20 Questions with Cover Model and Amateur Figure Sasha Brown
1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Sasha Brown?
My name is Sasha Anna Brown. Originally from Ukraine. I moved to America in 2005 to further my career as a model and personal trainer. I love my hometown, but there are so many great opportunities in Los Angeles for me.
2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?
I have two older sisters. I was my fathers last hope to have a son, so maybe that's why I am such a tomboy (love fighting !!!!), but I also have a very feminine side to me.
3) How did you start competing in figure?
10 years ago, when I was back in Ukraine, I saw Monica Brant on the cover of Oxygen Magazine. I was amazed! I said to myself, one day I will meet her and my pictures will also be in Oxygen! My Ukrainian friends were laughing at me, saying that I am just crazy and would never get it!!! I believed in myself and my abilities and I achieved my goals! I sent copies of my picture with Monica and Oxygen to all my friends in Ukraine! I proved that if you want something, set it as your goal and keep moving toward it! Never give up! I attended Monica's fitness camp in 2007 and I met Kim Oddo, who helped me with my nutrition and training. After completing “Transformation program” and seeing how my body has changed I decided to go further and compete in my first figure competition. Never in my life I did not think about being on a stage in tiny-tiny bikini. No way! And I did it! It was the best expiries in my life. I took 1st place and overall in my second show! All my hard work finally paid off! I did 18 competitions so far and from each of them I have learned a lot.
4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?
I don't like to be too "dry" and skinny. I do everything to the best of my ability to peak at the right moment – on the stage.
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 here in the US and now in Canada things are very confusing.
I am definitely perfecting my v-shape! Everybody has different opinion and you can not make everybody happy, just you! I think, you just need to bring your own "package" and show them what you’ve got! I competed in IFBB Europe and World Championships, so I can say that its completely different look what judges want to see there, more muscular...
6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/ conditioning-wise? If anything!
Genetically I have a wider waist, so I need to work more on my V-tape. More back and shoulders work!
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 do splits, one body part per training session.
Pull ups 3 sets 15 reps
Pull down 15 12 10 8 ( with each set add more weight)
One arm raw 1512 10 8
Seated raw 15 12 10 8
Bent over bar raw 15 12 10 8
Reverse flys 15 12 10 8
I start getting ready for a competition three months before with 35 min morning cardio and 35 min evening sessions. I add 5 min to each session if my weight is not going down.
8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)
5 egg whites 1/3 cup oats
4 oz fish 10 almonds
4 oz chicken breast 4 oz yam
4 oz fish 4 oz asparagus
5 egg whites
5 oz fish salad avocado
4 egg whites
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.
Usually I drink 2 gallons of water. Three days before a show I start dropping water - 1 gallon, 2nd day - 3/4gallon, 3rd day 1/2 cup with each meal, Competition - sipping water.
10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you looked up to?
Monica Brant my biggest inspiration. She is my fitness idol! I like Erin Stern look.
11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?
Its not really fun story but interesting. I was flying back from New Jersey, where I competed in Team Universe. I like to travel only with one cary-on bag ( afraid to loose my baggage). At security check point, my bag was searched three times!!! First they found my cooler with ice packs and took it out. After that, they saw my protein powder (vanilla) in small plastic bags and asked me if its drugs. But next thing, that they wanted to see was my high heels shoes!!! It looked like weapons!!!! It was funny!!!
12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed?
I love competing! It's extra motivation for me to stay in shape. Our industry can be a little political at times, but this is the nature of the business and it’s out of my control. But I can control my training and diet.
13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?
All my life, everybody was telling me that I am not strong enough, not pretty enough and not good enough! One day one of my really close friends helped me to overcome this “not good enough” image. She said, “You have to do it. You have got to prove it to yourself. For first time in my life, I felt like someone believed in me. It gave me the strength to believe in myself.” I was working my butt off at the gym every day, twice and sometimes three times a day! One of the biggest challenges was getting family, my friends and co- workers to understand why I chose not to eat birthday cake and pizza at social events. Instead of going out and staying awake till next day, I would rather go sleep earlier so I can get up at 4.30 am and do my cardio. My friend and co-workers called me crazy. Because for me it is not just a diet and workouts, it is my lifestyle and I love it! Being on that stage and holding my first place trophy gave me so much power. If you really want something go for it! Set that goal, make your plan and go for it. Believe in yourself and you will succeed.
14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...
In my workouts I was concentration more on my back and really paying close attention to my diet.
15) What do you think of bikini division?
I like it. I did one bikini show. I was told that I have too much muscles for bikini. Oh well…Lol
16) What are your favorite foods to eat right after you compete on a Saturday night?
By Saturday night I am so stuffed with protein and healthy fats, so only one thing that I crave is fruits and vegetables! I don't like fast food, so I never really have a craving for pizza or hamburgers.
17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?
I grew up in small city in Ukraine on farm that my parents owned. Our typical meal was fried pork, mashed potatoes, gravy and a lot of bread with homemade butter were considered healthy. Between working on my parent’s farm, helping my mom at her grocery store and swimming classes in school being active was part of my life. I was always very active and strong girl. Sometimes I was saying that I would love to be a boy so I would be stronger and be able to help my mom more. I worked as driver, loader and cashier at my parent’s grocery store. It's mean every morning I would get up at 5 am load my car with big boxes of frozen fish and chicken, drive to the store and work all day lifting and breaking down packs of frozen fish. It was pretty good workout and I did not like to ask for help! People have seen me lifting and caring heavy boxes so I got a nick name - Anka Terminator!
18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?
I was in swimming team for 5 years, Martial Arts ( judo, sambo, jiu-jitzu) for 8 years.
19) What is a typical day in the life of Sasha Brown? From waking up to until going to bed?
5 am get up ( on my "happy day" I can sleep till 7)
5.20 am cardio (40-50 min) on my treadmill at home ( by my bad, so no excuses that I didn't have time to go to a gym to do cardio!)
6.20 am breakfast
7 am at work my first client ( I work as a personal trainer)
12 pm lunch Work 2 or 3 pm weights workout
6 pm dinner 7 pm second cardio if I am getting ready for a competition
10.30-11 pm go to sleep.
On weekends I work only till 3 pm so I can have some fun.
20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do you specifically do in your job?
I am a personal trainer and fitness model. My work place is Studio City Fitness private gym in Studio City, LA. I also do online nutrition, supplements and training consultations. www.sashabrownpt.com. As a fitness model I work at fitness and health expos, book photoshoots for fitness magazines, clothing and apparel.