2009 Miss Alaska Teen USA and NPC bikini division competitor Zlata Sushchik speaks with dualFIT.
Why did you decide to begin training and exercising?
When I was younger I was never interested in sports. I lived in Moscow, Russia until I was about 15 years old and most my spare time was spent behind the piano or vocal singing which I did for almost 8 years. I did not gain passion for fitness until I moved to Alaska and did my first high school bodybuilding show in 2006. It was a total accident! I know right, how does one accidently end up in a bodybuilding show? My friend said to me “There is this bodybuilding thing next month, want to compete with me?” I did and at my very first competition I placed 3rd in my class. Granted, there were only three people in the whole class, but I still received my trophy with a great sense of pride. After all, that month was the most exercise I had gotten in my entire life. I came back next year and won the Overall title at the High School show. I continued training and in the fall won the 2007 NPC Crystal Cup Overall Junior Figure Title
What are your work out related goals for the future?
I am currently competing on national level in NPC Bikini Division. To kick off the show season I chose to do Jr.Nationals in Chicago on June 15th , you will also be seeing me at the NPC USA’s at the end of July. The ultimate goal this year is to become an IFBB Pro of course. But to me this is more then just a title. I want to be a role model for those who live a busy life and want to stay in shape and eat healthy. I can relate to young professionals with jam packed schedules who practically sleep with their Blackberry; busy college students who often stay up all night studying and like to have fun with their friends and of course gym junkies who endlessly count how many meals they have left for the day. =]
What is in your experience the most effective routine?
I find that cardio may get very very very boring for some of us. Walking on the treadmill watching your favorite show is no way to get in shape, neither is chatting on the phone with a friend. While its “comfortable” and entertaining, don’t even waste your time on it. Cardio is a huge part of my routine when I am trying to get ready for a show. What works best for me is alternating cardio machines/exercises. My favorite cardio routine is 5 minutes on the StairMaster at 65 steps, 15 burpees. Repeat 5 times… You will NOT be bored.
What is one of your biggest training mistakes that you have made and how would you have done it differently?
I stopped training. After being in the most amazing shape of my life after the 2010 season was over, I dropped my entire work out program and eating plan and gained over 30 pounds in less then a month…. Talk about mistakes… I put myself through a long season and strict 36 weeks of dieting and training and overall put my body and mind through too much stress. I didn’t compete in 2011 because I could not motivate myself to cook/pack/think or bare the mental “game” of a show. For someone who is just starting to compete or is an experienced competitor – do NOT overdo it. There is a major different between being a quitter and being focused. I live by a great quote “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, so long as you don’t stop”- Confucius. As long as you are competing to better yourself, to push yourself to a new level, gain new experience and you are focused doing it, you will achieve your ultimate goals. As soon as I realized competing is not just about training from show to show or prove something to someone, training became a lot easier for me.
Monday: Super crazy day at the office… I usually take this day off
What is your diet and supplementation like?
This is my simple meal plan when I am just training “for life”. This is a super easy program I think any woman who is getting into fitness can follow.
Snack: 2 scoops of protein shake, apple
Lunch: 6 oz of lean protein (chicken, turkey or fish), salad, ½ cup of rice or 4 oz of sweet potato
Snack: 2 scoops of protein shake, ½ cup of mixed nuts
Dinner: 6 oz chicken salad
Snack: 1 scoop of protein isolate shake
What is your top tips for general fitness?
Be prepared. You know you will need to eat tomorrow. Be prepared for it. Simple meals ideas are available on most fitness magazine website.
If you are lacking motivation or are intimidated to start working out attend group classes. The chances are you will learn a few tricks, find people who like to work out and get your work out in.
Having a partner in crime always helps when you are trying to stay motivated. Alectra Kelley (my partner and crime) are always there for each other. She will cook me chicken when my oven breaks 3 weeks out from a show, I will help her with posing and walking and etc. Its so easy to do it together!
Become friends on Facebook or follow people who motivate you. Their posts and updates will get you movin’