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Tag: bodybuilder

Anastasia Rider

Anastasia Rider – Figure Competitor and Personal Trainer

Anastasia Rider shows off abs

What are your stats?

I’m 5-10 and ½. I have to make sure I get that extra half-inch in there. I bulked up to 200 pounds my past offseason, but usually I’m around 177 pounds in a normal offseason.

What’s your age?

I’m 28.

What’s your profession/job?

I used to be a law enforcement officer but I’ve been an independent personal trainer for the past two years and I absolutely love it. It’s my dream job and I don’t see any of it as “work.”

When I was in law enforcement I wasn’t as big as I am now, but I was still large enough to be intimidating. I found that most of the time the people I had to deal with would take one look at me and be very compliant. Though I did have a few instances when I worked in the prison that I had to throw my weight around a bit and my strength would always surprise inmates that I had to use it on.

Anastasia Rider hits triceps

How did you get started lifting weights and training?

I’ve always been into sports and athletics. I got my first gym membership to Gold’s at 17, though I had worked out in the high school weightlifting room prior to that. I loved the gym and the feeling of pushing myself and it quickly became an addiction to constantly try to better myself and push myself harder than the week before

How old were you when you did your first show and did you start in figure?

I did my first show two years ago. I’ve always wanted to do figure. I felt my body type was too large for bikini and the posing isn’t really my style. I may one day transition to physique, but right now I love the figure class and love competing in it.

Were you athletic growing up?

Very much so. The first sport I ever competed in was swimming before I even started grade school. I played soccer, rugby, football, ran track, and used to compete in 5ks and a few 10 mile runs. I’m a lifelong fan of sports and anything involving athleticism.
What are some of your max lifts?

Recently I’ve squatted 315, pulled 405 on deadlifts and benched 225. I know there’s a lot of differing opinions on lifting very heavy in bodybuilding, but I absolutely love the feeling of moving heavy weight, so I choose to do it so I can always stay passionate about what I’m doing in the gym.

Anastasia Rider, big biceps

I’m sure you get noticed in public. Can you share an unusual experience with us? 

I can’t go anywhere without getting strange comments (lol). I get asked if I’m a wrestler almost every day anywhere I go. I think people expect me to be a certain way because of how I look, so strangers are often nervous around me and I couldn’t be a friendlier person in reality (lol).

Do you like showing off your muscles in public or do you prefer covering up?

It depends on the day. The attention from people who aren’t into fitness can be a bit annoying, but when I’m in the gym that’s my world and I tend to wear slightly more revealing clothes there. I like to see what I’m working out.

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

I feel like any time I express interest in something that isn’t fitness related, it surprises people! I have my bachelors degree in psychology and criminology and want to pursue an advanced degree in the field of psychology within the next year. I’m just as passionate about helping people as I am about bodybuilding.

You’re taller than average. What’s the biggest advantage and the biggest disadvantage of this when it comes to A) competing; and B) everyday life?

A) I don’t think there’s much of an advantage in the competition world to being so tall. If anything it makes me work harder which is definitely a benefit. I need to move heavy weight consistently to grow.

B) I never have to ask for help reaching things (lol)! I never have to ask for help for almost anything actually.

Anastasia Rider in dress and heels

Your home is burning down. Family and pets have all made it to safety. You have one chance to go back in and save just one item. What do you save and why?

My photo albums. Easy answer.

Who is your personal hero?

My grandfather. He wasn’t treated the best growing up by his family and overcame a lot of adversity to become successful. He never let the bad experiences he went through affect how he treated others. I aspire to do the same.

What do you like the most about yourself?

My resiliency. I’ve never given up on anything. I’ve failed plenty of times, but that’s only influenced me to work harder. I’ve never thrown in the towel.

Anastasia Rider hits a pose for the camera

You’ve built a solid fan base. What does it feel like when you read through all your fan comments? When you were younger, did you ever envision a time in your life when you would have all these fans following you, liking you and wanting to interact with you?

Any time people reference my “fan base” it kind of throws me off (haha). I’ve never been about making fans. I’ve just always been myself and I put who I am out there in hopes of inspiring and motivating others to be their true authentic self. I’m forever thankful for every opportunity I’ve been given, but I remain humble because I know I still have so much work to do to change the world in a positive way.

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

Probably a cage fighter! If I’m going to do something I want to DO it all the way. The WWE is awesome, but it’s acting, and there’s no way I could be a ring girl and not want to get in on the action!

Anastasia Rider on social media: 

Follow Anastasia Rider on Instagram.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like our feature on physique competitor Krystia Petrossie.

Thanks to Dan Ray Photography for use of some of these photos.

Olympia 2018 – “Meet The Olympians”

Olympia 2018 – Meet The Olympians

This is the first official event to kick off the Olympia weekend and it’s always worth dropping by for a visit. The Meet The Olympians event provides fans the opportunity to meet some of their favorites as well as interact with them and get a photo or two. Additionally, you’ll always find some impressive physiques in the crowd, particularly as some of the competitors from the amateur portion of the Olympia come out to mingle with the pros.

What better way to start things off than a biceps blast from Sasha Brown, IFBB pro figure competitor and fitness model. You can find Sasha on Facebook.

Sasha Brown, IFBB Pro with a biceps flex

Sasha Brown, IFBB Pro

When I suggested to IFBB pro figure competitor Louise Rogers that we get a flexing shot, I asked her what a strong pose for her would be. She gave me a confident look, smiled and said, “It’s all good.” Hard to argue with that.  Follow Louise on Instagram at Louise_ifbbpro

IFBB Figure Pro Louise Rogers Shows Off Biceps

IFBB Figure Pro Louise Rogers

On the amateur side of the equation, we spotted a trio of Brazilians, including two figure competitors. Camila Lyra (left) placed 4th in figure at Amateur Olympia; Gabriela Consolmagno (right) placed 3rd; in the middle, Camila’s crossfit sister. Impressive trio! Follow Gabriela on Instagram

Camila Lyra (left), Gabriela Consolmagno (right), Camila's Sister (middle)

Camila Lyra (left), Gabriela Consolmagno (right), Camila’s Sister (middle)

IFBB physique pro Melissa Pearo graciously posed for a number of photographers at the Meet The Olympians event. We walked away with a front shot and a rear shot. Follow her on Facebook at Melissa Pearo IFBB Pro

Melissa Pearo Front Biceps

Melissa Pearo Front

Melissa Pearo Back View With Rear Biceps

Melissa Pearo Back View

Although covered up, when Lenka Ferencukova hit a biceps shot for the camera, it almost appeared like the would pop out of her sleeve. You can follow Lenka on Facebook

Olympian Lenka Ferencukova Flexing Biceps

Olympian Lenka Ferencukova Flexing

You can see more photos on our Facebook coverage.

Dee Kela – From Physique to Bodybuilding

Let’s start with your stats.

I’m Dee. I turned 37 not long ago! I am 5-9 tall and off-season weight right now is around 200 lbs. I just started prep for the next show and aiming to get down to 165 lbs. Last time three years ago my contest weight was 152 lbs.

This is biggest I’ve ever been and lean off-season!

I am aiming to get into women’s bodybuilding that is doing a comeback in my country!

Dee Kela Smiling

Dee Kela

What is your profession or job?

For the moment I am independent entrepreneur, I love helping people so I coach athletes, but also just normal people to help them with healthier lifestyles and nutrition.

I have education in cooking and hairdressing, but the last 10 years I’ve been an entrepreneur.

Also I do volunteer work whenever I can. I love helping people and animals without asking anything back!

How many languages do you speak?

I speak fluently English, Russian, Spanish and my mother language is Finnish, but also I do speak a bit of Danish and Swedish.

Where do you live and what countries have you lived in previously?

I was born in Russia (that is why I know the language) and raised in Finland since I was eight, but I have lived independently in US, Spain, Denmark and also travelled a lot in those countries.

My dream would be making a career in US or Canada. My country is very small and with very limited options for being self-employed too!

Impressive Lower Body in Jeans

Impressive Lower Body

When did you start lifting weights and training?

I was 18 when I first went to the gym. I don’t think I knew what I was doing and I might of trained back thinking I’m training chest (embarrassed now), but hey, we all start somewhere.

At that time I met an older, experienced bodybuilder and he taught me everything I know about lifting. He was a very old school type of lifter from the sixties.

I have had of course some short breaks from lifting for different reasons. The longest one was almost one year while I was battling with some health issues in 2009-2010.

Were you athletic growing up and did you play any sports?

I was very athletic back in school. I was a fast runner and I loved basketball. I was very active always!

Did you start in physique, or did you start in something else and switch to physique?

Currently I have had an almost three-year break from competing to grow. I had some health issues that led to hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue, but now I just started prep and we’ll see how everything goes. I could compete after this upcoming summer.

I actually started in WPD. I’ve always had a big build and I want to aim high! I love WPD because it is very feminine and also beautiful. Normal people don’t see it that way, but I think we are all beautiful in the way that we choose to be and whatever is a passion for us, that’s what we should do, not what someone else’s beauty standards are.

Double Biceps Flex

Biceps Flex

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

I love everything about it. It’s not only being strong physically, but it takes one mentally strong person do be able to do what we do and to work hard every single day. It’s not only muscle growth, it’s also growing as a person for me.

I know that this sport has changed me so much to be a better person. I’ve become so humble, so grateful and so proud of myself and how far I can push myself despite setbacks and despite falling. I’ve learned to be so patient and respect my body the way I thought I never could.

“I’ve learned so much about myself as a person, so this is not only about muscle growth, it is mental growth too.”

I’m sure you get noticed because of your physique. What’s the strangest question someone has asked you or the strangest incident you’ve experienced?

I do get stares at the gym and sometimes even at my own gym even though I’m still very feminine.

When I lived in Spain, there weren’t many women that worked out where I worked out, so many times very bluntly I was asked if I was a man or transgender. Sometimes people are very mean. Just today a total stranger called me transexual steroid B, just because I made a comment about something.

But then there is also so many followers and good people that are inspired and ask me to help them. Random people write to me about how much I inspired them to lose weight or not to give up and those are things that I do this for. They warm my heart and make inspire me to work harder.

It is sad that the world is very judgemental because of the choices that we make without hurting anyone and just living our life as we want; but I’ve learned that people will judge you anyway. You are living for yourself not them. I hate negativity and drama so I don’t usually mind these things and just do my own thing, but if I see someone else being bullied I step in.

What are some of your best lifts?

I don’t lift as heavy anymore. Bodybuilding is not powerlifting; it’s more about keeping the lifting form through all the reps without losing the technique. But sometimes I do try if I still have it, so my best squat PR is 330 pounds and same goes for the deadlift. Bench press is not my best thing,so there is nothing to be proud about; but for example, leg press is 770 pounds.

Muscle and Curves Side Shot

Muscle and Curves

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

I am a stage one ovarian cancer survivor. I was very very lucky and I am so grateful to be alive.

I was diagnosed at 28, but I was very lucky and went through one surgery and then I had to have a training break for almost one year. It was a hard time in my life, not because of the cancer, but because of not training. I got depressed and I got out of shape, so I had to rebuild my body after all that was over. Took me two years to fix the damage, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

It is easy to be happy because you are so grateful just being here. I have been cancer free for seven years now.

Everything we go through in life prepares us to be what we’re supposed to be as human being.

What three words best describe you?

  1. Genuine
  2. Kind
  3. Hardworking

Do you have any secret hidden talents?

I actually love music and I used to play piano. I do sing too, but it’s not as good as I hope. So I sing only for myself 😀

I cannot get a good workout if I didn’t have my music at the gym. It is a must.

Three things you can’t live without?

I can’t live without goals and dreams. When you stop having them, you’re basically dead inside. You’re never too old to set one more goal, or never too old to dream to become better.

What person or people inspire you and why?

Anyone who has been through a lot and fallen, but managed to get back up. Anyone who never gave up on their dreams. Anyone who has hit rock bottom and managed to keep a positive attitude in life and always sees good in every situation.

Those people are rare warrior souls. One of them is my mother. She is the most genuine and loving person I know, even after everything she’s been through in life. Hi ma! 😉

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

Hmm…well… I would be a very bad diva because I’m not a diva type of person. I’m a very down to earth and humble kind of person. I would suck at cage fighting because I don’t want to punch anyone even if I could get paid. So I guess I have to take a ring girl, because you didn’t gave me more options. 😀

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

I have a sarcastic sense of humor and I am always always smiling.

If you would like to train or work with Dee, contact her at fitnessbydee@gmail.com

Follow Dee on Instagram

Dee Kela in One-Piece Back Shot

Dee Kela in One-Piece

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

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.