Where and when were you born?
Stillwater, Oklahoma, 1965
What is your profession?
Were you involved in sports or fitness prior to bodybuilding and how did you get started with weight training?
Started dance lessons at age 5 (honestly, because I was such a klutz!) and continued ballet, jazz, theatre, hip-hop, country, ballroom, salsa, etc and teaching group fitness (all kinds of aerobics and yoga) for over 20 years.
Was it a goal for you to compete in bodybuilding competitions right from the beginning or was it something that grew in your mind as time went on and you saw the progress in your body?
I tried a couple of fitness competitions because a friend talked me into competing with her. I did OK, 4th and 5th place I think but then my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) told me that I should really try bodybuilding if I wanted to win because I had great genetics for it. Even though he had been training female competitors since 81 and even a couple of Olympia contestants and knew what he was talking about, this was still hard for me to believe at the time as I was about 5Ē8Ē and 135 pounds, no self-confidence and still had a lean dancer physique. I didnít even tell anyone I was going to compete! As it turned out, I won my first show! It was the Colorado State and a national qualifier! Then I was hooked! It gave me the opportunity to get back on stage and have fun again.
Can you give me your competition history?
1999 Colorado State, novice, heavyweight and overall, 2001 Rocky Mountain heavyweight and overall, 2003 Jr. Nationals 4th place heavyweight, 2005 Rocky Mountain heavyweight and overall, 2006 Colorado Pro/Am heavyweight and overall, 2007 Masters Nationals 9th place heavyweight (ouch!!!, big learning experience!)
Which contest has been your biggest success; which has had the most meaning to you?
Winning my first show was awesome and I have things that Iím proud of from all of them but honestly I donít feel like Iíve really reached my peak yet. I want to go into the next show feeling like Iíve given 110% in all areas of training and diet. I just want to keep making improvements.
Please tell me something about your training routine (ie: how many days per week / training split /cardio, etc.) Off- season I probably train 4-5x week. Pre-contest is 6 days a week usually just a single body part each day. The weights usually donít take more than 45 min to an hour and cardio is 1-1 Ĺ hrs pre-contest. Iíve tried different routines though the years and found for this past show that really high reps i.e. 15-20 really work well for me. I gained size, shape and vascularity that I hadnít seen before. Itís unbelievably difficult to do increasing weights each set, long sets, high volume and heavy weight but it gets your conditioning up! This next time I want to look my very best!
What is your favorite exercise in the gym and which one you donít like so much?
I guess Iím more of a ďpullerĒ than a ďpusherĒ. Back and biís are probably my favorites to train. I donít like chest much, injured my shoulders badly in an accident a few years back so I have to be careful with them.
Which body part is your best in your opinion?
Probably my calves even though I donít train them very hard. I think calves are largely genetic, and all the years of dance didnít hurt! Also my traps and delts tend to stand out. Although I think theyíve fallen behind lately. Iím working to bring them more in proportion to the rest of me. There is ALWAYS stuff to work on!
If you donít mind would you give me some stats (best lifts and some body measurements)?
Iím 5í8Ē 170 right now. My arms and calves are usually 16Ē although they get close to 17Ē when Iím off-season. Like I said, I donít really do much ďheavy ď lifting. Itís fun to be strong but I really want to be able to continue to do this for the rest of my life and if I always lift super-heavy, I feel like Iíll just trash my joints, which are pretty small anyway. Iíve had a few health issues through the years too, which make you learn to train smart, not always harder. I usually train more volume these days 15-20 and sometimes even sets of 50 and 60! That being said, my biís are wimpy so even 135 bar curls are really hard, I prefer dumbbells on most things because they are kinder to the joints. My calves can pretty much handle anything, the stack on any machine for reps or I usually work w/about 300 on the smith. Iíve done bent over rows with 225 for six and we used to load up that t-bar pretty heavy too. I like pullovers and deads and those kind of old-school back things. Bench really bugs my shoulders so I know Iíve done 225 but not much more than that. Wish I had a buck for every time someone has asked me ďhow muchya bench?Ē I did the 100 pound dbs flat bench one night for six and that felt awesome!!! My incline is usually stronger than my flat for some reason so thatís my favourite. Iíve done seated db shoulder presses overhead with the 80ís and tricep presses with the 115 lb db for reps as well.
I canít even remember my max on the leg press but I do know one night I did 1600 for 15 reps and they said no girl had ever done that so I was pretty proud of that!
What do you enjoy about training for competition...what do you enjoy about the 'off season'?
I really enjoy being hard in competition shape. Abs, cuts everywhere, and no jiggle anywhere. It even feels good just to have a schedule and to see what can happen with enough discipline. Off-season of course, itís nice not to stress about what you are eating or not eating. We love going to the movies and it can be stressful when you have to pack turkey and edamame instead of enjoying the popcorn and other movie junk!
Please describe a typical day in the life of Laurie Larson.
If I donít have a morning client, my hubby and I enjoy sleeping in. Then I kick the dogs out for awhile while I make their breakfast (they love to sleep in too!) We have a shake and get the day going. Working out, eating, hanging out with each other and training a few people. I thank the Lord every day for being so blessed. I also have the most wonderful husband in the world and we have been accused of being each otherís favorite hobby/obsession but I donít think thatís a bad thing!
Please tell me about what you do when you donít work out (hobbies, what do you do to relax?, etc.)
I really enjoy cooking and gardening. We plan on moving soon so landscaping the new place should be quite a project! Like I said, we enjoy going to the movies and out to eat. We love to travel (especially Mexico!) We also have 4 boys between us, ages 12, 15, 18, and almost 20 so we spend time with them as well.
What do you enjoy most about the bodybuilding/fitness lifestyle?
Meeting the other competitors, the photographers, photo shoots, and of course, being in contest shape! I really enjoy helping others to reach their fitness goals as well, both competitors and just regular people who need help to get their programs together. Iíve had such awesome friends and fans and my husband. I look forward to getting my website put together (need to get ON THAT! ) so I can keep in better touch with everyone. They all inspire me so much!!!! Even people like you, Andy, have helped me so much when I was feeling down to get back out there and do it again and do it better!!!
Tell me something interesting about yourself, something people may be surprised to hear.
I have a crazy long tongue that seems to surprise some people! That I have 4 teenagers, And Iím a helluva cook when I put my mind to it!
What are your competition goals or personal future goals?
I want to finally get a website up soon and may try the webcam thing just to see how it goes. Iím planning on one or two show next year, not sure yet which ones. Possibly the Las Vegas just because we love going to Vegas and all our friends would go. Iím thinking Masters Nationals again next year too.
Website address: coming soon, Iíll keep you posted
Laurie does not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!