Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Sarah Zahab

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Sarah Zahab! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Sarah Zahab
  • E-mail: sarah.zahab@istar.ca
  • Age: 29
  • Where: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Height: 5' 5"
  • Weight: 130 Lbs., Contest: 125 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :6
  • Favorite Bodypart: All
  • Favorite Exercise: All
  • Favorite Supplements: Interactive Nutrition Whey Protein in Raspberry Cheesecake Royale.

How Did You Get Started?

I began dancing at the age of three in ballet, tap, jazz, Lebanese folklore and hip hop and loved every minute of it. I continued dancing and competing until high school where I began teaching jazz and hip hop and felt great having a positive influence on little children's lives. I studied Human Kinetics at University and during my studies, I really began to miss dancing and competing. I saw a sport aerobics competition on television and wanted to give it a try and competed in 1999.

It was a great way to stay in shape and be able to use my skills. I then saw a fitness competition and felt it would be a nice transition and lots of fun since the routines could be a little more creative. I have been competing ever since and have come a long way!

The routine round is my absolute favorite and I look forward to it. The dieting can be difficult at times but my family and friends are extremely supportive, especially my husband, John. He is my rock. My parents are also at every show - they are awesome and I am blessed to have them in my lives.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

My training changes often. I like to keep my workouts fresh and unique every time. Three months before competition, I will do a full body workout twice a week, one day of plyometrics and skills training, and practice my routine two to three times per week. I change the exercises often and stay away from machines.

Most of the exercises I do are with my own body weight, dumbbells and the exercise ball. I complete high intensity interval cardio sessions 3-5 times per week and add a few moderate or light sessions as well. During the competitive season, I will maintain my strength and focus more on the routine and cardio.

My coach is Matthew Burns and he has me doing some crazy moves in the gym! They work and I have seen the most results with our sessions. I leave every session with a sense of accomplishment (and of course, fatigue). I choreograph my fitness routines and really enjoy this part.


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Photos by Bruce Templeton ( www.imagicianphotography.com).

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

In the off season, I will eat clean most of the week and cheat on the weekends. When preparing for a competition, I will have one cheat meal per week and eat clean the remainder of the time. My diet consists of lean meat (chicken, fish, beef, bison), lots of vegetables, organic steel cut oatmeal, organic sweet potatoes, eggs, nuts and fruit. I have an Interactive Whey protein shake every day with 1 teaspoon of glutamine. We eat organic where possible and focus on wholesome, nutritious foods and avoid processed foods as much as we can. I also drink 4 liters of filtered water a day.

Recently, I joined Cathy Savage's SOS team. Jodi's nutrition plan is very effective and this team is dynamite! They emphasize eating healthy, natural foods and no drugs or supplements - perfect for me. Thanks guys - you rock!

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Interactive Micronized L-Glutamine, hands down. It virtually eliminates post workout stiffness and soreness. The Interactive Whey protein tastes fabulous! The vanilla is great in oatmeal. I would love to thank my sponsors, Interactive Nutrition for their amazing support. Their products are amazing and I would not be where I am without them.


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Photo by Wade Robinson.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Fitness is really a lifestyle for me. I work full time in the fitness industry and could not be happier. My husband is an ironman triathlete and training for him is also a daily ritual. We support each other and fitness will always be a part of our lives - it is essentially who we are.

What I love most about fitness is helping people achieve their goals and seeing how being healthy can improve the quality of their lives. It is not necessary to be in the gym for hours - just doing something active every day can have a huge impact.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I plan on taking a break from competitions. It has been a busy 6 years and I have loved every moment of it (okay, almost every moment).


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Photo by Wade Robinson.

arrow Competition History:

  • Ms. Fitness World in Las Vegas, 19th place (September 2006)
  • Ms. Fitness South Western's Toronto, 2nd place (July 2006) Neutron Sports
  • FAME World Championships Fitness Advanced Toronto, 7th place (June 2006) WNSO
  • FAME Canadian Nationals Montreal, 4th place (May 2006) WNSO
  • Ms. Fitness World in Las Vegas, 22nd place (September 2005)
  • Ms. Fitness Canada Ottawa, 2nd place (August 2005), Neutron Sports
  • Ms. Fitness North Eastern's Ottawa, 1st place (April 2005), Neutron Sports
  • Ms. Fitness World in Las Vegas, 19th place (September 2004)
  • Ms. Fitness Canada, Ottawa, 2nd place (August 2004) Neutron Sports
  • Ms. Fitness Canada North Eastern's, 1st Place (April 2004) Neutron Sports
  • Fitness Canada Pageant, Toronto, 14th Place (May 2004) WNSO
  • Ms. Fitness World in Las Vegas, 20th Place (September 2003)
  • Ms. Fitness Canada, Toronto, 3rd Place (August 2003) INBA
  • Fitness Canada Pageant, Toronto, 12th Place (July 2002) WNSO
  • Ms. Fitness Canada North Eastern's, 1st Place (April 2002) Neutron Sports
  • Ms. Fitness Canadian Nationals, Ottawa, 1st Place (September 2001) Neutron Sports
  • Ms. Fitness Canada, Ottawa, 6th Place (July 2001) Neutron Sports
  • Canadian National Sport Aerobic Championships Mixed Pairs, 2nd Place (2000) CNAC
  • Canadian National Sport Aerobic Championships Division II, 1st Place (1999) CNAC

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Be patient and consistent.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I have been fortunate to have met great friends at competitions and look up to many wonderful athletes. There are so many! I admire Sylvia Tremblay for her creativity, passion and tenacity. We had a wonderful time helping at her fitness camp and I am fortunate to call her a close friend. Vanda Hadarean is an amazing person (and friend) and an insanely talented athlete. She is taking the fitness world by storm - look out! I have a huge respect and admiration for every athlete I have seen and met.

*First photo on profile by Wade Robinson.

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