Marika Johansson Interview
Article care of Don Lemmon
I think I am going to Sweden
now. This woman is so frikken cool. She's a World Class bodybuilder and
has kept her feminity intact all the while. I know of a few pros that ought
to take notice and follow suit. The limited time you have exposure in this
sport isnt worth the desparate measures ssome of the women take. Growing
beards and singing like Pavarotti isnt my idea of being a champion if there
arent a set of fun bags down below if you know what I mean. Anyhow, laughs,
this girl is a doll. I know, I speak highly of all the girls. Well, thats
what they are. Girls. And dont forget it.
Hi Marika! Did you see since you got on my diet that I put you on my web
site? Tell me how excited that makes you.
MARIKA: YES! Of course I´m
excited. It´s an honor to be on your page. Ok, Maybe I would be a
bit more excited if I was a model or actress. But not that much more. Are
you happy now?
DON: Describe yourself
MARIKA: Well I´m told
I am a big girl. I´m 5´9 and weigh about 170 pounds right now.
I´m trying to stay in good shape to be able to do photoshoots all
year round. This year I have been a bit unlucky with previous injuries
so I havn´t been able to work or compete at all.
DON: Are you training
MARIKA: But after that layoff
now I´m getting back in size and shape again.
DON: What are your weak
and strong points physically?
MARIKA: I am very fortuned
with having good legs and arms, and my weak point is my delts. I´m
trying to improve them and my upper back now. That´s something I´m
looking forward to doing. It´s always good to have goals. Helps me
DON: What exactly are
MARIKA: Next year I hope
to compete in the USA. If there is no more bad luck anyhow!
DON: Where are you located?
MARIKA: I live in Sweden
right now. The coldest and darkest country in the North of Europé.
I´m a natural born Viking girl. (And my fathers first name is actually
Viking. How about that?) I am in the south. I am just 25 minutes by ferry
DON: Do you run through
the woods at night stalking food?
MARIKA: I don´t hunt
animals, but I do hunt men, just kidding!!
DON: Where else have you
visited? Globally? Sweden is a bigger country than most people realize.
MARIKA: Yes it is. I have
been to Israel and Greece, that was nice. But for me going to California
would be exotic.
DON: Have you ever been
MARIKA: In 1994 I was there
to do some photoshoots at Golds Gym and on the beach in Malibu. It was
so much fun.
DON: Alot of models have,
but have you had any bad experiences with photographers?
MARIKA: I really don´t
have any bad memories from photosessions or similar things. I guess I have
been lucky meeting nice people.
DON: Tell me about your
competitive bodybuilding career.
MARIKA: Well, my competition
career started in 92 when I placed 3rd at Swedish Nationals. Then I continued
to compete in 93 and 94, and qualified for my first World Championship.
DON: What did you place?
MARIKA: I was placed 12th.
But I just listened too much to other people about how to diet and train.
In many ways they were controlling me. I didn´t know better. I trusted
DON: Did that discourage
you? When did you compete next?
MARIKA: It did. In 96 I
was up again for the World Championships, but I just couldn´t get
in the shape I needed. My body didn´t respond to the diet again I
was told to go by. Because of that I was burnt out totally. I placed 11th.
It was time. I broke from the people that controlled me and moved away.
DON: What did you do about
your diet after that? You competed the following year didnt you?
MARIKA: Certainly. In my
new home town I met a trainer that helped all the Swedish bodybuilders.
He said he wanted to help me so I gave it a try. He put me on some
all new diets. It worked out good, as I placed 5th at World Championships
DON: What year was that?
5th is a good placement you know.
MARIKA: That was 1997. I
know now that I could have gotten even better. I was going too hard on
my body following what he told me to. Without listening to my body, I lost
alot of muscle and thickness. I also held my water for way too long. So
now after all the trial and error, I have decided to mind my own business,
I welcome good advice, and I think it through first. If it works for me
I´m very thankful. But I try to listen to my own body now and am
well aware how it reacts to different diets.
DON: What about the past
two years? You took a layoff and now what? I feel like All I have to do
is sit back and listen to you. It's such a familiar story you have. I think
people can really relate.
MARIKA: So I guess now I´m
ready to rise up a bit more. Finally after so many years of failures with
diets and contest preparations I´m more confident about myself.
DON: Have you experimented
with any fads?
MARIKA: I have tried all
diets, I guess. The first year I had high carbs, medium protein and low
fat diets, which made me very bloated. I have also tried high fat high
protein and very low carbs. Which made me very empty in my muscles. I never
looked hard. Next I tried high protein low carb and medium fat, and that
worked much better. But now I´m into your diet Mr Lemmon. I´m
splitting my foods and have them in different meals. This simple change
is one that works even better to keep me in shape and gain muscles. So
I´m always curious about learning more about diets, and I´m
not afraid of trying new ideas. Finally I found what suits me best.
DON: That's really kind.
You know I am grateful of your appreciation. But even though the diet hones
the physique, genetics play a role in how you really end up looking. What
are your most heard compliments?
MARIKA: Well people say
that I have big guns. I have always had big arms. They are very easily
trained for me. I guess I got them genetically. It´s good to have
something gifted, don´t you think?
DON: Definitely. Do you
power lift at all to get as large as you are?
MARIKA: I have never really
done power lifting, but my dad and two of my brothers are powerlifters.
So I have done a bit max weight training just for fun. And when I was a
strongest I benched 275 pounds and squatted 365 pounds.
DON: My best was 450 and
635. But for a woman, that's amazing.
Don Lemmon's Nutritional and Exercise Know How
MARIKA: I made some guys
crazy about that. Many men cannot do that. But I am still definitely all
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