Muscle Sport Magazine


By Leigh Penman – Last time I spoke to Dena Westerfield she had just finished the Arnold Classic (where she placed 9th) and was looking ahead to her next contest appearance, the NY Pro. My first question was about that placing…

So Dena…how did you feel about taking 9th place?

“I was shooting for a top ten placing, so I was thrilled with 9th. It was just amazing to be standing on the stage I’ve watched from the crowd so many times. In my mind I am already a winner, I don’t need a panel of judges to confirm that. Being a winner is way deeper than being number one, if that makes sense.”

Yes, I totally get that! After all, just getting yourself into the condition you displayed on stage and making all the improvements to your physique that were so immediately visible makes you a winner. Out of your fellow athletes, who impressed you the most?

“I was thrilled with Debi Laszewski (who placed second). Her condition was off the hook. Her placing proves to the ‘shorter’ competitors that it’s not about your size. Debi and I usually run close together…so I have hopes of a top 5 placing here in the next couple of years.”

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

“I can’t think of anything I could have done differently….everything went my way. I did lose track of my music during my routine (lol!). I guess it happens to everyone once, but I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen to me again.”

So what about your preparation for the NY Pro show, what do you plan to do?

“I can’t really make many large changes in the seven weeks I have between shows. My goal is to tighten up my glute/ham area. I’m training my legs 4 days a week. I’m not killing them though, but they feel it the next day. I do the incline treadmill for 30 mins and the rest of my cardio I try to do on the hand bike, so I don’t burn up the size of my legs.

“A typical day of leg training would be 2 sets of walking lunges, 2 sets of box jumps, 3 sets of stiff leg deadlifts. My abs are insanely thick, so I am going to let them rest a bit. They get a workout when I am posing.”

How about your diet and supplements? (Dena is sponsored by SPECIES NUTRITION)

“Same old (Dave) Palumbo diet. Of course I need to tighten up a bit more so I am sure Dave is about to kill me with an extreme diet! I am also using Lipolyze, Somalyze, Isolyze, Fiberlyze and Omegalyze from Species Nutrition in terms of supplements.”

Turning our attention to the ‘big picture’ as far as female bodybuilding is concerned, how do you feel about the current lack of shows for the pro women?

“Well at least the Tampa show is back on, so that’s one good thing. I just tell all the women to compete as much as you can right now and enjoy it. In my opinion mainstream is going to bring us down shortly and all we’ll have are our old pictures and magazine articles…so save all of those too…lol!”

Well, I hope you are wrong about that one Dena…and I know here at Musclesportmag we are going to be working hard to give the women more coverage.

Getting back to the NY Pro though, how do you see yourself placing and where do you take it from there?

“I hope to get a top 3 placing and go to Vegas in September. It will be a tough line up, but I think I will have made enough improvements in the short time I have to carry me through. Regardless of what happens, I plan on enjoying my summer months!”

With the NY Pro just days away from us, I would like to predict that Dena gets that top three placing. So I guess the only thing left for me to say is “See you in Vegas Dena!”

Leigh Penman began her writing career in 1980 when she started her own weekly music column in a Scottish newspaper. From there she went on to writing for all the major music publications in the UK at that time, including ‘Record Mirror’, ‘Sounds’, ‘New Musical Express’ and ‘Number One’. Her work included interview such celebrities as Madonna, Cher, Tina Turner and David Bowie.

The late 80’s saw her moving into writing for nutrition companies and eventually bodybuilding magazines. She rapidly gained a reputation as being one of the top female writers on the bodybuilding scene and was a contributing editor on ‘Muscle & Co’, ‘Bodybuilding Monthly’, ‘Strength Athlete’, ‘Health & Fitness’ and ‘Fit Body’. She was also a major contributor to the Arnold endorsed magazine ‘Bodypower’ –where she went on to establish the position of ‘Show business Editor’. In addition to this she held the position of Ladies Editor for ‘Physiques International’

In between all this she has written for Personal Development magazines and organizations –including Tony Robbins UK division. Has collaborated on book projects with Leslie Kenton –the original Raw Food and female empowerment guru – and written for computer magazines…..and now she is with Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness magazine,, RX, Species Nutrition and of course!

She is a certified personal trainer, hypnotherapist and has been working out since the age of 15.

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