Tremblin’ over Sylvia Tremblay
In just a few short years, Sylvia Treblay has not only demonstrated that she is tough competition, but she has shot to the top of her sport almost overnight. Born in Montreal, Canada and raised in Laprarie (a small town on the south shore of Montreal Island), Sylvia has taken the Fitness Canada Pageant and TSN series by storm. For three years in a row she has been the Canadian Champion. Poised to take on the Fitness Universe Pageant, we spoke to her about her reasons for choosing to be a fitness athlete.
“I’m from a family of 4. My sister, Line, is 7 years younger than I am. At the age of 2 I was hyperactive – jumping and climbing everywhere. My parents went crazy sometimes! At 4, they enrolled me in classical ballet. At 5, it was figure skating and at 8, ballet jazz which I pursued for nearly 8 years. I stopped dancing in high school to do sports. After high school, I started to work and stopped all of my activities. 7 years after and an extra 25 pounds! I decided to do something to be in shape again. I went to a gym and started to do intensive cardio training. I fell in love with aerobic step class and I decided to become an aerobic step instructor. I taught step and aerobics for 6 years. I really enjoyed doing it because I love to help people to get in shape and to be happy. I like teaching workout classes in particular because I have to get my students to like training. I have to make the class fun so they don’t focus on their hard work. So, I motivate them in any way I can, and I also have to show them the right moves so they don’t hurt themselves.”
She recently won the Fitness America Pageant, for the first time, and the Fitness Canada Pageant, for the third year in a row. The first competition she entered was in 1997 and has done around 20 competitions since then. At the beginning she got many second place. In August of 1999 she won her first competition.
She got started in fitness after joining a gym in 1997. The owners came to her and spoke to her about competing in fitness. They said she had good potential to perform in that kind of sport. They loaned her a videocassette of the 1996 Fitness America Pageant. As soon as she watched it and saw the girls doing their routines and how much they were in shape she said, “Oh my God! I’m never going to be able to do that!” But, the next thing she knew she was performing on stage.
It was only 6 weeks after that and was very surprised to win second place. Needless to say, she totally fell in love with the sport. Her ultimate goal became to participate in the Fitness America Pageant Nationals and two years later in November of 1999 after qualifying in several regional contests including the Fitness America Pageant Connecticut Regional event in October 1998.
Sylvia trains all year long in different ways, depending on what time of year. Off season (around 6 months before a competition) she trains more for muscle tone and as the competition gets closer she changes her training and does less weight training and more cardiovascular and practicing her routine as much as she can.
“From one athletic point of view, my biggest obstacle was that I didn’t do a lot of gymnastics when I was young. In these competitions many girls are ex-gymnasts and that shows in their choreography, I have had to learn to do these jumps and start training with gymnastics. At 31 years old, I have to tell you that it is not easy!”
“From another point of view, my second biggest obstacle is the financial part. These competitions cost a small fortune in trainers, dietary supplements, clothing designers, and traveling. I faced this problem many times and sometimes I couldn’t do as many competitions because of lack of money.”
“The best advice I can give is to make it a priority instead of saying ‘I should’ it is not enough to wish it or think about it to succeed. You must make it part of your daily life. That way, training becomes fun instead of work. Don’t wait until tomorrow, start today!”