Bodybuilding is hard. Sometimes, people are not nice. Keyboard warriors giving their unwelcome opinions and unwanted advice. The list goes on. I have never focused on any of those things and prefer highlight the positives. Today, I want to highlight the best (in my opinion) part of this crazy journey of competing some of us love–camaraderie. The people you meet, the places you go, the things you learn from each other, the support you receive from other competitors who were total strangers just the day before and the memories you make. Some of the best times!
I’d like to introduce you to Cambrae Thompson. She is a Facebook friend. I’ve never met her in real life–does that matter? Nope. I was told her story by a friend and so I decided to give her a “shout out” if you will. Why? Because I think she did an amazing job and should be given credit for her hard work. Cambrae you are beautiful and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors! Give her a follow on Instagram too!
Below is the interview (conducted by Tim R., our now mutual friend and a fellow blogger).
Panama City, Florida had the opportunity to host its first All Natural Bodybuilding competition in July of this year. While the show itself was a huge success and there were many competitors, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview the young lady who took first in both Figure and Physique, as well as walk away with her Pro card in the One World United Natural Bodybuilding Alliance.
Ms. Cambrae Thompson was an absolute pleasure to talk with. Vibrant, energetic, dedicated, driven and setting a course to help others reach their maximum potential in the future. As we spoke, it became apparent that fitness has always been a part of her life. She was a dancer, runner and swimmer while growing up and had always been a competitor. She is also a climber. Cambrae has a weakness for dogs, books, and the outdoors. She has a drive to excel at whatever task she sets her mind to. Out of High School she enlisted in the Marines. It was clear she has a mind of her own and is a clear patriot. This opportunity gave her the chance to earn her own way through school which she is now attending. Her major is Kinesiology. While in the Marines, she says she was slow to get to actual lifting, preferring the high intensity workout routines more. Things like CrossFit stylized WOD’s and lots of cardio. But when she found her way to the gym and began lifting heavy with intensity, she took to it like a fish to water. Cambrae now loves her lifting time! So much so it annoys her when it’s referred to as ‘the grind’. “Lifting is a privilege” she says “and those who can go should always be grateful for the opportunity”. I could not agree with her more.
Over the years, she has had the opportunity to help others as a Personal Trainer and a group fitness instructor. I asked her what some of the more common goals people have are and while I think we’ve all heard some of them before, the most common being the desire was to lose weight and a common misconception to that desire was the fear from clients that they would become too “bulky” and a lack of understanding that muscle assists in burning fat. I think all personal trainers can agree they have encountered that same mindset. Cambrae has decided on her Kinesiology degree in an effort to pursue Physical Therapy where she can undoubtedly help a lot of people. The second challenge is the notion that there is a quick fix to obtain the results clients desire and the likelihood they will go back to the way they were eating and their former lack of activity levels. She often has to explain this is a lifestyle change. What people are looking to do takes a lot of effort and it must be a continued one.
With that in mind, I asked her how her training changed when she decided to compete. She used a local coach, Tim McClain, to help with her posing and diet. She faced calorie restrictions as many do, but was supported by her lifelong habits of meal preparation and healthy eating. She also changed her lifting focusing on lifting for aesthetics and reducing her maxes. A lot of cardio was added back in…not her favorite part from what I could gather from her facial expressions. Overall, her lifting schedule remained the same, more fine tuning to achieve the desired effect. Given her results in the show, I’d say she was successful! While she is unsure if she will compete in the future, there is always the desire to push herself and see what she can accomplish. Personally, I’d love to see her compete in the future and bring the same drive and dedication with her to other organizations.