Dmytro Zinchenko is one of SQUATWOLF’s athletes, and we got a chance to ask him a few questions about his journey into fitness and how others can follow their dreams.
Let’s dive right into his story and what made him the man that he is today.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself? Where you grew up? Your childhood?
Hello to everyone who might read this interview. My full name is Dmytro Zinchenko, but everyone calls me Dima. I was born and raised in Ukraine. I was a very active child, and at the age of 6, I asked my parents to send me to the soccer team, so I spent all my childhood on the field. I was never a troublemaker, and I quickly learned discipline since all my energy was directed to the sport. So my parents were safe, nothing could go wrong with me when I was a child 🙂
Q. What made you pursue modeling?
Before the war began in Ukraine, I was a soccer player. After the war, my team ceased to exist, and I was 19 at that moment, having no other experience in life except playing soccer. I had to pay my bills, so my best friend brought me over to his city and introduced me to his friend who owned a restaurant at the time. I wasn’t picky, and I become a waiter there. The work was tough, but I saved $100 in the first month, which if you put in perspective was nothing compared to what I was making as a footballer.
In the same month, my friend suggested to register myself in “Lily models” agency. I went for an interview, the model scout took a few pictures of me, and in the next 2-3 weeks, they already found me my first modeling contract for in Thailand, Bangkok. Without thinking, I resigned from the restaurant, took my $100, and moved to Bangkok. This is where my journey began.
Q. What is your favorite body part to work on?
Legs!!! Probably because this is the most difficult body part to grow for me. I like challenges.
Q. We know diets are 80% of any fitness goal, can you give us a sneak peek into your diet?
Yes, for sure. I don’t have any secrets. For the last eight years, I have been living on my own, so I had no choice but to learn how to cook. I eat five meals per day, each one I prepare myself, so I can monitor what I’m consuming. I have to wake up earlier, to cook for the rest of the day and using containers carry my food with me. As you can see, it’s nothing special, just discipline. That is the key.
Q. We all have a guilty pleasure, and even though a fitness model has to take care of what they eat, what do you eat on a cheat day?
Cheesecake Factory! What happens in the Cheesecake Factory stays in the Cheesecake Factory 🙂 I allow myself everything there, they have all kind of cuisines, and their portions are huge.
Q. How has your experience as a fitness model been?
I can’t say I am a fitness model. Yes I have been into fitness for a long time, and I have studied at a sports university, but I train for myself, for life. To be strong and healthy.
Q. We all have idols and people we look up to, who was your idol as you progressed in the modeling field?
I never follow models; I am a big fan of actors. Will Smith, in my opinion, is the most charismatic man I have seen. I am also a huge fan of Robert Deniro and Al Pacino. From the young generation, I follow Chris Hemsworth, since I like his lifestyle and he even is a big fan of fitness. He just started his new fitness app.
Q. Tell us about your most unforgettable experience?
Drowning experience in Sydney, Australia.
I went with two friends to Avalon beach where we were jumping from a cliff. Only locals knew about this spot, so there was just three of us.
A great, wave washed me out of the rock and sucked me towards it and then broke across me like a sack of gravel, bouncing me along the seabed. Desperate for air, I was churned around until I no longer knew up from down. Then the current relaxed its grip, and up I went, just in time for the next big wave to break over my head and push me back under.
The surf dragged at my legs, hauling me down, and rocks hidden below the surface grazed my knees and elbows as I tried to fight my way back to the beach.
The next wave offered some relief, driving me towards the shore. My feet found solid ground at last, and I stumbled forward.
My friends, realizing something was wrong, ran into the shallows to guide me on to the beach. I still have a video where I am filming all my scratches and cuts. It was a terrible experience.
Q. You’ve traveled a lot, what is the one place you loved the most and why?
Australia is one of my favorite places because of the lifestyle and nature.
In Indonesia, Bali probably has the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen.
We went for a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey. One word to describe it, magical.
South Korea has the best coffee and great ski resorts.
I still have a huge bucket list of countries I want to visit. For example, my dream is to visit Cape Town, South Africa, and also explore the United States.
Q. What is your advice to anyone aspiring to be a fitness model?
I would instead recommend everyone to try looking healthy and natural, be disciplined in everything you do, train to become stronger not only physically but mentally as well, and of course, follow your dreams.
Q. What is the one quote or saying that you live by?
I’d rather be the head of a chicken than the tail of the bull.
Q. End this off with something motivational for your fans.
I’ve always lived my life on my own without yielding to the flows in life
You have to be keen to create your flow. You can’t expect good results if you yield to flows. Be ready to take on any challenge, head on.