I was born on July 31, 1961 in Holyoke MA. I was raised in the Western MA area. I am an only child and had a very blessed childhood. My parents were (and still are) very generous with me without spoiling me as a child. They taught me a very strong work ethic, which has helped me in my endeavors with bodybuilding. They are my biggest support and have been my biggest "sponsors" in bodybuilding so far.
I went to college at the University of New Hampshire and graduated with a BS in 1983.
I have worked as a social worker and child abuse investigator since 1985 for the state of Massachusetts. I got certified as a personal trainer in 2001.
As a kid I was active in classical dance and I added cheerleading in my teens. I was a part of the college dance company at UNH and continued with adult classes at the Hartford school of ballet through my 30's. I have been lifting weights since the early 1980's but mostly just to "tone-up". I took a lot of classes and used the universal. I never did a day of cardio until my first bodybuilding show, now ... it's a way of life.
Bodybuilding was foreign to me until I started dating a guy who was into it. I began changing some eating habits as I was helping him with his food preparation. I also started lifting free weights seriously with a friend from high school who took my under his wing. After 6 months of consistent lifting and increased protein intake I saw my first bicep and got inspired! After that I stopped taking the classes and hit weights consistently 5 days a week. I never even thought of doing a competition. I watched my ex-boyfriend compete over the course of a couple years and when introduced to his trainer was encouraged to do a show. I never thought it was even an option for me as I was so small, 102lbs. I decided to give it a try and signed on with my current trainer, Tim Gardner of Team Body Tech in Tampa Florida. I maintained a long distance connection through pictures, phone calls and visits. My first competition was in Tampa in June 1999. I moved down there from Mass 2 1/2 weeks before the show so he could see me daily in my progression. I won the lightweight and overall at the Tampa Bay Classic that year and was hooked!!!
My contest history:
1999 Tampa Bay Classic - 1st lightweight & overall
1999 Southeastern USA - 1st lightweight (national qualifier)
2000 Jr. USA - 1st lightweight
2000 Team Universe - 3rd lightweight
2000 Southern States - 3rd lightweight
2001 Team Universe - 1st lightweight
2002 USA's - 8th lightweight
2004 Master's Nationals - 1st lightweight & overall
2004 North Americans - 1st lightweight
2005 NPC Nationals - 1st lightweight (won my pro card)
2006 Pro Debut: 2006 Atlantic City 15th place
2007 Sacramento Pro 5th place
2007 Atlantic City Pro 6th place lightweight
2008 Atlantic City 11th place
2001 Team Universe and 2004 Master's Nationals both are very significant wins for me. Team U gave me the opportunity to represent the USA at the World Amateur Championships, which were held in Rio that year. It was always my goal since after my first show to compete internationally and I achieved it within three years. Then 9/11 happened and the world as we know it changed forever. We held our diets until the beginning of October at which point it was decided not to send the USA team. The games went on without us that year! I was devastated but I had to remember that there were more important things in the world than bodybuilding and unfortunately 9/11 was the slap in the face that reminded me daily. My personal life was on an all time high however, as I was engaged to my long time boyfriend at that time.
The Master's win which is the most recent, was sweet as it was a come back for me as I almost retired from competition and also it was an overall at the national level. I did a lot of the preparation on my own with just guidance from my trainer. Without his unconditional support I wouldn't be able to compete in this sport. I am ever so grateful for having his expertise and friendship. I felt that I have finally become good at this sport and I got it right which makes the winning even sweeter!!!!
A typical day in the life of Carla Salotti:
6:00 am - cardio (30-45 mins depending on how close to a show I am) 5-7 days per week 7:00 - 8:30 am - ready for work and food prep for the day - time to pack the cooler on or off season!!!
8:45-5:00 Work day - social worker - paperwork, driving, home visits, court appointments & craziness!
12:00 pm - 12:45pm lunch hour is spent at the gym lifting - 5 days per week - on or off season!!
Two body parts per day!
6:00 - 8:00 second cardio; either contact cardio kickboxing (3 times per week) or treadmill depending on how close to a show. Cook chicken, steak, rice and veggies... etc
9:00 and after - bedtime. I will drop in the sack anywhere between 9 and
10:30 - usually not after that! Sweet dreams.
I always lift and do cardio 5 days per week whether it's in season or off. I always do my first cardio session first thing in the morning before I eat. It is automatic - like brushing my teeth. I am usually half was through before I am even awake. Needless to say I do this one at home in my PJ's. Closer to a show this increases to 7 days a week. After the 2002 year I decided to take a year off of competing and maybe even retire. I needed to find a balance about my life and include different activities. I took up contact cardio kickboxing with a kick ass sensi, Maritza Miranda (aka: Red dragon). I loved it - it relieved stress and helped me to build muscle with all the resistance work. I finally grew my shoulders!!!! and was doing cardio at the same time. I liked the variety it added to my fitness routine.
I am told that my back is my best body part. I have a good symmetry also. My lats are wide and my waist is little. People always tell me how freaky my back is - almost to the point where I feel like the rest of me must look like crap!! I don't really know because I don't see my back but this year I did have a Christmas tree for the first time!! I was psyched! I don't really have a favorite exercise in the gym. It changes depending on my mood. I do a lot of instinct training. I train what I visualize that day and what feels good to me. I do lift heavier in the off -season but I stay pretty consistent throughout the year. I have become much better at isolating the muscle and really working specific ones. I try to keep my form perfect and this might mean I have to lower the weight. I get better results if I don't worry about not lifting heavy weight and stay strict with my form.
Besides being a full time social worker I also bartend and personal train on the side. I am also doing demos for Gerstner Inc. who has contracts with different supplement companies and I work for ProTan, oiling people up backstage at National level competitions. I love meeting new people from different, interesting places and these jobs help me to do that while still helping myself to afford bodybuilding.
As far as judging in women's bodybuilding? What can I say? I think in general they are leaning in the right direction. I think that that started changing the criteria in 1999 when I started competing and that probably helped my placings being that I am a very small bodybuilder. I think it is a good thing because I think part of the problem with women's bodybuilding not getting their fair share is that it is less marketable to the general public. I think if the look stays a bit more feminine and smaller it is a positive thing for the women and the sport itself. It may make it more marketable and women may get the financial rewards they deserve. Don't get me wrong! I love female muscle as much as the next freak but I think the mainstream public is scared of it. I think it's about time that the women of bodybuilding get rewarded with the contracts and the endorsements and perks that the figure and fitness girls get!!!!!
What do I do in my free time you ask????? Well as you see, I don't have much of it with all those jobs!!! I do enjoy spending time with friends, going out to dinner, movies, theatre, and dance. I love spending time with my nephews who live next door and cooking for people. I love anything artistic and cultural. I also love to travel to new places. Bodybuilding has helped me to be able to travel all over and working the shows backstage has really been rewarding for me. The athletes seem to really appreciate the help from people who know what it feels like to be there! I have been able to meet some really great people as well. Being a smaller bodybuilder it is sometimes hard to stand up to the girls on the National level stage. As far as next year? Switching to figure hasn't been ruled out yet but I have to feel right about it. I don't want to feel like a sell out!! My passion is with bodybuilding!!!
Carla does not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!