Mar 22, 2009

Thomas Askeland: The Interview!

Original programming if you will!

Yes, this is indeed an all-new, real interview - albeit a mini one - with Norwegian bodybuilder Thomas Askeland who came to watch the Arnold Amateur in 2008, and then enter it himself this year (in order to get his foot wet in international competition).

During the run up to the Arnold as you may have noticed this blog focused on the Arnold Amatuer contestants. I wanted to profile a number of the contestants, only to find the task particularly difficult especially when researching the non-American competitors. This got me thinking and hence this mini-interview with Thomas, who so kindly responded to some questions I posed him (which I have fleshed this out with some pictures from Thomas' recent photo shoot with Mike Sirén).

Never Too Big: Congratulations on your 6th place finish in the light heavy class at the Arnold Amateur! Were you happy with your placing?
Thomas Askeland: Yeah I definitely was, even if I was there to win it ;-) It was my first time competing at this level internationally, and light heavy is for me a new class. Considering it was the biggest class with great names and profiles I was pulled out in the first comparison which felt great. I wasn't in my best condition and still placing 6th missing top 5 by one point, and 3 points to the 4th I didn't know I was that close after we went of stage. I was hoping for top 10 at that point. I consider this my introduction to the international arena and now I will be competing more often at this level.

N2B: American amateur bodybuilders don’t seem to consider the Arnold Amateur an important contest, few enter, and those that do don’t place that highly. What are your thoughts, if any, about this?
TA: Well the competition is relative new and has grown immensely since the start 3 years ago, it will probably be more popular to American bodybuilders in a while, at least it should be if they want to compete against the best in the world. It will be interesting to see in the years to come.

N2B: America, and California in particular, is considered the “mecca” of bodybuilding. To succeed in the sport do you think it is necessary to be known in, and even move to, the US (like Flex Lewis for example)?
TA: Yes, at least if you are interested in competing as a pro, and trying to make some money out of it. You need to be seen, known and have a sponsor to promote you. And also to be seen in the magazines and at the events. But of course you can do well and probably win competitions even if you don't live in the us, but it will be more difficult to be noticed by the judges, at least in a lineup with bodybuilders of similar structure an build, the shape must be at its best and muscularity as well as posing to.

N2B: You have done very well at the Nordic Championships and Norwegian Nationals in the past, winning the overall title at both contests. What are your future contest plans? Will you be competing at the World Amateur Championships?

TA: My plans now are: I am doing two more shows in Norway, there are more shows in Sweden and Denmark that I could consider doing but my main goal this year will be the World Amateur Championship so I think I will need the four months in between diets to rest my body and prepare. Next year I will be back for the Arnold, if everything goes well I will consider turning pro.

N2B: You have also won numerous “Best Poser” awards, what is your secret to good posing?
TA: Genetics, fantasy and a secure sense of rhythm. You also must know how your body looks from different angels....putting together a posing routine isn't that easy of you want to make it flow with the music, in order to do this right you probably need some help. I think I have a natural sense of rhythm and I pose a lot, looking for different angels and moves that will put me in a good position to do the next pose. And there must be a start and an end to the show.

N2B: Kamal Salam, the winner of your class has competed as an IFBB pro in the past. Do you hope to compete as an IFBB Pro one day?
TA: Sure I am considering turning pro, and to compete for some years in pro shows could be fun, so we'll see.

N2B: Do you think you will compete at the Arnold again next year?
TA: Yes I will!!

N2B: Again "Mange takk" for your time and input. Congratualtions again on your placing at the Arnold and we look forward to seeing much more of you in the future!
TA: You are welcome!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interview. What potential in this awesome bodybuilder from Norway. I hope to see much more of him in the future as the world gets to appreciate his excellient posing and his determination to be the best. It is truly inspiring, as well as, motivational.

MMuscle said...

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