Interview - Arina Manta

Interview: Arina Manta, Miss Fitness Australia and Miss Figure Australasia - 25th January 2005

We interviews Arina Manta, Australia's #1 athlete in her given sport.

How did you start in sports?

Both my parents love any type of sport. My father was a professional soccer player and he really wanted my sister or myself to be very athletic as well.

You started at 3 years old, who have you been able to stay positive, dedicated and successful for so long?

I was trained from a very young age mentally and physically to be dedicated, disciplined and very competitive. I grew up in a communist country where as an athlete you are trained to be number 1. Being second wasn't good enough.

What's the "secret" to your success?

My secret to my success is the power of the mind and the ambition to be the best I can be.

Who have been your biggest supporters over the years?

My parents, my close friends, my personal training clients and fans.

When did you turn professional?

I turned professional in December 2005, 2 days before the New Year. I worked really hard to get to this level. It was a happy day when I was told that I had been granted my Pro Card. Is my dream came true to be able to compete on the world stage alongside the girls who I have admired for so many years.

How many years have you been able to work in the business full time?

I have been a personal trainer for most of my working life.

You have the rare attribute of being able to look absolutely stunning and amazing in either competition gear, casuals, or an evening gown. Is this something you have worked on consciously, or is it just a matter of your total body and mind conditioning, or something else?

I am a perfectionist. I like to look my best not only on stage or at the gym, but in every environment and it is also who I am. Its not something I consciously think about, its just the way I have been brought up.

How many months a year do you compete professionally?

I have to train all year round in order to maintain my physique. I typically have to diet for 10 weeks to get ready for a show, that is all over in a day. I might compete 3 times a year depending on what shows are on and my financial situation.

What's the main differences in your professional and personal life in "on season" and "off season"?

In the off season I can socialize more and attend events and functions. When I have to prepare for a competition then for that 10-12 weeks I really try and keep to myself and my close circle of friends who understand that I cant go out as much and need to eat my self-prepared meals. My training , my work , preparing my food and extra rest takes most of my time. So yes my social life style suffers a lot during the "on-season" when I am getting ready for a comp, but it is something I have to do to be the best.

What's your training regime involve, and what's the minimum training sessions you work per day?

I train weights training 5 times per week and do cardio training every morning When I diet for a competition I include one more cardio session a day ( 7 times a week). The training can be up to 2.5 and 3 hours a day broken up into two sessions.

How much do you lift?

Its important to point out that I am a body shaper, not a body builder or a weight lifter. It also of course depends as to what muscle group you are asking about. My legs and back are much stronger than other body parts, but yes, I do lift heavy. I typically do 12-15 reps for upper body and might go as high as 50 reps for my legs. For each body part I will do 4 sets of 4-5 different exercises. For biceps I might use 20kg dumbells, for chest I bench around 60kgs and for legs I might go up to 280kgs.

What's your stats?

My size and weight obviously changes depending what part of the competition cycle I am in. When I am off season gaining size and muscle I weigh as high as 60kgs with around 15% bodyfat. When I am competing I will weigh around 53kgs with around 7% bodyfat. This level of bodyfat is very low for a woman.

My most recent measurements taken in January at the start of my off season diet was:

Chest / Back 41.5"
Biceps 12.5"
Thigh 21"
Waist 25.5"
Calves 14.5"
Neck 12.5"

Does your tattoo represent something?

My tattoo is very similar to the one that Pamela Anderson has around her arm. I wanted something that represented strength and determination while still being sexy. I don't even notice it is there anymore but it feels very much a part of me and my personality.

What's your staple diet, and what are your favourite foods?

Again - this will vary depending if I am competing or not. In the off season my goal is to gain muscle so my diet doesn't have to be as strict, but I still need to eat plenty of protein and carbs and limit my fats. I do enjoy cakes, and Japanese food, but my favorite desert is Caramel Brulee.

When I am getting closer to a competition I will eat 6 times a day and all my meals have lean protein and also clean LG ( low glycemic ) carbohydrates, lots of vegies and lots of water. All my calories are counted and my meals are based on a strict ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. I take a large amount of supplements and vitamins to make sure my body has every opportunity to grow and recover from harder training sessions.

I understand your currently preparing to compete in the US, and you're Australia's only IFBB pro. Why should potential sponsors, such as airline companies and hotel chains seriously consider sponsoring you?

I am officially Australia's top athlete in my sport. I represent the optimum in healthy clean living and promote a great lifestyle. In Australia there is an epidemic of obesity. Any company who would like to associate their brand with a clean, healthy, active, fun loving, bronzed Aussie lifestyle would do well to associate themselves with me.

Who are you looking forward to seeing in the U.S?

I am looking forward to being able to stand on stage and go head to head with the girls whose careers I have followed in the magazines. For years I have wanted to see how I would go against them and now I have my opportunity.

Explain your marketing U.S.P (Unique Selling Points) in detail?

Why Arina is Unique:

1. Female - Understands women's needs.
2. Fitness Expert
3. Weight Loss Expert
4. Trainer of Trainers (Personal trainers come to me to get themselves fit)
5. Trainer of Champions (I train the #1 ranked women competitors in other federations and divisions)
6. Officially recognised as top amateur athlete in Australia prior to pro card
7. Only IFBB Pro Figure Athlete in Australia.
8. Ranked #1 Professional Spring Board Diver in Romania for 10 years.
9. Incredible ability to motivate and instill passion in others.

Words used to describe Arina (written by friends).

1. Graceful
2. Stylish
3. Intelligent
4. Organized
5. Disciplined
6. Passionate
7. Extraordinary
8. Gifted motivator
9. Ambitious
10. Driven
11. Achiever
12. Kind

*eg: body, beautiful, magazine covers, media darling, good ambassador, health lifestyle message etc etc

What places has your fitness career taken you?

I have travelled throughout Australia competing in various shows as a fitness and figure contestant.

In 2004 and 2005 I travelled to Barcelona in Spain which is where the World Championships are held each year where the best amateur contestants representing countries all over the world come together to compete.

What do you consider the highlights of your personal and professional life?

Coming to Australia was a big step for me and was very difficult at first as I couldn't speak English, but I knew that it would be worthwhile sticking it out. I love the lifestyle here and the people. In Romania I was professional spring board diver and I've done 1 year of Sport science at the University before I moved to Australia .
In Australia I was a complete nobody with no money or assets and now have a quality of life and opportunities that I could never have expected to achieve when I first arrived here. Teaching myself to speak, read and write in English when I was in my 20's was challenging and a great accomplishment. On the professional side if things, winning my first show was a big step, but gaining my Pro card and becoming a Professional has been a lifelong dream and so for now that is my best career highlight.

What do you do to relax, and don't say "train"! : )

I love doing anything outdoors. Rollerblading in the park, walking on the beach, taking drives out to the country are all great things to do during summer. I love shopping of course, watching movies, and being generally just enjoying the company of my friends.

What motivates and inspires you?

Other peoples success.

I understand that your "the trainer of the stars". How did this develop?

I have been a personal trainer for years and over time people start to realise that your clients are REALLY getting results. I started to then get approached by other personal trainers to help them with difficult clients (just people who have a harder time losing weight than others), and then by the personal trainers themselves to get them remotivated or back in condition. Once I started doing shows I began to get approached by more girls who wanted to compete and had some excellent results and started up an informal team of "Fitdolls" - female fitness competitors. Word just kept spreading and now I have a range of clients from the very unfit, to high profile athletes.

What television type programmes would you consider hosting?

I would LOVE to have a go at something like an Australian version of "The Biggest Loser". It is such a positive and inspiring show. Like the USA, Australia suffers from way too many overweight inactive people. Im sure I could achieve even better results and my team would win !

To me your like a real Lara Croft, but better, sexier and bigger. Would you consider stunt training from our friend, Colin Handley, with a view to getting into motion pictures?

Oh, yes definitely. I would love to do something like that, especially with my ability of fitness, flexibility and strength. I believe I could be really good at it.

What media companies have covered your career to date?

I have until now basically kept a low profile so I could focus on competing and getting to the level I am now at. I am very well known inside the fitness and sports modelling community, but not so much to the wider Australia. I have started to work with Greg Tingle of Media Man Australia who is providing some excellent advice and contacts that will get me better known about town and to a broader section of Australians.

How much has the internet helped you, and how many people visit your website?

The internet has been a great help. It provides me with a low cost means to promote myself while allowing potential clients, friends and fans to contact me who wouldn't be able to otherwise so easily.
I update my site often with new photos ( modelling, competitions, training) and everything that happens in my life in the fitness area.

What's your motto?

Train hard, be happy, love life

A special message for your fans?

For all my fans out there, all your support is appreciated so much. It is only because of your positive attitude towards me that I am at this level and I will not disappoint you. I will give 100% to get better and better and I hope to motivate others in a healthy lifestyle and feel better about themselves.

What would you like to do that you haven't yet?

Compete in the Figure Olympia in the USA. This is THE Olympics of my sport.

What's your star sign?

I am Taurus: reliable, totally dependable and utterly loyal, well organised and capable in practical matters, ambitious, romantic, sentimental, sensual and very loving.




Arina Manta

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