Behind The Hardbody: A Dancer Named Swann

I ran across Swann Cardot on Facebook and her look caught my attention. I checked out her web site and you could see from her photos that this woman had something special. During the Olympia weekend I had the opportunity to photograph Swann and she was stunning. Swann, without question, has one of the most promising physiques I’ve seen in some time. If you doubt me just take one look at her competitive resume and you’ll see the judges agree. Swann has won her height class (and overall) in every show she’s entered. I caught up with Swann to get to know the woman behind the Hardbody.

Name: Swann Cardot

Born in: Paris

When did you move to the USA:
About 3 years ago.

Currently live in: New York

Any brothers or sisters? I have 1 sister and 1 brother, both much older then me.

Number of languages you speak: French and English

How old were you when you starting dancing? 4 years old

How many different dance disciplines have you participated in – which ones? Ballet, Jazz, Contempory, Salsa, Theatre Dance and Hip-hop

Favorite one: Jazz

Do you consider yourself an artist:

While dancing how many hours a day did you train?
3 to 6 hours, sometimes more.

Do you watch dancing with the stars?
I do sometimes. At the moment, I follow the episodes of Born To Dance.

How old were you when you started weight training?

What lead you to working out? I had the feeling I needed to flip my whole life around. I had the desire for a new drive.


Swann at the Olympia.

How did you get started in the competition world?
I discovered this world during the 2010 Mr Olympia weekend in Las Vegas. I was completely amazed and fascinated by everything I saw. As a dancer, I already had the inner strength to be disciplined and dedicated. I was used to physically challenging myself. I loved performing on stage so I knew it would be something I would enjoy.

Competition show history:
2011 NPC Bev Francis Atlantic States – NY
2011 NPC Europa Battle of Champions – CT
2011 NPC NJ East Coast Championship – NJ
Coming up: NPC Easterns USA – NY
**Update – Swan won her class and the overall at the 2011 NPC Easterns keeping her undefeated streak alive.

Swann has won every show she entered and continued her winning streak at the 2011 NJ East Coast Championships this weekend where she won her class and overall once again.

So you’ve done pretty damn good in Figure to say the least. What’s been the biggest challenge for figure competitions? Figuring out the best diet plans for myself on my first contest preparations was a very hard and stressful challenge. I did not know much about nutrition at the time and was constantly doubting or wondering if I was doing it right.

What lead you to the NPC? As I was searching for my first competition date, I discovered the National Physique Committee online, I looked further into it and it appeared to be a very well organized community, with high quality events.

Do you think your dance background has helped you with competing now? I believe it has for sure. Aside from training I think my dance background has helped me with my performance on stage, posing, posture and confidence.

What’s your breakfast consist of:
Oat meal, egg whites or protein shake.

Do you lift heavy or light and high reps?
Heavy, 10-12 reps.

Favorite exercise to train? Shoulder presses (favorite body part to train: shoulders & back)

Your favorite body part? Shoulders and abs


Swann wins the Overall Europa Hartford

What comment do you find you get a lot from people? “Jacked” (blushing) this is the best comment I get, I love it because this is the look I always wanted to get and have worked for.

Favorite competitor:
Ava Cowan is the first athlete who caught my eyes, I also admire Dana Linn Bailey.

Supplements you take and would recommend to other women:
CLA which I have been taking daily. Protizime peanut butter is my favorite protein shake, I look forward to it every day.

Best advice anyone has given you? “Follow your guts”

What do you do for your job now? I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor.

What’s your long term goal in the fitness world?
Turning pro, building a name for myself as a competitor and fitness model.

Favorite place you’ve visited? I don’t think there is any place like New York but I adore this little city called “Namur” in Belgium. The architecture is beautiful, lots of artisanal places to eat and unique boutiques for shopping!

How much does your weight change between shows? 5 pounds most.

Have you carried a gallon of water to the gym before? Yes, I force myself to do so every day.

Where can people find more info about you? Facebook or my website

Anyone you want to thank?
First of all, I would like to thank my two best girl friends who have been best supporters all the way. Thanks to Fakhri Mubarak who helps me today on my prep and diet, he is The Best and I am very grateful to have him and his believe in me. Big shout out to my sponsors “Natural Body Inc” and “Life Health & Fitness” and everyone who have come my way on this new road. I never thought life could be so fulfilling!

Keep your eye out for Swan in the Fitness magazines. You’ll be seeing a lot more of this Hardbody woman in the months ahead. Swann will be competing at the NPC Easterns next weekend where she will look to earn another overall title.

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