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Emerald Cup 2018 – Amanda Caresse

Amanda Caresse – Figure G Champion 

Biggest obstacle on the road to the Emerald Cup stage and how you conquered it?

The biggest obstacle I faced and endured was self-doubt. You want to believe you have what it takes. You want to believe you can win first place; but personally wanting to stay humble with myself, I was trying to find that balance of, “I have what it takes and I WILL WIN,” and “If I don’t make it, it wasn’t meant to be, I will be okay.”

I learned along the way that it’s okay to think highly of yourself! It is okay to tell yourself you are the best and you will win this. I believe that is the only way you can achieve what you want: to SPEAK IT TO LIFE.

Throughout this show and process I learned there is POWER in my words and there is POWER with the thoughts I choose to let obsess my mind. You either believe in yourself or you don’t. If you can be honest enough with yourself and confront those thoughts and feelings, you will see what you truly believe, and then you go from there. I believed I could. I told myself I could. I spoke OUT LOUD the things I WILL accomplish… and I did.

The law of attraction is powerful. Just make sure you are attracting the right thoughts.

Amanda Caresse Emerald Cup Figure G Champ in Posing Outfit

Amanda Caresse Emerald Cup Figure G Champ

Emerald Cup highlight moment?

Being on stage with some of the best amateur athletes in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, the placing was amazing and such a humbling moment, but the fire I felt being on stage is something I still can not explain.

Not to get too spiritual, but the best description I have tried to put into words was that the heat from the stage lights and the fire inside of me kind of meshed into one, like I BELONG there.

I had no nerves. I felt completely calm. I had a job to do and I knew how to do it, so I felt very confident. I lived this moment in my head over and over. I would see it as I woke up and see it as I went to sleep. Visioning how I wanted to FEEL at check-ins, around other competitors, from backstage, to pumping up, to lining up before stepping on stage and being on stage going through my quarter turns. I LIVED it in my mind over and over.

For new competitors, I strongly recommend this. It made all the difference to my stage presence because I felt ready.

Speaking of my stage presence, I OWE it all to the guidance of IFBB Pro Vanessa Naesheim who was the Emerald Cup 2017 guest poser. She coached me for weeks going into this show.

Amanda Caresse Facts & Figures

Age: 23

Height: 5-8

Competition Weight: 146 lbs

Off-Season Weight: 175 lbs

Number of Years Competing: This was my very first show.

Occupation: Military – Air National Guard; Civilian – Whole Foods Market Produce Team Member

Emerald Cup Interview on YouTube

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The Emerald Cup

The 2018 Emerald Cup marked the 36th edition of this venerable show. Produced by the husband and wife team of Brad and Elaine Craig and the rest of the Craig Productions crew, the show features a full slate of muscle and fitness spread over Friday and Saturday.

Emerald Cup on Facebook

Emerald Cup Official Site

Emerald Cup on Instagram   

Top 5 Reasons to Attend Emerald Cup 2018

Emerald Cup 2018

This year’s edition of the Emerald Cup takes place on Friday April 27 and Saturday April 28. As is the tradition, the Meydenbauer Center serves as the venue. The show includes bodybuilding, fitness, figure, physique, bikini and classic physique.

Why should you be there?

Top 5 Reasons to Attend Emerald Cup 2018

  1. The promotion team of Brad and Elaine Craig, the best promoters in the business.
  2. Kim Kong Farrison on the mic. The best master of ceremonies in the business. Never at a loss for words, he keeps the show flowing smoothly over the entire weekend.
  3. Entertainment value. You’ll see outstanding guest posers and guest entertainers along with an impressive selection of competitors in all divisions. In particular, thanks in large part to IFBB Pro Tanji Johnson, this is one show that fields a strong fitness contingent on the stage. As a bonus, the Emerald Cup Expo, held in conjunction with the show. Always lots to see at the various booths.
  4. Location, location, location. The Meydenbauer Center makes for a great venue and the city of Bellevue serves as the perfect host city for the event.
  5. The Craig Productions staff. They’ve been doing this for years and they know how to make the weekend run like a finely tuned Swiss watch.

As in previous years, we’ll be there doing show coverage. This year, we’ll be working with bikini competitor, fitness model and Emerald Cup alumna Markie Williams.  Markie will be conducting interviews, including competitor interview and “faces in the crowd” interviews.

See Markie Williams interview from the 2017 Emerald Cup.

Visit our old blog to see Emerald Cup 2017 coverage.

Keep checking back here at our new home to see coverage, photos and video from Emerald Cup 2018.

For everything show related, visit the official Craig Productions website.

Follow the Emerald Cup on social media

Emerald Cup on Facebook

Emerald Cup on Instagram

Emerald Cup on Twitter

Emerald Cup 2018 Poster

Figure Competitor Steph Ferris On The Path To Excellence

Things you didn’t know about Steph Ferris:

  • She loves the Marvel universe and superheroes – Jessica Jones tops her list of favorites.
  • Getting asked for ID is a common occurrence. Yes, she really is 27. No, she doesn’t look it.
  • She’s a figure competitor, but she’s never set foot on stage. Hard to believe especially considering the more than impressive physique she’s crafted.

Figure competitor Steph Ferris started on her path to excellence as a gymnast. Over time, injuries took a toll on her body. This led her to start weight training to build up her strength. In 2013, she became a certified personal trainer.

Fast forward to 2018. May 12 marks the date when Steph steps on stage for her figure debut.

Steph Ferris Figure Competitor Posing in Bikini

Steph Ferris Figure Competitor

Steph Ferris by the numbers

Age: 27

Height: 5’3

Competition weight: probably around 134 lbs

Off season weight: 149 lbs

What are your goals as a competitor?

I think most serious competitors dream of turning pro one day and that’s definitely a goal of mine.

What is the personal appeal to you of being a strong, muscular woman?

I like that my body is a physical representation of my inner strength and resilience.

You must draw attention because of your physique. What’s the strangest question someone has asked you or the strangest incident you’ve experienced?

I do find myself in awkward situations sometimes. The strangest thing is when people just feel the need to throw comments at me when I’m casually walking down the street. Like, “Holy cow, you’re so built.” or men who say “You’re bigger than me. All we notice is your shoulders from miles away. Don’t get any bigger.”

I have just learned that these observations come with it and have grown accustomed to being put on the spot.

Steph Ferris Impressive Back Flex From Rear

Steph Ferris Impressive Back

What are three things you want people to know about you?

  1. I really care about how I influence people.
  2. I am passionate about whatever I put my mind to.
  3. I always try to find a way to work through a difficult situation.

Three things you can’t live without?

  1. Music.
  2. Faith.
  3. Deep tissue massages.

You have $10,000 to donate to charity. Where does it go and why?

Probably to Food Banks Canada. I think having food is a basic need that everyone deserves to have met, and many people are not aware that poverty exists even within developed countries.

What person or people inspire you and why?

Many people have inspired me!

Kai Greene is definitely one of them. He came from nothing and defied many odds to get to where he is. His resilient mindset is inspiring to me.

Last year’s Miss Figure Olympia Cydney Gillon is another one. She is a young, hard-working athlete and extremely genuine person. She definitely keeps me pushing on my rough days!

Steph Ferris Impressive Arms Bare Arm Showing Muscles

Steph Ferris Impressive Arms

What do you like the most about yourself?

I’m extremely loyal – a tough quality to find these days.

If you could be a A) WWE Wrestler; B) UFC cage fighter; C) UFC ring girl; what would you choose and why?

UFC cage fighter! Martial arts fascinate me (I did some kickboxing in my teen years). The mix of speed and agility required make it an all-around awesome sport.

Follow Steph Ferris

Steph Ferris Instagram

Steph Ferris website

Steph Ferris on YouTube

 

Talla Amini – Bikini Competitor and Fitness Model

By day, 30-year-old Talla Amini teaches first grade. After that, she morphs into Talla Amini, bikini competitor and fitness model. Along the way, she still finds time to work with her own project, Talla’s Fuelicious Eat to Grow Desserts.

Talla Amini, Bikini Competitor and Fitness Model Posing in Bikini

Talla Amini, Bikini Competitor and Fitness Model

What are your stats?

Age: 30

Height: 5-5

Competition weight: 115 pounds

Currently you compete in bikini. Do you plan to continue in bikini? 

I plan to crossover in 2020-2021 to figure.

How and when did you get started lifting weights and training?

I started lifting weights when I was 18 when I joined a bench press after school class, which was the first time they had that class as an option in Washington State. I was able to do bench press and leg press and I found it very motivating and I felt strong as a woman, though I was just one of two girls in the class! Then as I was attending the University of Washington, I worked at many gyms along the east side of Washington, including Golds and many others.

What was your first show and how old were you?

My first show was the 2014 NPC Ironman Championships. I was 26.

Were you athletic growing up?

Yes. I grew up dancing – mainly ballet and choreography. Also played tennis and a lot of swimming.

What are your goals as a competitor?

To inspire as many people as I can. I want women to workout for themselves, not for what they feel the opposite sex may find attractive, but to do it for them, and feel strong and secure in their own bodies.

Favorite cheat meal?

Sushi and cannoli for dessert.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise people if they knew?

That I love opera music. I love to workout to classical music or opera.

Three things you can’t live without?

  1. Cannoli.
  2. My journal.
  3. Trident pink bubble gum.

Most exciting/thrilling thing you’ve ever done in your life?

The most exciting thrilling I have ever done in my life is take a chance at competing. I have always been very scared to be in front of tons of people, so just by getting on stage I conquered a lot of my fears.

Talla Amini Gun Show with Talla Flexing Biceps

Talla Amini Gun Show

What’s something you’re not very good at, but you’re committed to improving over the next year?

Transitions of posing and performance is what I want to improve. I am committed to being more confident on stage.

When you think of a successful bikini competitor or fitness model, who comes to mind and why?

Tanji Johnson, because she has inspired so many women and men in all divisions. She has also had the biggest influence on the fitness division and the other divisions as well. Her character and grace she presents on stage and with her teammates and clients is like none other!

If you could be a A) WWE Diva; B) UFC cage fighter; C) UFC ring girl; what would you choose and why?

UFC Cage fighter, because I think it’s highly important for a woman to know self defense mechanisms and know how to throw down!

Find Talla Amini on social media:

Follow Talla on Instagram

Follow Talla on Facebook

Follow Talla on Facebook fan page

Talla extends a special thanks to her sponsor Dave Palumbo, CEO of RxMuscle and founder of Species Nutrition.

Crystal Trace – One Strong Woman

Crystal Trace is one strong woman. She lifts heavy weights. Very heavy weights.

Crystal competes in powerlifting. Although new to the sport – “I competed in my first novice comp in July 2015 and arrived on the powerlifting scene with a 385 kg total. I got noticed. And I was bitten by the powerlifting bug. It was a beautiful moment.” – she’s put up some big numbers.

At a weight of 165 pounds, she boasts a 441-lbs squat; a 221-lbs bench and a 424-lbs deadlift. In training, she’s put up even bigger numbers and is ready to break her personal bests.

“I have a competition on 16 March, 2018. I’m confident I will crack a 500 kg plus (1,102 pounds) total.”

Powerlifter Crystal Trace flexes her biceps

Powerlifter Crystal Trace

Were you athletic growing up?

Not really. I played a few sports, tennis, netball, I enjoyed athletics. But I wasn’t really that good at it.

How did you get started lifting weights and training?

From the age of 16 I was in the gym. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but as I’d struggled with my weight since I was about 12 years old, I knew that moving my body was a key to making changes. I wasn’t consistent and I never really got anywhere with it.

When I was 26, I met my now husband. He went to the gym every day at 6 AM. I started going with him.

I spent the first 6 months on the treadmill. Then I got a trainer and started doing boxing. Eventually I started training with weights.

I cried during all of my initial sessions. I hated it. I felt like it wasn’t doing anything because I didn’t sweat that much. I’m not sure when I started enjoying it – I guess I noticed my body changing and I started asking about the girls I saw in the gym that were getting ready to compete.

I asked my trainer often if I could enter a show. He never answered the question. After about three years of training, I asked again. This time he answered and he said I was ready!

You started in figure and moved to powerlifting. When did you make the change and what prompted your decision?

My last figure competition was in September 2014. The day after the show I turned 30. It was in that moment that I decided that I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life worrying about and being judged on my physique. I promptly set some strength goals around the three big lifts (squat, bench, deadlift).

Crystal Trace as a figure competitor onstage flexing biceps

Crystal Trace as a Figure Competitor

Where do you live?

Adelaide, South Australia

What is your profession/job?

Personal trainer. I used to work for the State Government, but training is my passion and it made sense to start my own training business.

What drives you to keep pushing forward, training and going to the gym?

Initially I loved the feeling of getting stronger, then I loved that I was able to inspire other women to get stronger and lift weights. For the last year, I’ve had my sights on achieving a 500 kg total. And I still love inspiring and encouraging other women to lift heavy things!

What is the personal appeal to you of being a strong, muscular woman?

“I just love being strong and I love chicks with muscle. In my opinion, strong and musclely is the new black! And it’s never going out of fashion!”

Do you have a story you can share about how people react to you?

Gosh, so many stories. Guys are really funny – they often can’t understand how a woman can be stronger than them. Some feel intimidated, threatened. Others love it. Sometimes I train in a commercial gym setting – you see the guys (and the girls) watching you. Put 20 kg plates on the bench press and most guys will rush over to your aid thinking you are going to drop it on yourself!

What three words best describe you?

Determined, dedicated, consistent.

I’m sure you get noticed in public because of your physique. What’s an unusual incident you’ve experienced?

Most recently I was at a commercial gym that my friend works at. One of the male trainers commented to her that he wouldn’t know how to be with a woman like me in the bedroom because I’m so strong. It was an odd comment. It made me laugh!

The powerful upper body of Crystal Trace

Powerful Upper Body of Crystal Trace

Three things you can’t live without?

  1. Lip balm
  2. Coffee
  3. A good pillow

What’s one thing you really like doing that other people would be surprised to find out?

I recently started collecting crystals (I call them rocks). I really love learning about the different healing powers of crystals and how to harness them to achieve transformation, harmony and balance in my life.

If you could be a A) WWE Diva; B) UFC cage fighter; C) UFC ring girl; what would you choose and why?

UFC Cage Fighter – those chicks are total badasses!

Anything else we should know about you or that you would like to add?

For anyone thinking about getting in shape or getting stronger, find a good coach, work with them, do the work, trust the process and only listen to one person at a time. You will only confuse yourself by trying to take advice from multiple people.

Social Media Links:

Follow Crystal on Instagram

Follow Crystal and Strength Lab on Facebook

Follow Crystal Trace on Facebook

Visit Strength Lab website

Crystal on YouTube lifting heavy and crushing a watermelon 

Crystal Trace By The Numbers

Competition Squat: 200 kg

Competition Bench: 100 kg

Competition Deadlift: 192.5 kg

Most recent training lifts:

Squat: 202.5 kg

Bench: 100 kg

Deadlift: 195 kg

Age: 33

Height: 5-6

Weight as figure competitor: 132 lbs.

Weight as powerlifter: 165 lbs weight class (I prefer this strong, muscular, feminine physique.)

Emerald Cup 2018 – Get Ready!

Once again, it’s that time of year when the Emerald Cup rolls around. This is a “must see” if you’re in the Pacific Northwest, whether on the Canuck side of the border or the US side of the border.

This year’s edition of the Emerald Cup takes place on Friday April 27 and Saturday April 28. As is the tradition, the Meydenbauer Center serves as the venue.

The show includes bodybuilding, fitness, figure, physique, bikini and classic physique. Along with the show, a great expo to take in both Friday and Saturday.

You can find out more about the Emerald Cup and all the other outstanding Craig Production shows at the official website http://craigproductions.com

Follow on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/craigproductionsmuscleshows

https://twitter.com/emeraldcup

https://www.instagram.com/craigproductions

Check our old blog to see coverage of Emerald Cup 2017.

Chyna: Do Not Handle With Care – This Is No Fragile Lady

“Don’t go. We’re interested in you.”

These five simple words stopped Joanie Laurer, AKA Chyna, from embarking on a pro boxing career and plying her trade as the female heavy for the WCW.

“I knew the WWF was interested in me, but I started to lose hope about getting hired. I was called by the WCW and I was going to attend their television show and come out as a tough girl.

“I was driving to Alabama and I stopped by the WWF pay-per-view to say hi to Hunter Hearst Helmsley and somebody stopped me and said, ‘Don’t go. We’re interested in you.’

“I was about to have my first professional boxing fight. It was scheduled for a month after the WWF hired me,” explained the raven-haired Chyna about how the door to her superstar status in the WWF swung open.

WWF Superstar Wrestler Chyna, 5-10, 196 lbs, Circa 1999

WWF Superstar Chyna, 5-10, 196 lbs

Hard work, determination and belief in herself paved the way to her role as the menacing, glowering Chyna, who patrols the squared circle in front of sell-out audiences everywhere. And don’t think she’s just a ringside ornament with bulging biceps. This 5-10, 196-pound athletic entertainer routinely steps into the ring to mix it up with the behemoths of pro wrestling, sometimes even scooping up her male adversaries and sending them crashing to the canvas with thundering body-slams that show no respect for their gender.

From Fitness to Pro Wrestling

Before her present status as arguably one of the most recognizable female athletes on the planet, Chyna made her mark in the fitness world. At 170 pounds, she dwarfed her fellow competitors.

“The things you saw me do, the fitness shows and even the boxing – I really enjoyed the boxing – were more stepping stones or attention getters. I never really wanted to do them or excel in them, but I knew I could do them and I also knew while doing them that I was out of my element, but I knew people were going to notice me, which in turn would help me get here.”

Chyna’s transition from the fitness stage to the wrestling ring began at Walter Kowalski’s school where she learned the techniques of the pro wrestling business. She felt there was a market for her look and that pro wrestling was the vehicle to introduce that look to the public.

Less than two years after starting school – Valentine’s Day February 14, 1997 – Chyna debuted in the WWF.

Chyna in the WWF

“I knew the WWF was number one. The WCW had always seemed kind of like a fad to me. They were doing very well in the ratings, however, I felt that from what I saw on TV they weren’t using the women the way that I wanted to be used. I saw them being used and spit out very quickly in matches.”

Chyna felt women in pro wrestling could be portrayed as something other than bimbos. She wanted to play a character that could make an impact and the WWF seemed to be on the same wavelength in terms of how they wanted to present her. The strategy obviously works, because in the past year-and-a-half, she’s been the only woman that’s been on every road date in the WWF, an achievement that speaks volumes about the popularity of her brooding character with the massive biceps that would be the envy of most any bodybuilder.

Chyna The Road Warrior

Of course, her superstar status does not come cheap. Life consists of endless travel, impossibly long days extended by the demands of personal appearances and autograph sessions, and trying to find restaurants that serve up a healthy fare. Fortunately, she enjoys the life of a road warrior.

“One day mixes into the next and you go to the hotel room you were in the night before because you’ve forgotten you’re in a new hotel. It’s pretty wild.

“I think it’s very difficult for me being the only woman. There’s a couple of other women, but they’re not really full-time. I do okay because the guys respect me and I get along very well with everybody.

“I’m very straight-laced. I stay out of the way of everything. When most people go down to the bar at night, I go to my room. That way I never get myself into trouble and I can show up to work and be friends with everybody and it never puts me in an awkward situation. And it’s worked.”

To keep her sanity intact, Chyna gets into the gym as much as possible while on the road. On the nutritional side of things, MET-Rx is a constant travel companion.

And of course, the million dollar question: When will we see Chyna in the ring battling one of the WWF femme-fatales in a wrestling match?

“I really don’t want to do that. I don’t think women’s wrestling works. There’s not an availability of women that are good workers. I think that most men, if they watch women in the ring, it’s because they want to see a nice body, not wrestling.

“I didn’t enjoy wrestling and I don’t want to do it, because that would take me from the main event to working with maybe a couple of girls – if we could find them – that are half my size and it would put me on opening card matches. Why would I do that? I don’t think people would want to see me do that, unless I just went out and squashed somebody, which doesn’t help me.”

But again, this is the WWF, where entertainment reigns supreme and where all manner of wild and wonderful antics takes place. Is it so much of a stretch to imagine that the head honchos of the WWF might one day decide that it’s time for this hulking grapplerette to step into the ring and crush someone?

Chyna’s loyal minions eagerly await this display of feminine pulchritude.

WWF Wrestling Superstar Chyna Cover Shot Fighting Females Magazine Spring 1999

Chyna Cover Shot Fighting Females Magazine

Click to see Chyna slideshow photos on YouTube.

Note: I interviewed Chyna for Fighting Females magazine. Original article appeared in the Spring 1999 issue.

Natasha At The Fights – Ring Girl Is A Knockout!

Pre-Fight

It’s 6:30 PM. Twenty-one-year-old Natasha Edwards is an explosion of excitement and nervous energy waiting to happen. It’s easy to see why her coach Lara Toma describes her as a “fireball.”

Arriving in jeans that hug her frame so tightly it looks as if they were painted on and a top that shows off her muscular bikini competitor physique, Natasha Edwards seems tailor made for this gig. Tonight, sporting a tiny bikini that accentuates the muscles and curves of her 38-26-38 physique, she’ll make her debut as a ring girl.

There’s a list of names at the front door that includes Natasha Edwards. These are the ring girls working the February Fury event. But the ticket takers ignore her name. Instead, they’re waiting for “the special girl with the muscles that will be performing in a bikini tonight.” That puts a smile on Natasha’s face.

Natasha goes to work within minutes of her arrival. Video interviews, promo photos and preparing for her solo performance in the ring; after that, meeting the ring crew, media and her fellow ring girls.

On paper, 90 minutes looks like a comfortable stretch of time; in real time at the venue, each minute races by, chasing the preceding one until the clock exhausts its allotment of 90 ticks.

Ring Girl Natasha Edwards hit a biceps pose at February Fury fight night

Ring Girl Natasha

Showtime! Bring on the Ring Girl

It’s 8 PM. Showtime. MC Olesha Karringten steps into the ring, microphone in hand. “Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please.”

But it’s not a fight that starts the proceedings; it’s Natasha Edwards.

Stepping into the ring wrapped in a black bikini that strains to keep her taut, curvy body encased in the fabric, Edwards exudes a mix of confidence, power and sex appeal.

How many in the crowd are hoping for a timely wardrobe malfunction?

Strutting around the ring, the bikini competitor hits a few biceps flexes that elicit shouts of approval from the fight crowd. MC Olesha continues with her introduction. When she booms out Natasha’s stats, the 38-26-38 measurements gain an approving round of applause from the crowd. As Natasha describes it, her sweeping curves and hard muscles form the perfect combination of “murves,” hashtag parlance for muscles and curves.

After an interview at center ring, Olesha asks Natasha to demonstrate what she does on stage at a bikini contest. Natasha obliges, hitting her mandatory bikini poses and throwing in a few extra twists and turns to show off her chiseled physique. The fight crowd approves.

February Fury stretches out until 11:30 PM. Throughout, Natasha lives up to her “fireball” reputation. Each time she steps into the ring, she feeds off the energy of the audience and shows no signs of slowing down.

That’s a wrap

At the end of the evening with the ring coming down around her, she’s still going strong, posing for promotional photos with a clamor of media rushing to get as much with her as they can. Edwards is ready for more, but it’s the ones behind the cameras that run out of energy first. February Fury finally comes to a close for “the special girl with the muscles that will be performing in a bikini tonight.”

Watch Natasha’s debut as a ring girl:

YouTube

Natasha hitting some biceps shots:

YouTube Biceps

Originally published February 2016.

CJ Schouten – Fighter and Self-Described Nerd

 

In the ring, CJ Schouten may be a fighter, but outside the ring, it’s a different story.

“I’m pretty much a huge nerd when I’m not punching things. I absolutely love playing with Lego. I have a rock collection.”

CJ Schouten – Stats

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5-4
  • Fighting Weight: 125 lbs
  • Walking Around Weight: 137 lbs
  • Fight Record: 3-0 (kickboxing)

Were you athletic growing up and if so, what sports?

When I was 7, my brother started Karate. Being the younger sibling thinking he was super cool, I absolutely had to as well. At 11-years-old I entered my first tournament and got hooked on competing. For the next 10 years I heavily competed in Karate, earning my black belt and a place on the Canadian National Team.

What motivated you to start training and eventually step into the ring to fight?

I’ve been in martial arts all my life. It’s more than just loving the sport, its simply a part of me. When I was in post-secondary (first a B.Sc. in Geology from UBC, then an Adv. Dip. In GIS from BCIT) I had to take time off training, and although it was necessary to get me to where I am today, there was always something missing. Just over two years ago, I stepped into Lions MMA and knew I had to get back in the ring. I haven’t looked back since.

What are your goals as a fighter?

“To transition into MMA. To be the best, not just compared to others I compete against, but the best against myself.”

What is your profession/job?

GIS Technician for the City of Vancouver, Park Board.

Favorite female fighter and why?

I actually don’t have one… There are a handful where I can appreciate their skills and respect what they have done to get to where they are but I couldn’t name one as my favorite.

CJ Schouten kickboxer in the ring with arm raised in victory

CJ Schouten for the win

Your home is burning down. You can save only one item. What do you save and why?

“My baby blanket. Yes I said baby blanket. It is pink, fuzzy and has a unicorn on it. I’ve had it all my life.”

Best gift you’ve ever received?

I got a Century Bob XL a few years ago and it’s set up at home. Great for taking things down a notch and working on some specifics.

Anything else that you would like to add?

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support of my coaches and teammates at Lions MMA. I am grateful to be a part of this team.

Where can we see more of you?

YouTube for highlights of CJ’s Nov 2017 victory

Instagram – Although this is mainly pictures of my dog. He is my lazy fur baby.

Krystia Petrossie – Physique Competitor and Muscle Model

We interviewed Krystia Petrossie, physique competitor, in September 2016.

Let’s start with stats.

  • Age 30
  • Height 5-1
  • Competition weight 125 lbs
  • Off-season weight 135-140 lbs.

Show off your muscles in public or cover them up?

I like showing off my muscles cause I work so hard for it. However, sometimes it can be a bit mental when I get a lot of stares when walking through public places, but I take it as a compliment for all my hard work and dedication.

How did you get started lifting weights and training?

I started lifting weights as a pastime and just missed the feeling of being competitive and reaching a goal. That’s when I decided to hire a coach and compete in my first figure competition. After competing in figure, I realized my heart was into physique. The routines really caught my eye.

What inspired you to start competing?

I actually had a few friends who competed for years and they inspired me to compete. I loved the look of lean muscle. Nutrition is really where I needed to focus to change my body composition.

Do you like to lift heavy and what are some of your best lifts?

“I love lifting heavy weights especially in a gym where I can lift heavier than most people in the gym (especially some of the guys haha). It makes me feel so empowered as a woman. Some of my best lifts are bench press, leg press and squats.”

How old were you when you did your first show?

I was 26, so I’m fairly new to the sport.

What’s your athletic background?

At age 10 I was a highland dancer world champion. Then I gave up dancing to play basketball and soccer in high school at a division 1 level. I became athlete of the year two years consecutively and ranked top three in Nova Scotia for shot put in track and field.

I continued my athletic career in university soccer for three years, then decided to move to Alberta after receiving my degree in kinesiology. That’s when I started my personal training and nutrition company with my partner Laura Borchuk. Now we’re coaching clients in competitions as well. We just recently had a client turn pro this weekend at the WBFF Worlds Toronto show.

Krystia Petrossie, physique competitor, biceps flexing

Krystia Petrossie, big biceps

What are your goals as a competitor?

To look better each time I step on stage. Ultimately I want people in and out of the industry to look up to me as a great role model. I want to ensure anyone, whether it be weight loss or competing, that they can achieve anything they put their mind to as long as they’re living a healthy lifestyle.

What do you think is the strongest part of your physique?

“My legs. After 10 years of highland dancing and soccer training, I would say my legs are definitely my strongest attribute.”

If you could change one thing about your physique, what would it be?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I love how I look and feel. I think it’s important as a competitor that you’re training to achieve the look you want, not trying to achieve the look someone else wants. Stay true to yourself.

With the growth of physique, do you think women’s bodybuilding will survive and does it have a future?

I truly believe female bodybuilding will start to decrease more and more as women’s physique continues to grow.

Favorite female competitor and why?

Juliana Malacarne. She has an amazing overall physique – very symmetrical and feminine. From the time she hits the stage, she is just amazing to watch.

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Five guys and fries 🙂 and then a small cotton candy ice cream for dessert.

What is your profession?

I am the owner of Kustom Lifestyle and Fitness, a personal training and lifestyle coaching company. We provide exercise and nutritional programs to our clients within Canada.

What’s one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?

“I have a big heart and old soul for everyone around me. I always put everyone else before myself. I love helping people.”

What three words best describe you?

Passionate, competitive and energetic.

If you could be on just one magazine cover, what’s your choice and why?

Women’s Health and Fitness because I feel like I could be an incredible role model to the fitness industry. Not only do I display the bodybuilding look of lean muscle, but I also help people on a regular basis achieve their fitness goals.

Krystia Petrossie – physique competitor

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Krystia Petrossie, physique competitor posing in shorts and heels

Krystia Petrossie, physique competitor

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