Growing up in a sporty family and hooked on a variety of sporting activities from a young age, it was always inevitable that Nina Ross would find her place in the world of health and fitness. If she wasn’t competing in swimming or athletics competitions or playing netball, both at national and international levels, Nina would be found riding her horses or being thrown in as goalie for her older brother.
Whilst studying a BSc (Hons) in Exercise and Health, Nina continued to play netball to county level and worked with children, coaching and developing future elite players. It was at this point that Nina’s passion for training began to take its current professional form.
She developed a desire to learn more about the theory behind improving personal performance and fitness; the more knowledge she gained about exercise, the more she realised the significance of nutrition. Not only did she want to discover more for her own personal development, she also recognised how rewarding helping others achieve to their goals could be. Nina aspired to impact positively on those around her, which being a personal trainer and working with athletes allowed her to do.
After becoming pregnant she made the decision to stop playing netball; however, she wanted to continue training, realising that she had to adapt and change to ensure a safe pregnancy. This experience led Nina to research in nutrition and exercise during pregnancy, her interest partly compelled by her desire not to lose her hard-earned physical fitness. She accomplished just this, returning to her pre-pregnancy weight within 2 weeks of giving birth. Lots of people around her told her how lucky she was; Nina simply replied with her motto: ‘learn the value of hard work by working hard’.
The Importance of Exercise and Nutrition
After becoming a single mother to her daughter, Annabel, when her little girl was just 18 months old, Nina realised that she had lost the drive and passion she once had for what made her happy: being healthy and exercising. It was time for a change. As time progressed and commitments to train increased, Nina noticed the physical changes in her physique. Times were tough but Nina found began to appreciate just how important exercise and nutrition and supplementation are for health both physical and mental. She truly believes that without this routine as a focus and maintaining her health she would never have been able to deal with the difficulties she was facing.
Initially Nina did not aspire to be a figure competitor, off-put by the stigma the sport has attached to it and the label ‘bodybuilder’. So in July 2011, when her friend, also a Natural Figure athlete, said she should compete, there was no way Nina could envisage herself standing on stage only three weeks later. But in August 2011, Nina found herself winning her first ever qualifier for the BNBF. The insight into the bodybuilding world was nothing as she had expected; she loved every minute of it and met incredible people, all of these experiences giving her the drive to compete in more competitions.
Making the Decision
It was at this point she made the huge decision to become a professional figure athlete, and to strive to become an elite performer. She increased her training intensity and frequency, but also recognised the importance of rest. She now trains 5 days a week, whilst maintaining a clean diet throughout the year showing an appreciation of the importance of health and not merely the aesthetics bodybuilding is focused on.
In September 2011, Nina celebrated winning another qualifier through NPA which placed her into the final. Just a week later at the BNBF Final, Nina took 1st place and became IFPA Pro Figure athlete, as well as gaining herself a place in the Yorton Cup Pro Show in Washington DC. Nina’s success continued with her winning 1st place at the NPA finals, leading to I qualification for the UIBBN World Championship in Italy where she took 3rd position.
Nina then entered to compete with NABBA, gaining a place to the British Finals held in May. Managing to place 3rd in the final was a great achievement for her, after having undergone surgery in February which prevented her from training for over a month.
After deciding to commit to UKBFF Nina took 1st place a both the Central qualifier and then won the British title in November 2012. To that end Nina has been an international competitor with the IFBB where Nina is hoping to earn her Pro card. She has competed and placed in top 6 at the Arnold Classics, Ohio and recently returned from European Championships where she achieved a top 10 placing. Nina is set to compete in both the World Championships in Ukraine September 2013 and Arnolds; Madrid Oct 2013.
Through her experiences, Nina has learnt that in order to achieve your goals you have to set targets you can achieve and remain focussed; things don’t always come easy, but the greatest satisfaction is in achieving the biggest challenges.