Tatiana Dmitrieva - Bikini Competitor

Interview with Tatiana Dmitrieva, Dr. nutritionist-dietitian, 2xbikini-fitness vice-champion Europe.

I started my journey in professional sport when I was 4-year-old. My parents noticed letís call it ďbody talentĒ and brought me to the ballet studio in the small town 500 km to the North from Moscow where I was born. I progressed very quickly to the soloist of the group and I was offered to perform on stage from age 6. I danced contemporary ballet and latina semi-professionally until the age 15 when I had to stop performing as it was time to get ready to the university. However, I was not able to stop dancing and doing sport completely as it was a big part of my life. I got my first membership in the gym and my journey in bodybuilding began.

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I was very inspired with fantasy fiction books that I read a lot during my childhood and teenage period. Almost all of them were illustrated by famous artist Boris Valegio. The main characters were depicted as athletic heroes and I was admiring at those perfect bodies and strong spirits. Later I found out that all female characters were painted from his wife who was a professional bodybuilder and the body-fitness competitor. I started coming to the gym almost every day after school and spending where couple of hours lifting, doing cardio and learning from old school bodybuilders how human body works. It was so fascinating and almost breath taking how humans can voluntary change the bodies. I was lifting and learning, learning and lifting.

It was a long period of my life when I was studying in the university, working in the local newspaper as a journalist and PR assistant and doing fitness as a hobby. Gym was my meditative temple where I was able to release stress from the uni and work.

In the age 19 I moved to Moscow as I was offered a job in a big advertisement agency (the first private advertisement agency in Russia). I was extremely honored to get this job and I put all my effort into my career progression. However, fitness was my passion even when I was extremely busy with work. I loved both sides of my life: creative stuff I was doing as a PR manager in the agency during a day and my night mesas in the gym.

Few years later in age 27 I became the youngest in the history the head of marketing of Moscow stock exchange. But my fitness passion was always with me. I started my day in the gym doing cardio, then I spent 10-12 hours doing my extremely exciting work duties and finished my day always in the gym lifting.

I lived my happy life trying to do my best in everything I was doing. I learned from the best people in the industry and in the same time I was constantly reading papers about human body, biochemistry, neuroscience and so on. It was literally my free time indulgent.

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In 2012 I took a sabbatical because I realized that I want to do an MBA in one of the best business schools in the World. I had this dream from my childhood. I was born in the medical family the the value of education was developed in me from the early age. My grand father (my absolutely fantastic role model) always told me: when you stop learning you start depredating. So, when I came closer to my 30-s I realized that I badly want to get quality western education. I applied to 5 best universities in the UK (the choice was simple: England is much closer to Russia than the US, so I could see my family more often) and Iíve got unconditional offers from all 5. After careful consideration I chose Imperial College Full-time MBA because the IC had the strongest entrepreneurial spirit from the 5 and my new exciting journey began.

It was a great challenge I really enjoyed: I studied from 9am to 6pm and them lifted in the gym to reload my brain. At some point people in the gym started asking me if Iím a competing athlete. It was a sign. I decided to try myself. The first comp prep took just 4 weeks, I stepped the stage and was placed second in my category. In half a year I took into consideration my mistakes and stepped the stage again in the European Pro-Am show and got my second silver medal.

After my second competition I was already sure what I want to do in my life next. I completed another degree in nutrition and open my nutrition and body coaching company. Iím running now a successful nutrition practice at Harley street and train my clients in my fitness studio in Westminster.

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I always eat clean. I add calories in order to build up my metabolic capacity and perform better. But frankly speaking I donít have typical ďoff-seasonĒ time as I want to look lean and healthy all year round. Iím 34 and I simply canít afford to look bulky or chunky off-season. For me itís a life-style thing. So, my diet has more variety, I eat more fruits and can have a glass of nice wine occasionally. I live my life, enjoy it as much as I can, get social experience but always keep eating healthy and clean.

I do carb cycling (consume more carbs to fuel my lower body heavy workouts). I recently started practicing intermittent short fasting protocols (12-14 hours break between the last and the first meal). It works perfectly for me. However, I noticed that the best component of the diet is lack of obsession. The easier you take your diet the better it works. The explanation is pure neuroscience (Iím doing currently Neuroscience post graduate course in Harvard). The more you are obsessed about anything the more stress hormone cortisol you produce. It is a well-known fact that cortisol is highly catabolic, on one hand, and fat storing hormone, on the other hand. So, my advice: eat clean, keep calm, learn, train, hire a competent and caring coach and you will be fine.

Failed diet: After my second victory Iíve made a transition step from WBFF to IFBB. The standards were much higher. All IFBB bikini girls are much more muscular and much leaner on stage to compare to WBFF. I had to change my approach toward training and dieting. I was a bit obsessed with both. I desperately tried to build my upper body and then lean down. As Iíve always been a natural athlete I had to relay on diet and exercise. I allocated much more time to prepare. 12 weeks seemed enough as I was lean enough off-season so I shouldnít drop a lot. I tried few strategies (low carb and when keto) and in 12 weeks I stepped the stage. I was lean, but not lean enough for judges. I was in the first call but ended up 4th. It was a drama for me. I decided to carry on and enter the next show in 4-week time. I planned to reach a highest level of leanness but my body simply stopped reacting at all. I was doing classical desperate natural bikini mistake: I was massively overtrained, depleted and my cortisol was over the top. Plus, some business issues made the situation even worse. I was juggling between the studio, clinic, clients, gym, posing sessions, etc. I was extremely stressed. I stepped the stage in 4-week time at the BodyPower 2015 (there was a massive and very strong line of competitors). I was lean but extremely exhausted and depleted. I was not able to perform at my best so I ended up 6thÖ

Couple of month later Iíve got a massive overcompensation and put on 5 kg. I was completely unhappy with the way I looked. It took me a year to come back to my normal form, to recover after the stress and balance my biochemistry. At that period, I realized that I have to lean more. Iíve done endocrinology and biochemistry courses. I started reading a lot about metabolic syndrome that I definitely had after competitions. I listened to Lane Norton (all his videologs), I read Lyle McDonald and other gurus. In 12-15 month I came back to the form when I was completely happy with the way I look and feel. However, I decided that to focus on my business, clients and learning rather that on competitions and it was helpful as the level of cortisol dropped and the other hormones balanced themselves consequently.

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I do stubborn fat protocols twice a week, do fasted cardio and weighted aerobics with elements of ballet every morning (itís how I start my day before seeing my clients), I lift 5 days a week. My lifting split is:

Monday Ė heavy gluts mono-workout (I do 8-12 sets of squats and deadlifts)
Tuesday Ė back and arms
Wednesday Ė legs and coordination
Thursday Ė chest and shoulders
Friday Ė isolation gluts (not heavy)
Saturday Ė rest
Sunday Ė full-body functional training and stretch

I vary my workouts to keep it effective and to avoid body adaptation to the same stimuli.

Recent Contest

My last contest happened 2 weeks ago (FitCon Kensington Olympia). The experience was very positive. I just had fun. Actually I was prepping for the video shoot (I participate as a nutrition and fitness expert in the popular medicine and healthy related TV show in Russia). Weíve done already 3 episodes and going to film few more. So I didnít plan to compete. And in some point I started receiving question from my friends, followers and colleagues if Iím going to compete. One day one famous IBFF pro bodybuilder asked me the same question. My answer was: I havenít plan to compete any more. But he encouraged me to try. I decided that Iím not going to lose anything and entered the completion. I was the oldest in the line (Iím 34 yo and the average age of other female competitors was about 22-25). Iím completely happy with experience (it was my first show after 2 years break). The vibe was great and I really had fun behind the stage, on stage and after the competition.

Iím going to focus on my business and my clients. Please check my web-site www.fitandtreat.com.
Also I really enjoy the TV project Iím taking part in. I will continue learning and writing articles about the topic. By the way, have a look at my blog at my web-site. I add new articles pretty often.
Another thing is my e-book ďHow to quit sugar in 21 daysĒ is about to be out in couple of weeks. Iím extremely excited about it as I believe it will be helpful for many fitfams and fitmoms. And!!!!! My big dream and I will try to make it happen is a PhD in Harvard Medical School. I havenít decided yet what particular topic Iím going to focus on but I will definitely write about healthy natural bodybuilding.

Email: tatiana@fitandtreat.com
Instagram: @hotgym888
Facebook: Tatiana Dmitrieva

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