A bodybuilding mom has admitted that her muscular physique scares people, but she is set out to prove that female bodybuilders aren’t ‘monsters’ and are just like regular women — only stronger.
Oksana Piari, 38, from Russia, has worked hard to develop her incredibly strong physique since she started bodybuilding while studying physical culture and sports as a college student in Stavropol.
‘I have always been inspired by muscular female bodies,’ said the professional bodybuilder, who now lives in Key West, Florida. ‘I came to the sport as a spectator and did not think that one day I would become one of those women who can inspire others to build the body of their dreams.’
Fit: Oksana Piari, 38, from Russia, is a professional bodybuilder and mother-of-two
Disciplined: Oksana works out up to three hours a day and only does strength training to keep in fighting shape
‘For me, bodybuilding is a way to, above all, stay beautiful and healthy,’ she added.
Oksana met her now-husband, Artem, 34, at the gym in college and the two soon began motivating each other to achieve physical perfection.
Competing initially in the body fitness class, she switched to women’s classic bodybuilding in 2013 after her muscles became too big for the former category.
Since then she has had an incredibly successful career, placing third at the European Championship in 2013, first in the NPC Florida Grand Prix in 2016, and second in the famous Arnold Classic in 2019.
Last year, she also won the North American Championship, becoming the first-ever Russian to do so.
Looking back: Oksana started bodybuilding as a college student in Stavropo, Russia. She met her now-husband, Artem, 34, the school’s gym. The couple is pictured in their younger years
Memories: Oksana and Artem are pictured dancing on their wedding day
Perfect pair: When the couple first got together, they started motivating each other to achieve physical perfection
Shared passion: Artem is just as fit as his muscular wife, and they have both taken home bodybuilding trophies
Oksana, who moved to Florida in 2016 to compete in some of the biggest competitions in the world, has dedicated her life to achieving what she calls the body of her dreams. However, this hasn’t prevented her from starting a family of her own, having two sons: Ilia, 9, and Vlad, 16.
Going to the gym and eating the right food is a must for the mother-of-two and she works out for up to three hours a day doing strength training only — no cardio.
Her sons’ classmates are fascinated by her distinct physique and will compliment her and ask her how she achieved her incredible results.
‘I like that my sons’ classmates always look at me and my muscles with admiration, asking me about my training and nutrition,’ she said.
‘I see their eyes burning and as a child, I looked at competing women on TV with that very same look.’
Success: In 2019, Oksana won the North American Championship (pictured), becoming the first-ever Russian to do so
Goal: The mom wants to prove that female bodybuilders aren’t ‘monsters’ like people think
Hard to handle: Oksana said men are often jealous of her bulging muscles
Say what? Oksana recalled one awkward encounter she had with a stranger at the gym who came up to her and asked if she is ‘really a woman’
Oksana said people’s reactions to her body vary, but she will often get compliments from strangers who are interested in learning about her bodybuilding and lifestyle.
‘There are also those who are silent and just stare at me or roll their eyes. They are simply afraid,’ she added.
She recalled one awkward encounter she had with a stranger at the gym who came up to her and asked if she is ‘really a woman.’
‘That’s why I always try to smile and be friendly to show people that female bodybuilders are not monsters and beasts, but mothers and wives — just with a stronger body,’ she explained.
‘Men are jealous of my body more often than women. Even my husband’s cousin once said that he would like to have a body like mine, so I of course asked him why he needed a female body which made us all laugh.’
Family of four: Oksana and Artem have two children: Ilia, 9, and Vlad, 16
Invested: Her sons’ classmates are fascinated by her distinct physique and will compliment her and ask her how she achieved her incredible results
Here to stay: Oksana said she doesn’t think she will ever give bodybuilding up
Part of their live: ‘Bodybuilding holds and unites our family because we are looking in the same direction and are focused on a united goal,’ she said
Oksana’s strict meal plan consists of carbohydrates, such as rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and wholegrain bread; lots of protein, including turkey, steak, and seafood; fats from avocado, nuts, and salmon; and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
She regularly eats up to six meals that add up to 3,000 calories per day. However, she cuts down when she is competing, consuming just 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day. During this process, which is known as ‘cutting,’ her regular weight of 167lbs drops to 150lbs.
With friends and family providing their overwhelming support to Oksana in her bodybuilding ambitions, she has no desire to give it up. For the Piari family, bodybuilding is a way of life, not only providing a means to stay fit and healthy, but also acting as the glue which brings their family together.
‘Bodybuilding holds and unites our family because we are looking in the same direction and are focused on a united goal,’ she said. ‘I don’t know if I will ever be done with bodybuilding, as I feel like it’s my way of life.
‘It gives me strength and wings to fly through life with ease and interest. Bodybuilding is a great way to always be in shape, regardless of age, to stay beautiful and healthy.’