I was born in Olney, Maryland on October 6, 1967.
I do part-time bookkeeping for a car dealership and I also do some personal training\ and teach kickboxing and cycling classes.
I have been lifting weights since I was 14 years old. I started lifting weights because from the very beginning I wanted to be a competitive bodybuilder. I wanted to be Ms. Olympia. I competed from the age of 16 years old to 21 years old. I did rather well back then competing up and down California, usually placing in the top 3. The lowest I ever placed was 6th place in the California state when I was 18 years old. That same year I won the lightweight class in both the Teen Nationals and the Teen USA. At the age of 21 I took what I guess you could call a detour, but I have always stayed into fitness and working out. A year and half ago I decided to find my way back to competitive bodybuilding. With the support of my family (Husband – Shawn O’Connell and my two daughters Katelynn -12 years old and Lexie - 20 years old) and now being trained by Ed and Betty Pariso they helped make that happen.
My first competition back was July 23 2004 – The Central Valley Classic where I won the lightweight class and the overall title. The second contest was one week later – The San Jose bodybuilding Championships where I once again won the lightweight class and the overall title. I will have to say both those contest meant so much to me because it feels like I am finally back where I belong, doing what I was meant to do. My third contest – The Sacramento – Nov 6 2004 found me a little too stressed and anxious. I did not perform as well as I could, but I got the lightweight title and was told by the judges I only missed the overall by one point. So I am off to do the Las Vegas Classic Nov 20 2004 and have some fun. That will be it for competing for the year. Well I am back from Las Vegas and it was awesome the competition was incredible, by the far the hardest competition so far everyone of the Bodybuilding women was in shape, we all also competed both in the Open and Masters. My outcome was 1st place in the lightweight open category and 2nd place in the Masters category. I am very excited about my performance at the Las Vegas Bodybuilding Classic 2004.
2006 Contra Costa lightweight and overall title
2006 California State Lightweight and overal title Plus Masters title
2006 USA lightweight champ
A day in the life of Claire Rohrbacker – My day starts around 6 a.m., I get up and do anywhere from 30-50 mins on my Stairmaster, then I get my two daughters up and enjoy my coffee (I love coffee) while I get them ready for school, making lunches and dropping them off at school. Some days I then have a personal training client or I drop into my bookkeeping job to pick up more work I do at home on my own time schedule. Usually then it is about 10 a.m. and I either head to the gym or the personal training studio my fiancée works at to train for a couple of hours. When getting ready for a show I try to do some posing before I work out and also at night before I go to bed. After I train I come back home and do chores or bookkeeping or rest before the kids need to be picked up. Rest is very important in order to keep making gains with your physique. Around 3 p.m. I pick the kids up from school and it is homework, karate lessons, girl scouts and mom time. I just have to say my kids are the best but I guess I am biased. Around 5 or 6 p.m. I do one more session of cardio for 30-40 mins. TV time starts at 8 p.m (I am addicted to TV) and I veg out, cuddle with my family and eat my last meal before I go to bed around 11 p.m.
I train 6 days a week when I am getting ready to compete and in the off-season. The difference is when I am competing I train two body parts a day in a 3 day cycle- so each body part gets trained twice a week. Back/shoulders, Legs/calves, Chest/arms for example. I also do a lot more cardio – twice a day when I am getting ready to compete. Off-season I train each body part once a week – for me that helps me grow better. I also don’t do as much cardio – sometime none at all or maybe 2-3 days at 30 mins. I like a lot of variety with my workouts, so most of the time I change what exercises I do, how many sets I do and what order I do them in. I like to shock the body so it does not get used to doing the same thing.
I am only 4 feet 11 ľ inches tall; my competition weight this year was around 111–113 lbs. Off-season I weigh about 125-130 lbs. I have 14-inch biceps and even when I am heavier my abs, which are a six-pack usually, show through. When I was training for size before competition time I was benching 145 for 10-12 reps and 155 for 5 reps. I am a real stickler for proper form so when lifting if I can’t do it right I will not push it. Being sloppy is only harmful in the end.
My abs is one of my best body parts, but I was really happy with how my legs and butt came in for the competitions. Usually for women that is one of the hardest body parts to get to come in lean and hard.
I love lifting so much I don’t know if I can pick. Right now I really love training shoulders. That is my lagging body part, but it seems to be catching up and has made great improvements so that is really cool.
Judging in Women’s bodybuilding – well I will have to say that is a loaded question. One thing I will say though the confusion over what the judges want or like is exactly the same as it was 15 years ago. There is still no consistency. For example you tell me how I could beat the same individual two times in a row and then a couple months later, same area of the state, that individual looked exactly the same, I pretty much looked exactly the same-maybe a little tighter and that individual beats me by one point. I just wonder what are the judges seeing or thinking or saying? I could analyze it to death or just let it go to it just wasn’t my day. It is hard though to get ready for a show when you don’t know what they want. Do they want bigger and not so lean, or tighter and leaner, or softer or harder? WHAT? That is the question. But I love getting up on stage and doing my thing and having fun so I am not going to let those kinds of things get me down.
When I am not working out I enjoy my family and being a mom, going to movies, reading books, relaxing.
Contest I am doing this year for sure are the Masters Nationals in July and the USA.
Have a great day everyone. Claire Rohrbacker-O'Connell
Claire does not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!