Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mascha Tieken Interview

Mascha Tieken is a woman I have so much respect for. She is an inspiration to me. The biggest reason is she has overcome her own physical problems to become a very accomplished bodybuilder, which makes me feel I can overcome mine. Mashca has done it all in terms of competing, and is about to return to bodybuilding and prove she is among the best. She writes for several magazines, owns her own gym, trains, and has been an IFBB judge. Simply put, Mascha is an amazing woman. Here is my interview with her, one I am very proud of.

Q: First, Mascha, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: My name is Mascha Nathilda Tieken and I was born (15th of January) in a little town called Heemstede in the Netherlands.
In 1990 I walked into a gym for the first time and from that time on I was hooked on the sport. In just one year I walked on the stage to do my first competition and I ended up first. My love for competitions was born there and then. I have done about 30 competitions in the last few years and I still love it. When I was young I used to ride horses and because my parents owned a stable I had to help out. So at a young age I had to clean the stables and walk with the wheelbarrow. I had to do all kinds of jobs on the farm and maybe that's why when I first started working out, people told me I was very strong.

Q: SO what made you get started in weight training?
A: I started working out because my parents did not allow me to box. I wanted to do a sport that I can do by myself. And because people always made jokes about my butt.... they made me feel fat and I wanted to lose it..... looking back, I'm happy I have a butt. Hahaha

Q: Often a beautiful woman like yourself has trouble being taken serious at the start. Was this ever a problem for you? Did you feel you had to prove yourself?
A: No, I did not feel this at all.... maybe because I was very strong and people knew they should not mess with me. Hahaha

Q: What made you decide to enter your first contest? Was it what you expected or did anything surprise you?
A: Well the reason I started competing was actually a joke. A boy at the gym told me he was going to compete. I laughed at him and told him "if you are going to compete, I will also". I never thought he would actually do it. Well, he did and I kept my promise.
Back in those days they did not have Figure or Fitness (at least not in the Netherlands) so my first competition was in Bodybuilding. I was very excited because I had seen some female bodybuilders before (actually my best friend Heidi was a bodybuilder back in those days) and I was very impressed with there physiques. I never expected to end up in first place and take the Overall title as well.
After the competition a lot of people came up to me and told me I had talent and I should do more competitions and shows. One of the judges liked my physique so much that she tool me under her wing and taught me everything. She taught me how to diet (my first diet was about 50 grams of rice and green beans-I hate green beans!!! and 100 grams of fish, that was all for one day) and how to do my poses.
I owe her a lot and she helped me to get better and better.
Somehow the competitions helped me to build up my self-confidence because I found something I was good at and something I liked doing.

Q: Can you give some of your favorite contest you have done or the ones you are most proud of.
A: As I said I have done more than 30 competitions. I have won several and there are several highlights of different kinds of levels. I mean, some are highlights because of the outcome of the competition, others are because I have special memories.
Of course the first competition is special because it gave me a rush and a lot of things happened that day that I never expected.
The highlights of my amateur days are becoming World Champion twice and receiving my Pro card. I never expected to become World Champion, (you can imagine my surprise winning it twice, because I never won the Dutch nationals or the European Championships. The organization invited me and he winner of the show to compete at the World Championships. Between these two shows there was only three weeks and I pushed myself to the limit. I changed my physique so much! I beat the winner of the Dutch nationals and won the World Championships. During these three weeks I had to go to the doctor because my joins were hurting a lot and my eyes turned red. To tell a long story short, he told me I had Bechterew, also called Spondylitis Ankylopoetica. Maybe that's why I was more determined than ever to be in the best shape ever. I thought it would be my last show, boy was I wrong. Hahaha. But enough about that.....
There is one competition that is very special to me, and that is the Dutch Pro Grand-Prix, not because of the outcome........ No, because my dad got to see my on stage. My dad was my biggest fan and he was so proud of all the things I achieved, but he had not seen me on stage as a Pro.
My dad was very sick at that time. He had Colon Cancer and he had to take a lot of medicine. And although he felt very weak, he was there. The venue was dark but if you looked at his face you saw the venue light up. My dad died October 15th, 2007.

Q: Now, you have been doing mostly Figure lately but I understand you are going to go to doing more Bodybuilding. Why are you going back to bodybuilding?
A: I feel it is time to "go home"
I started competing in bodybuilding (because we did not have other competitions back then) in 1991 and I really loved it. But I realized I did not have enough muscle and because the other categories came I crossed over. But I missed posing and working out hard a lot. In the beginning of my Figure competitions I cam in a few shows and placed quite well, but I started to end up lower and lower. Every time I asked the judges what I should change they told me I had to lose muscle.
Now a days the girls are getting smaller and smaller and to this point I sometimes see girls and I wonder if they have ever lifted weights in their life. No disrespect, but I feel, and a lot of girls and audience will agree, the Figure contest is getting more and more to be a beauty contest.
I do love to compete, love to work out and lift weights because I have changed my physique so much this last year, I feel it is time to go home and just do MY thing.....

Q: Do you have a body part you like most on yourself, or one you get the most compliments on?
A: Well that is the body part that was the reason for me working out, my butt.

Q: Do you have a favorite part to train?
A: I do not have a favorite part. I love working out, but if I really have to choose......uhmmm, shoulders.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Normal training is a workout where I train as hard as I can. Sure there are days I workout a little less because my body is asking for a little rest, and I listen....... As for the diet.... when I'm off season, I just do not eat as regular as in a competition prep. I mean I do eat the right things because I do not want to be fat in my off season, but I do not eat by the clock.

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported at the start and how about now?
A: Yes they did and still do. Every time they are excited. And I'm very proud to have these people in my life.

Q: When people see your physique for the first time, what is the usual reaction? Is it more positive or negative?
A: Well, here in the Netherlands, people do not appreciate athletes, so mostly people react weird..... I do not say negative because they simply do not know what to say. But in the States I get mostly positive reactions.

Q: When they see it that first time is their one question you are most sick of hearing?
A: I do not get sick of questions because people that ask questions are people that do want to learn and understand this kind of sport. People that do not ask and only judge are the people that I honestly try to avoid.

Q: Are there any misconceptions about female bodybuilders, or something you wish people knew?
A: Well, some people say female bodybuilders are just like men.... but hey!!! Have you ever seen such a cute man hahahaha..... no really, have you ever seen a man that looked like a female bodybuilder?? No!

Q: If someone came to you and said they wanted to start bodybuilding, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give them?
A: Go and enjoy, and if you want to know and learn all about your body, read a lot of books of the "old" generation. Because they knew a lot of things that really work and are forgotten lately.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors in bodybuilding of Fitness?
A: Wow, that's hard one because I really admire everybody that works hard to reach their goals. But as a Dutch girl, I'm very proud to know Berry DeMey as a friend and I'm a fan of his physique. And of course the girl that made Bodybuilding in the Netherlands a sport that was more appreciated, Erika Mess.
But as I said, I have a lot of favorites.

Q: Now you are the owner of For Fun Sport. Can you tell people what that is.
A: I started For Fun Sport 12 years ago. I wanted to create a gym where everybody loves to come. I want everybody to enjoy their self. There are people here that workout once a week and people that come every day. I want everybody to achieve their personal goals whether that is to lose weight or gain muscle....

Q: You are also a trainer. What are the benefits of being trained by Mascha Tieken?
A: Because I have been around for a long time, I have seen a lot in the almost 20 years I have been working out. I have tried a lot so I do know how the exercises feel and what they do. Also I have a degree in Medical Fitness, Personal Training, Aerobics, and Nutrition, so I have covered a lot of fields of expertise. :-)

Q: If people want to train with you, what is the best way to contact you?
A: They can email me and we can set a time and date.

Q: You also have a website. Can you give out the address for that, and tell people what they can find there.
A:, They can find a lot of background and information about me. And also, there are tons of pictures.... you can see all the competition pictures from the first to the last competition. :-)

Q: You also write articles. Who have you written for, and what do you write about?
A: I write for several magazines. I write for Muscle & Fitness, Flex, where I have my own column. I write whatever I feel like. For example, I can write about an exercise, but I can also write about a party where I met a lot of athletes.
And, I cover all the competitions for these magazines and Sport & Fitness as well. I also cover the photography at the competitions for these magazines.

Q: I know you are also an IFBB judge. How did you get involved with that?
A: Yes, I have been a judge for a couple years, but because I do so much for the magazines, I had to stop. But I hope I will find the time to judge again.

Q: What is your favorite and least favorite part of the sport?
A: Favorite: I love to workout and build my body.
Least favorite: The politics.

Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show, and musician?
A: I do not have a favorite actor. I love movies and some actors are born to play a certain part.... I like almost every kind of movie, but I do not like horror!! Give me nightmares. As for music, I love all kinds of house music, but the sound has to be really loud.. so great movies for parties. When I'm at home I like lounge music, just peaceful and nice music.

Q: Describe Mascha Tieken in five words.
A: Fun, Stubborn, Reliable, Hard Working, and Fun....owww, I already said fun hahaha

Q: Is there anything you want to promote or plug. Tell anything about your sponsors?
A: I'm very proud of my 2 sponsors I have. First of all, Lee Labrada. One of the best bodybuilders ever, and he helps me to achieve my goals with his awesome nutrition. And secondly, Suits By Amy. Amy makes my beautiful posing suits and takes care of me, to look stunning on stage.
I want to thank these two awesome people for helping me achieve my goals and dreams.

Q: Obviously sponsorship is important in this sport. Are you looking for any more, and if so, tell people what they get in an athlete and competitor in Mascha Tieken.
A: I love to work at booths and because I have been around for so long, I know what has to be done. I love to pose and I do a lot of guest posing. But mostly they get a girl that has seen a lot in the sport. I have done all the categories (Fitness, Figure, Bodybuilding), so I understand every athlete. And mostly they get the first and only Pro Figure athlete in the Netherlands... (owww I lvoe to travel soooooo they can send me across the world :-))

Q: Mashca, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. I appreciate it. Is there anything you want to say before you go?
A: Yes, I really want to thank my fiance Rob. He has come into my life and made it so much more fun. He helps me with so many things and stands by me no matter what! Thank you sweety :-)
Thank you Jason for the interview and keep up the good work!

1 comment:

  1. Another great interview! I got to meet Mascha briefly at the 2010 Arnold Expo.