Where and when have you been born?
I was born in NC on January 5, 1966. Iím a computer programmer and my day consists of application programming, web page programming, and server support.
What kind of activities/sports did you do before you started lifting weights?
Iíve always been athletic and was involved in sports throughout my school years, mostly track and field. I was also heavily involved in martial arts for several years before I began bodybuilding.
How and when did you get involved into lifting weights?
My best friend, an old-school power lifter, initially got me started after I became burned out from karate (I was teaching 4-5 classes per week and didnít have time to take the classes I needed to improve my own performance). I have trained with weights most of my life, but not for size and/or strength, so he started me on a heavy training program to prepare me to compete as a power lifter. After I had trained for about 6 months, people kept suggesting that I should try bodybuilding, so here I am!
Which competition has been your first one and how did you place?
My first competition was the NPC Metrolina in Concord, NC in 1999. I won the middle weight class and overall.
And which contest has been the biggest success for you yet?
The 2001 NPC Nationals in Atlanta where I placed 5th in the middle weight class.
Could you please add a history of all bodybuilding contests that you have entered so far?
2004 NPC Nationals, 5th place middle weight
2004 NPC Elite Classic (coming up on Nov. 6)
2001 NPC Nationals, 5th place middle weight
2000 NPC Nationals, 16th place middle weight
1999 NPC Mountaineer, 1st middle weight and overall
1999 NPC NC State, 3rd middle weight
1999 NPC Metrolina, 1st middle weight and overall
Please describe a typical day in the life of Christine Brandon.
This is probably going to sound pretty boring! I get up around 6:30 am and do my morning cardio, eat breakfast, walk my dog, take my shower, and get ready for work. I usually work about 9 hours per day. I leave work and head straight for the gym. Afterwards, I guess I do the same things everyone else does after they get home, that is I cook supper, eat, play with my dog, do any laundry, etc. that needs to be done, take care of any work that I brought home from the office, answer my emails, and get ready for the next day.
Please tell me something about your daily training routine.
I have different routines depending upon what my goal is:
Training - Strongwoman:
Monday - Legs
Tuesday - Chest and biceps
Wednesday - Cardio (jogging or sprints)
Thursday - Back and triceps
Friday - Shoulders, cleans, push-presses, and abs
Saturday - Events (changes each week)**
Sunday - Cardio (jogging or sprints)**
**sometimes I switch Saturday and Sundayís schedules depending on if Iím training alone or if others want to train with me. Then I train according to what works best for the group.
Training - Bodybuilding:
My off-season training schedule is as follows:
Monday Ė Chest and abs
Tuesday Ė Quads, hams, and calves
Wednesday Ė Cardio (jogging)
Thursday - Back and abs
Friday Ė Hams, shoulders, calves
Saturday Ė Biceps and triceps, cardio (usually jogging)
Sunday Ė jogging sometimes; otherwise this is my down-time
I do cardio every morning (M-F) and jog 3 miles twice (sometimes three times) per week. I do this for my mental/emotional state of mind as much as for my physical conditioning, much like a ďjogging meditationĒ!
What are the main differences when you train for a competition and in off-season?
Iíve tried several methods, but have found that I prefer to change my schedule to 6 days per week while preparing for a competition. It seems to work better for me physically and mentally because it allows me to work each muscle group to its fullest capacity. I also do cardio every night pre-contest in addition to the regular morning cardio. Otherwise, thereís just the obvious issue of dieting. Since I eat pretty clean most of the time, I just cut out my junk food on the weekends).
If you donít mind would you give me some stats (best lifts and some body measurements)?
I have no idea, I honestly canít tell you the last time I took any measurements and I havenít done any max lifts in a long time. In the past some of my best lifts have been:
Dead lift: 535 for 5 reps (belt and knee wraps)
Squats: 315 for 3 sets of 6 (below parallel; belt and knee wraps)
Bench: 225 for 3 sets of 6
Which body part is your best in your opinion?
I would have to say my back, but I like my shoulders pretty good too.
What is your favorite exercise in the gym and which one you donít like so much?
I enjoy training every body part and really donít dislike any particular exercise. However, I love ALL back exercises! lol
Judging in Womenís Bodybuilding has always been criticised in one or the other way. But please tell me your honest thoughts about todayís judging in Womenís Bodybuilding.
It can be a little confusing at times to know what the judges are looking for but itís also very hard for competitors, including myself, to be unbiased about their own bodies and condition. Weíre all there to win Ė nobody wants to go through all the dieting, all the expense of competing, and feel great about their conditioning and physique and then lose (or not place where they expected or felt they deserved). There is no woman on the National level that doesnít deserve to be there. When you have 100+ women competing, all with various body types, it has to be hard to judge. For the most part, I think the judging is fair. Itís not just who is the biggest, hardest, etc., itís the overall package. The judges sit there for hours looking at one body after another, all of them in good condition, and have to choose one winner for each class. I honestly think they try to do the best they can using the guidelines they are asked to use.
Please tell me about what else you are doing when you donít work out (profession, hobbies, etc.)
Since Iím a programmer, my profession changes rapidly, so I read in order to stay on top of new technology. In addition to my work and bodybuilding, I also compete in strong woman competitions, which I love. You donít have to worry about your hair, your nails, or your make-up; you just get out there and push some heavy weight! lol For you ladies who enjoy pushing your bodies to the max, you really should give it a try. Itís an incredible sport and loads of fun. Other things I enjoy are spending time with my kids, family, and friends, play with my dog - just simple things. Iím a very intense and passionate person, so itís important for me to do things that help me to relax. For relaxation, I enjoy meditation and photography, which is usually me taking lots of pictures of my family, my dog and the area parks. I love bodybuilding and my other sports, but itís absolutely not all Iím about. There is so much more that I enjoy in life and I feel that life is way too short to spend it just doing one thing. Itís a journey, not a destination, and I want to experience as much as possible.
What are your future plans for 2004?
My bodybuilding competition plans for 2004 are to do a local competition in November to re-qualify for the Nationals, and then do the Nationals in Dallas on November 20. Iím also planning to become more involved writing articles, etc. in an attempt to help change the way women bodybuilders are viewed. We deserve to be treated with the same respect that the men of the sport, as well as women in other sports, receive.
Christine does not not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!