Hello everybody, I am Alina Popa, a 30 years old female bodybuilder and I was born in Eastern Europe, Romania, but for two years I got married and relocated in Switzerland, close to Zurich. I work as a freelance fitness model and personal trainer.
Ever since I remember I was the sport kind of person, very skilled in sport games, very strong (used to beat all the guys in my class in arm wrestling) and I was involved in track and field starting with 12 years old. It was more like a hobby because I never got to compete. Between high school and college (I studied English and Romanian for 4 years in college, major in English), I accidentally entered a gym. I was 19 years old. The reason was to keep fit and lose some weight. That was the moment I fell in love with iron.
I remember, upon starting to go to the little gym in my quiet native town,in 1998, I began to read the little thin bodybuilding magazines that I could find on the Romanian market at that time. The competition movement in Romanian bodybuilding was kind of poor at that time, but I remember one girl in the gym getting ready for a National Junior Championship…and I admit I felt sort of jealous on her. I kept on training for the next two years until one day I entered another gym in another town, where I was a student, and the trainer there saw my potential and suggested to me I should train to compete. I’ll never forget how honored I felt…and how happy. So I guess I would have liked to compete but I didn’t manage till I got someone to support me and help me.
My stats: I am 5’7’’, between 180-185 pounds in offseason, 160 lbs in contest shape.
-17’’ biceps in off season, 16’’ in contest shape
-28 thighs off and 26 contest
The history of all contests that I have entered so far is not that rich because I like to focus on 1 contest a year, I am not the marathon contests kind of girl.
-2003 first place National Championship, middleweight
-2004 second place IFBB European Championship, heavyweight in Tavira, Portugal.
- 2005 second place IFBB European Championship mixed pairs
- 2005 5th place IFBB European Championship
-2006 winner of the Grand Prix Troffeo Due Torri Bolognia Italy
-2007 NABBA Miss Universe Physique Class
-2008 IFBB WORLD AND OVERALL CHAMPION brought me the qualification for the PRO CARD
2010 MS. INTERNATIONAL - 8th place
My first contests were in 2000 , local competitions, first one was a regional cup and I placed second in heavyweight class. The same year I placed third in the National Championship, heavyweight. Due to some problems I didn’t compete for 3 years but I kept on training till 2003 when I got my National title but this time in middleweight. It was a great struggle for me to get to 125 pounds at my 5’7’’ height but I did it!!! After that I only competed as a heavyweight girl.
I kept on competing for Romania till 2005, then in 2006 I have moved to Switzerland and I am proud to have competed in 2008 for Switzerland and to have brought the title in my adoptive country. Some people asked me why I did not compete for Romania, I answered them Switzerland is the country that adopted me, the country where I feel complete and at absolute peace with me and the people around, the country that made all my dreams come true. I was proud to spread the Swiss flag as a world champion. I love Switzerland.
I train 5 days a week, one muscle group a week; I train heavy all the time, except for the legs that I train with low weight but high reps when I get ready for a competition. Usually in off season I do not get too heavy, always eat healthy, make cardio and try to stay in a semi-shape because of the modelling business that I have and I work with high intensity. The main differences between training in off season and training for a competition is ….when I get in cutting shape I change the diet , train my legs with higher reps and also perform more cardio, any type, except I hate to run J
I think my best body part is shoulders. I love to train them, they are the first to bulk and the first to cutJ My favorite exercise in the gym…hmmm… I like lateral raises for shoulders and squats….what I hate leg raises for lower abs. Actually I almost never train them. And of course…as I said already, I hate to runJ
What I also love, besides bodybuilding, are my cats, Kitty and Piso aka Speedy, books, nice music, spending nice time with my friends, cooking, baking.
I think that nowadays Women’s Bodybuilding judging is mainly concerned with a combination between muscle and femininity…raw muscles are not appreciated anymore….i am talking about amateur level where feminine muscles and symmetry sometimes beat size. I love size too…I could never be a fitness or figure type with my bone structure…what I am trying to do is be big (as I am genetically endowed for building muscle so easy) but sexy and feminine.
My next plans are to apply again to an invitation in the 2011 & Ms. Olympia, come in a tighter shape and place higher.
I want to thank everybody who encourages and supports me.
For my fans who are interested to meet me, please check out the travelling schedule on my site.