From humble beginnings, I was born and raised in Belarus in 1983. I was not particularly athletic, although my parents signed me up for every possible fitness activity they could. I tried swimming, sambo (a Russian martial art), ran track and even dabbled in gymnastics for a short period of time. Due to my small frame, I never entertained the notion of bodybuilding…that is, until I came to the United States. In 1997, my family emigrated to the US, where I was approached by an agent from a top modeling agency in New York – Boss Models. I accepted a 3 year contract with Boss, dropping my major in art, and pursued modeling.
The next few years I found myself working in print, runway and commercial roles, all the while flirting with the idea of getting in to bodybuilding. Towards the end of my contract, I started gaining weight with the goal of joining an agency that would cater more to the type of physique I dreamed of building. At the end of my contract with Boss Models, I met with a number of agencies in New York and decided on Silver Models. At the moment I am represented by Wilhelmina.
The re-creation of my physique, from frail to aesthetically, pleasing brought me many new opportunities. Some of my favorites were :
- Nike – NFKO show (2011)
- 7 Page Spread in Men’s Fitness (August, 2010)
- Macy’s catalogue (June, 2010)
- Cover of Total Abs (hardcover fitness book by Neil Frost, 2009)
- Cover (and centerfold) of Exercise for Men (Sept, 2008)
- Muscle & Fitness – 5 page spread – (May 2014)
- Men’s Health – Editorial (July 2014)
Additionally, I have done a good number of underwear catalogue jobs as well as numerous fashion week runway shows, that have contributed enormously to by confident on stage and in front of the camera.
My lifestyle drastically changed at the end of 2011, when I decided to make 1 resolution for each month of the 2012 year. I had heard of a new division in the IFBB in 2011, called Men’s Physique and was drawn to this style and idea that had a mainstream mass appeal. I started training smarter and eating better than I had ever done before. Friends and gym members started noticing my transformation and suddenly, people wanted to train with me. Soon, I was taking on more and more people to train, and the wave of change that they are making, filled me with a great feeling of excitement and purpose. It drove me to fulfill one of my New Year’s goals, which was to compete in the Men’s Physique Division.
Starting in March of 2012, I entered my first physique contest (Steve Stone’s NPC Metropolitan Show), where I came in 4th in my class. Excited beyond belief, I then did 7 more shows that year until I earned my pro card at the IFBB North Americans, taking my class and the overall title in Men’s Physique. Subsequently, I did my 9th show for the year (and my first show as a pro) at the Houston Pro Show, where I took 6th place. Since then I’ve won Powerhouse Classic 2013 (which qualified me for Mr. Olympia Men’s Physique showdown 203), took 2nd at the prestigious New York Pro 2013, placed 12th at Mr. Olympia Men’s Physique Showdown and most recently placed 3rd at the IFBB Toronto Pro Supershow 2014. I am looking forward to my next season with great anticipation and personal pride. My competitive spirit comes not from winning against other opponents, but from the desire to beat myself. I strive to dominate my past selves and give them a new person and champion to look up to, as well as inspire and to take along with me all those who look to me as a professional athlete and competitor.