Viera Stopkova - Bikini Competitor, Pure Elite Pro

My journey in fitness began about four years ago. But the last two years I have been fully dedicated to training and nutrition, I always loved sport though. I played volleyball for seven years in college, also did karate for some time. After I moved to London I worked as a fashion model for several years and during that time I didn’t really exercise much. I was very slim, like the fashion industry required, but it wasn’t necessarily a healthy look. Looking back at it now I didn’t feel very healthy or fit back then.
I decided I wanted to change my lifestyle, I started going to the gym and got addicted to training straight away. My goal wasn’t as it is for most women; to lose weight, it was the opposite, I wanted to gain weight, put on muscle mass and simply become stronger and healthier.
After some time of training I started to see how my body had changed and decided I wanted to compete, as that was something that was always in the back of my mind. I went to watch a competition and I said to myself I want to be on that stage.

Viera Stopkova

Diet and Training

During my prep the goal is to lose body fat and keep muscle mass. Twelve weeks out I start the prep with high protein, high carb diet. I don't count calories at this stage. Then my carbohydrates go down to 50g and I’m on 1500-1200 kcal approximately 6 weeks out, because the calories are limited, the diet is very strict and clean with the odd ‘cheat day’. My diet then consist of green veg, brown rice, sweet potatoes, berries.. only low GI carbohydrates. And of course chicken, fish to keep diet as high protein as possible. Eating clean is the key, although I do have refeed day once a week/two weeks. This time I train 6 times a week, twice a day, mix of cardio and weight training. As the prep goes on, I switch to lighter weights and more repetitions.

During my off season I try to gain muscle and get stronger than I was before. I constantly work on my physique and I enjoy the process very much. My diet is relaxed at the off season time. My coach says if you want to gain muscles simply LIFT WEIGHTS and EAT a lot. I still train 6 times a week on off season, I split my training to different body parts. I always try to push myself to lift heavier to build more muscle mass. My diet is high in protein high carbohydrates. Yes, I gain some fat as well, but it is necessary in order to grow.

Failed diets: I haven’t had competition diet plans that have failed. That said, I can see how it can be a very fine balance and how athletes, particularly women can get this very wrong. The key is simple. Eat clean. FAD diets, “magic” diet pills and other crap simply doesn’t work. When competing you really need to change your mind set and put your heart into the prep, otherwise you are setting yourself up for a fall.


I love being on stage. Many years of doing catwalks and being on the runway definitely helped me with my stage confidence. Although… catwalk and fashion model poses are completely different to posing as a bikini competitor. Somehow I couldn’t get rid of my model poses, then I realised I need a posing coach, and that was the best thing I could do! Stage presence is so important when it comes to competing. I definitely recommend a stage coach (different federations have different requirements) and lots and lots of practicing. I practiced literally everywhere…..

Viera Stopkova

Show day
With my first competition I had no idea what to expect. Yes I did massive research, watched lots of videos etc, but until you experience it yourself, or know someone who did it and can get feedback from them it's quite hard to imagine. I remember I was very nervous, super scared, I imagined the worse scenario would be if I fell on the stage, what if this and that… I didn’t enjoy it because I stressed myself so much. I was in diva bikini category, I didn’t place at this stage. I was very disappointed but it was a huge experience for me. I took a time off to work on my physique. I wanted to bring a better package to the stage and prepare myself physically and mentally for the next competition. I competed with Pure Elite federation. I entered two categories International Model and Bikini. This time I knew what to expect, I was much more relaxed and I couldn’t wait to get on that stage. I met lots of nice girls backstage, I really enjoyed every minute of the day. I placed 1st in both categories and earned the pro status and entry to compete at the world championships. I couldn’t be happier! I see how important is to simply have fun at the day of the competition!

Future plans: Keep doing what I love, working as a personal trainer. I want to keep competing, I love the discipline and determination that goes to the prep. My next competition is Miami Pro, March 2017


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