Issue #56


by Juan Carlos Lope

2009 Europa Super Show Photos and Results

2009 Europa Super Show Review

2009 North Americans Photos and Results

2009 North Americans Review

20 Questions with NPC Figure Tiffany Ryan

Video Interview with IFBB Fitness Pro Tonya Burkhardt

Interview with IFBB Figure Pro Nicole Pitcher -Scott

Video Interview NPC Bodybuilder Kirsten Haratyk

Tiffany Ryan, Abby Marie, Angela Salvagno, Emily Nicholson, Jennifer Hoffman

Interview with European Amateur IFBB Alevtyna Titarenko
by Anne Pietila

Video Interview with IFBB Figure Pro Irina Veselova and Trainer Robert Samborsky Part 2

Video Interview with IFBB Fitness Pro Leslie Rae Newton


20 Questions with Europe IFBB Amateur Alevtyna Titarenko

Alevtyna Titarenko

1.Hi Alevtyna! How are you doing?

- Hello, I am doing just fine. Training, bringing up my daughter and simply living my life.

2. Awesome! Before we ego further, could you please introduce yourself and your backgrounds to us?

- My name is Alevtyna Titarenko. I represent Ukraine. Why I say so it’s because my life happens everywhere as I work in Cirque Du Soleil. I am a current World, European and World Games Champion in Fitness.

3. Before your fitness career, what kind of sports background do you have? After seeing your free routines, I guess you have been into sports your whole life?

- I am a gymnast in my early years and World and European Champion in sports acrobatics. I was a porter in woman’s pair. And I’ve been doing sports since I was 5. So, now it’s for 27 years.

4. You have a very interesting career in Fitness. At first, why did you started to compete in Fitness and how did it happen?

- First time I saw fitness was 1996 and I honestly didn’t really understand this sport. But when I saw girls on stage and what they did ,I could easily imagine myself doing this and that is exactly what I did a bit later. In 1997 I became a champion of Ukraine and the same year I was second in European Fitness Contest IFBB. I did it because I like athletic female bodies and being an acrobat I could nicely combine routine and body.

Alevtyna Titarenko

5. Anyway, you became well known in fitness world in 2001 when you took 2nd place at European Championships and 3rd place at World Championships. Many expected you to see you in 2002 on stages but you simply disappeared in Fitness for many years, what happened?

- My work happened. I do fitness for me, for fun and it happens that I win. I work in circus. Now I am
an aerialist and I started as an acrobat on the floor. In 1997 I was 2nd in Europe and the same year I joined circus. In 2001 I came back because I had a year break. I was 2nd in Europe again and 3rd in the World. Then I went back to Cirque Du Soleil, the same year right after the World’s. And last year I finished my next contract and I took a year off and that is why I came back to compete in fitness. I won Worlds, European and World Games and next month I return to Cirque Du Soleil for my next contract. So, I basically compete in fitness in between my work, whenever I have a break.

6. Weew! Like you said, you made an incredible comeback in 2008. You won the World Championships title in Santa Susanna after 7 year’s break from IFBB amateur international contests. What kind of thoughts, feelings and memories do you have from that show?

- I remember that when I was leaving for this contest, my 4 year old daughter was crying and didn’t want me to leave. I asked her :” Do you want me to bring you a medal?” She said :” Yes!”. So, I did. It’s not nice to lie to your child, right? I went to compete without wanting a medal, I had no idea what to expect as I had such a long break. I just wanted to see for myself how and what I can do being over 30 and having a child. Last time I competed I was 24 and with no kids. So, I had my own agenda. I really had fun, I was in ease, smiling, enjoying the stage and performing with my heart. This is something I learned in circus. And when they announce that I was first, I simply started laughing as I couldn’t believe it happening!

7. You continued your success at 2009 European Championships by winning your class and over all title. Comments of that victory?

- It was a tough one. Less than a month before that I fell down on one of the aerial circus rehearsals and I was on crutches for a long time. One week before the competition I couldn’t step on my foot as my ligaments were strongly injured. I said to myself: ”I will do it step by step”. I waited and the day I was flying to Slovakia, I could step on my foot. I couldn’t walk on those high heels yet, but I could stand. So, I thought if I can stand, I can walk. It was  a new routine and I did it only once before I got injured. The next time was already on stage during the contest. Of course I had to change my jumps, there is no way I could do what I planned. So every second on stage, I was smiling and concentrated on my foot. I could have injured myself even more, I could have simply fall down again.When I walked on the heels, I was walking very slowly,to hide that I was limping. And my preparation for the contest didn’t happen as I wanted, of course. How can you prepare your legs being on the crutches? But I did it and I won. How, I don’t know ,I just did it.

Alevtyna Titarenko

8. You also entered in World Games this summer, line up was very competitive and your result was amazing.  Not so many get a chance to compete at World Games, could you please share to us how was this experience?

- World Games... In1997 I had a chance to start in World Games in sport acrobatics, as I was a World Champion. But I went to cirque and never used this chance. This year I got another chance in a different sport and I thought I had to use this chance. So I did. I knew that after this contest I would be leaving back for cirque,because my contract was already signed, so I simply did it again just because I wanted to compete there. I never go to win, I always go to compete. I show my best I have for the moment. I am ready to take any place and this time wasn’t any different. I didn’t want to think of the rank of this contest - it would make me nervous. I simply wanted to be there. All the girls were very strong, judging was different a bit because some of the judges never judged fitness before. I won only by one point. But I did! It just means that everyone was amazingly prepared and that means even more to win!

9. And what is next? Do we see you in Como at World Championships in fall?

- No, I don’t think so. Starting september I am in Canada preparing for my next show, another aerial act.

Alevtyna Titarenko

10. Interesting! Is this the end of your fitness career or can we expect to see you on fitness stages next years?

- Never say never. I’ll be always in shape. That is who I am. My difference in weight in-season and off-season is about 500g. I know it sounds funny to compare to others but I cannot do it otherwise. I fly in the air carrying my own weight. I cannot get bigger,my upper body would have to work even harder.So, I might be back. Let’s say after 40.We ’ll see, shall we?

11. I am looking forward that comeback! Circus thing is extremely interesting. Could you tell us more about it, both circus life generally and your part of it?

- As I said I started in 1997 as a porter in acrosport. Since then I learned many other things like Chinese pole, Bungee, Russian swing and I fell in love with aerial straps. This is the equipment that mostly men do as it requires a lot of upper body strength. But I saw it and fell in love. Now I am flying in spite of the fact that I am afraid of heights. I did three shows of Cirque Du Soleil. ”O”,”Saltimbanco”, ”LOVE”. If someone ever sees the show of this company, they will be impressed and will never forget it. It’s theater, it’s not circus itself! We have no animals but have amazing performers.

Alevtyna Titarenko

12. All in all, your free routines at contests have been amazing! I guess part of the secret is your background in sports acrobatics, but could you please share with us, how do you build your free routines? I mean if I would now start to plan a free routine, what kind of advice you would give to me?

- First of all, find YOUR music! This is the most important part. It has to move you and make you smile, and live it on stage. But it also has to catch the audience. Listen yourself and let someone else listen to it. People would have to want to clap listening to it. Then find the elements you want to do. Find strength, flexibility, jumps, choreography and charm! Then put those elements on the music. Find the right musical spots for them and also according to their levels and when you’d feel the best to perform certain tricks: in the beginning or at the end. And then find the right movements, choreography to combine all of that. And now the most important - practice it till it looks smooth and easy to perform. It has to glide and the audience will be yours.

13. I guess all that sports acrobatics part takes quite much training? How does your week training schedule looks like both free routine part and weight training?

- It looks very different from others, as my work is stage and I have to be physical every day. But let’s say now, when I was off work, I tried to be in the work out gym 3-4 times a week. If it’s time before the contest , every time at the end of the training I run my routine 3 times at least. It might not be with all the elements, but I have to run it. And I am trying to fit one time cardio a week, even though I hate it!

Alevtyna Titarenko

14. You seem to keep very good condition year around. I guess you pay much attention in your nutrition things too, right? What are you main principles concerning nutrition?

- To be honest, I eat everything. I think our body needs it all. And that is exactly what I do. But I have to say, that I am lucky with genetics because if others would eat what I eat, they would really gain a lot by now.

15. All in all, looking at your results all that have worked perfect. You mentioned circus as your next plan, what other plans do you have now in fall and next year?

- For now it’s only my work and living life around it.

Alevtyna Titarenko

16. I wish you all the best with your future, anything you want to add?

- It was an amazing year I thought I’d keep it calm as I was tired from my work and I wanted to rest. Instead I made the most out of it. And now my daughter seeing my medals wants to have the same ones. But she doesn’t want mine, she wants her own. And only for this it’s worth to win.

 Thank you.

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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.

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