- Tianna Ta is sponsored by BSN as a pro athlete.
- Tianna won online and finished 3rd in Flex onlines model search last year.
- Tianna works with Cathy Savage Fitness.
Tianna Ta Tackles Her First Olympia!
IFBB Bikini Pro Tianna Ta shares a bit about herself in this exclusive Olympia interview. Find out what she eats for her Olympia prep and how she trains her arms. Tianna also shares some tips on how she secured sponsorship with BSN and her goals for the first ever Bikini Olympia.
Name: Tianna Ta or TT
Born In: Vietnam
Currently Resides In: Worcester, MA
[ Isaac Hinds ] Did you play any sports in High school/College?
[ Tianna Ta ] I was professionally trained in ballet, jazz, and modern dance, as well as being on the track team.
[ IH ] What did you run?
[ TT ] I ran track and did the 4x100 meter relay, threw javelin and jumped hurdles.
[ IH ] Were you a good student or not so much?
[ TT ] I was a good student up until senior year of high school, but I think that's pretty common. I think my senior year, I was too boy crazy and worried more about them than anything else. After that, it all went downhill (laughs).
[ IH ] What did you study in college?
[ TT ] I have my Bachelor's in Business but have been contemplating on whether or not I want to go back for my Master's. I realize how much time and dedication it takes, and at the moment, I feel like there's not enough hours in the day already. When the time is right, I'll go back to grad school.
[ IH ] What did you want to be when you grew up?
[ TT ] When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a doctor but it didn't quite turn out that way (laughs).
[ IH ] Now that you're grown up what do you want to do?
[ TT ] Now that I'm grown up, I am indecisive of what I actually want to do for the rest of my life. I'm living day by day.
[ IH ] What is your latest pet-peeve?
[ TT ] My latest pet-peeves are from the gym! There are so many but if I had to choose one, it would be...creepers watching me workout through the mirror! I can see YOU staring at me mister!
[ IH ] Favorite TV show on now?
[ TT ] I love the Family Guy...by far my favorite show and Seth McFarland is so clever writing the episodes. He basically says things that others want to but don't have the balls to. I respect that.
[ IH ] What is you favorite show ever?
[ TT ] I don't know about favorite show ever but I love shows from my childhood like Punky Brewster, Full House, Small Wonder, Alf, and She-Ra: Princess of Power...I used to think I was her and thought I could fly (without the assistance of Swift Wind, her flying unicorn), except the furthest I flew were into my parent's coffee tables. I have the scars to prove it!
[ IH ] What keeps you in Boston and not somewhere else?
[ TT ] I've spent the past few years traveling and there is definitely no place like home! I've been all around the world and although I enjoy spending time in other cities and countries, I'm so in love with Boston! Plus my family still lives here.
[ IH ] How did you get into the fitness scene?
[ TT ] Before the fitness scene, I did a lot of modeling, mainly in import car modeling. I was bored and wanted more of a challenge. At that time, I started to meet models from outside of the import scene and noticed their lean yet curvy physiques, and I liked it! I signed up at the gym, and during those days, I just did cardio once in awhile. I slowly began researching more of the industry and realized what an empire BSN was, so I told my modeling agency at the time that I wanted to work with them. My agency sent BSN my pictures, and in turn, they ended up using one for their NO Explode ad that ran in Maxim and various other magazines. They then hired me to work the Arnold Classic expo in 2008, which was my first fitness event ever.
[ IH ] You're now a BSN Athlete. How did that come about?
[ TT ] I was hired in 2008 to work the Arnold Classic expo for BSN, and then I would get random calls to work events for them. I taped the Orange County Choppers special with them at West Point when they had 2 bikes built and unveiled them there. It was such a great experience meeting the men and women serving our country. At that point, BSN stood for so much more to me than a sports supplement company. They ended up forming the Girls of BSN, and I signed on to be one of the original girls. I worked with them for several years, and when I started competing, they were supportive, as they always were in everything I did. Once I turned pro, they offered me an athlete position, and to me, being able to be on their roster as an athlete is amazing. They have the industries top and prestigious athletes, so to be able to be added was indescribable.
[ IH ] What advice do you have for other women when it comes to getting sponsored?
[ TT ] I think its important to want to work with a company that you will be proud to be sponsored by. Do your research and make sure their work ethics and what they stand for are the same as yours. Also, it takes time, so be patient. There is a fine line between being persistent and being annoying, so don't cross it. There are numerous women out there waiting to be sponsored so you have to show the company you want to work with why they should sponsor you and what separates you from everyone else. You've got to sell yourself to them...not literally. Also, being classy will always take you further than being trashy, so keep that in mind.
[ IH ] Who is your favorite UFC fighter?
[ TT ] I love the UFC! There are so many fighters, its hard to pick one! I'm a fan of GSP, Couture, Griffin...but I've gained a new respect for Frankie Edgar and Shane Carwin.
[ IH ] How does working a UFC expo compare to a bodybuilding expo?
[ TT ] UFC fans are so intense, and the majority of them are strictly there to meet the fighters. However, at bodybuilding expo's, the fans are there for the athletes AND supplements. I feel like not all UFC fans quite understand nutrition and working out...they just want to see someone's face get pounded in. Bodybuilding fans have a respect and appreciation for what it takes to attain a particular physique.
[ IH ] You were in Muscle & Fitness magazine a couple years ago. How did you land that gig?
[ TT ] Oh my goodness! Muscle & Fitness Mag was my first taste into fitness modeling! I got the call from my agency and I was like "WHAT?! Muscle & Fitness wants to shoot me?!" I went to the shoot and that was the first time I ever met Jelena Abbou, who became an inspiration to me. She was so sweet and I just admired her physique. I still do til this day, and I would have never imagined that I would share the competition stage with her years later!
[ IH ] You won the online and finished 3rd in the FLEX Model search last year. How did that help your status in the industry?
[ TT ] I pushed, promoted and annoyed people to vote for me for the FLEX Model Bikini Search contest online for month 2 last year. I ended up making the semi-finals for the second month, but didn't quite make the final cut, so I tried again for month 3. I ended up winning and I was beyond stoked. I remember the chief-in-editor, Allan Donnelly called me to tell me the good news and I couldn't stop screaming! I had to pull my car over because I was so excited. I think he thought I was a whack job from that phone call (laughs. I ended up placing 3rd at the competition out of 96 girls, which exceeded my expectations, and I believe that had a huge part in launching my career in the industry.
[ IH ] What advice would you offer women in regards to shooting and picking a photographer?
[ TT ] Research, research, research! When I started modeling, there was one thing that I always kept in the back of my mind: my morals! That will never change. I always researched a photographer before I worked with them, to make sure that I liked his/her style. Just because someone owns a camera, it does not make them a photographer. Just as someone who takes pictures to post on Facebook, does not make them a model. Credibility takes you a long way. I never wanted to and never will work with a photographer who has a bad rep. This industry is not as big as it seems and girls talk to each other. Anyone who has multiple bad recommendations, I will never work with, so ask previous models who they have worked with and how their experience was. Also, if you are looking to shoot with someone, ask the photographer to send you their release before hand so you can read it. It has never happened to me, but I know girls who were given releases after they shot with a photographer, and if they didn't sign it, the girls would not receive their pictures. So don't let them waste your time, and don't waste theirs!
[ IH ] Any photoshoots you wish you hadn't done?
[ TT ] I've been lucky enough to have been picky about what and how I shoot. I have no regrets.
[ IH ] What is your favorite BSN supplement?
[ TT ] I love BSN's Lean Dessert line. The flavors are so rich and yummy! Plus they make great protein pancakes!
[ IH ] What does a sample day of eating look like for you?
[ IH ] What type of training do you do - heavy weight, high reps, etc?
[ TT ] It depends. I've been doing heavy weight training to try to build a little more, but I just started to do high reps, lighter weights so I can tone more. I also take spin class and bootcamp weekly.
[ IH ] Can you give a sample of your arm work-outs?
[ TT ]
[ IH ] You're headed to the Bikini Olympia and a part of history. How's that feel?
[ TT ] One word...Amazing! My goal this year was to just qualify and make it to Bikini Olympia. This is going down in history and to just be able to be a part of the inaugural show is insane to me! I am so excited...so honored...so happy!
[ IH ] What is your goal for the Olympia?
[ TT ] To have fun and make the best of it! Of course I want to win, but I'd be happy placing top five.
[ IH ] Are you doing anything different for your prep than you did in previous shows?
[ TT ] In all honesty, this prep has been a little more difficult for me. I spent the past few months trying to build and shape in certain areas, so gaining the weight that I did, became a mental game to me. The weight has not been coming off as easily as it did for other shows, so needless to say, I've worked harder for this show, than I have for any other.
[ IH ] How have you tackled any fears of being on stage?
[ TT ] I'm not so sure I have fears of being onstage. I just get a little nervous, which in turn, makes me tremble like crazy, but I'll be ok.
[ IH ] How did you start working with Cathy Savage?
[ TT ] I met Lindsay Messina (Ms Fitness America 2008) in 2008 through BSN, because at the time, she worked for them too. I had no clue about competing and once I picked her brain about it, she told me that her coach, Cathy Savage, was located outside of Boston. She told me to go see Cathy but at the time, I wasn't interested in competing yet. The following year, I met Annette Perry (Ms Fitness Universe 2010), also through BSN, who was also coached by Cathy Savage. I watched Annette perform her fitness routine at the Jay Cutler Classic in May 2009, and was inspired. In July 2009, I contacted Cathy because I wanted to compete in the new NPC Bikini division. I signed on and the rest is history!
[ IH ] There's a misconception that she only works with Fitness America women. Why did you choose the NPC and now the IFBB?
[ TT ] Cathy Savage Fitness works with all federations. While it's true that a lot of her girls are affiliated with Fitness America, Cathy urges her girls to try competing in all federations to see which they like the best, and she supports, so the idea that she only works with FAP women is untrue. To me, NPC is the most renown federation. Again, this is my opinion. The first show I competed in was Team Universe in Sept 2009. The show went smoothly, I had fun and placed 3rd. I competed in the FLEX Bikini Search 2 weeks later, placed 3rd and went on to win the New Englands 1st and overall in October, and by November, I earned my pro card at the National Championships in FL. Along the way, I had no urge to try any other federation, so I knew NPC/IFBB was right for me.
[ IH ] Where can people find out more info on you
[ TT ] Google me b*tches! Haha, I'm kidding! My website is currently under construction so you can find me on Facebook and on BSNonline.net.
Back To Isaac Hinds's Main Page
Back To The Articles Main Page.
2014 Mr. Olympia Preview: Battle Of The Beasts
Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mammoth Chest And Back Workout
Q&A With Jay: Cutler's Best Chest Workout Techniques