The Jamie Eason Experience
An Interview with Fitness Bombshell, Jamie Eason
by Chris Shugart
You've seen Jamie Eason grace our Powerful Images section many
times. And you'd probably think that any writer assigned to
interview her would be jumping up-and-down with excitement about
the idea of getting to talk to such a gorgeous gal.
Well, you'd be wrong.
I've interviewed (and tried to interview) a lot of fitness
models and figure competitors in the past. The excitement of
getting to sit down with a real live magazine cover girl fades
fast. These types of interviews are, well, challenging
I don't want to propagate stereotypes here, but yeah, most of
these women are vacuous. Beautiful, built like goddesses, and
duller than a two-dollar Tijuana pocketknife. So I wasn't that
excited about talking to Miss Eason.
Well, I should've been. Thirty seconds into our talk it became
obvious that Jamie Eason wasn't a stereotype. With the body comes a
brain — quite a refreshing experience! Here's how the interview
went down. (Oh, and keep in mind that some of the pictures in this
interview have never appeared anywhere!)
T-Nation: How did you get started in this whole fitness thing,
Jamie? Were you always an athlete?
Jamie Eason: Growing up I'd always been active in sports and
dance, but with age came responsibility and less time to do those
things I'd once enjoyed. In 2001, with college completed and a
career established, I began to seek out fun activities or
hobbies to take up. It just so happened that 2001 was the year
that NFL football was brought back to Houston and they were
holding tryouts for the new Houston Texans cheerleading squad.
I tried out with over 1600 girls in a rigorous two-day process
and ended up one of the 35 girls chosen. It was exciting and
fun and an experience I'll never forget! After my stint as an NFL
cheerleader ended, I noticed that returning to my inactive
lifestyle was really affecting my body. I decided to join a gym and
began lifting hard and heavy.
I liked the strength gains that I was making, but it seemed as
if my clothes were getting tighter and tighter and my body only
slightly more shapely. I wasn't getting the results I hoped for at
all. So after four months of training I was about ready to throw in
the towel when I saw a girlfriend of mine, who was almost ten years
older than myself, who looked unbelievable.
We talked about our current workout programs and it became very
clear that I was missing a huge piece to the puzzle: nutrition. I
had no clue about meal frequency and portion size for my body. I
sought the help of a nutritionist and hired a trainer and I was on
my way. It only took about three months to drastically change my
I never anticipated stepping on stage and even balked at anyone
who suggested it. However, once I reached my goal of 10% body fat
it became very clear that I had achieved something few people
are able to. I ended up signing up for my first show and
coming in at about 8% body fat.
It was an amazing experience. I walked away with a pro card
my very first show! This is a new way of life for me and the
discipline gives me drive and focus. I'm hooked for
T-Nation: A pro card after one show and only a short period of
"real" training? Does that mean you're a genetic anomaly, a damn
hard worker, or both?
Jamie: I would have to say that it was a combination of
both. When I set my mind to something I go all out.
At the time when I started training, there were a lot of things
going on in my life that were beyond my control. I was in an
unhappy relationship, I was living with a difficult roommate, and I
wasn't too crazy about my job. I found comfort in the fact that I
could take control of what I was putting into my mouth and how I
was treating my body.
Exercise became a release for me. I went religiously. It was
just a happy accident that I'd been blessed with good genetics and
great people supporting me. I had a great trainer and a
nutritionist to encourage me the whole way through. It was the best
investment I ever made.
T-Nation: Okay, down to business. What are your current stats?
Jamie: I'm 30 years old, 5'2". My weight is 110 to 112 pounds in
the off-season and between 98 and 102 in-season. Body fat is 12-15%
off-season and 7-9% in-season.
I prefer to stay in shape, not only to take advantage of any
modeling opportunities that I'm lucky enough to get, but also
because allowing your body to yo-yo too much can really affect your
self-image. Once you've experienced a certain degree of
leanness, gaining even five pounds can sometimes feel like fifty.
You really have to have the right mindset and a healthy body image
T-Nation: What does your diet look like?
Jamie: I typically eat five to six meals a day (about two and a
half to three hours apart) consisting of lean protein such as
chicken, fish, turkey, or egg whites and slow digesting carbs, such
as oatmeal and sweet potatoes. I also eat lots of fresh veggies to
help fill me up and add fiber.
When I'm trying to gain muscle in the off season, I'll up my
intake of healthy fats, such as peanut butter and avocado, but
avoid combining carbs and fats together. Instead I'll eat protein
with fats and veggies and carb load, avoiding fat, about every
T-Nation: Sounds good. Let's talk training. Generally speaking,
what does your weight training schedule look like? Any "rules" you
follow when it comes to resistance training? Favorite
Jamie: I tend to gain muscle easily in my upper body and
struggle with adding size to my legs, so I hit every part of my
body once a week but train my legs twice, usually quads with calves
and hamstrings with glutes.
My favorite exercise is the walking lunge. I use the heaviest
weight possible (80 to 100 pound barbell) and do 12 walking double
lunges down the floor and 12 singles back. On days that I'm feeling
energized, I'll immediately finish the set with 12 barbell squats.
It's a killer workout! As for my only "rule"
— lift to failure and don't rest too long between
T-Nation: What about cardio?
Jamie: I'm not a huge fan of cardio. I prefer to eat clean
so that I won't need to do too much cardio. Typically I do 30
to 40 minutes of cardio about three times a week. Closer to
competition time I'll do an hour a day about five days a week and
incorporate sprints and plyometrics.
T-Nation: Where do you see most women going wrong when they
decide to get into shape? What mistakes do they make or what
misconceptions do they have?
Jamie: Most women overdo the cardio and avoid weights for fear
of getting too big. That is a huge misconception! Just as some of
us are born with a gift of music or art, some people are
genetically blessed with an ability to grow muscle.
I tell women all the time that they can do cardio and diet all
day long but they're never going to achieve the "tone" they're
after. Without incorporating weights, they will likely end up just
a smaller version of themselves. Using weights will actually change
the shape of their body. If someone tends to have a larger bum,
they should focus on growing their shoulders to create better
symmetry and give the illusion of an hourglass figure. Lifting to
failure will yield the fastest results.