Flex Time: Rachel Gilmore is switching from figure to the physique division in 2013.
Rachel Gilmore is about to get her flex back on. The impressive former figure competitor took time out from her busy schedule this week to discuss plans to crossover to physique this year, announcing she’ll make her debut this fall in a local show in her hometown of Spokane, Washington before heading to the NPC Nationals in Miami, Florida.
Last time we saw Rachel was at the 2012 Emerald Cup where the always stunning 5-foot-2 beauty finished second in a competitive figure short class. Having had some time to contemplate the switch to physique and focus on improvements, the 25-year-old showstopper is tremendously excited about this new challenge.
Meanwhile, Rachel has a fundraiser going to try and offset some of the expenses involved in competition and travel. Considering she’ll be traveling cross country from Washington to Florida, the airfare alone will be quite high and everything else adds up. If you’re a fan and you’d like to help, just click the Go Fund Me link to find out how you can donate.
Rachel’s smile alone lights up a stage, and if she wins her pro card in the Sunshine State—definitely a possibility considering she’s first call out material in every show and has a bodybuilding background that proves she can pose with the best—you can say you helped get her there.
For more info and pics, check out my first interview with Rachel from 2011.
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Dean: Rachel, I’m delighted to catch up with you again! It’s exciting to hear that you’re hoping to make your national debut later this season. Is it true you will crossover from figure to the physique division? What made you decide to switch?
Shapely Beauty: Rachel poses during her shoot at Emerald Cup in 2012.
Rachel: The pleasure is all mine! Yes it’s true, I’ll be crossing over to physique in my next show come September 28th here in Spokane. I decided to crossover to physique because I have such large legs and mass that it’s hard for me to cut down and fit in the figure category any longer. I feel like all the progress and gains that I make in my off season burn off in my contest prep doing cardio trying to get that shape that they want for figure. It was a tough decision to switch over to physique because I have been doing so well in figure; it’s always scary to step into unknown territory. But I decided that I want to explore my body’s true potential, not limit it so I decided to go with physique.
Dean: You haven’t competed since the Emerald Cup last year. Have you been keeping busy? Any news in your life or adventures to share?
Rachel: Yes, it has been over a year since I last competed. Though I had meant to compete the fall of 2012 and this year as well, things did not turn out due to some difficulties I was having with my body. I am excited to say that I have made some significant gains in this last year since I last competed. I have put on a significant amount of size, and the shape of my body and overall package has drastically improved. The next time I step on stage will be a whole new package that I’ve never brought to stage before.
Dean: I know you started as a bodybuilder so you are used to lifting pretty heavy, but have you had to shake up your training at all to prepare for the transition to physique?
Rachel used to compete in track and field and has exceptionally strong legs. She once squat pressed 420 pounds!
Rachel: I’ve always loved lifting heavy. Even when I was competing for figure I always did heavy lifts and more of a bodybuilder style workout. For this contest prep I’m exploring my body more and finding out I’m having to change my routine up a lot. I’ve transitioned over to really high rep, lower weight burn out on every muscle group, as well as hitting the same muscle group multiple times in the week, to really deplete my body and help to get that streamlined, more separated definition I want. I have started doing a lot of supersets trying to keep my body at a constant high heart rate as well.
Also for the first time I have joined with a few great teams this time around. I have teamed up with Wolfe4life nutrition and training by Shawn Wolfe as my nutritionist, as well as complete nutrition as my sponsor for all my supplemental needs, and of course my amazing chiropractor, Dr. Michael Valente at Valente Chiropractic.
Dean: How exciting is the thought of being able to be on stage flexing again and showing off your hard work? The muscles look so impressive on your small frame and you have such excellent symmetry—I think you’ll be really hard to beat in the short class!
Rachel: Though I have loved competing in figure I am extremely, extremely excited to be on stage for more than 2 minutes doing quarter turns. I am also excited about doing my routine for the audience and finally being able to show my body’s true definition and physique instead of downplaying it trying to look small on stage to blend in with the rest of the girls and not be too dominant and muscular in the lineup. Transitioning over to physique allows me to grow and expand my body, really be able to allow my body to reach its true natural potential, which I am extremely excited about!
Rachel notes on training: “I’ve always loved lifting heavy. I always did heavy lifts and more of a bodybuilder style workout… I have put a lot of emphasis into my glutes and hamstrings so hopefully the work will pay off.”
Dean: The cost of competing is quite high these days and I know you have a fundraiser going right now. I’m confident plenty of supporters will want to chip in and help you get back to that stage! Could you give the info and link so friends and fans will know where to go and what to do to help?
Rachel: Yes, I’d be more than happy to share the link with you! Any and all help is extremely appreciated! Unfortunately I don’t get any money or income from competing so I have to fund my own way to get to shows and pay for my own hotels, flights, entry fees, NPC card and tanning. Everything gets so expensive when you’re a single mom working a minimum wage job paying my own bills and everything on my own. I’m also a student getting my PhD in holistic nutrition, so as you can see I have quite the plate full.
I’d like to thank everyone in advance for checking my page out and for any and all donations that I do receive for the upcoming show at Nationals in Miami this fall. Thank you for helping me accomplish my dreams! Also thank you Dean for this interview and chance to really connect with all the people who inspire me and encourage me to keep up the hard work that I have been putting in. I couldn’t do it without all the supporters out there!
Click to donate to Rachel’s competition fund at: www.gofundme.com/1a5e2w