Interview with Fitness Competitor Jacklyn Abrams
It’s a pretty exciting time for Jacklyn Abrams these days and with good reason. The young fitness competitor has already won her first two shows—including the overall title at the competitive Emerald Cup Championships last month in Seattle—and will go for a third this weekend at the NPC Jr. USAs in Charleston, South Carolina.
“I am so excited and prepared to show what I have been working so hard on day after day,” Jacklyn told me this week on making her national-level debut. Of course, adding a bit more drama, a little bonus goes along with this one in the form of a pro card up for grabs.
Pretty good start for the 23-year-old, fresh-faced, platinum blonde stunner who made her fitness debut only about ten months ago in her home state of Colorado, where she initially developed her considerable talents as an elite-level cheerleader. Jacklyn was so athletically gifted that by age 16, she was already making headlines as the youngest pro cheerleader in the nation.
Given that she claimed prominence so quickly in the competitive world of cheerleading makes this swift climb up the fitness ladder seem less like a fluke, and more like the revelation of a possible new superstar.
Meanwhile, the progress Jacklyn continues to make in her physique and routine have her brimming with pride and confidence. “I work so hard and it has shown,” she says. “I’m not the same little girl who first stood on stage last July.”
You can see exactly what she’s talking about in her amazing new video footage on the studio. She offers up a sampling of breathtaking fitness tricks—powerful press holds, strong one-arm pushups, effortless tumbling flips—stretching every muscle of her steely 5-foot-1, 107-pound frame with enthusiasm and cheerful aplomb.
Tremendous thanks to Jacklyn for graciously taking time out from busy contest prep to detail her dazzling accomplishments during this past year and beyond. Already a perfect two-for-two, the reigning Emerald Cup champ is setting a pace that few are ever able to duplicate. It’s what great fitness girls do.
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Dean: Have to begin by saying congratulations on winning the fitness overall at the recent Emerald Cup! You’ve had such success so early on in your fitness career, what has the experience been like? Did you ever dream it would happen like this?
Jacklyn: “THANK YOU, DEAN!! The experience of the Emerald Cup and the success early in my fitness career has been so overwhelming, but everything I had wanted to happen in the order it happened. I dreamed of this and put my mind and all into it and made it a reality for myself.”
Dean: You must have already been a pretty good athlete before hitting the stage. Were you a cheerleader or gymnast in school? Did anything else otherwise inspire you to try competing?
Jacklyn: “I have always been a very active person, playing all different sports growing up. I was a cheerleader in high school for 3 years and on my third year of cheerleading my stunt coach Jon had approached me and asked if I would like to tryout for the Colorado Rapids Pro Cheerleading team. I was 16… I was thinking in my head ‘he is crazy,’ but I still showed up to the try-outs and made the team, becoming the youngest Pro Cheerleader in the United States. I cheered with them for 3 years and moved on to all-star cheerleading; competing only once with my team, I met up with my girlfriend Amy who competes in Bikini for the NPC. Her and I were having an after workout protein shake and she started talking to me about doing fitness for the NPC. She was showing me routines, hooked me up with a trainer and coach, and I started my journey into the fitness world. Thanks, Amy.”
Dean: How old were you when you first started working out? Were you trying to gain more strength for sports or was going to the gym just sort of a natural thing for you?
Jacklyn: “In high school is when I started serious weight training in my strength and conditioning classes. I was gaining muscle for sports strength and stamina. The gym stuff all came natural to me and I was surprisingly strong for how tiny I am. After high school I still would workout at least 4 times a week so getting into fitness was no problem for me with working out and changing my lifestyle.”
Dean: Fitness is always the most exciting and entertaining round. Do you have any favorite competitors that have influenced you or that you look up to?
Jacklyn: “My coach Carol Semple, fitness Olympian ’97, is the one woman I look up to and that has influenced everything I do. She is an amazing woman who pushes herself to this day to be better and I know that is all she wants for me. I am so thankful to have her in my life.”
Dean: Are you practicing any new moves to try to shake up your own routine for next time?
Jacklyn: “OHHHHH YEAH… You will just have to wait and see.”
Dean: On competing or being fit in general, what kind of reaction have you gotten from family and friends? Have you inspired anyone you know to begin working out?
Jacklyn: “ALL of my family and friends support me and everything I do. They have loved to see me transform and perform on stage. To pick a specific person I have inspired to begin working out would be a challenge for me because I have had so many say I have inspired them to push themselves or even start eating a little bit healthier. They make the first move for themselves and no one can say they did that for them.”
Dean: Could you share a memory when you surprised someone with your physique or strength? Did you ever get challenged to armwrestling matches?
Jacklyn: “The one memory that really stands out in my mind was before my husband and I were married last year around this time. He had never seen me perform on stage or even really know much about my athletic back round besides me being a cheerleader. As he tells me the story from his view he was driving to my first show, the Colorado State 2011. All he was thinking about was ‘even if she sucks I am still going to love and support her.’ He was preparing for the worst. I got up on stage in the morning, busted out my routine and stood with confidence in front of judges in the physique round. When I came out from being backstage, the smile on his face was so huge and his arms were wide open to hug me and hold me tight. He was SO proud of me. He says, ‘that was the day I knew I was going to marry her.’ That’s a day I will never forget. I had all the support in the world from him, my mother, family and friends who all came that day cheering me on. That sweet victory never tasted so good.
“I have only been challenged to armwrestle from my mom…SHE’S A BEAST.”
Dean: What would you say are your biggest goals with working out and being involved in the fitness industry?
Jacklyn: “My biggest goals with working out and the fitness world would be to get my IFBB PRO card, keep competing in the fitness world, grow my shoulders haha and keep pushing myself and making bigger and better fitness goals for myself that are challenging and fun for me.”
Dean: How do feel about the fitness modeling side of the business? Is it a little empowering flexing, posing and showing off athletically for photo shoots?
Jacklyn: “I love the fitness modeling!! I feel like it’s the only place I fit in with modeling. Muscles, pretty faces and hard work is shown in them. It makes me feel like I have achieved the ultimate sexy. I work hard for this and I love that I get to showcase it and look beautiful.”
Dean: Thanks for doing this interview! Is there anything else you’d like to promote (website, sponsors, personal training business, etc.) or any special shout-outs you’d like to give?
Jacklyn: “I would love to thank my coach Carol Semple, my trainers DJ and Kimberlin of Bodyvisions, MOM, Paul Abrams, iSatori, and to promote my website, jacktheripped.com.”