FitMag is very lucky to be able to introduce Ms. Illinois and future pro figure competitor Chie Terui. Chie has a huge wealth of knowledge and today you are lucky enough to be able to learn from her experiences from the start to where she is today.
So Chie take us from the start. What exactly got you involved in the sport of figure competing?
Right ok, well I’m from Japan and when I lived there I was a fitness instructor so I have been in the fitness industry for a long time. Then I got married and moved to the United States, I had three children. As a result my diet changed and my health gradually got worse and I actually had a high cholesterol problem. From here I went back and started training again and I always loved to do free weight. SO to begin with it was just to challenge myself, I love a challenge but I never wanted to compete as a bodybuilder. Then I met Earl (Earl my husband) and in the same year Figure competing was born, and I loved it because it’s more feminine. We then went to watch a pro show and I loved what I saw, so I decided this is it, and remember I love a challenge!
Awesome story you have, and very inspiring to come back when most give up once their health when their physique deteriates a little. Am I right in thinking Earl was there from the beginning for you as a competitor?
Ye, he trained me for my first show.
Brilliant, you have come along way together. Please can you outline the highlights of your competitive career from the start?
In 2003 it was the state championship which was my first show. In my class were about 30 girls or so and took 5th place. The following year I did the central state championships and took 2cnd place three times! I like to win, and in 2009 I took first place and became Ms. Illinois in the figure class. Last year in 2010 I took 3rd place at the Arnold classic, and this year I also took 3rd there! For me this was a little bit disappointing because I train to win, but I will be back!!!
Some great achievements there!!! Do you see the Arnold as your big shot?
Is the overall goal to become pro?
Yes this is my goal, to become a Japanese figure pro. There are just 3 Japanese figure pros at the moment, in Japan. It’s a little complicated as the Japanese federation said I needed to come back and compete in Japan and then go to the Asian championships and then the winner of this then gets a pro card. However, since I’m already here and I won a state championship if I win this next show (Arnold Classic) then I can write a letter to them and ask for a pro card.
Can you please run us through your diet when you are prepping for a contest?
Breakfast – 8 egg whites, cup of oatmeal, 3 oz chicken breast and a cup of coffee
Meal 2 – 5 oz of chicken breast, broccoli and half a sweet potato
Meal 3 – Isolate whey protein shake
Meal 4 – Isolate whey protein shake
Meal 5 – Chicken breast OR fish with vegetables and half a sweet potato
Meal 6 - Chicken breast OR fish with vegetables
Meal – 5/6 egg whites
I eat a lot, but these meals can alter slightly depending on progress and how close I am to the show. Fish is what I eat closer to the show.
Brilliant! Fish because of the good fats, low saturated fat content and the fact it digests easier is a great choice before contest. You don’t cheat on your preparation diet?
No cheat meals at all! I used to cheat maybe 6 weeks out. I now only prepare for 7/8 weeks now because I find when I diet this way I look a lot fuller!
Great advice there, this way your muscle tone stays and your not too depleted come show day. How has your training altered since you first started?
I train one body part a day, all year round. In regards to cardio I do about an hour worth a day. However when leading up to a competition I will do 2 and half an hours a day of cardio! In the morning I do one hour cardio, at lunch time I do another hour and then half an hour at night.
That’s a load of cardio, talk about commitment!!! Do you have any little tips of secrets for our FitMag readers?
I wish I had a secret (laughs)! At the end of the day it is down to a strict diet, training hard and being consistent and hard working. I have been doing this for 7 years! It’s also about been able to make alterations with age and knowing what I need to do on a daily basis. For me it was very hard to tighten the skin after having children, so my advice is to stay in shape in the off-season in order to make it easier for me when preparing for a show. I’m normally 117lbs off season, and around 108lbs on stage so it isn’t too difficult to prepare.
Your physique is very aesthetic and feminine for sure. Is there a certain approach to training which you take, which otherwise would lead to a more masculine look?
My training, I like to use a repetition range of between 15-20 per set. Earlier on in my career I used to lift real heavy for example I would squat 185lbs for 15 reps! Leg press I used to do 10 plates a side for 15 reps also. Working out with Earl at the start kept it real basic and to build muscle. Now it’s more a case of shaping and maintaining what I have built. I like to hit my muscles from different angles now and focus on concentration.
I know how Earl rolls, he is old school! Finally, what can we expect from you as a competitor?
The goal is to turn pro and then be a successful pro as well!!!
What about the Ms. Olympia?
I would like to. It’s a really really big goal but then I never thought I would get to the Arnold Classic so… Earl has always told me I would get there.
In what direction would you like the sport to progress?
I have a company called ‘Figure International’ which I want to use to help other youngsters and help them become pros. It will also open the door for them into the fitness industry. Maybe things like a calendar shoot, photo shoot and things alike to promote the sport in this way.
So you want to promote figure competing as it is to ensure it doesn’t lose its direction and people begin to present the wrong package?
Ye I do. However, when I train clients I want to help them achieve their goal whether it be muscular or not and let them be the best that they can be.
Would you like other women to follow your path?
Yes I would like that.
What advice would you give to any ladies looking to follow your foot steps and achieve a feminine physique like yours?
They have to be consistent with their training and diet. It’s not easy, we love what we do with a passion therefore we are willing to go through it. However I have seen so many girls come and go since 2003. Overall it’s hard to diet and hard to workout, but it is required. You have to have the ambition and energy so you don’t burn out.
What supplements are important for people starting out?
There are so many. I always believe you have to eat right first. People ask ‘’what should I eat’’ but they should ask ‘’what they should eat instead.’’ Buy the right food first and then when you’re sorted start taking some protein, amino acids and multivitamins.
That’s the key to use supplements as an addition to a good diet, don’t be over reliant on them!! That is also great for other ladies to see, having seen Chie’s terrific feminine figure, and she takes good supplements and eats a good diet! Obviously you feel it’s a healthy lifestyle for young ladies to follow?
Yes I do.
Do you feel what you do as a trainer and athlete can be used to combat issues such as obesity in society?
Oh yes definitely. I’m not young and I have children, but I still got into shape. However a lot of women in this situation have given up already and accept they will be like this for the rest of their life. This doesn’t have to be this way. 10 years ago I was 150lbs so who would have thought I would have ended up like this, but I have. So now I can personally say ‘’hey look what I did, work hard and eat right and you can become healthy again.’’ Men seem to think that I can’t train them, only women. But when I do train them I kill them and then they realize (laughs). As a personal trainer I believe we know how to train anyone, old, young, male or female.
That’s the way, punish them! Ok that concludes our interview Chie. I would like to thank you very much for sharing your time, knowledge and experiences with our FitMag readers! I will certainly be in touch again to see how you’re progressing, and we will get some videos off you for the site!
Thank you very much Adam and I would like to send my love to all FitMag readers! This site is awesome, and you guys in the UK are blessed to have a site like this!