Whenever MuscleWeek Senior Editor Shane Ray comes to visit me in New York, I always try to keep him locked in my basement. Why? Because the guy cannot sit still. Take last week for example — I ran out to grab a pizza and come back and WHOOOSH! He’s gone. Next thing I know I get a text message from him saying, ‘Borrowed your car. On way to Jersey to meet up with hot bikini chick. Be back l8r.’ That’s precisely what I’m talking about. Fortunately, in this instance, ‘hot bikini chick’ wasn’t secret code lingo for ‘schmoe with cash’. Shane hit Route 4 and sat down at a roadside diner with New Jersey’s own Laura Jeanne — a stunningly gorgeous NPC competitor known for both her rocking body and great sense of humor. For sure, this is an interview not to be missed!
MW: Laura Jeanne Niedermayer. How the heck are you? Any relation to Scott who used to play for the New Jersey Devils? Tell us a little about yourself.
LN: Hey there! Doing just fine for a Friday, planning what I’m going to train at the gym later and answering your questions instead of doing actual work this morning, so life is good! No relation to any of the hockey players, unfortunately. I don’t think I have any famous relatives at all, for that matter.
MW: You’re a “Joisy Girl”. What do you like best about New Jersey? Does the portrayal of New Jersians in MTV’s JERSEY SHORE bug you a little bit?
LN: Don’t even get me started on that whole mess. I’m from SOUTH Jersey, which is so completely different from North Jersey and those idiots on the show it’s like a completely different state. A college friend once related North and South Jersey to North and South Korea, and I think that pretty aptly describes how different parts of this state are haha. All Jersey Shore does is give the rest of the world the impression all people from NJ are obnoxious idiots. I went to school in Delaware and even back then people hated on NJ, and it’s only gotten worse since Jersey Shore started rotting people’s brains. So thanks for that, MTV!
MW: So how did you fall into the world of competitive Bikini? What drew you to the stage? Were you into Figure first and then flipped or did you immediately go into Bikini?
LN: I was prepping for a fitness shoot in August 2010 that was canceled at the last minute, and I wanted to do something while I was still in good shape. Back then, it was the best shape I’d been in to date. My boyfriend at the time suggested I try competing at an upcoming show and after looking it up, I thought, “Why the hell not?” I had nothing to lose and thought it would be fun to try something new. I train better when I have a specific goal in mind as well. I’ve only done 3 shows so far though, and will be switching divisions this year. Bikini just isn’t for me anymore.
MW: What is the difference between Figure, Physique and Bikini in the NPC these days? The gap between the 3 is narrowing at every show. I seen Bikini girls on stage with a perfect visible 6 Pack and capped delts.
LN: Ugh, tell me about it. I don’t understand WHAT they’re looking for in bikini half the time. Personally, I love muscle and I love seeing definition on women. It’s sexy. Defined abdominals, capped delts, nice toned arms and legs…I’ll take it all. Which is why I don’t understand how these girls aren’t rewarded/placing well. It seems like they’re criticizing the harder bikini girls for being too muscular or having too much definition more and more. It’s mind boggling to me that the judges actually tell these girls they need to lose muscle or come in softer to better portray the “more feminine” look bikini is supposed to represent. And I think now, with the introduction of physique, they’re going to want figure girls to come in softer and less muscular, which means bikini girls will need to be even smaller and softer to do well. It doesn’t surprise me competitors are so confused and stressed out about what the “ideal” physique in each division should be nowadays, or that it’s difficult to tell the difference. It always seems to be changing.
MW: Some outsiders looking in believe Bikini Competitors can simply waltz off of their shift at Hooters and walk on stage without ever having to train or diet. Comment on that, please.
LN: Hahaha. Honestly, some competitors look like they did exactly that! It takes guts to get on stage and compete, but a skinny waist and big boobs don’t automatically make you a bikini competitor. They just makes you skinny with a big rack haha. This is a sport and I personally feel you should LOOK like a physically fit athlete, not just be rewarded for having a small waist, big boobs and hardly any muscle tone. And no, I’m not saying that or hating on anyone just because I’m short and stumpy and have muscle. I know many, many competitors put in hours of work to prepare for the stage…but it’s certainly not all competitors.
MW: How intensely do you train for a show? Do you follow basic bodybuilding type of movements or is their a whole other approach to Bikini competitions?
LN: My first show I had no idea what to expect, so I didn’t really do much to alter the way I was training other than increase my cardio to lean out more. The second and third shows I had a better idea what to expect and was able to dial down my training accordingly. However, bikini training killed me mentally. To do well in bikini, I have to really cut back on my weight training. My body can build and hold onto muscle pretty easily, so to try and please the bikini judges I completely stopped training arms, legs, pretty much EVERYTHING. It was a nightmare and I really struggled with it. I know some bikini competitors are fine with only doing cardio to stay in the “ideal” bikini shape, but that’s not me. I physically CAN’T do it. I train like a guy and I go hard with every exercise – in fact, last night I was training chest and put up 65lb dbs for 2 sets of 6. If I stepped on stage now, I’d be a bikini monster! My training is intense all the time, it doesn’t increase just because I’m prepping for a show. I train how I want to train and do what makes me happy. Then I guess I’ll see what division I fall into from there. But unless things change drastically, there’s no way that division is going to be bikini!
MW: Laura. I hate to say it but I know of more than a handful of local Bikini Competitors who are telling me they are considering dabbling with alchemy and pharmacy to achieve a better stage physique. Are drugs necessary at the National level for a Bikini Competitor?
LN: Is this a real question? Um, NO, absolutely not!! Especially the way the division seems to be heading in a softer direction for the girls. What on earth would you need drugs for? Why does EVERYONE want to take the easy way out these days?? What about putting in the hard work and EARNING your physique? You don’t even need to come in completely shredded up and vascular at the bikini level. Train hard and SMART, eat right, and you’ll see the results you want without having to resort to fooling around with drugs or any of that nonsense.
MW: Have you ever watched Toddlers & Tiaras Or even Little Miss Perfect ? Is there a difference between those pageants than a NPC Bikini show? How about Ms. America? What’s the difference?
LN: I haven’t watched either one of them so I can’t really comment, other than to say personality and stage presence play a huge part in bikini judging, which is probably very similar to how the girls on those shows have to work their respective stages. Biggest difference between a bikini show and Miss America pageant (besides the lack of formal wear, interviews and sashes of course) would be the physique/level of muscle on the girls and the show preparation. Yes, bikini girls are by far the least toned of any division, but they (should) still have lean muscle and definition. The last time I tuned in for Miss America I think all the girls I saw were absolutely drop dead gorgeous, but they’re all lacking truly fit physiques…plenty of “skinny fat” girls in that pageant.
MW: If you met a Playboy model who says she goes to the gym 5x’s a week, eats clean and does cardio to stay in shape for photo spreads. Would you call her an athlete? Does a NPC Bikini Competitor have the right to call themselves athletes? Explain.
LN: A good personal friend of mine, Patrick Raquet, told me something awhile back that I think sums up anything and everything I could possibly say on this subject – “There’s a huge difference between ‘working out’ and training. Anyone can work out, not everyone can train. What are you doing? Cuz I train my f*ckin’ ass off.” So yea…that’s a negative, Ghostrider. I would call your Playboy girl a model, NOT an athlete. I am always pushing myself to new levels in the gym, but there are plenty of people who are content just going through the motions, doing hours of cardio and crunches and considering that a good workout. And that’s fine. For them. Doesn’t qualify you as an athlete though, just someone who is in decent shape and not a sloppy mess (like your Playboy model). Bikini competitors do train; whether they’re using 10 lb weights or really busting their asses, they are still working hard and focusing on being fit and achieving their fitness goals. So you know what? More power to them! Competing is definitely not for everyone, but it does take a strong mentality and dedication to prep for a show and step on stage. I would say with the amount of time and effort put into show prep qualifies them as athletes.
MW: Is winning a PRO CARD the ultimate goal for you? What does a PRO CARD really bring you?
LN: Hmm, turn pro and you get…a pat on the back? And a chance to earn some moolah if you place well! No, earning my pro card is not the ultimate goal. I feel like so many competitors think turning pro will instantly change their lives, but pro competitors still have to work just as hard, if not harder, to promote themselves, get noticed, earn sponsorships, etc. I enjoy competing and everything that goes into show prep, but my ultimate goal in life is not to earn my pro card. I’ve met girls who do nothing but compete in show after show throughout the year; and while I admire their determination and dedication, I just don’t have the time or money to do it myself, the way my life is structured right now.
MW: They say that “shit rolls downhill”. The bodybuilding girls resent the Figure & Physique girls. The Figure girls resent the Bikini girls. Do you feel the friction backstage?
LN: Actually, I’ve never experienced anything negative like that. I’m sure plenty of girls (and guys) in all divisions have mixed feelings about other divisions, but I haven’t encountered any bitterness. I’ve had great conversations with figure girls backstage at shows and haven’t sensed any bad vibes being directed at the bikini girls.
MW: Who does someone so into her body and the stage find companionship with? Is your only option to date an inflated broke-dick dog, lying bodybuilder who mooches all of your resources or do you go against the norm and date men not paranoid about bill collectors calling them or where they will score their next bottle of Trenbolone?
LN: I’ll take the roided out scumbag dickbag bodybuilder please, absolutely! Hahaha I think it’s definitely easier to be in a relationship with someone who understands the sport and can relate to what you’re going through/offer constant support. I’ve heard horror stories from women who have boyfriends or husbands who aren’t supportive and don’t understand competing. Or, who compete themselves but are overly insecure/jealous and just don’t want their woman showing them up or succeeding where they can’t lol. I’ve never dated anyone who wasn’t equally as involved in the sport as myself, but I don’t think I’d be opposed to dating someone who wasn’t as into training and this lifestyle as myself. It would definitely make preparing for a show or shoot more difficult, not having the constant support and understanding, but could be worth it when the other option is a jealous, overbearing asshole bodybuilder.
MW: It seems like even Bikini Competitors need a “coach” these days. Who helps you with your prep?
LN: I’m sure at times it’s much easier and less stressful to have a coach tell you exactly what to do, what to eat and when and where it should all be done, rather than trying to figure it all out on your own through trial and error. However, I’ve managed to get myself into pretty decent shape for both competitions and photo shoots without having to hire a coach, pay for a plan or join a team. Would it benefit me to have a full time coach? Possibly. Would a coach have instant answers to any questions about diet or training I couldn’t learn myself over time? Sure. But for now, I’m satisfied with friends and loved ones who know all the things I don’t giving me the answers and pointers I need when I ask for help.
MW: So you don’t get brainwashed into joining the scary religious extremist cult known as The Bombshells? Where do you stand on Bombshells and that whole little sorority?
LN: Haha no, I haven’t been brainwashed by anyone. I’ve met a lot of bikini girls who have joined up with the Bombshells, but that’s just not for me. If you need the training and diet advice and constant monitoring and that’s what motivates you and keeps you on track, hey, go for it. If you like being part of a team and having the comradery to motivate you to train harder, as well as the money to burn to be on the team, go for it. The girls I know who are Bombshells are relatively normal (no crazy, brainwashed weirdos) but I don’t get involved with all that. I’m a firm believer in doing what you feel works best for you and will get you the results YOU want. But you know, I have to say — I’ve talked to three girls in the last two weeks who actually left the Bombshells because they didn’t feel it was the best fit for them and they weren’t satisfied with the plans they received. Just a little interesting tidbit for you – not everyone can be brainwashed (winks).
MW: I am not saying the PUBLIC FACE of that team doesn’t know what she is doing but is she a nutritional wizard or does something stink down there in southern Florida?
LN: I’ve heard mixed things about the Bombshells. Several of their girls have gone pro and done very well for themselves, which is awesome. However, and I’m not trashing anyone or anyone’s training by any means, but it does make me wonder sometimes when I see girls who are part of the team complaining online about how their muscles are so weak now, or how they “can’t” train certain body parts anymore because they need to lean out, lose muscle size, do hours of cardio, etc. Like I said before, I love my muscles and my curves and I want to keep them and develop them even more, not lose everything I’ve busted my ass for just to do well on the bikini stage. Then again, my end goal isn’t to earn my pro card in bikini, so maybe because my priorities are different I view things differently than they do…
MW: Moving on. Laura. Who is your industry hubby? Whose glutes do you want to squeeze?
LN: Trying to get me in trouble here, Shane? Haha I’m not going to get crazy, let’s just keep it PG (winks).
MW: What is your idea of a perfect date? Describe the day/night to me.
LN: Perfect date? Hmm. I hate this question haha, I have no idea. As long as I’m with a guy who genuinely enjoys being around me, has a great sense of humor and can make me laugh, it doesn’t really matter where we are or what we’re doing.
MW: If you won a million dollars but had to spend it in 3 days how would you spend it?
LN: Pay off my house, buy a new car because mine is probably going to blow up any day now, pay off my remaining student loans, splurge on some new fitness gear, book some kickass vacations and photo shoots, help my parents out and put the rest in savings. That should do it.
MW: What are 3 items you cannot leave the house without?
LN: My phone, nalgene bottle and chapstick.
MW: Are you currently sponsored by anybody? Any company? If you can work with any company out there which one would it be? Who is your dream sponsorship?
LN: I’m not currently sponsored by any company. I guess like a lot of women would say, it would be amazing to one day be sponsored by Bodybuilding.com and follow in the footsteps of one of my industry idols, Jamie Eason. There are so many amazing companies out there though that take great care of their athletes, it would be a dream come true to be sponsored by any of them!
MW: Laura. Is there anything you would like to plug? Anything you would like to promote? How can someone get in contact with you for personal training, nutrition advice or for modeling & sponsorship opportunity?
LN: I just want to sincerely thank friends and fans for all their support, kind words and encouraging messages – seeing the positive feedback really motivates me to kick my butt and train that much harder to create something great of myself. I do have to plug my friends’ clothing line, Flag Nor Fail. They create some awesome hand-printed gear and I’m completely addicted to the brand! I rock their shirts every time I train. You can check out their gear and read up on their story at www.flagnorfail.com.
If you want to get in touch with me you can do so at any of the following:
Bonus Questions:Bon Jovi or Cinderella: Bon Jovi
Favorite Cheat Food: Taco Bell…oops
Favorite Movie: Gladiator
Favorite Travel Destination: Mexico
NJ Devils or NY Rangers: Philadelphia Flyers!
The New Jersey Devil. Real or Fake: Fake. Except for the time I was driving home from the shore alone, at like 1 am, through the Pine Barrens…then I’d say that shit was real!