Intro By Ben Yosef | Interview By IPL Pro Tawnya Cline | Michael Brooks Photography
Elli Sigala’s impressive 2nd place win at the 2016 IPL Southwest Grand Prix in Tempe, AZ qualified her to compete at APEX in Los Angeles on November 12th. With the package that Sigala brings to the Bikini stage, there was no doubt that it was just a matter of time.
At APEX Sigala was amazing. Her blend of muscle fullness, shape, conditioning, and stage presentation all combined in her own unique way, makes Sigala very competitive on stage. In Bikini Open at APEX Sigala earned 172 points out of a max 180, one of the highest score totals of the entire contest. In the end, Elli Sigala landed in the 1st place spot at APEX and became the IPL’s newest Bikini PRO. >>>
TAWNYA CLINE: Tell us a little bit about your Health and Fitness Background?
“I WAS OVERWEIGHT, SICK ALL THE TIME AND UNHEALTHY.”
ELLI SIGALA: I started my health journey at 18, fresh out of high school. I was overweight, sick all the time and unhealthy. I was invited to a nutrition club and started seeing great results just by getting great nutrition into my body. I became a coach to help others like me who had struggled with weight and body image.
TC: At what point in your life did you decide you wanted to be a fitness competitor?
ES: Shortly after I became a coach, I joined a gym. To be honest, I had never lifted in my life! One day, I saw a competitor posing in our studio room. I thought it was kind of odd, so I inquired about it. I learned about the sport and fell in love.
TC: “Elli Sigala, Natural Bikini Magazine Spring Cover girl.” What went through your mind when you were chosen for this?
ES: This is such a special memory for me. It was right at Christmas time when I got the message that I was going to be on THE COVER of Natural Bikini. At first I thought maybe Ben had messaged the wrong person. I was in total shock. I just feel so honored to be a cover girl for Natural Bikini.
TC: Owning a Nutrition Club myself has been impactful for my passion in the Natural Bodybuilding World. I know that it falls in line with what we love, yet can be very demanding of our time. How do you balance owning Nutrition Perfection, and your fitness goals while at the same time making your spouse feel important?
“…I WAS SO UNHAPPY FOR SO LONG WITH HOW I LOOKED AND FELT. I LOVE HOW I LOOK NOW.”
ES: I love our club. It holds such a special place in my heart because that’s how I began my journey. At times it can be challenging to balance everything. We have become really good at scheduling things. Alex and I definitely divide and conquer all of the tasks we need to get done at the club.
As far as our own fitness goals, we have a “no excuses” attitude. We have a lot events at our club so we get to work out with our community, plus we MAKE the time to meal prep and do additional workouts at the gym.
We get to spend a lot of time together, either working at the club or working out, which is awesome. We also schedule date nights, so we can have extra time together.
TC: Full, round, and lean is about every girl’s dream. This is how the International Physique League and Natural Bikini Magazine describe you. How do you feel knowing you are an example of the ideal body type for a Bikini Competitor and woman alone?
“I HAVE TRULY FALLEN IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS. I FEEL LIKE EACH PREP TEACHES ME SOMETHING NEW ABOUT MYSELF…”
ES: Seriously, that’s crazy for me to hear. I’m actually tearing up right now, simply because I was so unhappy for so long with how I looked and felt. I love how I look now. I absolutely love the process and striving to be the best me.
Most importantly, I feel the best I ever have. I feel strong and beautiful. I am proof that it is absolutely possible. Looking at my past, I’m one of the least likely people to be a health coach or fitness competitor.
TC: You had an outstanding physique at the IPL Southwest Grand Prix last September, 2016. So outstanding in fact that it awarded you as a new IPL Evening Gown Pro, and Fitness Angel Pro. You also took 2nd place in Open Sports Model and Open Bikini, falling just shy of your Pro Cards there.
I know you were ecstatic by that, and I also know it gave you a chance to bring an even better package to IPL Apex 2016, where you took the 1st Place spot in both of those, qualifying you as an IPL Bikini and Sports Model Pro. What did you change in the two months of training to come in even a little more conditioned?
ES: I loved this past season of competing. It was so fun. I really worked on my mental game and made it a point to try new things like classes and techniques. I kept almost everything the same throughout my prep, however I did incorporate sprints which I hadn’t in my past preps.
TC: What is your favorite thing about your prep?
ES: OMG! Everything! [laughs]. I have truly fallen in love with the process. I feel like each prep teaches me something new about myself and I always become stronger and better by the end. I love the challenge!
TC: What is your favorite meal when prepping for a show?
ES: I love all of the food! [laughs] I love my meal plan and eating clean. I would say my favorite is my Cookies-n-Cream shake at the end of my day. I make it really thick, I dump cinnamon on it and eat it with a spoon.
TC: What kind of tips can you give readers to help get those desired glutes and legs you have?
ES: Oh, man! [laughs] I’ve been getting this question more and more. I’m flattered. Most important is the fuel! Muscles don’t grow without the proper fuel.
I would say I’ve had to experiment with my body. My quads grow faster than the rest of my legs, so I’ve found workouts that I love that are more glute focused. I enjoy lifting heavy, but I’ve found that having a mix of both higher weight and lower weight with high reps along with sprints and plyometrics have been what’s worked for me.
TC: I am so blessed to have you as one of the original Smoothies and Blenderz teammates. What has been your most cherished memory with your team?
“I’VE BEEN WORKING A LOT ON MY UPPER BODY. I REALLY WANT MORE MUSCLES!”
ES: I love this team. I love what we stand for. I love the synergy. I’m blessed to be a Smoothie, and I truly enjoy bringing people into this community. There has been so many memories that I deeply cherish. I would say the most memorable and heartwarming memories for me are watching my friends compete for the first time. I love when people start on their journey, complete their prep and get on that stage. The moment they walk off the stage for the first time is my favorite. They did it! And I got to share in a piece of their journey.
TC: You have such style on stage and I enjoy watching you so much. I have to be honest, I was submitting my drug test at APEX when you were up for Bikini Finals. I had heard the great news, that you were crowned the champion and new IPL Bikini Pro and I couldn’t have Thought of a more deserving competitor. However, I was so disappointed I didn’t have the chance to watch your T-Walk. When I asked my husband how you did, he commented, “Phenomenal! It is just like watching you!” That is the best compliment ever, because you are so FUN to watch! What can you share about your posing techniques?
ES: Wow! I’m going to cry again! I’m honored to be compared to you! You’re the queen! I have really worked to develop my style. I haven’t always been confident or felt sexy. I learn from others and I practice my butt off. I really enjoy it. I always think in my head “I’m sexy!“ [laughs]. It sounds silly, but that’s how I mentally prepare for my posing. I’m blushing right now. Though I feel like my posing is more simple, it’s me and I think that’s crucial to be you and portray the sexy/sassy side of you. Whatever that means to you.
TC: What are your current goals with your physique as you prep for your next competition?
ES: I’ve been working a lot on my upper body. I really want more muscles!
TC: Now that you carry four IPL Pro Cards, when can we expect to see you grace the stage for those Pro Debuts, and will you compete in all four at the same competition?
ES: I’m so excited for this year. I’ve had an amazing “off-season“. I still do the same things on and off season. I’m anxious to hit the stage in May! I will be doing at least two categories. Possibly three. If I were to do all three, I’d do Angels, Evening Gown and Bikini. I can’t wait! BIKINI