Issue #48


by Juan Carlos Lope

20 Questions with Cover Model and NPC Figure Petra Onhajzerova

Video Interview with IFBB Figure Pro and Cover Model Petra Onhajzerova

Nina Loos Interview
by Anne Pietila

Figure Competitions: Part of a Balancing Act
by Michelle Craven

Petra Onhajzerova, Tiani Thorne, Monica Brant, Tiffany Whitmore and Heather Udy

Video Interview with NPC Figure Lynn Fitzhum

Ask Misty Green
by Misty Green

Video Interview with NPC Bodybuilding Casey Daugherty

New Year's Body
by Jean Jitomir PhD (c)

Video Interview
with NPC Bodybuilding Yahaira Agosto


20 Questions with Cover Model and HardFitness Model Search winner Petra Onhajzerova

Petra Onhajzerova

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Petra Onhajzerova?

I grew up in a small town in Slovakia. During socialistic regime and very early after its collapse the opportunities for organized sports were very limited, especially for girls. My foray into fitness started when I moved to the United States five years ago. Initially I did some modeling but what really touched my heart, and gradually grew into passion is the world of fitness. I have gained valuable experiences working as a trainer at LA Fitness. This fulfilling job reinforced my belief that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It’s the best feeling when I’m told I motivate and inspire people to improve their health. The fitness industry is like home for me! I currently attend college with major in sport management. I am a student, certified personal trainer, figure competitor, and fitness model.

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

I don’t have a big family. They all live in Slovakia so I travel back and forth a lot. I am the only child so it was very hard to leave my parents and my homeland behind and start a new life here.

3) How did you start competing in figure?

I started only a year ago. Everybody at La Fitness where I was working at that time was convincing me to do a show. So I gave it a shot and I got hooked. It was worth it.

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

I would say “not too soft, not too hard”. I think that it is all about well balanced and proportional body.

Petra Onhajzerova

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.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any experiences with competing in Europe so it’s hard for me to do judge that. I think that judges know the best what are they looking for. Either you have it or you don’t.

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

I know my weaknesses. I have to put some size on. I will be focusing on my back and legs. Mother Nature gave me a lean body…but I have to work on my size.

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 usually start with weight training then finish with 30 minutes of cardio. My workouts are always intense. Currently I follow a 7 day cycle with 2 days completely off. After the shows I took couple of weeks off and now I am back at full speed working on my strength – very heavy lifting, 3-4 exercise per body part with 4 sets per exercise (not including warm-up sets), starting with 10 and ending with 6 reps. On day 1 I do heavy back and biceps, on day 2 I do shoulders and triceps, on day 3 I do chest and light legs, day 4 is my day off, on day 5 I do light back and calves, on day 6 I do heavy legs, and day 7 is my day off. I do cardio every day after weight training and abs every other day. Before the show I do cardio in the morning (on empty stomach) + cardio after weight lifting too.

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

That’s easy… chicken and oatmeal. About 5 times per day. I get my carbs, I get my protein and I can keep the sodium low. I can eat chicken everyday and it still tastes pretty good. But for variety I eat egg-whites for breakfast and white fish like haddock for dinner.
I’ve realized soon enough that healthy and clean diet is 50% of my success. I eat every two or three hours the best quality food (my fridge is loaded with veggies, fruit, chicken, turkey, and fish). I can’t imagine not having snack on hand. Everything about body my feels better when I eat well.

Petra Onhajzerova

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 always try to drink about 1 gallon of water. Week before the contest I increase that to 1½ gallon, then on Wednesday I drop it to ½ gallon), on Friday around 4 pm I shut the water intake. The day of the show I just sip water. This, along with keeping the sodium intake at minimum for at least 2 weeks before the show, is working for me.

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

Training hard and seeing the body change. Dropping body fat, gaining muscles, that feels very satisfying. There are many great athletes out there that I look up to: Monica Brant, Adela Garcia, Timea Majorova, Arnold Schwarzeneger, etc. I was lucky to meet them a few times. I had the chance to visit Olympia event, Arnold’s Classic event and many regional competitions. Meeting professional bodybuilders, fitness and figure competitors and talking to them was very exciting. They are the real stars, yet they are very approachable and humble and that’s what really inspires me.

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

Every show I’ve done so far was a lot of fun. Great people, great atmosphere and great experiences. I can’t wait to do some more.

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

I think the masses are starting to understand the importance of good diet and regular exercise for healthy living. I think our sport helps getting that message across. I believe that with the health costs soaring people are starting to understand that better option is to be proactive and take better care of themselves early on. Also I do not think that there is a sport anymore that would not rely on regular exercise to improve the performance of athletes.
The one thing I would like to see change or happen is to have steroid testing common in all bodybuilding competitions.

Petra Onhajzerova

13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?

Decision about competing was the hardest challenge for me. It took me a while to give it a shot and found out that this is what I really like to do and I want to do. Other than that, I think that every day is a challenge in certain way. I like everyday challenges because they make me stronger and more mature.

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

For my very first show I dieted very hard. I thought that the leaner I get the better I will score with the judges. The day of the show I was way too thin that my hip bones and rib cage were coming out. I’ve learned to tweak my diet better so for the last 3 shows I wasn’t dieting as hard and as long.

15) How did you find out about the HardFitness Model Search and what were your expectations before you stepped on stage for it? Did you think you would win?

I have received an invitation for the Suburban 2008 show with the poster about the Hard Fitness Model search. I did it just for fun. I wasn’t expecting at all to win. When we where standing on the stage with other girls I was thinking “what am I doing here?”

16) How do you balance your family life with competing and dieting for shows? Do you have a support system around you (family, etc...)?

It’s all about the priorities. If I don’t have time to work out, I have to find the time. My husband’s support means a lot to me. He always supports me in anything I do. I have a favorite quote that hangs in most gyms: “Sweat plus sacrifice equals success!” That keeps me going.

Petra Onhajzerova

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

I grew up in Slovakia and went to schools there. I’ve had very normal childhood. I was responsible and quite disciplined child. I preferred to hang out with adults instead of playing with kids.

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

Not at all.

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

I love to sleep. That’s the best relax for my body and mind. If I don’t have to I am not getting up early. Then it depends on my schedule. Usually I have to go to work or school. Afternoon, around 6 pm I go to the gym. When I am done with my weigh training and cardio I go home and get myself ready for the next day. I fix my food (doggy bags) because I try not to eat junk food while I am on the run. I always have to have some snack with me. Around 9 pm I like to watch a movie or a football game. After that I am ready to hit the bed.

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

I have a part time job as a stylist for a high fashion oriented boutique Bebe. I am also a student. I’ll be moving to Texas at the beginning of the year 2009. My plan is to start working for a fitness center or a gym over there.


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