Muscle Talk - By International Protein

Why Christine Retired

February 17, 2021 International Protein Season 3 Episode 6
Muscle Talk - By International Protein
Why Christine Retired
Chapters
Muscle Talk - By International Protein
Why Christine Retired
Feb 17, 2021 Season 3 Episode 6
International Protein

In this episode, Christine talks about retirement and when enough is enough. She talks about what she noticed as her body transformed and aged and how retirement really did open some new chapters.


  • What made you stop competing?
  • 25 years of competing.
  • 2014 Olympia, nothing could compare to that.
  • Competing and injuries.
  • Training now is more fun without competing.


Muscle Talk - Bodybuilding podcast by International Protein

If you want your own questions answered on our bodybuilding podcast, then join our private Facebook Group and share your ideas, https://www.facebook.com/groups/muscletalk

If you'd like to learn more about International Protein, visit https://www.international-protein.com/

A Thinkroom production.
https://www.thinkroom.com/

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Christine talks about retirement and when enough is enough. She talks about what she noticed as her body transformed and aged and how retirement really did open some new chapters.


  • What made you stop competing?
  • 25 years of competing.
  • 2014 Olympia, nothing could compare to that.
  • Competing and injuries.
  • Training now is more fun without competing.


Muscle Talk - Bodybuilding podcast by International Protein

If you want your own questions answered on our bodybuilding podcast, then join our private Facebook Group and share your ideas, https://www.facebook.com/groups/muscletalk

If you'd like to learn more about International Protein, visit https://www.international-protein.com/

A Thinkroom production.
https://www.thinkroom.com/

Ash Horton:
Welcome to Muscle Talk where you'll get world champion advice about nutrition and stacking on muscle, our host Christine Envall, she's a three time World Champion bodybuilder and IFPB professional, a food scientist, and a founding co-owner of our podcast sponsor International Protein.

Ash Horton:
In this episode Christine talks about retirement and when enough is enough. She talks about what she noticed as her body transformed and aged and how retirement really did open some new chapters.

Ash Horton:
Christine, I've seen some of your 1980s kind of style videos.

Christine Envall:
So it's the style you were talking about not the era.

Ash Horton:
I don't know, it was 2000s, but anyway, you were an absolute beast you were at the peak of your career, I'm guessing you just look like an absolute weapon, so what on earth made you stop competing?

Christine Envall:
Well that actually wasn't when I stopped competing. So that video was really probably from the peak and the next year I turned professional and competed for a couple more years. I think we talked about that in the history of Christine Envall, where I retired for a little point in time, but then I really retired in 2015. So that was my last competition. Now there's two main reasons why I retired. The first one was injury leading up to that competition. That was basically the pinnacle competition for female bodybuilders, the Rising Phoenix, 2015, about eight weeks out from that, I did a little tear to my rotator cuff on my left side, doing dumbbell bench press.

Christine Envall:
At that point in time I was probably the biggest that I had been and I was training very heavily. I thought if I didn't maintain that degree of weight through my system, I wouldn't carry the size and I really wanted to carry a lot of more size that year to the competition. It was only a small tear and I was fine, I thought. I continued to do my normal weights and everything. And then about another two and a half weeks after that, it went big time. I really felt a pretty major tear occur and I couldn't do any pressing room. I could press above my head and I could press on an incline, but I couldn't do any flat type of pressing. I couldn't do any dipping, which I used to do, but it was, it was only six weeks out by that stage. I figured I could train around that and I could still get to competition. I didn't tell anybody because I didn't want anyone looking at me, looking for that injury. So I basically just kept it quiet and went along and, made it through and did that competition.

Christine Envall:
Got to the competition. Now this was the first time that this particular competition had been held. Obviously everyone knew that the Olympia was the pinnacle competition for all bodybuilding and 2014 was the last time that they held the female bodybuilding at that particular event. So I had competed in 2000 at the sorry, 2014 at the Olympia. I would have to say that the pageantry and the, just the immensity of that event, there really nothing could compare to that. So it was a step above any other competition. All of the qualifier competitions were great, particularly Toronto. That was always a really great show, great venue, but it was still the Olympia was it, it was a pinnacle. You had the meet the champions, where you have your little table and people come and say hi, so many people from years of the industry that I knew would come past. And that was just a really, really phenomenal thing. You got treated so well.

Christine Envall:
For a whole bunch of reasons, female bodybuilding got taken out of the Olympia and then a company Wings of Strength, probably most people who follow female bodybuilding would be familiar with owner Jake woods. He got permission to still continue to have the female bodybuilding sponsor all of the shows and have a pinnacle show called the Rising Phoenix. That was the 2015 same qualifier system operated. I was going into that and a couple of differences there was that there was a couple of I guess wildcards were given so people that they felt like would just be brought in to do the competition came in. That was a totally different feel, the whole show was very small. It was very kind of low key. Obviously you're thinking, this is the pinnacle show of the whole of bodybuilding and I feel like I'm in someone's living room, just having a casual chat.

Ash Horton:
That's a real shame. So why did Olympia sort of drop the female side of things?

Christine Envall:
It's not something I'd probably want to go into on this podcast. It's probably a whole topic outside of where International Protein is and where I am, and that's part of the reason why I retired. The association with Wings of Strength, whilst they are really heavy supporters of bodybuilding, they are not supportive necessarily of the athletic side and more probably of the darker side of female bodybuilding for want of a better way of talking about that. You didn't get exposed to that if you didn't want to be exposed to it, but it obviously was always there and had a connection to it. That's part of the reason why it got taken out of the Olympia because of that, not being necessarily a purely athletic orientated pursuit. So you have this thing where people who were definite fans of female bodybuilding wanted to keep it alive, so that's why they've gone off and kept the shows going.

Christine Envall:
So I had a choice here where I had an injury, which was going to prevent me from training. There was always going to be a, I figured there was going to be just some basic operation and rehab and I'd be back into it, but to go through that and then to go into something where it was pretty low key, it didn't have the grand jury. I had done the Olympia, so that was pretty much the peak. So it was a fairly easy decision at that point to say, I'm going to step away from this now because my body is probably just going to get more and more beaten down to be in something, which I don't think is as prestigious as what it was previously.

Christine Envall:
I'm just going to jump forward a little bit and say that obviously in 2020, a massive thing happened where Jake woods, the owner of, or the man behind Wings of Strength actually purchased the Olympia, the rights to Olympia. So now the Miss Olympia is back at the Olympia again, so he...

Ash Horton:
At full strength?

Christine Envall:
At full strength, yeah. That's the thing, he has put a lot of time and energy over, for between 2015 to 2020. He kept putting more shows in and really just keeping it alive. So it's back there now, unfortunately COVID hit and the Olympia was not, I know people who went to the Olympia and of course it was nothing like what the Olympia is or should be, or was when it was held in Vegas. Probably for him the worst timing in the world that you've purchased his brand. And then COVID hits and you can't hold it the way that you were supposed to hold it so it hasn't really come back to it's, it's back in its full capacity, but the event was nothing like what the normal Olympia is.

Christine Envall:
Obviously there was no expo, the whole mask wearing thing and everything. It's going to be interesting to see over the next 12 months where that goes and all that, but it's not going to entice me back to competing because obviously that it's back at the Olympia again. I think that having been through that and done that it was an opportunity really change my training around and then actually get the enjoyment side out of it.

Christine Envall:
I'm not saying I didn't enjoy training when I was competing for competitions because I absolutely loved the competing, but it's something that the toll that it puts on your body in terms of just the breakdown of the joints, of just the continual pounding of the heavyweights and everything, and the amount of time and mental energy that it does take. It does not allow you to do as much as what you want to do in other fields. Obviously now we're doing things like the podcasts and educating and trying to just get more information about nutrition, focusing on people who want to be healthier and have more muscle as they age. So there's a whole bunch of stuff now that takes a lot of time and energy that is...

Ash Horton:
So just on the age note, you obviously had a career of how long?

Christine Envall:
25 years of competing, I think from start to finish.

Ash Horton:
So the body must have changed a lot through that period?

Christine Envall:
Yeah. Well, the early years, it's a lot harder to get lean and dry looking because your hormones are a certain way, but it's really easy to look nice and big and full and strong, and you can recover so much quicker. You haven't had any of those little injuries, so you're able to train very heavy train, very hard. Your metabolism's a little bit quicker. But the main thing I noticed obviously was the fullness and the roundness of the muscle for how small you can get your waist, and I know this is a little bit genetic, but obviously most men and women as we age, we thicken through the middle, certain muscle groups flatten out. So I really noticed my triceps flattened out compared to when I was a younger other muscle groups like my biceps got better, but it was easier to get dryer as an older competitor, competing in my late thirties and forties compared to in my twenties. So much easier to stay leaner, stay dryer, but your body just can't take exactly, it can't take the volume of work that you do when you're younger. That changed.

Christine Envall:
Then one of the other things I noticed was that it was a lot harder to get the fat off from my lower back and my stomach. Again, hormonal changes as you get older. And that was, again, one of the things, for how hard I had to work at my early forties compared to in my late twenties, put an injury on top of that, and then put a situation where the competitions are no longer as prestigious and you feel like you've been at the top and now maybe it's going to be, everything that you do is a little bit less shiny than that.

Christine Envall:
Putting all of that together, that's a big reason to not continue, but also, as I said, I wanted to do more things. Obviously the businesses.

Ash Horton:
No regrets, I'm guessing?

Christine Envall:
No, absolutely not, and that's...

Ash Horton:
So it was the right time for you?

Christine Envall:
It was a little bit rough because after the delt injury, we'd finished the comp, gone back to Melbourne and I was training and I did a front raise and I felt something go, and it was basically my bicep tore and it sprained my wrist because the weight was in my hand and it kind of transferred really quickly. Then the second half, or the last half after that competition, the last half of 2015, I was a very ordinary for training because my entire left side side was kind of messed up. It obviously came back strength wise, the bad news was that the surgery wasn't an option.

Christine Envall:
I thought I'd done a tricep injury and I know it was fixed and four months later I was back training at full strength, but with a rotator cuff there was thinning throughout the tendons and other damage and the surgeon pretty much said if I repair that it's just going to tear somewhere else really soon and it's a really long rehab. He said, if it's not causing you pain. Don't worry about it and it wasn't, and it's not. Obviously I notice a weakness on that side and I notice certain angles, which pull extremely funny and I notice the development is not as good as the right hand side.

Christine Envall:
That's the other thing to me, bodybuilding is so much about balance and as soon as you create a situation where you have an imbalance that you can't fix, if you have an imbalance because you haven't trained correctly and you can correct it and then improve your physique, that's bodybuilding to me. But if you've got an imbalance, because you're literally, you have a tear or something that is creating that, then that's something you're never going to overcome. So you always going to be limited in where you can go. Now though when I train it is, it's so much fun because the pressure is off. If I choose to train lighter, if I choose to train heavier, or if I choose to try different things, it's just more, I got into the gym for that reason in the first place. And then it just takes not having that pressure on to have to be ripped or have to be a certain size to be competitive is, it's just such a whole different mentality going into the gym.

Ash Horton:
You've go a bunch of new chapters that you got to open. If someone's sitting on the fence about retiring and their body's just getting a bit sore, they're aging a little bit, then?

Christine Envall:
I would really question what are you missing out on? Because we all know when we do compete, we do put a lot of things on hold. Whether it be relationships, whether it be family, whether it be things that you want to do other projects. If you're putting your body through something and think about this isn't as bad as it'll get, if you've made this injury and you continue to push at that rate and then potentially you're going to end up where you can't train at all, or you can't train in a capacity that you enjoy. And I think the thing is if you love your training, you're never going to want to stop doing that. So it's about being able to always do some degree of training rather than no degree of training, because you've kind of messed everything up so much.

Christine Envall:
That definitely would be my advice if someone's on the fence about it, think about what have you got to gain from moving on from this and not being afraid to move on from it because when you do have time to do other things is so many more things out there. And again, giving back and having the time to actually talk about the experiences or talk about nutrition, all the things that I take for granted that people know, because I just hung around with higher level bodybuilders and just assume that what we talked about everybody knew about, and it's not necessarily the case.

Christine Envall:
Then also many new people coming in. Or as I said people who are getting older and realizing that their body doesn't stay the same, it doesn't hang in there and you can do whatever you like with it. It does need to be worked. It does need to be, you do need to concentrate more on nutrition. You do need to concentrate on the activity and you can't just leave it to chance like you can when you're in your twenties. Then for those people, it's like a whole new world to them. I think that I've had enough years and enough experience in the sport and with nutrition that it's something that I can impart to people.

Ash Horton:
Help sort of coach people along their journeys. Well, you're doing it with these podcasts.

Christine Envall:
That's right.

Ash Horton:
It's a prime example.

Christine Envall:
Even if people aren't wanting to compete, it's still about, it becomes about then training your body and how you use your body, because it's not just to compete. This is for life fitness and it's for a better quality of life as well. But that's essentially why I retired. I have no plans to compete ever again. I do miss it. I absolutely miss the performance side of it, but Hey, maybe there's something I should be getting into performance wise or something, just throwing it out there.

Ash Horton:
Judging maybe? A bit more judging.

Christine Envall:
No, judgings on the other side of it. It's fun to watch that and see the physiques and see what's coming through and see the passion that people can put into their journey and know that there's always that commonality of what you've been through and what they've been through. But the judging is never as much fun as being on the other side of it, you get that freedom to express yourself because bodybuilding is a sport art. It's not a run down the line and there's a certain technique to it. You can express and show your muscularity in many, many different ways. You see that by watching people's posing routines where someone more does dance and someone else is maybe not as flowing or they do a different style of dance. It's definitely a performance sport.

Ash Horton:
Awesome. Thank you very much Christine. Words of wisdom, if you like, what you've heard recognize that these tips are free. So show your support by becoming a loyal International Protein customer by jumping online, hunt our product down and hit that buy now button. So once again, like share and subscribe to our podcast so we can continue to bring you these episodes from our one and only Aussie muscle guru, three times world champion, Christine Envall.