Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Kashma Maharaj Interview
1: Gene X Hwang
3-4: Wings of Strength
5: Muscle Angels
I was very excited when Kashma Maharaj agreed to an interview. She is someone I really look up to. Yes her physique is one part of it, but also, she is such a positive person. She clearly likes to and hopes to encourage women and younger girls to get in shape, get in the gym, and not be afraid. Kashma's goal is the IFBB pro card and to one day be on the Olympia stage. I think its a safe bet she will achieve those goals. In a short time, Kashma has added incredible size, a testament to her hard work and determination. It is that hard work and determination that will surely lead to her reaching those goals.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I have had an athletic background since I was a child. So training daily for different sports was always part of my lifestyle. I was involved in martial arts, gymnastics and track and field. Going to college I wasn't so much involved in those sports so I started to work out in the gym to be healthy and fit and stress relief. I started seeing very quick results because I had never worked with heavy weights, I was into cardio workouts. People began to encourage me go on stage and try to compete. I told myself I would and started preparing in 2007, and in January a younger cousin died in a car crash. We used to workout together so that loss fueled my fire to take up the challenge and compete because it was something he wanted to do as well. So it was in memory of him.
Q: When you started would you ever have imagined being where you are now?
A: Not at all. When I started it was really just another challenge I presented myself. I never saw myself continuing with competing, I thought it was a once in a lifetime thing. From the first show, which I won, I was a figure competitor, and on stage, the person who is my coach now was in the audience. He saw my physique and came and talked about working together. With his help I really saw a lot of growth.
Q: Girls your size are not common, did friends and family react negatively?
A: Yeah, all my friends and family were not receptive to the idea of me on stage in a bikini. The country I am from is very traditional kind of culture. So being on stage exposing yourself was not normal. I went to school and was an academic, a top performer in my class. So the correlation wasn't there. There is the stereotype that bodybuilders are dumb meat-heads. So here is the person doing well academically with a great job and she is in the gym trying to get muscles and go on stage. They didn't understand. But they saw I really liked it and was determined, so they came on board after a couple competitions. I think part of it was a lack of knowledge of what the sport was. So once they became more educated on bodybuilding, they were more accepting.
Q: Long term, is the goal the IFBB pro card?
A: Yes, my goal is to get my IFBB pro card and compete on the Olympia stage. To do everything that is a part of the sport. But I also want to explore other options of being an athlete and what I consider a role model to girls. Any goals I have in bodybuilding are part of the greater plan I have for myself.
Q: Everyone wants to be symmetrical, but I always notice you are incredibly symmetrical, is that important to you?
A: It is. Some people are into the sport and its just about getting as big as you can, as fast as you can and being freaky, and that's fine. But my goal has always been to maintain a feminine shape and just add muscle on top of it. I didn't want to loose certain aspects of that feminine physique. I am not afraid to go heavy and do what my coach tells me, but he understands even though I may be two hundred pounds, I want to be two hundred pounds and still look like a woman so I can put on a dress and look sexy.
Q: Your biggest improvements seem to me to be your arms and back, can you give a short idea of what you do for arms?
A: I start with triceps and normally do five to six exercises. Something like a cable machine press down superset with kick backs. Then something like overhead extensions and superset it with reverse grip press downs. Then something like skull crushers and close grip bench press. I like to hit triceps first and hard because its a bigger part of your arm. For biceps, its basic. I don't even know the name of this exercise because itss something my coach invented, but its a kind of funny angle bicep curls and I superset with something like preacher curls. Then spider curls or barbell girls. that's basically it, four or five sets, ten to twelve reps.
Q: Girls your size are not common, in the gym, do you get a lot of attention or stares?
A: Yeah I do. I get a lot of stares, I get people asking questions, or people copying my routine when they think I am not looking haha. At first first it annoyed me, but now it doesn't bother me because at the end of the day, I don't look like the typical girl, so people will watch or ask questions. I am o.k. with it, I welcome it and am used to it.
Q: In public, do you dress to show it off, or cover it to avoid attention?
A: It depends on where I am going. Usually I will wear shorts, short skirts, dresses or halter tops, so a lot of my skin and muscle is exposed. It is not to show off, but coming from the Caribbean where its really hot, its how I am used to dressing. If I travel and its colder, I cover it up, but I am more comfortable wearing less clothing.
Q: Are you happy with the size you are at, or do you want to add more?
A: At this stage, considering I have only been into bodybuilding since 2009, I am really have with my muscle shape, density and conditioning. But my goal is to continue to grow and add size.
Q: You are starting to get popular with people who follow the sport, is there something you attribute that to?
A: Well I was not aware of that haha. I don't know. Perhaps the fact I am a foreigner. I know in the U.S. there is a huge fan base for bodybuilding, so perhaps being a foreigner and having a different look than what has been the norm.
Q: Any competing plans for this year?
A: Yes, I am hoping to do the Southern States at the end of July, and the Dexter Jackson in August. Then I may take some time to add size because I want to go into next years Arnold Classic with a different physique.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My coach Richard, the owner of Body Tech Gym, Joseph allows me to use the gym whenever I want and is extremely supportive. My family and friends who are a constant source of support. All the people who take the time to contact me by email or facebook message, sometimes words of encouragement really brighten my day. They don't realize they add to my life. Most of all, God, because I am extremely spiritual and without that aspect of my life, nothing would be possible.