Alexandra Kocsis, 1st place at the Arnold Classic Columbus

Every athlete dreams about becoming a professional, and of course, I’m no exception.

Congratulations to your wonderful achievement! How do you feel, what are your feelings right now?

Thank you! It's a great thing even to be on stage at the American Arnold Classic. Only one year earlier, I was there in the first row among the audience, excited about the finals and dreaming about being once on stage. It’s great happiness and an almost incredible feeling that after one year of competing I could win Arnold Classic.

So you're ready for the Pro Card? What’s your ultimate dream?

Every athlete dreams about becoming a professional, and of course, I’m no exception. Currently, I’m not planning to get a pro card, I want to finish this year as an amateur. I feel I need to improve and gain more experience, so I’ll be competing at the European Championship in the spring and at the World Championship in the autumn. My goals, however, haven't changed, and I'd like to perform outstandingly at these competitions, too, and I'll do everything for that. My ultimate dream can be briefly summarised: I’d like to win the European Championship and the World Championship, and then hit the stage of Olympia in Las Vegas as a pro.

I understand that the was some trouble with your arrival; what exactly happened, and who did your tell about your victory first?

Yes, our journey wasn't very smooth; when we got to London it turned out that our flight to Chicago was late, which was a problem because we wouldn't have caught the flight to Colombus, I would have missed the registration and I couldn't have participated in the competition. Fortunately, we could rebook for an earlier flight and we arrived in time, but our luggage was left behind. However, as I took my bikini and competition shoes in my hand luggage, I could go on stage at the next day's semi-final. I first called my parents to tell them about my victory. Due to technical reasons, they couldn't follow the competition, so my call was a great surprise to them.

How did you feel on stage? Did you see at once that you had good chances or was there anybody you were afraid of?

It’s a wonderful feeling to be on stage at the Arnold Classic along with the world's and the USA's best ones, and it was a great honour to represent my country there. At the end of the pre-contest preparation, I felt I had a chance to be among the best ones. I had a little more doubts when I met my opponents there, but I hoped I could cause them some surprise. Of course, I had some serious rivals, just as Plevakova from Slovakia, who had won everything in the previous years, or the Russian Volkova, a former Arnold Classic winner – they seemed to be quite a challenge.

What was your first meal after the contest?

My all-time favourite, pizza, and Nutella.

How did you celebrate this great victory?

After the Arnold Classic, I spent 4 days in Miami. There I had a chance to have a rest and relax a little after the preparation.

What’s next, which is your next competition?

On 23 April I will be competing at the Hungarian Cup, and then I’ll go to Spain for the IFBB Fitness European Championship between 4 and 8 May.

How did your preparation go? How long had you been focusing specifically on the Arnold?

I started to prepare for the Arnold Classic on the 10th of December, so it included Christmas, too, which I celebrated with daily training, However, since I'm very motivated, I regarded each day as an opportunity, not a burden.

I have 14 training sessions a week, that is, two each day. It starts with a 45-60-minute fasted cardio and I do weight training in the afternoon with László Berkes.

What was your diet that helped you reach this superb shape?

Setting the right diet is at least as important as training itself. I followed my 12-week competition diet exactly to the gram and day. For 80% of the preparatory period I eat chicken, and then depending on my shape and weight, I switch to fish.

2 weeks before Arnold Classic I only ate fish four times a day, with lettuce and broccoli, and for breakfast egg whites.

There were a couple of things that hindered my preparation. Two weeks before the competition I was injured. The diagnosis was partial outer ankle ligament tear, so I needed to change everything completely, but I knew one thing: there’s no pain or external factor that could stop me now, right before my goal.

What were your training methods and how much cardio did you do?

Due to my partial outer ankle ligament tear, I couldn‘t do legs, or only very little; I wore ankle braces and kinesiology tape for training.

Based on my former experiences, I can reach my best shape by doing cardio each day, and I do legs three times and upper body twice, and at the weekends, I train my muscles in supersets.

What did you learn during the preparation, and what is your advice to future competitors?

During the preparation, I learned that nothing was impossible; you can achieve and do anything. You need a positive attitude to everything and you need to do your best each day, as much as your circumstances allow.

And hard and persistent work will bear its fruit.

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