Name: Julia Greffrath
Born: May 23rd, 1974
From: Hamilton (Ontario, Canada)
Height: I tell everyone that I'm 5'5", but I am only 5'4.5"
Weight: 130-135 lbs (124-129 lbs contest shape)
Competitions: fitness, figure, bodybuilding and fitness and strength challenges
Biceps Flexed: 13.5"
Years Training: 21 years
Years Competing: 7 years
Bicep Curls: 55lbs DBs for 4-6 reps
Shoulder Press: 55lbs DBs for 6-8 reps
Incline Bench: 70lbs DBs for 6-8 reps
"My weights and reps vary each workout. Since I have been competing on the IFBB Fitness Pro Circuit, I haven't been able to lift as heavy as I would like. I have been lifting on a more moderate level and focus more on re-shaping my weaknesses. I don't need anymore size.....just fine tuning....I am constantly being told that I am too muscular, so I need to tone it down a bit!!!"
Favorite Movies: Finding Nemo, Last of the Mohicans
Favorite TV Shows: Seinfeld, Will & Grace, Everybody Loves Raymond
Favorite Books: Harry Potter books, Awaken the Giant Within (Anthony Robbins)
Hobbies/Interests: "spending quality time with my family and friends, dance/choreography, track and field, reading, and hiking"
"President and Co-owner of TEAMOBRIEN Competitive Fitness, coach, fitness model and mother."
"I have been an athlete for as long as I can remember. And in all sports that I participated in, most skills came naturally. The same can be said about when I started lifting weights. I already had a good base from being so athletic, but when it came to weight training, my body responded within two weeks (10yrs old) into my program and has continued to respond according to the attention that I give it. Having said that, I guess it has taken a long time to develop my physique. As Iíve said in the past, I have been training for almost 21 years now. In the last eight years, my focus has been primarily on secondary muscle groups and working on my weaknesses.
"As a child, I always had very powerful legs. (great for tumbling, and running-powerful for sprints, but I also was very well conditioned with great muscular endurance and set some records in long distance running) My entire upper body always lacked strength.
Strongest/weakest muscle groups: "My strongest muscle groups are my biceps, back and chest. My weakest muscle groups are my abs."
On her daily motivation:
"I wake up every morning wanting to strive for perfection and I always have that extra drive of wanting to compete."
On being competitive:
"I am an athlete and I am very competitive. I hate to lose!! I have learned that competing in fitness competitions can be very subjective and not all judges are going to like what you bring to the stage. I have learned that at the end of the day, I have to be happy with myself, and I canít and wonít please everyone. As long as I have done my homework and given it a 110% effort than I can be happy with what I have done and not worry so much with what the judges think. I am still learning not to be so hard on myself and just try to learn from every experience. Fitness is not like running a race; there isnít a stop watch to prove your time. It is a very subjective sport and just a panel of judges giving you their opinions."
On people's reactions to her and if she gets a lot of stares:
"Actually that seems to happen all of the time, especially on my heavy days. Members in the gym will stop and watch what Iím doing and always offer their positive or surprised opinion/comment.
"I sometimes feel like a circus side show. In the summer months, I will wear a tank top out in public and I constantly notice people stopping and staring at me. I can only imagine what big female bodybuilders go through."
"Sometimes when I'm training younger men (18-24), they seem to think that they are the hot shots of the gym. They forget to leave their ego at the door, so I put an end to that right from the get go. So when I'm demonstrating the exercise, I rep out an exercise at a weight I know they will struggle with. After watching their first set (struggling the entire time), they immediately know what I'm talking about and puts them their place. Bottom line...leave your ego at the door!"
On her first experiences as an IFBB pro:
"Earning my pro card at the 2004 Canadian Fitness Championships was an amazing experience. I was on such a high that only six weeks later I decided to make my Pro Debut at the SouthWest USA Pro Cup in Dallas. I ended up winning all four rounds, the overall title, was awarded the Horizon Award, and qualified for the 2004 Fitness Olympia!
"The Fitness Olympia was an overwhelming experience and one that I will never forget. I couldnít believe that I was finally there competing with the best fitness athletes in the world. These were girls I only read about in the magazines! I ended up placing 9th overall.
"My third pro show was the Arnold Classic. This show was the absolute best. We were treated so well and I felt like I had earned my way there. I finished 10th overall. I was voted Rookie of the Year by Ironman Magazine and was awarded the 2004 CBBF MVP athlete of the year. I then went on to compete at the Europa Super Show and placed 3rd overall which once again qualified me for the 2005 Fitness Olympia. Two weeks after the Europa Super show, I competed at the Charlotte Bulk Nutrition show where I placed 3rd overall and then two weeks after that, I went on to compete at the 2005 Fitness Olympia. I placed 8th overall and placed 2nd in the routine round."
On her personal role models:
"My mom is my biggest role model. She raised my sister and I on a single income and sometimes even worked two jobs to make ends meet. She never let my sister and I know how tough things really were and she always made sure we never went without things. My mom has always encouraged and believed in me at whatever I have decided to do and she has been my biggest support system. She is also my best friend.
"Within the last few years, my father has become a role model for me. He has finally realized that family is more important than anything else in life. He is someone who admitted his mistakes in life and genuinely stepped up to the plate. Because he has tried to make changes, I now see him as another role model in my life. It has made me realize that people can change and also that I can forgive."
"I will always go to the gym and lift weights, no matter what! My future goals in the fitness industry are to be a role model and help others reach their fitness goals, to continue to improve on my weaknesses and to continue to climb up the pro ranks.