How did you first get started in the bodybuilding/fitness game?
I was involved in gymnastic and athletics (track and field) at a young age, since I was 3 year old. I was a competitive gymnast for so many years, and wanted to continue to compete. I began to compete in fitness in 2006. Before I came to the fitness world, I already had a good base from being so athletic. I am a passionate fitness/figure competitor. Fitness is my passion and I dedicate my life to a healthy lifestyle and hard training. I graduated in Sport & Physical Education at the respected Belgrade University in Serbia, and was working as a personal trainer before I moved to USA. Professors at my faculty assessed and told me I had the genetics to do well at the fitness sport…So, I went to my first fitness competition and decided it was something I wanted to try. I was pleasantly surprised to finished 3rd in my class, which fueled my fire and passion to continue on in this sport.
Was there a defining moment that got you to start training at a whole different level?
It was definitely a moment when I met my husband, and started to train with him. He is a Master of Sport Science, my coach and great support. I am grateful to him for all the energy that he has invested to realize my dream!
What are the top 2 ways you keep motivated?
My figure/fitness shows and fitness modeling keep me motivated to stay in shape. I look at the pics to keep myself inspired and to not get out of shape. My husband is a great motivator, and also positive people & my friends keep me very motivated 🙂
In your opinion what is the biggest hurdle you or most people have to overcome in regards to their fitness career and goals?
Balancing everything….so my biggest hurdle has been learning to manage a time for my trainings, competitions, work with clients, fitness modeling, work on my new website…But “If you believe, you can achieve!”
Why do you think some people are able to overcome this hurdle, but others are not?
To be a success in this sport requires an incredible amount of dedication and sacrifice. It is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle. People must understand that and have to be ready for the change! One can achieve anything with dedication and discipline. Discipline is by far the hardest part about being in bodybuilding.
If you had to ratio the importance of training, diet and rest, what would the percentages look like and why? (e.g. 20% training, 30% diet, 30% rest)
I would say 40% is diet, 40% is training and 20% is rest. This is not a rule, the ratio of training, diet and rest are changed according to the periodization of training process.
How useful do you think supplements are? Do you use supplements? What is your current top supplement?
I have noticed a significant difference in my training and physique after I started using supplements. I have several supplements that I use year round, such as Protein Isolate, Omega oils, Glutamine, BCAA’s, Vitamins & Minerals. I believe in creatine and use this during my off-season training. Also I incorporate a fat burner as necessary when I am prepping for a show. Of course healthy, whole food should be the most important, and in combination with supplements you can fuel your body for proper recovery, muscle growth and energy…
In general what does your current training routine look like?
Currently I am looking to pack on some size. Since 2006 I have competed a lot, I had more than 50 competitions 🙂 So I have always had a short off season period. Because of this, I have not had much chance for progress; to increase and develop muscle mass. That is my priority now! Each day depends on how my body is feeling, so that there is a lot of changes and adjustments.
My current week consists of 5- 6 days of weight training (split body routine), lifting mostly heavy. Sometimes straight set, sometimes super-sets or giant sets. But I always train with intensity. I will work especially on building fuller shoulders and accentuating my V-Taper. First thing in the morning I do cardio on an empty stomach, varies around 30-60 minutes per day, sometimes every day of the week. My training changes regularly to keep shocking the body.
What is your current diet routine?
Nutrition is so very important for physical performance. My diet stays pretty consistent year-round…I just love to eat clean!.I’m lactose intolerant so I never eat any dairy, so that helps me kept my diet very clean. The majority of my nutrition comes from a lean protein source, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. For my diet routine my carb sources include oatmeal, brown rice, vegetables (especially green vegetables and sweet potatoes ) and fresh fruits; my protein sources include eggs, lean red meat (my favorite), chicken, fish; and my fat sources are various nuts, flax seed oil , olive oil, and avocados.
I eat every 2-3 hours with a meal amount depending on my hunger and training for that day. I do not count calories anymore, I look more at the quality of food. Your body always appreciates quality fuel. Sometimes I change my main source of protein to increase fat burning. My diet is consistently pretty low carb, we just change my amounts of carbs around during contest preparation. But if I cut back too much carbs, I lean down too much, I start to lose weight rapidly, which isn’t good especially when you have spent so long building it up. My body type allows me the ability to allow myself the occasional cheat meal. I drop the weight too quickly otherwise.
Meal 1 (Breakfast)
Protein pancakes made with egg whites, oats & protein powder or Egg White Omlette
Green Tea/black coffee
Meal 3 (Lunch)
Chicken or lean red meat (250g)
Salad (fresh or grilled vegetables) with flex seed oil & apple cider vinegar or brown rice
Meal 5 (Dinner)
Chicken/Turkey/Red meat or fish (250g)
Meal 6 (in case I’m hungry)
Egg white omelette or Turkey/Chicken (100g)
How do you feel about ketogenic diets and extreme diets in general?
Ketogenic diets are not healthy for an individual and they should not be done long term…only for a short period to lower body fat for a competition or photoshooting. Everyone’s body is different,some digest carbs better than others… My recommendation to women are healthy well-balanced diets, with an optimized composition of nutrients that provide long-term results.
How did you get those awesome arms of yours?
I got these awesome arms with years of various training, quality nutrition, and plenty of rest. My arms have been hard to grow, my biceps still need more work, so I am working to keep my arms in check with the rest of my physique.
How did/do your family and friends feel about your training?
My family & friends has been very supportive of me! They are have been a huge support and have been my biggest fans. They can see the passion I have for it, and they truly have my back. Special thanks to my husband Zoran, who is also my trainer and biggest believer in my potential and my number one fan!
What are your fitness/bodybuilding plans for the future?
I really love to compete and enjoy every moment on stage! So, my plans for the future are to continue to progress in the fitness industry, in every sense: as a competitor, fitness model, personal trainer and great representative for the fitness industry.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 20 years?
I absolutely love the beach and love being in the sun and by the water! So, I would like to live in a house on the coast, near the sea or ocean, in the warmer areas of the country :-))))) It would give me a positive life energy!
Also I see myself as a successful person in my sport, work and in private life. Olympia is my dream :-)))))… and I’m ready to sacrifice for it!
Who is your favorite fitness model/bodybuilder? (other than yourself!)
I like the older generation of woman’s bodybuilders, like for example Sharon Bruneau, Lenda Murray, Anja Langer. From the younger generation, Elena Shportsun, I love her figure. My favorite from Figure competitors is definitely Davana Medina, she is stunning. If I have to choose the male competitors, I will say that they are Shawn Ray and Serge Nubret. Both have phenomenal physiques.
Describe what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror every morning!
I see the same person, but with a different look always. Sometimes I like what I see, but sometimes not 🙂 Depends…
If you could tell a fitness noob just one sentence of advice, what would it be?
Believe in yourself as this makes anything and everything possible! Only hard work, effort, discipline & desire give good and desired results……..keeping the focus. Keep a diary of everything you eat and track your progress in the gym, of course under the control of a trainer, if you have that opportunity. This is the way to save time, health, money, and see results very soon and keep it for long time.
What is your all time favorite workout song?
Depends on my feeling. In fact anything that can push me through a hard set. I like songs from my country.
What is your favorite quote?
“God gives a path; you have to do the effort.”
What do you feel is the best type of cardio for yourself and why?
Morning cardio on an empty stomach, running around my neighborhood, gym,or swimming. I noticed that I get the best results with fast walking. Burn the most fat without destroying the structural proteins. So I keep and save muscle mass. Also, fast walking and swimming psychologically work best for me!
What is your favorite cheat meal?
I love sweets….so anything chocolate with peanut butter. Chinese & Mexican food are also my weaknesses 🙂
If you were to upload your arms to our muscle voting site (http://vote.ratemyarms.com/) right now, what do you think you would rate?
I would give myself an 8 out of 10. I think my abs and legs are my best part, 14 years of gymnastics, sprinting, jumping, so many years of horse thoroughbred riding, have been most helpful in their shape.
Outside of training and dieting how do you like to spend your time?
I love playing sports like …… anything that allows me to be around the sport is a great time for me. I enjoy drawing and just creating things in general. I love spending time with my hubby …spending quality family time is the best thing ever! We love eating good food in quality restaurants, lying on the beach, and just having fun. Life is too short to be bored.
What is the dumbest thing you yourself have done or witnessed in the gym?
It bothers me when I see people in the gym with bad form when lifting weights.
What is your favorite body part to train? What about your least favorite?
Any workout I can hit the weights hard is my favorite! Actually I have no favorite body part, I have a favorite exercise: dead lift, squat, bench press. I love all the exercises which are typical for powerlifter’s training 🙂
I most enjoy legs, back and shoulders day, and my least favorite would be biceps day. My favorite exercise in general would be deadlifts.
What is the one question you hate hearing the most? (e.g how much do you bench?)
Most annoying questions are:
- Why do you do it?
- What do you eat?
- How can I get abs or a body like yours?
The most typical question, is also the most difficult questions to answer.
The RateMyArms team would like to thank you greatly for taking the time to do this interview. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Thank you for this great opportunity! I appreciate a lot 🙂