Where and when were you born?
I was born in Potchefstroom (in the North West Province), South Africa, in 1981.
Were you involved in sports or fitness prior to bodybuilding and how did you get started with weight training?
I played tennis for the National South African Team since I was 16 years old. In that same year I also started competing for the ITF World Rankings. So from ages 16 - 18 years I traveled all over the world, playing in ITF tournaments to move up the Junior World Tennis rankings. My junior tennis career went very well and I achieved a high world ranking. When I was 18 years old I was approached by different universities from the States offering me a full tennis scholarship. In the end, I decided on Miami University. My freshmen year was very prosperous but unfortunately I suffered a serious back injury during the start of my sophomore year. My playing ability was greatly reduced due to my injury, as well as limited time on the tennis court due to the pain. I still played for Miami but half way through my senior year I had to put down my rackets forever due to the severity and progression of the injury.
After graduating from Miami with an Exercise Science degree, I returned to South Africa, where I worked as the Head Personal Trainer and Nutritionist at Muscle Fitness Gym - one of the biggest bodybuilding and fitness gyms in South Africa. It crossed my mind a few times to start competing in bodybuilding - I am very competitive but because of my back injury there really wasn't any sport for me to compete in! I could not run or move around. Bodybuilding was the only sport left in which I could possibly compete. I have always been interested in the sport because of its strict nature in nutrition and training - I loved the bodybuilding magazines! The owner of the gym (Muscle Fitness), Paul Zowitsky, approached me one day and said that he wants to train me for bodybuilding because I have good genetics. And that's where it all started ... January, 2005...
What is your competition history?
Overall, Cincinatti NPC, USA
2nd, Indianapolis NPC
Overall, Muscle Evolution IFBB Grand Prix, South Africa
Overall, Lichtenburg ME Grand Prix Qualifier
Overall, North West Provincials
Overall, Boksburg National Show, South Africa
Overall, South African Novice Nationals
Overall, North West Provincials
Winner, North West Novice
4th, North West Provincials
2nd, Rustenburg Show, South Africa
Which contest has been your biggest success; which has had the most meaning to you?
Winning the Muscle Evolution Grand Prix in South Africa was definately my biggest success and winning this show also has the most meaning to me. This is the biggest show of the year in South Africa (I guess you could call it the "Olympia of South Africa" - it was broadcast on national TV, etc, etc). This was also my first show on the senior circuit in South Africa. Nobody knew about me because I have been studying in the States. I went home to South Africa to visit my family for a few months, Paul told me about this big show, so I prepared for about 2 months and flew down to Cape Town with Paul the day before the show. Off course the women who I was competing against were all very well known in the bodybuilding world in South Africa and for years nobody has even come close to touching then in terms of placing at shows. I have always read about them in the bodybuilding magazines.
Up to this point in time, no emotion have come close to exceeding the emotions I felt that night when they announced the second place, and I realized that I have won. When they lifted my hands for the victory pose, I felt a feeling of accomplishment, joy, fulfillment ... oh just every possible positive emotion ... that feeling I can’t even describe. I won in front of my family, my friends, and a crowd that gave me a standing ovation ... even though they didn't know anything about me.
Please share some stats with us.
Off Season Contest
Off-season weight: 180 lbs 160 lbs
Shoulders: 50 in
Chest: 41 in
Biceps: 17 in
Forearms: 13 in
Waist: 34 in
Quads: 26 in
Calves: 17 in
Please tell me something about your training routine (i.e.: how many days per week / training split /cardio, etc.)
I lift 6 days per week – Off season and pre-contest. My training split is as follow:
Monday – Chest
Tuesday – Back, Sprints
Wednesday – Legs
Thursday – Shoulders
Friday – Arms
Saturday – Legs, Sprints
I train abs 3 times a week. And do 30 min cardio every morning – off season and pre-contest. Pre-contest I add 30 min cardio after PM weight training.
What is your favorite exercise in the gym and which one you don’t like so much?
There is not a muscle group that I don’t like training – I do like all the muscle groups. I just don’t look forward to training legs with my trainer – but that’s just due to the amount of pain inflicted! But then again, all the muscle groups hurt when I train with him … but for some reason legs just hurt a whole lot more …
With my trainer there are no favorites!
What is your favorite food?
Precontest: Chicken and also eggwhites I hate broccoli!
Cheat day: Everything under the sun
Please describe a typical day in the life of Ilze Meyer.
5:15 Wake up + coffee
6:00 Cardio + abs/stretch
7:10 POW Shake
7:30 Shower and get dressed
9:00 Meal 2
9:30 Going to class (I am currently finishing up my Master’s degree in Health Promotion) and do school work and research
12:00 Meal 3
14:30 Pre-Workout Shake
15:00 PM Training (and cardio)
16:30 POW 5 and do Bible Study
17:30 Meal 6
18:00 School Work
21:00 Meal 7
21:30 In bed
What do you enjoy most about the bodybuilding/fitness lifestyle?
The discipline. The whole lifestyle. I love being disciplined in my training, and especially in my nutrition. I also love the individualism op the sport. Everybody always wants to lose body fat, but no one wants to put in the effort to achieve it. I feel that me, and all the other bodybuilders and fitness or figure athletes, have a goal and do what we have to, to achieve our goal – becoming extreme in discipline, sacrifice, and priorities. This characteristic sets us apart from the majority of people, thus we are individualists. That is what is so appealing to me about this sport, we say we want to accomplish something … and then we do it. In the end it just comes down to who had the biggest desire …
What are your competition goals or personal future goals?
My competition goal is to have the best conditioning on stage that I possibly can achieve. As far as specific body parts – I need to work much harder on getting my legs and glutes defined. I just recently started competing here in the States and by this have climbed about 5000 steps in terms of bodybuilding knowledge and contest prep. My personal future goal is to win my pro card. My short term goal is winning the Arnold Amateur in 2009. I will do everything I can to be in my best condition ever for this show – then it is up to the judges and God’s Will for me.