Monday, July 9, 2012
Viko Newman Interview
Photo Credits: Photos 1-3 and 5: RX Muscle
Photo 4: Bodybuilding.com
Viko Newman is someone who has earned respect among fans and fellow competitors, as evident by being votes this blog's Most Underrated Competitor for 2011. Every time Viko steps on stage she looks just as amazing as everyone else on stage, more impressive when you consider she is usually competing against a field that features competitors all younger in age. She proves that through hard work and determination anything is possible. She is not competing in 2012, but I expect that 2013 could be the year Viko Newman becomes an IFBB Pro.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: My family lived in Arizona when I was little. My mom was a go-go dancer and was always dancing around the house. I started taking dancing. Then in high school I was on the cheerleader and dance squad, so I've always had that in my heart. I became a trainer and there was always something more I wanted to do. I was turning thirty years old and saw the Fitness America Pageant on ESPN, I saw Monica Brant and Mia Finnegan and fell in love with what they did and how they looked. That is how I got into it.
Q: How did you know at one point you were ready to compete?
A: I think when I was twenty-nine and going to turn thirty, I didn't want to look my age and feel young. I always wanted to work out and stay active. Your body stays young when your mind pushes you. I put two and two together and it felt right. Doing it now, being almost forty-seven competing against twenty and thirty year olds, that's what keeps me going.
Q: The first time, were you nervous?
A: Yeah, I hired a trainer, but it wasn't for personal training, it was more for motivation. That was motivational to have teammates with me and pushing me. I stuck to my own training and my own diet. To step on stage the first time there is all these nerves. Back then, in 1998 at the Emerald Cup, I wore glasses, before went on stage for my routine or two or one piece I took my glasses off and gave them to the music guy and went on stage blind basically, so I couldn't see the judges or the crowd, so that helped with a lot of my jitters.
Q: At some shows in the past you had done both fitness and figure, was there a reason you did both?
A: Definitely! At local shows you compete against few girls cause fitness is slowly dwindling. I wanted my physique to be judged so I had an idea where it was at. Also, it was more stage time and more practice. It gives me an edge to push myself further.
Q: Last year you took third at Junior Nationals and fourth at Team Universe, overall how satisfied where you with that?
A: Well, I had never done Jr. Nationals before, the two girls I was up against are now both pro, so it isn't like I was just against anyone. Team U, it was my best placing there ever. A lot of people say it was me and Lisha Dean, I thought she would turn pro this year, she is so awesome. To be in her shadows is a great compliment. For me to actually place higher at Team U felt good. I think it lit a fire under her, when she took third this year, I was sure at Team U she would turn pro. She is so good. I was hoping next year at Nationals, when my job isn't so crazy, that I wouldn't have to compete against her haha. There are so many good girls coming up these days. Looking and doing your best is all that matters.
Q: So you will be back to competing next year?
A: Yes, I was really sad and it was hard to not compete this year. I work really well with schedules, training at certain times and eat a certain way. Last time I competed was Team U last year. I am only about eleven pounds over contest weight. I wanna compete at either Jr. USA's or Jr. Nationals and do Team U next year.
Q: At a lot of shows, especially smaller shows, you see two or three girls doing fitness, why do you think there are less girls doing fitness?
A: Well everyone I talk to on Siouxcountry or Tanji Johnson's Save Fitness Blog and people you meet, they think routines are so hard. I saw NPC dropped some mandatory movements, but a lot of girls think it is too hard, that you have to be a gymnast, and I wanna prove that you don't. I'm not a gymnast, I have flexibility and dance, Babette Mullford just turned pro, she isn't a gymnast, she does quick movements and flexibility and strength. Not knowing and being scared to do a routine stops them from trying. If they tried it, they might love it.
Q: For next year, what improvements do you want to make?
A: I get high marks on my routines, so it's my physique. I need a tighter body. Last year I was lean, but was too small muscle wise. They want the athletic roundness, shoulders and delts. From when I would powerlift I got these big thighs, not muscle, but just big.
Q: When you compete, how far out do you like to get serious with practicing your routine?
A: When I am four months out is when I get my music. Then I get serious about two months out. Giving myself the illusion I am on stage.
Q: On my blog's awards, you were voted Most Underrated Competitor, does it make you feel good that fans and people into the sport, think highly of you?
A: I think it's nice. It makes me feel good. There aren't many girls named Viko so from my last name it's likely they have heard of me. It is nice to get on-line and see my name mentioned. It sets a fire in me to be listed in a good way.
Q: When you are at the gym, do you get a lot of attention or stares?
A: I don't and if I do, I have no clue. When I am in the gym, people at work say they saw me and were scarred to talk to me haha. In the gym, I am there to workout, for me. The owner of the gym and the trainers and staff know who I am and tell people I am not mean. If I am on cardio or leaving the gym, someone might talk to me and say they didn't want to interrupt me. I don't notice people, even my husband walks by and I don't notice him. I am a different person in the gym.
Q: In public, do you dress to cover it up or show it off?
A: I cover myself up off season or prep. To me, I don't like the attention. At work, I get compliments like "it looks like you work out", they can tell, how I stand and walk I guess. In public I don't wear a tank-top or shorts, I don't even wear shorts in the gym. A few weeks before the show, I wear baggy pants and make sure no one is watching me. It's weird considering what I do on stage, but I am totally different from stage person to gym person to work person.
Q: If you could spend a day training with any person who would you pick?
A: Normally I would say Tanji Johnson, but when she was my coach we did train together. If I had to say out of the box, I would say Rachel McLish, she is an icon and looks wonderful. Other than that, probably Monica Brant.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: You. I love how you support females and athleticism in sports, either MMA or fitness and bodybuilding. It is unique what you do and how supportive you are. Kudos to you for what you do for us.