Nika Bekavac, better known as FitNika on her social media, was kind enough to talk with us about her fitness journey over the years. How she initially lost more weight than she had wanted to, through an eating disorder, to then pack on muscle and size through hard work, heavy weight training and a quality diet.
Nika details her full week of training and a sample of herdaily diet that she has used to get to where she is now. Nika’s knowledge, experience and personal transformation has helped her amass hundreds of thousands of followers across her social media who she updates with progress pictures and fitness tips.
Be sure to follow and support Nika on her:
How Did You Get Started In Health And Fitness?
I’ve been active for a large chunk of my life. My dad has always been really into fitness and had my brother and I start playing sports from a young age. But, I never really enjoyed it. Come senior year of high school, I quit all sports, stopped going to the gym, and became extremely lazy. College began and some unfortunate circumstances happened, and I began going to the gym again as an escape.
I also decided that I wanted to be healthier, physically and mentally, so I became aware of what kinds of foods I was putting in my body, and tried to make them as nutrient rich as posisble. Soon after, I asked my brother to show me how to life (because I was very clueless) and he showed me a basic split of push day, pull day, and leg day, and I did those for a few months, did my own research, and really fell in love with lifting.
What Is Your Best Advice For Someone Looking To Start Get Fit?
Be prepared to COMMIT. Getting fit isn’t something that will happen overnight. It’s not something a diet pill or a waist trainer can do for you. It’s not something that anyone else can make happen for you, except for you. Be prepared to commit an hour a day, 5 days a week to the gym, and take it one step at a time!
Also keep in mind that fitness is multidimensional. Having your nutrition in order is key to seeing results, recovery, and optimal performance. Make sure you’re both strength training and doing cardio, not just one or the other.
What Is Your Workout Routine?
I’m currently not on a strict program (I combine different aspects of different programs), but I try to incorporate strongman training with bodybuilding. My workouts change weekly because I try to only have one strength day per week, one speed day, and one volume day. Here is last weeks breakdown.
Front squats 20-10-8-6-4
Weighted walking lunges 12-10-8
Hamstring curls supersetted with calf raises 3×10/25
Good mornings 10-6-4 all to failure
Straight leg dead lifts 10-6-4 all to failure
Tuesday: Presses And Arms
Clean and press (with axel, barbell, or log) 2×8 @ 75% of 1RM
Incline press 3×8 to failure
Rope tricep push downs with 2 second pause at the end 2×10
Straight bar tricep push downs with 2 second pause at end 2×10
Dumbbell lateral raises 3×15
Bicep curls 3×15 to failure
Heavy deadlifts 2×3 @ 90% of 1RM
Bodyweight rows on gymnastic rings – 50 (as many sets as needs)
hyperextensions with 40 lbs 3×15
DB rows 3×10
cable face pulls 3×20
Pull ups 3×10
Ab roll outs 3×10
Saturday: Strongman Implement Day
Yoke runs 3×100 ft as fast as possible
Farmers runs 3×100 ft as fast as possible
Stone loading for max height 3×8
Keg presses 3×5
Ladder drills (4 different drills) done 4 times each
Cone drills – 5 times
Jump rope 5×1 min
Sprints 10x 100ft
What Is Your Diet Like? Supplements?
I’m a vegan, so that means my diet includes absolutely no animal products or by-products. The only supplement I take is protein powder, and I use Vega Sport vanilla protein powder. My diet is currently all over the place in terms of meals (because i’m not prepping for any competitions so I’ve been very lenient on my diet), but breakfast is usually oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder, a banana, peanut butter and chia seeds. I have a clif builder bar as a snack.
For lunch, i usually get a burrito from qdoba with rice, two scoops of black beans, and lots of guac. Post workout I have a shake with a scoop of protein, 2c of mixed fruit, and 2 c of spinach.
Dinner varies (a lot) but I try to have brown rice, veggies (asparagus is my favorite) and mock meat (usually gardein brand).
My philosophy on nutrition is to incorporate whole foods into your diet because micronutrients are EXTREMELY important in the overall functioning of your body, but also to have a balanced relationship with food. If you want a slice of cake, have a slice of cake, but don’t have the whole thing.
Your Fitness Journey Has Been Going On Many Years. Could You Tell Us About Losing Weight Initially & How You Did That?
I initially lost a lot of weight because I was in a really poor mental state and not eating enough. Essentially my eating disorder (which i had been suffering with for 9 years) caused me to lose a lot more weight than I initially planned, and my health very much suffered, and I spent a good portion of the next year and a half trying to re-establish a healthy weight and recovery from the eating disorder.
What Made You Want To Get Bigger & Add Muscle? How Did You Achieve This?
Somewhere down the line, something clicked and I no longer wanted to be as thin as possible, but I wanted to be strong and lean and have a good amount of muscle mass. I followed a few girls on twitter who had awesome physiques and they lifted, so that’s what got me interested in lifting and building muscle! As mentioned previously, I had my brother show me a few workouts, and then i became friends with a few guys that lifted and I made them show me workouts at the gym and eventually I knew enough that I ventured out on my own.
What Are Your Favourite Exercises For Developing The Lower Body And Getting That ‘Booty’?
Heavy Squats and Deadlifts!! No amount of cable glute kickbacks did for my glutes what squatting and lifting heavy has. You also need to make sure you’re eating ENOUGH which was definitely my problem in the beginning. The glutes are a muscle, and just like any other muscle, it needs food to grow.
What Exercises Do You Feel Help Transform Your Body The Most?
Squats and dead lifts, without a doubt!
Give Your Best 3 Health Tips That People Can Implement Right Now:
1. Make sure you’re eating the right amount of food. Eating too much OR too little is going to hinder your results
2.Drink more water (about 1oz per 1lb of bodyweight is something to work up to if you’re active)
3.Get enough sleep!!
How Do You Handle Setbacks & Bad Days?
My wonderful friend Aubrey (@aubernutter) always says “Bad days build better days” and I couldn’t agree more with that. You have to push through the bad days and know that they’re going to contribute to better days.
As far as setbacks go, if you’re injured or sick, you need to take that time to rest and recover. I know first hand that pushing through an injury because you want to be in the gym only makes the injury worse!! But if it’s a mental setback, it’s important to take care of yourself, and when you’re feeling a little bit better, get back to the gym, even if you dont want to.
You Run A Brilliant Tumblr (FitNika) What Made You Start This & How Does It Feel To Know You Inspire So Many People?
Thank you! I started tumblr in high school and really had no intention on having any followers. I didn’t post fitness things at all! I just used it as a website to look at cool things, get ideas for which books to read, and kill time. For the first two years I had tumblr I think I had 30 followers total. When i started posting progress pictures and such, I gained a lot of followers.
Most days I really don’t feel like i inspire people because I really can’t interact with people as much as i’d like (darn working 3 jobs and going to school full time), so i think it’s insane that people are just inspired by my presence, and I am SO honored that they are. I still don’t know why anyone follows me, but I am so blessed to have so many people, most of whom i do not know, supporting me every single day
Where Does Your Motivation Come From?
Being better than the person I was yesterday. I constantly want to improve, and there’s A LOT to improve on, so I just strive to be better than before. Being the best version of myself is my motivation.