|Photo credit: Krivs Studio|
FitGems Nation: Let’s kick this off by telling us a bit about yourself.
Amanda Hatfield: I am the General Manager of PowerHouse Gym in Berea, Ohio. I recently started a fitness team, which has really taken off and keeping me super busy. In fact some days I put in about 16 hours! I love what I do and I have come across a great group of young women!
FitGems: When did you first start competing?
Amanda: My very first competition was when I was 10 years old. I had made our local gymnastics team after only 2 years of training. My first fitness competition was in Phoenix, Arizona in April of 2004.
FitGems: What is your strategy when you head to the gym? Is it mostly weight-training, mostly cardio, a balanced mixture of the two, or something else?
Amanda: It really depends on what on want to accomplish. In the past couple of years my focus was trying to improve on my shape. I love to train heavy and push myself to lift more weight. But being in fitness cardio is such a big part of training, so you have to keep a balance. This off season I am concentrating on improving my routine. I have been going back to my roots of gymnastics training.
FitGems: At first glance, has anyone mistaken you for being in something OTHER than physique competitions (MMA fighter, boxer, pro wrestler, track and field runner, softball player, etc?)
Amanda: People usually have me pegged as a gymnast. I always get asked the same two questions, “Do you work out?” Or “What do you do for your arms?” I usually reply, “Its Hydroxy Cut.”…LOL! Then I confess and tell the truth, followed by business card.
FitGems: With women’s physique and bikini now part of the NPC and IFBB, do you feel that there’s now a division for every female who wants to compete?
FitGems: You recently returned to competition this year, ALMOST winning your pro card in fitness. What made you decide to return to competition?
Amanda: I wish I had never left. My career took a different turn. I was a platform artist for Aquage Hair Products. I did a lot of traveling and long hours, which made it impossible to compete. Recently my boyfriend, Joe Mazzone and I purchased the PowerHouse Gym in Berea, Ohio.
FitGems: To many people, your biceps are among the best in fitness. (Okay, that wasn't a question, but a statement. LOL.)
Amanda: That’s funny, because I think I am the only one who doesn’t like them. In fact I don’t even train arms anymore. I would trade them in on a good pair of shoulders any day! (Interesting....)
FitGems: If you weren’t a part of the female physique world whatsoever, what would you be doing right now as your profession?
Amanda: I would probably still be slaving behind a stylist chair!
FitGems: What (if anything) would you change about any of the IFBB female divisions?
Amanda: I would prefer fitness be judged more on conditioning. I love Oksana Grishina. I think she should be taking first. The comments are always that she is too lean. I believe most women prefer her physique. I also feel to be physically capable to perform the routine that she brings to the competition you have to be in that awesome condition.
FitGems: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to compete?
Amanda: My advice is always to compete for the right reasons. Through my years of coaching gymnastics and now training fitness, figure and bikini competitors, I have learned you have to do it because you love it. I mean love all of it, even leg day! I make sure I enjoy every training session! I am trying to pass this on to my girls.
For more on Amanda, you can find her on Facebook under the name Amanda Hatfield.