Its been a huge year for Johanna Mountfort with her winning the Ms Athletic Universe at the WFF Universe and ofcourse the Go Figure 'Figure of the Year' Award capping off a long run of success at regional, national and international level in 2013.

Before we let Johanna sit back relax with a well earned cup of tea, fellow athlete Sarah Parr interviewed Johanna to find out some of her highlights and address those negative rumours that had been circulating about her! Separated at birth; Sarah and Jo

1) First of all, could you briefly sum up the highlights of your year of 2013?

Well this year has really been the pinnacle of the last 5 years for me. I have been unbeaten since August 2011 and the titles have just been building and building… which has been an incredible ladder to climb and one which I'm proud to have worked very hard and consistently for.

This year winning the Overall Ms WFF titles at the NABBA WFF Christchurch Grand Prix and the Gold Coa
st Southern Hemispheres were my 8th and 9th consecutive Overall titles (including three Ms NZ titles). So then to fly to Greece and compete in the WFF Universe and win the 2013 Ms Athletic Universe title was just the best way to top off my Figure career to date. I am still pinching's all still a bit surreal as I have been visualizing a World title for t
he last 4 years.


2) What do you think are necessary personality traits to help achieve at an international level?

Self-belief, discipline and bravery. You have to be unafraid of not placing but be determined to go there to give it your everything. I went to the Universe to win....there was no question about that, however I was prepared for any possible outcome.

I did go there assured that I had enough experience under my belt and enough titles to go there confident, to bring my very best condition and fight for what I knew I was capable of achieving.

3) What do you think are necessary physical traits to possess in order to succeed in bodybuilding?

There is no denying the fact that you need some excellent genetics. Good symmetry, balance and proportion are necessary as well as a natural ability to build and retain muscle. I personally think that as well as these genetic factors you need to have been brought up with a fighting spirit, highly competitive, positive and unafraid of very hard work. Mental strength is crucial and this can be a genetic gift but it also can be developed over time.


4) What are the best aspects or perks that have come with greater recognition and success? How has your life changed since if it has?

With consistent winning comes the fan base, the profile and the ability to secure sponsors. In order to retain that sponsorship you have to be willing to represent the sponsors brand and promote it. If you make the brand money, you will retain your sponsorship. If you don't, they will quickly do the numbers and you will no longer have it!

My sponsorship provided by Body Science International is very generous providing me with all the supplementation I need as well as training wear and compression wear, however I am a dedicated ambassador to the brand and I increase sales with the promoting that I do. I am passionate about the product, so it's win/win.

Coupled with my success on stage this sponsorship has increased my profile, which in turn increases my business potential. The high quality supplementation allows me to maintain and improve on my condition for each and every show as the products are cutting edge. This not only saves me money on supplements but also increases my business potential. Again its win/win, but the common denominator for all of the above is passion. I love my work, I love my sponsors’ products, I love competing.

Some other brands I am fortunate enough to be an ambassador for are sunTANon Extreme Competition Colour (a well-known Australian competition tan) FITforever-Gym-Range (bright, funky, flattering fitness wear for women) and also Go Figure Low Carb Pasta (very low carb rice, noodles and pasta made from a vegetable fibre called Konjac)

5) What if any are the detractions or negatives that you’ve experienced?

There aren’t many. With the profile and the success comes the sceptics. The people who might be envious or bitter and are looking for any possible way to bring you down. People who disregard the fact that maybe you just work bloody hard and make the assumption that you are in some way cheating. I have had to put up with my share of rumours that hold no truth.

A fictitious rumour that has been circulating about me for almost two years accuses me of using banned substances, of failing drug tests and of officials tampering with my drug tests, of titles and prizes being taken away from me and of being banned from natural bodybuilding federations due to the above.

All of this is completely false. I am extremely proud of being a 100% drug free athlete. I always have been and always will be and any authority is welcome to test me any day of the week, on season, off season at a competition or in the gym!

I have never failed any drug test (and would happily take a lie detector test to prove it!) All I am is passionate about natural bodybuilding and am blessed with not only excellent genetics, but a background in classical ballet which I took to a top professional level and this is the basis of my physique and my discipline.

Rumours are aimed to create negativity about an individual. The only way I can overcome this is to keep doing what I believe in and to keep doing it well.


6) How do you find the maintenance/off season phase after being highly competitive? Has it been an adjustment? Hard/strange/easy? How do you divert the energy you would have put into yourself before?

I am currently off season. Initially (after the WFF Universe) I found it a challenge. I was unmotivated as I was used to training hard for a very competitive goal. It took me a few weeks of forcing myself to train and there were days when I was so frustrated I wanted to scream!

I got around it by starting to train using techniques and variables that I wouldn’t often use when training myself for competition. I stopped using split programming and got back to my training roots of getting creative with almost any piece of equipment or anything I could find that could be used as a training tool. I found the change in style refreshing and found my training mojo again. When possible I trained with my husband, Kerry, who is very good with creative training and we had some fun coming up with crazy stuff!

I have diverted the energy back into my family and business and found even more passion for my work. I have loved being able to really enjoy time with Kerry and my children and not constantly be thinking about the next meal or training session or competition.


7) What made you decide to get into judging?

Passion for the industry and the want to give back. Organizers, Officials and Judges are just a few of the people who voluntarily give up their time to make a bodybuilding competition take place.

I have competed in over 20 competitions in the last 6 years. I have had such a positive experience on the whole and gained an incredible amount of knowledge and respect. To be able to give back is very rewarding and I want to see our best federations continuing being able to put on shows for the athletes. As the current Ms Universe, it is also time to step down for a little while and watch others climb the exciting ladder that I have.


8) How did you find your first judging experience?

I thoroughly enjoyed being a NABBA-WFF test judge at the Nationals. I ensured that I was familiar with the criteria for each class and had discussed in detail the judging process with NABBA-WFF Head Judge and President Alex Simays, I also practiced my scoring at home using DVDs. This meant that on the day I was not flustered and could make accurate placings for each class.

My fellow judges and test judges were a lot of fun to be around and I loved every second of the day. The standard of athletes was exceptional ensuring there were some challenging classes to judge. My scores were consistent with the other judges so I’m looking forward to doing more!


9) Bodybuilding is an ever evolving sport, how do you see bodybuilding changing in future? Any categories you’d like to see onstage?

Bodybuilding is no longer a small community. Over the last few years we have seen it becoming more and more mainstream. The eyes of the public are slowly becoming more accepting of our sport. There is still a long way to go but there now is a bit more respect and acceptance of what is involved, the more people who compete, the more understanding there will be.

I think it is important as representatives of our sport to always conduct ourselves well in the public eye, to show commitment and discipline, manners and etiquette in the gym and to help others realize that we choose this as a way of life and we find it positive. It is not for everyone that is for sure and there will always be some negativity attached to bodybuilding if we do not work to represent our sport in a positive light and conduct ourselves positively.


10) Plans for 2014

You will see me around! :)

I will be continuing in my company, Physical Edge, (based at JustWorkout, Forrest Hill, North Shore) training and coaching clients for competition working alongside my husband Kerry Beven and also in conjunction my dear friend, nutritionist, Giselle McArtney (Fuel For Bodz).

I will continue to host posing workshops for women’s classes as well as one on one posing sessions. A huge passion of mine is choreography and I adore designing posing routines for women who are competing (experienced and novice), I will be appearing on the NABBA-WFF judging panel at their competitions. No competitions for myself are set in stone at this stage.



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Facebook: Johanna Mountfort

Jo with her Go Figure Award

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