Femme Flex Friday hosts Lenda Murray and Alina Popa both know the feeling of winning big shows. Murray is an eight-time Ms. Olympia, and Popa is the 2018 Rising Phoenix World Champion. Their guest on this week’s episode, Ariel Khadr, is still getting used to the feeling of winning a major physique show. In March 2022, she upset former Fitness Olympia and Fitness International winner Missy Truscott to win the 2022 Fitness International title at the Arnold Classic. She expressed gratitude when asked how it felt to have won the show.
“It’s been a few weeks, but it still feels really overwhelming,” Khadr told Murray. “Not only is a dream come true, but everything that comes with being the champion is amazing.”
This was Khadr’s fifth time competing in Columbus, and she was never able to take the winner’s spot until this year. Popa asked her about her Terminator themed routine, which is considered by many to be the best performance of her career. She actually shared that this was her first time working solo without a coach, which is rarely seen in the sport nowadays.
“I had worked with coaches in the past, and I really felt like I wanted to do my own thing,” said Khadr. “I know my body the best, and I don’t care what this coach wants me to look like. I want to look like I want to look like.”
So, what did Khadr want to look like? She didn’t want to stand out because of her size. She felt her proportions and symmetry would be the key to being the last woman standing, and it paid off.
“Instead of focusing on being bigger, I wanted to focus on the shape of my body, and really emphasizing the femininity of the muscle, and not just bigger shoulders, bigger legs,” she explained. “Just an overall package that looked best on me because I’m so small. If I put on muscle, it could alter the way my body looks.”
Her sights are now set on the 2022 Fitness Olympia, where she will face off against Truscott once again as well as former Olympia winner Oksana Grishina and current champion Whitney Jones. Khadr spoke more about why she felt too much muscle may not be a good thing for the Fitness division, her overall strategy for competing, and more. Catch every episode of Femme Flex Friday over at www.wingsofstrength.net. Episodes air every Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern time. Don’t forget to follow @femmeflexfriday on Instagram.