Meet IFBB Bikini Competitor Silje Katrine Dahlby. This former elite gymnast has taken the leap into fitness. Find out this beautiful young Norwegian’s secret to her incredible abdominal and muscular development.
- Hometown: Raade, Norway
- Current Location: Oslo, Norway
- Height: 5’5”
- Contest Weight: 115 – 119 lbs
- Off Season: 132 – 137 lbs
- Age: 23
- Favorite Style of Cardio: Morning Cardio (Powerwalking)
- Favorite Color Lipstick: Pink
For those unfamiliar with you, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got involved in the fitness industry?
I was a gymnast from the time I was 11 until I turned 21. When I was 14 years old, I qualified for the Norwegian National Team. I became an elite gymnast for the Norwegian National Team, and I competed for Norway in many international competitions. I also had the opportunity to participate in several World Cups. And in 2011, I was the Norwegian Champion on Beam, and in 2012, I was the Norwegian Champion on the Uneven Bars.
During that time, I trained 20-30 hours a week for 7 years and became very used to spending many hours in the gym. So, I was very disciplined with my training and diet, long before I got into the fitness industry.
In January 2013, I quit gymnastics due to multiple injuries I had been battling. I felt like I had lost my motivation to do gymnastics and felt it was time to move on, but I couldn’t stay away from training. I started lifting weights at a local gym and fell in love with it!
Are you currently sponsored? If so, how did you get connected with them, if not who would you like to be sponsored by and why?
I have teamed up with BODYPOWER, a company from Sweden, which I am very happy about.
How did you and IFBB Men’s Physique competitor, Helsho Bolbasi meet?
I met IFBB Men’s Physique competitor Helsho Bolbasi when I first started lifting at the local gym. We trained together for some time and felt we made a pretty good team. I’ve learned a lot from him; he is very knowledgeable when it comes to training and diet.
How does your training and diet evolve as you get closer to a competition?
As I get closer to competition my training and diet changes a lot from how it looks in the off-season. I speed up the intensity during my training sessions and cut down on the amount of time I spend in the gym, so I won’t lose too much muscle mass. I also lift lighter weights and do higher repetitions. I also do a lot more cardio than normal.
I try to be as efficient as possible; I go in the gym, do my job and go home.
When it comes to my diet, the closer I get to the competition, the cleaner my food. I eat smaller meals, but I increase the frequency of the meals; this helps keep my metabolism up. At the beginning of the diet, I eat a lot of chicken, rice, egg whites and vegetables. During the last several weeks of my prep, chicken gets replaced with cod and most of the carbohydrates go away and get replaced with a higher amount of protein and more vegetables.
Do you still incorporate gymnastics into your training/workouts?
Now and then I still do some type of gymnastics-related exercises for some muscles groups. I like to do handstands for my shoulders, but mostly I use my gymnastics background to incorporate stretching exercises every week into my training program.
What is your secret to your incredible upper and lower abdominal development?
When it comes to muscle development in general, I feel my gymnastics back ground has really helped me a lot. My results are a product of many years of hard work and dedication. I train really hard every day, but I would say that my abdominal development is a by-product of my training and my diet. I eat clean all year round and count my macronutrients even in the off season.
I would say that my upper and lower abdominal development is a by-product of both my hard training and all the work I do in the kitchen!
What is your favorite back exercise and why?
My favorite exercise would have to be pull-ups/chin-ups. The lat pulldown is also another one of my favorites when it comes to back exercises.
I love pushing myself to fatigue on these particular exercises because I can really feel the burn while I’m doing them.
What does your current training look like?
Silje’s Training Split
I normally start all my leg sessions with dynamic stretching exercises to activate my muscles and to prepare for heavy lifts.
Friday: Legs/Glutes/ Rehab/Stretching
Sunday: Repeat (Starting with Monday)
I incorporate some cardio sessions throughout the week, either morning cardio outdoors or walking uphill on the treadmill after my lifting sessions. In the off season, I only do this when I have extra time and energy.
Silje’s Typical Ab Routine
- TRX Suspended Knee Crunches 2-3 x 20
- Lying Leg Raises 2-3 x 20
- Russian Twists 2-3 x 40
I do two or three rounds as a circuit.
Do you have a favorite pair of shoes to train in and a separate pair for squatting?
Nike is my favorite type of training shoes, and I rarely use any other brands. I actually don’t squat that much because of a knee injury, but when I deadlift, I usually do that in just my socks.
Do you have a favorite line of clothing to wear to the gym and why?
I would say I have a weak spot for Nike. I love Nike’s tops and tights; they’re pretty much the only brand I wear because I love how well their clothes fit my body. I also love the type of fabric they use for their workout clothes.
What’s the one food you couldn’t live without? And do you incorporate a weekly cheat meal into your meal plan?
My favorite meal of the day is by far my breakfast, oatmeal with protein powder and almonds. That would be the one meal I couldn’t live without. While dieting that is one of the things I miss the most! I also have a weak spot for fresh-baked bread!
I incorporate a cheat meal every week into my meal plan. Usually, I’ll save it for Saturday after 6 pm, and I’ll allow myself to get a nice meal with some treats.
Silje’s Typical Diet
- Meal 1: ¾ Cup Oats, 1 Scoop Protein and 1 Handful Almonds
- Meal 2: 5 Ounces Chicken, 1/8 Cup Rice and 4 Ounces Vegetables
- Meal 3: 3 ½ Ounces Chicken, ½ Avocado and 4 Ounces Vegetables
- Meal 4: Pre Workout 5 Ounces Chicken, 1/8 Cup Rice and 4 Ounces Vegetables
- Meal 5: 1 Scoop Protein and 2 Rice Cakes
- Meal 6: 5-7 Ounces Chicken, Salmon or Beef and 8 Ounces Vegetables
My portion sizes vary; if I get hungry between meals, I will have a piece of fruit, some nuts, or a fat free yogurt.
What supplements could we find in your kitchen?
Where do you see yourself this time next year?
I hope to be competing again, maybe at an international competition. I won’t lie, my ultimate goal is to get my Pro Card one day!
Do you have any special beauty tips you’d like to share?
My best beauty tip would be, learn to love who you are. Learn to appreciate and embrace your body. When you love yourself; it will shine through and you will look confident and healthy, and that’s the most beautiful thing to see!
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the fitness industry?
Outside of training and focusing on fitness, I like spending time with my friends, family and my boyfriend. I also like to have some time for myself, just to read a good book, relax, watch a television series or go to a movie. I also like walking outdoors and listening to music. I don’t need to be busy all of the time.
To be honest, I enjoy my own company because I believe that enjoying your own company is the first step to happiness.
A very special thank you goes out to Shepol Lopehs, who made this interview possible.
Did you love this interview? Leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Thanks!