We recently had a chance to sit down with the beautiful and ultra-fit Eleonora Dobrinina and had a chance to learn so much from her. Check out what she had to say below.
ETP: How did you get started in the fitness industry?
ED: First, it is important to know that fitness has always been a part of my life, consciously or not. I was a gymnast from ages 5 to 10. After that, I did hiking in the mountains and forests around Carpathia from ages 10 to 15. At 15, still into fitness, I started doing very basic aerobics at a simple athletic studio. That was nothing like what we have here in the west, but it kept me going and gave me a taste for something like the gym. As a teen, I dated a bodybuilder, and was fascinated with what he was doing and how he and the other bodybuilders looked. It was my biggest dream to hit the gym. I don’t know why, but I have loved it since as long as I can remember. Even just from watching TV shows (bodybuilding competitions on stage at that time, back to 1990) I just loved to watch the human body with naturally made muscles, and to me its such a TURN ON! Both women’s and men’s bodies developed like this! I think people with muscles just look much more healthy, attractive and sexy, not to mention the self-confident and goal oriented side of those people. At 17, I started going to his gym — a real gym — and was hooked on training from the very first time! I just freaking loved it! . I remember my first time in the gym like it was yesterday. I had no clue what to do with all those machines and equipment. I learned from all who I watched in the gym, and of course at that time it was only guys, so while I did copy all that I saw at first, mostly I had to learn for myself what would work for me in choosing weights, exercises, etc., on my own. (That is something I recommend to everyone! Find out what works for you!) I became a personal trainer when i was 19… Blast off! That was it for me! I was ruined for anything except a life of fitness. My university studies in management and hotel business, which I completed well enough, were the worst chore. I loved sport! I knew my job well, and continued to learn, and I continue to learn to this day. So, to make a long story short, probably by around age 20, I consciously knew my life would revolve around fitness. (But it was with me from the start!)
ETP: Obviously, you are a big believer in lifting weights. What is your weekly routine?
ED: Well, let me just explain that I never stick with one routine more then 1-2 months. I am always changing my workout program by adding something new or mixing things up with what I did before to confuse my body and muscles, simply to not get bored and always have fun with my training.
Here is one of my weekly routines, and one of my favorites with using pyramid method:
Every workout, the first exercise will be a “general” pyramid method. You will be using max weight for each set until failure (for ex. A1 Romanian deadlift for 12 reps at 150 pounds, 10 reps at 180 pounds, 8 reps at 200 pounds, 6 reps at 220 pounds) then rest between sets for 90 seconds. You are using your own weight amount, of course, depending on your ability. First finish A1, then start B1 and continue this way all through the training session.
For the next exercise, B1, go hard, but each set is identical (for example, 80 pounds each set) and rest between sets for only 45 seconds.
Monday: Hamstrings & Abs
|A1 Romanian Deadift||6 sets 12reps, 10, 8, 6, 6||90 sec|
|B1 Lying Leg Curls||5 sets 10 reps your max weight||45 sec|
|C1 Seated Leg Curls||5 sets 8 reps your max weight||45 sec|
|D1 Incline Crunches||4 sets 15 till failure||60 sec|
Tuesday: Chest & Shoulders
|A1 Seated DB Press||6 sets 12reps, 10, 8, 6, 6||60 sec|
|B1 DB Lateral Raises||5 sets 10 reps||45 sec|
|C1 BB Bench Press||5 sets 8 reps||45 sec|
|D1 Dips||4 sets 10 till failure||60 sec|
Wednesday: Back & Abs
|A1 Seated Lat Pull Down Front||6 sets 12 reps, 10, 8, 6, 6||60 sec|
|B1 Chin-ups||5 sets 10 reps||45 sec|
|C1 One Arm Db Row||5 sets 8 reps||45 sec|
|D1 Dragon Flag||4 sets 8 reps till failure||60 sec|
Thursday: 30-40 min of Cardio Low Intensity
Friday: Quadriceps & Calves
|A1 Front Squats||6 sets 12reps, 10, 8, 6, 6||90 sec|
|B1 Leg Press||5 sets 10 reps||45 sec|
|C1 Leg Extension||5 sets 8 reps||45 sec|
|D1 Seated Calves Raises||4 sets 12 till failure||60 sec|
Saturday: Biceps & Triceps
|A1 DB Curl Standing||5 sets 12 reps, 10, 8, 6, 6||60 sec|
|B1 Inside Grip Bicep Curl With EZ Bar||5 sets 12 reps||45 sec|
|C1 EZ Bar Lying Triceps Extension||5 sets 12 reps||45 sec|
|D1 Rope Push-down||5 sets 12 reps||45 sec|
ETP: Do you stay within a particular rep range?
ED: It depends of my program and the goal I am puruing at the time. I never stick with one method. For example, if i do supersets of DB incline Fly and Pronated-grip Pull-ups, I work in the 12-8 rep range, with no rest between the 2 exercises. That means for the first exercise in the superset I will do 12 reps, then in the second I do 8 reps, or if its a superset with a drop set, then it will be always the same number of reps, such as 8 reps back to back.
ETP: How do you warm up before going heavy?
ED: I Start the workout with 5-10 minutes on the Stepmill, and then continue with dynamic motions such as bodyweight lunges and bodyweight squats.
ETP: How about cardio? What types and how often do you perform cardio?
ED: If it’s winter, and we are definitely not in California (LOL!), then one of my favorite types of cardio its a step master machine. I do crazy things on that machine with wider steps, with kicking my leg back, and even dancing! If it’s spring/summer, then I love doing my cardio outside, such as jogging or doing HIIT for a short time, like 15-20 minutes.
ETP: To compete in the WBFF, your legs have to be in top form, and your legs are amazingly defined. Tell us about a typical leg routine for you.
ED: Thank you for the complement! But I also want to say my upper body responds much faster to my training then my lower body. I found out about that many years ago. I believe this is partly a matter of genetic predisposition, and also what you did as basic exercise when you were a child, and since I did gymnastics as a little girl, this definitely explains a lot about why my upper body is stronger and more friendly in responding to my training. How funny must it sound that I am opposite in my training preference compared to my genetic complement! I love to train legs more than chest or back. I always run to the gym on my leg day, but my leg muscles grow and respond much much slower! …So my legs and I are kind of not in a good relationship! 🙂
I love to train my legs heavy, and love to use supersets and drop sets, as well as the pyramid method.
Here is just one example of one my leg day :
Superset # 1
BB squats – 4 sets 8 reps
BB Sumo Deadlift – 4 sets 8 reps
Superset # 2
Leg extension 4 sets 8 reps
Lying leg curl 4 sets 8 reps
Superset # 3
Leg press 4 sets 8 reps
Walking lunges 4 sets 16 to 30 lunges
ETP: What are 3 of your favorite exercises?
ED: I love any leg exercises, but one of my favorites is hip thrusters. For upper body, believe it or not, I love doing chin-ups, and seated rowing!
ETP: What are the 3 most important exercises that every woman should perform?
ED: To me, there are no unimportant exercises! I think all exercises are important as they maintain the total package of how you look, balancing and making a woman’s body in perfect proportions, but if I have to single out anything, I can say squats are important to keep that butt round. Back exercises like chin-ups or rowing keep your back strong and give you nice posture. Finally, of course, core exercises like plain-old crunches keep your core strong in balance with your back. But again, I don’t think 3 exercises is enough.
ETP: Tell us a little about your diet.
ED: I don’t follow a specific diet or meal plan. After so many years, I learned what takes my body in any direction, and basically all I do is keep myself away from a lot of carbs including sweets, to which I am addicted. Yes, sweets are my weakest diet aspect, and I am fighting with myself every damn day! I am following my schedule of eating a 3-4 times per day meal plan in my off season, which means i am eating enough to keep myself active but always leave space for more food. In this way my metabolism is always in high-gear, as feeling hungry for me is the best way to keep my body lean. Doing this, I am in pretty good condition for the whole year. I always make sure my meals include more protein, quality carbs and quality fats. No junk food and no alcohol for me.
When i am preparing myself for competition, of course it’s a different story where I am counting each amount of protein, carbs and fats by scaling and making sure the proportions are exact for that period and time of the day.
ETP: Do you have cheat meals, and if so, what is a typical cheat meal for you?
ED: Of course! I do have cheat meals! Who doesn’t! And like I said, one of my favorite cheat meals is bunches of cookies or cakes. I can eat them non-stop, but I behave myself. The best cheat for me is few chocolate brownies with ice cream! And something more we can add to my list of rare indulgences: I love pasta with white sauce!!
ETP: Does your workout plan and diet vary depending on the time of the year?
ED: No, but I never stick with one workout for a long time, and the difference between off-season and contest preparation in my workouts is that for competition I get more intense with shorter rests between sets, and I add more cardio when I am getting close to the stage. Thats all! About diet, I am always eating clean. Anybody who follows me for long time knows I am lean and ripped 365 days per year. I always keep my body fat about 10-12%, never higher.
Which supplements do you use?
I don’t have any specific brand of supplements as, honestly, I am not using them a lot. Yes, I am using vitamins and minerals in a complex, with fish oil as well as some protein shakes, but I am adding protein shakes only while my workouts get most intense and I am getting ready for competition. At that time, pre-competition, I split my meals to 6 times per day, and then I am using protein shakes, as well as BCAAs and pre-workout formulas. All that cool looking stuff you see in the health food supplement stores. However, in off-season (which is most of the year) I am not using any of it as I think I get enough of what my body needs in my food.
ETP: What is the single most important piece of advice you would give someone just starting to workout?
ED: If you want to create that body you have dreamed about for a long time, then go and get it! Set the goal, and stick with it. MAKE A PLAN. Without a plan you can’t achieve your goal! No excuses, no 50% efforts. If you want to build your better body, you are going to have to go through a whole lot of pain, sweat and tears. Believe in yourself; you can do it! Most of the people expecting results in short period need to be patient to see the result. You will have to LIFT HEAVY. You will have to LIFT OFTEN. You will have to EAT RIGHT and all for a VERY LONG PERIOD OF TIME. You will have to give up those habits that got you where are today, including that habit of changing your mind every other day. Nothing beats a good plan, consistency and hard work. Nothing. Believe in yourself you can do it and you will!
ETP: What do you think are the top 3 reasons people have trouble achieving their fitness goals?
ED: EXCUSES, LAZINESS, NO MOTIVATION.
Not only must you fight these things in yourself, but you need to CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT for yourself where these sabotaging things can’t exist. Those things are the enemy. They get in your mind and in your feelings, but they are not you. They hold you back, and must be treated like the enemies they are.
ETP: What do you have coming up in 2014?
ED: As I earned my Pro card with the WBFF organization this year, I am planing to compete in Montreal with the WBFF on April 20th. My biggest dream, my goal, is to place Top 10 this year! Besides that, of course I am planning to improve my physique, as we all know there is no limit to what may be achieved and there is always room for improvement and perfection!
Also, I am thinking about making more fitness courses/nutrition courses as I am very interested in this, and would like to know more about nutrition to help my clients and just fans who asking me more and more questions about it.
ETP: How can fans get in touch with you?
ED: I am planning to create my fitness website this year, including my blog, and this way people who follow me can ask questions in my blog by checking my website. But this will be in the end of the year. For now, I am always in communication with my fans on Facebook, Instagram, at Bodybuilding.com and on YouTube.
Fans who have been following me for a while know I am always online and trying to reply to everyone!
ETP: What would you like to say to all of your fans?
ED: I would like to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to each of you who are following me! Thank you for your endless support and love! I always keep saying that there is a huge exchange of positive energy between me and my fans, and I feel that every day! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my fans and supporters! Without you, as an athlete I would be nothing. I love you guys so much! I hope to continue to be a positive fitness role model, an inspiration and motivation in your life!