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Christina Mehling, IFBB Pro
2005 CBBF Canadian National Figure & Fitness Championships - Fitness Overall
Q. Christina, you’re one of Canada’s top IFBB figure athletes without a doubt. With the emergence of such incredible talent over the last few years, what kind of package will you be bringing to the stage this year?
A. Thanks for the kind words. You’re right about the high level of talent that keeps emerging in the IFBB pro ranks. Knowing this, I always have to stay on top of my game. I can’t afford to miss a single second of cardio, and my diet is always followed to the letter. My physique has really evolved since I achieved my pro status and is a lot more streamlined. Over this last off-season, I really focused on improving my shoulders and V-taper, so for my next show I will be presenting a package with much better shape and tighter-than-ever glutes.
Q. Winning an IFBB pro card is only a dream for some athletes. Can you tell us what show you won your card in, and what did it feel like to be announced an IFBB pro?
A. Winning my IFBB pro card was a dream come true for me! I received my pro card at the 2005 CBBF Fitness and Figure Nationals; I was the Fitness Overall Champion. I still remember that feeling like it was yesterday. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my whole life. I had never worked so hard for something, and it was a fantastic feeling to have my hard work pay off.
Q. Can you tell us about your inspirations for fitness when you were an amateur? Who (or what) really made you push your training and nutrition to the limits when you were trying to get your pro card?
A. I credit my husband, Darren Mehling, for all of my success. He was literally there for me every step of the way. He was there for all of my routine practices, weight training, and cardio sessions and would always give me unconditional support. Working hard was the only option, as I didn’t want to let him down.
Q. I know as a pro athlete, your goals continue to change as you achieve them. Have any of your inspirations changed now that you are an IFBB pro?
A. My goals have definitely changed since turning pro. As an amateur, my goal was always to win my next show. Now as an IFBB pro, it’s an entirely different ball game. I’m competing in the most prestigious organization, against the best bodies in the world. There is only one winner in lineups with as many as 30+ athletes. My goals now are to improve the package I present at each show, be known as a poised and graceful competitor, be a good ambassador for the sport, and be an inspiration and set a good example for the athletes that I train.
Q. I’m really excited about everything that’s happening with fitness and bodybuilding as a whole. There are so many great physiques and athletes that are competing now. What are your thoughts on today’s competitors? I know you guys are training a lot of them!
A. I’m really excited about what’s happening in the CBBF/IFBB. There are so many great physiques that are out there. I love all of the different options athletes have to compete in now. The introduction of the men’s and women’s physique divisions is really exciting. Darren and I are blessed to be training so many of the new competitors. One thing that we have noticed, especially in our province, is you have to be on top of your game in every single competition. At all MABBA shows, the lineups in each category are deep, so there’s no such thing as “I’m just testing the waters; it’s my first competition.” We tell our athletes they have to come out of the gate strong, looking their absolute best, and to make sure they are polished from head to toe. There’s only one winner in a class, but we train all of our athletes to look like champions.
Q. You and your husband Darren own one of the most successful online coaching and personal training for fitness athletes, Freak Fitness. Why did the both of you decide to get into business, and what are some of the most rewarding things about sharing your knowledge and experience with others?
A. What got us started in the first place was that we had such a passion for training. What is so rewarding about what we do is that we have been so blessed to be surrounded by such highly motivated people. We literally are surrounded by positivity each and every day. It’s so rewarding to help someone achieve what they previously thought they couldn’t do or were told they couldn’t do. We’ve had many ladies start training with us and say, “I never want to compete” or “you’ll never catch me in a tiny bathing suit onstage,” then as the months pass and they see their progress, they realize it is possible. It’s really special to see our athletes develop more confidence and come out of their shell and get what the pursuit of excellence is all about.
Q. Owning a business like Freak Fitness today is ideal with so many athletes and so many different organizations to compete in. Working closely with the both of you over the last few months, I know you and Darren share in the ups and downs of your clients. Can you share some of your favorite client moments with MUSCLE INSIDER?
A. Darren and I sure have our ups and downs with our clients. With any judged sport, there is subjectivity and anything can happen with placings. There have been some instances when we couldn’t sleep as a result of what we felt were bad calls. I have so many fond client memories. One of my favourite moments was this past August at the CBBF Nationals, when Sandy Avelar was the overall Master’s Bikini winner and was awarded IFBB pro status. It’s also rewarding to see women who, after years of putting everyone else around them first, decide to take time for themselves, train for a competition and get that competitive fire that they may not have experienced since they played sports in their youth.
Q. I know you guys also work with a variety of clients outside of the competition stage. Who else do you guys work with?
A. Outside of my competitive clients, I train women of all ages that want to be in the best shape possible. The majority of my clients that I train in person are over 45. These women are driven in the same way our competitors are. The only difference is they have no desire to step onstage. Darren also works with strongman competitors, powerlifters, and many tactical athletes (law enforcement, military, and fire/EMS) who want to improve their fitness beyond their respective department standards for being more effective in general duties or for applications to more specialized units like Emergency Response Teams.
Q. There’s quite a controversy on Facebook about CrossFit and traditional training. What is the biggest difference in working with CrossFit athletes, strongmen, and powerlifters versus physique athletes?
A. One of the biggest challenges with working with CrossFit athletes is making sure the athlete maintains proper form. Many CrossFitters will be more concerned about the fastest time or the most rounds versus the quality of each rep. This is never an issue with physique athletes.
Q. You recently graduated as a full-fledged makeup artist. Congratulations on that, Christina! What will you be doing with your new craft?
A. Thanks, Vince! I was very fortunate to learn from one of the best teachers, Shauna Kluz. Since I graduated, I have been having an absolute blast doing makeup for photo shoots and competitions, and I will be very busy with weddings this summer.
Q. Are there any other projects that you are working on that you can share with us?
A. I do have many exciting things on the go. Most recently, I have started up Liquid Sun Rayz of Canada, in which I provide competition spray tanning services. I really fell in love with the product when I was introduced to the product in the IFBB pro circuit, so I wanted to bring it to Canada. So far, I’ve been kept very busy. Aside from that, the competition season being in full swing, I’m also kept busy with our group posing classes, private posing instruction, and consulting for final touches (hair, makeup, and appropriate suit and jewelry selection).