Next stop in our pro interview series we will make a drop in New Zealand to meet the talented pro bikini competitor Sheena Jayne Martin!
What’s fascinating is that. it only took Sheena 6 months to become make it to the pro ranks, in addition to her fast advancement RM reached out to her to talk about her background and what her life looks like as an active pro competitor and what her plans for the future look like!
Country: New Zeeland
Age: 27 (D.O.B. May 14th 1988)
Occupation: Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach / IFBB Bikini Professional / Former Lawyer
Height: 164cm (5 foot 5)
- New Zealand NZIFBB Nationals – October 2013, Bikini Short, 1st Place
- Arnold Classic Amateur, Ohio, USA – March 2014, 2nd Place Bikini Class C
- New Zealand Pro/Am Pro Qualifier – March 2014, Overall Bikini Champion, Pro Card Winner & Pro Bikini, 5th Place
- Iowa Pro Bikini – November 2014, 5th Place
- Arnold Classic Australia, Pro Bikini – March 2015, 8th Place
- New Zealand Pro Bikini – March 2015, 3rd Place
RM: Sheena, for how many years have you been training and what made you start to workout from the beginning?
SJM: I started training for my first NZIFBB bikini competition in July 2013. I stepped on stage for the first time in September 2013. Just three weeks later in my second show I won the New Zealand National Bikini Short title & was invited to compete in the Prestigious Arnold Classic Amateur in Columbus Ohio. I decided to start training for my first IFBB Bikini Competition as a new challenge. I hadn’t done a lot of weight training, I had been more of a cardio and group fitness junkie but I had never managed to achieve the body I wanted. I thought training for a Bikini Competition would be a great way to challenge myself, and to achieve the lean & toned physique I had always wanted.
Before I begun training for Bikini Competitions (& really got stuck into strength training) I was a Les Mills Group Fitness Instructor for a number of years. The base of muscle I established before starting to train for competitions was mostly from my background as a dancer. I started doing Classical Ballet at the age of 3 and Modern Ballet soon after. Not only did I establish a great base of muscle from dancing but I learnt about commitment, how to apply myself to a sport and to a goal, and how to push beyond my comfort zone both mentally and physically.
RM: Who has been the most influenced person in your life and why?
SJM: The biggest influence in my life is undoubtedly my Mum. My Mum is the single most hardworking person I have ever met. She raised me to be independent, determined, committed, and a little stubborn! I am so thankful to have this strong female influence in my life because it has made me tough, resilient, and the kind of woman who fights for what she wants, who sets goals & strives tirelessly to achieve them.
RM: What does your weekly training schedule look like?
SJM: Over the past 6 months I have been focusing a lot on growing my shoulders and my glutes. I work as a Personal Trainer so often my weekly workout schedule varies a bit based on when I can manage to squeeze in a workout, what part of my body hurts the least (!!!) and how much time I have to train, but generally speaking, I have been training glutes and shoulders up to 3 times per week. I usually aim to do 6 Strength Training sessions a week.
A typical week for me may look like:
Monday: Glutes + Hamstrings (Heavy Strength Training)
Tuesday: Back + Shouders (Heavy Strength Training)
Wednesday: Legs (Glutes/Hamstrings/Quads) (Volume Training)
Thursday: Arms (Heavy Strength Training)
Friday: Shoulders (Volume Training)
Saturday: Glutes + Hamstrings (Heavy Strength Training)
Sunday: More shoulders, or a Rest Day
I don’t usually prescribe a weekly rest day, but rather, I take a rest day when I feel that my body needs one. I genuinely love training, it’s my “me time” so I find it hard to take a rest day unless my body is crying out for one!
Close to a show I will also be doing cardio each day for 30-60 minutes. How much cardio I am doing really depends on how lean I am & how much fat I need to drop before stepping on stage.
SJM: Like probably every Bikini Pro in the world, I would love to qualify for Miss Olympia one day. In the meantime, my goal is to work on my weaknesses and to continue to grow and improve as an athlete every time I step on stage. This sport for me is about constant progress, relentlessly striving to improve my physique day in & day out, bringing an improved package to the stage each time.
RM: Do you have any advice for women who want to start to train but are a bit shy to the gym environment?
SJM: My biggest piece of advice would be to find someone to guide you, whether it be a trainer, a coach, a mentor, a friend or just someone who inspires you. Getting started is always the hardest part of anything – but if you find someone to guide you at the outset, what was once unfamiliar and daunting will soon become familiar, and you will be able to form a habit with your training and create a lifestyle. I think the most important thing to do if you really want to commit to changing your body is to think of your training (and your nutrition) as a lifestyle. I live and breathe this lifestyle every day, its not a Monday to Friday “diet” or training regime, followed by a weekend eating burgers and drinking alcohol.
For me this is an all the time thing. Of course, depending what your goals are, it is important to incorporate the right amount of “balance” with the things you enjoy. If you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, sure, have one. Where I see clients struggle is where they try to restrict too much, or train too much during the week (for example) before completely unraveling and falling off the rails in the weekend because what they were doing was not sustainable – it was not able to be a lifestyle for them. If what you’re embarking on whether in the gym or in terms of nutrition is not able to become a lifestyle – a habit – and one that you enjoy, that is where you will struggle to achieve your goals.
RM: Ok Sheena, Iy is time to wrap up this interview: if there is anything you want to add or someone you want to thank, please feel free to do so:
I would like to thank Rising Muscle for the opportunity to share a little piece of me with you.
The thing I love most about what I do for a living (both my job as a personal trainer and nutrition coach and my competitive career) is the ability that I have to motivate and inspire others. At the end of the day, I don’t just do this for “me”, I do it for the one or two or fifty people that I can inspire on a daily basis. I hope that people out there who are following my journey see what I have set out to conquer, and what I have achieved so far, and think… “Actually, I could do that!”
Throughout my journey I have learnt the importance of strength, independence and drive. I have learnt in life not to chase people & to be sure to never “need” anyone. If there is one person that you need in order to achieve your dreams (whether they be health and fitness related, or otherwise) it is YOU! YOU are your most valuable asset, and YOU are responsible for where your life takes you.
I am determined to live life on my own terms and not to spend time worrying about other people’s expectations or opinions. I am determined to be a go-getter, a dreamer and a doer – the best way to predict the future is to create it. I am always striving to be a better version of myself. I am driven by my passion. I know that sometimes I will win and sometimes I will learn. But, I’ve got some serious dreams, and I will never let a couple of hurdles get me down.
Thank you for reading – may your faith always be bigger than your fear & your dreams always be one size too big!
RM: Thank you for taking the time and doing this interview Sheena! We wish you the best in the fortcoming of your career and are looking forward seeing you on the Olympia stage soon.
Team Rising Muscle
Facebook: Sheena Jayne Martin – IFBB Bikini PRO
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