had to select 3 nutritional supplements you think are most important, what would you pick and why?

Tracy: My favorite 3 supplements are CLA, L-carnitine, BCAA. These three supplements are so beneficial to keeping me lean & maintaining my muscle growth.

9. How does being an athlete affect your whole life?

Tracy: Being an athlete has changed my life! I help so many up & coming competitors with their contest prep, stage presentation (posing), training, I also have my own competition team called the T-Zone Divas these ladies are no Joke!

10. Future plans?

Tracy: My future plans are to make it to the big dance the Olympia :)

Contact info:
Instagram: @tracy_ifbb_pro

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