Sunday, March 7, 2010
WNBF, NGA, WNSO, and IDFA Pro Maria Mikola Interview
Maria Mikola is one of the reasons I became a fan of female bodybuilders, and even more, she is one of the reasons I really want to compete one day myself. Obviously Maria is very beautiful, and that's the first thing I noticed. Then I started to learn the sport, and realized just how incredible Maria is. Her physique is incredible, and is the definition of symmetry. To see how great she is, one needs to look no further than her four Pro cards, her winning most muscular, and best poser awards. Basically maria has done it all. Then you get to know maria, and find out that Maria Mikola the person is just as amazing as Maria Mikola the bodybuilder. She is a kind, encouraging, and intelligent woman. Simply put, Maria Mikola is what bodybuilding is all about.
Q: First, Maria, thanks so much for agreeing to do this.
A: Thank you for considering me for this interview.
Q: Can you start out by just telling a little about yourself, family, where
you are from, things like that.
A: I was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I have an older brother and a twin
Q: Before the bodybuilding, I know you were very involved with gymnastics. What was it about gymnastics that attracted you to it?
A: I actually started gymnastics rather old. What attracted me was the fact
that gymnasts got to "flip around" in the air. Now that I know the proper
terms, the skills they did were very exciting and I wanted to be able to do
Q: Was there one aspect of the sport you liked most, or were best at?
A: I really enjoyed vault, bars and floor tumbling the most. I realized if I
was going to do much better at the balance beam I had to be more aggressive
in my training and then I started to learn more skills there too. I always
looked forward to going to gymnastics.
Q: After an injury you focused your attention on coaching the sport. What
made you want to get into the coaching aspect, and is it something you still
A: Yes, I was in my last year of high school. My gymnastics career came to an
end pretty much after my injury. I was in the gymnastics club almost every
day either doing gymnastics or teaching the recreational kids and
pre-competitive kids in my high school years. I enjoyed teaching and
spotting the kids so I decided to get into coaching full time and became
certified as a national level gymnastics coach. I do not coach gymnastics
any longer and broadened my skills to personal training.
Q: While rehabbing from the injury is when you first started with weights.
Was it something you instantly took to, or did your love for it come later
down the line?
A: The first time I actually went to a gym to lift weights was after therapy.
I needed to maintain my muscle strength around my knee to keep it strong. I
had a student membership only for that summer before I went to college.
While in college I did do a little bit of gymnastics and some conditioning
then and also took up trampoline so I was able to continue with
conditioning. I didn't go to a gym then to weight train during that time.
Q: When you started training seriously, was it something you picked up
fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: When I returned home from college I started working full time and got into
windsurfing. I got back into weight training again. I only did it to stay
in shape for the winter to get back out on the water for the summers. When
I actually got serious about training for bodybuilding was when I moved to
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: When I moved to Michigan I found a gym to train at that reminded me of home.
I liked the equipment and the people were nice. When the owner of the gym
first saw me, he wanted me to compete in bodybuilding. He talked me into
competing. I knew nothing about competing or what it involved.
Q: Your first show was the 1997 Western Michigan Bodybuilding Championships.
What are your memories of that show?
A: That show was....well....a learning experience. LOL I did get some help
but not as much as I had expected. I didn't do a great job dieting for the
show and cheated a couple weeks before the show, out of frustration. A lady
was suppose to help me with my posing routine. She never showed up so
another guy helped me with a routine a week before the show. My posing suit
arrived a few days before the competition and didn't fit very well (a little
small). I thought to myself, since no one knows me here I would still go
ahead a do it and if I don't do well I can always "disappear" from the
bodybuilding scene.LOL I competed in the heavyweight class and out of 10
women I placed 3rd! After the competition, I thought if I had really
applied myself I could have done even better.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time,
and how about now?
A: My mom wasn't too keen on me competing. When she came to a competition and
saw me win, she was OK with me still competing after that.
Q: Now in your second show the Mr./Mrs. Natural Classic Bodybuilding
Championships you basically owned the event, winning 1st in your division,
1st overall, best poser, and most muscular. What did dominating that event
mean to you and what did it tell you about yourself?
A: I had a fitness competitor help me get ready for this show. She got me on
the right track with diet and work outs. I had another chance to prove
myself and see what I was capable of with the right direction. I went into
the competition with no expectations because I didn't know who would show
up. At the athletes' meeting the promoter told us that there was an extra
award for the women, the most muscular award, and they would be handing it
out even though they weren't suppose to have one. A lady behind me made a
comment and said "We know who is going to win that one". I asked my friend
if it was possible that I could take everything, she said yes, if no one
else is better. I knew that I had done a much better job preparing for this
show as opposed to my first show.
Q: You have won pro cards with the NGA, WNSO, IDFA and WNBF. What did it
mean to earn that first pro card, and to now have multiple Pro cards?
A: I have always wanted to win a pro card. So I decided I would try other
federations and see if I could do it. I like to challenge myself. When I
won that first pro card I was excited to have finally one a card after all
these years. That year I won 3! And the following year I won my 4th one.
It is very rewarding to win these pro cards but there is something that I am
still looking for, you could say. In 2009 I decided to stay with CBBF/IFBB
because I feel I fit best here. And there is one pro card I would still
like to try and win....the IFBB pro card!
Q: Are there any competitions you are most proud of?
A: Yes, I am proud of winning the 2009 CBBF Canadian Natural Physique
Championships for 2 reasons 1) I came in the best condition to date and 2) I
won a Canadian title after all these years! I am also proud of winning my
class at the 2009 CBBF Canadian Bodybuilding Championships the same year and
placing 3rd in the masters class in a very tough class! To win 2 Canadian
titles is a dream come true. o top it off I won the best poser award at
both nationals! I am also proud to be able to represent Canada at the IFBB
Women's World Championships!
Q: What would you consider your best body part or the one that gets the
A: This is a tough question. I get a lot of compliments on my tush it seems.
I have also been told that I have very good symmetry. Personally I like my
back and all the detail in it.
Q: Do you have a favorite part to train?
A: I like training all body parts.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how does it alter
for contest prep?
A: A normal routine for me in off season is training with weights 4 days a week
and cardio a few days a week. My diet is a little more relaxed as well with
more variety of foods. Pre-contest I train 6 days a week and increase my
cardio as I get closer to competition and then start into 2 sessions a day.
My diet is strict at that time too.
Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time is the usual
reaction more positive or negative?
A: I mostly get positive reactions from people.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment
you are sick of hearing?
A: I usually get the question "How do you get that lean?" Then when I get into
the diet part people aren't interested because it's too much of a
Q: Are muscular women more accepted by society than five years ago?
A: I think muscular women are accepted a bit more these days then in the past.
You see more movie stars, singers and main stream sports athletes who are in
better shape and show a bit of muscle now.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I like ice cream.
Q: Any competitors you are a fan of yourself?
A: It's hard to just pick a few because there are so many competitors out there
who bring something that stands out about them that I admire. They all work
so hard to be the best they can be.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start bodybuilding, what is the
one piece of advice you would want to give her?
A: If someone is new to the sport my one piece of advice is to research get
help from an experienced trainer for their first show or 2 and stick with
that one person only. There is so much information out there and so many
different ways to get ready for a competition and some are conflicting to
others. There will always be others out there who will want to give their 2
cents, just listen to your trainer. If after that first show you weren't
satisfied or happy with your results then research and find someone else but
don't be getting information from all over the place. It could be very
confusing. Stick with one plan.
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part for me is getting on stage and being able to perform my
routine. The toughest part is the dieting that comes along with it. It's a
part of the process that has to be done to get the results and there are
sacrifices to be made during that time but that's all a part of it. It
takes a lot of willpower, dedication and determination.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I enjoy taking my dog for walks and runs and relaxing on the beach in the
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Maria Mikola?
A: There really isn't anything typical in my day. My schedule varies so I have
to work around my scheduled clients to get things done.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I have a twin sister.
Q: Describe Maria Mikola in five words?
A: Honest, Independent, Hardworking, Practical, and Loyal
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I have not yet decided what my plans are for competition, only that I need a
bit of time off. I am considering competing in the summer though. It all
depends on finances.
Q: You also have a great website. Can you give out the address and tell
people what they can find there?
A: Sure, it's www.mariamikola.com. You will see information about my competition results, some pictures, a little about me, some newspaper articles, my bench press competition results, etc.
Q: Anything, such as sponsors, you want to take the time to plug or
A: I would like to thank Preferred Nutrition, The Water Bug Health Food Store,
Bia Brazil Canada, Dream Tan, and my chiropractor!
Q: Are you currently looking for sponsors, and if so, how can they contact
you and what are they getting in Maria Mikola, the athlete and competitor?
A: Sure, all the help I can get, even a little bit, is greatly appreciated!!!
Sponsors can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am a reliable individual who will represent with professionalism.
Q: Maria, again, I thank you for doing this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you, Jason! It was an honour