Amy Savinon is a fitness competitor who has a history in gymnastics and is a graphics designer, and even own her own company. Amy talks to us about her background, her plans, and why being natural to her is more important than having an "ideal" look, whether it wins her a competition or not.
All photos were provided by Amy herself and belong to the respective companies.
FitGems Nation: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Amy Savinon: My name is Amy, I’m 28 currently residing in Gilbert, Arizona working as a full time Graphic Designer as well as owning my own Custom Design Invitations Company, PaperTales Custom.
FitGems: How did you get involved in the fitness industry in the first place?
Amy: It wasn’t until recently that I became involved in the competition aspect of fitness. My boyfriend was about to get deployed to Afghanistan (Marines) and wanted something to keep me busy while he was gone. Little did I know that trying to “keep busy” is an understatement when training for a fitness competition.
FitGems: What do you enjoy most about competing?
Amy: I’ve always been able to express myself through competition. I had a wonderful 11 year gymnastics career, reaching level 10 and competing at a National Level I was eager to find something to feed my love for competition.
FitGems: Which do you feel is your greatest strength when training: cardio or weight-training?
Amy: In this industry you absolutely need a combination of weight training, cardio and a good diet plan. I would say by far my strength is in my weight training. For my size I think people are surprised sometimes at what I’m able to push or lift. I like the look on people’s faces when I can just hop up on a bar and do a set of pull-ups with no help!
FitGems: What division do you compete in and what’s the best thing about competing in that division?
Amy: I compete in the Fitness division and the best thing about being able to compete in Fitness is surprising myself of what skills my body can still do even after gymnastics.
FitGems: If it was up to you, what would be one thing you would want to add or take away from your division?
Amy: The one thing I would want to add to my division is the mandatory moves. I’ve heard mixed reviews from different shows about not requiring any mandatory moves. Even though dedication is needed for each division, requiring the competitors to showcase skills in their routine is what separates fitness from the other divisions.
FitGems: With the rise of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc,), how important do you feel it is for competitors to participate in it?
Amy: I am personally heavily involved in social media, for my own personal use as well as on a fitness level. Social media has played a big role on how people interact with each other. The fitness community is huge in every aspect of social media, and when starting out as a competitor you’re essentially branding yourself as a business. Community strength is a very powerful branding source.
FitGems: Who (living or dead) do you look up to for inspiration, whether they are part of the fitness industry or not?
Amy: I’ve looked up to Oksana Grishina for all my fitness inspiration. She is extremely dedicated to her goals and always strives to be better than the next. She comes from a military and gymnastics as well, which is showcased throughout her routine. I hope that I can project the same beauty, grace and strength on stage as she shows in each and every one of her fitness routines.
FitGems: If you were not competing or part of the fitness industry, what would you be doing now?
Amy: If I was not competing or part of the fitness industry in any way, I would have to fulfill my hunger for competition in some other format. I absolutely loved coaching, so I would want to go back to being a gymnastics coach. The life long lessons such as self-confidence, coordination, hard work ethic, flexibility and discipline are all qualities you learn as a competitive gymnast and I would love to help more little girls achieve that same determination as I have.
FitGems: What (if anything) would you change about the fitness industry?
Amy: The one thing I would want to change about the fitness industry is the amount of pressure a competitor has to strive for “perfection.” I love the idea of living a healthy lifestyle year round, not only looking “ideal” for a few weeks at a time.
I pride myself on being an all natural, yet still being able to win an NPC show. I don’t take diuretics before a show or any kind of crazy fat burners or do any of the “quick tricks” to get rid of water weight and fat that isn’t natural.
No matter how great of shape I may be in at any given time, I'm proud to say that is all natural. I may not be as cut up as some of my competitors, and I'm ok with that. If I lose I lose, if I win I win.
(Editor's Note: A trophy can only take you so far, so props to Amy for these words.)
FitGems: After competition, what do you plan to do to give back to the industry?
Amy: With my petite frame I hope to prove that muscle and fitness is an inspiration for many women trying to transform their bodies. My passion is to help others achieve balance through living a fit and healthy lifestyle while embracing every part of their life. Perusing a career as spokeswomen and columnist in the fitness industry, the best is yet to come.
FitGems: Any closing words for your fans and supporters?
Amy: 2012 has proved to be a very busy and successful year for me, and has made some huge stepping stones in my career. I traveled to Pittsburgh to compete in the the IFBB North American Championships in 2012 as well as landing endorsement deals from several industry related programs such as G-Loves and FireDaughter Clothing. I hope to continue the path to success throughout the years to come.
FitGems: Again, thank you so much for doing this interview with us! For those that want to keep up on your future competitions and other plans, how can fans contact you? (Facebook fan page, Twitter, email, website, blog, other social media outlet, etc.) Also, if there's anything you want to plug in, you are more than welcome to do so.
Amy: I track my fitness goals and motivation on Twitter! https://twitter.com/BendyMaghee.