It’s my pleasure to introduce you to the former Russian gymnast and professional fitness competitor Oksana Grishina.
Oksana was born in 1978 in Kaliningrad and dedicated her life to making history in the fitness niche.
She got her degree as a specialist in Physical Training and Sports from the University of Kaliningrad in 2000, which formed a strong base for her future success.
Until 2017, Oksana won four consecutive “Ms. Fitness Olympia” titles and ten consecutive “Arnold Classic” competitions, after which she retired from competitive fitness.
Oksana is also a European and World overall champion in the amateur category. She won her IFBB Pro Card in 2007, being the second ever Russian athlete to get this title.
Today, Oksana lives in California, USA. She runs “Oksana Grishina’s O.G. Pole Fitness,” a pole fitness included in the 2018 Olympia Expo.
However, this is a brief overview, as there is much more to Oksana’s success and life story. In continuance, you can learn more about her story and part in the fitness industry.
1. Who is Oksana Grishina?
Q: Hello, Oksana. First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I know you are quite busy this period, so I will get right into it.
Do you mind introducing yourself and your background? Where did it all begin, and how? I believe you have started with gymnastics at a young age, but it would be best if the audience heard the story straight from the source.
A: My background was rhythmic gymnastics. It’s a very beautiful and elegant sport which includes everything in one(acrobatics, ballet, flexibility, and incredible coordination).
I fell in love with this sport even though it wasn’t really my kind of sport. I had different genetics from the other girls who were very skinny. In my case, even though I followed a very strict diet, I always had muscles and couldn’t change it. But I never gave up and got my Master of Sport degree faster than all my teammates, girls who had more potential then I did. I learned from gymnastics how to not give up.
Be disciplined, count on only yourself, and be independent.
2. What Was Your Biggest Motivation?
Q: Over the years, you have genuinely made remarkable achievements in the niche. You got your degree in 2000 and took part in many championships.
But my question at this point is, what kept you going? Do you believe you were born to become this person or was there someone/something that inspired you to progress?
A: I grew up in a military family and we moved around a lot while my father served.
It wasn’t easy for me to change friends and schools all the time, but my family was always together, and we went through all the struggles and difficulties together.
I learned a lot from my parents about discipline and responsibilities, especially how to stay positive, no matter what.
3. What Are Some Of Your Achievements?
Q: Can you tell me more about your achievements in the fitness industry? What moments do you remember as the greatest ones in your career? Is there one particular event that stands out from the rest?
A: There are a lot of moments but I remember that 2007 year so well, and I got 7th place at my first Olympia. I remember right after when we got into our hotel room, my friend texted Boris that I got first place in the routine round.
We were acting like kids by screaming and jumping all over the room. We were so happy because that meant we were headed in the right direction and judges were accepting me as I am.
Although I heard different feedback about my routines, I knew one thing for sure: if I did the same thing that others did, or what others wanted me to do, then I would never go on the stage again, as it wouldn’t be me and I would lose the most important thing in performance: my soul, my desire, my creation, and myself!
4. What Makes A Champion?
Q: Do you believe anyone can become a champion with enough interest and dedication? Is there one specific characteristic you can point out as necessary for such success?
A: Absolutely YES!
5. What Is Your Message to the World?
Q: If you had a way to distribute a message to the entire world, what would it be? How do you wish to inspire people to become a better version of themselves?
A: No matter what your passion is, or what level you are at, don’t wait to be pushed. Decide what you want, and go get it right now.
Believe in yourself. Do what you love to do, with all your heart, and never give up!
6. Have The Competitions Changed?
Q: If you consider your first and last championship and the ones in between, what are the most significant changes you have noticed over the years?
A: It’s hard to pick one, each competition is a challenge. And with every show you learn something new about yourself.
7. How Do You Keep In Shape?
Q: It’s quite challenging to keep in shape at all times. Can you tell us more about your training routines and nutrition plans? What works best for you?
A: Of course, as an athlete, I have no excuses, and must eat clean all the time, but it was not always this way.
From experience I learned to listen to my body, and love the clean eating lifestyle. It still surprises me that when I can eat something that is tasty but less healthful, I no longer want it.
I work out 2-3 times a day, and I know I will feel bad both mentally and physically, and won’t want to go to the gym.
Everyone talks about eating clean and dieting, but few really commit. Try it for at least a few days and you’ll see how good and energetic you feel.
It’s about making choices, learning about your body, setting goals, and discipline.
8. How Did You Handle 2020?
Q: Many people found 2020 as a big challenge. Professionals also found it hard to keep in shape. How did you handle the situation, especially with the lockdowns?
A: 2020 was definitely the most challenging year for everyone. New platform to train, different floor, restrictions.
The gym is 50 min away from my home. But we are all in this together. Also only few people know that I created this routine 3 weeks before the 2020 Olympia!
I was preparing something different that I worked hard on for so long but as you know because of COVID-19 the Olympia was moved to the new venue and wouldn’t allow us to do it.
Yes, it was a stressful time and extra work for me and even more stressful for the promoter, production and the whole Olympia team to put on the greatest show but WE DID IT!!!
Anything is possible if you have passion and love what you do. I’m blessed to be around the greatest people in this industry!
9. What Are Your Plans For The Future?
Q: Have you set any goals for the future you wish to share with the public?
A: I’m planning to compete in 2021 but it’s hard to say what shows, as COVID-19 is still here. In May I’m promoting two shows in Russia, NPC Worldwide Regional in Moscow and IFBB Pro Qualifier in my home city Kaliningrad.
I’m so excited about it and can’t wait to provide such a great opportunity for Russian athletes to earn pro cards and become an IFBB Pro League athlete.
10. What Is Your Secret To Success?
Q: At last, does your career require sacrifice? How do you balance your professional and private life? And is there a piece of advice you would give the ones who want to pursue this path?
A: Any sport is about sacrifice. Always remember one golden rule: to achieve any results in sports you need to be able to sacrifice many (time with friends or a second half, free time, etc.).
Unfortunately, this is hard for some. It is not easy, but it will make you truly feel your ability to do something, develop an iron willpower, without it nothing can be achieved in life. But it’s nice to realize after all these past difficulties and inconveniences that you are capable of more than you thought.
I’m blessed to have my husband Boris on my side. He is also my coach and everything we do we do together. He is my biggest support for all the time.
Thank you, Oksana, for being honest and taking the time to answer all my questions. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. We expect to see you on the scene for many years to come!
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