TO SEE OKSANA GRISHINA’S GRAVITY-DEFYING ROUTINES in action is to appreciate just how much hard work goes into being a top fitness competitor. One-handed pushups, full splits, and head-over-heel spins may draw on her background as a rhythmic gymnast. But Grishina is perhaps best known for her boundary pushing choreography, from an eye-popping pole-dancing program to her bad-girl Black Swan homage.
“Competing in fitness gives me an amazing opportunity to express my creativity,” says Grishina, who has taken home top honors at the past two Olympia, Arnold Classic, and Fitness International competitions. “I’ve always had the discipline and attitude of an athlete, but fitness also allows me to show my work as a choreographer and performer.”
Grishina began competing in rhythmic gymnastics at the relatively advanced age of 7, when her father (a Russian military officer) was assigned to Riga, Latvia. After only a few months of training, she placed third in her first competition. Gymnastics took center stage throughout her childhood, and she spent countless hours training. But she considers her fitness prep to be an even greater challenge. “To maintain your skills and conditioning as you get older and to continue to perform without getting hurt takes an incredible amount of effort.”
Her acrobatics coach helps her perfect her movements, but her performances remain largely personal.
“From the beginning I have always created my own routines. They come from things that are important to me and shape who I am.” Her 2016 Arnold Classic routine highlights her love of Michael Jackson, showcasing some new acrobatic moves in tribute to the King of Pop.
Grishina continues to dominate the international stage but is already starting to think about her future outside of competitive fitness. This year, she’ll be promoting a pole-fitness competition in Los Angeles based on her own love of the sport, and she works with other athletes, competitors, and enthusiasts in achieving their fitness goals. Living in L.A., she’s also been tempted by Hollywood and has been taking acting classes for several years. “Maybe I’ll try to make another career out of being an actress!” she declares.
But for now, her fitness star power shows no signs of dimming. “I love competing: It pushes you to achieve with no excuses, and it’s all about challenging yourself and growing as an athlete and as a person.” That’s a passion she’d like others to share, even if they’re just starting out in fifitness. “Don’t wait to be pushed,” she insists. “Decide what you want, and go get it.”
Oksana Grishina 2x Fitness Olympia,
2x Fitness Olympia, 2014–2015;2x Ms. Fitness
2x Ms. Fitness International, 2014–2015Hometown:
Born in Kaliningrad, Russia; lives in Los Angeles
ON HER MENU
150g non fat Russian cottage cheese (from Russian market), 1 Raw Fusion Bar or 35g oatmeal with 1 tbsp peanut butter
120g chicken, 35g rice, vegetables, or salad
120g salmon or steak, salad
150g baked potato, 100g chicken, salad
4 egg-white (with 1 yolk) omelet made with zucchini and mushrooms
150g non fat Russian cottage cheese
Protein shake (SAN Nutrition Titanium Isolate), nuts (almonds or cashews), or fruit (apple, orange, or grapefruit)
1. SAN Nutrition Tight Reloaded Raw Fusion Protein
2. Raw Fusion Protein Raw Fusion Bars
3. Raw Fusion Bars
1. Fierce, Launch or CM2
4. Omega-3 fatty acids
Plus three weekly performance workouts and 20 to 40 minutes of cardio twice a day on a stationary bike or treadmill or a brisk walk outdoors.
FAVORITE PART TO TRAIN
“I FOCUS MOSTLY ON MY SHOULDERS BECAUSE THEY ARE IMPORTANT FOR MY FITNESS LOOK.”
DB shoulder press, DB lateral raise, single-arm upright row, bent over DB lateral raise