How did you get started?
I got started as a goal to get back into shape after having a baby. I had previously been on a pro cheerleading squad and needed a new goal to get that body back! A good friend of mine had previously competed in fitness and she encouraged me to train and give it a try. She helped me put together my caloric goals and a good breakdown of macronutrients, and I started searching on the internet for a workout split that would help me to achieve my goal. This actually led me to enrolling into an exercise science transfer program at a local community college. With the help of Tanji Johnson I competed for the first time 7 months later in Seattle at The Emerald Cup, this was in April 2006. I had a lot of fun, but prepping for fitness coupled with a 1 year old and a job personal training I just didn’t feel like it fit into my life well enough.
In 2009 I was preparing to try out for the Seattle SeaGals (The NFL Seahawks cheer squad) and was in pretty good shape. A local gym owner convinced me to compete in the new bikini division at The Emerald Cup again where I won my class. The next time I competed was 2010 at Tanji Johnson’s fitness, figure and bikini classic. I didn’t really think of it as anything serious until I contacted Shannon Dey of Team Bombshell who I joined. She encouraged me to take it as far as I wanted to go, so I set my sights on becoming an IFBB Pro in September 2010. From there I competed in The Night of Champions (overall winner), The Washington Ironman (2nd Class B), The Eastern USA (overall winner), 2010 NPC Nationals (6th class B), The Arnold Amateur (3rd Class B), NPC Pittsburgh Championships (overall winner), Eastern Seaboards (overall), NPC Jr USA’s (2nd Class C), and NPC Jr. Nationals (Class C winner and 2nd runner up overall) before I attained pro status!
It was a lot of hard work, but worth it. From there I flew back to Daytona, Team Bombshell’s home base, and trained before heading to Tampa for the Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships. There I won the Overall in my first pro show just one week after becoming pro! Because of that win I qualified to compete at the Olympia where I placed 11th. After the O I trained for 3 more weeks and took the stage at The Ft. Lauderdale Cup placing 3rd and qualifying for The Olympia 2012. Currently I am awaiting the decision on who will be invited to compete at the Bikini International. Another two goals fulfilled this year in the quest were being signed by Fitness Management Group (FMG) and being picked up by GNC as one of their sponsored athletes.
What your diet consists of and why?
Healthy fat, complex carbs, and tons of protein! It varies month to month depending how far out from a competition I am. Basically lots of clean REAL food, it’s very balanced. My general guidelines are 1 gram protein per pound of bodyweight, 200 grams of a variety of carbs, and 25 grams of good fat.
What supplements do you use?
I take a well-rounded group of vitamins and minerals. I take things for hair, skin, nails, inner body health, focus and energy. Some of my favorites are Oxyelite Pro, vitamin D (for us Seattle folk), and vitamin B12!
What does your current work-out routine look like?
Right now I am in “improvement” season which means REST for me. I have cardio 3-4 days a week, and lift 4 times per week. My reps and sets vary from week to week, but I am mostly lifting for a little more muscular hypertrophy. I spent a lot of time this year pushing my body to perform at an extremely high level, so sleep and rest days are key components for the overall picture.
What are your max lifts?
HAHA! I have no idea! I am a pretty strong girl. For most of the season I lift lighter weight, but right now I am having fun lifting heavier again. I can bench about 100 lbs and do bodyweight pullups for reps. I’ve squatted so much before that I had an NFL player tell me I was making him look bad at the gym! LOL! I think at that point I was squatting around 280, but I don’t think I would be doing that any time soon! In high school I set the max squat record of 315X3. Proud moment for me! Ha!
What’s your favourite cheat meal?
It changes EVERY competition! Usually it’s steak and a salad. I try not to go too crazy because salt really affects my body and it’s not fun to be uncomfortable.
Who is your favourite bodybuilder, strongman or powerlifter?
Frank Zane. LOVE how beautifully everything flowed in his physique.
If you could give someone any advice, what would it be?
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” –Prefontaine
Reference: Diana Graham