Feb 26, 2021
In this episode, Celeste speaks with Irina Post, a Russian immigrant who came to the US to pursue her American Dream, working diligently to put herself through school to become a pharmacist, and found bodybuilding after countless attempts at fad diets. Irina first competed in 2014, being inspired by bikini girls she saw on social media. Due to life’s ups and downs she took a break from competing, yet made her return to the stage in 2019 after passing her boards and seeking new coaching, & obtained her pro card at USAs in 2020.
Starting off the episode, Irina shares the routine she performs before her heel hits the stage. Next Celeste mentions the five year break from competing, asking Irina when she knew it was time to step away, and what fueled her decision to return. Irina talks about her reaching out to work with Whitney Jones, the initial plan for her prep, and the changes they had to make because of show cancellations and postponements due to Covid. Irina also shares how her diet approach became macro based as opposed to meal plans, and she shares how she adjusted to this new method for her contest prep nutrition.
Celeste also asks Irina how, despite the uncertainty, she and her coaches worked together to combat her plateaus and “sticking points” since her prep was longer than originally anticipated. Irina discusses how she had to make the decision to continue to prep or take a step back and try to get pregnant, as that was something she and her husband had been talking about before starting the season.
Irina shares her feedback she received from her first show of the year, the Arnold Amateur, and describes how she and Whitney strategized so that Irina peaked properly going into USAs. Noting the passion and desire Irina had to assure she was bringing nothing short of her best to the national stage,
Celeste asks if Irina trusted and followed her coach’s protocol, or if she asked for modifications to her plan. Irina shares how her prep changed in the final weeks leading up to the show, and Celeste asks Irina about the feelings she experienced hearing her name being called for her pro card. Irina shares where her mindset was at during her prep as she became busier than expected at her pharmacy job due to periods of work being short staffed during Covid.
She mentions that between long commutes, twelve hour shifts, and feeling like she was “running on fumes,” winning her pro card at her first national show wasn’t in the front of her mind. Celeste then mentions Irina’s proximity to snagging the overall title and what feedback she received from the judges.
While on the topic of winning her pro card, Celeste touches on the fact that Irina’s husband, who is also a competitor, won his pro card as well, and asked Irina what it was like for them to turn pro at the same show. Irina tells listeners that, while excited to celebrate her husband's success, she also felt pressured to bring home her pro card as well.
Moving on, the two women discuss Irina’s approach to diet and training post show, as she had mentioned how her and her husband had wanted to try and have a baby. Irina expresses certain hesitations and concerns she has about getting pregnant and the changes to her body, but also her feelings of excitement for this next chapter in her life.
Although there are talks of both a baby and making their pro debut together, Irina discusses how her and her husband came to the decision that it was time to start a family. Irina talks about her and her husband's feelings towards having a baby and how she foresees her husband being as a future father.
After talking about family matters, Celeste mentions Irina’s busy work schedule that she manages with competing. She asks Irina if the mentality and habits she developed from her experiences of coming to the US, and working full time while earning her doctorate had an influence on the way she approached bodybuilding. Irina then shares her story of immigrating from Russia to the US.
She discusses how coming to the US influenced her decision to choose to commit to pharmacology and also how she found bodybuilding. Irina acknowledges that nothing was gifted to her and that she had to work hard to put herself through school and establish her career. Because of Irina’s story, Celeste was curious to ask how the “American Dream” was depicted in Russia and what inspired Irina to come to the US.
Irina discusses how she came to the decision to apply for schools in the United States as she wasn’t sure how long she was going to stay upon arriving. Celeste and Irina discuss how Irina got into pharmacy and she shares an important goal she would like to accomplish in the field.
The conversation shifts and Irina shares financial goals she has for herself, which leads Celeste to ask about any strategies Irina has or is taking to set herself up for this financial success. Next, Irina briefly shares how she met her husband before giving her best advice for both first time competitors and for the girls on their road to pro.
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Episode Time Stamps:
[0:50] Celeste introduces Irina.
[2:20] Irina shares her pre-stage ritual.
[4:30] Celeste asks Irina how she knew it was time to step away and then come back to the stage.
[8:10] Celeste asks how Whitney’s approach to Irina’s prep has differed with the show cancellations due to Covid.
[10:50] Celeste asks if Irina struggled at first with figuring out macros.
[12:15] Irina shares what she did to combat the plateaus she experienced during prep.
[15:50] Celeste asks how Irina & her coaches assured that she peaked properly for USAs.
[17:30] Celeste asks Irina if she was asking for changes on her prep plan or if she followed the protocol given.
[19:45] Irina shares her focus going into USAs and how it felt to hear her name called for her pro card.
[24:40] Celeste asks Irina about her feedback from the battle for the overall.
[27:30] Irina shares what it was like to win her pro card at the same show as her husband.
[31:20] Celeste asks Irina if she felt pressured to get her pro card after her husband received his.
[34:45] Celeste asks if Irina’s post show approach has changed because she is trying to get pregnant.
[40:55] Irina talks about how she & her husband knew they were ready to start a family.
[48:00] Celeste asks Irina if she believes her life experiences thus far have influenced her approach to bodybuilding.
[50:30] Irina explains her journey as an immigrant and how she came to have the success she does in her career and bodybuilding.
[58:30] Celeste asks Irina how the “American Dream” was seen in Russia and what inspired Irina to come here.
[60:15] Irina shares her thoughts on deciding to go to school in the US.
[65:15] Celeste clarifies what Irina means by her goal to own her own pharmacy.
[69:00] Celeste asks Irina what steps or strategies she has taken to set herself up for financial success for herself and for her future family.
[72:45] Irina shares how she met her husband.
[73:30] Irina gives her best advice to first time competitors and for girls on their road to pro.
[76:40] Irina tells listeners where they can find & connect with her on social media.