When you think of bodybuilding your first association is probably guys at the gym trying to outdo each other with their weightlifting skills, asking one another, so how much do you lift? But this sport is no longer limited to men and now you can see many women taking part as well, showing off what they can do. This practice began in the 1970s, but as you can imagine it is a male-dominated sport still. Steering away from what is generally accepted as the normal female form, those who take part in bodybuilding are often judged for not embracing their femininity.
But female bodybuilder Nataliya from Russia has defied all odds, and not only loves her very muscular body but also embraces her femininity in different ways that you’ll see through the pictures on this article. Maybe the most striking of all is the fact that Nataliya has finally shared a picture of her before she started her journey, and we seriously do not know how to deal with it.
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All That Muscle
When it comes to bodybuilding there are not many people that have not heard of Nataliya from Russia. This woman is taking the sport by storm and making a name for herself in the fitness world. This 26-year-old weighs in at just over 220 lbs, but do not let that fool you because she is all muscle. This wonder woman is putting even the most enormous men to shame with those massive abs, legs, triceps, and biceps being pure muscle. Stick around to find out her amazing story and the picture of her before the triceps and biceps, that simply exploded Instagram.
Joining the Gym
Even when she was a little kid, Nataliya was athletic and enjoyed various sports. Children being children meant that Nataliya was often teased at school by her peers for being scrawny and skinny. At the age of fourteen, she weighed in at just 88 lbs which made her vulnerable to various passing comments. Finally getting sick of all the jokes she joined the gym wanting to gain more muscle. Not only did she do that, but two years later she was an accomplished powerlifter, winning the Zabaikayle Region Champion title.
A Natural Talent
When it comes to sport, there are a few factors that weigh in on your success, with some of the more important elements being talent, discipline, and determination. Nataliya had no shortage of talent when starting out saying, “Just a few months after I started exercising, I performed at regional competitions and I liked it very much. I became an absolute champion of Zabaikayle Region when I was sixteen. That’s how it all began. I even did army dogfighting. I was not too bad. Results became visible pretty fast.”
When it comes to dedication to their chosen field, not many athletes outdo this Russian star. But as with everything else, the proof is in the pudding because Nataliya is adamant on getting better with each competition. Just last year Nataliya became the world arm lifting champion. In addition to that, she is also the world bench press champion, the European bench press and deadlift champ. It is hard not to be impressed by her success, but this is just the beginning. Keep reading for more!
Avoiding the Trolls
You can imagine how tough it must be when Nataliya posts photos on social media of some of her proudest moments only to be brought down by haters. As you might expect with every new photo there are both positive and negative comments, but the negative ones are often those that stick, leaving scars behind. This has resulted in her posting less on her Facebook and Instagram accounts, which is truly a shame because she is an idol for girls looking to get involved in the sport.
Because of her somewhat rare physique, Nataliya has become quite the online sensation and her story has gone viral. This newfound online celebrity status has even left her scratching her head because she does not really care for the fame. Even through all of her success, Nataliya still likes to think of her passion as a hobby and although working hard to reach success she maintains that having fun is the end game. “Hobbies should be fun, if not, what good is a pastime,” Nataliya said.
A Little Extra Push
Even though she has openly admitted to thinking about trying insulin, growth hormones and peptides, Nataliya has decided that these things are not really something she wants to be part of. She believes that her performance levels are just fine without them and we applaud her for that. When it comes to competition time though, Nataliya relies on steroids to give her that extra boost. Luckily for her, those competitions do not require testing to check for usage.
An Expensive Hobby
This Russian bodybuilder is considered to be one of, if not the best female bodybuilder in the business. As you’d expect this does not come cheap. She is constantly spending all of her time in the gym in order to prepare her body for competitions. This does not leave any time for her to get a full time job and as a result Nataliya’s cash count is getting significantly low. She relies heavily on sponsorship deals to keep her career moving forward.
Down in the Dumps
Debt is something that strikes quickly unless you have financial support from sponsors when you train as hard as Nataliya does. After all it is not so easy being a world class champion. According to her, female bodybuilding is a sport without coverage and has yet to take off. Because of this she has struggled to find financial assistance and has accumulated quite a bit of credit card debt. Shocked? That is nothing compared to other issues she has experience in this industry. Read on for more!
Although she has distanced herself from social media platforms, Nataliya took to Facebook seeking help for her financial struggles. “Unfortunately, this sport is not supported in our country, there is no funding, all trips to the Championships are conducted at my expense. All the money I have was spent on travel and training this year…now I have no money and credit card debt.” It must be very difficult, impossible even to work on such a professional level without any donations or monetary support.
As Real As It Gets
There have been quite a few people that have claimed Nataliya’s physique cannot be real and the photos she puts up are actually fake. This could not be further from the truth and rightly so it gets on her nerves. To combat these fake news claims, Nataliya has taken to YouTube, uploading videos of herself in the gym and taking part in competitions. So, if you don’t believe us you can check it out for yourself right now!
Nataliya seems to have a newfound appreciation for Instagram in that she recently opened up a new account. This one has over 450 posts, which is many more than the 16 posts she had on her old account. In just a short span of time, she has managed to gain about 184k followers which just goes to prove that she has a much lower care factor when it comes to the opinions of others and that she is being more recognized in this sport that has struggled to gain momentum.
Trying to Make Extra Cash
Being in the vulnerable position that she is, Nataliya went to extra lengths to make some cash that she so desperately needs in order to further her career. Posting on her Facebook page, she offered fans an opportunity to chat to her on Skype for $7 a minute. That is one expensive call. In addition to this she also offered people the opportunity to get personal training advice for $100. She even has a closed group on Facebook where you can get access to these services.
Mentoring the Youth
It would be a shame if a professional like Nataliya did not spread her knowledge to young women looking to get into the sport. Powerlifting might not be very popular in Russia, but that does not mean Nataliya has not found herself a protégé to teach the ins and outs of the sport. Julia Vins is a 22 year old who has come leaps and bounds due to Nataliya’s help. Her doll-like facial features and massive muscles have also made her quite the internet sensation.
You can clearly see from Nataliya’s Instagram account that this lady has been bitten by the travel bug. Hard! Some of her favorite places to visit include the Platinum Casino in Bulgaria and the Belgrade Fortress in Serbia. She has also posted a photo of herself next to the famous Angelina Jolie in a similar pose. This photograph in particular made her fans go crazy due to the undeniable resemblance between the two. Minus the muscles, of course. Impressed? Check out more about Nataliya by staying with us.
Another thing that we love about Nataliya is that she has a passion for food and is not only unashamed about it but shares it with her fans all over the world. Staying fit is important, but Nataliya often posts photo like this one of herself ‘carb-loading’. Here you can see her munching down on a delicious waffle covered in chocolate sauce and ice cream accompanied by a massive Pina Colada. Not your usual fitness centered diet, but we love it. What a legend.
Keeping Things Personal
When it comes to her personal life, Nataliya is very much like your average Nancy Drew novel. She is that mysterious. You can bet your bottom dollar that she crushed (not literally of course), more than one heart after recently posting several photos online of her husband and his son. They have apparently married a few years ago after meeting at the gym and falling in love. He now works as her trainer in order for them to spend as much time together as possible.
Not Watching Her Weight
Although Nataliya has a strict regimen of powerlifting and cardio daily, Nataliya took to the internet to deny claims of watching her weight on a daily basis in order to better herself in her career. On this topic she said, “I do not do my bicep measurement every day, and I do not watch every day my weight.“ Her English might not be as good as her Russian, but she did manage to get her point across loud and clear.
A Rising Subculture
Even though the sport might not be as popular in Russia as it is in other countries, the subculture of bodybuilding is gaining momentum in other areas of the world like the United States. It has been around since the 1970s and as many as thousands of women are taking part in this field. ABC news even did a story on females in bodybuilding referring to it as a subculture. Amazed? We bet you are, but there is more fascinating info to come so stay where you are.
From Passion to Obsession
When it comes to this sport, it is reported that a lot of people who take part in it actually fall into it by accident. A former bodybuilder by the name of Katie Arnoldie confirmed this. She said that she got sucked into the sport after joining the gym to lose weight and get back in shape after having two children and “fell into the bodybuilding subculture.” Katie even said that she thought it was the “opposite of anorexia.”
Even though Nataliya has achieved greatness in her chosen field in a very short amount of time, there is no shortage of people who criticize her. She is proud of what she has done so far and nothing will be stopping her anytime soon, but this does not mean that there are not people out there who bully her way of life. Experiencing such emotional backlash cannot be easy for even the toughest of people, especially from those who have never met or gotten to know her personally.
The Bodybuilding Life Chose Her
When it comes to combat sports, it is safe to say that Nataliya always had a little more drive when it came to sports like that. This is where her love for bodybuilding developed and she claims that it was the sport that chose her not the other way around. During her career she has gained many nicknames such as The Russian Amazon and Freak Mass Woman, but ultimately, she is considered to be the biggest female bodybuilder on the planet.
Famous Female Bodybuilders
Although bodybuilding does not have a heavy following in Russia for now, the same cannot be said about the United States where the general public have embraced the sport and the females taking part in it. There are a few who have even become household names like Jennifer Rish, Cory Everson, Jennifer Broomfield and Gladys Portugues who married Jean-Claude Van Damme. Impressed? We bet you are but there’s more where that came from so make sure to stick around.
The Psychology Behind Bodybuilding
There are a lot of psychology professionals who believe that more and more women should be encouraged to take on the sport. The reasoning behind this is that many women who have confidence issues with their weight take power into their own hands and are able to overcome mental issues that might come to light in various periods of their lives. By taking up a sport such as bodybuilding they can empower themselves and take charge of their lives.
Posing In Front of the Camera
Trying to find other channels of extra funding for her sport Nataliya Trukhina has enlisted to a website which allows fans of female bodybuilding to follow the journey and successes of such athletes. Here you can see their strict regimes as well as them taking part in competitions. The site requires you to pay a small fee in order to see them posing in front of the camera whilst performing various exercises. Now that is pretty cool in itself.
Doing Her Thing
Doing what you love despite receiving negative feedback cannot be easy and Nataliya has admitted on numerous occasions that this is very hurtful to her. However, she has not let the comments from others get her down. She may have stopped being active in bodybuilding forums, but this has not stopped her from gaining a lot of followers on social media platforms such as Instagram where she says a lot of people leave kind comments, giving her much needed support.
Steroids and Their Side Effects
Have you ever listened to Nataliya speak in one of her videos? If you have, then you will notice that she has a pretty deep voice and soon you will understand why. Nataliya believes that taking steroids when it comes to competition time gives her an edge over her competition, but the truth is that there are a lot of other side effects to taking this drug. It gives you a deeper voice, very similar to the effect that boys go through puberty.
Unable to Escape the Public Eye
Just like a lot of women in this world, Nataliya enjoys heading out to the shops and looking her best, but her physique comes with a price. She says that many people stare at her making her feel insecure and awkward. She said, “When I go out on the street, I will know for sure that everyone will pay attention to me. In my life, it’s sometimes easier for an alien to go unnoticed than me. I try to ignore all of these distractions”.
Her Training Routine
Nataliya is incredibly committed to being successful in her sport and this is more than clear from her training schedule. In fact, she usually works on each muscle group at least once weekly. She works out six times a week to look like she does, but as soon as it gets closer to a major competition she might be taking part of Nataliya brings it down to three times a week. If that is not dedication, then we don’t know what is!
A High Protein Diet
A lot of bodybuilders need a high protein diet to keep their fitness goals on track and Nataliya is no exception. She sticks to a diet that was designed specifically for her which focuses mostly on protein, but she likes to throw in some carbs here and there too. She has an intake of six eggs with two yolks, a lot of chicken, fish and leafy greens to keep her going throughout the day. In addition to this she takes vitamins to keep her healthy too.
Huge Arms and Legs
If they thought she was scrawny before, things have certainly changed since then. Nataliya measures 5 ft 5 in, but the most impressive part is that her body is almost pure muscle. Her arms measure up to 18.5 inches while her legs are an incredible 28.3 inches. If you think that is amazing, you will definitely need to sit down for this. Nataliya can deadlift 529 lbs and in addition to that she can also bench press 374 lbs. So, how much can you lift?
An Inspiration to Many
Nataliya is aware of how much she can do for girls everywhere with an interest in bodybuilding. Thankfully she encourages them to train despite what others around them might think. “Go and train yourselves, I know that many women are afraid of being perceived as ‘buffs’ but this will not happen. You should go and grant yourselves a beautiful, athletic figure.” By having someone like Nataliya as an inspiration they too will see everything is possible.
Although she has had a lot of financial troubles in the past, it is obvious that she has come leaps and bounds since when she first started. Because of this, sports nutrition brand by the name of Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Do4a.com, a clothing brand. If this seems impressive you should stick around and find out more gossip about the incredibly interesting life that Nataliya leads. We have a lot more where that came from so don’t you go anywhere!
Not Ashamed of Who She Is
The Daily Mail Online was one of the tabloids that shared Nataliya’s story and as you can imagine there were both negative and positive comments, one such comment read, “I respect the commitment, hard work & dedication to achieve this but, for me I find it totally unattractive.” But Nataliya does not mind the negative comments anymore, because she has her personal goal and she sticks to it. We think that is the best way to be!
Not Everything To Gain
When you think about bodybuilding as a sport, you automatically imagine that all your body parts get bigger in the training process. This is not actually the case. Because breasts are made up largely of fat, bodybuilding can only reduce them in size. “As a result of weight training and bodybuilding, if your body fat percentage falls below 12%, your breast size may actually reduce.” This is probably why Nataliya went ahead and got a breast augmentation done.
Before and After
Check out this picture that was taken a while back when she was not as big as she is now. Although she already looks amazing in this photograph it has brought out the critics saying that she has clearly become obsessed with the sport and has taken it way too far. Another big difference is that not long ago Nataliya had a breast augmentation done which she felt could even out her body. We think it is important for Nataliya to be healthy and happy.
The Complete Transformation
When you look at this photograph taken of Nataliya when she was just starting out it is very difficult to believe that she is one and the same person! She looks completely different now! She has gotten to a level in bodybuilding in terms of muscle that many men will never achieve in the sport. It is amazing how big of a transformation your body can achieve in just a few years of incredibly hard work and determination.
When it comes to bodybuilding a lot of people who have had no interaction with the sport claim it is incredibly simple, when this could not be further from the truth. In addition to the grueling training schedules these athletes also have to stick to a strict diet, because believe it or not, just because you are in training doesn’t mean you can eat anything. For women this can be harder because their bodies will attempt to hold onto their fat when high volumes of cardio occur.