Name: Nasim Shamlou-Juhola
Location: Tampere, Finland and Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Weight: 126 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: 10
How did your fitness journey begin?
My parents used to hike through the mountains and would take me with them, so I was exposed to physical activities at a very young age. I've been competitive since childhood. I competed mostly against boys because girls gave up or weren't interested.
I started figure skating and dancing and moved on to running, rowing, and swimming as mostly seasonal hobbies. My more serious hobbies are dancing and martial arts. I still dance when I get time. I've gone to the gym for more than 10 years but never thought of it as a hobby. It always had a supporting role in my life.
Training at the gym was meant to support my other hobbies, so I never paid much attention to it. In 2008, I went to the military for a year and during our free time I went to the gym while most others went to the canteen for fresh donuts. That's when I started loving the gym. It was a place of meditation for me. I felt refreshed and it gave me a sense of accomplishment because I could focus entirely on what I was doing there. When others noticed that I went to the gym instead of eating donuts, it encouraged me even more.
It was at that very gym that the man I would later marry spotted me and made it his goal to get my attention. It took some time but in the end he prevailed. He was a powerlifter, so he was massive, looked mean, and wasn't someone I would usually chat with.
From the time my husband and I got together after my military service in 2009, we became gym buddies and took bodybuilding seriously. We got on a competition diet and training program with the intent to get rid of the baby fat and get into muscular shape. Our coach was one of Finland's few professional bodybuilders. He gave us valuable information on general nutrition and training to build muscle. It was like being in the first grade and learning the ABCs of bodybuilding.
How did your passion for fitness emerge?
I love fitness because it gives me confidence. I can see and feel the results. I gained a tremendous amount of information on the human body and its needs. Apart from understanding the physical aspects of the body, this fitness lifestyle suits my husband and I perfectly. The psychological aspects keep me motivated and hungry for more. I'm a systematic person and love the lifestyle.
What/Who motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle?
My husband motivates me. He gives me feedback, helps in any way he can, pushes me to my limits, helps me overcome obstacles, and is very uncompromising, which works great for us.
Where did you go for inspiration?
Usually the mirror works just fine. If the mirror doesn't push me forward then I go outside and watch the many people who abuse their health. I like seeing photos and videos of people who compete in the same competitions I would like to. I've come a long way. If I stop now I'd be throwing away time I could use to build the physique I want.
What Are Your Future Fitness Plans?
I want to compete in women's physique but not for the sake of competing. I want to place well. I also want to be strong, so I participate in small-scale powerlifting competitions to fuel my motivation and inspiration. I try to maintain my flexibility as well.
What is the most important fitness tip?
Learn to listen and understand your body. I can't emphasize how important this has been in my life. Use common sense and educate yourself. If fitness is the goal, get your diet and workouts straight. Going to the gym and doing a poor job is a waste of time. Doing a hardcore gym session and eating badly is also going to throw away the hard work and ruin motivation in the long run.
Who is your favourite fitness competitor?
My favorite fitness competitor is Dana Linn Bailey. Her fitness philosophy is much like mine.
How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?
Bodybuilding.com opened doors to meet people with the same goals, mindset, and lifestyle. Where I live, I often feel like an outsider because of my hobby and lifestyle. Bodybuilding.com became the safe place where I can be myself. It provided great workout videos and information, especially when I'm looking for a new gym routine. I like that I can post videos and photos on BodySpace for people to judge, comment, and share. I want to motivate others and contribute to the positive atmosphere that Bodybuilding.com created.
Nasim's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Blood Red Sandman" by Lordi
- "Animal" by W.A.S.P.
- "I Wanna Be Somebody" by W.A.S.P.
- "Primo Victoria" by Sabaton
- "Purple Heart" by Sabaton