Even before capturing the overall title at her first show, Rene Marven was already one of the hottest young bodybuilding prospects of the year. Nearing show time, the fresh-faced, strikingly muscular personal trainer from Poughkeepsie, New York caught the attention of several photographers at the Arnold; and a few weeks later, her outstanding physique similarly dazzled the judges, who awarded her top honors at the INBF Northern States Super Natural in Buffalo. In case you missed it, here’s her posing routine from that show.
Rene has made great strides in the sport since beginning as a figure girl, fit body and even best body swimsuit contestant only three years ago. But her athletic background traces back even further, with solid roots in gymnastics and cheerleading. Having just turned 24 she’s just getting started, and fans can expect to see the blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty for a long time to come.
Speaking of sights, Rene will be appearing at a booth today and judging at the Metroland Championships taking place in Troy, New York near the state capital of Albany. She shared this and much more — including an update on her training progress, thoughts on the new physique division, and some candid insights on issues involved with choosing different federations — in our latest interview.
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Dean: Growing up as a gymnast and cheerleader, you must have gotten a lot of attention being so athletic and fit. Did you win many arm wrestling matches over classmates and teammates or get asked to flex often?
Rene: “Funny! I actually did win an arm wrestling match in high school against a guy two years older than me… he wasn’t very happy! I also challenged a football player to a ‘dip contest’… how many dips we could do, I lost — but only by a 1/2 rep… still pretty impressed with myself on that!” ;)
Dean: Now that you’ve competed successfully as a bodybuilder, what sort of reactions have you gotten from friends and family on your phenomenal physique progress? Have you inspired anyone you know to begin working out or to train harder?
Rene: “I’ve got nothing but good reactions! My family and friends are impressed and excited to see what’s next on my agenda… I also have been getting many emails from prospective clients — very happy about that!”
Dean: I read that you really enjoy competing as a bodybuilder as opposed to the other divisions because of the posing round. Can you describe the feeling being on stage and showing off for the audience?
Rene: “There really is nothing like that feeling. I thought it would be similar to how I felt during cheerleading/gymnastics events, but it was so much better than that! I felt like a star and everyone was there to see me (not really, but it felt like it). I can’t wait to hit the stage again!!”
Dean: You’ve no doubt heard about the new women’s physique division coming out this year. What’s your personal take on the addition? Is it something you may want to try or are you set on pursuing a WNBF/INBF pro bodybuilding championship?
Rene: “I have heard good things about that new division, actually seems quite similar to INBF Ms. Fit Body with the addition of the posing round. I do like the idea, but want to see a few shows before making a decision for myself. ;) I’ve always enjoyed competing with the INBF working towards earning a WNBF pro-card, but never actually planned out what I would do if I won…
“The WNBF has many rules, such as no outside photo shoots, appearing in magazines (besides NB&F), and it even costs more money to enter pro shows… Not to sound like I am complaining, they are just things one must consider when deciding whether to try a new organization or stick with the WNBF. For me, it only makes sense to leave this organization and continue pursuing fitness modeling and other personal goals which I have been doing as an amateur competitor.
“As of right now, I haven’t decided on a contest. All I can say for sure is that I will stick with Bodybuilding a few more times, and perhaps switch over to Physique once that takes off.”
Dean: Any upcoming appearances scheduled?
Rene: “This Saturday I will be judging the Metroland Championships, a non-sanctioned Bodybuilding Competition in Troy, New York! I will have a booth set up in the lobby during the show with some sale items and training information… Before the Finals I will be hanging out there a while for photos, autographs, etc. Should be a fun day! As far as competing myself, I haven’t decided on a contest yet. (Still training & dieting like I am entering a show.)”
Dean: As far as training goes, what are some improvements you’re looking to make and what are some others you are most proud of so far?
Rene: “I am very happy with my legs as far as size goes, but I am working on improving them for competition — leaner, more defined, better separation are what I am conditioning them for! I am most proud of my shoulders, specifically rear delts which I’ve made the most improvement over the last year and a half, more than any other body part. I think that is something that helped with my switch from Figure into BB.”
Dean: Many of our fans are curious about those random muscle moments you ladies sometimes get from the average person. Have you ever surprised anyone at the gym or even out in public with your strength or physique?
Rene: “In the gym I am usually ‘covered’ wearing pants and sweatshirts… but as I approach competitions I will practice my posing in shorts/sports bra tops and sometimes I get the look… ‘That’s what’s under there?’ LOL! Sometimes people comment (good feedback) but most assume I am preparing for something and just watch. It’s later that I will receive emails or facebook messages usually starting with ‘I didn’t want to bother you in the gym…’ Those are the best!” ;)
Dean: Rene, thanks so much for doing this interview. Is there anything else I can help you promote (website, business, personal training) or any specific shout outs you’d like to give before we finish? Hope we can catch up again and good luck in your next show!
Rene: “You are very welcome! I do have a personal website, Rene Marven.com, where I offer training programs, meal plans, contest coaching, etc… Check it out! :)
“I am also an affiliate of Six Pack Bags, the best cooler/gym bags around! Save 10% online at Six Pack Bags using my promo code RMARVEN. I’d also like to make a shout out to Terry Benedetto who is my competition suit sponsor. She made me two gorgeous suits for Figure and BB finals (night routine), and the perfect black (wet look) posing suit for BB prejudging! Check her out online at www.fabulousfitwear.com.
“Thanks again! Stay in touch and I will let you know when the next show for me will be!”