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Kanda Tomoko Article in MuscleMag

Kanda Tomoko is featured in the new Musclemag Australia. Here is the article for you to read about her! And check out the photos and videos we have of her in our members gallery!

Twenty years ago Kanda Tomoko decided to join her local gym and work off a few extra kilos that had slowly crept on in recent years. However, weight training for this beautiful and feminine Japanese woman was more of a preventative measure than a committed ambition, but this was all about to change. One day at the gym a friend of hers, who happened to be a dedicated and experienced powerlifter, asked her to spot him while completing his routine. From that moment Kanda was instantly hooked. “That dragged me into serious training in bench pressing,” she explains. Today Kanda or the “Japanese Steel Butterfl y,” a title given to her by her Japanese supporters, is a renowned bench presser and bodybuilding champion with many titles under her belt. Originally born in Kawachinagano, Osaka, Kanda has since relocated to Baltimore, MD, where she is continuing to perfect her fi tness and physique. And after many years in the industry, she is at her peak fi tness level; setting the benchmark for women worldwide. Currently training for competitions in 2009, her training schedule includes a four day training week and a strict nutritional diet accompanied by various supplements. And while some bodybuilders may feel a four day training week is not enough, she fi nds training two days on, one day off (x2) works better for her.

To get maximum results from her training sessions and minimise her injuries Kanda prefers to train with a partner. Having a partner to spot her encourages Kanda to lift more and push harder. But nothing stands in the way of her routine, so with or without her partner she continues to push her limits. “When I don’t go to the gym that day is a bad day,” she confesses. At the gym her determination and perseverance are obvious, and unlike many other competitors, her favourite body part to work out is her legs. “I like to work on my legs… I used to swim and my lungs are bigger than most people’s so I don’t have to catch my breath as much,” she reveals. And in the kitchen her determination is very much the same. Despite having a sweet tooth she is very disciplined in her on and off-season diet. During the off-season her daily calorie limit is up to 2500 and this is spread out in six meals. Her meals are simple and mainly consist of egg whites, oatmeal, potatoes, fi sh, chicken, turkey, beef, vegetables, protein powder and various supplements. Kanda’s on-season diet is slightly similar and includes beef, fi sh, chicken, potatoes, rice, vegetables, seaweed, BCAA’s, protein powder, ZMA, glutamine and multi-vitamins.

However, this year, under the direction of her coach, her diet will change and she will start dieting three months prior to the competition date. In previous years she has discovered that gaining extra weight in the offseason means training harder and longer in preparation for a competition and this reality has curbed her eating habits. “In 2004 I dieted for six months (and) lost about 13.6kg which was very hard to do. This year… I will try not to gain so much weight,” she explains. In 1992 Kanda competed in her fi rst Bench Press Contest at an Air Force Base in Yokota, Japan. And despite being a novice in her category, the Japanese natural competitor surprised all, including herself, when she won fi rst place. She then went on to compete in several more bench press contests including the 2002 Japan Open Bench Press Contest, under 56kg category, where she broke a Japanese record to come fi rst place. Being the determined and competitive athlete that she is, it’s no surprise that Kanda soon set her sights on bodybuilding. In 2002 she entered the All Japan Bodybuilding Competition in the Masters category and again surprised everyone when she placed fi rst. Two years later Kanda entered the Osaka/ Kansai bodybuilding competition, which she described as her most memorable moment in her competitive history, and took out the title. “It was small but very touching moment (and) my mum was there to cheer me,” she says. But regardless of her extraordinary ability to achieve her goals she believes that anyone can be a bodybuilder as long as they have the confi dence to get up in front of people. “It was very hard for me to get on stage fi rst time, because I have to get almost naked,” she admits. Another challenging aspect of the industry and her least favourite part of a fi tness lifestyle is the diet restrictions. “I like to eat whatever I want to... potato chips, cheesecakes, whipped cakes, ice creams, chocolate, there’s no limit, but I can’t always eat tasty food,” she admits. To cope with cravings and assist in food preparation, Kanda fi nds herself making imitation junk food such as protein pizza, dumplings and ice cream. These substitutes are easy to cook and give variety when preparing six meals a day.

However, come the day after a competition there is no imitation food in sight, quite the opposite; her favourite after-competition food includes curry rice, Ramen (instant noodle), pizza, cheesecake, ice cream, and of course, chocolate. Without a doubt, bodybuilding has become more than just a process of stripping down body fat and getting ripped. It has given her motivation and a goal to work towards. “Without that goal, I would be soft forever,” she believes. Weight training has had a major impact on her life and her ambition is to continue weight training until the day she dies. “Everything in my life comes from lifting weights, my work and my relationship with friends,” she explains. Kanda’s next goal is to compete in The World Games in Kaoshiung, but fi rst she must qualify for the Japanese Weight Class Category. Thereafter she hopes to compete in various bodybuilding contests in the US. There are several people who have infl uenced and enabled this outstanding bodybuilder and weightlifter in her career. In particular, Kanda would like to thank her mother Noriko Kanda who recently passed away due to cancer. Losing her mother has reinforced the importance of health and happiness in this woman’s life. “Without health, we cannot do anything,” she believes. Another important infl uence in Kanda’s life is her dear friend Alex; she would like to thank him for being there and helping her deal with the loss of her mum. Without his support she might not have returned to her career in weightlifting. “He pushed me to work out... (and) to go back in bodybuilding when I was down for losing my mum’s life,” she explains. And lastly, Kanda would like to thank MuscleMag for giving her the opportunity to introduce herself to Australian bodybuilders and fans. “I am very honoured to be featured... now it is time for me to live up to the expectations of people in Australia as well as Japan. This pressure wakes me up,” she says.






















































































































































































































































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