Mel Cech took the time to do an interview with Influential Sports to reflect back on 2019 which took her from the Vancouver Island Showdown stage to an IFBB Pro. Some of you might not know IFBB Pro Figure competitor Mel Cech and the incredible ride she’s been on and continues to live.
- The past year has been an insane ride for you, tell us how you’ve been taking it all?
2019 was quite a ride. I ended 2018 with no intention to compete, no real set plans for the next year, yet started 2019 with a sudden urge to get on stage and see what it was about. I later quite my full time job in property management and became full-time self employed as a personal trainer, and ended up winning the Overall Figure at the Van Isle Showdown AND my IFBB Pro Card in Figure at the Latin America Championships four months later.
- How was it competing in the Vancouver Island Showdown and your overall show experience?
I can tell you this, as happy as I am that I won my IFBB Pro Card, I’m disappointed I won’t ever be able to participate in regional shows like the Van Isle Showdown again. I had an incredible experience in my prep for the show, and the day of I’ve never had so much fun backstage and appreciated all your efforts in running such a smooth show. There’s nothing quite like being on stage in your hometown.
- You went international to compete in Costa Rica, how was that experience? Would you recommend that more Canadian’s look to compete internationally?
See a new (and beautiful!) part of the world and compete for an IFBB Pro Card? Heck yes! My coach Xenia Busigin lives in Costa Rica and the same show which I entered, The Latin America Championships, was the same show which she competed in the previous year (and won) and I couldn’t pass up the chance to spend time with her and go for Pro all while getting a vacation out of it. Peak week by a pool with fresh incredible seafood was the best peak week I could have asked for. I absolutely wish I brushed up on my Spanish a bit better, as most of the show was not in English. It was truly an honor representing Canada and meeting athletes from all over the world.
- After winning your pro card, how has life changed?
The exposure and interest I’ve recieved has significantly increased. Offers to model for Playboy was a wild one. Another was to co-host the Ultra Music Festival in Florida. I’ve been offered financial assistance for my future competitions which I am grateful for. My business and business opportunities have increased. In all honesty, I’m just very excited to make my Pro Debut and see how much I can improve from my last physique which I brought on stage at the LAC.
- You are the first Vancouver Island Showdown athlete to turn pro with the IFBB, has that hit you yet?
Actually, no, it hadn’t! Not until this moment while reading this question. I’m honored to be! I truly am!
- Being an ambassador for the sport and a trainer, how do you find the fitness industry in Canada and where do you see it going?
I think we are fortunate to be apart of the fitness industry in this country. I have always felt we have been able to express ourselves on an open platform and the nation supports us from coast to coast. I have always felt supported by my own country when I have chosen to compete at home or even abroad. I think we are one of the leaders in health and I see our fitness industry growing constantly at a rapid rate. I’m excited to see what the future brings and I’m excited to grow not only as an athlete within our fitness industry but also an an influencer being a personal trainer to my own clients and peers.
- Do you have any future plans to make your IFBB Pro debut?
I’m very much hoping to make my pro debut in 2021. I do hope to travel out of country more to compete in Pro Shows however that all will depend on what kind of travel restrictions are in place (if any) once the recent Covid-19 pandemic is resolved.
- You are an independent personal trainer, running as MelCechFit (you can contact Mel at firstname.lastname@example.org). Do you have any other business ventures you are getting into at this point?
My main business is online lifestyle and competition/photoshoot prep coaching. I’m currently working on a new business which I’m excited to be releasing details on very soon!
- How is life being a mother and an IFBB Pro athlete, is your family supportive and understanding of the time commitment it takes to be a top athlete?
Being a mom of a 2 year old boy and a partner to Ashley while prepping for back to back shows was hard. I won’t say it’s easy because it’s not. And I know Ashley will agree, it took a toll on our relationship. Your family loses a part of you. When you’re training for a show, and training to win, you definitely need to put yourself into tunnel vision where unfortunately your family does take some of the back seat. Its hard. It really is. I am grateful for my family for the support they gave me to achieve my goals. The guilt I had the days I didn’t have the energy to play with my son was high. The look of disappointment I could see on Ashley’s face on days I couldn’t go on a date with her because I needed to workout in the gym was devastating. But holding that trophy and wrapping my arms around my family and crying with them when I held my pro card taught us all just how important it is to support one another to our dreams. My son looks up to me and calls me “muscle mommy”. He knows his mom is strong. The example I set on dedication and discipline and believing in yourself is one of the best examples I know I can give him. And for Ashley, if we can make it through preps we can make it through anything; the support she gave me I will never be able to express how thankful I am for her being in my corner.
- If you could tell 1 piece of advice to an athlete looking to do their first show what would it be?
Remember that competing is a sport. This isn’t a quick weight loss strategy. Prep is not easy. If you’re going for Gold, be ready to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you’re not ready for that, you’re not ready to compete as an athlete. If you are ready, then have fun with the process. Trust your coach. Listen to your coach. Take it one day at a time and give it your ALL! When you step on stage make sure you don’t have one single regret.
- Was being an IFBB Pro something you’ve always wanted or did it just come from years of hard work and was a nice reward?
There will be few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it. The day I chose to compete was only 6 months prior to the van isle showdown. January 2019 it just suddenly occurred to be, I was ready. I was ready to get on stage. It absolutely terrified me but I was ready to push myself harder than I ever had before.
You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and something incredible may just come from it. And it did.
- Do you have anyone that you’d like to thank for their support in you over the past year?
Where do I start? My family. Ashley, my fiance, Preston, my son and my parents, Lana and Dave. They were on the frontlines of my prep and supported me through all my emotions and motivated me to make them proud. Xenia (@ifbb_pro_xenia) has been my coach for many, many years and is one of my best friends. I want to thank InfluentialSports and the VanIsleShowdown for putting on the show that sparked my fire to compete and lead me to win my IFBB Pro Card. I want to thank ruthless sports and @fuelwestshore for their supplement sponsorship. And @ragner.kersten, my best friend and his family for their support as well.
- Tell us what a typical day in the life of Mel Cech looks like?
Covid-19 has absolutely disrupted a normal day in the life of Mel Cech, that’s for sure. However I’m still training daily, with my Pro Debut in mind, and I’m focusing this time at home spending time with Ashley and Preston that I missed while prepping last year. I’m spending a lot of time working on my business and supporting all my clients while they continue to improve their health and lifestyle from home. I spend a lot of my time designing programs for my clients and helping them virtually throughout the days.
- Do you have a favourite training split or anything that helped you grow muscle mass?
I generally workout 6 days per week, 2x per day. I complete my cardio and abs in the mornings 5x per week and my strength training in the afternoon. Monday is Glutes, Tuesday is Shoulders + Abs, Wednesday is Back + Biceps + Abs, Thursday is Chest + Triceps, Friday is Quads, I rest Saturday, and Sunday is usually a HIIT style depletion workout. This is generally the same all year round, but when growing, my reps are reduced and weight is often increased. While I’m cutting, my reps and intensity increase to more supersets. My body responds well to drop sets and progressive overload. It all just takes time. Years and years of growth.
As you can see, Mel Cech lives an extremely self fulfilling lofe in Victoria, BC with many supportive people in her live. With a positive attitude and a new ending pursuit for perfection, she continues to work hard to achieve her goals. This is only the beginning for Mel Cech and we at Influential Sportds Inc. believe she will continue on to have an incredible career as an athlete and business person.