Interview with a Bikini Vampire: Maxine Chaikouang
As most fans of MuscleWeek know, Senior Editor Shane Ray caught a bad case of ‘Yellow Fever’ last year and was briefly engaged to not one — but two different Asian fitness models. And while I like to think he’s learned his lesson about dating bikini girls, I’ve also learned that his newest addiction is going to outlast that case of herpes I gave him three years ago (we shared a glass of wine, I swear!) Anyways, when I told him about a hot, new Bikini competitor from Chicago named Maxine Chaikouang, his first question was ‘Chaikouang? What kind of name is that?’ It took exactly zero coaxing to get Shane to sit down for a nice Sushi dinner (on MuscleWeek’s tab) with the razor-sharp and ultra-fine Maxine.
MuscleWeek: Maxine Chaikouang. Did I say that right? Tell Muscleweek a little about yourself. You own your own personal training company?
Maxine Chaikouang: Yep, I’ve been a personal trainer for over 4 years, but started off on my own in August of 2010. I do most of my business at HiFi personal fitness.
MW: There is a lot of money to be made in Personal Training if one can build a niche and reputation including clientele. What separates a good trainer and “rep counter”?
MC: Besides education. Being able to know exactly what it is that your client wants. If you can provide for them something that someone else is unable to do, and give them the results in regards to their goals; they’ll tend to stay with you for a while. Also, having a six pack and great legs wouldn’t hurt. Just kidding. Kind of.
MW: I am known to train a random client here and there but doing it full time would make me pull the hair I don’t have out of my head. I find it redundant and frustrating. How do you stay motivated and enthusiastic every day with every client?
MC: I know trainers at this popular gym in Barrington, Illinois who can’t train a days worth of clients without being stoned or slipping alcohol in their bottle of Speed Stack. I do have tough days sometimes, but I try to look at each session as an hour with a friend. Most times, it doesn’t feel like work to me. I also take into consideration what my clients pay me for that hour, and it makes me think ” they’re paying this much money just to spend an hour with me “. If you’re a compassionate person, it holds you to a certain feeling of obligation to make it worth their time.
MW: So how did you fall into the whole bodybuilding/physique thing? Was it a natural transition from being a trainer and into the gym scene anyway?
MC: It was pretty natural, and it does not hurt that I practically live at a gym. I was actually inspired by this woman at the gym who was doing shows. I had absolutely no idea that bikini competitions existed, but when she was walking around in her sports bra and tight abs; it truly was motivating. There’s also my mindset that you should always look better than your clients; or most of the general population for that matter. Trainers don’t like to admit it, but I will attest to the fact that if I didn’t have the body that I did; it would have been harder to attract many of the clients I have today.
MW: You compete in Bikini. Why don’t you compete in Figure? What’s the major difference between the two divisions?
MC: I like the general softness that bikini competitors still retain. Plus, I prance around in booty shorts all over the gym; why not showcase my talents on a real stage and actually win something? The major difference is that figure competitors are much more developed muscularly and their goal is to be even leaner than bikini competitors. Separation between muscles are much more evident.
MW: I understand you work with Dr. Ko. What does he do different than other trainers? He seems to be building an impressive track record. Have you ever worked with anybody else?
MC: You will never meet a more benevolent, yet knowledgeable person with his type of physique. You can sense that he genuinely cares about you and your success. Not to mention his eye for minor details. With his experience, I knew I was in the right hands. I have worked with Katie Peterson, a colleague of mine at HiFI personal fitness. She actually competes in figure competitions.
MW: Would you say contestants in Ms. America, Hawaiian Tropic or Hogs & Honey pageants are athletes? Why do Bikini girls in the NPC consider themselves ATHLETES?
MC: Those girls are not athletes at all. NPC bikini girls are athletes because contrary to belief, it is a hard training regimen. The diet is tough, even though we are restricting calories respectively speaking, we are eating 6x/day and it’s all healthy stuff. No sweets, and definitely NO alcohol which most people find difficult. And most importantly…WE WORK OUT.
MW: What is the long term plan with competition? Pro Card? How will life change if you win the ever so elusive Pro Card?
MC: I most definitely am working to winning a Pro Card this year. I’m not sure what the future will hold when I win my Pro Card, but my purpose of achievement and recognition would definitely be fulfilled. My life probably wouldn’t change much, if anything I would find a new expensive hobby to fill my time.
MW: Do you feel the political card is the key to success in higher levels of competition or do you think hard work always prevail?
MC: Hard work is definitely a must, but in any industry or sport, I believe that politics absolutely plays a role in higher levels of competition. Because when you reach a certain point where there are two girls on stage who look just as equally gorgeous and perfect; how else would you discern but to make a decision that is biased by the pressure from the influential people who just so happen to hold a special interest in one of the girls?
MW: I have spoken to many Bikini competitors who are already dabbling in sorcery, alchemy and pharmacy. Do you feel like using physique enhancing drugs are necessary in serious competitions?
MC: Drugs are bad.
MW: What is the most frustrating things you see or have seen in your short time in this crazy industry?
MC: Girls who try too hard on stage and present themselves as porn actresses. Repulsive… and then going on to see those girls win or place. Just my pet peeve.
MW: Maxine, you’re an Asian girl who competes in Bikini. You’re not a typical boring “Barbie Doll”. How filled is your facebook inbox with schmoes trying to run Game on you? Besides an interview request from MuscleWeek, what kind of funny solicitations do you receive?
MC: HAHAHAHA. Shane, if only you knew. Most of them your typical “you’re sexy as fuck”, I’m actually still waiting for something original.
MW: Yellow Fever seems to be a very serious but fortunate disease that inflicts many men who cross paths with girls like you. What kind of guys do you go for? You don’t date broke-dick dog bodybuilders who lie and post ducky face phone-mirror pics on facebook all day long do you?
MC: (Cracking up) Seriously? No I don’t go for any Pauly D’s, but what I do find sexy is that all-american, clean cut, highly intelligent, and witty guy (i.e. WASP/ Tom Brady-esque) Anyone who’s unable to hold a decent conversation stands no chance.
MW: If you can change one thing about Bikini what would it be? I see the girls are getting more muscular every show. Should the criteria change? Do you really need striated abs on stage?
MC: The one change I would like to see is a lower frequency of girls who have had their boobs done. I would love to see more NATURAL girls… maybe I’m biased because my bust size or lack thereof leaves me embittered. I think the criteria is fine where it’s at, but any direction further towards muscular would deter me from competing. I don’t think you need striated abs on stage… if anything I think many guys are repulsed by striated abs on girls.
MW: Moving on. Have you shopped any potential sponsors? If you could represent any company in the bodybuilding industry which one would it be?
MC: I have yet to shop for any potential sponsors.. maybe I’ve been waiting for them to come to me? Being a novice I wouldn’t know where to start. One company whose products I’ve always been satisfied with is Optimum Nutrition, but I wouldn’t mind others who are just as reputable.
MW: If you knew you were going to be stuck on a desert island for a full year but could bring with you 3 items. Which 3 items would you bring?
MC: My baby blanket, Atlas Shrugged (it took me a damn near half a year to complete), and my favorite pair of booty shorts.
MW: Who is your bodybuilding industry Hubby? Whose glutes do you want to squeeze?
MC:Is it bad that I don’t have one?
MW: Tell us something about Maxine Chaikouang that not many people know. Tell Muscleweek a secret.
MC: I’m that girl that can bake a batch of cookies, and leave none for anyone. Quite antithetic…
MW: If you could make only one wish come true what would be that wish?
MC: That I could eat all of the cupcakes in the world and still be sexy.
MW: Maxine. What are your 2012 plans? What shows could we see you at this year?
MC: You’ll most definitely see me at Illinois State in May, and I will be ready to rock at Junior Nationals :]
MW: Is there anything you would like to plug? Your website? Your personal training business? How can potential sponsors, schmoes and clients who want to work with you contact you?
Favorite Cheat Food?
Cupcakes or Sushi
Favorite Clean Food?
Tequila on the rocks.