Arina: My name is Arina Manta (Fit Doll nickname). I am originally born in Romania (Transylvania, the country of Dracula) and for the past 16 years, I reside in Sydney, Australia. I started my sporting career at the tender age of three.
Until the age of 6, I was trained as a gymnast and spring board diver, until I won my first spring board diving competition and I was selected to represent Romania at the age of 7 at the European Championships in Germany. At the age of 12, I was rewarded with my spring board diving Pro-Card and that made me the youngest Pro-Athlete ever in Romania and one of the most talented young athletes of that time.
Moving to Australia and having a heart of a competitor and always training for all different reasons, a few years later, I started to enter few competitions as a Bikini/Sport model.
Having a good athletic background, few years later, I entered my first fitness competition and since then, I never looked back. A couple of years later, I became Miss Fitness Australia, where I competed for a few years and represented Australia at the World Championships.
Then I moved to figure; where in my first competition, I won the short Figure class and the overall, becoming Miss Figure Overall Australasia.. Again, I represented Australia in the World Championships.
Then a few months later, I was rewarded with my Pro-Card. Becoming Professional for the second time in my life at a different sport, I was very pleased with my achievements.
In the mean time, I also became the Trainer of Champions (Master Trainer Coach), Supplement Consultant , an International Fitness Model, a Choreographer and a Make-up artist.
Supplement consultant, now that’s my kind of job. Where do you reside and train at?
Arina: I reside in Sydney, Australia and I train at City Gym in Sydney, Australia and Gold’s gym in Venice ( US ).
What is your competitive history?
- (AA): – Professional Spring board diver for Romania ranked number 1 for 10 years consecutive
- Miss Fitness Victoria (Australia)
- Miss Fitness NSW (Australia)
- Miss Fitness Australia
- Miss Short Figure Australasia
- Miss Figure Overall Australasia
- World Championships Finalist (Spain)
- IFBB Pro-Figure
That is very impressive! When did you become a IFBB Pro Figure?
Arina: I became an IFBB Pro-Figure in 1995.
Can you tell us what magazines or websites we might have seen you in.
Arina: I have been featured in a few fitness magazines like:
Muscle and fitness ( US and Australian ), Ironman ( US and Australian ) , Muscular Development, Planet Muscle, Hardcore( AUS ), Muscular mag, HFM, Cosmopolitan, a few European magazine and more.
Probably you have seen me on a lot of websites, but I will try to mention a few of them:
Billdobbins.com, bodybuilding.com, asn.com.au, herbiceps.com, Rxmuscle.com, leanladies.com, Extremefitness.com, musculardevelopment.com, anabolex.com, and many more.
Very respectable magazines and websites, “Now We Got You”. What has been your stepping stone to get where you are today?
Arina: My stepping stone was my strong mind, my discipline, my ambition, my love for training and my passion for health and beauty.
All of that has truly paid off. Do you have a trainer or do you do it on your own?
Arina: No I don’t have a trainer and never had one. Every preparation on and off season I am doing it all by myself. I do also prepare (including on line preparation) other competitors at National and International levels..
What is your training philosophy?
Arina: When someone wants to become healthier, regular physical activity is important for overall health and fitness, combined with healthy nutrition and supplementation.
Training helps control the body weight by balancing the calories we are eating each day, decreases the risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis and many more. Training at least 3 times per week (any type of activity, including weight training) should be included in everyone’s lifestyle for a better living and life extension .
People listen to Arina! these diseases are serious, exercising and a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent them. Can you give us a run down of what your current training workout looks like?
Arina: I do train every day. 7 times per week I do cardio, 5 times per week I train with weights 1 or 2 times per week I do rollerblading and 2 times per week of advanced flexibility.
When I do cardio I do treadmill, cross trainer or walking at the beach (some days walking in the sand).
My weight training plan is: 2 days on 1 day off and 3 days on and 1 day off.
I do high volume repetitions for my legs (example 500 to 800 lunges in one go). For upper body, I do less repetitions, but still very intense.
Is this training routine something that be modified for a beginner or novice athlete to use to build muscle and lose body fat or is this something that is more suited for an advanced athlete?
Arina: I do believe that my training is more suitable for an advanced athlete.
Could you share with us your philosophy on nutrition.
Arina: My philosophy on nutrition is maintaining a properly balanced diet (or simply put eating healthy). To stay healthy there are numbers of calories a person needs to consume per day, depending on the age, activity level and each person’s goal. Eating and not starving, also is my philosophy on nutrition. Eating every 3 hours, small meals, eating clean, not standing up from the table with a full stomach and doing some physical activity are the keys to great results. Having an expert to do a meal plan for you is also a good investment.
Yes, receiving the knowledge of an expert is priceless. What was the hardest thing you had to deal with when it came to your diet?
Arina: The hardest thing was the amount of portions I had to eat. Even though I was eating every 2 to 3 hour, after eating my meal to stand up from the table, and still wanting to eat a bit more.
How important are supplements in your bodybuilding program and which supplements do you use year round?
Arina: Supplements are very important for everyone (no matter what your level of training is). To get the most from training, we must supply the body with the proper nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Supplements have a very important role in my fitness lifestyle. I use supplements for muscle repair/recovery and support of immune system, for maintaining healthy hormone levels, and to decrease muscle protein breakdown,
I use year around: WPI, Glutamine, BCAA, fish oil, multivitamins, Vit C, Vit E, CQ10, ZMA, calcium,
What supplements do you feel are essential when preparing for a bodybuilding competition?
Arina: From all my studies and the knowledge I have as a supplement consultant and also taking the supplements, the most essential supplements when preparing for a competition are : Protein ( I like the fast released WPI ), Glutamine, L-Arginine, BCAA, L-Tyrosine,Taurine, Carnitine, ZMA, Multivitamins, CQ10, Fish oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Calcium ,Folic Acid, Chromium picolinate, ALA, CLA.
What advice would you give to someone who has tried a number of weight loss programs with no success?
Arina: My advice is NEVER GIVE UP. When you want to transform your body or become healthier, personal factors like the attitude, commitment and desire to improve your appearance play an important role in your success. You have to truly believe that you can reach your goal and if you can believe, YOU CAN DO IT. Be positive and embrace challenge, don’t think success is coming to you and never look for perfection, concentrate on progress. Also my advice is to find an experienced trainer who knows about nutrition, supplements and training and who truly can help you to reach your goals.
Yes! I feel motivated and ready to hit the gym now. Where and when is your next competition?
Arina: I didn’t decide just yet which competition I will enter next.
What is your favorite body part to workout and why?
Arina: I really like training my legs. I just love to have my legs in shape the whole time and also (as crazy as it sounds) but I really enjoy the burning sensation.
Wow! you truly are a renegade, most people have to really pump themselves up for an intense leg workout. Can you tell us about your family? Are you married? Do you have children?
Arina: I am not married, but hopefully one day I will be. Right now I am in a relationship with a wonderful man Robert Bell, which I like to say that he is: THE BEST BOYFRIEND IN THE WORLD :).
He is my best friend, lover, and biggest supporter. Robert, being himself an athlete at a very young age, (a Semi Pro footballer) and being a very successful entrepreneur in the US, he does understand so well my way of living of being discipline, having ambitions, having a strong mind and not being afraid of taking risks to climb to the top.
Sounds like a great guy to have in your corner! If one of our readers was interested in becoming a Pro figure bodybuilding competitor and already lives a healthy lifestyle, what would your advice be to her?
Arina: First step I would definitely advise the person to do a search (or get advice from an experienced person who has done competitions) on everything that is involved in becoming a Figure or a Bodybuilder competitor. You have to be ready to make sacrifices (including with your family, friends and from your social lifestyle), you have to be ready to be discipline, to learn how to be a planner and how to stay focused.
If you could thank one person for helping you reach your fitness goals, who would it be?
Arina: I have to thank my parents and my grandmother. They both were athletes when they were young. My dad used to be a Pro Soccer player for Romania and my mum an ex gymnast. They gave me a good education and they taught me how to have faith and never be afraid to take risks, to believe in myself and to stay happy and positive. Even though they still live in Romania, they are always there for me with their positive support and love.
I am happy to hear you give your parents such compliments, I also owe all my success to my parents, two of the greatest people I have had the privilege to have in my life. Who has been the most memorable person you have enjoyed working with?
Arina: That will be the legendary Bill Dobbins (one of the best photographers in the Fitness Industry). I love working with Bill because he is a perfectionist and he is the biggest supporter of female physiques for years, he sees us (the female physique) as an art and he appreciates a strong physique combined with beauty.
Would you like to give a shout out to anyone?
Arina: I just want to thank my boyfriend Robert for his support and understanding. I also want to thank my sponsor in Australia ASN (Australian Sports nutrition) for their support for the past year and thank you to Muscle-4Life-Nutrition.com for this interview.
We love having you as a Featured Athlete. What are your big plans for the future?
Arina: My next big plan is to see my own Supplement out on the market, which will happen very soon.. At the moment it is in the making and hopefully by first month of next year it will be out on the market. Having my own Supplement brand was another big dream of mine for few years. Another plan is to have my second DVD out which will be a training DVD and my own line of clothes.
Anything else you would like to add?
Arina: I found that Muscle-4Life-Nutrition.com is carrying only the highest quality supplements and brands. I am definitly very pleased for taking the time to do this interview.