Get to know Liliana Sakhanova
Better Bodies ambassador Liliana Sakhanova is 25 years old. When she was 9 Liliana and hr family moved from Kazakstan, Russia to small town Mariestad, Sweden. The past 6 years her family have lived in Gothenburg and Liliana herself made her way to the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. We meet Liliana to get to know her better.
I live in Stockholm together with my boyfriend Gibbe Nakhle. I'm currently studying part time and working as an online personal trainer and posing coach.
From Figure Skating to Fitness
I have always been into training and sports since I was a child. My mom got me into ballet when I was little and when we moved to Sweden I continued with figure skating. Unfortunately I developed Chronic Compartment Syndrome in both legs and eventually at 20 I had to get surgery.
I had to stop competing in figure skating when I was around 16 years old and began as a figure skating coach and judge.
When I was 17 I went to the gym for the first time as I wanted to keep up with some kind of training. This is when my fitness journey started. I wanted to know more about fitness and started to educate myself within training and nutrition. A few years later I discovered that you can actually compete in bikini fitness and I saw it as an opportunity since I missed to compete like I used to.
In 2017-2018 i decided to compete and found a coach to help me start my journey.
Best Fitness Achievements
My biggest achievements so far has been Swedish Nationals where I took first place and an overall win and it was my 3rd competition in the bikini fitness division. Shortly thereafter I was sent to World Championships in Bratislava to represent Sweden where I took 8th place.
Fitness life has taught me a lot. Discipline, dedication, hard work and a lot of joy. Im aware of my body, my nutrition and I love being in the gym and be able to work on myself as a person and as an athlete. I have also met a lot of people through fitness industry and I’m happy to be able to motivate and inspire others.
From Hobby To Job
As mentioned earlier I decided to compete in 2017-2018 and did my first competition 2019. After winning Swedish Nationals I decided that I really wanted to pursue a fitness career and to focus completely on that.
I am currently on a diet and preparing for my first competition of 2020 in Malta (IFBB Diamond Cup) April 9-12. I’m aiming to win my PRO-card this season. Among Malta I have planned to compete at Sweden Grand Prix, Oslo Grand Prix, European Championship in Santa Susanna and maybe 1-2 more competitions.
My plan is to win my PRO-card this spring, compete internationally and also making a good placing at European Championships. If all that goes well I'd like to take an off season in summer and compete again later this fall, hopefully in the PRO-division.
My long term goal is to make it to Joe Weiders Olympia and that means that I must change from Elite-PRO division in IFBB to IFBB Professional League and take it further in the USA. My plan is to be able to qualify to compete at the Olympia within 2-3 years.
Life Outside Of Training
I love being with my family back home in Gothenburg, spending time with my boyfriend and hanging out with friends. Unfortunately I’m not able to meet my friends that much during my competition season, but they understand my lifestyle and my fitness goals. I have to mention my cat as well (LOL), she is adorable. My other interests are traveling, finding new amazing places and some good food (when I’m not on diet of course).
The Better Bodies Family
Being a part of the Better Bodies family means a lot to me and I’m grateful to be able to work with such a great and welcoming company that genuinely cares about you as an athlete. Their support makes a big difference in my continuous fitness journey/goals I want to accomplish.
Tips to Others
For a person who is just starting their fitness journey I'd like to say: don’t give up, it will get hard but it will only make you stronger. Be curious, find a good coach that matches your thinking and genuinely cares about you. Believe in yourself and fall in love with the whole process.
I feel like some people want to compete just because it's ”popular” nowadays and not because they love lifting weights and to evaluate/progress in the gym. For me it's important to feel that you love working out, lifting heavy and making an effort in every session. Find your ”why” and remind yourself every time you're in doubt or want to give up. Don’t listen to someone who is skeptic, just do your thing and enjoy every moment. My motto in life goes by the saying ”Nothing happens unless we dream first”, dare to dream and work hard for it - every success story starts with a dream! :)