Muscle Sport Magazine

NPC Bikini Competitor Sachie Sonkin

Complied by Tim Tibbs, Mix It Up Sports, LLC – Growing up in the mountains of Kyoto, Japan, I spent every day during the winter skiing with my cousins, upwards of 10 hours per day. My nickname was ‘BumbleBee’ because my butt was so big and round from all the stress my glutes got doing downhill all day. Years later, I still appreciate the excellent base I built learning how to ‘fire’ those muscles, since everyone knows how important that particular body part is when it comes to bikini. 


From an early age I’ve loved fashion and and would carry around in a shoulder bag all these huge and heavy sketchbooks filled with my designs. Unfortunately, over the years all that carrying (and only on my left shoulder to make matters worse) led to some truly horrible neck, shoulder and back problems.
By the time I got my Ph.D. in Art Fashion Design Marketing, the trouble had gotten so bad that there were weeks when I couldn’t even get out of bed; the pain in the body was that bad. I couldn’t lie down; I couldn’t even sleep. I just sat in a recliner chair throughout those days crying. Of course I went to the best doctors I could find in Japan, but they all told me the same thing: “We can’t help you, you’ll just have to live with it, and take a lot of painkillers.” I slowly lost hope.

One day a friend of mine introduced me to the coach of the Japan Olympic Bench Pressing Team, who explained that perhaps building more muscle on my upper body could alleviate my misery, so I began training with weights, and then Pilates. To my amazement my pain started going away. Soon I was learning Progressive Calisthenics, RKC, and within a few months all my body pain disappeared! I was so happy to have a life of mobility back again. I became a total zealot for the benefits of good training and diet, encouraging people to take control of their lives through better health. That’s one of the reasons I admire Tim Tibbs and his work with Mix It Up Sports and MuscleSport Magazine: getting the word out to people, inspiring them to make themselves better, make themselves great. 

Getting my health back totally changed my outlook on life and led me to look for more challenges. One day in the snack bar of my gym I saw Jennifer Nicole Lee on the cover of a training magazine – feature article on her contest prep – and I thought “Wow! She’s gorgeous – I want to look like that!” So I started training for bikini contests and finally moved from Japan to Los Angeles, California where I could compete in the NPC, winning more than 20 trophies in six months, including seven first place and two overall championships. During that entire time, I have stayed injury free and the debilitating pain I used to have has never returned.

These days I continue to improve my total package, coach fellow bikini competitors, do fashion and fitness modelling, design fashion lines, work on my new training/diet/fashion blog, and enjoy living in LA. This sport has changed my life in so many wonderful and positive ways that I’m always looking to share its benefits with others.

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