Where and when were you born?
I was born in Akron, Ohio on May 7th.
What is your profession?
My profession: I have my bachelors degree in political science/criminal justice and I also have my Juris Doctorate. To focus on my training, I am currently managing RioTan in Venice, California and training. I am also in the process of writing a novel.
What kind of activities/sports did you do before you started lifting weights?
Activities and sports? I played basketball (point guard) prior to bodybuilding ..ha ha..guess why? I started playing basketball when I was about 6 years old and played in college. I also played softball (third base and shortstop through highschool and on an allstar traveling league in the summer).
How and when did you get involved into lifting weights?
I got involved in lifting weights to train for my other sports I played but never with the desire to become a bodybuilder. Lifting was focused more on what muscles I needed to use for my sport – not as much as training the whole package. My teammates would call me “The Big O” because even then I was muscular. I noticed, however, that many times I enjoyed being in the weightroom more than I did practice! To me, lifting was more of a challenge than going to practice.
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?
It was my goal right from the beginning to compete in bodybuilding when I started lifting. I knew I wanted to compete so badly! I broke my knee (tibia plateau) playing softball and was in a wheelchair and on crutches for a long time. I was even hospitalized with a blood clot that had formed under my knee. During this time, I gained over 70 pounds. It was horrible. I was referred to Joe Deangelis (my coach and friend) and went to see him and told him I wanted to compete. From there – everything has happened. He provided my diet and gave me a lifting plan. I stuck to it strictly for several months and entered my first contest.
What was your first competition and how did you place?
My first competition was the Excalibur in December 2003 in Culver City, Ca. I placed first in the unlimited Middleweight class and the Overall Novice.
And which contest has been the biggest success for you yet?
The contest that has been the biggest success for me was my first contest. It was very difficult for me to lose all the fat I had gained while being injured and yet still develop the muscle. I would consult with Joe quite a bit on the diet and we would switch things up depending on how my body was looking. It was such an incredible feeling to obtain my goal I had set for myself.
Could you please add a history of all contests that you have entered so far?
A history of my contests are only two! The Excalibur (1st Middleweight and Overall Novice) and the California in Culver City in May 2004 (2nd Middleweight).
Please describe a typical day in the life of Cheri Owen.
A typical day for me? Wow…well that depends. I’ve been so busy lately. I’ve been practicing my psing in the morning and doing my cardio. I then run my errands and work on my novel. Early in the afternoon I manage RioTan and then hit the gym for my training around 9:30p.m. I get home usually around midnight and spend time at home with my three dogs, watch TV, and unwind. I have a bassett hound and two chow chows. On my days off, I try to just relax and spend time at home, with my friends and family, catch a movie, travel, spa, shop, etc.
Please tell me something about your daily training routine.
My daily training routine. Well, I always prepare my food the evening prior and get it packed for the next day. I stick with lean meats (chicken, fish, lean red meats) and if I didn’t have time to cook – El Pollo Loco saves me! Depending on if I’m pre-contest or not, I split up my training where I do cardio in the morning and my weight training in the evening.
How often do you train in a week?
Right now I am training on a 3 day on 2 day off split. Day one I train chest/arms/stomach; day 2 I train legs and calves and day 3 I train back/shoulders/stomach.
What are the main differences when you train for a competition and in off-season?
The main difference between competition training and my off-season is that I increase my cardio drastically! I stay lean all year round so I can develop good quality muscle but when I’m in competition mode I can do up to 3 hours of cardio a day – depending on my conditioning.
If you don’t mind would you give me some stats (best lifts and some body measurements)?
Some stats? I have never really kept track or measured myself. ( I think James Woods did during our photo shoot…). My best lift that I can remember is I did an incline chest press for two reps with 190 pounds when I weighed approximately 138 pounds. For the squat, I did two good reps (all the way down) with 245 pounds. I weighed 138 pounds at the time as well. I don’t really keep track because I lift more for the feel rather than the amount. Some days I feel stronger than others in the gym but I always give 110%.
Which bodypart is your best in your opinion?
My best bodypart in my opinion? Gosh…that’s a hard one. My legs have good size and shape but I need to get them more defined and cut. My arms are looking pretty good too. But I like my back to – I don’t know! Once my legs get more defined, probably my legs.
What is your favorite exercise in the gym and which one you don’t like so much?
Which bodypart do I train the best? I really enjoy leg day. I know that a lot of people (or the people I have heard complain about leg day) but I love the challenge. When I leave the gym on leg day and have to use the automatic rather than the clutch on my car …. I know I’ve had a great leg workout! I don’t dislike training any bodypart – I just like some over others. My next favorite would be back with deadlifts and bent-over rows.
Judging in Women’s Bodybuilding has always been criticised in one or the other way. But please tell me your honest thoughts about today’s judging in Women’s Bodybuilding.
What is my honest opinion about women’s judging in bodybuilding? I really don’t know. I mean, Joe always tells me to go into a contest looking the best I can be and that’s what I try to do. I feel that I’m still a beginner in many ways in that I’ve only competed in two shows so far but the experience has been terrific. People have said to me that sometimes judges like the more conditioned look over muscularity and vise versa. I’m just trying to have the whole package. I think when I do more shows and pose more I’ll be more at ease and have a better opinion.
What are your future plans for 2004/2005?
My plans for 2004-2005? I’m going to compete in the USAs in July. Prior to that, I’m working on my posing routine and focusing on getting extremely conditioned – yet keeping my muscularity. Prior to the USA – my plans are to compete in the Jr. Cal on June 26 and the Los Angeles show on July 10. I want to compete as a lightweight at the Los Angeles and see how that goes. I weighed in at 1331/4 at the Cal so I want to drop a few extra pounds and come in more conditioned. We’ll see what I’ll be entering next after the USA!
Cheri has just won the 2004 Jr.California Championships on June 26th