Jeff Dwelle and Shena Forkner
Dallas bodybuilder and fitness competitor
Click here for photos of Jeff and Shena
A few years ago, on a typical weekday afternoon, Jeff Dwelle could be
found sporting a business suit, working in an office, and wheeling and
dealing in the world of big business as a venture capitalist. But now
hes more likely to be seen at the gym or getting in his cardio at a
local track with fitness professional Shena Forkner.
For Jeff and Shena, who are now each others significant other, their
interest in similar sports has served them and their relationship well.
Both are personal trainers. Both adhere to strict pre-competition diets.
And both spend seemingly endless hours of cardio, resistance trainin
and fine-tuning their routines.
Jeffs journey to become a heavyweight bodybuilder began with football
(all-state defensive back) and powerlifting in Athens, the small east
Texas town where he graduated from high school as an honor student in
1991. But it was not until his junior year at SMU that he switched fro
football training to sculpting his 170 pounds into todays 5-11,
225-pound heavyweight physique.
Theres no doubt that professional fitness competitor Shenas interest
in her chosen sport is rooted in gymnastics, which she began as a toddler.
I was extremely competitive, the 5-2, 115-pounder explained in
reference to her move from the Dallas area to Oklahoma at age 14 to
concentrate on gymnastics. She returned to Texas her sophomore year in
high school and, after graduating, began to wonder, What am I going to
do with this gymnastics ability?
The answer dawned on Shena when she saw a poster of Amy Fadhli
in 1995. One year later she placed third in her first fitness
competition, and went on to compete in the Fitness American pageant in
Redondo Beach, California. She won the John Sherman Classic in 1997,
which qualified her for national competition. In November of that year Shena
finished in the top 10 at the NPC Nationals in Dallas. And in 1998 she
placed second in the NPC USA's, which earned her a pro card.
Im lucky. I turned pro extremely fast, Shena said.
While Shena was earning her professional credentials, Jeff was earning
money, putting his finance degree from SMU to work. But the coat and tie
he wore to work every day couldnt cover his love for bodybuilding.
I had a fire to compete for a long time, he explained. I had worked
an average of 60 hours a week for three years and was just burned out.
Transitioning from the corporate world to the fitness and bodybuilding
world was so hard at first, according to Jeff, because I didnt know
what to do with myself, with all the free time. But as I started to work
as a trainer, my schedule filled up a lot more and my physique started
Jeffs first on-stage test was in the spring of 1999 when he placed
second in the heavyweight novice division of the North Texas
competition. He went on to a third-place finish in the Ronnie Coleman
classic the following month.
He plans to compete at the Red River Classic in Norman, Oklahoma, in
October, 1999. Shena is hoping for an invitation to compete in the Arnold
Classic in Columbus, Ohio, next year. So for Jeff, the serious training
and dieting have begun; for Shena, its looming on the horizon.
Ill up my cardio activity, cut out all meal replacements, and basically
just clean up my diet, Jeff said of his pre-contest strategy. Ill be
consuming 450 grams of protein, 280 grams of carbs and less than
20 grams on fat; about 3,200 calories per day.
Jeffs routine consists of chest and back on day one, shoulders and arm
on day two, legs on day three, and rest on day four. He says hell do a
lot of supersets, more reps, and less rest; It becomes more aerobic,
To be competitive as a bodybuilder on stage is a whole different
ballgame, Jeff said. The preparation is what separates a good
bodybuilder from an average one.
Local event promoter and consultant Marvin Meinstein helps Jeff polish
his posing routine, he explained.
Shenas 12-week pre-contest plan includes six meals a day. Her diet is
basically high protein, no fat and moderate carbs -- broken
down, 240 grams of protein, 120 grams of carbs and less than 15 grams of
fat per day.
She plans to continue to refine her physique and put a new spin
on her routine prior to her next IFBB competition.
My routines are based around gymnastics, with a lot of strength
moves, Shena said. I am interested in getting more into the hip-hop style.
So what does the future hold for the couple five to ten years ahead?
My aspiration in bodybuilding is to be qualified to compete at
the national level, Jeff said. But my number one priority is to be
financially secure and to start a family. I would love to be in a
situation where work, fitness, and bodybuilding all have places in my life.
My number one goal is to be a spokesmodel for a supplement
company, Shena said. My dream is to win the Fitness Olympia and have my
own show on ESPN.
Kiana, watch out!!!!