MONIQUE NORVAL IS ANOTHER NAME ON THE GROWING LIST OF SOUTH AFRICAN PRO BODYBUILDERS SET TO MAKE THEIR DEBUTS IN 2015. WITH DEEP FAMILY ROOTS IN THE BODYBUILDING INDUSTRY, THE SPORT AND HER PASSION FOR IT RUN IN HER VEINS.
HAVING REACHED THE PINNACLE OF THE SPORT LOCALLY, MONIQUE IS HARD AT WORK AHEAD OF HER FIRST PRO SHOW IN MAY 2015.
NAME: Monique Norval LIVES: Roodepoort, Gauteng BORN: 15 May 1989 PROFESSION: Personal trainer TRAINING FOR: Byears COMPETING FOR: 3 years COMPETITION WEIGHT: 55kg OFF SEASON WEIGHT: 58-60kg PROUDEST COMPETITIVE ACHIEVEMENT:
To date 2014 has been my most successful season IN 2014 I WON THE FOLLOWING! COMPETITIONS. AND RECEIVED MY IFBB PRO CARD AS A RESULT: June 2014 – IFBB Gauteng Provincials – 1st September 2014 – IFBB South African Championships – 1st
October 2014 – IFBB Amateur Olympia Africa – 1st
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a relaxed and easygoing person, and I’m always keen to take on new challenges or embark on new adventures.
How and why did you get into bodybuilding and fitness?
I was always active as a youngster, participating in various sports at school level. In addition, bodybuilding was always in my family, and I started training with my dad and brother at the age of 17.
What was it like growing up and training with your dad and brother?
My dad was a great bodybuilder in his day, and my brother and I always admired his physique I feel privileged to have learnt the basics of bodybuilding, including the right techniques and training Intensities, from my dad and brother, and to share their passion for the sport. I still make time to train with my dad and brother today, as my brother is also competing. I believe that he has a great future ahead of him in the sport.
What has it taken to achieve your dream of an IFBB pro card? Has it always been a dream of yours?
It took a lot of consistent hard work, but that was always something I enjoyed. The diet was the hardest factor to adapt to. but it was definitely something that I needed to change in order to reach my goals. I feel truly blessed for what I have achieved, and it is certainly a dream come true It still feels unreal, if Im honest, but I’m extremely determined and motivated for the hard work that lies ahead.
What was your Amateur Africa Olympia experience like?
It was an absolutely amazing experience.
The moment that stood out for me was when I stepped out from the backstage area.
I was the second athlete to come out, and I couldn’t see anything from where I was. Then, suddenly, a wall of light and noise greeted me as I stepped onto the stage. I heard everyone as they stood up from their chairs, as the South Africa anthem started playing. That was one of my proudest moments – realising that I was representing our great country.
It has taken a while for girls to find the right look in the Body Fitness division.
What do you feel is required for a contestwinning physique?
I agree. I feel each athlete has a unique look so all you can do Is ensure that you arrive at the show in your best condition possible. If you have the right coach to guide you. and make sure you’re on the right track, then that in possible.
How do you train to develop and maintain such a muscular physique?
I train intensely with very heavy weights, and my contest training doesn’t differ much from my off season training style. I never have the same workout as I like to change it up to keep it interesting and challenging.
What Is the key to crea ting a muscular physique that still maintains Its feminintry, as you have achieved?
Females don’t have the same levels of testosterone that men do, so training with heavyweights Isn’t going to make you big, unless to take testosterone or other performance enhancing drugs.
What are your favourite exercises and why?
Sguats and deadlifts, because they’re killers, and I always feel that I worked my butt off when I do them.
Tell us a bit about your eating habits, both in terms of the off-season and your pre-contest prep.
My dietary approaches are very different.
I’m now in my off-season, which means my diet has much more variety. My carbs are fast-acting, like white basmati rice, fruit and oats. In terms of protein, I have fillet, haddock, chicken and egg whites. My pre-contest diet will be adjusted according to how my body is changing. I will change to slow release carbs like brown basmati rice, sweet potato and lots of vegetables. My protein sources are a lot cleaner’with more white fish, chicken and egg whites.
Run us through a typical day In your life.
I wake up and start my day with a black coffee. I then do about 30 minutes of intense fasted-state cardio. I then get ready for the day and have my first meal. It’s then all about business and admin. In between everything I will have my second and third meals I do my weight training in the afternoon, which is followed by meal four. When I get back home I do my meal prep for the next day, before eating my fifth meal of the day. It’s then chill time in the evening ax I spend time with my husband. I will have my final meal just before bed.
How do you balance the demands of a pro athlete and your other daily commitments and requirements?
Plan. plan. plan. If you really enjoy what you do you will always make the time.
What supplements do you use? Multivitamin and minerals. Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex. Omega Oil,
Co enzyme Q1O, Calcium. Slow Mag, ZMA. Probiotics. L-Glutamine, BCAA, Pre-workout, Casein protein. Hydro Whey. Creatine. L-carnitine … and that is just for breakfast (she laughs)!
What are your future goals within the sport?
My general goal is to improve my physique every year, to bring a better package to the stage each time I compete. My ultimate goals would be to win a pro show and compete at the Olympia.
When can we expect to see you on stage again, and at what shows?
I will be competing at the Pittsburgh Pro on 1 May. and then at the New York Pro on 9 May.
What advice do you have for athletes who want to chase a pro card?
Stick to your planned route, but always remember where you’ve come from.
Always believe in yourself, and work hard at everything you do. Give nothing but your best. And on the day. go out there and enjoy it.
Which local or international athletes inspire you and why?
Local athletes who have inspired me over the years include Irene Ally. Sonja Kilbourn and Louis Van Der Nat. In South Africa we currently have many great athletes on the circuit, and Im excited to see what they will bring to the stage in 2015. Internationally I have always admired the likes of Monica Brandt and Oksana Grishina for their balanced, muscular yet feminine physiques, and their stage presence.
What’s your favourite cheat meal?
Its very hard to pick just one, so I would have to go with my homemade Risotto, and a bowl of Strawberry Pops with cold milk.
What do you like to do when you’re not training?
Spend time with my husband and family.
Tell us something that not many people know about you.
I really enjoy cooking and baking, as I really enjoy good home made cuisine.
Any famous last words?
Make sure you’re fully prepared for everything you want to take on In life, otherwise you set yourself up for failure.
“ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, AND WORK HARD AT EVERYTHING YOU DO. GIVE NOTHING BUT YOUR BEST. AND ON THE DAY, GO OUT THERE AND ENJOY IT.”