With a name like Tasha Star, you can only expect greatness. This Canadian-born beauty definitely delivers. She is a combination of toughness and sexiness, and her personality shines through in everything she does. For a long time, bikini competitors haven’t been taken as seriously as athletes, but Star crushes those myths and proves bikini girls are a force to be reckoned with. We took her to one of the most hardcore weight rooms in the world, Metroflex Gym in Long Beach. Her warm-up was swinging hammers, flipping tires, and heavy squats. Without batting an eyelash, she confidently walked through the throng of bodybuilders to get to the free weights. She didn’t just belong in this gym, she owned this gym. You can see her energy shine through in every photo.
Dr. Cat Begovic: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Were you always so athletic?
Tasha Star: My background definitely didn’t start in fitness. I have been athletic my whole life, competing in national-level equestrian show jumping. I was a psychotherapist with my own practice for about three years before quitting and making the switch to a career in fitness.
CB: How did you get involved in fitness?
TS: I had dabbled in the gym on and off for years, but in my early twenties I decided to sign up for some personal training. A friend showed me the basics of more bodybuilding-style training, which I instantly fell in love with. A few people encouraged me to compete, so I prepped for my first show in 2013. I was interested in knowing why I was doing specific things to prep, so I did a lot of my own research and tried to learn as much as I could. I did my own prep for my second show and then started getting approached for help from other individuals wanting to compete. My social media grew quickly, and I kind of fell into this career.
CB: What competitions have you been in?
TS: I’ve done several competitions in Canada as well as the Arnold Amateurs earlier this year. I’m now permanently nationally qualified after winning the overall at Ontario earlier this year. I did nationals earlier this year, but it didn’t go as well as I hoped, so the next stop will be Arnold again in March 2016.
CB: What do you love best about competing? What do you hate?
TS: I pretty much love all aspects of it. I think I actually hate having to have an off-season. I love being on the stage, and I’m extremely competitive. I think to be a good competitor you have to really love the whole process. Yes, it’s tough, but if that passion isn’t there, you’ll never give it 110 percent, which is absolutely necessary in order to succeed.
CB: What have some of the challenges been for you?
TS: It’s definitely a challenge getting a pro card and being from Canada. We only have one pro qualifier in Canada per year, and they only give out two pro cards for bikini—one for overall and another competitor of their choice. We are allowed to do Arnolds and North Americans, but there’s still significantly less opportunity than in the US, especially considering many of the American national shows give a pro card to each height class winner!
CB: What does your training and diet look like?
TS: My training is five days on, one day off. Three of the days are leg days. Yes, three! The other two are upper-body days. I am upper-body dominant, so I keep that training a bit more restricted. As for diet, I follow the whole flexible diet movement [also known as If It Fits Your Macros, or IIFYM]. It gets a lot of flack because of the individuals that use it to eat as much junk as possible. I prefer to keep my foods 90 to 95 percent clean and have the occasional indulgence, which still fits my macros and won’t effect overall fat loss or ability to reach my goals. I definitely have a weakness for doughnuts, so that’s usually where my “bad macros” come from!
In terms of supplements, I’m a big believer in vitamins and minerals, so I make sure I take vitamin C, D, B-complex, zinc, and magnesium daily. I also take omega-3s and probiotics. In terms of my stack, I use Prime Nutrition Phytoform for fruits and greens, Blackstone Labs Isolation Whey Protein, Prime Nutrition CLA, Prime Nutrition Fat Burner, Prime Nutrition Sleep/GH, and a Prime Nutrition or Blackstone Labs pre-workout. Those tend to be my staples! I train hard, but these supplements really help me maximize all my hard work.
CB: What are your fitness goals?
TS: I’m definitely gunning for that pro card in the next year, so that’s number one! I also want to continue to grow my brand as both a coach and model. I’m currently working with Amer Kamra and Team Hammer in Canada as both an athlete and coach, and we have a lot of exciting stuff coming up! I recently released an e-book with Amer, and we have plans to do more of those kinds of things in the near future, along with a website that will be launching soon!
CB: How did you become a Blackstone Labs athlete?
TS: I had known about Prime Nutrition through my friend Marissa Rivero and fell in love with their supplements and their whole image of hardcore fitness. I reached out to PJ Braun [co-owner of Prime Nutrition and Blackstone Labs] on Instagram, and he said he wasn’t taking anyone on at the time but would keep an eye on my progress. The Arnold came around and I made a point to go introduce myself. I must have said the right thing because he messaged me later that day to come back and talk about coming on board! They are the most amazing company in terms of shops and support, and PJ has been such a great boss and friend. I can’t thank him enough for all he does for me!
CB: What is your favorite body part on yourself?
TS: I would have to say my back. It’s my strongest body part probably stemming from my background in equestrian. It stays conditioned year round and always looks detailed! I’m pretty proud of it.
CB: What’s your favorite body part on guys?
TS: Arms! I love a nice set of arms—delts included. I feel like arms are often the first thing that you make contact with on another human, so that initial strength and aesthetic appeal from them is very attractive.
CB: Is this your first fitness magazine feature? What was it like shooting for Iron Man magazine?
TS: I’ve had a few small features but nothing quite this big! I was pretty overwhelmed to get the opportunity and the whole experience was amazing. Binais [Iron Man publisher and photographer] had some amazing concepts for the shoot and has a fantastic eye. Also the whole production including the videography was a great addition! I absolutely loved the gym we shot in. It was very hardcore and badass—kind of like me! IM
Lives: Toronto, Canada
Likes: Training, horses, my dog, cars, travel, food (specifically doughnuts!), positive inspiring people
Dislikes: Negativity, arrogance, laziness
Drives: 2016 black Subaru WRX
Would like to drive: I have a major car fetish! I want a fleet of cars one day. American muscle: Challenger or Nova; Import: STI; Truck: Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8;
Exotic: Zenvo ST1
Favorite vacation spot: Cayman Islands
Listens to: Trap/hip-hop/ heavy house—anything with a really aggressive bassline
Latest seen movie: Vacation
Favorite quote: “You will never know your limits unless you push yourself to them.”