Interview With Penny
I while ago I had the chance to ask Penny some questions about her career and life.
I am sure that all her fans will want to read this interview as it contains some great
answers and gives us more of an insight into this lovely lady.
Q When did you first get into bodybuilding?
PP - When I was about 20 years old. My boyfriend at the time was into lifting and
used to bring me to the gym with him. One thing lead to another and I began
Q How did you feel the first time you competed?
PP - I had never competed in any athletics other than high school track. I was
very nervous about going in front of a crowd, but I won that first show.
Q What did your family and friends think of you taking up bodybuilding?
PP - They were pretty much indifferent, because they didn't quite understand it.
Female bodybuilding was not popular in the early 80's. My father was most
interested. He's been lifting since he was a teen.
Q How many hours a day did you train at your bodybuilding peak?
PP - About one and a half to two training hours per day, six or seven days a week.
Q Could you tell us what sort of weights you worked out with at your
peak (bench press etc.)?
PP - At my peak, I could bench press 135 pounds for 10 reps. That doesn't sound
like much, but I could turn some heads weighing in at only about 120 pounds.
One time I did 30 pull-ups, to win a bet.
Q Could you tell me what your height and weight is? Has it changed
much since your competition days?
PP - I am 5' 4" tall and weigh 120 pounds. I'm about 5 pounds lighter than I was
during my competition days.
Q What are the key differences in the way you train today for
Triathlon and in your bodybuilding/fitness days?
PP - My weight training routine has not changed very much (lots of super-sets,
high intensity, etc.). However, I train about 4 to 5 days a week, instead of
6 or 7, and have added a lot more cardiovascular training (swimming, biking,
Q Many people felt that because you never went really "big" as a
bodybuilder this perhaps restricted your career; do you think that's a true
PP - Going "big" meant (and still means) taking steroids, so I decided to get out
of competitive bodybuilding. I never wanted to look like a freak and I don't
think it is healthy for women to carry all that muscle artificially. That's
not what fitness and beauty are all about. My career as a female bodybuilder
may have been restricted, but my success in the fitness industry has not. I
don't think many of the opportunities that have come along for me would have
as a freak (e.g. - personal training clients, magazine covers, television
appearances, etc.). In general, most women don't want to look like a "big"
bodybuilder, and most men don't find it appealing. I don't regret my
Q Do you think women's bodybuilding has lost it's way from the
exciting days of the 80's? Has the fitness competition taken its place?
PP - I think that the industry is still evolving, and that it is still exciting.
It would please me to see drugs disappear altogether from the industry.
Thanks for that Penny, I would like to ask you some questions about your
Q Your now into fitness training, aerobics and triathlon, could you
please tell us more about your interest in these areas?
PP - My husband is a triathlete and has gotten me interested in the sport. It is
totally different than bodybuilding in that emphasis is placed on performance
and not looks. Triathlon is full of exciting and interesting people. I
competed in several events and have placed in all of them. I finished second
place in a triathlon just 6 weeks after my second child. Central Florida
happens to be the capital of triathlon. There are many professionals living
in the area and you can train here all year.
Q In addition to all of the above you must also be a busy mum!
Could you tell us a little about your family?
PP - Three kids, Lady, Dakota, and Dylan. Dakota is 8, Lady is almost 3, and
Dylan is 4 months old. They keep me very busy, but I love being a mum.
Q How would you feel if in a few years your children wanted to go
into bodybuilding? What are the dangers of children training with weights?
PP - OK, if they are drug free. If properly supervised, I don't see any negatives
with children training with weights.
Q What are your views of drugs in sport? We hear almost daily of
athletes failing drug tests, do you think the time has come for a review of
what is legal and what is not?
PP - Obviously, I am very much against drugs in the sport. Drug use is in
complete opposition to what professional fitness should represent. I am in
favor of any action that would reduce drug use in athletics.
Technology and the internet in particular is becoming more important and the
ability to use a computer is almost as important as learning to drive a car.
So I would like to ask you some questions on computing.
Q How computer literate are you? Do you find your children telling
you what to do on the computer!
PP - I can use email, surf the net, and type a letter. I also use a nutritional
analysis program for my clients. My kids don't know more than me yet, but
I'm sure they will real soon.
Q How important do you think the Internet is to your business and to
fitness in general?
PP - Not very important to my business, but who knows. Most of my business is
personal training and consultation. These services typically don't involve
use of the internet. However, I can see how the internet could prove very
significant in product sales. The middleman may become unnecessary.
Q Will we ever see you posing again?
PP - Probably not, but you never know.
Q Have you ever been offered a part in a movie?
PP - No, but I have been on television quite a bit as a guest commentator and
host. I would like to do more television work, but not in a movie setting.
Q If a part was offered that was a typical stereotype roll (female
baddie, bodyguard etc.) for a muscular woman would you consider it? What
would you like to play in a movie?
PP - I would consider it, but I'm not real interested.
Q What is your favorite film
PP - I love movies, so its hard to choose a favorite. I really liked The Red
Q What do you think of the way muscular women are portrayed in the
movies generally (Cory Everson, Rachel Mclish etc.)?
PP - No opinion really, its just entertainment.
Q Who have you looked up to or has acted as an inspiration to you in
PP - There are too many, I would hate to leave anyone out, but my
husband ranks near the top.
Q If you could turn back the clock on your life would you do
PP - Nothing different, I'd just turn the clock back and stay there forever.
Q What do you like to do to relax?
PP - I have three kids, are you kidding me? But really, I like to spend the
evening watching a movie with my husband and a good bottle of Merlot.
Q What sort of food and music do you like?
PP - Favorite food is sushi and, believe it not, country music.
Q What part of the USA do you like the most and if you could live
somewhere else in the world where would you choose?
PP - Florida is my favorite, but I also like southern California. I spent some
time in Hawaii and really liked it there. I don't like cold weather.
Q Do you still practice your martial arts?
PP - I haven't lately, but I will have kick boxing, Tai Chi and Kung Fu at The
Trainers Edge. I plan to start back soon.
Q What other sports have you tried?
PP - Mountain biking, Triathlon (swimming, biking, running), I did the Disney
Marathon two years ago, roller blading, and water skiiing.
Q Do you keep in touch will any of the bodybuilders from your
PP - No. I'm a pretty private person.
Q As a mother of three young children what's your view on guns in
private ownership in the USA?
PP - I am in favor of private ownership of guns in the USA, but it is obviously a
tragedy to see them in the hands of children. Gun ownership is a right that
the founders of our country thought was important enough to include in our
Constitution. I believe that we should respect that, our children need to be
protected from guns. My view probably does not represent most American
I am surprised to get this question, how do the English view the American gun
I would like to thank Penny for taking the time to answer all of the questions. As a
very busy person it's great that she has considered her fans in this way. Many thanks
Penny and we all wish you and your family well for the future.