We sat down with Maia Stier, 2015 IFBB Ms Physique Australasia, Personal Trainer and Mongrel Joe’s Brand Ambassador to talk body building competitions, coffee and Oompa Loompa tans….
What made you take up fitness and body building as a hobby?
I started going to the gym to do rehab for my knee after I got injured snowboarding. As I began learning new exercises and reading body building and fitness magazines I realised how much I loved the atmosphere and the industry.
When did you go beyond that and start competing? What changed?
A friend randomly told me I should try competing! I was intrigued and I am very competitive so I saw the challenge as a great opportunity to push my body to the limit and I’ve been hooked ever since.
What kind of exercises do you do? Mostly machines or free weights?
Mostly free weights as there is so much variety and so many different ways of hitting multiple muscle groups at one time. I also like machines but mostly for isolation work i.e: working in a specific part of one muscle.
How does your routine change to train for competition – diet and exercise?
Training for competition involves a lot more structure and discipline. When I am in Comp mode there are no early finishes during a training session. Maximum effort goes into each set and each rep until I can’t do anymore. Off season is a little more relaxed and a good time to experiment and learn new techniques.
Diet during competition prep is very strict. Everything is weighed and measured and each meal is eaten at certain times of the day to accommodate my training regime.
What’s a competition like? Where does the coffee fit in?! Talk us through the day.
The day can be quite overwhelming at times. You wake up and that’s the day you have worked for 4-6 months for! It all happens pretty quick! After registration it’s all about rest! Legs up! Music in. Zen mode! Rest before stage is so important to prevent any water retention as you want to look as shredded and dry as possible!
Minimal food to keep the waist tight and just little sips of water. I always have an espresso as it keeps me lively and actually calms my nerves!
When it’s show time all of the competitors are backstage pumping up and we walk on to stage one by one forming a line for comparisons. We do quarter turns and then compulsory poses (where we flex) and the judges move us around to compare us. We then file off stage and wait for the finals. Again lie down with feet up. By this time everyone is so tired and we all feel like zombies but the hard work is done and now we just sit back and wait to go on for finals.
After the awards it’s straight to the box of donuts and then to the closest burgers joint! Haha
Who inspires you?
I could say some big shot celebrity body builders but to be honest my partner does. He works insane long hours of hard labor all around the country and never has an excuse not to train. He will do a 16 hour day and then drag me to the gym because it just simply “has to be done”. Or he will be in some town in the middle of nowhere for work and literally drive 1.5 hours each way just to train. His passion for the sport is inspiring to me because even though he doesn’t compete (yet) it’s a priority for him and he makes it a part of his lifestyle regardless of his work schedule or other commitments. He is there by my side through everything and he inspires me and motivates me every day.
Are there any major misconceptions you think people have about women’s body competitions?
I think the main one is that people think how we look on stage is how we look all the time or that women who lift look manly. But the general public don’t understand the processes and things we need to do to look a certain way on stage! 3 days after Comp we look normal! Once we eat food and hydrate and loose the Oompa Loompa tan we blend in to any gym as normal.
Any advice for women wanting to get into this industry?
I think it is an awesome challenge for any female wanting to see what there body looks like and feels like in peak condition! Not a lot of people actually know what they are capable of and many see women in magazines and think “I could never look like that” when really, you can!