Finding balance and gaining strength with Avigail Victoria
Avigail Victoria – Local personal trainer and fitness competitor, Avigail Victoria Isayevych, is preparing for her next competition. This one will be held in our hometown of Montreal in October. She shares her journey into fitness, how she trains for a competition, and the importance of balance to any healthy lifestyle.
Avigail Victoria switched her focus from graphic design to fitness in early 2016. Although she still works as a graphic designer, her role as a personal trainer is a current priority. “I realized that I wasn’t making a difference in people’s lives. I felt the need for a greater challenge,” she says. Her athletic nature led her to her first fitness competition in April 2016. While training to compete, she completed her personal training certification with the YMCA.
Although Avigail Victoria didn’t win her first competition, she did win first place in the fitness model category at her second competition in August of 2016. She loves the healthy lifestyle. “It was a personal challenge to see how far I can push my body,” she says. “I wanted something that would be a visible testimony of my growth, and an expression of the challenges I’ve overcome in life.” The competition gave her exactly that.
Preparing for a competition
“Competing is tough, and in my opinion, fitness is definitely one of the toughest industries to be in,” Avigail Victoria says. To prepare for a competition, she trains 5-6 times per week. She occasionally meets with her trainer Jackson Bladi. “My trainer pushes me to my fullest potential,” she says. They focus on isolating her muscles to achieve the desired definition. “Through Jackson’s guidance, I’ve become stronger, more energetic, and have gained the confidence I need to achieve my competition goals.”
The hardest part of training for most competitors is staying dedicated to their diet. She meal preps once each week, measuring and calculating based on her goals, and considering her workout routines. About 70 percent of competing is diet, but only 30 percent strength. Proper sleep and body awareness is important as well.
The key to success is balance: catering to both mind and body. “Your spirit and body have to be connected to operate in a healthy manner,” she says. Mental strength is just as important as physical strength. Avigail Victoria, however, loves the results she sees the week before a competition: “Peak week is the hardest and my favourite because you see how much your body has evolved.”
Common misunderstandings of competing
Shaun Campbell, IDFA organizer, shares a bit of insight into the world of fitness competitions. “A common misconception about fitness competitions is that they are too extreme and not healthy,” he says. Competing can be unhealthy, but all IDFA competitions are drug-free. “Competing naturally is more of a lifestyle choice and a healthy approach.”
Shaun Campbell said that balance and consistency are important to a competitor’s success. “You have to still live and enjoy your life outside of competing,” he says. “Competing is for you and your enjoyment so if you don’t enjoy it, why compete?” Avigail Victoria lives this balanced lifestyle, while maintaining a consistent approach to her training. She brings these values to her own clients.
As an IDFA competitor, Avigail Victoria trains naturally. While she is dedicated to her own training, she also prioritizes friends and family, and knows when to take a day off. “You have to know your limits,” she says. “It’s part of finding balance.”
Learning from competing
Fitness competitions have taught Avigail Victoria the importance of self-value. “I’ve learned to not be hard on myself,” she says. While dedication is necessary, “everyone has a different body structure.” At the end of each competition, she leaves knowing that she did it all for herself. “You have to know that you do it for yourself. To improve your body and your mental focus.”
Avigail Victoria passes this attitude onto her own clients in the gym. She caters to their individual goals and fitness needs, at the same time as teaching them about balancing self discipline with confidence and compassion.
“Everyone has a different goal. Some people want to lose weight, some want to build muscle,” she says. With each new client, she starts with an evaluation, including before pictures if they are comfortable. Together, they decide how many days each client can work out, and talk about meal plans. When creating a workout program, Avigail Victoria targets specific muscles her clients hope to improve.
A lot of her job is coaching and motivation. “I motivate them to practice,” she says. “I’m there for them.”
What’s next for Avigail Victoria?
Avigail Victoria has a few plans for her future in fitness. First, she will soon be blogging on a fitness blog—yet another way for her to help others. Long-term goals include earning her Pro-card by placing first at the upcoming IDFA competition on October 7, creating her own fitness brand, and owning her own gym studio one day.