Issue #16


by Juan Carlos Lopez

Emerald Cup 2006 Photos and Results

Emerald Cup 2006 Review
by Juan Carlos Lopez

20 questions with Cover Model: Shaushi Zike

Video Interview with Cover Model Shaushi Zike

Tanji Johnson's Emerald Cup Posing Seminar
by Juan Carlos Lopez

Balancing Training and a Full Time Job
by Traci Redding

Video Interview NPC Figure Michele Cogger

Shaushi Zike, Vanessa Van Overmeer, Michelle Cogger, Jill Knight and Roxana Kreklo

Video Interview with NPC Figure Vanessa Van Overmeer

Shipshape - Fitness on Board
by Rossella Pruneti

Video Interview CBBF Figure Roxana Kreklo

Building Beautiful Biceps
by Tina Jo Orban

20 questions with Cover Model: Shaushi Zike

Shaushi Zike

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Shaushi Zike?

My name is Shaushi Zike and I am from Seattle, WA.  I always get asked questions about my name and where it came from and its ethnicity, but I really have no idea.  The only thing I know about my name is that my parents went to school with someone named Shaushi and they loved it! I'm still working on crazy story to tell.

I feel so special and blessed with the genetics I have.  I just need to tweak a few things like adding mass, and I believe I can do well.  I also feel special because of the people I have met in the industry who have helped me out tremendously as far as suits, posing, trainer and dietician.  I have been lifting weights for only three years and I think I am addicted to it!  I feel so passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and looking healthy.  I work at a gym and love the fact that I have the opportunity to get other people excited about health and fitness.  I love the gym environment and being around people who wan to have a healthy lifestyle.  I am still very new to this entire industry, but I can say that I don't plan on leaving it anytime soon.

2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?

My family, friends, and surroundings have a huge impact on me as far as competing goes. Without the support of my friends and family, it would be very very hard to get through some of those dreadful diets!  My family lives a couple hours away from me but they haven't missed one show yet.  My friends and surroundings are all so involved in the fitness industry that it makes thing a little easier.  Instead of going out and drinking every night, we can go pump iron and cook healthy food together.  I have met many friends and competitors at my work alone.  I don't think it can get any better than having a job that supports you and gives you the opportunity to meet people that you have something in common with.

3) How did you start competing in figure (NPC)?

I started competing in 2004.  My boyfriend knew a girl that was always training for shows and asked her, to ask me, to do a show and that's how it all happened.  She helped me with my first show at no charge and I placed 4th out of 8 girls.  From that point, I knew I would never stop competing.  I had no clue how hard the diet and cardio was going to be.  It is so more technical than people think.  Between body fat, weighing food, measuring food, water, supplements, suits, shoes, make-up, hair, nails, toes, and posing, I had learned to have so much respect for these top girls who have been doing it for so long.  I also learned that this sport was not an inexpensive sport!

4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?

I believe that if girls are going to be competing in figure they should have awesome conditioning, as well as muscularity that is balanced with their symmetry.    I think that conditioning is very important.  As far as muscularity, I don't think that girls should be too muscular or vascular.  It seems like each year the judges are looking for bigger girls, and I just don't understand where they are going to draw the line.  I think a figure girl should be more muscular than the average girl and I think they should have soft cuts, especially in the lower half.  As far as girl being hard or soft all over, I think girls should look hard and tight, but not so shredded to the point where they look like a female bodybuilder.  It's really hard to say and where to draw the line, but I believe extreme muscle is for bodybuilding.

5)  What is your idea of what judges want in a Figure competitor? Do you think judges are clear enough with competitors about how they want you on stage?

Shaushi Zike

I think judges look for shape, posing, and muscularity in a figure competitor.   I think they should look for the overall package though,  which would also include suits, beauty, presentation, confidence, your smile, and condition. Sometimes I don't feel that judges have enough time to look at each competitor to judge and compare them on an overall package basis.  I also do not believe that the judges are clear on exactly what they are looking for or how they want you to appear on stage.  One year they say one thing and the next year they say something else.  I don't even know if there is a guideline.  Maybe there is, but I'm just to new to have heard yet!

6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!

For my next shows, I definitely need to get leaner and add size to my upper body.  I have  a pretty small frame, but good shape.  I just need to get my upper body bigger so that it is balanced with my lower body.   So I plan on working on my arms, shoulders, and lats which are my weaknesses.   I also need to come in harder and tighter too!

7) What is your typical training routine in the gym (per day, include sets and reps!) How much cardio do you do before a show?

A typical training routine for me is cardio first thing in the morning, training mid day, and then cardio again at night.  I typically work out one body part per day and usually do 4-5 different exercises with 3-4 sets and 10-15 reps. And of course I do abs every other day.   In the off season I will do cardio only once a day, but when I'm getting ready for a show I will do cardio anywhere from 1.5 - 2 hours a day, depending on how I look.

8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)

My pre-contest diet can vary show to show.  It depends on how I look and what Mike Davies tells me to eat.  I can tell you that it is very clean!  I don't get any sugar for my carb up.  Generally a week before the show my diet will consist of fish, yams, oatmeal, chicken, tuna and veggies.

9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? Please be specific.

As far as water goes, again, it depends on how I look and what Mike decides.  I don't think he believes in complete water depletion, so I am still drinking water up till pre-judging.

10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you look up to?

I think what motivates me most to train, diet, and compete is the satisfaction and rush that you get when you are on stage.  There is nothing better than feeling confident, sexy, and healthy, and then showing off your hard work and dedication.  It such a great feeling of achievement that you just cant hide.  Every time I do a show, I just want to start training harder so that I can keep looking better for future shows.   The other thing that helps me stay motivated and helps me stay on my diet, is just the simple fact of not letting my trainer down.  I don't want to disappoint anyone who has helped me get to where I need to be.

Other competitors motivated me too. I get inspired by any girls, amateur or pro, that have worked there tail off to look amazing.  Although, I will admit that some of my favorite competitors include Sandy Grant, Michelle Flake, Julie Palmer, Latisha Wilder, Chastity Sloan, and Jessica Paxton.  These girls inspire me when I'm having a bad training day.  I know these girls have worked there tails off and I know personally how these girls train and how dedicated they are, and it's truly motivating.

11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?

Shaushi Zike

I think the one of the interesting things that has happened to me at a show recently, was the fact that I got to meet many competitors  in person, that I have been communicating with through a  website called myspace.  Myspace is a website where you make a personal profile about yourself and then you can meet people who have something in common with you.  I have made so many friends who are competitors, that its amazing!  It was really cool to meet some of these girls at the Emerald Cup who have traveled from all over.

12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed?  

My personal opinion about the figure, fitness, and bodybuilding industry we are in is that its definitely growing!  Figure is becoming much, much bigger and more competitive.  However, I think bodybuilding will always be the most popular.  People love to see the freaks, as well as myself!  I think the whole industry is really growing though as far as people who are getting involved.  I do believe that the industry is very political though. From what I've heard, if you don't know the right people, no matter what you

look like, you may not be going anywhere!  I think that's really unfortunate too, and this is something I would change if I could.  I would also like to see figure competitors looking like figure girls, not a smaller version of the female bodybuilder.  But other than that,  I think I'm still too new, to say exactly what needs to be changed.

13) From the shows you have competed so far during your career which one was the best (or most fun) for you and why?

I have done four shows now and I think my favorite show was of course the one I took overall at.  I placed fourth out of eight in my first show called the WA state Ironman.  Then I placed 6th of of 22 last year at the Emerald Cup.  Then I took overall at the WA State Health Expo.  And  then I placed 6th again out of 20 at the Emerald Cup this year.  So, my overall win was definitely my best show.  I came in tight, lean and in top condition.  I felt I looked my best at this show too.  I have had fun at all of my shows so far.  I've been lucky so far and haven't had any bad situations come up yet, so I have to keep my fingers crossed.

14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for this show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...

For contest prep this last show I did make some major changes from my previous shows, just by training with Mike Davies.  For previous shows, I would deplete water really early and carb up on sugar, as where this year, I drank water all the way up till pre-judging and  carbed up on oats and yams.  I must say that I felt much better and healthier this year!

15) You had the prettiest suits on stage, please tell us about them and how you are involved with suit design. (explain here on how you made your suit yourself and the time it took you, etc...)

Fortunately for me, I work with Merry Christine and she helped me with my suits this year.  She cut and sewed my suits for me, but I actually crystal the suits on my own at her house.  My one piece suit took me about 16-20 hours to do crystal.  It consist of many different stones and crystals.  My two piece took me about 8-10 hours to crystal.  The time it takes to crystal a suit is insane!  I had no idea what went in to making suits, until I began to work with Merry.  You have to be creative, patient, and precise.  I pretty much did the suits all by myself with Merry's inputs here and there.  I have so much respect for that lady and what she does. Her suits are the most expensive, but well worth every penny, especially when you know off hand, literally, how much time and creativity it takes.  Every crystal is set by hand and mind.  I used my own creativity and design to make my suits and I was very pleased how they turned out.

16) What was your overall experience at the 2006 Emerald Cup? What did you think of its organization? Tells us the good, the bad and the ugly about this show? How was it different from the 2005 edition?

Shaushi Zike

My overall experience with the Emerald Cup this year was really good.  Like I had mentioned before, I got to meet a lot of girls in person that I have met through the web and I also got to talk with girls whom I've competed with in the past.  Its exciting to see how everyone changes in a year.  There was also some good changes with how well the Emerald Cup was organized this year.  I feel it was more organized this year than last.  The agenda for pre-judging and that entire day followed just as they had anticipated.  Last year, classes were getting moved around and it seemed really confusing, but then again, it was my first big show.  However, out of the three different shows I have done, the Emerald Cup is so far the best organized.  I also feel that any girl can come to this show and feel like they are at home.  The promoters make sure that everyone is comfortable and taken care of.

17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?

I was raised in eastern WA in a town called Yakima, that really didn't have much.  I was very well raised and was fortunate to have parents who did such a good job at raising me.  I was raised to be very polite, thankful, non-judgmental, and to have respect.  I did well in school and very rarely got in to any trouble.  Yakima is a small agricultural town, and I knew as soon as I got old enough, I was going to move to the big city.  By the time I was 21, all of my friends were married and had begun to start families.  I knew that was not for me.  So once I moved to Seattle, I started to take better care of my health and worked out regularly, and here I am!

18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?

I have a little bit of an athletic background.  In middle school I played soccer, basketball, and softball.  Once I got to high school I only played fast pitch.  I wasn't tall enough for basketball and not aggressive enough for soccer.  I loved playing fast pitch, but I stop playing my junior year because I started working.  However, my favorite class in high school was weights.  We actually had an elective that you could take, just for weight lifting.  Lets just say I was one of the 5-6 girls that were in this class!

19) What is a typical day in the life of Shaushi Zike? From waking up to until going to bed?

A typical day in my life is pretty busy.  First thing in the morning I do cardio.  Then I come home and prepare all of my meals for that day, which includes weighing and measuring food.  Then I commute to work for an hour and work 9-10 hours a day.  But some how, I manage to squeeze in an hour of lifting on my lunch.  Working a gym makes it easy though!  Then, when I get off work, I do cardio again for another 45-60 minutes.  Then I commute back home, play with my dogs, and go to bed. On my days off I help Merry when I can, otherwise I work on my house I just bought.   Sounds really boring, but I make the best of it.  Its a lifestyle right?

20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do specifically do in your job?

My current occupation is a fitness counselor at a gym called Allstar Fitness.  I basically sale gym memberships and training.  I love my job and I feel very passionate about what I do, so it makes it very easy to sale people memberships.  Its my job to get people excited about health and fitness and to motivate them to work out.  Everybody needs a gym and needs to work out regardless of their weight.

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