Powerlifting Champion Responds To Body Shaming Trolls Who Criticise Her Big Muscles

by : Lucy Connolly on : 14 Jul 2020 12:48
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A powerlifting champion who has been dubbed Russia’s ‘Muscle Barbie’ has responded to body shaming trolls who have criticised her big muscles, saying she ‘doesn’t care’ what they think.

Julia Vins, from Saratov, Russia, first started going to the gym at the age of 15 and has now revealed how she went from a self-conscious student to a national powerlifting champion.


The 24-year-old first started exercising to become more confident in herself, and soon fell in love with it so much she gave up her ambition of attending law school to instead pursue a powerlifting career.

You can watch part of her workout routine below:


Julia, who was born in Kazakhstan but raised in Russia, had a difficult childhood; when she was young, her father turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism for struggling to find work to support his family.


His addiction took a toll on her family and Julia’s parents divorced when she was 12 years old, something which took a toll on her mental and physical health. However, she made the decision to focus on her education to get through the tough times.

Soon enough she discovered how much she loved exercising, and would spend an hour travelling on a bus to get to and from the gym. Once there, she’d be the only girl there but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her passion.

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Julia explained:


I was 15 years old when I went to the gym. In those days I was in school and had quite a lot of free time.

I wanted my life to be different so I decided to play sports to improve my health, become more confident and get fit.

Fitness wasn’t popular here, I had to spend an hour on the bus to get to the gym, and I was only one girl there.

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Through powerlifting, Julia managed to find the strength and determination to pull through her parents’ divorce, achieving several awards in junior powerlifting meets across Russia.

She is now a two-time world champion at the World Powerlifting Congress and has broken several records in the competition; weighing 65kg, Julia’s personal records include a 275kg squat, a 175kg bench press and a 205kg deadlift.


In order to maintain her physique, Julia trains four to five times a week and eats a strict diet consisting of fish, eggs, vegetables, beans, oats rice and buckwheat pasta as her staple foods.

powerlifting champion responds to body shamersJam Press

Because of her appearance, Julia is no stranger to comments from trolls who criticise her muscly physique. And while the powerlifter said the criticism used to get to her, she said she now chooses to focus on the positives and doesn’t listen to the stereotypes based on her gender.

‘I try not to remember bad things,’ she said. ‘Usually people tell me my body is “too much”. But maybe if I didn’t do powerlifting, I would also think like that, so I don’t care.’


She continued:

I got a lot of terrible comments when I was just starting as a teenager and it really hurt me so much. Some people from my country tell me that a woman should only cook, raise children, carry out cleaning, and this is her mission.

Therefore, they advise me not to waste time on sports. These are stereotypes and I can do nothing with it. They can’t understand that a woman can do what she wants.

powerlifting champion responds to body shamersJam Press

Speaking to those women who want to build muscles or who are too afraid to go to the gym alone, Julia has these words of advice: ‘Don’t listen to what other people say, follow your passion. Also take care of your health, you should feel good.’

She continued:

Don’t be afraid of big weights, it’s more difficult for women to build muscle, therefore only big weights will give big muscles. Of course, this shouldn’t be 200kg squat in your first year but it just should feel somewhat difficult.

When I was 15, I was afraid to go to the gym. I thought I was doing everything wrong and that everyone would look at me. But believe me, all the people in the gym care only about themselves. No one will make fun of you.

Muscle building is a pretty slow process; you won’t get big muscles right away. If you just want to get fit, use weights that you can lift for 10-15 reps.

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What an inspiration. If you want to follow Julia’s journey you can follow her on Instagram.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Life, body shaming, Now, Sport, trolls


Julia Vins/Instagram
  1. Julia Vins/Instagram