FBBFan.com recently had a chance to speak with IFBB Pro Marika Johansson as she prepares for the 2009 New York Pro. Here's a look at how she began, where it has led her, training, family and much more. Learn more.
Marika is currently training for the 2009 New York Pro.
British IFBB Pro Neil Hill has been helping her with her contest prep.
Marika is married to Bodybuilding.com's Editor-In-Chief, Kris Gethin.
Marika Johansson Interview
[ Q ] Hello Marika. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to share a bit about yourself with FBBFan.com members and readers!
It's my pleasure. Thank you for having me here.
Click Image To Enlarge. Marika Johansson, Swedish Viking Queen.
[ Q ] Would you please tell us a little bit about yourself? How old are you?
I am not really thinking of age anymore. I consider myself ageless. But I am old enough to drink and drive (not in that order) so life is ahead of me.
I am originally from Sweden. I moved to Los Angeles, California, USA in 2006. In October 2007 I moved to Boise, Idaho with my husband after he was hired by Bodybuilding.com as their Editor-in-Chief. For those of you out there that don't know, Boise is the hometown of Bodybuilding.com.
[ Q ] Relationship Status?
I have been married to my wonderful husband Kris Gethin since 2007. I have a son, Sebastian, who means the world to me and he still lives in Sweden.
BB.com's Editor-In-Chief Kris Gethin! Kris Is Married To IFBB Pro Marika Johansson!
Photo Courtesy Of Kris Gethin.
I am working as a personal trainer and nutrition consultant. I have a big network of clients all over the world including many soldiers from Iraq. Another project of mine is my own clothing line called MJ SKINS. Overall I enjoy working with people helping and encouraging them to live better.
[ Q ] How did you get involved in the sport of Women's Bodybuilding?
I was into horse jumping for several years. I had my own horse, she was a tough one and I needed more arm strength to be able to handle her. A gym had opened in my small hometown by this time and I thought I would try it out to get some strength in my arms.
After a few weeks of trial and error, and help from the local boys, I was hooked. I loved the feeling of being in control of my body to be able to increase my strength. I started to read muscle magazines and saw Cory Everson who became my role model. A few years later I was on stage for the first time and the rest is history.
Click Image To Enlarge. I Loved The Feeling Of Being In Control Of My Body To Be Able To Increase My Strength.
[ Q ] What do you enjoy about being a bodybuilder?
To have a healthy lifestyle and a strong body and mind. The discipline you use to be a bodybuilder can be useful in work, relations and much more.
[ Q ] What does being an "IFBB Pro Bodybuilder" mean to you?
That I have achieved the level that I aimed for when I first started this road. It is an honor to be representing the IFBB and to be a role model for upcoming girls.
[ Q ] How does your friends, family and the general public react to your physique?
My friends and family have always accepted me for who I am and have been proud of my achievements. When it comes to the general public, it's always been good.
Actually many people, both men and women, come up to me and say great things and really admire my work. I think it is how you present yourself and reach out to the public that gives you different reactions.
I also think the fact that I have kept my femininity makes me more of a role model to women contemplating lifting weights.
Click Image To Enlarge. The Fact That I Have Kept My Femininity Makes Me More Of A Role Model To Women.
[ Q ] Would you please share your competition history with us?
I am preparing for the New York Pro. The show is the 16th of May. That's my first goal of the year.
Click Image To Enlarge. The 2009 New York Pro Is My First Goal Of The Year.
[ Q ] How has training been different for you as you prepare for the 2009 New York Pro compared to other competitions?
I started doing Hany Rambod's FST-7 training program when my diet started with my husband, Kris since Haney introduced Kris to try it. It has worked very well and has given me a much fuller look with more rounder muscle bellies.
Even though my weight is the same, I look much bigger for it. I also did more drop sets and reps to failure to really fatigue the muscle in the closing weeks.
Click Image To Enlarge. Even Though My Weight Is The Same, I Look Much Bigger For It.
[ Q ] Have you made many changes with your supplement program since you last competed?
I have made a small change with my supplement regime, but it has amassed big results through the help of one of the worlds top biochemists and co-founders of EAS, Anthony Almada. With his advice I have been supplementing with a product called Genr8 Vitargo, during both off-season and up to the day of the show.
I have been recovering so much more during and after my workouts that I am able to have much more productive workouts and recovery.
EAS Co-Founder Anthony Almada!
Check out this Justin.tv chat where Anthony Almada answered some of your questions regarding supplements and fitness!
I have now eliminated most other supplements for Vitargo as the pump and physical energy I get from it is great. Most women are scared of taking in too many carbs but the form of carbs in this product go straight to the muscle and gives me a much fuller look, which I need, as I am quite tall.
Only Vitargo's low osmolality, molecular carbohydrate form moves through the stomach more than twice as fast as the carbohydrates (e.g. maltodextrin and sugars) found in other sport drinks and powders. [ Click here to learn more. ]
[ Q ] Is anyone helping you prepare for the 2009 New York Pro?
Neil has been a great support and has been standing by me all the way through the diet via phone and email contact.
[ Q ] Have you dieted differently?
Yes I have. I've been working with Neil Hill on this diet and he changed it totally. We change the carbs depending on my weight and by what Neil sees in the photos I send him.
I have different carbs and protein in all meals, but I have been eating a lot of carbs and still include my Genr8 Vitargo during the whole diet. Neil also wanted me to have the right enzymes in my diet to help the digestion of the food. Overall this has been a very healthy way of dieting.
RELATED VIDEO: CHANGING YOUR FOOD HABITS
Techniques To Your Future Physique:
Episode 1: Changing Your Food Environment!
In this video, Marika Johansson spends some time going through the average American's fridge and clears up some of the misconception of nutrition. Use these helpful tips to start practicing healthy eating to get the body you've always dreamed of!
No, I don't carb deplete. I only decrease and increase them after how my weight drops and increases. We do some lower days and then we go up a little bit higher for a few days.
[ Q ] Would you please run us through your plan for the last week of your prep?
Well, I don't really know myself right now. My friend and trainer Neil has not revealed that to me yet since he needs to see me first to decide. He will fly to the US one week before the show to look at me and make sure we do everything right.
Click Image To Enlarge. Marika's Trainer, British IFBB Pro Neil Hill.
[ Q ] What's your favorite thing and/or routine you enjoy when training for a competition?
I enjoy high intensity and heavy duty training, which contains a lot of basic compound movements and supersets.
[ Q ] What is your current height, weight during off-season and contest?
I'm 5'9". My off-season weight is 180 lbs and my contest weight is 160 lbs.
[ Q ] What are your hobbies and interests outside of the bodybuilding world?
Snowboarding, mountain-biking, camping, music, movies, wildlife and anything adventurous.
Click Image To Enlarge. I Enjoy Doing Anything Adventurous.
[ Q ] What is a day-in-the-life of Marika Johansson like?
Getting up at 6:00 am (which is hard since I am such a bad morning person), do cardio, shower, breakfast and then off to meet my clients. In the afternoon I am back at my office emailing all of my online clients, making programs and follow-ups for them. At 5:00 pm it is time for the gym.
I try to limit the time for training to 1 hour. After that my husband and I prepare food for the next day. We try to get some quality time together before we hit the bed at 10:00 pm. This is our life during the weekdays. On the weekends we spend it in the mountains as much as we can and try to relax.
[ Q ] Would you please tell us a little about your workout schedule? Contest and during the off-season?
I train pretty much similar in the off-season as I do for contest. I continue training heavy and intense. The only change is that I might increase the reps closer to show and also do more body parts together as listed below.
[ Q ] Who are your role models? And/or who do you look up to in your life?
My mom is my big inspiration in life and of course she is my role-model (she passed away in 2002). My husband Kris is also my role model and who I look up to.
He inspires me in many ways and always encourages me that you can achieve all you want if you want it bad enough. He has changed my life so much when it comes to believing in myself and following my dreams. We are still climbing towards our goals and are determined to reach them.
[ Q ] What advice do you have for women who would like to get involved in the sport of bodybuilding?
Believe in what you do and do it for yourself. Try to surround yourself with good positive people that give you nothing but good advice.
Click Image To Enlarge. Believe In What You Do And Do It For Yourself.