Athlete Profile: Emily Zelinka |

Zelinka is a two-time NCAA Champion and has trained with elite coaches, including Dr. Mike Boyle and Dr. Bill Hinckley. Today, she is a resident physician at Ohio State University.  At 5 feet 8 inches tall and 114 pounds, she is a fighter for human rights; she has a degree in social work and a master’s degree in public health.

Now in its second year, the EveryVoice Center continues to grow in strength and in numbers. The single biggest task at hand is to expand the online presence. We have launched our website, but we are looking for writers and editors to expand and develop content, especially for our social media channels. We are also looking for videographers and photographers to help us create videos and photos that promote the Center and its mission.

It’s difficult to transform one’s physique so that it’s ready for the stage.

Working out and dieting are difficult enough, but this change also tests our self-esteem and our perceptions of our bodies’ inherent faults and characteristics. However, success on stage necessitates a greater emphasis on physical aesthetics and a thorough examination of every muscle and additional layer of fat. It’s paradoxical that Emily Zelinka decided to achieve her personal best via a sport that is both challenging and important to her self-esteem.


Emily’s self-consciousness and dissatisfaction with the way her body grew as a kid led to harmful habits and eating problems. She missed meals to keep her calorie intake under control, and she stared at herself in the mirror continuously throughout the day. Emily only recognized that her conduct was harmful and that she needed to change because of the support of her friends and family.

Emily joined a nearby gym and soon developed a speed training addiction. Her love of weightlifting inspired her to get a degree in health and fitness promotion, then work as a personal trainer before becoming an ambulance driver. Her reliance on fitness and a healthy lifestyle has not lessened as a result of her job shift. Emily’s desire to remain active was heightened by the difficulties of shift work and lifting and transporting patients. Emily’s new healthy lifestyle, on the other hand, has proved to be life-saving in other ways.

Emily had recently left a long-term relationship and thought her self-esteem had plummeted when she started her new job as an ambulance driver. Some of the eating disorder’s old tendencies came to the surface. Emily thought she needed to find something that would make her feel good about herself again, something that would make her feel good, healthy, and confident, in addition to her exercise courses and healthy eating.

Emily had always considered performing on stage in the back of her mind, but she was unsure whether she had the necessary skills. She met IFBB pro Stephanie Warsfold in mid-2007, when she felt ready to learn everything. Emily chose to prepare for the OPA (Ontario Physique Association) figure skating event in the autumn with the help of Stephanie and her personal trainer Brad Fowler. She entered the battle hoping to avoid coming last, but she was defeated: she won her division (High Figure) and the overall rating. Emily returned home with a new feeling of self after receiving the awards.


Until 2008, Emily continued to train and eat for stage success. She earned first place in her division in the South Central Championships in May, and she finished second in the state figure skating competition in June. In August 2009, her performance won her a place on the podium at the Nationals in British Columbia.

Emily follows PN’s ideas of maintaining her weight at 145 pounds between competitions and changing her body to a slim 135 pounds for the stage, whether she’s preparing for a competition or just having a regular off-season day. Emily believes that working out first thing in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Emily performs 20-30 minutes of high-intensity interval training before breakfast during competition season, but she always eats breakfast before strength training.

A protein omelet is his favorite breakfast of the day, whether it’s in season or not:

  • a total of eight proteins
  • 1 pound spinach
  • Onion, red
  • Wholemeal oats and raw oats
  • Mrs. Dash is a woman who is passionate about her (garlic and herbs)

To create a wonderful meal, combine this with 1 tablespoon of heated coconut oil in a skillet.

Emily follows basic rules to accomplish her dietary and physical development objectives the rest of the time. Every three hours, she eats or nibbles. At least 25 grams of protein should be included in each meal. She eats complex carbohydrates for breakfast and lunch, watches her quantities, drinks enough of water, and pays attention to her body’s needs.

Protein shake with veggies and hummus for breakfast

Lunch: 1 cup brown rice, 1 chicken breast (without bones or skin), and veggies (typically broccoli and/or cauliflower).

Snack in the afternoon: 1 can tuna and vegetables (sometimes Emily puts the tuna and veggies on a small wrap).

Dinner: big salad with homemade dressing of red wine vinegar, omega 3-6-9 oil, garlic, and lemon juice (served with salmon, tilapia, or steak).

Protein smoothie as an evening snack

Emily’s daily diet is practically the same whether she’s on a diet or on a maintenance diet. She avoids sugar and artificial sweeteners throughout the year, instead opting for stevia extract. Emily restricts her dairy consumption and supplements her calcium intake by eating more green vegetables and taking calcium supplements.

Emily also follows a pretty similar training schedule throughout the year, concentrating on harder sessions (e.g., sets of 6), changing exercise distribution, and modifying the quantity and kind of training activity. Body splits and up to 20 minutes of cardio each day are included in off-season training four days a week:

Legs/Abs Day 1

Day 2: Biceps/Back

3rd day: Shoulders and back

Day 4: Triceps/Chest

Emily does one set of 10 repetitions for each exercise, followed by two sets of 6 reps, after a 5-10 minute warm-up on the exercise bike or step-mill. A cool down and stretching session follows the exercise.

Emily shifts to a split program for the lower and upper body during the 12-week pre-competition period, alternating these sessions with full-body circuit training. She’ll increase the amount of cycles in each exercise as the show date approaches, and she’ll add an hour of aerobic cardio to the morning interval session.

Emily has discovered that adhering to her plan is generally not tough when she has a good strategy and is consistent in her food and workouts 365 days a year. When she’s feeling uneasy, she speaks about food with her friends and family. It wasn’t simple, but Emily devised effective solutions to the issue. She’s found places that are authorized for her diet, where she can get food and meals that are appropriate for her diet, and she explains why and how she selects the foods that are most suited to her objectives to people around her. Emily often offers to bring a salad or a meal that she can eat with the rest of the group. She’ll take use of these chances to demonstrate that a healthy diet, even one as rigorous as the show’s, doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless.

This is in line with what Emily has learnt while preparing for competitions, which she shares with both novice and seasoned athletes. As she puts it:

You will enjoy many advantages if you appreciate your body, feed it, and exercise frequently.

Emily has learnt to love her body and has transitioned from eating disordered food to eating in a manner that makes her feel her best by taking care of herself.

Emily was able to make peace with herself and her body by participating in the tournament. Emily has been able to live the healthy, active lifestyle she desires and wants to continue for a long time by flaunting her finest body. Emily’s perspective about life altered following her first stage victories, in addition to her lifestyle. Emily now understands that she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to, and that just moving ahead and not failing isn’t enough.

I learnt that you should constantly try to be the best version of yourself. I shall always try my best and make this the aim of my performances from now on. So, regardless of where I finish, I will not be dissatisfied since I know I gave it my all and will be proud of myself.


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