I first began working with Debbie in April 2012. At that time, I was about 4 weeks out from my first pro figure competition in the IFPA. I won my pro card in April 2010 and had spent a couple of years training for my first pro season, so I felt very comfortable in a gym, but I had some stage fright and needed help choreographing my individual presentation for my pro debut. Initially, I contacted Debbie to assist me with posing. I knew of Debbie because I had observed her interacting with her phenomenal athletes at numerous bodybuilding shows. Debbie invited me to pose with her team at the regularly scheduled 1:00 p.m. posing class on Saturdays at Powerhouse Gym. I was so impressed that day! Debbie is extremely effective at her job, but always approaches her team in a warm and positive manner. She is a “mother” to her competitors. I didn't really know what to expect, but I felt like I was welcomed into her group. I was so impressed with her group of ladies. I could see that they all genuinely supported one another and there was a great sense of camaraderie.
Within my first couple of visits with Debbie on posing, I was certain that I wanted to make a permanent coaching change to Powerhouse and put Debbie and Roger in charge of my contest preparation (training, nutrition, posing, etc.) I had been working with a nutrition coach out of state by email and a personal trainer at another gym. It was evident that Powerhouse had a wonderful team approach to contest preparation, they had lots of experience and they handled all aspects of contest preparation (face-to-face, under one roof!), so I began formally working with Debbie and Roger following my first show of the 2012 season. I will never forget that even before I ever hired Debbie or Roger, Debbie called me about 24 hours before my first show of the season in Minnesota to check on me and to see if I needed anything. As a matter of fact, I did need something and she had the perfect solution. She also prayed for me over the phone that day which was a huge comfort.
After the Minnesota show, we got down to business – Powerhouse style.
We decided that I would compete in the IFPA Pro Master’s Cup in July. I began training with Debbie weekly on my lower body and Roger handled my nutrition. They also set my lifting and cardio schedule. In 6 short weeks, Debbie and Roger were able to really streamline my physique and bring me in leaner/tighter and considerably more polished than my previous show. They really worked on all aspects of my presentation. I was very impressed that Roger met with me for about 20 minutes one day just to explain to me precisely what I needed to do to help my skin absorb competition color, as I had not had good experiences with the contest tan. The July show was so much fun. My physique and stage presentation was very much improved in those 6 weeks, but the best part of that show was just being part of the Powerhouse team and experiencing it with all of the Powerhouse athletes. Truly, we all had a blast that day.
Debbie, Roger and I decided that my next show would be the IFPA Pro Galaxy Elite “Masters” in Troy, AL. Again, we had 6 weeks to tweak things. We took my judge’s comments from the July show and worked towards bringing me in leaner and with more muscle separation in my lower body. We discovered in the previous show prep that my body (and brain) responded well to a ketogenic diet, so I continued with that. For the August show, Roger devised a final week protocol that worked perfectly for my body. Debbie and Roger were very supportive during the week leading up to the show and we communicated a great deal by phone and text on all of the final details. Aesthetically, I was the best I’d ever been on stage at that show. The result was that I took first in that show – my first pro victory! There is no way that could have happened without Debbie, Roger and my Powerhouse family.
I appreciate Debbie and Roger for what they are doing for the natural physique world. Powerhouse athletes train very hard and do a lot cardio, but have wholesome nutrition programs to fuel us through the experience. The level of support that we receive from Debbie, Roger and teammates is incredible. Debbie inspires a spirit of excellence in her athletes and that is how lives are changed for the better. She makes it known what she expects from each and everyone of us in terms of creating a positive and supportive team environment. She's a beautiful petite package, a warm and encouraging spirit with a lovely smile, but she will not hesitate to put the smack down on your body while you are training! And we love her for it because we know that she is giving us the opportunity to be our personal best. Our final week protocols are generally very simple and clean (no junk food or strange stuff at the end.) Many athletes just coast into the show by being consistent with what they've done throughout their contest prep. Everyone will tell you that food is so important, but I can honestly say that my competitive season nearly ended before it even started because I just wasn't getting the right nutrition for MY body (and brain) prior to working with Debbie and Roger. I had a good coach at the time, but the nutrition piece was just wrong for ME. Roger has numerous diet protocols that he uses on a regular basis with his athletes and he isn't afraid to switch things up if you run into problems. He takes all of the guesswork out of it for you. He tells you what to eat and when. His years of experience are evident when he is matching nutrition protocols with athletes. I can’t stress this enough. I feel like I had to “kiss a lot of frogs” (nutrition programs) before Roger was able to put me on the one that worked. I went into my off season struggling to end my contest diet because I loved my ketogenic diet so much!
I thank God that I have had the opportunity to compete as a natural figure competitor and to work with the best of the best at Powerhouse Gym!
Lori Anderson, IFPA Pro Figure Competitor