Hardbody Moms: Interview with Siliana “Freakishly Strong” Gaspard

Siliana “Sil” Gaspard has only been competing in the NPC bikini ranks for a few months but she’s already a top national contender. I caught up with the Hardbody momma, no seriously she has a 17 month old son, on the heels of her next competition. Sil will be competing this weekend at the NPC Texas State and don’t be surprised if she’s contending for the overall crown. Find out how she trains, what was up with her husband getting arrested in Columbus, the video ending up on TMZ .com and more.

Name: Siliana Gaspard

Any nicknames? “Sil” and “Abs”… pretty basic.

Currently Reside in: Houston, TX

Born in: Sofia, Bulgaria

What age did you come to the United States? We moved around a lot. I have lived in Bulgaria, France, Switzerland, Montreal, London, Ontario, and finally the States. We moved here in 1998.

Are women fit and active in Bulgaria or not so much? I would say not so much. Its divided, really. We have a lot of great tennis players, and gymnasts, but then a lot of the women smoke cigarettes and don’t really exercise. I mean, they are almost all thin, and some of the most beautiful women I have seen are in Bulgaria. Seriously, I think they have the most beautiful women per capita then any other place I have been to. They all make an effort to look good.

Sounds like I need to visit Bulgaria.

Occupation: Blessed to be self-employed with my husband.

Play any sports or activities growing up? I played tennis almost all of my childhood. We went to tennis tournaments just about every weekend. My dad had my brother, sister, and I on the tennis courts everyday after school, hitting tennis balls, doing running drills. We ran about 5 miles 3 times a week at a local park. I remember people being so amazed because I ran alongside my dad, at his pace, the entire time. It was all worth it, my siblings and I were all ranked Juniors players in Ontario, Canada, and in Florida.

Do you still play tennis? I am no where near as good as I used to be. Tennis is a lot of fun, and I would like to get back on the court. But, no, I don’t play as often as I used to. I was actually teaching tennis earlier this year to 3-4 year olds, and 10-15 year olds, I loved it!

Any hidden talents people may not be aware of? I wouldn’t consider them talents, but I am fluent in three languages (English, French, and Bulgarian.) Being multi-lingual is such a blessing. And, I am freakishly strong for my size; right now my heaviest weight on squats is 315lbs-the same as my husband’s!

Number of years competing: You mean months? =) Been at it since July 2011.

Competition History: My first show ever was the Branch Warren Classic July 16, 2011: 2nd place Bikini B. My second competition was the Dallas Europa Super Show August 12-13, 2011, 1st place Bikini B, and the Overall Bikini Title. My first National attempt was at the IFBB North Americans in Cleveland, OH where I got 3rd place in Bikini C.


How did you get started in competing? I lost all of my baby weight, but I was still “skinny fat.”
I wanted to get in shape and start modeling again. Fitness modeling was mentioned to me by several people, and the topic of competing came up. I decided to do my first show for my own sense of accomplishment and hard work after having a baby. But after that first show, I was hooked and wanted to compete again, and again.

How did you get started in weight training? My husband hired me a personal trainer after the birth of our son to have someone help motivate me to get back to where I wanted to be. The trainer’s wife is a body builder, so naturally he had me lifting weights. After a few weeks, I really liked the results I saw from weight training, and not just cardio and 5lbs dumb bells like I had been doing before.

Most people won’t believe it but you have little one when they see your bikini body. How old is your lil guy? My little boy is 17 months now! He is such a sweet kid, I love watching him discover new things.

What advice do you have for other moms on staying fit after a pregnancy? Watch what you eat, foremost. Secondly, you don’t have to get crazy with the exercise right after birth, but rather, do small things like, take the baby on daily walks, get started with programs like Baby Boot Camp etc. Just start out slowly, and incorporate your baby in the exercise so you are still bonding and having fun together. I took my son on daily walks around the neighborhood, or a park, because we both enjoyed it. He got to take nice naps out in the fresh air, and it kept me moving and burning calories. The thing that bothered me the most was the fact that I didn’t want to leave him to go focus on myself and be “selfish.” So I found a gym where I could bring him on the floor with me (in his car seat) and for my cardio, I bought an awesome Jeep jogging stroller, and the baby and I went running during his afternoon nap time.

Did you workout throughout your pregnancy? I did at first, but then became very nauseated during the end of the 1st trimester, and I stopped going as much. I would go about 1-2 a week with my husband, but I started listening to all of the myths about how if you exercise too much you could hurt the baby. So I stopped going, but I was still very diligent in watching what I ate. Next time around, I am definitely going to continue working out the entire pregnancy, I think its better for the mom and the baby.

Any supplements you’d recommend to moms? Gaspari Myfusion (Banana flavor protein) tastes great, and its healthy and an easy meal replacement for busy moms. I know in my house, I feed everyone else first before I get to eat, so it holds me over until I can eat a meal.

What type of diet do you follow… high protein / low carbs? Exactly. High protein, low carbs. I don’t follow a diet religiously, I make conscious choices. If I am hungry, I eat. But I eat healthy and clean, and I don’t over indulge. If I am prepping for competition, then obviously I stay away from sugars, high fats, and carbs. But, by no means do I look at the clock and say, “Oh time to eat again.” I don’t have all of my meals packed and with me at all times, and to be honest, I had Chik Fil A last week, twice.

How much water do you drink a day? Right now since I am prepping for Texas State Saturday, I am drinking about 1 gallon and 1/2 daily. But usually I would say about 8 full glasses.

What’s your favorite body part to train? Legs and Abs. I love doing legs because I love adding more and more weight to the rack for my squats. I love the way people, mostly men, look at the weight like “there is no way she can get that”, then I hit it (my goal is always at least 5 times) and it makes me feel like such a badass, its such a rush of adrenaline and endorphins. I also like training Abs because, well, I never get to train them! So when I am finally given the green light to train them, it feels good. I think a lot of people see my photos and assume that I train them all of the time, but I’ve honestly only worked on them a total of 20 mins in the past 4week.

Give readers an idea of what a workout would consist of.
Well… my last workout before competition was Wednesday and it was an overall body workout, so I can run that one by you…
I started off with 6 minutes of rowing.
Then went to cleans and presses with a 45lb bar. 10 up clean, 10 up press.
Then down to 10 push ups real quick.
Add 5lbs to bar, 8up clean and press, drop down 10 push ups.
Add 10lbs to 45lb bar, 6up clean and press, drop down 10 push ups.
Then curls and rows with the bar, again alternating with push ups. (Oh, did I mention no breaks?)

I’m exhausted reading this.

Then straight to tricep pull downs, burn outs.
From there, squats. 10 up squats with 225lbs, drop down push ups 5 times with 7.5lbs dumb bells.
Alternate push ups and squats for 5 sets. (No breaks)
Then we did kettle bell squats, dumb bell squats, and finally finished with 2 full circle push ups. =)

How much cardio do you do a day? I think people will hate me for this one but, none. I train very hard during my work out that I do not need it. If I did cardio, I would start losing muscle mass.

What type of cardio do you enjoy best? When I do get to do cardio, I enjoy running. Either sprints or long distance. I get such a high after a good run; it lasts all day, and keeps me feeling great.

Do you work with a trainer? My husband Shad implements a plan that Charles Glass put together for me. Shad and Charles are good friends, and we know him from Gold’s Gym Venice. When I told Charles I wanted to start competing, he put together a plan for me, and Shad enforces it. When we go to L.A., I train with Charles, and he gets to kick my butt.

Best song to work out to right now: Well one my favorites for now is “girl you be killing em, you be killing em, girl you be killing em.” Because in the nicest way possible: I WANT TO KILL THESE GIRLS. =) In friendly competition, of course! I also like the Wale/J. Cole song “Bad Girls Club” because it has a good beat, and it gets me pumped for squats because it goes “drop it low…how far can you go…” and in my head I think “oh I can drop it low.” Yes, I am a dork.

Last good movie you saw: Bridesmaids was HILARIOUS! And Thor. I didn’t expect to like it, but it was awesome!

Your husband was in the WWE – how did you two meet? I was living in Tampa at the time, and he came down to Tampa to hang out with his friends. We were both at the same club. (Yes we met at a bar, so tacky.) I was there with a friend, waiting for the guy who I was dating at the time to show up; he never did. So, needless to say, got a glimpse of Shad, thought he was attractive, (had no clue who he was) but he wouldn’t look twice at me! Obviously that really aggravated me. I got snobby about it and dissed him, but my friend chased him down, he asked me to dance to the Grease theme song LOL. I still wasn’t into him, so my friends literally took his phone, put my number in it, did all of the talking for me, meanwhile Shad’s friend was hitting on me…it was a big mess. But he sent me a message like a couple days later on MySpace, and we just started talking and getting to know each other.

HA, Are you still on MYSPACE? Haha, NO! That was in like late 2008, early 2009 when MYSPACE was still cool. That account has been long gone!

photo from tmz.com

What was the deal with him being on TMZ during the Arnold weekend or if you told us you’d have to kill us? LOL. No, lucky for Shad I hired him a very good lawyer ASAP, and we had that taken care of. Basically, it was just one bad cop that was over zealous and abusing his authority. In the video online that Josh Barnett took, you can see Shad on the ground, not resisting, with like 3 officers on him at all times. And the charge? Jay walking…in the sidewalk. Yes, you read that right. Jay walking in the sidewalk. Was it necessary? Of course not. Shad had done nothing wrong, and our lawyer had all of the charges dropped. It’s unfortunate that many good police officers reputations are tarnished by a few bad ones. But in the end, we were happy to just have the charges dropped and move on from it.

Any project you and he are working on to watch out for? Shad just wrapped up filming for a prime time TV show, it airs in January. He also has a graphic novel coming out called “Assassin and Son” He is also waiting to hear back from two major movie roles he auditioned for. I am prepping for Nationals in Miami, and just started working with a PR agent to help put me out there better.

Goals for competing? I would like to get my PRO card. I am going to try and go for it again at Nationals in Miami later this year. I would really like to show women, especially moms, that it is possible to have kids and be healthy, and look good. I just want to help inspire people be the best that they can be, whatever field they choose.

How can people find out more info about ya? Friend me on facebook and ask me!=) or follow me on Twitter @SilianaGaspard.

Thanks Siliana and all the best! Check out her bikini competition photos on Bodybuilding.com.

Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.