María Kristín Guðjónsdóttir
Date of birth: May 11th 1991
Hometown: Reykjavik, Iceland
Category: Bikini Fitness
2013 IFBB Icelandic championships: 3rd place,
2013 Arnold Classic Europe: 5th place,
2013 IFBB Icelandic cup: 3rd place.
Now you have competed 3 times, which means you've had to go through the cutting cycle 3 times. Is it always as hard or does it get easier?
Physically it gets more challenging because my goal is always to improve from last competition, so I tend to aim higher and raise my standards. Mentally it gets a little bit easier because with each cycle I know my body and its limits better.
Can you describe the feeling when you stepped on the stage in Háskólabíó for the first time, what went through your mind?
“Holy shit, why did I think this was a good idea?” was literally what I was thinking. I have never been so nervous in my whole life! It was a huge step out of my comfort zone but at the same time it was a fantastic experience and I have never been so proud of myself.
What do you do for a living?
I’m graduating this spring with a BS-degree in human nutrition from the University of Iceland. Future studies/work is yet to be decided.
How does it work combining work, school and preparing for a competition?
It takes a lot of effort and scheduling –“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. I do my best work under pressure so it has become a habit to procrastinate school assignments to the deadline and in the meantime I put all of my energy and focus on competition prep.
Can you tell us when you first started weight lifting and when did the idea of competing come up?
I started weight lifting in 2011 while recovering from a bad leg injury after playing handball. My plan was to compete in April 2012 but I did not have the courage to step on stage until November the same year. My interest grew when I started studying nutrition. I wanted to go through a cutting cycle and learn firsthand the effects it can have on the body because they do not teach that in books.
What is your background in sports?
I played handball for 10 years and competed in swimming for 5 years. I also practiced figure skating and karate for shorter periods of time.
Do you feel that your background in other sports helped you in fitness?
Absolutely, it has given me a great physical foundation to build upon as well as a valuable lesson in what sportsmanship is all about it e.g. the importance of respecting your adversaries and not to give up when things are not going your way.
Do you have the support of your family?
Yes, I do! It took them a while to get used to the idea and the lifestyle that comes with the sport but now they are really supportive and excited for me when I compete.
What is your goal within the sport?
To be the strongest version of myself and to be a competitor that others can look up to.
In your opinion, what makes a successful Bikini Fitness competitor?
A successful Bikini Fitness competitor has an athletic and feminine physique and above all selfconfidence and a great stage presence.
Who do you look up to in this sport?
Christina Strøm Fjære, India Paulino & Margret Gnarr.
In your career as a Bikini Fitness competitor have there ever been any ideal physiques that you look up to?
Sabina Plevakova, Nicole Nagrani and Ashley Kaltwasser are my main inspirations at the moment among those mentioned above.
Where do you train?
World Class Iceland
Do you have a training partner?
Yes, I have the best training partners; Katrín Ösp, Andrea Sif, Steinunn Helga and Jóel Daði. Always a great variety to choose from.
How many times a week do you train?
4-6 times off season. 10-12 times in competition prep.
How is your training program?
Monday – legs (focus on quads) and calves, Tuesday – shoulders and bicep, Wednesday – gluteus, Thursday – back, Friday – hamstrings + gluteus, Saturday – shoulders+ triceps. I do 10-30min cardio after each workout.
What´s your favorite body part to train?
Gluteus and shoulders.
What´s your favorite exercise?
Squats, tight row and Arnold press. However I get bored quite easily so I rotate regularly and try new exercises.
Do you take any posing classes?
Yes I attend Iceland Fitness posing seminars before every competition.
Do you weigh your food during cutting cycle?
Very roughly, I used to weigh everything during my first competition prep but now I have a good sense of how much I should be eating for each meal.
What's your favorite meal when your cutting down?
Breakfast: Oatmeal with Optimum Nutrition whey protein and raisins and chocolate casein pudding before bed.
What´s your favorite meal in off-season?
A steak with a baked potato and béarnaise sauce.
What´s your favorite protein bar?
Kraftur and Quest bars (peanut butter cups).
Do you listen to music while you train?
Only during cardio workouts and occasionally when I’m training alone.
What do you need to work on for your next competition?
I am mainly focusing on toning my glutes and lats as well as poses and stage presence.
I´m going to compete at the Arnold Classic Europe in Madrid September 2014. I´m also looking at a couple of more competitions next fall but nothing is decided at this point.
What are your interests beside fitness?
My main interest is nutrition and food; I also love to read books, travel, skiing and all sorts of outdoor activity.
How important is it to have good sponsors?
It is really helpful since this sport/lifestyle can be quite expensive.
Who are your sponsors?
Heilsa ehf, World Class Iceland, Ginger, Perform.is
Where in life is María in 10 years?
I’ll be a fit and healthy mom with a successful career in nutrition or food technology.
Is there anything you want to say to people that are going to compete for the first time?
Do it on your own terms and do not focus on your rivals, focus on what you can control like bringing your best to the competition.
“Don’t be upset with the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do” & “Look in the mirror, that’s your competition”.
Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to?
Yes, I would like to thank my sponsors and training buddies who make this process a whole lot easier and enjoyable. My coach Konráð Valur at Iceland Fitness deserves the biggest shout out for his support and guidance, without whom I would not be in the shape I am today.
What´s the best way to contact you?