IFBB PRO & Olympia Hopeful – Barbara Bolotte
Barbara Bolotte to represent New Orleans and GymMatrix at the Olympia 2011
Bikini contests have certainly evolved from the days of Miss Hawaiian Tropic and Spring Break best tan competitions. The National Physique Committee (NPC), and the International Federation of Body Building (IFBB) have recently added a “bikini” division for female fitness athletes. The immediate popularity of this new division has been astonishing within the NPC and IFBB. In Las Vegas, this September 15-18, the second year of the Bikini Olympia competition will take place.
Barbara Bolotte is a 23-year-old New Orleans native. In 2010 she competed at a national NPC competition in Atlanta Georgia and earned her pro card. She is currently the only IFBB bikini pro in Louisiana. She has competed in both fitness, and spokesmodel competitions. She was Ms. Planet Beach New Orleans in 2009. In 2010 she took the title of overall bikini winner for the New Orleans division at the NPC Greater Gulf competition. She also took first at the NPC Louisiana state show in Lafayette, and currently holds the title of Ms. Louisiana State bikini champion. Barbara is the assistant manager at Gymmatrix, where she also does group personal training. She is certified through the American Sports and Fitness Association. This summer she won the Optimum Classic Pro in Shreveport qualifying her for a spot in the Bikini Olympia.
Barbara will be one of the 27 international IFBB Pro Bikini athletes vying for this coveted new championship title.
Check Out Our Interview with Barbara below:
Barbara, how long have you been competing in the Bikini division of NPC/IFBB competitions?
“I have been competing a little over a year.”
How many NPC shows have you competed in and how many have you won?
“I have won three out of four competitions that I have competed in.”
What drives your level of motivation?
“I am driven by wanting to be the absolute best at what I do. Many times throughout a hard workout I remind myself, ‘no one will be stronger, no one will work harder’. At this time in my life I am completely motivated by the win. I live, breathe, eat, and sleep the Olympia right now and I plan on winning. If it is to be, it is up to me!”
How would you describe the discipline that is necessary to make the difference in merely placing and being the champion? How do you plan to win the Olympia? What does the competitive field look like in your division?
“Being a competitor is extremely challenging both in diet and training. I think there are two ways to train, you can train to be a competitor or you can train to be a winner. It is completely based on mind set and determination. To win, there are no short cuts in any aspect of process. The time must be put in, and the work must be done. I plan on winning the Olympia by dieting with no short cuts and giving 100 percent in every workout, pushing myself through those times when I think I can’t push any more. My competition is fierce; they all have amazing physiques and stage presence. They aren’t going to just give this thing away; I am going to have to bring it!”
How long have you been involved in fitness? What attracted you to fitness in the first place?
“I started getting involved in fitness when I was 18. I started taking group fitness classes at my gym, and I was hooked. I got certified to teach body pump shortly afterward, and I have been working out on a steady basis ever since. I was attracted to fitness because of my mom. She has worked out her whole life and still does workout videos and runs 6 days a week. I am still so impressed with her dedication and how great she looks.”
Can you describe your role with GymMatrix and what are your thoughts on the concept of group personal training?
“I am the assistant manager and a professional group trainer at GymMatrix. I think group training is a great concept, because it allows people to come together and be motivated by each other. The groups are kept small so the clients can still receive all the benefits of a personal training session, and sharing the trainer also makes training a lot more cost efficient.”
How do you train a group of clients who have varying levels of fitness skills?
“I give modifications for all fitness levels. Instructing a small group allows me to make it harder or easier for each individual client, based on their own capability.”
What is your best recommendation to someone who has just made the decision to dedicate himself or herself to a fitness lifestyle?
“Make a promise to yourself that it will be a lifestyle change, not just a monetary goal. There will be hard times, excuses, interruptions, etc., but remember the promise you made, and the way you felt when you made the decision to be ‘fit’. Dedicating yourself to a fit lifestyle takes exactly that: dedication!”
Barbara Bolotte is a 23 year old New Orleans native. In 2010 she competed at a national NPC competition in Atlanta Georgia and earned her pro card. She is currently the only IFBB bikini pro in Louisiana. She has competed in both fitness, and spokesmodel competitions. She was Ms. Planet Beach New Orleans in 2009. In 2010 she took the title of overall bikini winner for the New Orleans division at the NPC Greater Gulf competition. She also took first at the NPC Louisiana state show in Laffayette, and currently holds the title of Ms. Louisiana State bikini champion. Barbara is the assistant manager at Gymmatrix, where she also does group personal training. She is certified through the American Sports and Fitness Association. This summer she won the Optimum Classic Pro in Shreveport qualifying her for a spot in the Bikini Olympia.
Losing weight and toning up are goals that administrative manager Andrea Ellis, 44, shares with many people. But the idea of walking into a traditional gym was a bit intimidating and kept her from taking the steps she needed to get the extra pounds off. But on Oct. 4, 2010, Ellis walked through the doors of the Tchoupitoulas GymMatrix to begin her new fitness journey. Now she is down 20 pounds and with Mardi Gras behind her, she is more determined than ever to get into a bathing suit this summer. “I had to slow down for a little bit for Mardi Gras, but I did not work these 20 pounds off for them to come back,” she says.
GM: What is your fitness level?
AE: I was definitely a beginner when I started, but I am really good at it now. I am up there now.
GM: What is your GymMatrix routine?
AE: Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I do the exercise class and then all the other days I do the treadmill or the weights.
GM: What are your health and fitness goals?
AE: To lose weight and tone up. And it is just something I wanted to do.
GM: Had you ever been the member of a gym before?
AE: This is my first time at a real gym. I was part of Curves but I didn’t care for it. It was routine. It wasn’t a new challenge. I didn’t consider Curves a real gym since they did not have weights and stuff.
GM: How did you first hear about GymMatrix?
AE: I shop at the store right next door to new gym. They had a $1 sign-up and so I said, “You know, that is something I think I want to do.”
GM: What about GymMatrix was different? What attracted you to it?
AE: The classes and the people. I could take a class anytime or I can just pull one of the trainers and ask them to come exercise with me. And I can go anytime I want to go since it is 24 hours. Plus I got a trainer for the price that I was paying. And it is close to my job.
GM: Was this the first time you heard of the small group personal training?
AE: Yes. Most people who go to other gyms, they are paying a fee that is only for the gym, not for the trainer and the nutritionist. With GymMatrix, for the price that I pay I have a trainer included in it.
GM: What is your favorite part about GymMatrix?
AE: The group sessions. I have made a bunch of new friends at GymMatrix and we motivate each other. When I walk by other gyms, I see big classes, but I am kind of a person who is more to myself and I don’t like being around a bunch of other people. Here at GymMatrix I don’t feel uncomfortable. And they are good motivators with the one-on-one attention.
GM: Are you seeing results?
AE: I need to go shopping! I have no clothes. But I don’t want to go shopping because if I lose more weight I’ll be buying even more clothes. I’ve lost about 20 pounds so far. It’s not easy, but you just got to stick to it. And I think because we have an assessment every 30 days at GymMatrix, it makes you want to really work at it so you can see improvement.
GM: Would you recommend GymMatrix to others looking for a gym?
AE: Oh yes, because of the motivation, because of the people. It is not like you just go there and nobody is there to coach you through things. You go there and there is always somebody there to help you, coach you through. As you are doing the training, they tell you what that particular exercise does for you and what you are going to get out of it.
GM: Is there anything else you love about GymMatrix?
AE: I have never really been to a real gym before, so I can’t really compare besides what I see through the window. For instance, at French Riviera they are too busy for me. It is so clustered with too many people, it is just too busy and that is not what I like. So what has drawn me to GymMatrix, you are still getting the quality, but it is at a smaller scale. When I pass French Riviera, I look at all those people on all those machines and I would just quit if I had all those people around me. But when I got to GymMatrix, it is kind of homey. You are greeted as soon as you walk in the door by the staff and they motivate you and that is why I really like being with them.
GymMatrix Review: Member Sarah Gilberti
After repeatedly driving by the Tchoupitoulas Street GymMatrix, Realtor Sarah Gilberti, 35, decided to join last November after making a commitment to drop the baby weight. With two children under the age of 2, Gilberti had about 45 pounds to lose to get back to pre-kid weight. Down 10 pounds, Gilberti is singing the praises of GymMatrix and has even gotten some co-workers to join as well.
“I am running around telling everybody how great they are,” she says. “They are all just easy and nice. People don’t have to feel intimidated because it is not one of those typical places where you walk in and are uncomfortable. No one here will make you feel uncomfortable.”
GM: Have you ever joined a gym before?
SG: I had. The JCC (the Jewish Community Center facility) here in New Orleans is in my neighborhood and that is where I have gone in the past. But it has been a few years, before I got married and had kids. But most gyms can absolutely be intimidating.
GM: Have you used personal trainers before?
SG: I had used personal trainers a lot in the past but I sell real estate, so my income has changed dramatically and I can no longer afford to pay, for example, $45 a Pilates session. I worked out with a few different trainers around the city, but I had never taken a class before and that was what I liked about GymMatrix.
GM: Do the small sessions with the trainer, seven people or less, appeal to you?
SG: I love it. And it usually averages three or four people, so it is really perfect. If I didn’t sign up for a session, I know on my own I wouldn’t be going in there.
GM: What is your GymMatrix routine?
SG: I go four or five days a week. I try to make a 4 p.m. session Monday and Tuesday, an upper body, a lower and a total body workout. Thursday I try to go in and do some cardio and same with Friday or Saturday. I usually try to do one day or the other.
GM: What is your favorite part about working out at GymMatrix?
SG: Definitely the sessions. If I go in there on my own and I am just trying to do some cardio, and I need help, they are there. One of the girls got on the elliptical with me because nobody else was on it and I wanted to quit. I wanted to give up and she was like, ‘No don’t quit, I’ll hop on right next to you.’ And it made a total difference and I finished it. If it hadn’t been for her I would have stopped. So everybody is really nice. I love everything about it.
GM: So what have been your results?
SG: I have already lost about 10 pounds. I hate weighing myself so I don’t do it often, but I went in today and one of the girls I had not seen in awhile said she could tell I have totally lost weight. And that feels great.
Why did you join GymMatrix?
· Group training
· 24 hour access
Describe your overall experience with GymMatrix and it’s delivery of customer service.
· Overall experience has been wonderful
· Trainers are very helpful in answering questions regarding fitness and nutrition
· Great customer service is great. Staff is very friendly.
· Staff seems to work well together and enjoy helping customers
How have the sessions been beneficial to you and your attainment of your fitness goals?
· Absolutely! I joined for the classes because I need motivation and accountability. I love knowing that I have a class to go to and work my schedule around my work outs.
· I make it a priority to be in at least three classes a week.
· I feel that as I progress in my training the workouts progress with me
· In a lot of gyms in the past, I was working out at the same level. GymMatrix training sessions allow me to work out at my level, not a generic one.
How has the experience with the GymMatrix staff and trainers been?
· I have enjoyed working with the trainers. I feel like I get an amazing workout.
· I feel like I have a team of people who know my fitness goals and are helping me strive to reach those results
· Trainers are great at pushing me to work out at my best fitness level without fear of injury
· I have always been intimidated by the weight room equipment but I am confident while working with the trainers because I know I am working out with the correct form and the appropriate weight
Why would you recommend GymMatrix to your family and friends?
· I have been involved an a variety of gyms in the past and this one has by far been the best.
· I am motivated because I saw results really quickly.
How do you feel now, compared to when you first got started?
· I am stronger, have more muscle definition, a lot more toned
· I really struggled through my first session. Now they are much, much easier and I am not nearly as sore the next day
· The key was sticking with the sessions and not giving up, they did get easier.
Has GymMatrix delivered on the promises first presented to you when you joined? How?
· Yes. I’ve been working out at GymMatrix since it first opened. I love the sessions and the fact that they are kept small.
· I like that it is open 24 hours and I can go at any time. If for some reason I miss a session, I am now very confident on the equipment and can work out anytime.