Issue #34


by Juan Carlos Lope

2007 Sacramento Pro and NPC Figure Photos and Results

2007 Sacramento Pro and NPC Figure Review

2007 San Francisco Show Photos and Results

2007 San Francisco Show Review

20 Questions with Cover Model and IFBB Figure Pro Inga Neverauskaite

Interview with Irina Veselova IFBB Pro Bodybuilder

Video Interview with IFBB Figure Pro Tana Clough

Ask Misty
by Misty Green

Video Interview with NPC Figure Danyell Leavitt

Inga Neverauskaite
Stephanie McDonald, Chrissy Burton, Maria Carmen Gomez Segura and Priscilla Barrera

Video Interview with NPC Bodybuilder
Connie Holt

Spot Reduction Revealed
by Jean Jitomir

Video Interview with NPC Fitness Bobbie McGeragle Interview by Janelle Haney



Interview with Irina Veselova by Juan Carlos Lopez and Robert Samborsky

Irina Veselova Pro Figure

1. You were a russian powerlifting champion, track & field champion and bodybuilding champion. What made you decide to come back after 6 years away from competition?

I was always involved, i didn't stop training. It's just i took a break which had to do with both me relocating to united states with my ex-husband and was concentrating more on my ex- husbands career. Also from financial point it wasn't possible at the time to live the bodybuilding style for both of us. Now that am a single woman it gave me a chance to finally concentrate on myself and do what i love most.

2. Why did you initially decide figure? Why the switch from figure to bodybuilding?

6 years away from competition i lost a lot of muscle size and figure was more natural at the time. However i am and always will be bodybuilder in my heart. After i competed in figure some judges made a point that i was a little too muscular for figure and at the same time suggested i needed to bring my legs up to match my upper body. Training for bodybuilding gave an opportunity to improve my legs.
Also i wanted to do something that hasn't been done before and that is in 8 weeks after my last figure competition to try and test the waters and feel the stage as a bodybuilder. I know i didn't quite match up to the competition but never the less i am happy with what i did in such short period of time.

Irina Veselova Pro Bodybuilder

3. Between your last figure competition and bodybuilding you only had 8 weeks to prepare. How hard was the transition?

That was the toughest 8 weeks in my life. Within those 8 weeks i had to gain more size, come in tighter, improve my posing for bodybuilding competition and at the same time Evgeny Mishin and i started our divorce proceedings, i had to change my last name and also i had to move to another town. So it wasn't easy, but like i said before i have no regrets.

4. Are you staying with bodybuilding or will continue in figure? When will we see you next on stage and what can we expect?

Right now i need a break both physically and mentally.
I will definitely be back next year. Probably i will stay with figure, but with improved legs, which i got from training for bodybuilding.

5. You have a huge following in europe, but what do you think about fans in us and how are you treated here?

Fans in USA are great. This sport here is much more popular than in europe. I get a lot of positive feedback and i feel i have a good fans base, as i believe i do look different than other girls in figure and that my true fans really appreciate my look and support me no matter where i place, as i believe that they support me more as an athlete and what i represent than rather how i place. And for that I am grateful and will remain true to myself and do what's best for me and my supporters.

Irina Veselova Pro Figure

6. You recently got divorced from your husband IFBB pro Evgeny Mishin, can you say something about that? Was bodybuilding the reason of your break up?

No bodybuilding wasn't the reason for our divorce. I would say that bodybuilding was the reason why we met and one of the major positive contributions to or marriage in a first place.
I don't want to go into specifics of our divorce, so all i can say is i guess we grew apart. We were both not happy in our marriage for quite some time and when i hinted that i want to return to the stage and want to do something for myself too and not just live, breath my husband, our relationship went sour and we both realized that we better of apart. Now Evgeny has another woman in his life and i hope they are happy and finally realized for true happiness is all about.

7. You train in the same gym as new fitness pro Erin Riley In fact you even competed on the same stage in figure last year at NPC gold's classic, where you won the overall. What can you say about erin and are you friends, train together, etc?

Yes we both train at Apollon gym in edison, nj.
I consider erin an elite athlete. I remember last year when i met erin first time at gold's classic i told robert, who works with both myself and erin, that i believe this girl has incredible potential. However nobody and not even me thought that in one year this girl would be a pro fitness competitor and place top 6th in her very first pro debut.
I consider Erin a friend and also i respect her as an athlete as she trains with 100% commitment and gives her best all the time and has that never give up attitude. As i said before we both trained by robert samborsky and often get together to hang out whether it's just to go eat or watch UFC fights at Robert's house.

Irina Veselova Pro Bodybuilder

8. After your bodybuilding pro debut some people said were giving you props for making such quick transition and predict that you will make a huge impact in the future and even compare you to fellow russian Valentina Chepiga How do you feel about that?

Without a doubt that is very nice to hear such comments. But i think all we have in common is that we both come form eastern block me form Russia and Valentina Chepiga from Ukraine. We are both foreigners living in USA and neither one of us is a massive girl.
But i believe Valentina is an icon in bodybuilding and i still have along way to go if i ever want to match up to her. However it is nice to be mentioned in the same sentence as former Ms. Olympia

9. As much as there were compliments about your move to bodybuilding, there was also some level of criticism, what can you say about that?

I would say that almost everyone was very kind and considerate, especially to the fact that i literally had no time to prepare. But like i said before i have no regrets as i feel i needed to to try both and see where i am more comfortable. I know i am a little muscular for figure, but i like my physique and so do my fans. So i am gonna stick to what works best for me and come in the best i can to please the fans and myself and if the judges will feel that i desrve a better placing, then great.
As far as negative comments there was actually one comment, which i felt was more of a personal thing rather than professional, so i didnt take it too hard at all. Next show it will be a new and improved figure competitor irina veselova who will be better than before. I know this "better than ever" comment is used alot in this sport but i fully intend to bring the best combination of beauty and class and feel that 2007 was just a warm up for me.

10. What are some things that you would like to change about the women's bodybuilding or figure?

In bodybuilding i would like to see judges finally keeping their promise and rewarding women that truly represent women's bodybuilding. I believe that women's bodybuilding should be represented by such physiques like valentina or Lenda Women bodybuilders should be muscular yet feminine, proportionate and not "overly muscular". The criteria of 20% less muscles is obviously not enforced. Women are forced to go to extremes in order to compete by today's standard and that is something most women don't want to do and i guess i am falling in to that category myself. After "trying" to compete in bodybuilding i realized that i am not willing to do "all" that is required in order to be the best. I still want to remain muscular, yet feminine. I do hope that judges will reconsider the standard of women's bodybuilding and we will see more women compete in both IFBB and NPC (where in some shows there are no competitors at all, because of the decline in female bodybuilding popularity).
In figure i believe there is not criteria at all. One show is won by overly muscular girl, while other is own by a girl who looks like she never lifted. I was in the audience watching ms. Figure olympia and a lot of people were leaving during figure competition. To me that was shocking. Also i believe there are way too many girls competing and way too many pro cards given every year.

11. What would you like to add or who would you like to thank for support.

I want to thank my friends whose support and friendship helped through this year. It's Robert & Marina Samborsky, Alex Fedora, Alex Timoshenko (iron-bull), Denis Tsygankov, Aleksey Kash, Erin Riley, Jeff Conway, Kevin Mulhall.
Also would like to thank people who played a key role in my success and that's John Kemper, Bob Bohnam, Juan Carlos Lopez (Hardfitness Magazine), Vladimir Dubinin (President IFBB, Russia), Steve Weinberger and Jim Manion.

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