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Episode 194 – The Confessions of a Fitness Diva

In this episode of the ATP Project – The Confessions of a Fitness Diva, Matt, and Jeff interview Anne-Marie Lasserre. With over 20 years of experience competing at the highest level; she discusses the highs and lows of her career and also delves into her experience with the darker side of the industry.


Jeff:                       As always, this information is not designed to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any condition and is for information purposes only. Please discuss any information in this podcast with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your current lifestyle.

Stay tuned. The ATP Project is about to start.

Speaker 2:           Welcome to the ATP Project delivering the irreverent truth about health, aging, performance, and looking good. If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, ready to perform at your best or somewhere in between, then sit back, relax, and open your mind as Jeff and Matt battle the status quo and discuss everything health related that can make you better.

Jeff:                       Welcome to the ATP Project, here with your hosts Matt and Jeff. G’day mate.

Matt:                     G’day.

Jeff:                       Now today we’re with the famous Anne-Marie. Now, I’m going to get you to pronounce your last name because apparently I said it wrong in the …

Ann Marie:          Everybody does so that’s why I stopped using it, yes.

Jeff:                       I knew it at Lasserre.

Ann Marie:          It’s Lasserre. It’s French.

Jeff:                       It’s French.

Ann Marie:          It’s French.

Jeff:                       It’s like my last name, Doich, but it’s actually Do-ache, no it’s not really! I love to make it sound fancy.

Ann Marie:          Yeah. So, my whole career most people was Lesiree, Lassie, Lasura … it’s Lasserre.

Jeff:                       Lasserre.

Ann Marie:          So I dropped it for most years because I’d [inaudible 00:01:14] Anne, and last name Marie, because it was just easier, and I treated myself like Madonna and that’s it. One name, one word, it was easy.

Jeff:                       Nice. And it’s off a bad memory?

Ann Marie:          Yes. Yes.

Jeff:                       Now, let’s do a quick introduction on who you are, because we met back in 2002, but let’s skip that lad a bit. Anne-Marie, who are you for people who … And we’re talking to a lot of people, I appreciate a lot of people in fitness industries specifically in Australia but also globally know who you are because you’ve competed in fitness and … I get the federations mixed up, but not … Was it figure, and-

Ann Marie:          Yeah, I started out in figure, so I made my debut in [Eye 00:01:51] for the amateur back in 2002 and then proceeded to compete at a world level with IFBB, traded over to a company called NABBA so it had a lot of success with that company, and that sort of allowed me to express myself as an athlete in the best way, and we had a lot of notoriety and … Yeah, it probably had more foundation there. And then I came back to IFBB and was offered a position to compete for my pro card, and that was a long [crosstalk 00:02:18] … 2013, I turned pro after being put on probation for 12 months, and we’ll go into that later … and then was approached by another company, WBFF, which I heavily retired with, and yeah. So I’ve went through the whole genre of figure, proceeded up to physique, had to compete as a bodybuilder which to this day to me was an unfortunate part of the process, and then came back down as pro physique, and then finished my career at figure, so.

Jeff:                       And so for people in the fitness industry, they’re gonna know exactly what that is. For the layperson out there that want to know about the dark side of the industry, the good side, obviously people want to be fit, they want to be healthy. Typically people would see all these names and tell us they’re not 100% sure, but it just comes down to women that are competing at a very high level with different amounts of muscle, depending on what category you’re in?

Ann Marie:          Yeah, that’s right. So we’ll start off with figure. So figure is an aesthetically pleasing physique with muscularity bedraw judged on beauty, so regardless of what people say. “It doesn’t matter what you look like,” it does matter what you look like. You can factor in aesthetics and general wellbeing to look at your muscle, but #2 in a judging criteria for NABBA was beauty.

Jeff:                       Wow, I didn’t know that.

Ann Marie:          Yeah. So then the look of NABBA, opposed to the other federations, was probably 50% more muscle. And then with bodybuilding was 80% more muscle, which I struggled with with my type of anatomy, and then physique was scaling back. And then for WFF figure, I had to then drop another 60% muscle. So it’s different levels of muscularity conditioning visually on a female physique, so I’ve been it all. [crosstalk 00:04:11] I’ve gone all the way up, and all the way back down, and then where I’m at now.

Matt:                     So, to start with, just to summarize that, what’s the order? So it goes bikini, and then [crosstalk 00:04:16] so bikini’s the, that’s the first kind of place?

Ann Marie:          So when I came out, it was figure-open, it was like: if you’re a female, and you don’t want to have too much muscle, you’re in figure. So there’s no masters, novice, first-timers, all that, so does … Yeah. So then now is bikini, going into fitness, there’s figure, physique, and now bodybuilding is probably more so a very small percentage, if there is any, shows at all. So physique is the new bodybuilding.

So all through that, that’s 20 kilos up and down the ladder of muscle.

Matt:                     Yeah.

Jeff:                       So, I mean, obviously we’ve got, going way back-

Matt:                     And body fat as well changes, doesn’t it?

Ann Marie:          Yeah. So body-fat wise, yeah, so definitely. So then if you’re looking at a bikini model, bikini model I wouldn’t want to see them any under 12%? Figure, depending on which federation … for NABBA I went down to 3. That was the-

Matt:                     And for female, I mean again-

Ann Marie:          Yeah, I had my face. I had my face, I’d lost all … even I went down a shoe size, there was no fat left anywhere.

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:05:19] shoe size!

Ann Marie:          And my face looked like a twisted up shoe. There was … I was tired, ’cause there’s nothing left. So then with IFBB figure currently, at a pro level, the girls still had beautiful faces, they do have a six to almost an eight-pack right down to the groin. And then you look at WBFF figure, the girls are probably as lean as the fitness girls in IFBB. So it’s gonna range on what each federation considers the best marketable physique.

Matt:                     So you took percentages, but for someone that’s just looking … So you’re talking about muscle striations, you don’t need those … the full feathering and muscle striations-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:05:56] That’s right.

Matt:                     In a bikini, or not even for fitness?

Ann Marie:          No, definitely not. So normally they’ll only see maybe four of the ab line, you see the diagonal four structures of the upper abs? For figure you want to see the six, for physique you want to see the whole lots of it. It’s razor sharp.

Matt:                     So you can be too lean in those-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:06:13] Absolutely.

Matt:                     And miss out because you-

Ann Marie:          Absolutely. And then that’s where they’ll all query, “Oh, you should go up a division,” but then it comes down to genetics.

Matt:                     Yes.

Ann Marie:          So it is quite hard. I always say to girls, “Come in the way you want to look.” So then the category rewards you with how you want to look. So if you don’t place, and then you question, oh, the top three all had bums and cheeks, and their face … well, don’t do that to vision. Unless you want to put a bit more weight on, or hold a bit more estrogen in a different way, don’t wanna drop yourself down to really low levels.

Jeff:                       And it’s funny to think how much things have changed over the-

Ann Marie:          Oh gosh.

Jeff:                       Over the … was it Cory-

Ann Marie:          Everson?

Jeff:                       Everson?

Ann Marie:          So Cory Everson now, like in her last year of winning multiple Ms. Olympias in IFB pro bodybuilding, she’d be lucky to be physique in … probably in natural show.

Jeff:                       Yeah, it’s funny isn’t it?

Ann Marie:          Yeah. [crosstalk 00:07:03] But her look was winning back, with her face. There was a lot of plastic surgery and things-

Jeff:                       And the other girl, Rachel, I forget her name, with the dark hair?

Ann Marie:          She was the first Ms. Olympia.

Jeff:                       What was her name again?

Ann Marie:          She was in a movie, I can’t remember-

Jeff:                       Yeah, she was.

Ann Marie:          Rachel.

Jeff:                       And this is going back, probably late 80s? Maybe even 90s, wasn’t it?

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:07:23] Yeah, it was. And she was even slender, again.

Jeff:                       And who’s the other girl that was in Pumping Iron, this training girl, Pumping Iron II …

Ann Marie:          Bev.

Jeff:                       Bev Francis.

Ann Marie:          Bev Francis. [crosstalk 00:07:33] And she was … background was power lifter, and she was, back then, was judged almost too muscular, which would stand her next to some physique girls now. She wouldn’t …

Matt:                     Have the mile categories changed that much? [crosstalk 00:07:48]

Ann Marie:          Oh gosh, oh gosh.

Matt:                     I mean, they’ve gone from that classic physique to more of that …

Ann Marie:          Thick.

Matt:                     Thick.

Ann Marie:          Thick.

Matt:                     Little angry thing [crosstalk 00:07:55] … You know?

Ann Marie:          It depends what the companies are rewarding, ’cause remember the federations are run as businesses. So the thing, it’s a matter of what, it’s not so much what the crowd wants to see, it’s who’s paying to see them and what the sponsors want to see up there. So you might see an unattractive bikini girl a bit, or you might see someone with-

Matt:                     Well the blokes wouldn’t be judged on beauty, would they? Are they?

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:08:19] Yes. Definitely, if the company has beauty in the actual opening title of the company’s name, yeah, definitely. It’s all taken into consideration. So, if you-

Jeff:                       You’d have no chance, mate.

Matt:                     I was just thinking that, I was wondering if it’s worth-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:08:34] We’d market you with something, someone’s always good at-

Matt:                     If I put in the effort, still there’s a type, they’ve always got a type! I’m not sure I’m a type for someone.

Jeff:                       Everyone’s got someone who finds them beautiful. But no, things have changed a lot. But with that as well, too. And it’s interesting. The bikini, and the … That would seem to be in from the outside, and again, I’m certainly not an expert on the different divisions and federations, but it seems to be … the bikini seems to be- [crosstalk 00:08:59] It’s very marketable, correct?

Ann Marie:          Yeah, definitely. Okay, so … you’re looking at the shows back earlier, mid-2004 to 2010, numbers were dropping for the show. So the thing is, if you’re running a show as a company, and then you’ve got sub-contractors under you, so if you’ve got the national titles and then the girls qualify, or the athletes qualify to go overseas, all your state titles have to have participants.

So what was happening … you’re getting girl, you get one who is a different winner, so in figure, and then you got just the rest. There was no one else coming through the ranks, so then they developed bikini division. There was a more achievable, approachable class for general population to go, “You know what, I’d like to get up on stage, I can do that.” So then doing that it then brought not just the client, you then got the family comes, the friends come, and then you got the little fans from the gym come, and then you get a whole mass produce, hence why they brought physique in for guys. Same thing. So bodybuilding to me was dying.

Jeff:                       So the whole reason why I want to talk about the industry and the history and … Obviously there’s a lot you can share from being in it, and obviously you’re coaching girls now-

Ann Marie:          Absolutely.

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:10:07] That are also competing in different federations, and … ?

Ann Marie:          Different federations. And I actually stopped for a while as well, probably … I’ve have been coaching sports support probably for the first out of my career, and then I got into aesthetic training. So I was helping a lot of dancers look a certain way, and so they weren’t fatiguing well, they were performing, and then obviously with my experience with bodybuilding, helping girls, but … I think towards the end of 2015 I started to become quite … not jaded, but disconnected from a lot of girls when girls were coming through … And I was getting approached by a lot of clients who had been handed on from other coaches with serious medical problems. And that was the thing. And then we’d have a conversation with … Be a young girl, 21 to 24, had been training maybe 12 months? And they’d be exhuming these protocols to me that they’ve been following and I’m like … are you going in Ray 6 at Eagle Farm? This is more-

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:11:05] And we say protocols, now for people … And this is kind of the jux of what I wanted to talk to you today, is obviously with the different divisions and federations and different looks and, you know, obviously changing and augmenting your body became incredibly important, and so female specifically were starting to use steroids and other compounds: cutting agents and diuretics, that obviously were having a huge impact on many of the girls’ health.

Ann Marie:          Absolutely, and-

Jeff:                       And it’s the layperson as well, too. And I guess, sort of summarize if you like, what I want to talk about, and [crosstalk 00:11:45], you know, I’m happy to talk about anything, but is the impact that these decisions and these coaches about how to achieve perfection and what it is, is starting to wash through into the general population as well too?

Ann Marie:          Oh, absolutely. And I think so too … as a coach, remember, if someone’s trying to make a lifestyle just as a coach, it’s about sales. It’s about as many girls or many clients you get on the books. And that’s not a matter of what quality they are or what you actually can do with a potential athlete, but I think a lot of coaches are going, “Look, you only need 12 weeks, I’m going to get you in this condition. I can promise you a top three position,” when really genetically, and where the person is medically, and also too how often they can train and what their actual potential is, without actually getting to the gym and fitting in their lifestyle … maybe two years off. So they’re trying to jam 12 weeks of preceded medication and potential jammed into something that’s not real. And then forcing their health in a position that was already suspect to start with.

Matt:                     Yeah.

Jeff:                       And the funny thing is, looking over the greats of bodybuilding, and I’m sure the same thing in women’s as well, too, many of these physiques were crafted over the best part of a decade, maybe even longer.

Ann Marie:          A decade. The thing is, you’re not gonna peg most the time … Unless you had a background in a sport, so ex-gymnast, ballerina, someone who had genetically-

Matt:                     Like muscle maturity or something.

Ann Marie:          Muscle maturity and the depth. And had a lower xenoestrogen in the brown fat cells in their body, or had been not touched by a contraceptive or had been on a clean eating for … And hadn’t gone through that college binge stage-

Matt:                     That would be rare.

Ann Marie:          Have you met one? Have you met one?

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:13:25] Yeah. The thing that I found, when I came into this industry, you might look at me and think, “This guy’s spent his whole life in this industry, in the gym and eating well,” [crosstalk 00:13:34] but surprising it’s actually not the case, I think, was 140 kilos when I started, I had to be a big fat hairy guy.

But one thing I noticed, ’cause I was a [naturopath 00:13:58], so what happened when I came into this industry, people would come to me for the weird stuff. So I’d get the too-hard basket, or the not-hard-enough stuff, or the people that just want a second opinion or different style of opinion … So I come into this industry as a naturopath and what I found was I had a lot of people coming to me with their cases, and we get lots of emails every day of people wanting us to help them with their protocols.

And when I hear protocols, I think of nutritional supplements and protein and then I refer on to the personal, try not to talk more about the diet and exercise and calories and training techniques and then I work on the other weird stuff. And so [inaudible 00:14:23] enter your protocol, or your supplement plan, and I’m seeing these pharmaceutical drugs like you’re saying, it’s a lot of the same sort of … I used to work with racehorses, and I recognize some of the things from there, but these are full-on drugs.

And then I was talking to a lot of these … I was into the more bikini girls, and then you hear this common theme where it’s like, “Oh, I love training. I love to walk my dog,” or, “I love being fit and healthy, I love to do all this whole stuff, I love to eat clean, I like to watch and I love researching this whole stuff, I started going to the gym, started working with a personal trainer,” and not even a personal trainer, just “doing my own thing at the gym”. Usually the scenario runs like this: “Wow, you’ve got such amazing genetics and such an amazing work ethic,” I know that because it’s what we get with emails saying how you should sponsor me, I’ve been told I’ve got amazing genetics and a work ethic and I’m going places, this is your chance-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:15:14] Such confidence out there, it’s lovely.

Matt:                     This is your chance to get in quick. [crosstalk 00:15:20] We’ll keep an eye on it. But the funny thing is, is what we’re finding is people go, “I want to be healthy,” okay. So I’m in this industry ’cause I wanna look a nike and I wanna feel healthy and feel great, okay? Next thing you know, someone’s come to them, happens to be a coach or a pro coach usually that works at the gym and says, “Your genetics are freaky, I see how hard you work, let me help you with a diet and exercise plan and you too could get up on stage.”

These people’d never thought of it. All fine, it’s just like, I’m not into this industry ’cause I wanted to get on stage, or maybe some of them have that inclination but the next thing you know … Your entry position would be bikini, let’s go in see how we go bikini, next thing you’re like you’re selling these people.

They’ve got a lot of work to do to prep for these things, so they go, “Well we need to speed this up, we got a 12 week plan.” That 12 week plan would usually come with a cost, you know, that prep coach will give them a charge of I don’t know how many thousands of dollars for the prep, and then for that they’ve got a expectation’s is they’re gonna get that same hard core results that their coach had when he stood on stage, or what’d I say, he or she … But I’m finding a patent a lot with my old coaches will be sharing protocols that’s worked to them that was given to them by their prep coach, and then they’re pawning it off to another person thinking it’s gonna work, ’cause I’m seeing these protocols coming through of like 3 AM cardio so you’ve got time for your clenbuterol so your digestion works for your meal prep and then you can still train and then get to your work-

Ann Marie:          That’s crazy. Yep.

Matt:                     And then we’ve gotta have these meal prints, and then we’re looking at thyroid medication, we’re looking at clenbuterol which is asthma medication-

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:16:54] racehorses-

Matt:                     Yeah, and then we’re looking at the estrogen blockers. And then here these women will be using testosterones, or they’ll be telling me they’re playing with some peptide serums or SARMs or … And I’m reading these protocols, I’m just, hang on, what’s this about? What are you dying of, referred to need all this medicine?

Ann Marie:          Exactly.

Matt:                     And then they go, “No, no, I’m competing and I’ve got four weeks to go.”

Ann Marie:          “I’m a serious athlete.”

Jeff:                       And the funny thing is, man, I guess from my point of view-

Matt:                     But they did it to be healthy, and I’m sitting there, you realize that- [crosstalk 00:17:25]

Ann Marie:          ‘Cause it’s always the female health, and you’re so far from health-

Matt:                     You know are these problems is you’re so far away from healthy. I said, how did you get from “I have an ambition to be fit and healthy” to “I will take poison to win a trophy.”

Ann Marie:          Yeah.

Jeff:                       But I think the thing comes from it as well too, Matt, is that visi- … How would you say this? Without endorsing it, I’m not anti-drugs, I’m not anti … especially for guys-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:17:48] Any of those things can help you win a bikini contest.

Ann Marie:          When you’re in an image industry, you can’t dismiss it. And some people need it, for whatever reasons need it, and then if you’re thinking that pro bodybuilders are getting up that way, ’cause they’re all the same national [inaudible 00:18:02] so now everyone looks that way. Now I’m sorry, you are misguided. They are using something to help enhance their natural physical position to help their anatomy grow and recover. And that’s just the way it is.

Jeff:                       So in terms, then … And this is like it’s where we have to consider this: the thing that scares me, as what Matt said as well too, is that there’s a lot of flyby night coaches that have been around.

Ann Marie:          Sure.

Jeff:                       And look, I’m not gonna stereo- … you know, make them typical, but a lot of guys that don’t understand the hormonal impact of steroids and other compounds on women’s physiques that are loading them up to the gills … And this is something you and I spoke about off here that is terrifying you-

Ann Marie:          It is!

Jeff:                       And it’s not … and again, it’s not so much that we’re saying … and we know that a lot of people who know their body and understand their tolerances may use these things to enhance their body, but they understand how to cycle up, they have a cycle off-

Ann Marie:          Absolutely.

Jeff:                       And how to limit the damage, but it’s for the novices, and the new people-

Ann Marie:          Crazy.

Jeff:                       In the industry, that have effectively been sold, “Hey, you can hit the jackpot, hmm,” and they’re getting loaded up by coaches that are just giving them too much and then effectively dumping and running when their body goes to crap.

Ann Marie:          But look, I’ll take you back from when I first started. Initially I question everything, I probably was a challengeable athlete. The reason why I did question everything when I got my first meal plan for my first prep, I did ask, “Look, you haven’t even asked me how heavy I am. You haven’t asked me how tall I am, what I do for work” …

Matt:                     Yeah.

Jeff:                       Is this back in 2002?

Ann Marie:          Yeah, this is two-thousand and [crosstalk 00:19:36] …

Matt:                     How old you are, what stage of development-

Ann Marie:          Would it be 2000, because I prepped for that for two years? Yeah.

Matt:                     Is that right?

Ann Marie:          Yeah, that’s right.

Matt:                     You did that for two years?

Ann Marie:          I did.

Matt:                     And it’s so funny, because we said before … I was at that comp, and I thought, oh my gosh, who is this amazon up on the stage. I was on Tony on at-

Jeff:                       Glamazon.

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:19:47] Glamazon.

Ann Marie:          I was on back then, because I think … [crosstalk 00:19:49] my heart, I’d go, “Who’s that dingo up there?” [crosstalk 00:19:57] That dingo up there.

Jeff:                       And remember, you could say … And you looked amazing onstage.

Ann Marie:          Thank you.

Jeff:                       Notable. I can even remember, it was at the [Tivily 00:20:00].  I am positive it was the Tivily.

Ann Marie:          Yeah, it was.

Matt:                     We were still talking about it in 2010 when I met him, and that’s not even a joke, ’cause like, yeah. [crosstalk 00:20:08] So that was two years of prep.

Ann Marie:          So back then, and that’s … Yeah, that’s two years of prep. And then had said to my coach, “Why” … he didn’t ask me what … how heavy I am … And I was doing twenty-five aerobic classes a week, I was group exercise instructor at the [Run-A-Way Sport Super Center 00:20:17], and I said, “If you give me these calories I will literally look like a pale popstick,” ’cause I don’t … I’m genetically not muscular, I’m an ectomorph and I have dietary issues of IBS and whatever at the time and was suffering anxiety.

So, I said, “What, why” … and got talking to the other girls on the team, and we’re all on the same diet. The exact same amount. And then looked at the guides and I said, “Well, you just halved the girls.” And I said, so, but please tell me, because I’m so interested to learn, he says, “Because that’s the way it’s always been done.”  And I said, “Right.” I said, “Well, we’re all different.” “That’s always been done. If you don’t like it, get out.” And I thought, well…

That’s hard. So then-

Matt:                     Did you get out, or did you stay in?

Ann Marie:          No, I questioned it. I said, this has to be … this is ridiculous, I said. But if I can go and prove to you, I’ll get a blood test, can we get … I don’t know, study all that crap. I’m like, “Okay, so, shouldn’t we be working out for my energy expenditure and the energy turn, blah blah blah,” and he goes, “Well, if you can bring something back to me, and I’ll just go through it. And if your body fat keeps coming down, ’cause we’re doing the old-fashion pinch test,” which I still do today, “I can prove to you that I need to have more calories.” Not more food. I don’t want more cheap meals or anything, I said because I’m probably more borderline disordered eating to look a certain way, that’s just the way my genetic makeup is. I’ll prove to you.

But that’s the reason why it was different. But I started questioning everything. And then you coming up through the ranks, and this particular coach passing on, he says, “Listen, I think you’ve gone past me. I don’t know what you’re talking about anymore.” And I said, “Well, let me just tell you something.” I said, “I train my clients individually. There’s no cut-and-paste, they’re all … So I just find it offensive that you’re not helping me the way I need to be trained individually.” I said, “Because how could I be doing the same exercise or the same protocol as the other girls?”

So then I went to another guy, and he, great guy, and then he had made an opinion that, “You are too muscular.” And I said, “Well I’m not really that muscular, if you actually look at me in the real I manage quite little. So then he cut all my food down to one meal a day.

Jeff:                       Hang on, so-

Ann Marie:          Yeah, so these are top coaches, let me tell you, so I’m not-

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:22:21] He cut all of your food? To one-

Ann Marie:          Food, go on. Go on, one meal a day. It was midday.

Jeff:                       Are you serious?

Ann Marie:          Yeah. One meal a day. And he said to me, “You have way too much muscle for a female, you’re going to exceed the look that they’re looking for and rewarding [crosstalk 00:22:33].

Matt:                     Is that bikini, or for figure?

Ann Marie:          I was figure. [crosstalk 00:22:38]

Jeff:                       One meal-

Matt:                     My mind is blowing.

Ann Marie:          Yeah. And I’m like … well, and you trust these people. You go like how I said … This is still at food, I’m not even at the other stuff yet! This is just food, so I’m like, okay, so everything in me tells me not to do this, but you trust him. He’s won multiple titles, whatever, had a … you know, other girls in his prep, and I said, “Okay, so why just one me up?” “Because you have too much muscle, we gotta weigh some muscle off.”

So I had no energy! I said, “When I was I gonna crash and burn out?” Okay, so then what we do, we add the other stuff in your system. What’s the other stuff? Well, we’ll start using these particular horse steroids, and what I said-

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:23:12] Do you want to name them?

Ann Marie:          Stanozol. It was stanozol, and the bottle that you produce-

Jeff:                       Which is also in the states known-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:23:15] Winstrol. Yeah.

Jeff:                       Is an injection or is a tablet?

Ann Marie:          It was injection.

Jeff:                       It’s an injection.

Ann Marie:          And I said-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:23:20] And that’s why I need the hard dry testosterone action?

Jeff:                       It does convert to … that’s what actually-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:23:25] But did I tell you any of these? So one shot could upset you for 20 years.

Matt:                     Yeah.

Jeff:                       We were spoken about this when you came in last week, and we’re talking about that. And that was something that I really wanted to touch on you today. So as little as one injection for females, depending on your genetic makeup-

Ann Marie:          That’s right.

Jeff:                       Can have a significant impact-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:23:43] Absolutely.

Jeff:                       Is irreversible for the rest of your life.

Matt:                     But not all of the effects are irreversible, because you were doing it for the goal of muscle gain and fat loss. That stuff doesn’t last.

Ann Marie:          No.

Matt:                     The other stuff does though.

Ann Marie:          Everything else. So your estrogen levels, so your E1 and E3, E2 will skyrocket as well, E2 will come back down.

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:24:02] So Matt, do you wanna back that down?

Matt:                     So basically, E1 … so basically, looking at different forms of estrogen.

Ann Marie:          That’s right.

Matt:                     So the dihydrotestosterone … or the androgens, or the testosterone effect, through negative feedback, would totally screw around with your testosterone and estrogen ratios that your brain and your ovaries, they’re trying to regulate. There’s some very striking differences between men and women as well, and the fact that women have ovaries that makes eggs and estrogen and blokes have testicles that make sperm and testosterone, so the negative feedback or the interactions or the side effects or adverse reactions from these things for men and women are very different. And very different in the women the different stages of their life as well, you’ll get a totally different effect in a young schoolchild as you would someone’s that’s been through puberty and that’s the stuff through to the pre-menopausal period.

But the thing that what I was getting at is that when you have these things, so dihydrotestosterone changes to the brain can be irreversible, changes to bone can be irreversible, changes to voice and other aspects of that can be irreversible. But you build the muscle, you burn the fat, that’s the bit that you gotta maintain.

Ann Marie:          But remember his goal was not to worry about my health for the next 40 summers.

Matt:                     No, the short term goal is just the muscle and fat, huh?

Ann Marie:          He says, “We’re gonna get you to that absolute, the pinnacle,” and at the time to get a pro card was like winning the gold ticket to Willy Wonkas. It was so hard, ’cause IFBB, back in early 2000, you had to win a world title.

Matt:                     Yeah, right.

Ann Marie:          You had to win a world title, or was top three or four, and to actually look like you had potential. So there was a real earnest to get it. And I said, “But what happens … what are the aftermath? What do you mean?” So that’s the coach back then, we were all on it. Well, what happens … And I said to him, “What happens when you’re old, what happens in 2 years time? 10 years time? And why isn’t there any old female bodybuilders?” That’s one thing I said, “I have not seen one older lady in any of these shows. Where are they? What happened to them? Are they that masculine-looking now that you don’t see them anymore, or that metabolic damage, they don’t leave the house … There has to be a future-past to show.”

And that was the question that was never asked to later my career. So I had to create questions, so listen … I finally take myself very seriously. I said, but I also wanna enjoy my life. Yeah, competition is fantastic, and I like a healthy way, but my own is always come back to health. And as I said, we spoke off-camera the other day … I watched my dad have a heart attack, at six, who has survived, but we still had no reason. So I’m saying, cause and effect: if you don’t know what the symptoms are and the cause of what’s gonna happen afterwards, why would I let you do that to me? It’s not-

Matt:                     And you can see the admiratives. When people use words like “pinnacle” and “peak”, and that’s the stuff. They’re pretty much saying, “We’re gonna get you to the top and then it’s all downhill from you from there.”

Ann Marie:          You’re then an adversary for sales for them.

Matt:                     Yeah.

Ann Marie:          So I keep on coming back to … Coaches, yes, may have a great intention, but it’s about … That’s how they keep their lifestyle. So when you’re having your coaches … we’re flipping forward now, ten, maybe fifteen years, it’s getting as many clients as you can on the books paying you a wage. 200 bucks a week, whatever it is, for a 20 … could be longer, a 12-month prep, and what are they then backing it up with? They’re going, “Here’s what you need to do diet-wise,” regardless people’s daily life. I have clients that have different plans for different days.

Matt:                     So if you go as for someone for longevity, and then as opposed to preparing them for a comp, you might look at things like giving them a specific diet and exercise plan, you might review that diet and exercise plan based on the changes in their skin folds, [crosstalk 00:27:55] and you might make changes to the diet and exercise basically by saying, “Eat a bit more, eat a little bit differently, trying a little bit differently.” They’re the sort of things you do before you kept the diet and exercise consistent and use the medications as a variable. So, you know what I mean? The thing that I noticed is, people have too many variables and the potentially too many hand breaks, so a lot of people then will just keep some things constant, such as calories in, and then [crosstalk 00:28:21] they’ll tweak the metabolism with drugs.

Ann Marie:          Yeah, so but why put something into your body that’s not necessarily native?

Matt:                     Yeah, exactly.

Ann Marie:          So that’s the thing. It’s like going how, “Well here’s, you know, here’s your food plan, okay, but I don’t want you to suffer too much,” or, “This is what we normally do and you’re not coping and your body fat’s not dropping. Let’s take x amount of those, let’s take thyroid to get metabolism going, let’s get the clenbuterol in your system, and let’s make you hard with some processed tablet which we’ll call Anavar which is, you know, it could be basically anything. And you take this-

Jeff:                       Yeah. Well, that’s the other side of it. You might think that you’re getting x-y-z, but you might be getting something different. I heard that a lot of … I think girls were using Stanozol. Now, Stanozol, from my understanding, I’m certainly not an expert, some women like and they can tolerate it okay but a lot of women get virilization in terms of masculizing effects from using Stanozol.

Ann Marie:          Absolutely.

Jeff:                       But you might not be taking Stanozol. And I’ve heard other people taking it … typically it’s a milky-white color, I think it’s injected.

Ann Marie:          There was one stage, there was stuff going around and it was [armor oil 00:29:20].

Jeff:                       Yes. I heard that. That was actually back around mid-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:29:25] It was what? Armor oil?

Jeff:                       Mid-2000s.

Ann Marie:          Armor oil. So the stuff that cleans the leather on your cars?

Jeff:                       Yeah, a girl was telling it. I think he got done, didn’t he? [crosstalk 00:29:31]

Ann Marie:          It was in green bottles. [inaudible 00:29:35] rock up at the gyms, and I’ve been on the [galkers 00:29:36] for a long time, and people would walk up in the boot, you know, “Do you need any of this, do you need any of that?” And the other trainers come up, “Do you need any of this?” And I go, “What is it?” I’ve never seen something with a green lid, and if you … well, no one was really Googling back there, now what is it? And he says, “Oh, no, no, we’ve just taken the bar codes off there, and there’s no serial number, so it’s all good to go.”

Jeff:                       This is obviously the dark side of stuff.

Ann Marie:          Yeah. But the thing, is, see-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:29:58] ‘Cause it’s illegal, like, you can’t … Unless you get doctor’s prescription [crosstalk 00:30:01] … Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeff:                       In Australia, and in the U.S. … I think in the UK it’s actually still legal? If you put it to personal use-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:30:08] Oh, in general. Yeah.

Jeff:                       Different countries around the world.

Ann Marie:          Different. It’s a dif. But I’m talking about Australia. [crosstalk 00:30:15] Yeah, exactly. With the experience that I’ve had with clients and the people that I’ve met around. And it’s considered okay, or whatever. But I said, “But how do you what know it is?” But also too, where did you get it from? This particular product might have been bought from six different people sitting out in the sun for six months and they’re gonna, let’s just get the next batch of god-knows-what …

Matt:                     I used to work a lot with doctors in bioidentical hormones and anti-aging clinics and work a lot with compounding chemists where we’d do testing, create these protocols, we’d then jump through all these legal hoops to be able to design these products for these people, everything was monitored and measured and you’d be taking regular blood tests ’cause everyone was so nervous about hurting someone and getting sued and everything like that.

And then you hear this side of the industry, it’s the same medications that we used to work with such caution in a medical setting, is being handed out in the bed of a car. A good example … We also had before you, and they give you a certain diet and exercise and you’re not getting the results I expected, I need to boost your metabolism.

If you consider things like this, this is a typical scenario: you’re cutting your calories to try to burn more fat. When your body’s cutting calories, one things that it does is it can … it slows down metabolism by making a thing called reverse T3, taking your T4 hormone away from making T3 to a pathway called reverse T3 that shuts down your metabolism. Now then, if that’s happening and you increase those calories and change your training, you can reverse that reverse T3, you can convert the T4 back to T3.

But typically what’s happen, is that’s when people bring in the T3 medication. So what’s happening is someone’s metabolism slows down, reverse T3 picks up, again we’re gonna add in some T3 because you’re showing all these signs of a sluggish thyroid. The T3 then is fighting against the reverse T3, they’re not fixing the problem, the body compensates by making more reverse T3, which says, “I’m going to have to add more T3, but in my experience and with the protocols we normally provide, we don’t go beyond this level of T3, let’s bring in clenbuterol.”

Then the clenbuterol works as like an adrenaline agonist, so it basically mimics adrenaline to make you run hot … to make everything go faster. So your bronchials dilate, the heart goes …

Jeff:                       And my hands would be shaking like this!

Ann Marie:          Shaking. Yeah.

Matt:                     The other thing that causes a buildup of reverse T3 is stress. So you’re taking a drug that resembles the nervous response to stress, you’re also taking a drug to compensate for the lack of thyroid hormones, but through negative feedback can make the problem worse … The end of the day, the manipulation and the calories, temporarily, but whatever, or the timing of the calories may have been enough to change that metabolic thing without actually going down to that path.

Ann Marie:          But it … Look, I’ll tell you, it got that crazy, and probably towards the end of 2004, and I’ve been coaching a long time, that I had to bring in an actual clause that you had to get a blood test off your GP or a GP that I recommended before I actually could help you, because there was girls coming in with … and guys. And I said, “I don’t trust you.” I said, “One, you smell like horse piss,” I said, “so I don’t know what’s in your system from whatever androgens are in you, or your liver is just about to fall out your backside,” and I said, or, “I don’t believe what you’re doing.”

I said, “I’ve done your pinch test,” and I said, “Now this only indication of what you may or may not might be doing,” I said, “but it’s reflecting the fact that something is wrong in your system. You either got heavy metal poisoning, there’s metabolic damage,” and I said, “and I don’t trust what you’re saying that where your estrogen levels are.” I said, “Because I know for a fact that you have bought six packets of Arimidex off someone at this gym.” And I said, “And that’s just my personal opinion,” so I said to safeguard myself, but also too, have a little bit of self respect for the next 10, 15, 20 years-

Matt:                     When the muscle and fat has gone back … See, this is the big point that I try to let people understand, is you’re doing this for the short term goal to keep your peak or hit your pinnacle for the show, in regards to muscle and fat. Please understand that that muscle and fat may be lost, maintained, grown, changed, overcoming months to years or even weeks in some cases, but what stays is changes to bone, the negative feedback disruption in the pituitary gland, the changes to things like microbiome we don’t even yet fully understand, heavy metal contamination, but also, you have no bloody idea.

The funny one, now, is peptides. Everyone keeps coming to talk to me about peptides and say, “Oh, I’m on this combination of numbers and letters. Can you tell me what I should do?” And I said, “No, I … I mean, I can’t even find data on this on the medical journals. I don’t even know. I don’t know how to tell you what these peptides are, and-”

Ann Marie:          How do they know? So that-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:34:56] They don’t know!

Ann Marie:          So when I competed at pro level physique, okay, I helped three 12s. At the first show I did, there was a stuff-up with the prep probably from four weeks out which I knew it wasn’t gonna peak my bis. And we called … there was stuff up as big as France. And I accepted that. So then I came back, and that was fine … placed 12th again with probably one of the best conditions of my career. They didn’t like me, I’m too tall for that division. That’s fine, accept it, I think someone critiqued I walk like a fairy … okay, whatever. So, and then the next show I did I came in strategically. The right agent, the right sponsor, the right coach, all that sort of stuff, and then still got 12th.

Jeff:                       Wow.

Ann Marie:          “We don’t like you,” basically what they’re saying. So then I went to … I spoke to one of the girls who was a former Ms. Olympia and she said, “Listen, you need to come see one of my doctors.” And I said, “What are they gonna do?” “She’s gonna tell you what you need to do to get to the next level.” And he told me, “We don’t have a name for what you need. We take your bloods, we take saliva and we give you,” it’s called, “Your batch might be x-y-z.” And I said, “But what is the side effects?” “Oh, we don’t know. But if you wanna look like Ms. Olympia …” And I said, “Yeah but, surely there’s other was we can get …” I said, so I will just accept I genetically do not suit this category before I [crosstalk 00:36:09]

Matt:                     Genetically try to manipulate-

Ann Marie:          Yeah, exactly. And have a clitoris as big as an elbow! Do you know what I mean? So to me, that was not a benefit to me as an athlete or for, you know, to be anything so sort of last off of the next 20 years. But then I’ve come back to Australia, and then you’ve got all these clients wanting to do, “Okay, what’s the magic pill? What’s this? You obviously aren’t doing something, what are you not telling me?” You know? Or, “This other coach had this, but now I’m on this,” and I said, “You need to stop and clean yourself out and we need to look where you’re at now.” And I said, “Let’s look at this realistically. Genetically, I cannot help you for the next 20 weeks to get you on stage healthily and then last another six weeks after that.” I said, “So, just stop the insanity. Let’s just do this correctly and go back to basics.”

Matt:                     ‘Cause you get that experience as an athlete, where you’ve been through these, well you’ve done a lot of this stuff but also you had those moral decisions and all those sort of things you’ve investigated. As a coach, you’ve worked with people that have done it one way, and done another way, and I’ve listened to the advice of other people, and yeah, that’s the stuff. And they’ll say you’ve got that experience as a judge to understand what in each federation they’re looking for, so-

Ann Marie:          Absolutely.

Matt:                     For the people out there that are a little bit confused at the moment, or they’re getting different forms of advice, or they’re trying to basically say, “When I do this it via coach, what I’m saying, when I do this it works, why is it not working too? You must be lying to me,” or … there’s that good opportunity there for you to be able to help a lot of these people, huh?

Ann Marie:          Yeah, definitely. And the thing is, it has to be about everyone’s personal journey, so I always will recommend a blood test to start, I always goes on their body fat meals, and how they’re coping, because I would rarely start a client in competition mode. I would usually regulate their lifestyle because nine times out of ten no one is eating enough. One, to cope with the daily stress of lifestyle and work partners, and two, the excess training they may need to do to bring up different muscle groups, or get the rest.

So for me, a lot of the times they’ll come to me too late, and I go like, “I’m sorry, I can’t … you’re at least 12 months off.” So, I will make a final decision, an honest decision: I do not have the capabilities to drag you through this. Why don’t we get ready for a photo shoot, you get the experience of peaking, we’ll be able to monitor your bloods, we’ll be able to monitor how your body’s coping, if your body then represses and your immune system doesn’t cope, and then we aim for next season, so at least I have a chartable progress to see how you are coping, rather than the pressure of getting in there and then asking for everything but the wallpaper to get you through.

Matt:                     Yeah.

Jeff:                       The problem is is that we live in a very much, and I say this all the time, a microwave society. People don’t … And typically the younger generation, again I’m talking like an old man, but they don’t have the patience to wait. They don’t have the patience to put in the years to get the results.

Ann Marie:          So that’s that, and that’s the point … I made an ethical decision to myself years ago, particularly after there was one photo shoot I went to and I … That is it. I refuse to be people’s mother, but I also too refuse to hold hands with people who are directly driving towards a car accident. So it is up to coaches out there, and it also up to the federations to not reward people who are overly saturated with a certain look if you know that they’re not well. And it’s not the responsibility of the judges to go, oh, you know, she’s on this and she’s on that, but there someone has to be accountable. Because if you’re pushing people to be rewarded for a certain look, and that will always be top level bodybuilding, and that’s just the way it is. But then it comes down to the coaches. And then people have to be morally aware, too, “Does this person actually care about me, or do they just want my money?”

Matt:                     Yeah. Yeah. [crosstalk 00:40:01] Well they’re more worried about their ego … Is their ego more of a problem, their reputation is what they’re focused on.

Ann Marie:          Absolutely. But then you hear most times after the show, “That’s it.” You’re … Unless you pay the extra whatever it is, they don’t help you out of the show. So most people probably don’t have a great experience due to the fact that they’ve been brought into the show with a rushed, crash fit and then palmed off at the end, and never compete again. And I did question that to coaches initially. There was one show we finished after the nationals, we all went out for dinner, and people were dropping like flies around the table like-

Jeff:                       What do you mean, dropping?

Ann Marie:          Like insulin spikes, someone’s falling asleep, someone had almost like [elephantiais 00:40:41] from taking too much saltine, drinking alcohol straight afterwards, dairy … People, you know. So that was one show, and that was years ago, that was probably 2004. I’ll never forget that, and even the coach, he went to hospital.

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:40:57] So reverse [crosstalk 00:40:59] wasn’t sort of a thing back then?

Ann Marie:          No. No.

Matt:                     But it’s sad how so much of it, it’s all based on experience, and not just trial and error but those sort of stories. Like for example, we’ve been talking a lot about drugs and that sort of stuff, but probably one of the most significant things I’ve seen vary between individual athletes is their response to carbs. A very simple process of reloading some carbs prior to a show, that can turn someone from their 12-week campaign to making them look fat and puffy.

Ann Marie:          Oh, tell me about it.

Matt:                     To then being full and boresome.

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:41:32] My first [Pray 00:41:32] debut, and I’ll tell you, I went off social media for six months for embarrassment, and I remember my critique was, “You need to pull in your lower abdominal wall.” And I thought, I didn’t have a lower abdominal wall because we used a [vitargo 00:41:42] effect and I said to-

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:41:46] Yeah, I remember that.

Ann Marie:          Terrible. No, the hair was bad as well. But I swelled up, I tell you, and we could see it on my skin, I said, “What is going on?” I said, “My sto … I cannot absorb this.”

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:41:56] … correct? So yeah, vitargo is a slow, yeah … It would have fermented in your guts, right?

Ann Marie:          Oh, it was terrible. And then doing this sexy bloody routine and look like I just slogged out there like a dog about to have puppies, it was terrible. And there’s nothing you can do, and then you’re going in to manage your poses and think, “How am I gonna make this work?”

Matt:                     Yeah.

Jeff:                       And that’s terri-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:42:17] So you need the fairies with boots song, that’s what you need. The fairies wear boots.

Ann Marie:          Oh. No, that was the next show. Actually I looked good for that one, they said I walked like a fairy, I thought, “I’ve got this,” and oh no. Structurally too big and walk like a fairy.

Jeff:                       Okay.

Matt:                     That’s weird.

Ann Marie:          But the thing is, that’s fine. I can take all that personal criticism back. When you come down, and you go, “Right, so this particular carb protocol did not work for me, and yeah … That was my Pray debut. And there was just such a big buildup because I’ve been on suspension for 12 months and I’ve gone from NABBA to IFBB and then …

Matt:                     Oh no.

Ann Marie:          I looked like I needed to do a very large pop off.

Matt:                     Yeah.

Ann Marie:          And that was the critique, “You need to pull in your lower abdominal wall.” I thought, “Yeah, I did, but I couldn’t.” So, yeah. So then when I came back, and then I was too scared. And I remember my coach, and it was John Davies, rang up, said, “Have you eaten? Anne, please let me tell you … have you eaten?” “No, I’m too scared.” “You have to eat. You’ll flatten out, you will not be able to fill out.” I said, “I cannot go through that experience again.”

I think I had an apple, and then one of my friends had come over, my best friend Skye, and she said, “Babe, you’ve gotta eat.” And I said, “I’m too scared. I cannot throw away another show because of …” yeah, being scared about carbohydrates. So then it took me psychologically have to then rebuild myself to be able to eat again! And even then one of my close friends, Logan, came to me in the last show, had to remind me, and this is even from my experience, “Have you eaten? Anne, you have to eat.” “No, no, there’s so much on the line.” [crosstalk 00:43:49] “Bloody eat! You’re gonna be too flat, you’re too skinny in the face, you got that shoe face, you have to eat.”

Jeff:                       Wow. Did you eat?

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:43:55] And this is where we get all these crazies-

Ann Marie:          I did. I did, yeah.

Matt:                     And these are all the interactions. So you go, for example, your response to those carbs partly may have been because of your salt imbalances because of a particular diuretic protocol. And this is the whole thing that takes a lot of experience, but also … I hate to say it, but lots of trial and error and a lot of testing.

Ann Marie:          Absolutely.

Matt:                     And a lot of these protocols need to be trialed or you’ll need to have some experience before-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:44:17] Yeah. And it had taken me, like I had to visually look like I was seven kilos heavier because I had gone from figure up to bodybuilding, which didn’t suit me, and then back to physique which was super hard, probably how I looked to NABBA but probably five kilos heavier, and I struggled with all that food. And then once again, blood tests come, the liver was shot, pulling way too high protein levels. I live like an A blood type when I’m O.

Matt:                     Yeah. [crosstalk 00:44:44]

Ann Marie:          So, you know. And that’s no one’s fault, but it still at least, I know it put a gun to my head with that vitargo, let me tell you. But I’ll never take it again. But maybe now it would be different, but once again trial and error is effect. And stress as well.

Matt:                     And the men at top level bodybuilding, typically the guys that I was following, I don’t know, probably even more so with females in terms of the intricacies [inaudible 00:45:02] … But it takes years to really … “Oh, this protocol works for me. This doesn’t. No, I don’t like that, that doesn’t work. Yes, this food works for me.” And look … And as I said before as well too, and I’m not anti-drugs, I’m just anti-ignorance, I’m anti people not educating themselves on what it does and taking personal responsibility, because your coach, potentially, especially if they’re trying to come lightly, is there for five minutes.

Ann Marie:          That’s right. And a lot of the times presume … We have a laugh about it, someone might win a show, next thing they’re a prep coach.

Matt:                     Exactly.

Ann Marie:          And that’s great, but what actual degree of experience do you have?

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:45:41] Will they construe what they did?

Ann Marie:          That’s it. [crosstalk 00:45:44]

Matt:                     Which is, they’re reproducing what their coach told them from last year.

Ann Marie:          And then it’s an argument that I had online, females can’t train, get guys ready for shows. How is that relative? So there’s a lot of depth into the questions that you would need to ask a coach before you take them on. So, regardless if people want male or female, what is your experience? Yeah, I’m happy that you’ve won a national title-

Matt:                     A female of my age-

Ann Marie:          Exactly. So, how have you helped somebody, and then how have you helped them out if there’s a problem? Because that’s another thing too, so I found over the time, and you know, other peers of mine as well, worked at different places, will then use your protocols if you’ve used for them on their clients.

Matt:                     And then it’s one size fits all.

Ann Marie:          And I go, I said, “That’s all fine until something goes wrong.” And I said, “But you forget to remember,” and it might be, say her name’s Shirley. “Shirley, remember when you had … You’re constipated, and blah blah blah …” Still trying to get the [inaudible 00:46:38] in your system … Oh, that’s right, I forget. So you have given this to this person who is six years younger than you, who has extremely high metabolism, who … it just, it goes wrong. And that’s when then people get these really mixed results, and then usually … like faux-sique. And that’s the scary part. I can’t have-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:46:56] But to know when they’re on the wrong path, too, take a lot of experience but also a lot of clinical knowledge to know the tip of the iceberg signs to say someone’s on a really bad path here.

Ann Marie:          That’s it.

Matt:                     I need to be able to say … I need to know when to pull them out.

Ann Marie:          That’s it.

Matt:                     And say, “I’ve seen this before, and that person almost died. We better stop now.”

Ann Marie:          And that’s the thing: death. Thing is, it is pushing towards it.

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:47:19] That’s a nasty side effect.

Ann Marie:          That’s a nasty side effect, is death. [crosstalk 00:47:22] But coaches then, I don’t know why, it has to be: ah look, this is my client, I can’t share the experience, this client of mine has these symptoms, I better keep it to myself. Let’s just mush it up.

Matt:                     Yeah. ‘Cause it’s ego-based, you know-

Ann Marie:          Absolute … Why wouldn’t you go to someone who’s more experienced than yourself, or “Let’s go to the doctor”, ’cause it might be something simple. I said that, why not say this, and I’ve got this client with these particular problems, blah blah blah, I had a client getting ready for a show and he hadn’t disclosed he was a celiac. And his legs swelled up like they’re sausage casings within two hours. I remember coming back to the gym to look at him and I went, “Did you just run to Brisbane? And eaten salty peanuts, and he decided to take the female morning after pill? What happened to your legs?” “What do you mean, coach?” I said, “Oh shit, I don’t know … Okay, you need to sit down, we’re just gonna pop your legs up, okay, so we’re just gonna stop this protocol, blah blah blah, oh my god.”

Okay. So once we started talking about, you know, what have you done, blah blah, and we counted back for his food, went to someone who was more experienced in what I was doing and then went to a doc, let’s call him JP, what’s going on? ‘Cause I don’t wanna stuff up your prep because of having too so many simple sugars. What can we do, opposed to then giving okay, let’s take 20 diuretics for heart medication to get that fluid out of your legs.

Matt:                     Funny thing, is we talked-

Ann Marie:          That’s how people would do that.

Matt:                     Yeah. Well, we’ve been looking at federations and bodybuilders and physiques, [inaudible 00:48:44]. But it’s really important for the listeners out there, because we had a lot of mums and that sort of stuff listening to the show as well that might not be directly in this industry understand that the highest reason for … In America, middle, what do they call, middle school? So you got middle school children? They’re looking at about 3% … This in the 90s, they analyzed the rates of anabolic steroid use in middle school and it was about 3% of the students. So what’s that, that’s one in 40-50 sorta people using steroids.

But it was even numbers between the male and the female. And they were both using the exact same protocol, the blokes were doing it, and when they questioned them, cheerleaders. So the highest rates of steroid use in middle school in America were female cheerleaders. And they used it because they believed it would improve their performance. They didn’t actually … And the blokes were using it to get bigger for their sport of choice, and the women specifically using it to improve their cheerleading performance.

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:49:50] It’s kinda funny.

Matt:                     So you can imagine … You gotta remember, so that was in the 90s in America. So typically things will be getting, expanding out from this, so-

Ann Marie:          I just moved back down from central Queensland. I just moved back from central Queensland, and, look I help people with lifestyle plans. And I’ll just will do their pinch tests, this is not as I said, normally I will see them first for the consultation and I’ll do their pinches, and I said, listen, to get the best actual results let’s just get a blood test to see where your levels are, blah blah blah… And then someone will say, “Oh, just letting you know, I’m taking a testosterone,” or they’ll produce a bottle of blue stuff, and I’m like…

Matt:                     You told me about this, this is [crosstalk 00:50:32]-

Ann Marie:          These aren’t athletes. These aren’t athletes, this is people doing shift work. And I’m like, okay they’ll be like, “I take this blue stuff to help me cope.”

Jeff:                       What’s the blue stuff?

Ann Marie:          Exactly. And I’ll go, “What is it?” And they’ll go, “It’s clenbuterol.” And I’ll go, “Well, where’s the label?” “Oh, no, no, there’s no label, we took the serial number off.” I said, “Well what-”

Matt:                     What is serial number thing? Is that … [crosstalk 00:50:54] They take it off so it can’t be traced back.

Ann Marie:          It can’t be traced, so it’s full of a bag of trouble, whatever. It was someone’s bought [crosstalk 00:50:58]. But I said to him, I said, “Well, what mg is it?” “I don’t know.” “Well, what dosage did you take?” “Oh, we just got told to take a mL.” I said, “But how do you know what exactly is that product?” And I said, “But also too, how do you know what dose you need to take as an individual,” like where … There’s too many variable, it’s like asking, “How long is a piece of string,” and I said, “You need to stop that right now.”

Matt:                     Yeah. And if they’re not getting the results, do I expect to double it? Or do I look at changing something else?

Ann Marie:          How are you measuring it? Are you taking your temperature, are you … what are you doing, are you going … you’re doing 50 shakes a second like a maraca? Like, what are you doing?

Matt:                     So much of this industry is basically saying, “Hey, some bloke did … some person did this once, and they told me to do it, it worked for them, it’s worked for me, I’m now gonna tell you to do it.” And that seems to be what a lot of it is, there’s not a lot of testing.

Jeff:                       Well, clenbuterol for example … and this is the very little amount that I educated myself on, this is way back when, ’cause I haven’t used any form of steroids or any performance-enhancing stuff for probably the best part of a decade now. But the thing with clenbuterol was, is that I learnt that it actually depletes the taurine out of the body, which is obviously a major issue for the heart.

Ann Marie:          Yep.

Jeff:                       So you need to be supplementing with taurine. The other thing is, well, too, is it can also dry out the arterial walls. So if you’re not getting enough essential fatty acids, which a lot of people with their really cutting back on their fats … for example, your omegas, and I’ve heard of it as well too, a popular guy, a really good guy, was training, he actually died of a aortic dissection, is that how you say it, Matt?

Matt:                     Dunno.

Jeff:                       Just basically split apart. And part of it was because he’s [inaudible 00:52:33] but he was also taking these other combinations, [crosstalk 00:52:37] like as you say, some serious side effects! Even from what people would consider to be benign. So-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:52:41] Beta-alinine is a known taurine transport inhibitor. It directly creates taurine deficiency. So unless you know that, “Oh, I’ve loading up some beta-alinine because it’s good as a pre-workout,” and then at the same time as they’re on clenbuterol, they could have a major taurine deficiency that could result in a heart attack.

Ann Marie:          This is another thing. So, the thing is, I used to have a lot of pageant girls or girls that need to be multifaceted for fitness, bikini, pageant and modeling and auditioning as actresses for whatever commercial or whatever. And then, they’re on clenbuterol, or on beta boosters or whatever, but they don’t eat, and they’re living on energy drinks. And I said, “But I don’t understand what you want me to do with your food when I think you’re gonna have a heart attack.” I said, “Babe, you’re happy to get 1200 dollars out of crap in your face, but you won’t allow me to go, ‘Let’s get a blood test and stop that.’ I can promise you we can get this look a certain way and you will survive all these shoots and whatever, why do you need to take this?” But their reason, “But the other girls do it. It’s easier for me and it makes me feel good.”

Matt:                     Yeah. So much of it’s, “Other people do it, I think I can do it too. I don’t want to miss out.”

Ann Marie:          “I don’t want to miss out, I don’t want to miss out.”

Matt:                     Jeff just mentioned something earlier, and I hope we can edit this out of it sounds dicky or offensive or something, but he mentioned that you went through a phase where you took some anabolic steroids or something like that?

Jeff:                       Yeah.

Matt:                     Unless you maintain that diet and that exercise, you haven’t maintained that muscle. You got that muscle memory that comes back really quick. You get a bit of training, and I said, but … Yeah, but looking, that sort of stuff, you’ve got to maintain it. And there was some side effects that you experienced through it that have maintained.

Jeff:                       Well, I didn’t know about the side effects of stanozol, which actually make … My hair started to fall out, because I was predis-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:54:29] We talk almost hourly about your hair.

Jeff:                       Exactly. I’m trying to work out how to … Which, Matt’s actually done a good job on helping me retain it, and actually it did start to regrow because I had a full horseshoe appearing about ten years ago.

Ann Marie:          Right.

Jeff:                       But I’m still thin, if that makes sense. Which-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:54:45] Sell a panel for a sex machine.

Ann Marie:          Clearly that’s what I thought. That’s what I thought I wanted.

Jeff:                       But what’s interesting though, and now I didn’t know, I didn’t educate myself about … Now going forward, I did, I did a lot of research and a lot of study. Now that’s something that’s aesthetic that annoyed me and upset me greatly-

Matt:                     But what if you were a girl and it was your jaw? Or your hair, cause I know-

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:55:04] Well, I can shave my hair and I’ll be fine with that, right?

Ann Marie:          Well, hair on your back. I was standing in line and this girl kept on … I was standing in line waiting on stage and this girl in front of me-

Matt:                     A girl? The silverback.

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:55:17] She kept on doing this, she kept on grabbing her shoulders and she was knocking me. “Oh, sorry babe, sorry babe.” She says, “Sorry, I shaved my back last night and-”

Matt:                     I shaved my-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 00:55:28] That’s what she said!

Matt:                     I did not know that.

Ann Marie:          She said, “I shaved my back and it’s growing back, I’m all itchy.” And I went, ew, okay.

Jeff:                       Wow.

Matt:                     Yeah.

Jeff:                       I mean, I knew that-

Matt:                     The voice change and the-

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:55:37] Hair probably around the nipples, but I didn’t realize that there would actually be a [inaudible 00:55:42] to actually cause … Wow.

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:55:44] It’s just interesting. So there are all the discussions I think that need to be taken. We don’t care what people what people do … they can do whatever they well like. [crosstalk 00:55:53] But make an educated decision.

Ann Marie:          That’s the thing. So the thing is, if you are walking into an environment that you don’t know, be situationally aware. Just remember, sometimes coaches do not have the inclination to support you for the next year, 2 years, 20 years after you are experienced all these side effects. So be well-researched. And as I said, why I lasted so long, I charted my whole career. I still had the same diet that I started with to where I am now. I went to head doctors, and I also went to doctors who I got all of the-

Matt:                     Sympathetic.

Ann Marie:          Not sympathetic. I got a lot of the feministic “You’re anorexic, you’re a gym junkie, it’s in your head, blah blah blah, you need to … your irritable bowel syndrome …” And I go, “Well, how far can I actually push myself without actually killing myself in the gym?” “Oh no, you need to take up blah blah blah.” I said, “Well, I consider myself an elite athlete and I want to perform at a high level. Yes, I made a mad decision, I don’t want to have kids and things, that’s fine, but I need to know where I’m at with my bloods, to know that I can actually digest. I know that my AST and ALT levels in my bloods are not gonna be that high, so my blood’s not as thick as wax,” so I’ve always had … But particularly because I’ve seen what happened to my dad, I suppose from heartache, when I thought we were relatively healthy.

So, and then people doing … taking whatever, for whatever reason, that’s fine, like that’s everyone’s personal decision to get the goal they want at whatever certain time. But just remember, not everyone has your virtue or your outlook, you know, and they regen it the rest of their life.

Jeff:                       Can we talk about some of the side effects, specifically with regards to women, that are irreversible, and what percentage of women are using these drugs that you’ve seen that don’t know about the side effects? I’m talking about the jaw, the voice, and the clitoris specifically.

Ann Marie:          Clitoris.

Jeff:                       Because I mean, again for people who are listening to this podcast going on, this is all about high-end bodybuilding.

Ann Marie:          No, it’s not, it’s not at all.

Jeff:                       It’s not. [crosstalk 00:57:55] The vast majority of the … well, not majority, but a vast section of society are using a lot of these things because they’re being told in the locker room that they should be using it as well.

Ann Marie:          Absolutely. So … but I think psychologically as well, Matt, like you’ll find people who probably competed for a couple years who have done multiple courses, they’re very difficult to talk to, or don’t have a grasp on reality, so yeah-

Matt:                     But dihydrotestosterone has been shown to change brain infrastructure that’s irreversible.

Jeff:                       Irreversible.

Matt:                     It leads to aggression, the road rages, the changes and … your ratios of transmitters you can alter. But that infrastructure changes, the types of brain receptors, and the changes … And that’s what we talk about, once bone connective tissue collagens, like physically, infrastructure has changed, that stuff’s hard to reverse.

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 00:58:50] It seems to last with women, though, not with men. Like for example I was using testosterone, and some other stuff as well too, which, a woman takes that, immediately her jaw’s gonna bulge out, her voice is gonna deepen, and again, she’s gonna have changes to the nether regions. But with a guy, so much you know that … As you said before, Matt, it hasn’t maintained for me. And I play football now, like soccer, so I’m actually trying to get leaner, not trying to maintain a lot of muscle bulk. But-

Ann Marie:          But cellularly you’d have to change because it’s complete opposite. So there’s actually being a whole restructure, as with men, it’s just enhancing and depleting, as it’s actually being a whole complete change, and then your body takes it on as almost like a form of a … new muscle form.

Matt:                     Remember I mentioned earlier that your muscle memory has remained. When you train, and when you eat, you actually do go … So the infrastructure, the connective tissue, the bone connective tissue, the origins and insertions that you created during that phase, they remained. What has changed is how full your muscles are. Now the same thing is, with your testicles, let’s talk about your testicles now Jeff-

Jeff:                       Favorite subject.

Matt:                     [crosstalk 00:59:57] In the past, for example, they empty out in regards to that negative feedback, says, “You don’t make testosterone from those nuts,” so in the process, you don’t make the sperm, and then they empty. So that, but then when they fill out, they go back to normal. So your muscles, when you’re using gear that would drive sugars in, increase that, you’re eating, they stay full, when you stop they flatten out.

But what has remained or changed … or sorry, what has remained that you did change was the infrastructure in regards to connective tissue, bone, cartilage. So a lot of that sort of stuff that you know, the [inaudible 01:00:31] the connective tissue sock that’s used to hold that extra muscle bundle, that sort of stuff stays, that’s why you can build up really fast. So that’s why I said, you go back in, you get some water and sugar and salt into those things, all of a sudden everything pops back up.

And this is what we’re talking about with the changes that occur in both men and women. With men, they’ve already got that jaw, like you said. They’ve already got those sort of-

Jeff:                       Masculine.

Matt:                     Genetic material. [crosstalk 01:00:55] Yeah, exactly. So when a female goes from having very low levels of these actions, and low levels of those receptor activation to a high level, they make the changes to the bone, the connective tissue and all of those regions that we’ve discussed. Those sort of things, depending on how much growth and change you get, most of that stays. It’s the fullness of the cells in regards to sugars and water and salt that changes, that makes the muscles and everything go flatten again. But the architecture, the anatomy physiology has changed and stays.

Ann Marie:          But a lot of the times too, after they finished the show and there may not been in any post-cycle therapy, that’s what we’re saying about the estrogen still in the system. And they’re skyrocketing. And then they’ll take either more, or then their ghrelin levels have changed because their body isn’t demanding a certain amount of food and then they’re already in reverse thyroid, so there’s a famine mode anyway, so then they swell and they go, “God, why can’t I lose all this bloody weight? Oh, it’s because I’m so muscular.” No you’re not, you’ve got that much crap intramuscular and your liver’s just not coping, it doesn’t know what’s going on.

Matt:                     I can imagine there’d be a [inaudible 01:02:00] that goes, “Oh Jesus, I need to get back on the gear.” [crosstalk 01:02:03] My metabolism’s shut down.

Ann Marie:          That’s the first thing I said, yeah. You need to be able to find me to get the best source or I go, “You are sick. Sick.”

Matt:                     Yeah. ‘Cause I might be thinking-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 01:02:12] So then they go-

Matt:                     I’ve stopped the gear, calories have come in, and yeah.

Ann Marie:          And then they go to the next coach. I had one girl, she’s been through 16 coaches.

Jeff:                       What does that say?

Ann Marie:          I’m just sitting, I said, “I am going to be the doorstop, I am going to help you because your liver is going to fall out your butthole.”

Matt:                     And they always ask like a joke first, they go, “Oh, this person told me I should do this, ha ha …” They’re waiting for you to say, “Yes, you should,” or then that way, if you go, “No, I disagree,” they go, “Oh, I was only joking.” You didn’t really want to talk about that, do you?

Ann Marie:          No no, ’cause I sit through all that crap, yeah. But you can really smell it, and I don’t know why. I don’t know because I’ve dieted for so long I can probably smell a wheat bit 100k away behind a brick wall, but we’ve … and I don’t know if too, it used to be Monday morning, she’d work in the gym, and I’d go, “That’s, someone’s on that. Someone’s on way too much [acetylcarnitine 01:02:51],” I don’t know if it makes you more receptive to senses but someone will come into the office and they might be perfumed up and beautiful makeup and then I start to calm down and you’ll go, “I can smell something coming out of your skin.”

And it’s not normally just, you had a steak lunch or had Indian, it’s usually some sort of biochemical … and I’ll go, “Sweetheart, besides all this crap you’re telling me and I’m writing down, you’re being taken some, maybe not six months but eight months of [zaramatars 01:03:18] in your system, I can smell that coming out of your sweat glands … You can’t probably smell it and it’s reacting with your deodorant which is trying to mask,” which is another heavy metal, so …

Matt:                     Yeah.

Jeff:                       So what’s your advice to … let’s start with maybe the layperson who looks up to the fitness community, who looks up to the figure and you know, and go, “You know what? Maybe I want to get on stage, but I want to take a leaf out of their book. I want to get lean, I want to get fit,” and is maybe considering going beyond natural means.

Ann Marie:          Okay, look. I think anyone who goes beyond natural means, you’re taking a step to the dark side. I don’t think, unless you’re at top level or you have a genetic defect or you’re … you can’t p-

Matt:                     [Prominol disorder 01:04:06]?

Ann Marie:          I’m saying prominol, so you need it. You trust me. You do.

Matt:                     And you can get good results, and that are not gonna have the negative side effects just by staying natural.

Ann Marie:          Like really, a lot of the times when people say, “What’s the ratio between training and diet and rest?” I want to say, “If you want to train at a [pick club 01:04:24] and look a certain way, it has to be known what percent is nutrition. You have to look into …” and that takes in self-imitation as well, from a vegetarian or vegan topic supplementation, I said, because that’s something you can sustain. Rather than course-running biochemistry synthetic whatever. I’m gonna say no. I’m gonna be adamant about that, being from the dark side and seeing a lot of good people get sick. Unless there is hormonal issues … And look, seriously. I’ve come across people who have to be on growth hormone because they’re 4’9″. And they have amazing muscles, but they’re 4’9″, they’ve got the limb structure of a duck, so the thing is, they’re gonna fill out with muscle a lot better than someone who’s 6’2″. And that’s just the way it is, honey, that’s why gymnasts are short.

Matt:                     Hey, I’ve got … there’s one thing, so, okay. Let’s just say that I do the Ronnie Cole protocol, I’m finally tuned off, I’m a 19 year old woman here too by the way. And I’ve done the Ronnie Cole because I’m prepping for a bikini. So, now I get to my absolute pinnacle peak whatever we want to call it for that, how long does this last? Am I talking one show, one photo shoot? That, you know, that they sell-

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 01:05:31] Okay, so this is my argument, this is my argument, so the thing is, yeah-

Matt:                     ‘Cause when a lot of people see these things and go, “I wanna look like that”, and they only look like that for 48 hours.

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 01:05:37] So my argument is that if you can run your body fat and you stay under, and I call them in mLs, so body fat percentage, so if you can stay relatively low all year round, not extremely low, I’m saying 12%, 9%, you will be able to maintain it because that is a healthy lifestyle. And it’s not too much of a dress on your cortisol levels in daily life, so yes, you might deplete yourself for it … And I’m really big on using Vitamin C as a diuretic for the shows. Because one, and I’ll usually use it six weeks out, I’ll bring it back in and then I’ll run it all the way through so your body doesn’t go, it goes, “Oh, this is just normal for me, post … holy crap, my urethra’s gonna explode because I can’t wait, or my kidney’s gonna bust out my back.”

So to me, to have an on-stage condition, if you can run it 10-12% all year round … And that’s a big commitment! That’s a big sacrifice, and I’m anti-gluten. I’m not anti-dairy, I’m anti-lactose due to the fact that it reacts in your system. So to me, for people who were wanting to look that on-stage presence, for bikini, is maintainable. Figure I find a lot harder, and you’ll find that the girls have had to diet a lot harder so their ghrelin levels are once again gonna be subsiding.

Matt:                     The thing is, is I think a lot of these people see these peaches on social media, or they see them in the magazines-

Ann Marie:          Ah, see-

Matt:                     And they think, “This is what these people look like.” But I’ve met quite a few of these people in their off season, and they don’t look like that. They look more like the duck that you were talking about.

Ann Marie:          Yeah, that’s right. But this is the thing, too, I said, last night [crosstalk 01:07:05] …

Matt:                     Yeah, and these people go, “Oh, this is my inspiration,” I go, “They’re a picture on the wall.” [crosstalk 01:07:10]

Ann Marie:          Yeah, but nobody on bloody Instagram is putting on a photo-

Matt:                     I said, “Who’s that?” I said, “Who’s that,” I don’t who they are [crosstalk 01:07:15] …

Ann Marie:          They are all their best photo, out of a thousand photos, have gone “Okay, this one’s, yeah.” It is an unrealistic image of what people would like to portray. It’s a lifestyle that they want you to portray.

Matt:                     So having those low body fat percentages, it’s designed to win a show, get a photo shoot, maybe last for one, maybe 72 hours a year, or something? You know, like-

Jeff:                       72 hours in a year.

Matt:                     [crosstalk 01:07:34] Yeah. You get like three days, you know.

Ann Marie:          Personally, as a rule, I would not do a shoot at least a month out. Because I know what I look like, and then on stage, it’s unrealistic what you look like. But I’m saying, if you can stay a low body fat, like obviously on stage you might consider 3 or 5 percent, but then if you can stay a lower … typically if your goal is to look like a pro all year round, that is maintainable because then you can fluctuate between in and out of-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 01:08:01] How long would you stay-

Jeff:                       Three to five percent is not maintainable.

Ann Marie:          No! That’s crazy.

Matt:                     How long would you … like, for you, personally, to be healthy, how long would you want to be staying at a three to five percent body fat?

Ann Marie:          Couldn’t do it. I mean, I gotta drain off a tee. Twice.

Jeff:                       So what, literally a couple of days. You’re peaking for a show, and you-

Ann Marie:          Yeah. And I tried to maintain it for six months, and then ended up … admit going, “I’m gonna die.” Got broncheo-whatever problems, and then because I’d made it to keep racking up these guest appearances. And that’s how I got paid. So then I tried to do that, tried to do it as best I can, and then yeah, and then [Camgie 01:08:35] said, “Listen, I’m not well.”

Matt:                     ‘Cause I mean, we’re talking about if our percentage out there in the medical world, they talk about, for a healthy menstruating female, around 20-25% body fat, which is probably where I am at, I’m at a perfect body fat per se …

Jeff:                       Very healthy. You’re a woman?

Matt:                     Healthy menstruating woman.

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 01:08:51] I didn’t have menstrual for what, 10 years.

Jeff:                       Yeah, there you go.

Ann Marie:          10 years.

Matt:                     So we’re looking at 10 … 20-25% is where the medical world would deem to be at the right level of body fat to maintain hormones and everything. 15-20% is more of an athletic, sort of just a general person that’s fit and healthy and doing well.

Ann Marie:          So look what I said. When you say, “Okay, I want to look a certain way”-

Matt:                     But you can’t … You go below 15%, and you’re taking years off your life.

Ann Marie:          Absolutely. But also your libido. So to look a certain way, and you go, “Oh, okay, I want to look good.”

Matt:                     [crosstalk 01:09:22] “I wanna look good naked.”

Ann Marie:          “I wanna look all good naked.”

Matt:                     “But don’t you dare touch me.”

Ann Marie:          “Don’t touch me, ’cause you know, I might break.” But this is saying, “Okay, I want to aspire to look like one of these pros,” and I’m saying, “Okay, well to look like that, if you can stay between 10 and 12 percent,” but then there’s other side effects of that, how you interact with people. Can you walk outside and actually know where your car is?

So if your body fat is too low, and you said, “But my goal is to look a certain way,” there are side effects from … Look that way, so then if you’re gonna run between 15 and 19 percent, you’re gonna have a better quality of life. You can have a wine, you can do it, your body’s gonna be more interactive with your menstrual cycle, so then how do you interact with people? Opposed to going, “Okay, I need to look 10-12,” 3-5% or under 6% I don’t feel, I couldn’t find it maintainable for myself or my clients, it’s unrealistic.

Matt:                     And you’re ectomorph. Which again means you’re typically going to carry less body fat on average than someone who’s a mesomorph or an endomorph.

Ann Marie:          And I got … kept on getting sick. I just could not keep on backing out, and then we book for events and they go, “We need you being stage condition,” I go, “Do you mean the day after stage?” Because stage is very specific, I time that to the absolute. I think so now it is different though, because most people who are getting booked for jobs, they want you more full. Which is great, which is in good … but it’s still unrealistic [crosstalk 01:10:36] …

Matt:                     Well, more people look at your photos than your trophies, so I mean you wouldn’t-

Ann Marie:          I haven’t kept a trophy.

Matt:                     Exact, see. You mean, other people … A lot of the guys I talk about in this industry, they go about it seriously. “I only needed one good photo shoot, and I can just use those for the rest of my life. ”

Ann Marie:          Oh, but you look at anyone who is actually making money in the fitness scene on Instagram, haven’t competed.

Matt:                     [crosstalk 01:10:55] Yeah, exactly. So make it a campaign.

Jeff:                       And the funny thing is, is that the real money makers are the Insta-famous people. I don’t think any of them have really won any titles. [crosstalk 01:11:03] I mean, I’m not discrediting them, [crosstalk 01:11:09] put in hard work in the gym, but that’s not-

Ann Marie:          But once again, but it comes back to the same thing, it is image industry, so people are getting judged on what they are presenting as a picture. So the thing is, what you’ll find now for shows or for competitions it’s not normally just judged on the day.

Matt:                     Nah.

Ann Marie:          Let me tell you. You have a presence, you look at the history of IFBB, the first physique competitor who won Ms. Olympia didn’t have the best symmetry, best genetics, but had a following. She then left that bread. They’re running them as companies, and that’s just the way it is. It’s business.

Matt:                     Well, I remember the Arnolds we had here in Australia, we had [Cedain Linn Balley 01:11:43] and [Orisa Reyes 01:11:45], and they both just got in the bottom end of the top 10. There were that many people that were at that show, just to see those two ladies and have a chance to meet those ladies. And even the other athletes, I wanted to get the photos with them and post that up. Not number winners. And this is the whole thing, a lot go to this … have this competitive edge where something or, they go to these levels of extreme to win a competition, but maybe if we were to talk to people and go, “Look, seriously, at the end of that competition, no one cares about trophy. No one’s gonna talk about who won the Brisbane Show, you know, whatever.”

Ann Marie:          If you come back and actually talk to clients about all-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 01:12:19] If I have a photo shoot. If you have a photo shoot, you work towards a lifestyle, you work towards a story, you can show these people that you can achieve all your goals, you just don’t have to kill yourself in the process, you know?

Ann Marie:          But then, a lot of the times too, and I find, when you start to connect to people and ask, okay, maybe just people wanting to look a certain way, “What is the starting goal?” And then, people: “I just wanna win.” Okay, well what if there’s no competition? Why don’t you want to have optimal health or be able to maintain a certain way of looking and still enjoy yourself? And still have a nice lifestyle, be able to actually enjoy yourself?

Matt:                     What if you beat your competition, but lose your own goal, which is your life? [crosstalk 01:12:58] What if you … Yeah, I mean, this is the craziness. It’s like, okay so I want to win, I want to … so what, who in particular are you trying to be? It doesn’t make sense because at the end of the day you get to live … The most exciting thing about being someone that’s capable of taking control of their body and making an amazing physique is that you get to keep that.

Ann Marie:          Yeah.

Jeff:                       There’s also, I mean, if you liken this to other competitions as well too, if you said, “Well, I’m gonna be the fastest sprinter in Brisbane,” right. You can train, you can do everything else, but genetically, if you don’t have the skillsets … If you don’t naturally, unfortunately, have the gift, you might not be able to pull that off. And I’m not saying that people shouldn’t go for their dreams, whatever they happen to be, but at the same time, if you’re saying, “I’m gonna extend upon that,” if you then have to take it to the next level and then effectively start damaging yourself to get there, then you’ve kinda lost perspective.

Ann Marie:          And destroying yourself.

Matt:                     And you’ve lost the race.

Ann Marie:          That’s the thing, like … So, eight … I just would like people to realize that by trying to achieve a goal, it shouldn’t be about destructing your future and your potential just to have well, been because of a quick ego fix.

Jeff:                       What do you want to finish on, Anne-Marie? ‘Cause we’ve been going for a while, and this is such … We could probably talk for another couple of hours. And I know that the industry is huge, and there’s a lot of great things about the different bodies. I mean, I’m talking about with the IFBB and the WBFF, and you know, the idea of promoting health and fitness is noble. And I think sometimes that, again, people can start going down the wrong track. So what’s your takeaway message to people looking to either get into the industry … ?

Ann Marie:          I think the question needs to be asked when you’re looking for a coach, “How have they helped other athletes?” Not just what they have achieved in terms of personal rewards, in terms of what they’ve actually placed or won. Does your coach work with a doctor or someone who’s actually a specialized professional in their actual realm of expertise? And then also too, it goes out to the companies as well: stop rewarding people who look like they’ve been in concentration camps.

Matt:                     Yeah, that’s funny.

Ann Marie:          So, reward health. Reward people who look like they’re actually enjoying themself up there.

Matt:                     That’s a good thing to hit on there, that you can’t really judge the success of a coach or a company or anything like that by their personal success or their personal physique. You know, you can’t just look at a person and go, “Man, that guy has got the greatest physique,” or, “When he competed in those years, his physique was amazing,” or, “Her physique was the best ever”. That’s why I’m picking there, that’s why I’m using their products and that’s why I’m picking that coach.

Ann Marie:          That’s right, so-

Matt:                     Is because they look like that, and I want to look like that. The best coaches may not have necessarily been the best athletes.

Ann Marie:          Best experience I ever had, when I worked at the Sport Super Center as the program specialist was talking to the coaches of the sprint athletes, not to the athletes, they just-

Matt:                     Do what they’re told.

Ann Marie:          That’s exactly right! They just eat, show up, rest, whatever, and normally they’re ego-driven anyway so they just you know, everyone’s sitting on their threshold, on their pedestal, the coaches are so interesting how they actually program individual athletes, but also had this sense of commitment to them

And I find that’s what it’s missing in the fitness industry at the moment, that these people are thinking, “Okay, so how are we setting up this particular athlete for the next five years? Six years? Or even after the show, if they hadn’t enjoyed the experience, can I help them do something else?” Rather than going, oh, in round and out, you did crap, you need to diet harder, let’s put this in your system. And that’s what I found with the track and field, with thinking, “Okay, so we’ve got this event, but if the athlete’s not performing, okay, so do we need to back them off to have a rest and go again?”, opposed to just wiping them off.

Because it is run like a business. But then, as I’m saying to people, ask your potential coach, “If we come up against a problem, how are you gonna help me out of it? What are the protocols?”, or, “What are the steps to help me get well again?” Rather than just, “Oh, we just slowly gotta put carbs back into your system.”

Matt:                     Yeah. And for the coaches out there that are also, then, making unrealistic promises too … Like for example, we talked to [Layman 01:17:12], he says he takes a couple of years sometimes to fix metabolic or hormonal damage that people have done through a short period of campaigning to get a particular way. It takes them years to reverse that.

Ann Marie:          Absolutely.

Matt:                     So-

Jeff:                       You’ve got some good friends in-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 01:17:24] Unrealistic expectations, so … [crosstalk 01:17:28] Well, the problem is, if you were to ring a [inaudible 01:17:31] then you’re gonna ring up and speak to someone like … And Luke might say, it’s gonna take me two to three years to get you back to our deal. You got [Chris Thomas 01:17:40] there saying, “Yeah, we’ll prep it for a couple of years, it’s gonna do that.” Then you get another bloke on and, seriously. 12 weeks, I can give you a 12 week protocol and you’re gonna be a finely-tuned athlete.

Yeah, most of these people are gonna go to their coach. We gotta understand that if you’re a coach out there making unrealistic promises, unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment. In the long run, you’re better off being more honest and basically saying, “Actually, I’ve never done this but I’m prepared to give it a go.” Or, yeah.

Ann Marie:          Just know the side effects. And ask. Always ask, “What is this? Why have you just popped it out of that container?”

Jeff:                       And that’s what you’re doing as well too, Anne-Marie, aren’t you? So if people want to get in contact directly with you, you are doing training, and you’re doing coaching as well too?

Ann Marie:          Yes.

Jeff:                       If people wanna talk to you … And maybe, I mean, they might be people out there that are concerned about some of the side effects that they’ve got.

Ann Marie:          Absolutely.

Jeff:                       And might be considering-

Matt:                     And you’re not competing anymore, are you?

Ann Marie:          No.

Jeff:                       No.

Ann Marie:          No.

Matt:                     So you can commit-

Jeff:                       So you can talk and help-

Ann Marie:          I’m very candid, and I’m very honest. And I think sometimes too, people will find that with me, not so much as I’m direct, but I’m not biased anymore. Because my main concern is people’s health. I says, why are we, you know, beating this around the bush when we really need to go straight down listen and go, “Listen, I think you need to do this.” And it is an opinion, but I always back it up with a medical concern, otherwise …

Matt and I worked close together, they go, “Listen, I’ve got this client, I’m really concerned for this reasoning,” don’t need to worry, but let’s measure it, so that way there’s something answerable to come back to make sure, “Okay, well the levels are very high, you keep pushing the liver any more, there’s gonna be a problem.” And then you’re not gonna be coming in that crispy effect. So then it’s another medication to try and get that, and that one’s being sustained and then maybe … And they are, if you don’t get the timing right, that’s six months prep down when we could actually help somebody right now.

Jeff:                       So how can people talk to you?

Ann Marie:          Okay, so you can contact me on social media, obviously. So it’s Anne-Marie Lasserre on Facebook-

Jeff:                       How do you spell the last name?

Ann Marie:          Lasserre is L, A, double S, a double-

Matt:                     [crosstalk 01:19:35] The last name. How do you spell the last name?

Ann Marie:          The last name.

Matt:                     Lasserre. Lasserre or le-seer?

Ann Marie:          It’s Lasserre. Anne-Marie Lasserre.

Matt:                     Legge. People call me Leg, but Legge.

Ann Marie:          Is it leg, though, Legge?

Matt:                     Fucked if I know.

Ann Marie:          This is like … [crosstalk 01:19:59] It’s a lot of spitting. And then obviously on Instagram, I’m probably more so on Instagram than I am on Facebook.

Matt:                     Because you get to look at more pictures and read less crap, is that right?

Ann Marie:          Because people go on Facebook, and people know I’m on it, and they’ll just use [crosstalk 01:20:10] and I’ll be like, “I don’t want to see pictures of your balls.”

Jeff:                       Well. Thanks, Anne-Marie.

Ann Marie:          Thank you for having me on, boys.

Jeff:                       [crosstalk 01:20:18] We can talk some more. I’m sure that we’re gonna get some more FAQs, and some more-

Matt:                     Oh, yeah.

Ann Marie:          Yeah.

Jeff:                       Mostly with your fitness, figure, you’re looking at competing or you’re into sports, any questions that you’ve got, send them in. And obviously we’re happy to have you back on to talk.

Ann Marie:          [crosstalk 01:20:32] To help. Yeah, for sure.

Jeff:                       As we say, at the end of the day, question everything. It’s your body and it should work to do what you want, but so long as you educate yourself on what’s gonna happen.

Ann Marie:          Just have the research and have that backed up, and then know that someone gives you an example of A, can they also give you B and C scenario to get you out of it? Because there’s nothing worse going, and I’ve had coaches go, “I don’t know what to do,” I said, “You have to know what to do, because I don’t know what’s going on here.”

Jeff:                       You’ve got me here.

Ann Marie:          To make that … yep. So to make that never happen, I made sure that was definitely covered in the back end.

Matt:                     Yeah, I know.

Jeff:                       Awesome.

Matt:                     Good idea, huh? [crosstalk 01:21:14] Thanks.

Ann Marie:          Thanks very much, lovely to talk to you boys. Thank you, it was great.

Jeff:                       We’ll see you next time.

Matt:                     Thank you.

Ann Marie:          Thank you, bye.

Speaker 2:           Thanks for listening, and remember, question everything. Well, except what we say!