Interview With Fit Couple Jess & Peter Putnam as told to CriticalBench.com by Ben Tatar - July 2007
Introduction: Facts about Peter Putnam and Jess:
1) Peter and Jessica Putnam have an online personal training/consulting business called, Physique Pros Personal Training.
2) Peter Putnam is a (top NPC National Level Bodybuilder) and he is sponsored by Met-rx athlete
3) Jess Paxson-Putnam is a sponsored athlete for ABB/Optimum nutrition and she is also an IFBB pro.
4) Peter Endorses and does speaking appearances for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Peter and Jessica are both Christians who hope to be positive examples in the health and fitness industry.
5) Peter and Jess do promotional work and train at a gym called "The Rush Fitness Complex."
Critical Bench was fortunate to interview Peter and Jess. Over the course of the last year, Peter and Jess were hard for me to get a hold of since they are always busy traveling and get publicity frequently in the world of iron. However, Critical Bench feels very blessed to have gotten a hold of them. With no further ado, Critical Bench presents all of you with an interview with the amazing married couple, Peter and Jess Putnam!
1) CRITICAL BENCH: I am here with Peter and Jess Putnam! Peter and Jess welcome to Critical Bench! It's great to have you both here with us today!
Jess and Peter: Thank you
2) CRITICAL BENCH: Jess, let me start with you. Jess, how did you and Peter meet?
Jess: Peter and I met at the 2004 Collegiate Nationals. Where I won the figure overall and he won the bodybuilding overall.
I came up to congratulate him after the show at a restaurant called Houlihan's. We took a picture together and didn't think much of it. He had a girlfriend at the time and I had a boyfriend. Six weeks later he had broken up with his girlfriend and he e-mailed me the day my boyfriend broke up with me. The rest is history.
3) CRITICAL BENCH: Jess, shortly after you started dating Peter, you and Peter shocked the fitness world by getting married in Vegas. What was the wedding experience like and what did it mean to you?
Jess: Our wedding was wonderful. It was very beautiful and intimate. We got married outdoors at Caesars Palace and we wouldn't change a thing about the whole experience.
4) CRITICAL BENCH: Jess, now that you and Peter are married, what are your future goals in bodybuilding/ modeling and with your marriage?
Jess: Peter and I have been very blessed with all of the opportunities that have come our way. We are hoping to continue to strive to do well competitively. We are hoping and praying Peter earns his pro card. We also want to continue to work with the magazines, work for our sponsors (ABB/ON-Jessica, and Met-rx-Peter), and continue to train clients both at the Rush Fitness Complex in Knoxville and online.
Peter and my ultimate goal in our marriage are to keep Christ at the center of our marriage and to honor Him in all that we do. With God in our lives we truly believe we can achieve anything.
5) CRITICAL BENCH: Jess, do you and Peter plan on having children?
Jess: As far as children, we would love to have a family someday. We are saying that we will want to start our family in about four years, but you never know :) Sometimes we can't plan these things and if it were to happen sooner we would count it as a blessing.
We plan on raising our children to love the Lord first and foremost. Again, Christ will be at the center of our lives and we want our children to be raised in a loving Christian home.
6) CRITICAL BENCH: It's great that your children will be raised with values and great parents! Jess, how has your life and your training changed since meeting Peter?
My life and training have changed for the better since Peter entered my life. Peter has helped me to truly believe in myself and stand up for myself and my beliefs. He has also helped me to stay on track with my training and especially my diet. I have a hard time with the diet :) and he helps me stay the course.
7) CRITICAL BENCH: Jess, you are on the cover of FLEX for June 07! They choose you out of all the models in the world! So Jess, let me ask you, before you were winning contest, making covers of magazines, and being a celebrity guest at major fitness events, what got you started in fitness modeling?
I went to train with well known trainer Mike Davies when I was 20 years old. A friend brought me with her to attend a boot camp weekend with him. He mentioned that I had potential and should try competing. I did my first show when I was 21.
I got into the modeling aspect of it because Peter contacted a lot of the photographers to line up shoots. I also got contacted after stepping on the Olympia stage. We both feel very blessed to be able compete and to have our images used in the magazines.
8) CRITICAL BENCH: Jess, to achieve such success you have put your time in the gym, can you tell us about your diet and training routine? How is your routine and diet different now from when you first started doing figure competitions?
I used to do a lot of plyometrics and supersets when I first started training, but now I try and lift heavy and rest in between sets. It helps to build in the off-season and to preserve muscle while I am training for a show. I am not that muscular to begin with so I have to do all I can to hold onto what I have.
9) CRITICAL BENCH: SO, YOU TRAIN LIKE A POWERLIFTER???? (Do you lift impressive numbers?)
NO!!! I don't train like a powerlifter :). I just lift heavy, usually 10-12 reps, and rest in between sets :)
10) CRITICAL BENCH: Heavy with reps! That's like the fitness version of hardcore powerlifting, since it's powerlifting with reps! Well, Jess it was great talking to you about your marriage and training. Now let's put Peter on for part 2 of the Peter and Jess Putnan interview!
Jess Putnan: Thank you Ben!
11) Critical Bench! Okay, I am here with Jess Paxson-Putnam's husband Peter now. Peter, tell us about the "RUSH GYM." What is the "RUSH GYM" like?
Peter Putnam: The Rush Fitness Complex is the fastest growing health club in the country. Each facility is roughly 24,000 sq ft, and carries 12 different lines of equipment. Even though it is a health club, the facility is geared towards all types of training. Bodybuilders and powerlifters can easily train there. Dumbbells go up 150 lbs. The Rush is the brain child of former 24 Hr Fitness President, Larry Gurney. The Rush has recently begun its national expansion over the past year. Jessica and I are apart of the PR department and do promotional work for them. We also do personal training part time at one of the locations in Knoxville. Visit www.therush247.com for more details.
12) CRITICAL BENCH: Very cool! Everyone reading this visit the Rush Fitness Complex and set a date to go! Peter, what's your advice for a younger or average bodybuilder who would like to be a pro someday?
Peter Putnam: Be realistic. Not many people ever turn pro. There is such a genetic element. (I know people don't want to hear that) to the sport. For example, if I was out shooting hoops every day and wearing basketball gear, it doesn't mean I will make it to a professional level. If you don't play college ball after high school the odds are that playing professional will never happen. You can always play as a hobby, but that's it.
I tend to find with bodybuilding there is a delusion that anyone can make it. That's not true the majority of the time. You can keep on competing every year and convincing yourself that one day you can make it if you build this or improve that, but it's not cut and dry like football or basketball, for example.
Here's the way I would view it. There are a couple things to consider if you have your heart set on turning pro, get your face out by attending national shows and ALWAYS be respectful. Remember, bodybuilding is a personal journey and one doesn't have to have the goal of turning pro to enhance their sense of well being and life. Also, remember that this is temporal. One should always strive to be balanced and put other priorities first before bodybuilding.
13) CRITICAL BENCH: Very wise. Peter, what supplements do you take, and what's your workout system like?
Peter Putnam: I like to eat clean throughout the majority of the year. I keep protein high, carbs moderate, and I don't shy away from plenty of essential fats. My diet changes as my body adapts, and my goals dictate where I need to go with my nutrition and training. I typically train about 5 to 6 times a week. One thing that I do is make sure to try and rest after every two days of training. I lift heavy, but form is important. I like high intensity training, but I think some body parts such as back and arms need to be trained with higher volume.
14) CRITICAL BENCH: Peter, so in your bodybuilding journey, what has been your favorite moment, most memorable moment, craziest moment, funniest moment and the moment that changed your life the most?
My favorite moment was winning the Collegiate and meeting my future wife at the same show.
My most memorable moment was my first trip to CA for photo shoots and walking into the Weider Offices
My craziest moment was getting married to Jess after the Olympia .
My funniest moment was asking Arnold if he knew who I was.
The moment that changed my life beyond my faith in Christ, was meeting Jessica.
15) CRITICAL BENCH: What a story! Jess and Peter thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. We wish you the best with everything that you do is there anything else that you would like to say?
Peter and Jess: Thanks for the interview. Please check out our websites: