The wellness fitness category was initially created by South Americans but numerous talented competitors have since emerged in Europe. One of them is Nikola Sularz, the junior, senior and overall European champion gold medalist in Santa Susanna who is now an Elite Pro athlete.
EWA: Hi Nikola, how did you manage to break all the records and become number 1 in the IFBB ranking?
Nikola: At first I planned to compete in the bikini fitness category. However, when I started training the lower body, my coach and I noticed it developed quickly. So two weeks before the contest, we decided I would compete in the wellness category. From this first contest, we knew it was the right decision and we worked hard to make my legs bigger and bigger. I developed my own style on stage, which seems to have contributed to what I’ve achieved to some extent. I do not copy anyone else. I focus on myself and strive to constantly improve my figure. That’s why I think it’s worth being yourself in all this. I also believe that the fact that I won the 2018 World Cup contributed greatly.
EWA: How did you get into this and what made you think about competing?
Nikola: One day I decided that I wanted to get on stage. That was my goal, my dream. Before then, I still trained. But I don’t know if it can be called training because I concentrated more on my upper body due to a back injury. When I received the green light from the doctor, I began to train my lower body harder under the guidance of my coach Grzegorz Kepa.
EWA: How long did it take to get on stage?
Nikola: I started dreaming about competing about 1.5 years before I got on stage for the first time. I contacted my coach in November 2017 and I made my stage debut in February 2018.
EWA: Only three months of prep! What was the result?
Nikola: I got first place on my debut! It was in a beginner’s bodybuilding and fitness championships that took place in February 2018 in Poland.
EWA: A fantastic result for a first event. You competed eight times this spring season. How do you physically manage to cope with doing so many competitions in a season?
Nikola: I just focus on each day as it comes and follows my daily plan. I don’t think beyond that – it’s much easier that way. The most important thing is to keep a cool head. Of course, I have bad days like everyone else, but that’s when you can’t give up. You have to grit your teeth and get on with things. I have learned that. Don’t give up, keep climbing, keep training hard. Only by doing this can you achieve success. I admit those final week workouts are hard, I don’t have much energy. But I always keep focused inside my head, which helps to motivate me to do each exercise, each repetition. I tell myself that when I get on stage I will remember those difficult moments that I have overcome and, thanks to that, I manage to get on that stage and compete.
EWA: What time does a wellness champion get up?
Nikola: I usually get up around 5am to 5.20am and start cardio training, which lasts an hour for me. I have to get up at this time because later I have to prepare meals for the entire day and work. Now I am on vacation, so I have a little more time. But from October, my studies begin again.
EWA: So from October you will have to work, study and prepare for contests… aren’t you concerned about doing all this? Isn’t it too much?
Nikola: Honestly? Yes, it is a little too much. I know it will be a difficult time. But I strongly believe that you have to work hard to achieve something.
EWA: Give us three tips for women who want to start in the wellness category.
Nikola: 1. Have patience and perseverance. In this category, it takes a little more time to develop the level of muscle required. 2. Train hard. You can’t miss squats. I include them in every leg workout. But you must remember to train HARD. Each session must be done with 100%! 3. Live today and focus on the present. Do not look to the future. Focus on your plan for the day ahead. I think these rules apply not only for girls in this category but also for every competitor. They should make your preparation a little easier.
EWA: Nikola, we wish you much more success! In Poland, we have a saying: “force is a woman”; in this case it is a wellness woman! Good luck!
Nikola: Thank you and best wishes to all readers.