What is your first and
Gillian Ward (formerly Gillian Mounsey)
What is your height and weight?
5’4” Contest 135, Off season 145-150
How old are you?
What is your profession?
Gym owner, coach, consultant, writer
How did you get started into lifting weights and training?
I began gymnastics at the age of two and never stopped.
I became fascinated as a very young child with pushing my body to
the limits and exploring the realm of physical possibility.
As a child my dream was to take flight which came in the form of
tumbling and acrobatic skills.
I also had an interest in the teachings of the ancient Greek
philosophers that believed in physical fitness and a strong body.
That concept always made sense to me:
No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter
of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old
without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is
capable. – Socrates
Were you athletic growing up?
Extremely. I have competed in high level sports for over 30
When not doing gymnastics I spent my childhood performing feats of
strength and speed in the school yard, playground, beach, front lawn
–pretty much anywhere that had a small amount of empty space or
something to climb on or jump off of.
What other sports have you done or are you currently doing?
I am currently a National Champion (and world record holder)
powerlifter as well as an accomplished Olympic style weightlifter
(snatch/clean & jerk).
Also, I am new to physique competition and plan to continue on to
see where I can go with it. I recently (May 2014) competed in my
second show, the NPC
in Charleston S.C. My dream is to make it to the
Olympia stage one day.
Formerly I competed in CrossFit and took 3rd place in the 2008
Prior to CrossFit I spent most of my life as a competitive gymnast
and track & field athlete.
In my 20’s I also spent some time doing modern and ballroom dance
though mostly as a hobby.
In 1995 I was the United States Marine Corps National Physical
Fitness Champion. This format of competition includes push-ups,
pull-ups, sit-ups, standing broad jump and 300 yard shuttle run.
During that year I also set the world record for consecutive
What are your goals in competition?
My goal is to enjoy myself, to relish in the process, to learn
from the experience and to be better for it. Of course I also want
to win and be the best. I am intensely driven and truly believe that
I am capable of anything that I put my mind to.
Currently my goal is to sweep three sports on a national level in
one competitive year – powerlifting, weightlifting and women’s
It would also be a dream to one day step on the Olympia stage
In your opinion, what is your best bodypart?
My true answer – my brain, I believe that is the most beautiful
part of me. The answer that you are probably looking for – my back
built by hundreds of thousands of reps of pull-ups and very heavy
Do you enjoy being strong? Why?
I know nothing other than being strong but yes, I very much
enjoy it. Being strong makes me feel capable and empowered. I also
feel like it puts me in a position to help others if there is ever a
time of need.
Do you enjoy performing/competing?
I’m laughing because it is a silly question that anyone that
knows me would crack up about. I very, very much enjoy performing
and competing. I often go out and people ask, “Do you compete?” The
answer is yes, everyday at everything.
I’m not sure that my competitive nature is a character flaw or
strength but I do know that it amuses the people close to me and I
delight in that.
Why do you love lifting weights?
I love feeling strong and like a super hero. I love chasing
performance goals and getting better at things. I love that it is a
positive outlet for stress relief. I love that for that time in the
gym that I have such focus that it is my personal meditation. I love
that nobody can take it away from me.
Tell us what a typical day is like your you.
I wake up very early and have breakfast and fancy coffee with my
husband and bulldog. After that I head to the gym and do online
programming for clients and write if I am working on an article or
project, I coach lifting and train clients till close to lunch time.
From 12:00 to 3:00 I close the gym and train myself with a few
training partners that are staff members. That is my play time.
I train people and coach again till 7PM and then head home for
dinner and conversation with my husband. Sometimes we watch TV,
sometimes we sit outside by the fire.
Most nights I have a big bowl of ice cream before bed. My life is
simple. I try not to work much on weekends unless I am teaching a
seminar or hosting a competition at the gym.
Do you like to show off your muscles when out in public or do you
A little bit of both – it depends on where I am going and who I
am with. I guess that most people would say that I show off if I
think about it. I love fun clothes, I love fashion and I love to get
What misconception about being muscular would you like to dispel?
That muscular women want to be men or that somehow that are less
feminine. Also, that they want to fight or kick your butt.
I’m the biggest girly, girl that you will ever meet. I don’t want to
fight and I’m not interested in kicking anyone’s butt. I wanted to
be treated like a lady 100% of the time. I do not want to arm
wrestle at the bar or anywhere for that matter.
What kind of stuff would we find in the backseat of your car?
Nothing other than my bulldog Millie sitting on a blanket so she
doesn’t get dog hair on the seat. I’m a neat freak and the car is
immaculate. Sorry if that is boring.
Favorite movie actor/actress?
More of a TV actress than a movie actress but I’d have to say
Lucille Ball. Her comedy has moved me since early childhood.
Person you would like to meet? (living or dead)
Anything else we should know about you?
I could go on and on forever but I won’t. I’ll say only this- I
don’t take myself too seriously and I do things as long as they
bring me joy and do not harm the people close to me. If something
stops being fun and rewarding, I move on. Some accuse me of being
all over the place and not sticking to one thing. This is my journey
and I don’t care what they think.