With the right plan and the right discipline, you can get seriously shredded in just 28 days.Read article
The 2022 conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been the focus of the majority of the world recently. Many people are feeling for the people in Ukraine, who are doing their best to defend themselves against the Russian invasion. No one is feeling for the people there more than Viktoria Grygorian, who was born in Kyiv.
“It hasn’t been easy for sure,” says Grygorian. “When 26 years of your life is being wiped out, and you can do nothing but watch, it hasn’t been easy.”
Viktoria Grygorian came to the United States from Ukraine, and felt a connection to serve in the military. Her father was originally served with the Soviet Union. Then after Ukraine became its own country, he went on to serve for that nation. Viktoria joined the Armed Forces in America for several reasons.
“I always liked the discipline, I always liked people in uniform, and I grew up in it. My mom was a military nurse,” she said. “When I came to the US, seeing men and women in different uniforms, not just one branch, and just seeing how proud people were to serve their country, it just gave me butterflies, and I imagined myself in one of those uniforms.”
That imagination led Viktoria Grygorian to make it a reality. After being turned down multiple times because she was a student, she was eventually given her green card and was able to join the Virginia National Guard in 2015 and completed her basic training in Fort Jackson, SC. This was not just a a career choice for her – it was a way to express her gratitude.
“For me, it was an opportunity to fulfill one of the dreams and give back to the country that welcomed me and gave me the opportunity to have a better life.”
Joining the National Guard made sense for Grygorian because she already had a career in healthcare, and she felt that she could best serve her country on American soil. She would serve from 2015 to 2021, and she received multiple honors along the way, including the Army Fitness Badge, a Certificate of Appreciation for service, and Army Achievement Medal for exceptional service in assuming leadership during Annual training.
Grygorian felt that one of the greatest gifts she received during her time in service wasn’t anything material, but something more important to her – commitment to fitness. Prior to her joining the military, she only focused on fitness by doing Zumba and cycling classes. After she became a member of the National Guard, she realized that being physically fit was a part of the job.
“I took a very serious look at the fact that I must be physically and mentally fit to be able to assist fellow Soldiers shall we ever end up on the battlefield. If you’re weak, you will never be able to assist your battle buddy in combat. You are taking a risk of losing both lives,” she explained. Serving and committing to training gave her other gifts as well.
“I developed more situational awareness and it gave me the baseline for more discipline in bodybuilding and fitness.”
Viktoria Grygorian is someone who takes desires and commitments to the ultimate level. So, training and being fit was great, but she wanted to take that to a new level by stepping onstage. Her first contest was 2017 NPC Max Muscle competition as a Bikini competitor. She looked back at that moment with mixed emotions. Her family wasn’t there to watch her compete, but there was a positive in that moment as well.
“I was standing there and felt ‘this is where I belong,’ meaning I am with like-minded people,” she said proudly. “I was overwhelmed with being present on the stage and displaying the work that was put in.”
Grygorian would eventually transition from Bikini to Figure, and would gradually improve over the next three years. Her journey as an amateur competitor reached it conlusion in Orlando, Florida at the end of 2020, where she earned her pro card – on the Olympia stage. She entered the Amateur Olympia that year, and she left with IFBB Pro League status at the end. In spite of many restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and shows getting canceled throughout 2020, Grygorian found a way to achieve her goal.
“There was no food, there was no gym, no equipment, but we rearranged the first level of our house, and we used whatever we could. Bands, my bodyweight, anything we could use to train with, we did.”
The “we” that she referred to is her coach Mike Davies, who helped her prepare for the contest, and her husband, Tony Roberts. Tony had a military background himself, and he’s had several roles in the bodybuilding industry, including as a competitor himself and a contest promoter. VIktoria actually works alongside her husband in that promoting role today. They work on multiple shows in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area, such as the NPC Armed Forces Nationals, the Ben Weider Natural show, and others. She also owns Fit & Furious, a company with a mission of supporting athletes. They also work alongside legendary promoter Gary Udit.
“I think the main aspect of organizing a competition of those magnitudes is to be able to provide athletes with the best experience possible,” she shared. “We allow them to understand that their sacrifice is acknowledged and rewarded.”
Clearly, her focus in recent weeks has been back at her homeland. While Grygorian said that her parents and sister are safe, but there are still many members of her family that she can’t get updates on because there’s no way to establish contact. Even though she can’t be there directly, she is working to raise money that she can send to the people that are there so they can make the most out of the situations they are in.
“I organized a “GiveSendGo” for Freedom Fighters. The money that is raised goes directly to the people there so that they can use it,” she said. “You will know that your donation is going to the right place. Anything that can be donated will make a big difference.” If you wish to support the people in the Ukraine, you may do so by donating here, or by sharing the link to others that may want to offer support.