First, it is important to know that fitness has always been a part of my life, consciously or not. I was a gymnast from ages 5 to 10. After that, I did hiking in the mountains and forests around Carpathia from ages 10 to 15. At 15, still into fitness, I started doing very basic aerobics at a simple athletic studio. That was nothing like what we have here in the west, but it kept me going and gave me a taste for something like the gym. As a teen, I dated a bodybuilder, and was fascinated with what he was doing and how he and the other bodybuilders looked. It was my biggest dream to hit the gym. I don't know why, but I have loved it since as long as I can remember. Even just from watching TVshows (bodybuilding competitions on stage at that time, back to 1990) I just loved to watch the human body with naturally made muscles, and to me it's such a TURN ON! Both women's and men's bodies developed like this! I think people with muscles just look much more healthy, attractive and sexy, not to mention the self-confident and goal oriented side of those people. At 17, I started going to his gym -- a real gym -- and was hooked on training from the very first time! I just freaking loved it! I remember my first time in the gym like it was yesterday. I had no clue what to do with all those machines and equipment. I learned from all who I watched in the gym, and of course at that time it was only guys, so while I did copy all that I saw at first, mostly I had to learn for myself what would work for me in choosing weights, exercises, etc., on my own. ..I became a personal trainer when I was 19 Blast off! That was it for me! I was ruined for anything except a life of fitness. My university studies in management and hotel business, which I completed well enough, were the worst chore. I loved sport! I knew my job well, and continued to learn, and I continue to learn to this day. So, to make a long story short, probably by around age 20, I consciously knew my life would revolve around fitness. (But it was with me from the start!)
I was born active. It is in my blood! I cannot imagine my life without sport/fitness! In all aspects of my life, I include fitness. I am always dreaming big and setting my goals so high that it seems impossible for me to achieve them! It always scares me, but at the same time, the adrenaline, the determination and my desires give me strength to move forward, and as soon as I reach my goal, I am setting another goal, and I make the level to achieve even higher. My nature is that I am never satisfied with what I am doing, and to me it is seems not enough, and not perfect enough! So what keeps me motivated is the desire to become the best I can be!
I would describe it as low-impact, with relatively low intensity. In the gym, I prefer the step master machine (stepmill) or spinning. Outside, the same low-impact like jogging.
A quality mix of macronutrients like protein, healthy carbs and healthy fats in reasonable proportions is best. Balance and common sense are best. If portion control and meal timing are done diligently, that is more important than macronutrient ratios. Supplement micronutrients with multivitamins and minerals. Of course, most of the time, eat clean. Dieting takes discipline, but it is not that complicated.
Well this is a good question. While I don't have a problem at all with craving junk foods like salty food, my weakness is sweets. I am addicted to it, but like I always tell my clients, fans or just friends, I am working out hard every day for so many years, and with all that being said, I deserve a little treat! I add to my diet plan, 3-4 times per week, treat-cheat meals. Mostly those meals are on weekends when I am going out with my friends or family, and I let myself eat some cookies or cakes with an ice cream. That is my favorite cheat meal! A few times a week, after my heaviest workouts, I let myself to enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate or a chocolate protein bar with dry fruits. It is only in this way, with planned indulgences, that I can stay away from non-stop craving. However, when competition time begins, there is a definite need to use my total beast mode and willpower to control such weaknesses! And I do!
One of my favorites is hip thrusters, mostly working glutes and hams. For upper body, believe it or not, I love doing chin-ups. I also enjoy seated rowing.
For many people it probably sounds strange, but I prefer to do my workout with weights/iron without listening to any music, as I really like to feel my breathing, listening to my body and to feel how my body reacts on each exercise, for me it is important to be connected and focused while I work out. It gives me a more productive workout in the end, and I can see results quicker! Your mind and your body are connected. I learned this from my experience, and music keeps my mind away from the workout. I start dancing and thinking about different things with music. But for sure, music helps me while I am doing my cardio, either on the stepmill or running outside or doing spinning! During cardio, I am listening to house music, European house and electro house. I never follow any DJ. Just whatever is on my iPhone that I have at the moment that I am turning on and listening to!
Well, let me just explain that I never stick with one routine more then 1-2 months. I am always changing my workout program by adding something new or mixing things up with what I did before to confuse my body and muscles, simply to not get bored and always have fun with my training.
Here is one of my weekly routines, and one of my favorites with using pyramid method:
Short-term goals in fitness -- I don't think so. However, I do set long-term goals. As I mentioned, fitness is my life, and I can't imagine being out of shape, so before I became a fitness pro, my long-term goal was to compete and become a fitness pro. That was the next logical step up for me. 2 years ago, when I reached this goal and I became a WBFF Pro, I set another long-term goal - To reach the Top 10 in the Pro division in the next few years, and who knows how many years it will take me to reach this goal! So all I want to say is I am only setting long term goals, and for me to stay in my best possible shape during pursuit of that goal is not even a goal, it is a lifestyle! I don't really count short-term goals, such as accomplishing a certain reasonable thing, like a training goal or a diet goal after a week or so, because as long as I am in beast mode, I know it will happen. I don't want little distractions all the time. I prefer to keep my eyes on the prize, and live high-intensity on my way there.
I am very proud of all my achievements in fitness. There was a time when I was dreaming about being a Fitness model, stepping on the stage and competing, being published in magazines or on any fitness sites. I am so proud to be as I am now, and who I am now! I never thought I could be a fitness role model for countless people from all over the world, who are going to follow me and love me! I never imagined, and really still can't imagine, how many people I am inspiring and motivating. Just by my public persona, I am helping people to reach and achieve their own goals and dreams. This is the best thing that I can be proud of! I am proud to be the mother of my little son, who is 4 years old now, and I am proud to be a good example for him in how to stay fit, healthy and stay motivated. I am proud that I did everything on my own, never gave up, and all that I dreamed of I made happen! All the planning, hard work and great people came together and my dream came true! There are so many things that I can be proud of, and this is what keeps me going because it shows the sky is the limit, and I know, I can do so many more things that are going to make me proud in the near future!
Yes, the first time I had a big obstacle in my life was when I immigrated to Toronto, Canada. My mom decided to move from Russia to Canada, and I followed her. That was really hard for me, to lose everything and start from zero. From nothing, with no knowledge of English, it seemed to be impossible that I could start a new life when I came to the west in 2004. My relationship with fitness at that time was difficult because I had to make a living, and with no knowledge of English, I couldn't work as a trainer at a gym. I was working at so many different places completely opposite to that, but was trying to keep myself in shape, trying to hit the gym every single day. But it did not always work, as I was exhausted after working 2 jobs at that time. Anyway, I didn't give up, and after so many years, I did find a way to get back on my regular training schedule, and I got back into fitness full time!
Another setback completely destroyed my body. It was in 2009...when I became pregnant! And as this was a completely new situation (and condition, if I can say so) for me. My weight at that time before pregnancy was about 125 pounds. For a 27-year-old woman, I was in great shape, and it was a perfect weight, and I thought nothing would change. So I guess troubles started from the halfway point of my pregnancy, when the hormones started to change my mind and mood and affect in different ways. I was totally losing my mind, and I was hungry all the time! Mornings, day time and especially nights, my mouth never closed! I ate non-stop, but I couldn't control it. Well, now I think I was able, but at that time I kept telling myself, "I am going to lose everything as soon as I give birth, and magically become the same Ella." That was the best excuse for me, since then I stopped thinking about it. I ate at one meal like I was 5 people! At the time I was close to giving birth, my weight was 220 pounds! After my son was born, my weight was 226 pounds! That was the biggest setback I ever made for myself! I totally killed my shape and I thought I would never get back into my previous condition. But, as you can see, I made it back! And all I can say now is I look even better then before!
So that is why I keep saying to everyone who thinks it is over or too late to change or fix something with your body/shape, it is NEVER too late, NEVER GIVE UP! THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!
Strength, scale, mirror...I am using all those criteria.
I don't have any specific brand of supplements as, honestly, I am not using them a lot. Yes, I am using vitamins and minerals in a complex, with fish oil as well as some protein shakes, but I am adding protein shakes only while my workouts get most intense and I am getting ready for competition. At that time, pre-competition, I split my meals to 6 times per day, and then I am using protein shakes, as well as BCAAs and pre-workout formulas. All that cool looking stuff you see in the health food supplement stores. However, in off-season (which is most of the year) I am not using any of it as I think I get enough of what my body needs in my food.
You need to find out what works for you. First, keep in mind that supplements are supplements to the foods you eat. They are not drugs, and can't perform miracles. That being said, there are vitamins and minerals you in particular may need more of. Are you consuming lots of protein? Take more antioxidants to combat cell damage. If you really need to gain weight, adding protein may be the best thing for you. Eat right first, then define your body's goal and what you need more of to achieve it.
If you want to create that body you have dreamed about for a long time, then go and get it! Set the goal, and stick with it. MAKE A PLAN. Without a plan you can't achieve your goal! No excuses, no 50% efforts. If you want to build a better body, you are going to have to go through a whole lot of pain, sweat and tears. Believe in yourself; you can do it! Most of the people expecting results in short period need to be patient to see the result. You will have to LIFT HEAVY. You will have to LIFT OFTEN. You will have to EAT RIGHT and all for a VERY LONG PERIOD OF TIME. You will have to give up those habits that got you where you are today, including that habit of changing your mind every other day. Nothing beats a good plan, consistency and hard work. Nothing. Believe in yourself you can do it and you will!
Another myth most women hold as truth is they think if they train their legs heavy, they will get too big, and they are afraid to look less feminine or look "like a man" if they train hard. That’s not true! Heavy lifting increases your metabolism, which allows you to keep your body fitness much easier than women who never lift. Having muscle, and using it, burns fat! Busting your butt won't make you a man; it will make you look healthy, fit, hot and sexy, and give you more confidence. Fit legs on women always catch mens' eyes. In general, lean mass, with great shape and perfect proportion are the sign of the greatest discipline in women! So don't be afraid of hard work and heavy lifting. It just gives you more opportunities to get compliments from people!
1981/30/06 was born in Russia, Krasnodar
Weight: off-season 129-132, stage weight: 124