A girl with a healthy lifestyle: Marina Arustamyan


As the tradition goes, tell us a few words about yourself

23 years old, 165 cm, 57 kg, 89-64-98.

How did you get to the gym?

I purchased the first gym membership when being a student, in my 20s, confident in my sportiness and active lifestyle. After this, jogging on a treadmill 2-3 times a week and a couple of twists seemed like titanic efforts, and also the whole family considered me an athlete. And so it went like this till the previous fall, when I came back from America impressed with promotion of healthy lifestyle and constant joggers at the 45-degree heat in Miami.

In the meantime I managed to eat head off with pancakes and a vast number of gorgeous desserts, which unfortunately were out there on open access. Despite the fact that even there I regularly went to the gym 4-5 times a week exhausting myself on the cardio and so I had no idea why I still hadn’t lost any weight. Back in Moscow, I immediately purchased a new membership and a few workouts with a coach, provided myself with several American fit chicks’s blogs, and slowly, through mistakes, began my healthy way. In addition to training in the gym, I have long been deep into yoga and try not to remove it from my training plan.

What were you doing in the first few months? What mistakes were you making?

I was taking a closer look at things, scrutinized them, tried on myself, questioned people and read a lot. I wouldn’t say I used to be very plump and boast with shocking photos of transformation.


So that is how I looked in 2012 (see photo), when actively eating brownies and pain au chocolates (sweet is something I really know a lot about, and would gladly bake), only with poor cardio workouts.

So, the fall was when my new, in-depth way to fitness began. It turned out that the female coach I started to work out with just showed me some mechanical movements, gave me some misleading advice on nutrition and, naturally, those workouts and further trainings had little impact on the changes of my body.


I worked out 4-5 times a week, but the training was on the whole body, and the loads for my body that was accustomed to long walks and jogs were very small. On the following day muscles felt the same, and that pissed me off! Then I found some videos with split workouts, where a correct technique of basic exercises is shown in detail, and so started self-studying. Many muscle groups turned out to be quite responsive, and it’s probably more likely because of genetics, so together with the corrected nutrition the result was not slow to arrive!

Do you still practice workout on your own?

Now I’m working out on my own, though would like to come across a great coach who would give a stern look at me. Some immediately got lucky with the coach and they did not have to correct their own mistakes for so long, but I have not met my ideal coach yet. So, without thinking twice, in May I decided to be educated for coaching, and I’m about to obtain the diploma of Ben Weider Bodybuilding & Fitness College. Probably it’s more like just to check the box, as the majority of what they teach students I learned by looking through various sources earlier.


In general, I am very glad I found out this passion for fitness and healthy lifestyle. Since when I was 17 I have worked and earned well, it was the fashion industry, the largest publishing house, working in the marketing department of the eminent Russian designer, but I’ve never been wedded to my work and something was always getting me down. I’m not sure I can build a successful career as a coach and a fitness instructor, but am confident that it will always be my hobby and now I would never call my way of life a “diet” or a “period”, now it’s forever.

Your approximate daily diet

I am a fan of food and no less fan of cooking and even more – of exploring tasty places, finding the best dishes and trying new ones. But, certainly, with the advent of proper nutrition in my life the range of products admitted to my stomach has significantly dropped.

I eat every 3-4 hours.

My approximate daily diet is like this:


Always oatmeal and egg whites, but in different variations. Sometimes it’s something like porridge and omelet, sometimes everything’s in the cake together, and sometimes with the addition of a banana like a pancake. Plus a little peanut/almond butter almost every day.


An apple/a grapefruit + almond or a protein bar + coffee


Chicken breast/fish + rice/buckwheat/bulgur/quinoa + a vegetable.


A vegetable salad with spinach and 2-3 egg whites.

Of course, I try to change the products from day to day for this way it is more interesting. The main thing – do not fry, only bake and cook. The described diet is the standard I go off of.

I rarely eat dairy products, it is my organism that is negative about it since childhood, though I have never liked them myself, but should I feel like eating some fried quark pancakes (syrniki) – there’s no problem.

I don’t taboo fruits, especially in summer, in my opinion this is merely fanaticism. And I hold the view that, after all, we are what we eat, and this is reflected not only on the scale, but also on our skin, hair and health in general.


What supplements do you use?

Only the ones by Optimum Nutrition BCAA and I sometimes add Platinum Isolate Supreme Chocolate to porridge or a pancake in the morning. I also take cod liver oil and multivitamin drinking courses. With protein shakes things did not come round.

Your sports uniform – sneakers and the like – why and what did you choose for yourself?

Actually I think little of how I look in the gym, the main thing for me is convenience. My favorite uniform is leggings by Nike, rainbow sneakers from Demix and favorite T-shirt with fighting Spiderman and Batman.


Your current training program

I try to change my training program every 2-3 months, but workout is always at least 3-4 times a week. Now it includes 4 power exercises, 3 cardios and 1 yoga per week. 2 days of rest (usually at the weekend). Before the workout I always warm up for 5-10 minutes of cardio, another 5 minutes for the muscle group I train this or that day.

Workout 1 (Basic leg workout):

  1. Smith squat 3×20,
  2. Deadlift 3×15,
  3. Smith lunges 3×15 on each leg,
  4. Leg press 3×20,
  5. Lunges in place with free weights 3×15 on each leg,
  6. Plie squats with weights on the steppes, with foots on 3×20,
  7. Leg split in the simulator 3×20,
  8. Lunge-walk with dumbbells (till tears).


Workout 2 (Back-shoulders)

  1. Pull-ups on gravitron 3×15,
  2. Vertical block pulling 3×15,
  3. Pulling on a horizontal block to the belt 3×15,
  4. One-hand dumbbell pulling 3×15,
  5. Bent-over barbell row to the belt 3×15,
  6. Seated dumbbell press 3×15,
  7. Standing barbell upright rowing 3×15,
  8. Dumbbell arm pulling 3×15,
  9. 40 min cardio (more often in the form of walking uphill).

Workout 3 (Legs)

  1. Sideway leg abduction with additional weights 3×20,
  2. Backward leg swings 3×20,
  3. Bench step-ups 3×20,
  4. Dumbbell Bulgarian lunges 3×20,
  5. Leg curls in the simulator 3×20,
  6. Glute bridge 3×20,
  7. Backward and upward leg abduction while standing on your hands and knees (thought hard how to call it) 3×20,
  8. 40 min cardio

Workout 4 (Chest-arms)

  1. Push-ups 3×20,
  2. Pec deck 3×15,
  3. Chest press in the simulator 3×15,
  4. Push-ups on gravitron 3×15,
  5. Triceps push-ups back to the bench 3×15,
  6. Standing barbell curls 3×21,
  7. Triceps dumbbell extension behind head 3×15,
  8. Upper-grasp lat bar triceps extension 3×15,
  9. 40 min cardio

I try to increase weight every 2-3 weeks, but gently. I have a few injuries, so I must be very careful.


Your fitness goals

My current goal is to pull up without a gravitron at least 5 times as I’m still not strong enough. To increase stamina and develop strength qualities. For me each new small step forward is already a great joy!

A short while ago I couldn’t do more than 1 push-up without shaking! So, certainly, my goals include motivating others to love sports and life, as well as to become the help on the path to health for someone, that is an excellent and professional coach whom people would want to entrust their health and appearance.

What inspires you?

I’m a visual type, I am inspired by everything that is aesthetically attractive. Travelling and food are my main inspiration throughout life. I begin to breathe deep by exploring a new world, tradition, mentality, architecture and languages, tasting some local speciality. Without this kind of freedom that I get from traveling and exercising, studying my body I’m like a bird in the cage. So, of course, another inspiration for me is served by the divine bodies of people with incredible will and discipline.


Your landmarks / idols / who do you want to be like?

I have never had idols, even as a child I never collected posters, records and cassettes during the freewheeling 1990s. But my personal guru in yoga became at first sight the enchanting Anna Lunegova, who teaches in a very cozy and warm studio in Moscow, and to whom it is almost impossible to sign up, so I’m sure of the reason – her luminous aura and love she breathes in each during practice.

If to speak about fitness, it is my pleasure to follow the cheerful @kaliforndee who has no “fitness addiction”, but love for herself, sports and people. And, of course, the divine body of @michelle_lewin flickering in the news feed that stops me from wanting to chew some nachos while watching a movie.

The list of favorite tracks for workout

John Newman – Gold Dust
Selah Sue – Crazy Vibes
Beyonce – Flawless
Beyonce – Partition
MIA – Bad girls

Show some pictures of your ideal male bodies



What is your favorite motivational video?

Your advice to those who want to start

Never bother about what others can think or say of you, clearly define your desires and goals, follow their implementation straight out. No one knows what makes you happy better than you yourself. No one but your own body can give a better advice how to maintain your health and which lifestyle to lead. Listen to yourself and your body, and I assure you, you will very quickly become keen on what you are doing.

And please, girls, sweeties, start “thinking outside the box”, there are so many different opinions and arguments, opinions and facts right beyond this box, make your own ones unique!




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