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Fitness | Guest Workout

Former Ms. Olympia No Slave to Exercise

November 09, 1998|CANDACE A. WEDLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"I don't exercise as much as people think," Cory Everson told me on the phone. The host of "Gotta Sweat" on ESPN2 said people assume she works out for hours on end, like she did when she was competing for the Ms. Olympia title. Says Everson, who won her sixth and last Ms. Olympia title in 1989: "They say, 'Oh, you must exercise every day for hours to keep that body,' but I can swear on the Bible, I do not exercise with weights more than two to three times a week, for 20 minutes."

Everson and her sister Cameo work out together, on the show as well as in real life. They are close--so close, in fact, that the sisters had a double wedding ceremony in August. Everson married her fiance of seven years, Steven Donia (he's also her cosmetic dentist).

Question: I think that's neat that you and your sister work out together.

Answer: We actually have a bet--if either of us doesn't show up at the gym like on Monday and Wednesday, we owe each other a hundred bucks.

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Q: Let's hear what you do at the gym.

A: We'll do a quick stretch and a little warm-up, maybe five minutes on the stationary bike.

Then let's say it's a leg day--Monday--we'll do leg extensions, 20 to 25 reps; leg curls, 20 reps; leg press, 20 reps; the butt blaster, 15 reps each side. We might do a pull-down to the front of the neck into upper chest because we usually combine back and legs. We'll do a pulldown to the front, 15 repetitions, and a seated long pully row, 15 repetitions, and then some sit-ups. And then we'll do a stretching-out of the muscles we just used and then we go for our walk.

Then Wednesday, we'll do chest and shoulders and a little bit of abdominals.

Friday, we'll do biceps, triceps and a little bit of abdominals--three to five minutes at the end of your workout.

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Q: What kind of walks do you take?

A: I take my dogs on walks through my neighborhood as many days of the week as I possibly can. I walk for about 45 minutes, but I choose areas where it's hilly so it works my butt and where your hamstring and your butt meet--it works real well.

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Q: What's the biggest mistake you ever made in terms of exercise?

A: Obsession, without a doubt. Obsession with training too many hours, eating too strictly, not getting enough sleep. When I competed in the Ms. Olympia, I kept thinking more exercise was better, less fat food was better.

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Q: Tell me what kind of diet you're on.

A: I'm kind of a pseudo-vegetarian. I have not had any red meat since college because I used to be a really bad cook. I would forget that I was cooking something. All of a sudden the smoke alarms would go off in the dorms. I eat a little bit of chicken and I eat a little bit of fish maybe twice a week. I have a whey protein drink in the morning. In addition, I'll have either two pieces of toast or a bowl of shredded wheat or, in the winter, I like oatmeal. And then I also have coffee. I need to live my life, too, and I drink way too much coffee and I admit it.

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Q: I've got my cup of Starbucks here as we speak.

A: Good. And I've got two cups on my desk. And throughout the day I love to eat, and I love to eat a lot. Then what I'll do later on in the day is eat a lot of carrots because it's high in fiber, and it moves stuff through your system and I eat a lot of pita breads. I don't eat a lot of fruit. I also don't believe so much in all the fat-free foods because I am one to buy a box of chocolate chip fat-free cookies and eat the whole darn box.

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Q: In one sitting.

A: Yeah. So I would rather buy regular cookies and know that there's fat in 'em because then I probably will eat only two. And then for lunch, usually what I'll do is the night before if I made dinner--chicken soup or chicken and potatoes or chicken and rice or pasta or fish--there's usually leftovers and I'll just heat something up. Sometimes I'll just open a big bag of frozen mixed vegetables, throw 'em in the microwave, put garlic seasoning on 'em and a little bit of Parmesan cheese and that's all I eat for dinner.

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Q: What's the biggest thing that bothers you about the fitness industry?

A: There's so much negative weight loss reinforcement with the anorexics, the skinny models. I'm 150 pounds and I've been on just as many covers as these 110-pound 6-foot-tall models. . . . I weigh 150 pounds and I'm 40 years old, 5-foot-8, but you know what, I actually like the way I look now.

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Q: One more thing--has your cooking improved?

A: I am now the best cook in the world. And I am a fat-free cook. I do not even have butter or oil in my house. It's just seasoning. It may not look perfect, with little floral arrangements and stuff.

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Guest Workout runs weekly in Health.

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