TSJ talks to model and fitness competitor Shina Mitchell Dean about pumping iron, wrangling cattle, and girl crushes.
Also featured: A spread that would make the characters out of Sons of Anarchy pop a few wheelies. Or something.
The Smoking Jacket: Were you always super fit? Because you probably don’t just start to train hardcore all out of the blue, do you?
Shina Mitchell: Growing up, I was very athletic. I was a cheerleader and I also played soccer. So I was introduced to exercising as a young girl. It was very important for me to feel fit and strong. I loved being active when I was young, and I still do.
TSJ: What was it like to transition from normal working out to code red level, like?
SM: I started training more intensely when I was in college. I found my muscles started to shape nicely. I watched a Fitness America pageant on television one day and wanted to do what the beautiful fit girls were doing on stage. I grew up also competing in beauty pageants, so I figured with my experience on stage and athleticism I could do just that.
TSJ: How much do you need to exercise to maintain your ripped physique?
SM: I enjoy doing cardio first thing in the morning, and then training after work in the evening. So I train about 5 days a week.
TSJ: What’s the difference between fitness/bikini modeling and body building?
SM: Bikini is more of that toned beach body with slight muscle definition. Body building builds more extreme muscle striations and the body carries less body fat.
TSJ: What fitness or bikini models do you admire? Please tell us.
SM: I’ve always admired Mary Lado.
TSJ: What are the biggest misconceptions about fitness models?
SM: That they are all bod and no brains.
TSJ: Do you never eat carbs now that you’re a fitness model? Are you only drinking protein shakes?
SM: Hahaha, NO I TOTALLY EAT whatever I want. I never deprive myself of what I want. I just know I might have to work a bit harder the next day. I eat healthy/clean all year and give myself days where I can eat whatever I’d like, so I never get tired of eating clean.
TSJ: What else do you get up to?
SM: I love training for half marathons, hiking, canoeing, and helping my husband with the cattle on our farm.
TSJ: Tell us about the bronzed look. Can it get out of hand?
SM: I’ve never seen it get out of hand at a competition but I do have a funny story on a tan. The night before the National’s in 2009 I applied a coat of tan and woke up the next morning with a tan line across my face where in my sleep I pulled my arm up onto my pillow. See we never tan our face with tanner, only with makeup that matches the tan on our bodies. I got it cleaned off with baby wipes before the show but it was a bizarre look first thing in the morning!
Find Shina online here.
This website contains mature content; you must be at least 18 years old to enter. Please click below to verify your age. By clicking the agree button, you are confirming that you are 18 years of age or older and you agree to view content intended for a mature audience.