Stephanie Hammermeister brings a bold look and a hardcore intensity to the IFBB Pro Figure stage.
Interview by Team Iron Man
Even though she has only been on the scene for about a minute, IFBB Pro Figure competitor Stephanie “LadyHammer” Hammermeister has galvanized the fitness world with her unique look, training intensity, and prodigy-like performances on the stage. In just over one year, the former college basketball player (who graduated from Southern New Hampshire University on a full-ride athletic scholarship) has gone from her first amateur show to eyeing a top spot at the Mr. Olympia. While LadyHammer might look like she should be wearing a metallic bikini and brandishing a sword while riding a dragon into battle, the soft-spoken and private Hammermeister is more interested in connecting with the discouraged and disenfranchised than crushing her foes in competition.
Iron Man: The name Hammermeister, which literally means “Master of the Hammer,” suits you. What was your maiden name?
Stephanie Hammermeister: Houghten. I married into Hammermeister. When I started training, people started calling me “Hammer.” “LadyHammer” took on its own form. Everything fell into place after that.
IM: How is the LadyHammer “brand” different than other fitness personalities looking for followers?
SH: A lot of people in the industry get caught up in the competition part. But at the end of the day, how are you impacting other people? I wake up every morning and think about that. How can I be the best influence on someone who wants to try this sport or who needs some extra encouragement in life? They can come to my social media pages and know they can find inspiration inside and out of the gym.
IM: Is it your look or your intensity that attracts people?
SH: I think it’s a little bit of both. I look a little different. I like showing men and women that you can be a beautiful and attractive female and still have muscle. You can be strong and powerful and feminine. I think I am just real. I speak from the heart. I never post anything I don’t stand behind. I am just a real-life person.
IM: You stay remarkably lean. What’s your diet like?
SH: I stick to a really rigid diet. I weigh everything. I eat six times a day. In the morning, after my fasted cardio, I’ll have egg whites, oats, and maybe some berries or grapefruit. I always have coffee, and it’s always Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cups because I’m from the East Coast. Meal two is just protein. Meals three and five will have carbs, usually a third or half cup of sweet potatoes or white rice. My body reacts better to fats. My carbs are a little lower and my fats are a little higher. In at least four of my meals I’ll incorporate some fats, like almond butter. I love almond butter, so I’ll have a tablespoon at four of my meals and sometime before I train.
IM: How many calories a day do you get?
SH: My daily calories are about 1,500. It’s not crazy, but I’m not hungry either. And up to four weeks out from a show I’ll do a refeed once a week. I’ll go crazy on my refeed. It’s not a normal meal—it’s about 3,000 calories.
IM: Tell us what this refeed is like.
SH: Sometime I have gotten sick because I’ve eaten so much. I’m a huge burger fan. My favorite place is called Slater’s 50/50. I usually do the Peanut Butter and Jealousy Burger. It’s peanut butter, strawberry jam, and bacon on a burger with a honey wheat bun, and I get it à la mode, so there’s vanilla ice cream on it. I’ll usually have nachos to start, then the burger with sweet potato fries, and then we’ll go get frozen yogurt with a ton of toppings. And then I might crush some Krispy Kreme doughnuts afterwards. The whole thing takes about three hours.
IM: I have never heard a competitor talk about food with such love in their voice.
SH: I am obsessed with food. I look forward to eating every single meal. But I am a very habitual eater. I can eat the same stuff all the time. I don’t know why.
IM: What kind of supplements do you use?
SH: I’m sponsored by MuscleSport, and I’m really invested in their products. I have had a lot of supplement sponsors make offers, but I have always waited until I get a product that I can stand behind 100 percent. MuscleSport has a ton of pharmaceutical-grade powders like glutamine, leucine, and just about anything you can think of. They have a whole other line for pre-, intra-, and post-workout. And they have an entire line for females.
IM What are your favorite MuscleSport supplements?
SH: All of them. In the morning I take their multivitamin, joint support, liver support, and adrenal support. I also take their fat-burner, which is pretty intense. The liver support and adrenal support help balance that out. Then I take NX5, which opens up the blood vessels when you’re lifting so the pump is huge. I take NeuroVol for enhanced focus. Pre-Lean is my favorite—that’s their pre-workout. It’s intense, but it doesn’t give you the jitters or tingles or a burning sensation.
IM: What’s the name of your hair color? Has it become a calling card for you?
SH: It has. It’s called Metallic Silver. I was white or platinum for about a year, then I decided to go gray and we went silver-gray. I started it about four months ago, and once it was on I knew it was for me. Not a lot of people can pull it off, but I love it. IM