Issue #25


by Juan Carlos Lopez

20 Questions with CBBF Figure and Cover Model Roxana Kreklo

Video Interview with CBBF Figure and Cover Model Roxana Kreklo

My Story
by Jean Jitomir

Interview with IFBB Figure Pro Monica Brant

Video Interview with IFBB Figure Pro Kristi Tauti

Roxana Kreklo, Leigh Millican, Hylan Bishop, Lyris Capelle and Kristal Richardson

High Tech Physique Enhancement Clinical Changes on a Contest Diet
by Jean Jitomir

Video Interview with NPC Figure Hylan Bishop

Save Fitness
by Tanji Johnson

Ask Misty
by Misty Green

Video Interview with NPC Figure Leigh Millican

ABC's Wife Swap Features NPC Figure Competitor
by Melissa Johnson

The Road to My First Figure Competition
by Kali Knapp


20 Questions with CBBF Figure and Cover Model Roxana Kreklo

Roxana Kreklo

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Roxana Kreklo?

I am a passionate, Jesus-loving woman ... for “He brought me up .. out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and gave sureness to my steps..” Psalm 40:2. My achievements and what I do are the result of the reverence of God in my life. My hope and desire for everyone is that they discover God’s endless love and plan for them. I am a wife to an amazing man and my best friend, John. I am a business owner and personal trainer. I’m not sure what’s special about me, but one thing I can tell you is that I am very dedicated to what I am doing at any given time. Once I set my mind to something, it will get done….PERIOD.

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

I am originally from Romania and moved to Canada, via Austria in 1990. I am the oldest of five children….my youngest brother is 19 years younger than me. I have grown up around babies and I have loved it. I can’t wait to have a few of my own one day! Most of my time is taken up with work, training and family activities. We are blessed to be able to travel quite a lot as well.

3) How did you start competing in figure?

I had taken a few seasons off from competing in natural bodybuilding. The athleticism and feminine nature of figure appealed to me. Plus I really was itching to get back up on stage!

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

Well, my personal preference is hard and lean. I love the conditioned look of a female bodybuilder. In the past I have come in softer thinking that’s what I have to do, but the trend seems to be going towards the harder look. I want the judges or the crowd to see me as a balanced package. I have never wanted one body part to outshine another. That is my focus for the next show.

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? It seems in Canada they are very clear unlike in the USA.

It seems to vary from region to region and contest to contest, even in Canada. The guidelines in the NPC rules and regulations are sometimes not enough to go by, but as it pertains to me I take the following from the NPC and do my best to apply it: “The Judges will assess the overall physique for degree of athleticism, proportion and skin tone. The Judges will be scoring the degree of athleticism by assessing the degree of firmness, symmetry, proportion and the overall healthy physical appearance including complexion, poise and overall presentation. Muscle tone should appear firm and round with a small amount of body fat over the muscle. Muscle striations and extreme definition or leanness should be avoided.”
I think that once judges of a particular contest see what they define is the closest to the above description, that they decide their judging criteria from there somewhat. My idea of what the judges want comes from speaking with them after a competition and looking at the physiques of past contest winners and going from there.

Roxana Kreklo

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

Well, I definitely need to and want to come in leaner and tighter than I did in 2006. I have always strived to create a symmetrical physique. I have had to bring up some of my upper body and streamline my legs. Years of heavy squatting paid off for athletics, but I have had to train them differently so that they would not be too dominant for bodybuilding/figure.

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?

J.C. , are you trying to pick up some tips?!! Just kidding. Well, I lift weights 5 times per week, sometimes doing two a days. I like to keep my sets around 5 or 6 per exercise, 3-4 exercises per body part in order to hit the muscle from all angles. I will do anywhere between 10 and 18 reps. I go by feel…my workouts are very intense and high volume. I believe in heavy weights and high reps. This might sound unusual, but it is what works for me. My mind is totally connected to my muscles when I am training, so it doesn’t take much more than a few exercises to completely exhaust whatever muscle group I am training. I do like to take my reps into the 50-100 range or more on a fairly regular basis. I just feel the need to work that hard in order to get the results that I want. Cardio is usually done once in the morning for about 45 minutes and later on after I weight train for another 25 or so.

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

Well, I try to keep eating 6 meals a day. I have found that if I go too low on the calories, that I don’t have the energy to keep training intensely. My shopping list at this time is as follows:

Chicken Breast
Turkey Breast
Udo’s Choice Oil
Salad…..lots of salad!

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

The answer to this question varies so much. I have had times where I have done the traditional bodybuilding approach of a water load/ depletion….3 gallons for 3 days, 1.5 on Thursday, 1/2 to ¾ on Friday and on contest day 6-12 oz. One of my best results came from keeping my water intake up all the way to the contest though. It really depends…I really don’t think that I will have to drop my water if I am in the shape and condition that I want to be in.

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

I am pretty much self-motivated. I love the challenge and I love the work involved. I always want to be a better athlete…I always ask myself “ Is someone out there is training harder than I am for this? No way!!!” That’s what keeps me motivated. I always want there to be no other competitor training harder or working harder than I for any contest that I am doing. I also love the reaction that I get from people that follow the sport. It is so rewarding to get a compliment from one of the fans! I really admire those competitors whose physiques and muscles were clearly built through lots of hard work and dedication. There’s just no substitute for that look!

Roxana Kreklo

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

Well, I can tell you a story from my last contest that was a little unpleasant. It was the 2006 Emerald Cup. I woke up feeling pretty nauseous and realized that I had the same flu that my sister had. Just as my class was lining up to go on stage for comparisons, I really began to feel that I was going to throw up. The usher said that there was no time to excuse myself to the restroom. So, in the interest of sportsmanship, I choked back what had come up rather than give the girl standing in front of me a nasty surprise! (You’re welcome, Halcy!!!) Thankfully, it stayed down long enough for me to get through the judging!

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

Quite honestly, I wish that the sport wouldn’t be so flooded with performance enhancing substances. I wish people relied more on their training and nutrition to compete rather than on these substances. Bodybuilding, fitness and figure are supposed to be the healthiest of all sports. That’s just my opinion.

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

The best one was my first one. I had prepared for 9 months for my that bodybuilding show. 9 months of absolutely no cheating, no missed workouts and TONS of cardio. To step on stage after all of that and to be around so many other like minded athletes…that was great! My brothers and sister got to see the contest and I had all of my friends, co-workers and gym members going crazy in the crowd. It made all of the sacrifice worth while. Plus, I won my class! The best-run and most organized shows that I’ve attended/competed in have been those promoted by Brad and Elaine Craig in Washington State. I just love the atmosphere backstage and in the audience!

14) Being from Canada you must be a Hockey fan, what is your favorite team and tell us a bit about how you became a fan of that team. Do you think they have a chance at the Stanley Cup or will the Buffalo Sabres take it all?

J.C., you know that I am a hockey fan and a die hard Vancouver Canucks fan at that! I think that we should make a friendly wager here. How about this? If the Canucks go further in the playoffs than the Sabres, you will appear on the cover of Hard Fitness in a Canucks jersey and have to train legs with me one day! If the Sabres go further, then I have to appear on the cover of Hard Fitness in a Canucks jersey and have to train legs with me one day! Sounds fair to me!

Editor Note: How about you wearing a vintage Sabres jersey for that last loss Vancouver had to the Sabres?

15) What is your opinion about the 20% rule the IFBB issued to some female athletes? Why do you think they did it? Do you think competitors will follow it? Or it will get lost around somewhere?

I think that it’s a good rule and I believe that it’s a step in the right direction. But based on what happened at this year’s Ms. Olympia, I don’t think that it was implemented. A couple of competitors came in softer, but it seemed that nothing really changed. In fact, it seemed like we were going back to the look of a couple of years ago-big, hard, ripped and bone dry!

16) What do you think has led Fitness to a slow death while Figure to a meteoric rise? Do you see Fitness get back on its feet at some point? What needs to be done in order for this to happen?

I don’t think that Fitness is dead yet. I really applaud people like Tanji Johnson who campaign to keep the sport of Fitness alive. It is obviously more demanding than Figure because of the routine aspect , while Figure allows competitors without a gymnastics/dance background, an arena to showcase their physiques. I think for fitness to get back to what it used to be, girls need to be made aware of it’s demands and shown how to prepare for it. Yes, it is tough to prepare for it, but with the right guidance I think a lot more girls would find that it is achievable. It seems to me that there needs to be more publicity about the existence of this division. With the amount of high level gymnasts and cheerleaders worldwide, it would seem that it would be easy to recruit newcomers to the sport. In my mind it needs to be organized from within the NPC and the IFBB. One or two current athletes can’t do it alone. And who knows, I am always looking for a challenge…maybe you’ll see me on the Fitness Stage in the future!

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

I was born in Bucharest, Romania and lived there with my parents until I was about 9 years old. In the fall 1989, my father escaped to Austria. The government at the time was dominated by the Romanian Communist Party and because of the increasing oppression he and my mother decided that taking the life-or death chance to make a new life abroad was better than staying in Bucharest. It had become very difficult to survive there. The government had imposed food rationing ( for example, an adult could only buy 10 eggs per month and half of a loaf of bread per day… and all of the products sold to the public were just export rejects). Everything was always in scarce supply. We often had no power or running water because we had consumed the small amount allowed. Stores had to be closed by 5:30pm in order to preserve electricity and no public place was allowed to be kept warmer than 59 degrees in the wintertime when temperatures were sometimes in single digits. Up until I was 9, I grew up with only 1 hour of television per week (again the max allowed) … it was usually Pink Panther or the Flintstones. I would say that my childhood was an interesting experience in itself. One of the most memorable events for me happened on December 23, 1989. I was just walking back to our 7th floor apartment with the milk we were allowed to buy for that week. I was pretty tired because I had been standing in line for a couple of hours to get it. I heard loud pops and rumbling coming from down the street. I had never heard anything so loud in my life. I thought maybe a building was coming down behind me. All of a sudden people were running everywhere, some were tripping and falling. I ran home as fast as I could. My mom came home from work shortly after me and I learned that there had been civil unrest and that the president was being sought by the people to be tried. A couple of days later, we watched his execution by firing squad live on TV.
The following year wasn’t really any better there, but my mom obtained a visa to travel to Vienna to be with my father. We lived in a small town outside of Vienna for almost a year and then were granted entry into Canada by way of government sponsorship. I have lived just outside of beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia ever since.

Roxana Kreklo

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

When I was about 3 yrs old I started in swimming and continued that until I was about 14. In high school, I was on the volleyball team and in 11th grade started training and competing in the Hammer Throw and Shot Put, both Track and Field events. I had reached international-level competition in the Hammer Throw and had my own Olympic dream. In 1998, I was involved in a car accident which effectively impaired my ability to train for and throw the hammer. After a couple of years of rehab and rest, I started bodybuilding training. Nine months after that , I was yearning to compete and thus entered my first contest in October 2000.

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

I am currently training for a contest, so a typical day looks like this:

6:30 Wake up
7:15 Cardio
9:00 – 2:00 Work
3:00 Weight training and Cardio
6:00-8:00 Work
11:00 Bedtime!

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

I work with clients one-on-one in our studio in Port Coquitlam, Canada. My clients’ needs and goals vary from general weight-loss/gain to contest preparation and posing to rehabilitation due to accidents or injuries. I am also training clients online via my website, www.roxanakreklo.com , for physique competition and general health and fitness. My work involves not only exercise prescription, but also personalized nutritional programs. I am very detail-oriented as far as what I have my clients doing in the gym and with their diets. I think a program is incomplete and unrealistic if a client’s lifestyle, including family life, type of work, and commitments are not factored in. I always encourage everyone to be very involved in their training. It’s so important that each client work with me to get to know their body and metabolism and how these function. This way seems to be much more efficient and in time, they will able to figure out what they need to change to improve their physiques on their own or with little help.

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