Issue #51


by Juan Carlos Lope

2009 Arnold Classic Photos and Results

2009 Arnold Classic Review

20 Questions with Cover Model and NPC Fitness Wendy Fortino

Video Interview
with Cover Model and NPC Fitness Wendy Fortino

Kristina Dybdahl Interview
by Anne Pietila

Video at
HardFitness Booth
Jennifer Hoffman and Funny Moments

Wendy Fortino, Amanda Schenk, Jocelyn Langton,
Marina Richardson, Salla Kauranen

Video Interview with NPC Figure Shawna Pringle

Video Interview with Finnish Bodybuilder Salla Kauranen


Kristina Dybdahl Interview by Anne Pietila

Kristina Dybdahl

1. Kristina, first of all, could you shortly introduce yourself?

- My name is Kristina Dybdahl and I was born on the 31st of May 1981 in Denmark. I live in Copenhagen together with my boyfriend Peter Lagermand and our dog. I work as a personal trainer, which I’ m educated for, but I am also an educationalist. I don’t work with that right now but I can use it a lot in my personal training. Training is my job, my hobby and my lifestyle but I also have some spare time to use with my friends which is very important to me.

2. Well, how’s life?  

- Life is fantastic, everything is running according to plan. I am preparing again for the Sweden Grand Prix, Loaded Cup, and EC. That’s what is on the schedule right now

3. So, you are from Denmark. Most of our readers dont have a clue about the situation of FBB, Fitness and Figure in the countries in Europe. Could you tell about Denmark’s situation, how it is like to be a figure competitor in Denmark?

- Well, the situation in Denmark is slightly different from some other countries in Europe, like Sweden for instance. We don’t have as much training-culture and support around competitions. There are two shows a year in Denmark, the Danish Nationals and Loaded Cup, and that’s it. We don’t have many competitors either, so it’s a small sport, and extremely difficult to find sponsors. Both me and my boyfriend are very fortunate to have such good sponsorships from Loaded, who help us with clothes, gear, protein-powder etc.  But it’s an expensive sport so further support is always welcome!

4. Let’s go in your contest career. I just remember you coming in 2007 Sweden Grand Prix, you won that show and amazed everyone with your physique. Huh, how did it happen?  I mean nearly noone in Scandinavia knew about you before MTGP, and after this show you suddenly became a BIG name, could you tell more about your contests and backrounds before this show?

- I have always been a sporty girl, doing triathlon, jiu-jitsu, boxing and horse-riding and things like that. I have a naturally competitive nature and always had fascination for muscles and the potential of shaping the body to one’s ideals. I started weight-training in 2001 with the goal of competing in Fitness, the Danish Nationals 2003. I did so, and became the second. 2004 I repeated it, and also tried Body Fitness for the first time and I won the Danish Nationals in Body Fitness. Finally, in 2005, I won first place in the Fitness contest, and the Body Fitness as well. In the end of 2005 I had a bad accident which injured my back, and after that I couldn’t  do Fitness routines anymore. So I put all my focus into Body Fitness, and then I came to the Sweden Grand Prix in 2007.

Kristina Dybdahl

5.So besides that show (Sweden GP), you also won the biggest show in Scandinavia, Loaded Cup, during that year and you repeated your victory in both shows in 2008.  What kind of thoughts do you have from these years and shows afterwards?

- My thoughts about those years of competing and the lifestyle around it with all it’s challenges is really hard to describe, but I’ll do my best to try: It was absolutely awesome! The success really inspired me to continue, and made all the efforts easier to handle. The positive feedback I got also fueled the passion even more. I’m grateful for the experience and satisfied with my success so far, but I want to take it further and continue the ride.

6. After this great success in Scandinavia  you chose not to compete during last fall and set your goal in Arnold Amateur figure. Before talking about the show itself, what kind of goals, expectationas and thoughts did you have before Arnold AM?

- The sport is so huge in The States and has a lot of cultural support around it. I knew beforehand that the standards for Figure over there could be different from those in Europe, but I also knew that this was the place for being compared to some of the best athletes in the world, and that was a challenge that really appealed to me. Athletes from all over the world gather at Arnold, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to get challenge and inspiration. Since I never tried it before, I had no other expectations, only that I wanted to come in my best shape ever.

7. And the show itself was a bit surpising. Could you tell more about your weekend in Columbus and your thoughts about the show? I guess the result was some kind of disappointment?

- It was an awesome weekend! I will definitely go there next year as well because it was such a fun and fantastic experience. But, as the Figure criteria look right now, I will probably just go there as spectator J. Both at the Expo and backstage at the competition I got to meet a lot of people and they were so kind and inspiring. They gave me a lot of positive feedback about my physique. There were many people, both athletes and spectators, who couldn’t understand the judges’ criteria for Figure this year. They couldn’t believe I didn’t make it to finals. I don’t understand the judges criteria either. It’s ok to want to go for a softer look, but now they already have the Bikini Class to promote that. So I think they should allow Figure girls to have a harder look, more muscular and conditioned. The distinctions should rather be made between if
the competitor looks feminine in the shape she’s in, or if she looks too masculine. In my opinion, a woman can be very hard and still keep the feminine look. That’s what is important, and that’s what I strive for.

Kristina Dybdahl

So, regarding my feelings about my placing, yes it was a disappointment because no one of the hard girls made it to finals. I thought that I had a winning physiqe compared to the one the judges picked. But I am not bitter because the worst case scenario would be if I competed in a shape I didn’t feel satisfied with, just to accommodate what I think the judges want right now, and then get bad points because they didn’t want a softer look anyway. No, then it’s better to be satisfied with yourself and enjoy it. Then it’s a lot easier to handle a bad placing if you know you are in your best shape ever. I am passionate about my training, diet and competing, it is my life and I love it, but no matter how much I want to win, I am always true to my own ideals.

8. By the way, although you didn’t  place so well, your ”family” did not come home without success, right?

- My wonderful boyfriend Peter Lagermand placed third in middleweight class and that was a big success. You can see the pictures at his website www.peterlagermand.dk. He was in his best shape ever  and I am so proud of him. Over the years Peter has been such a huge support for me, he gave me the strength to
believe in myself enough to dare venture for international competition, and not only stay where it’s safe”’.  It’s also a lot easier to manage everyday life on a diet if you have a partner who shares your lifestyle. Peter and I use each other as sparring-partners all the time when it comes to analyzing diet and physique.

9. Back to Arnold amateur figure, all the European competitors and European audience were quite shocked about judging. And so was I. All this caused, once again, much talk about figure and its rationality. Your presented an awesome muscle development and an amazing condition, what is your personal opinion in this issue? In other words,  what kind of figure physique do you prefer, could you decribe it?

- About the judging in the U.S I feel I would never want to win if that is the way you’ d have too look to win. I cannot understand why they make a Bikini Class, and then won’t let us figure girls to look hard, when they now have a class for less conditioned girls from the street. To compete in this kind of competitions should be a hard achievement and not something anyone can do. I am really satisfied with my achievement and condition and that is what matters.

It’s frustrating that Figure has such diffuse criteria that it shifts from competition to competition, but I prefer the European judges, who allow a girl to look like she actually has lifted some weights and made some
serious diet efforts. You can do that in Europe without being judged down for hard condition. There should be competitions for us figure girls who don’t want to become bigger and compete in Bodybuilding. It was my expectation that Figure in U.S would allow good condition now when they had introduced the Bikini Class.

As I mentioned above, what’s important to me is my own ideal. If I was a judge I would look at such things as first of all, symmetry and muscle tone (it would be nice to see that they have lifted some dumbbells and not only done cardio), then of course shape/condition/hardness are very important for me.

Kristina Dybdahl

10. Your condition was nearly unreal, nearly best one you have ever had in shows. Could you share us a bit about your contest prep?

- Thanks a lot for your kind words about my physique (I wish you had been the judge over there J)! Yes, I definitely had my best shape ever, and for the first time I was satisfied with my condition. My preparation this time has just fit perfectly because this time I really listened to my body instead of just following blind a plan. I have been a lot better at evaluating the plan as I went along. This time I haven’t done as much cardio as I normally did, and I have eaten more food, especially carbs, and my body really responded to that in a positive way.

11. Anyway that show is now behind you, I guess that kinda changed your plans for the future?

- Before I went to the US my plan actually was to go for a pro card, if I got a good result. But since the criterias for figure had turned too soft for my own ideal, the pro journey stops here, or at least halts until they reach a conclusion on what kind of package they want.

12. But you still have plans to compete here in Europe, right? What shows you will be attending this spring?

- Yes, right now, all my focus is on the Grand Prix contests. After that, hopefully European Championships and after that World Championships in the fall. It looks like I am going to stay in Europe for a while.

13. So what kind of package you will bring in these shows? Same as in Arnold Amateur?  

- About the package, it will be the same as I brought to Arnold. I am very satisfied with my condition this year. As I mentioned, I think it’s important to stick to your own ideal in Body Fitness (Figure), since the criteria shifts a lot.

Yes, you can choose to prepare for what you think the judges want, but if you guessed wrong you will feel very sad and disappointed at the same time not having the body of your own dreams. What’s the point of that? The competition is a presentation of your achievement, something you should be satisfied with, and it should be a reflection of your own ideals. Of course everybody wants to win but I think it’s a lot easier to handle a bad placing, just knowing the judges wanted a different look.

Kristina Dybdahl

14. European Championships will be your first IFBB International Championships contest, what kind of expectations and goals do you have in Slovakia?

- Since it’s my first International Championships contest I have no idea what to expect, but at least my goal is to get in the finals.

15. Could you tell more about your next months before European Championships?

- There are not so many changes in my prep, since I found out what works best for my body. That knowledge really makes all preparations so much easier and the fact that I recently competed in Arnold with that same shape I want to present at The Grand Prixes.

16. And what is your plan for summer and fall?

- There I always take just one day at a time, so I have no specific plans at all actually. During the summer I will use my time on training, as always, with the goal in my mind. I just have to find out what exactly that goal will be, but trust me, it will be there :-). I will also have a lot more time to spend on my family and friends, which I look forward to. I will go to see the Olympia this year, that’s for sure.

Kristina Dybdahl

17. If you think your next years both physique wise and contest wise, what do you want to improve and achieve?

- Regarding my physique, I don’ t think I will ever be completely satisfied, there will always be something I could improve. There are small details which will have my attention, like my stomach that I want to get deeper, and my upper back that I want to get more defined. Regarding the contest achievements, I will try to keep my first-placings J

18. You and your amazing physique do have fans! Where could we read more about you?

- Thanks again for your nice words. Yes, I have a website with pictures and some information, the address is www.kristinadybdahl.dk

19. Is there something you want to add? What should we know about Denmark’s best figure athelte?

- Well, what can I say... I love what I do, and there will be a lot more to come! J

Back to Issues

About the Author...

Anne interviews and coverage have appeared in Finnish BODY magazine and Pro Body Magazine. Anne is one of the best recognized reviewers in Europe. Her main focus is to give more publicity and coverage to the competitors and fitness industry.

© 2004 HardFitness Design All right reserved.