Where and when were you born?
I was born in Sunderland, United Kingdom on the 18th March 1977.
What is your profession?
I work in the gym I train at where I also do personal training. I also do security work & now I can also say with pride that Iím a professional bodybuilder.
What kind of activities/sports did you do before you started lifting weights?
I was into sports from the day I could walk. I loved playing football (soccer) which I played for my town & I also became interested in Karate. I did this from the age of 12 & I absolutely loved it. Doing Karate I strongly believe taught me the discipline that is required for bodybuilding. I was taught at a very old school traditional club where I was only 1 of 2 women so training with men toughened me up. This was one of the reasons I went to the gym to get stronger so the men couldnít push me about so easily!
How and when did you get involved into lifting weights?
Like I said I went to the gym to get stronger for Karate. My friend & I who I did Karate with used to train for 3 hours each day as we didnít know any different! We used to do our Karate training on top of this thinking (as many people do) the longer we could train the better we would be. I was 17 at this time & we just loved training full stop.
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 the progress in your body?
No I definitely didnít set out to compete as a bodybuilder. I loved my martial arts & wanted to become a successful fighter in the sport. However, once I started lifting weights I enjoyed seeing my body change & get stronger. As I am a very competitive person I was never just happy with lifting a certain weight, I always wanted to see if I could lift more each session & especially more than my training partner! I then got approached by a lady who was about 15 years older than me who had competed as a Ms Figure. At the time I thought she was big but I began doing a couple of sessions with her & learnt more about training. I made it my mission to be stronger than her. It was about this time also I discovered Muscle & Fitness/Flex & Musclemag so I buried myself in them & read as much as I could about training.
After a long hard think I decided to hang my fighting gloves up with Karate & concentrate fully on my weight training.
The big turning point for me was when I met Kimberley Anne Jones. I was a lightweight & she came to see me at the British finals & offered her help. Ive never looked back.
What was your first competition and how did you place?
My first competition was the Miss County Durham 1996. I placed 2nd after no idea whatsoever of dieting & proper training. The winner was the lady who approached me in the gym 15 years my senior, I was 19.
And which contest has been the biggest success for you yet?
This is definitely the British Championships 2004. I won my heavyweight class & the overall that earned me my pro card.
Could you please add a history of all contests that you have entered so far?
1996 Miss County Durham Ė2nd
1997 Miss Classic World Of Fitness 1st
1997 NABBA North Britain Figure 6th
1998 NABBA North Britain Figure 5th
1998 EFBB Lancashire Lightweight Physique 1st
1998 EFBB British Finals Lightweight Physique 2nd (runner up to Joanna Thomas)
1999 EFBB Midlands qualifier middleweight physique 2nd
1999 EFBB British Finals Lightweight physique 2nd
2001 EFBB South East heavyweight qualifier 1st
2001 EFBB British Finals Heavyweight 6th
2002 EFBB South East qualifier heavyweight 2nd
2003 EFBB Stars of Tomorrow qualifier heavyweight 1st
2004 EFBB British Finals heavyweight 1st & Overall winner.
Please describe a typical day in the life of Wendy McCready.
Oh now im actually pre-contest so it changes a little. I get up around 7am do my cardio (anywhere between 30 & 60 minutes depending on how far out I am). Get home do my stretching& special exercises( I have many aches & pains so I must do these!) I then eat breakfast my favourite meal of the day. I then go to work at the gym have another meal before I train about 1pm. After work I usually try &get an hours sleep before I get ready to go to my other job working as security at a busy pub. This is only 3 nights a week, other days I do the later shift at the gym. Basically there are never enough hours in the day for me. Between work & training I eat every 2 Ė 2 Ĺ hours something which is very time consuming in itself. I visit my physiotherapist each week due to the fact small joints & heavyweights donít mix very well as well as years of Karate training catching up on my joints. Saturday is my only day off so I love to just catch up with friends & family & basically chill out. As a competition gets nearer time is even more precious & I practice my posing each evening as well as additional cardio. Bedtime is the best part of the day!!
Please tell me something about your daily training routine.
I usually train about2pm & break my bodyparts up as follows:-
Sunday = calves
Monday = chest/biceps
Tuesday = legs
Wednesay = rest
Thursday = shoulders/triceps
Friday = back/forearms/abs.
Sometimes if I feel a body part needs extra attention than others I will re-arrange my schedule. I have a training partner, Angie, who competes herself. We train very strict the rep range varies but I like to go heavy on the big exercises. I also prefer free weights & base the majority of my training around them. I have also found more intense workouts with less overall sets & more emphasis on feeling the muscle work are best for me.
How often do you train in a week?
I train with weights 4x a week. Cardio begins at 30mins 4-5 times a week & ends up becoming 2 60min sessions.
What are the main differences when you train for a competition and in off-season?
The main differences are the amount of cardio I do. Its not something I enjoy doing but I know I have to do it so it just becomes part of my routine. My weights stay the same, heavy with strict form although I wonít go lower than 8 reps. I also introduce some supersets & giant sets as the contest becomes closer just to get deeper into the muscle. I do perform some more isolation exercises too, maybe swapping 1 heavy compound exercise for a more isolated movement that targets the working muscle. I also practice my posing each night about 6 weeks out, going through my compulsories & my routine so im used to squeezing my muscles for long periods of time.
Another difference when Iím pre contest is my day to day living. You could probably set your clock by my movements throughout the day! People laugh at me over my worries for having things EXACTLY on time & that includes meals, training, sleep etc. When im in training for a contest im such a creature of habit & a superstitious one at that! I have to know exactly what im doing otherwise I get panicky! Ha! I always feel that if I pay attention to the small things I neednít worry so much about the larger things so preparation & planning play a huge part in my life. I also have my little pre-training routine where I do things in the same order before I start or wear the same clothes on certain training days. Very superstitious or very silly!!
If you donít mind would you give me some stats (best lifts and some body measurements)?
Well this is pretty difficult as I donít train for best lifts as such, as sometimes I pre-exhaust or switch my exercise order so will be stronger on 1 day compared to another. Some of my best lifts are 42.5kg (94lb) dumbbell incline presses, 25kg (55lb) dumbbell curls, 100kg (220lb) barbell rows, 65 kg (143lb) dumbbell rows. I have 17Ē arms, 26 ď thighs. I currently weigh 175lbs (79.5kg) at 5Ē4.
Which bodypart is your best in your opinion?
I always think thereís room for improvement everywhere although people say my back & thighs are pretty good. Personally I think my heart is my best bodypart & the will to succeed.
What is your favorite exercise in the gym and which one you donít like so much?
I love to train full stop! But if I had to pick a favourite id say front barbell squats. Least I would say any ab work.
Judging in Womenís Bodybuilding has always been criticised in one or the other way. Please tell me your honest thoughts about todayís judging in Womenís Bodybuilding.
This is such a difficult topic & one that is always up for debate. As it is such a subjective sport any decisions made will be argued & contested, there will always be controversy when judging is based on peoplesí opinions. However with womenís bodybuilding I think judging is even more difficult due to the femininity factor & how far us women can go without over stepping the mark. This itself is a problem as one personís idea of femininity is completely different to anotherís where as some donít even think femininity should come into the equation, women should be judged like the men, purely as athletes. I think due to the lower numbers of female bodybuilders competing & the lack of prize money the womenís judging criteria needs to be revised. I also think its much harder for European female bodybuilders to make a mark compared to the American athletes & whether this has to do with the amount of American judges is an issue I think needs to be considered. Regarding downsizing I find this difficult as to how this would come about as a reduction for some may not be enough for others. For me personally, we should be judged as an overall package & that includes maintaining some degree of femininity.
Please tell me about what else you are doing when you donít work out (profession, hobbies, etc.)
I donít actually have a lot of time for other things once ive worked, trained & cooked! However I do like spending time with my partner & friends & family. Sometimes just doing nothing is nice because of my hectic schedule. A lot of my good friends live further down the country so I really enjoy visiting them & going out for meals etc. In the offseason I enjoy going clubbing but this is now few & far between.
What are your future plans for 2007?
MY plans for 2007 are to compete at the Atlantic City, New Jersey in September which will be my 2nd pro show. I also have a couple of guestspots, my 1st one being in August at the Gravesend Classic, my 2nd one is in Leicester the following week & my final one before I fly to the States is in Leeds which is closest to home for me. My guest posing will be something different & exciting so I hope more bookings will follow.
I also want to get my face around & for people to become more familiar with me.
Wendy does not not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!