Where and when were you born?
Sept. 1974 in Shreveport, La.
What is your profession?
I am a personal trainer and massage therapist.
Were you involved in sports or fitness prior to bodybuilding and how did you get started with weight training?
Yes. I was always an athlete as far as I can think back. My childhood was of discipline and training as a competitive gymnast; in addition to all the sports available at the schools I attended (volleyball, track, basketball ,tennis ,cycling ,cheerleading).
I got involved in weight training from the sports initially, but it was really only an introduction. Soon after this, my career as a gymnast had ended and I needed to find a way quickly to stay in the shape I was used to being. I wanted to learn more about working out with weights and sought information from the magazine Muscle and Fitness. I soon found myself the weight room more and more as I was pleased with some of the results I was getting. I even began giving advice to some friends and admirers because I had picked it up so quickly.
Was it a goal for you to compete in bodybuilding competitions right from the beginning or was it something that grew in your mind as time went on and you saw progress in your body?
Yes and No. At the beginning, even, I felt I always would be able to because I had a well balanced muscular foundation. I was always told I ‘should’. The only thing was I guess that because I knew I could I never made it a priority to do so. I always thought that I would ‘get around to it’. I guess in 2004 I finally did ‘get around to it’. Knowing that I could do it wasn’t enough – I needed to prove it to myself. I couldn’t go on without knowing just what my potential was.
What is your competition history?
Tampa Bay Pro - IFBB, 2nd
Olympia - IFBB, Physique, 10th
Tampa Bay Pro - IFBB, 3rd
New York Pro Championships - IFBB, 7th
Nationals - NPC, MiddleWeight, 1st
Nationals - NPC, MiddleWeight, 5th
USA Championships - NPC, MiddleWeight, 1st
USA Championships - NPC, MiddleWeight, 2nd
SW Texas, Arlington, Texas - NPC, Novice Lightweight, 1st
Which contest has been your biggest success; which has had the most meaning to you?
I think the USAs in Vegas was the most successful but I’m gonna say that the Lone Star win was most special. It might sound crazy but that was the time where I really began to go full force. It was no longer something I was ’getting around to’ but something I wanted. And my placing gave me all the affirmation I needed to go forward in the sport. Now that I know I love it, I am so excited about what’s to come next!
Please tell me something about your training routine (ie: how many days per week / training split/cardio, etc.)
Off-season is …
Tue – Chest/Abs/Calves
Wed – Back/ Traps
Thur – Arms/Abs/Hams
Cardio is .. 4 days @ 30-45min
Pre-Contest is a little different… 6 days of training and cardio twice a day @ 1 hour.
Mostly this is relative to what my needs are at the time. I guess they change from show to show.
What is your favorite exercise in the gym and which one you don’t like so much?
I think one of my favorite exercises would be chin-ups. Maybe another would be dips. One of the most disliked exercises, though, preacher curls!
Which body part is your best in your opinion?
I’ve always liked my back, then maybe my triceps, then shoulders.
If you don’t mind would you give me some stats (best lifts and some body measurements)?
Since this is first year I’ve really tried to lift heavy, I don’t have much to go on. But I feel pretty proud to have my squats @ 245lb (considering I’d injured my lower back in high school) and my partial deadlifts were @ 315lb last week (which was the first time yet for that lift). That’s really off the top of my head for now. I think pretty soon I’ll have some better numbers. As for as measurements, sorry, I don’t put too much effort into remembering those either. I just train and hope I get ‘the look’ I’m looking for.
What do you enjoy training for competition....what do you enjoy about the ‘off season’?
Training for competition is just ‘go, go, go’ and ‘fit it all in’ and ‘plan it perfectly’, and ‘make it work’. I really like the excitement of such focus and commitment. Everyday is so ‘sure-footed’. Once you have your mind set on the things, you have to do it, that’s it! I guess I enjoy hard work.
As for the off-season, I have more of a chance to enjoy the minor things in life; a little socializing, relaxing with friends, and just not having to do something every minute of every day. It’s all the working out that I enjoy just without all the pressure of pre-contest.
Please describe a typical day in the life of Tina Chandler.
I wake up very early to get to work by 5:00am. I pack my food, walk my dog, and get to the gym for my first client. My days are fully booked from hour to hour. In fact, I am now at a place where I have to train groups more than individuals so that my time is made more efficient. My sessions can either be training or stretching since this is one of my specialties. I work out around 1:00 or 2:00pm for an hour or hour and half – depending on which day it is. I really enjoy this part of day the most because it’s a break in the middle of all the work and because my new workout partner, James Alexander. We get along so well, and for me, that’s a big deal. I’ve always pretty much worked out on my own. After that, I continue my training until about 6:30 or 7:00pm. I usually run home because I might have a massage or two to do at the house. Then around 9:30 or 10:00pm I finish preparing my meals for the next day and get to bed as soon as I can, maybe 10:30 or 10:45pm.
Please tell me what you do when you don’t work out. (hobbies, what you do to relax, etc.)
I like to go out dancing, especially, but I don’t get to as often as I would like. I like to shoot pool and go to the movies and (in off-season) try new restaurants in the area. Houston has so many.
What do you enjoy the most about the bodybuilding /fitness lifestyle?
Most of all, I like the fact that I am more or less surrounded by people that are serious about life, too. I like to get the most out of life I can. Only people and things with that same energy can help me do that. I like to laugh and talk and analyze things, and I like to relax in healthy ways. Leading this lifestyle, I find, allows me to have these things I cherish.
Tell me something interesting about yourself, something people may be surprised to hear.
Maybe the fact that I can’t wait to get my first motorcycle and take a couple of road trips. Maybe also that when I traveled in the past, I visited Egypt and stayed in Africa for a while. I still want to travel more, though.
What are competition goals or personal future goals?
I plan to compete in the USA’s again this year with hopes of ‘winning’. My goal after that is to become the best bodybuilder I possibly can and, then, work at becoming a pro bodybuilder who also competes in fitness. I loved gymnastics so much that I would love to be able to perform that way again.
Tina does not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!