As a former elite gymnast, 2-time 'best non-Olympic sportsperson of the year' winner and 3-time 'masters of sports' award recipient (from her native Russia), physical training and sports specialist teacher and 2006 overall World Fitness Champion it is perhaps only natural that respected IFBB Pro Fitness competitor Oksana Grishina has become a top contender for fitness competition's biggest prize: the Fitness Olympia title.
With 12 years of gymnastics competition under her belt and six years' competing in fitness events around the globe to highlight her impressive resume, Oksana is one smooth mover and her many fans delight in her spectacular performances whenever the pro stage beckons.
Along with her athletic gifts, she brings both a presence of beauty and striking proportionality of muscle to all events she contests, which more often than not culminate in world beating performances that threaten to derail the hopes of all who choose to compete alongside her.
She claimed fifth place in both the 2010 Fitness Olympia and Arnold Classic Fitness International. The wins situated Oksana among the top tier of her division, a position she does not wish to lose. She has promised to bring her best package of feminine appeal, symmetrical development and high octane performance to this year's Olympia stage.
As a consummate professional, Oksana stays in shape all year round, which allows her to observe the subtle improvements that can make a major difference come showtime. This has further allowed her to steadily increase her competitive standing through her 4-year pro career. The discipline and determination she gained while training and competing against the best gymnasts Russia had to offer gave her a work ethic conducive to the kinds of results which win pro fitness shows. She competes to be at her best each and every time.
But above all else, Oksana competes for her fans, whom she feels blessed to perform for. This may be the biggest weapon in her pre-competition strategy. She does not wish to let her supporters down. This year, she will bring her best look to date. This could translate to a long night for her fellow competitors.
Q: What improvements have you made to your physique since you competed in the Fitness Olympia in 2010?
As an IFBB Fitness Pro, I try to improve my physique every year. I never stop working out and this helps me improve from year to year. I hope that my fans and the judges have seen my improvements over time.
Q: What do you think it is about your look that gained you a top six placement at the 2010 Fitness Olympia?
I had a good physique and a good performance, and I think this combination helped me achieve my top-six placing.
Q: What kind of physique are you hoping to present onstage at the 2011 Mr. Olympia?
Q: How do stay in shape in the offseason so as to lessen the amount of time necessary to dial down to your best condition?
Fitness is my life, and as a professional athlete I do not let my physique change much in the offseason. I must always be in good shape for photo shoots, and to motivate my clients, so it is easier for me to prepare for competition.
I am a pro. I work hard. I don't cheat. This is the only way to prep for professional shows.
Q: How often do you include cardio training in your regimen? And when do you cut it from your program pre-contest?
I listen to my body and usually do cardio 2-3 times each day, with one day off each week. Of course, this depends on how my body feels from day to day. I never cut my cardio before a show, because doing cardio makes me feel good.
Q: What do you like most about pro fitness competition? What keeps you motivated to compete year after year?
Any pro sport is a hard job. Bodybuilding, fitness and figure take great dedication. I like to be in shape and I like that it makes my body look younger. When I see women at the Master's level looking so good, I am motivated to keep working hard.
Q: How would you describe your current approach to training?
I may be old-fashioned, but I work out more like a bodybuilder. My program is more like an old-school bodybuilding program. I am a small woman so I need to work hard to gain muscle and control my shape.
Q: Have you made any changes to your training over the past year? If so, what have these been and how have they helped you to improve your physique?
I have been more focused on my upper body to add muscle in my shoulders and emphasize my "V" taper.
Q: Could you describe your current nutritional approach?
As I age, my diet changes each year. I listen to my body and make adjustments, as needed. As a pro, I know my body well. People often ask me to give them my diet. I don't do this because it is important for them to know their own body's needs, also.
Q: How do you address post-training nutrition? What do you do following your workouts to begin the muscle re-building process?
After any workout, it is very important to have protein and good carbs. Rest is also important to help with muscle recovery. Afternoon naps can also be great for this purpose.
Q: What is your view on supplementation?
I am a Team Gaspari athlete, and I love their products, but I would choose their Gaspari supplements even if I were not on the Team. They are a top nutritional supplement company, and they produce products for energy, fat loss and muscle recovery … everything a fitness enthusiast can use to boost their nutritional intake.
I believe in the value of supplements, and people I know who use Gaspari products are fans for life.
Q: Which supplements do you take and why?
These are not just for contest prep. This support is important year-round for energy, fat loss, muscle recovery and growth.
Q: This year's Fitness Olympia will host the usual top-line competitors, you included. Who do you see as being major competition for you and why?
The winner will be the woman who knows her body best. For several years now, that woman has been Adela [Garcia]. She has been so consistent from year to year, and has been a champion.
Q: What are your major strengths as an IFBB pro competitor?
My strength is my heart.
Q: In 2005 and '06 you were awarded the title of best non-Olympic sportswoman of the year in the Kaliningrad region of Russia. Do you think such a sporting background has given you an edge when it comes to battling it out on the Olympia stage? If so, then why?
I think that all IFBB Fitness competitors have a sporting background. The level of performance is so high. I do think that my long history of athletic training and competition is one reason why I have become an IFBB pro.
The discipline and temperament I have developed over the years as an athlete has helped me to keep focused and moving forward.
Q: Where do think you will place in the 2011 Fitness Olympia?
I usually say "I don't care", or "it doesn't matter" but, to be honest, I really want to be in the top six this year, and I hope I've prepped to be there. Of course, where I place is not up to me. I can only do my best.
Q: What message would you like to give to your fans, those that will be coming to watch you competing at the 2011 Olympia?
Thank you for coming. All that we do at this show is for you, the fans. We work so hard for the people who come to watch. We do it with love and respect for your interest and support. You understand what we do for you, and we appreciate it so much. I love you all with all my heart.