Sabrina Grima makes malta proud as she obtains an IFBB Elite Pro Card
The road to pro status in bodybuilding is a long and winding one. The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Diamond Cup, an international competition, was held in Malta on the 29 and 30 August 2020. Sabrina Grima dominated the Bikini Division and earned herself an Elite Pro Card. Oh My Malta catches up with her to find out what it takes to become a pro bodybuilder
How old were you when you got into fitness? Did you practice any other sport before?
I have been very passionate about fitness and sports since I was very young. At school I’d always form part of a sports team… I did everything from short distance running and relay races to netball, basketball, gymnastics and more.
Compared to your previous competition preparations, have you made any programme changes for this year's event?
The preparations are always very similar, however this year I added extra weight training sessions at the gym where I train with my coach, Eric Schembri. My training has always consisted of Insanity / bodyweight HIIT and circuit training. We decided to add more weight training sessions to focus on building more muscle on certain body areas.
Why did you want your IFBB Elite Pro card so badly? Was that always your goal?
ABSOLUTELY! It is every competitor’s dream to achieve such a status. More than a week has passed and I am still on cloud 9. The Pro status is definitely not an easy one to achieve especially in the bikini category. Each category consists of a large number of international competitors, each and every one showcasing their beauty in their own way.
Is there anything you’d like to change about bikini as a category, i.e the judging criteria, the presentation or the scoring?
Nothing really. I always admired each category, but I feel that the bikini category fits me perfectly. I love this federation and I am truly happy to form part of the IFBB. From the first time that I participated, I knew I was there to stay.
CAN YOU RUN US THROUGH A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE. HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR PERSONAL LIFE WITH TRAINING, CARDIO AND CONTEST PREPARATIONS?
Apart from being a competitor, I also run my own gym called Train Insane Malta. I have been a licensed Beachbody coach since 2014 and have also been working as a full time sales and purchasing executive at a shipping company for the past 13 years, so you can only imagine what my daily schedule looks like. My typical day starts off with a wake up call at 5am, then train my class at 6am, go to work from 8am till 5.30pm , and then train another class at 630pm. During the weekends I go to the gym, prepare my food and spend time with my beautiful family and friends. You can now understand how passionate I am about my life. I love being busy and helping others achieve their goals. I am practically living my dream. My family plays a very important part in my life and always knew that without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am certainly blessed to be surrounded with a lot of support as contest preparation demands full energy and focus… so having people who support your decisions is the biggest blessing.
What is your nutritional strategy? How does your diet change from offseason to pre-contest?
Apart from training, your diet is what determined the weekly body changes. We usually start prepping 16 weeks out of contest date and gradually decrease the amount of calories to lose more body fat. I love to keep my food clean and simple. I cook with basic ingredients like eggs, greens ( a lot of them ), beef, chicken, white fish, rice and rice cakes.
Being on a contest diet can be very stressful, what food do you crave?
Everyone who knows me, knows that I have a passion for food. However, I love chasing dreams much more. Food won’t go anywhere. I’d much rather work hard to accomplish my goals and see my dreams turn into reality and wait for my post contest treat to indulge in some of the dishes I crave like
Indian food, sweet potato fries, savoury pies and of course pizza. I also love chocolate and ice-cream, but I’m very conscious about my health so you won’t see me eating these so much in my off season anyway.
Do you prepare for a contest alone or do you have a team helping and motivating you?
Yes indeed. We ‘re a strong determined team, known as #teameric . We became like one family, each and every one of us chasing our dreams . We support and motivate each other during competition season and also when not competing . The team consists of different category athletes. Bikini fitness myself and Victoria , Wellness champ Kim, Master Bodyfitness Pro Joan Zammit and the backbone of all this, our Eric Schembri , who is also an active bodybuilding competitor, and has won the best coach award for the 2nd consecutive year.
Now that you won your Elite Pro card, do you plan to compete as a pro or continue to compete in other IFBB shows as an amateur?
My next competition is in 15 days in Santa Susanna, Spain for the Europeans championships and in October in Prague. I plan to compete in the amateur division this year, so as to keep building my platform and keep improving status. After that, God willing, I’m planning to start competing PRO in 2021. Fingers crossed.