20 Questions with IFBB Figure Pro and Cover Model Maiken Emborg
1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Maiken Emborg?
My name is Maiken Emborg I am a Danish girl who lives in Sweden with my husband Flemming and my son Oliver.
2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?
Right now I am so lucky that I only work 1 day a week. That gives me time to take care of our house and family but also for me to once again accomplish my dreams of competing. I love to spend time with friends but I also enjoy the time during the day were i'm alone.
3) How did you start competing in figure?
I have always liked competitions I like to have a goal and work towards it. So after many years competing in dancing, it became fitness and when I started again after a break on 7 years, there was a new category figure. But I must admit that sometimes I miss the show routine but think there is too much gymnastics that is why I chose figure.
4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?
I like to be a little soft so that you don't look like a bodybuilder. But still hard enough that you can see some definition, hope it makes sense.
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 Europe they are very clear unlike in the USA.
I like that they say they look for a softer look but for me it is about still looking feminine and fell good about myself. I don't think the judges are clear of what they are looking for unless you are a name they have seen and heard of before.
6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!
I think I need to tone my lower body down and maybe work on my back and hardness.
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?
I have tried to tone down my muscle mass, so I have not been so much in a gym this year. I only train my back once a week in a gym and the rest I have done at home with small dumbbells.
Monday: 45 min cardio before breakfast - Train back - teach aerobic and pilates 3 hours
Tuesday: 45 min cardio- legs and 45 min cardio- late evening 30-45 min cardio
Wednesday: 45 cardio-shoulder and 45 min cardio – late evening 30-45 min cardio
Thursday: 45 min cardio ,no training just 45 Cardio – late evening 30-45 min cardio
Friday: 45 min cardio legs and 45 min cardio – late evening 30-45 min cardio
Saturday: 45 min cardio Chest/arms and 45 min cardio – late evening 30-45 min cardio
Sunday: Off day
Pull down 4 x 15
Chin op 4 x 15
Seated rowing 4 x 15
One arm rowing 4 x 15
Hyberex.lower back 4 x 15
always many reps and light weights
Walking lunges 4 x 20
Squat 4 x 20
Stiff legged deadlifts 4x 20
Floor exercise for glutes 4 x 20
Shoulder press with dumbbells 4 x15
Lateral raise 4 x 15
Bent over lateral raise 4 x 15
Front raise 4 x 15
pull over 4 x 15
Flyes 4 x 15
Arms: different every time not so many sets, will not gain on arms
and abs. I train 3-4 times a week
8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)
Pre-contest diet: Breakfast : 4 Egg white banana and nuts
Meal 2 : same ore shake
Lunch : chicken and veggies.
Meal 4: Same
Meal 5 Same
Meal 6 Same
Before bedtime I have 4 egg whites …
If I feel like a snack I eat nuts,rice cakes or some fruits
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.
I try to drink a lot 3-4 days before the show ( around 6-8-10 liters per day) and then the day before I only drink if I feel I need to. I do not take any products to get the water out of the body. The day of the show i'll make sure to drink, so I don't get sick on stage but less then 0.5 liter then I drink what I want after the pre-show.
10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you looked up to?
I like to train and to push myself it is nice to have a body that I like. And for motivation I think of all the great memories I will get from the travel and from all the great people and friends I meet It is up to me to make my life interesting. I have always liked and looked up to my friend Saryn Muldrow (Danish girl who won Fitness Olympia) and also IFBB pro figure Gina Alotti she has an amazing body.
11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?
When ever I travel with my husband, we like to do things together but also alone specially when I am preparing for a show. I need to sleep early so I can train and he doesn't. This year we took our holidays a week before my show. We where in Las Vegas the city that never sleeps and neither did my husband. One night he meet some people from Ireland and ended up coming home next day at noon. Another day we meet in a hallway by the casino tables at 6 am on my way to the gym and he was soon going to bed. But its good our life doesn't get boring that way.
12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed?
I like that the industry is choosing girls that are not very big. I think it should look like you spend time in a gym and not only look like a bikini girl.
13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?
The biggest challenge was having my first gym at the same time my son was born 3 months early. He was at the hospital only 900 grams and I had to work to keep everything together in the gym. I had to have a big smile on my face, but inside I was crying, today he is a wonderful and healthy boy.
14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing op, etc..
Last year, was my first competition in 7 years. so I did a lot of mistakes. This year I did not carb up, I tried to stay on normal diet but it is difficult, coming from Denmark I am not allowed to bring any food to USA so I must relay on hotel food.
15) How is the scene in Denmark and in Sweden in terms of competitions? What are the differences between USA competitions and the ones in these two countries?
The last years the girls are getting bigger and much harder in Denmark and Sweden. I think its easier for the judges to argue on what they are looking for. In the USA they say they want to see less muscle and hardness but then a very hard girl wins and the next time a bikini girl with abs but no legs.
16) How do you balance your family life with competing and dieting for shows? Do you have a sopport system around you (family, etc..)?
My family is very supportive they don’t mind, that I eat different than what they eat. I always make food for them, and then have my own food. I try to make my day as normal as possible, with training and food.
7 years ago I counted calories and was very strict, today I try to be I a little more relaxed. I eat clean, but do not count calories. If I am hungry I eat a little more and some days less.
17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing op?
I grew up I a house with my mom and brother, because my father died in a car accident when I was 10 years old. I have been dancing and competing since I was a child. I loved my training and as I grew older i did a lot of shows, I was traveling around the world dancing for pop groups. It was fun and I loved being on stage, but I missed a family. So at the age of 28 I became a mother, the best thing in my life. so right now I am happily married on my 8 years
18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?
I have been dancing all my life and love it. Since childhood I have been doing fashion / dance shows and when I got older I was dancing for pop grops like turbo B from Snap (the power and rhythm is a dancer) and many groups from europe.
19) What is a typical day in the life of Maiken Emborg? From waking up to until going to bed?
06.00 Get up wake up my son Oliver
07.30 Drives Oliver to school.
08.00 morning cardio 1 hour
10-12 am clean the house, shopping
12 to 2 pm training and a little cardio
2 pm-4 pm doing some work at home
4 pm Picking up Oliver from school
4-6 pm playing with my son and making food for Oliver and my husband
7 pm eat.
8-9 m Oliver put to Sleep
9 pm maybe cardio 1 hour.
10-11 pm I go to sleep zzzzz
(in between I have my 6-8 meals a day. and also preparing the food)
20) What is your current occopation? Please tell us more about it, what do you specifically do in your job?
Me and my husband own 4 Gyms around Denmark. Normally I was running the one I Copenhagen but now I only teach in one gym. The rest is too far from our home so sometimes I still do some dance/fashion shows and some personal training.