Where and when have you been born?
I have born 9th of January 1968 in Tampere, Finland and right after midnight, which may explain why I never go sleep too early, so I like to see the moon before sleep…
Where do you live now?
I live in the same city, but for future I am ready to make a move, if necessary.
What is your profession?
I am happy to be able to share my knowledge and my experiences of this sport by doing personal training work among one other job as a security person at one nightclub and other public occasions.
What kind of activities/sports did you do before you started lifting weights?
I was 15 years of age, when I first joined to one sport club here my town and I became track field athlete( sprinter), because my teacher at school advised me to do so, when I run so fast, so I guess I need to thank her for this, because those times I found my true interest of weightlifting we did as part of the training. I like outdoor activities a lot and with my friends we did all kinds of ball games and running, riding a bicycle was my favourites. I was also at tennis course and get also advised to join to a tennis club, so who knows what would have happened??
How and when did you get involved into lifting weights?
I mentioned this earlier, so on my teen age years I get involved into weightlifting, but it took 3 years to get finally started that seriously after I stopped running.
Was it a goal for you to compete in bodybuilding competitions right from the beginning or was it something that grew in your mind as time went on and you saw the progress in your body?
I took workout seriously right from the beginning, so there was a point, when I said to my friends at gym that after two years I will compete and it really happened so, when I noticed that my weight went up quite fast and I needed to do something, when get so much extra weight and get reminded of this, too, so a bit pressure outside made me do this and timing just matched what I said about competing.
Which competition has been your first one and how did you place?
The first competition was here in Finland our National Championship at 1990 and I was second at lightweight categories and I was so happy to be able to take part to World Championship at Mexico City 1990 with our Finnish team and I was 7th at lightweight categories , so I was more than happy of this!!!
And which contest has been the biggest success for you yet?
This is difficult question, when all competitions mean a lot to me. I can say that the Silver Medal from The European Championship 2000 has a special meaning, because it gave me the opportunity to become a pro and make one dream come true , so that’s why all these pro competitions so far has been part of that dream and when it’s reality all these experiences are unique and highlights of my life!!! I have not yet won, so sure that will beat all!!!
Could you please add a history of all contests that you have entered so far?
Pohjanmaa Grand Prix 1990,1st lightweight(-52kg)
National Championship 1990,2nd lightweight
National Championship 1991,1st middleweight (-57kg)
Superwoman 1995,2nd middleweight
Qualification to WM,4th middleweight
World Championship 1990 Mexico City, 7th lightweight
European Championship 1991 Graz, Austria, 7th lightweight
World Championship 1991 Sevilla, Spain , 14th middleweight
World Championship 1994 Borlänge, Sweden, 4th middleweight
World Championship 1999 Sydney, Australia, 4th middleweight
European Championship 2000 Torremolinos, Spain 2nd middleweight
Jan Tana 2001 Virginia, USA, 3rd lightweight
Women’s Extravaganza 2001,NJ, USA, 2nd middleweight
Jan Tana 2002 Virginia, USA, 3rd lightweight
Night of The Champions 2003 , NY, USA, 3rd lightweight
Ms. Olympia 2004, Las Vegas, USA, 3rd lightweight
Ms. Olympia 2005, Las Vegas, USA 14th
Please describe a typical day in the life of Marja Lehtonen.
I usually want to start my day by doing short walk, because that’s part to my way to get daily food from the store, so keep the lines, you know, but I may do that later during the day, if I have appointments at gym in the morning. I usually do my own workout later in the evening, if not other obstacles. I use every free moment with pc, when all of my major projects are related to it, so you’ll hear and see one of those soon! I can say that all goes quite well like I have planned for the day, but sure sometimes there will be something unexpected that turns all upside down, but sometimes those may be good, too.
Please tell me something about your daily training routine.
My daily training routine includes abdominal exercise and I do that first, few sets to make me warm up and then also 5-10minutes bicycle and then I go like planned for example chest workout: bench press 5 sets 5-12 reps, close-grip bench presses 2 sets 8-12 reps, incline dumbbell presses 4 sets 5-8 reps, cable flies 2 sets , dips 2 sets as many as I have energy (no extra weight),if energy I do also triceps: 3 different exercise as super sets(rope press downs, one arm standing dumbbell extensions, lying triceps extensions).No matter what I have planned may change, if I feel not satisfied during those few warm up sets for example bench press, because I need to feel the pump right from the beginning to feel that I have enough energy , if so I will do something else for upper body workout.
How often do you train in a week?
When I am not on a diet I will do workout 4 times and also cardio twice a week.
What are the main differences when you train for a competition and in off-season?
The difference for a competition is major compared to off season, because you’ll be much more focused, when you have planned certain time for your diet and all goes by that plan and you need to be focused all the time for each workout so, that you’ll beat yourself every time at gym to be able to keep your schedule. When you have counted time for your diet there are no time for flu etc., because all is away of your workout etc. so you need to keep your plan no matter what, so off season you can be much more free on your doings and plans and allow to yourself some joys of life.
If you don’t mind would you give me some stats (best lifts and some body measurements)?
My height is 5"5, off season weight about 140 punds, biceps 17", best lifts:EZ-curl-bar 8 reps with 150 pounds, bench press 2 reps with 242 punds. When I'll get the mood I'll try to beat my strength test, which is squat 100 reps with 120 pounds...may sound easy, but after that your leg workout is done till the next time...
Which bodypart is your best in your opinion?
My best body part is my arms and my legs, so can’t say just one…sorry…
What is your favorite exercise in the gym and which one you don’t like so much?
I just love bench press, because of the great feeling and pump it gives and right next to it comes incline dumbbell presses and for sure standing dumbbell curls. there are so many…so I love chest , bicep, triceps workout and sure leg workout, so love to tease the hole body!!
Judging in Women’s Bodybuilding has always been criticised in one or the other way. But please tell me your honest thoughts about today’s judging in Women’s Bodybuilding.
You have to have the shape to be noticed like it has been so far and all that comes along that are plus for the hole picture you’ll give.
Please tell me about what else you are doing when you don’t work out (profession, hobbies, etc.)
I do have hobbies, when I am not at gym doing workout or doing personal training, so I found some years ago this long time passion of mine and started to make my own clothes, when I have always been interested in fashion designing, so as I have sculptured myself I have designed some clothes which I have used on photos you have seen. I have also made some woodwork and made few little bookcases just by using simple tools.
What are your future plans?
My future plans for this year is also to be able to create my visibility in the web and for that these two main projects are turn into and glad that one is nearly ready to go, so by that way I will be able to be closer to all of my fans all over the world and live!! And to give something new!! This is already true, so check out more at FVT video’s site and you’ll find info there. My own web site will be also updated soon with new photos and all other material, so you’ll get info of that from this site after it’s done. I want to make this year better in all ways, so I will do all my best to achieve my goals and make my ideas alive to be satisfied to all of my work.
Marja does not not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!