Swedish import Caroline Aspenskog seamlessly combines hard muscle with feminine curves.
Iron Man: You just visited Los Angeles. How did you like it?
Caroline Aspenskog: Wonderful. I love America and I want to move there someday. I stayed in Santa Monica and trained at Gold’s Gym, Venice. I love the weather there and the food, but most of all I love all the positive people. It’s really a big difference from Sweden.
IM: How was it to be photographed for Iron Man Magazine?
CA: It was a big thing for me to work with a professional photographer and a great makeup artist! They took really good care of me, and I felt at home. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
IM: What made you to start competing in bikini fitness?
CA: I saw a picture of Nathalia Melo and decided from that day I would change my body to the picture of the dream body I had in my mind. I used to dance salsa and I love training, so this was a perfect way to combine those two. Hard training with a nice body and some salsa moves.
IM: Why bikini and not figure?
CA: Bikini is more appealing to me and it feels more natural for me. I also like the look of a bikini physique—curvy and feminine.
IM: How was it to compete at the Arnold Classic in Columbus?
CA: One experience richer, but of course it would have been more fun if my placing would have been higher.
IM: How did you eat and train for the competition?
CA: My diet consisted of low-fat, low-carb food with a high intake of protein. I did cardio twice a day and gym once a day with weights.
IM: What does your daily diet look like?
CA: Before morning cardio: One scoop of BCAA and Tartarus Fatburner from BMR Sports Nutrition. I do morning cardio every day for 45 minutes.
Breakfast: Half cup of oats, five egg whites, half an apple, half a banana, one Saluplex multivitamin cap, and omega-3 from BMR.
Snack: Half cup of kidney beans, baby spinach, tomato, cucumber, and three ounces of chicken.
Lunch: Half cup of kidney beans, half cup of whole-grain rice, three ounces of chicken, and baby spinach.
Snack: Half cup of whole-grain rice and three ounces of chicken or lean beef.
Pre-Workout: One scoop of BCAA from BMR, CLA, and Ketoz from BMR.
Post-Workout: One scoop of BCAA and one scoop of Protelux protein powder.
Dinner: One sweet potato and three ounces of lean beef.
Last Meal of the Day: One scoop of Protelux casein.
IM: How was you diet after the competition?
CA: This time I’m trying to be very good in the off-season, so I eat the same food I had in my pre-contest diet but bigger helpings of course. I also add things like fruits and berries, and I don’t push myself too hard. If I want to eat something good, I do it so long as I hold a good off-season shape. My main goal is to be around 120 pounds in the off-season. I compete at 112 pounds.
IM: What inspires you?
CA: I get inspired when I see someone that has a passion for something and does it to 100 percent!
IM: What’s your biggest success in life?
CA: My biggest success is that I have turned the thing I love in life—training—to my full-time job. I love that I can help people and do what I love and get paid for it.
IM: What is your biggest setback in life? And how did you move forward?
CA: My biggest setback in life was when my dad died at 49 years old; I was only 19. But I recall our last conversation we had. He told me, “Caroline, you should compete in fitness or model in fitness.” This was the last thing he told me before he died. My dad was a true gym rat, and he taught me to work hard and believe in myself. Everything he told me, I have done. That’s something I am very proud of, and I know he is too.
IM: What advice would you give to others?
CA: Work hard. Nothing in life comes free. And like Arnold says, “Ignore the naysayers, believe in yourself, and always finish what you have started.” The key to success is to finish what you have decided to start—only then will new doors open.
IM: What do you think about the future of fitness?
CA: I haven’t been in the fitness industry so long, so I don’t really know, but I think more people are starting to understand the importance of healthy living and to be fit is a status symbol today. So it will probably just get even bigger.
IM: Do you have any unique talents that few people know about you?
CA: Well, if I want something, I do whatever it takes to achieve it!
IM: What are three things on your to-do list?
CA: One, move to California; two, become a famous personal trainer; and three, live the American dream.
IM: Do you use any supplements—what and why?
CA: Yes, I use BMR Sports Nutrition. My favorite is BCAA, and I love the fat burners Tartarus and Ketoz. I also use Protelux protein powder, Saluplex multivitamin, Somatrix ZMA, CLA, and omega-3s from BMR.
IM: Why are plyometrics so important for bikini? Is it a must-do for bikini?
CA: Everybody works differently. Plyometrics are good for you to get strength and cardio at the same time. It works wonders if you want to tighten your glutes and legs. But I don’t want to say it’s a must-do for everyone! It works really well for me, and I enjoy the burn and the intensity.
IM: Can you tell us about your online coaching and personal training business? From what I’ve heard, you’re pretty busy.
CA: I have done online coaching and training for about two years and have worked with all types of clients. I adapt everything to the specific individual’s needs; that way they get the best results. Personal training is so much more than just training. The secret about good results is to be able to keep motivating people to push themselves. That’s what sets apart a good personal trainer from a bad one! To put it plainly: Everything is about motivation and how to find it and keep it!
IM: What advice would you give to girls who plan on competing in bikini?
CA: Build a solid base, work hard, believe in yourself! Get a good coach from the start to help you get on your way to your goals!
IM: Your T-walk is always outstanding. Do you spend a lot of time practicing that before your competitions, or does it just come naturally for you?
CA: Of course I practice my posing a lot, but I also have dancing to thank for it, and I do love to put on a show! So my T-walk feels pretty easy and natural because it reflects my personality.
IM: What does your future look like when it comes to training, competitions, and your career?
CA: The goal for now is to have a great and stable off-season, then to compete this fall, and then the future will show me when it comes to my career!
Wednesday: Cardio/running and stretching
Saturday: Cardio/running and stretching
Sunday: Rest day
Weight: 120 pounds
Work: Personal trainer and bikini coach, motivator
Sponsor: BMR Sports Nutrition
Favorite diet food: Sweet potato
Favorite junk food: Hamburger
Dream vacation: Aruba
Motto: Nothing great comes without a sacrifice. —Miranda Kerr