Iceland’s first and only IFBB Pro took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to share a bit more about herself. Margret Gnarr will be making her IFBB Pro debut this weekend at the Bikini International in Columbus, Ohio. You may not have heard much about her before but rest assured you will in the coming days. Marget’s hardbody and looks speak for themselves but what you may not have known is that she’s a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do. Get to know a bit more about Margret and give her a bit of encouragement as she’s not only competing as a pro for the first time but also representing an entire country.
Currently live in:
Any brothers or sisters?
Yes I have 6 siblings, 3 brothers and 3 sisters
Where do you fall in the ages?
I grew up with two of my siblings to the age of 11 and I was the middle child. My brother is 2 years older than me and my sister is 3 years younger.
I have two dogs. Dolly is a Chihuahua/Cavalier mix and Ronja is a Icelandic sheepdog / Russian sled dog mix.
One food you will NOT eat:
Cucumbers !!! Hate them! Sometimes I say I’m allergic just to avoid eating them! I donâ€™t know what is is with cucumbers. My dad and my younger sister are the same. haha
After my workout I typically eatâ€¦
Chicken, sweet potatoes and sweet peppers
Did you play sports growing up?
Yes, I was all over the place growing up! I loved all sports and I was very active from a young age. My favorite class in school was gym-class! I started in gymnastics when I was 6 but I didnâ€™t have a lot of discipline so my parents sent me to Taekwondo for one year. At the age of 8 I went into figure skating and thatâ€™s when I started competing in sports and absolutely loved competing! I wanted to be the first figure skating competitor from Iceland to compete at the winter Olympics! At the age of 14 I hurt my ankles and couldnâ€™t handle the landings after the high jumps so I took 6 months off from training and after 6 months my friend asked me about Taekwondo and told me she wanted to try it out. I went with her to our first training and after my first Taekwondo class I was hooked. I stopped figure skating and found another passion. Soon I got in the youth national team in Olympic Taekwondo Sparring and started competing. I have competed several times in Taekwondo and I have the black belt. I have been doing Taekwondo for over 10 years.
How did you get into competing in Bikini?
I have been interested in Bikini fitness since 2008 when it started in Iceland. My friend competed at the IFBB Icelandic Championship and I thought she looked so great. I have always been interested in modeling and I am also a singer so I love to be on stage. When it comes to modeling I was always told I had the face for it but not the body. My body was too athletic for modeling. When I saw the Bikini fitness class for the first time I thought to myself: “thatâ€™s perfect for me!” But at that time I had very low self-esteem after years of bullying and I knew I had to work on my self first to be able to handle fitness competitions. In beginning of 2011 I finally had the self-esteem I needed and decided to compete. My first competition was the IFBB Icelandic Cup in November 2011 and after that contest I was hooked!
A singer huhâ€¦ Who is your favorite singer?
I have so many favorite singers! Can’t pick one:) Here are couple of my absolute favorite: Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, Imogen Heap, Hayley Williams and Jonathan Davis.
Will you give us a sample of your singing at the Arnold?
Yes! Of course! Will you play the guitar then?
Yes, totally!Â (Note to self forget to pack guitar).
IFBB Icelandic Cup 2011 â€“ 3rd place
Arnold Amateur USA 2012 â€“ 4th place
IFBB Icelandic Championhip 2012 â€“ 2nd place
IFBB World Championship 2012 â€“ NP
Arnold Amateur Europe 2012 â€“ 13th place
IFBB Icelandic Cup 2012 â€“ 1st place
IFBB World Championship 2013 â€“ 1st place
How long have you been practicing taekwondo?
– For over 10 years now
Do you still do taekwondo while prepping for a bikini show?
I do Taekwondo in my off seasons but 12 weeks into a bikini show I only train Taekwondo
by myself. The reason is I donâ€™t want to get hurt or bruised on Taekwondo trainings. When I train Taekwondo I do a lot of sparring and you can get hurt and thatâ€™s not good when you are prepping for a bikini show. Doesnâ€™t look very good on stage to be bruised. haha
Do you have any foods in Iceland that you wonâ€™t find in the USA?
Yes! Icelandic Candy, Icelandic dry fish, Icelandic yogurt skyr.is (You can find Skyr in Wholefoods but its not the same as in Iceland)
What is Icelandic candy like?
– Its heaven! Icelandic chocolate is the BEST! I will bring some Icelandic candy with me for everybody to taste!!
Whatâ€™s iceland dry fish like or is there nothing like it and itâ€™s super amazing?
Icelandic dry fish is awesome in competition prep. There are 83 grams of protein in 100 grams of dry fish and no carbs. It’s very popular in Iceland and we grow up eating it like candy.
Whatâ€™s the biggest difference between USA and Iceland that youâ€™ve noticed?
The biggest difference in general is the size and population! There are 320.000 people who live in Iceland! Thatâ€™s like a small town in the US!
Howâ€™s it feel to be the only IFBB Pro from Iceland?
I can’t explain the feeling. I still can’t believe I achieved that dream. Ever since I started competing I wanted to be the first Icelandic fitness competitor to become an IFBB Pro. I am honored to be the first IFBB Pro from Iceland and I hope I will make my country proud.
How long do you prepare for a competition?Iâ€™m prepping all year round but I start the competition diet 12 weeks into a competition.
Do you follow the same training you did from a couple years ago?
No, I got a new personal trainer last year and changed a lot. Doing more reps, lighter weights and more cardio.
Do you workout with a trainer?
No my coach lives on the other side of the country so I workout alone but sometimes a have a workout partner.
What tips would you give women who are looking for a trainer – what should they look for?
Always look for a trainer that has the right experience for your goals. I also think itâ€™s really important to feel 100% trust to your trainer.
What are you doing when not measuring food, hitting the gym or hitting pads?
Iâ€™m a personal trainer, a posing coach, a spokesmodel and a singer. I barely get any free time! When I have some free time I like to just lay in bed and watch TV shows with my fiancÃ© and my dogs and I also love to go to the spa at my gym, World Class.
I understand you have asthma. How do you overcome having asthma with cardio – any tips for others who suffer from asthma?
The right exercises helped me with my asthma. I barely feel it anymore. The asthma was very bad when I was younger but after I started doing sprints 3 times a week my endurance has never been better!
Do you listen to music while you work out? If so whatâ€™s your go to song for this prep?
Yes! I LOVE listening to music! I listen to dupstep and I have the volume very high. Keeps me more focused. Currently Iâ€™m listening to Skrillex, Modestep, NERO, Korn, House of Titans, Aviici and more.
Whatâ€™s your typical breakfast look like?
I always have oatmeal for breakfast and when Iâ€™m not 12 weeks out from a bikini show I like to add cashew nuts, green apples and goji berries in my oatmeal.
Any tips for surviving a long flight?
Get a good sleep! Thatâ€™s the best thing to do!
Has this prep been different from previous shows?
Yes, I have been doing way more cardio than Iâ€™m used to. That was probably the only difference but what matters most to me while prepping for a show is to feel good mentally, physically and emotionally.
How important is it to have a strong support system around you?
I find it very important because it keeps me motivated! Thatâ€™s why I always surround myself with peop
le who support me.
Any one youâ€™d like to thank?
There are so many people I would like to thank. My family and friends for all of their support. My coach Johann Nordfjord for always being there for me. My Icelandic sponsors: Nings, Harlengingar.is, Jan Tana Iceland, BPro Iceland, WOWair, Fitness Sport, Hamark, NYX Iceland, LG Simar, NIP+FAB Iceland, Fitness Akademian, Mizu beauty salon and Kiss Kringlunni. My American sponsors: BN Shape and Ravish Sands. I am also extremely thankful to the IFBB Pro league for giving me this amazing opportunity to compete at the Arnold Classic, Bikini international. It has been a dream ever since I started competing in Bikini fitness and I am so honored.
Whatâ€™s the best advice anyone has given you so far in life?
My coach taught me not to take myself too seriously and that has helped me in my competitions and life in general.
Whatâ€™s your favorite social media outlet?
Thanks for your time Margret and we look forward to seeing you compete at the Bikini International this weekend. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit arnoldsportsfestival.com and be sure to follow us on twitter.com/hardbodynews for updates through out the week.
Behind the scenes video from Marget’s photoshoot.
Photos provided by Margret Gnarr. Photographers Sasha Paleeva & Lalli Sig.