My Bodybuilding Journey So Far

My Bodybuilding journey first started when I started dating a bodybuilder. I always wanted a competition body but never had the courage to go out and do it. My biggest excuse was not having enough money, but when I started dating this guy, almost every time we talked he brought up the idea of me doing a show. So much so, that I found the courage to commit myself to a show and I started going hard on my 3 month cut. At first, I was mostly prepping on my own and getting a lot of my advice from him. In my first month of dieting and exercising on my own I lost 10lbs! I was so proud of myself!


The top photos are of me at 15 weeks out, and the bottom photos are of me 6 weeks out from my first show.


However, I also realized that I needed more help than I was getting. I found myself feeling like this guy I was seeing wasn’t able to give me the help and support that I needed, and it made us dating each other very difficult. That’s when I asked my friend Samantha about her coach. I couldn’t help but notice her amazing results, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get myself ready to hit the stage and win without more help. So I asked her if I could meet her coach and get some practice with posing. It just so happened that her coaches had arranged a group posing practice at Goodlife Fitness really close to when I was speaking with her. So, I met up with the group for posing and that’s when I asked Joshua Leo if there was room on his team for me to do my show on November 8th 2014. He said yes! After that, I stopped talking to the bodybuilder guy that got me into the sport, and just completely focused on my own success. I had a consultation with Joish at Torque Barbell Club and we started training right after Labor Day Weekend.


On the left was when I had my first consultation with Josh at the end of August, and on the right was the day before my first show on November 7th 2014

My first session with Josh was legs and I was blown away! It was so hot in the gym that the Olympic bar in the squat rack kept sliding down my back every time I did squats! The workout was tough, but I loved every minute of it and I knew that I picked the right coach. Never had I felt so special! I could tell that Josh genuinely cared about my goals and my success. This helped me realized the importance of personal training/coaching and what I must be doing for people when I train them. But Josh taught me what it meant to be an excellent trainer. I say this because he would text me while he was on vacation in Vegas before we even had our first session to check up on me to see how I was doing. Ever since we first started working together Josh has always genuinely cared about me and my goals, and I think it’s safe to say that I’ve developed a strong friendship with Josh. Heck! There were many times that I would see my coach more often than a boyfriend I tried dating in my offseason! Josh would always answer my texts and questions. He would even check in on me on a regular basis just to see how I was doing with my diet and training 🙂 plus he’s not afraid to let us know when we’re doing a good job which always helps to give me a little extra motivation. How could you not fall in love with Bodybuilding when you have such great coaching?!?! Even before I stepped on stage for the first time, I was already thinking about my next show!


Me and coach backstage at my first show 🙂

After 3 months of cutting for my first show I did not make the top 5. There were 20 girls in my category and some stiff competition! I placed 8th at my first show. At first I was so disappointed because I was so determined to win. I stepped off the stage after pre-judging and cried lol Josh was so supportive, and no matter what my placing was he was proud of me and that meant a lot! So then I went home,  had some steak, sweet potato fries, watched Grease and had a pep talk from my sister Maryanne. She made me realize that all my friends and family don’t know how I placed and they’re all excited to see me on stage. She made me realize that I worked so hard for this day that I should enjoy it with the people that love me the most, because at the end of the day, they don’t care about whether or not I win, they’re just proud that I made it on stage in the first place! My supporters love me no matter what! And they witnessed all the hard work I put in and all they wanted to do was to come and celebrate this accomplishment with me. I realized she was right and I had the best time at the evening show! I may not have gotten first place at my first show but I definitely won Ms. Congeniality! LOL I had the LOUDEST cheering section, and I have honestly never felt so loved! My friends and family are so supportive and encouraging! They definitely help me get through the struggles of show prep! They may not always understand what I’m going through but I know they will always have my back!


Some of my friends and I hitting our favorite poses of the day! ❤

After this show, my coach advised me to take a year off to grow and do figure for my next show. He said I had a natural frame for figure (wide shoulders and a small waist) and that I just need to add some size to it, because I’m sure you can all see that I was quite small at my first show. I heard this advice and decided that I was going to shoot for figure, but I didn’t want to wait an entire year… I wanted my next show to be the Oktoberfest Natural Class in 2015. I never told my coach this because I was afraid he might tell me that I wasn’t ready, or that I should wait etc I did however, tell all my friends, family, co-workers, my boyfriend at the time, and my clients that this was my goal!

I did a transition diet in November and then I started bulking in December. I didn’t realize how hard bulking was going to be! It killed my self esteem! Finding a dress for New Years was so hard! I felt so fat!! Never have I felt like this in such a long time. I turned into that whiny girl that everyone hates, constantly asking people if she’s fat… I hated that feeling! It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t fat, that my body was changing for the better, and that I was developing a bigger and better version of myself ! I would literally practice my figure poses everyday to see how much I grew, and to see if the shape was starting to come in. Eventually, I started to believe that figure was a better choice for me, and that I will be ready for October because I started to really see the V-taper coming in strong! I worked so hard on growing my back, shoulders, and arms because I would train them all twice a week. I lifted heavy and ate a lot because I was so determined to grow fast enough to be ready for the Oktoberfest show! Once I started to see myself as a figure girl, I stopped whining as much about being fat, and focused on getting bigger and stronger. My growth in the gym motivated me to keep going. My love for bodybuilding and the fact that I knew this was what I had to do to be ready in time helped me to see past the fluff that was forming on my body.

It was like I was a Pheonix. I died and was born again as a new person during my first prep, and then again during my bulk phase. I look back on these photos and it’s almost difficult to recognize myself! I have not only grown so much physically over this first year of bodybuilding, but mentally, and emotionally as well. I love myself and my body so much more now than I ever have before because never have I pushed my body so much as I have this past year. I still don’t know my own limits, but I am so excited to find out! I know there’s still so much more waiting for me in this world of Bodybuilding, I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg so to speak. This experience has taught me to trust myself more, and to take myself out of my comfort zone more often if I really want to win and succeed in every aspect of my life. This is a work in progress, but I’m getting better each day!

Long story short, my coach Josh never knew Oktoberfest was my goal. However, on April 6th my coach told me that he thought I might be ready for the Oktoberfest show to do the Figure category. I was so excited!! That’s when I told him that I had always wanted to do that show! It was my goal right after my first show. I wanted to do the Oktoberfest show because it would be like a homecoming show for me. I went to Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, I’ve been to different Oktoberfest events, and it would mean so much to me to step on stage again there with a package that I am so proud of in a place that I used to call home! I worked my butt off in the off season to step on a stage that’s close to my heart! He laughed when I told him this because he had no idea that I wanted to do this show the entire time, and that I was working so hard to grow just so he would be able to tell me that I was ready to do this show. This was such a good day for me because I felt like I made it and I was so excited to start prepping for this show and see all the hard work that I put in, in the offseason!


A photo taken by my coach of my V-taper, this was the day I knew that I would be able to do the Oktoberfest show!

Finally! June Rolls around and I’m ready to start my 16 week prep. It was June 20th and this was going to be my last day of “fun food” before I start diving into my diet for my show the following day. We were celebrating one of my best friends Charlie’s birthday with a BBQ. On my way there I got into a car accident of the Gardiner Expressway… I rear ended someone and because they had an SUV, my small little Elantra Hatchback went under their car and caused significant damage to the body of my car. There was no internal damage thank God! But still… I was so stressed out! That whole Sunday I was freaking out because I was worried that this might be the end of Bodybuilding for me! I still started the diet that day but I had no idea if I would be able to afford to continue training and I had to meet Josh on Monday for our workout. I was so nervous on Monday because I was worried like this was going to be the end for me. I felt almost like I was about to break up with Josh or something lol… My mom drove me to my session with my coach that day, and long story short, I didn’t end up giving up Bodybuilding. I didn’t want to quit! I told Josh about my situation, and that I still wanted to compete. I figured I was going to be in the gym anyways, and I can’t give up the one thing that makes me the most happy right now. I would loose all sense of motivation, and identity if I did. I’m so glad that Josh has been so understanding and helpful! I cried when I was talking to him about my situation because I was so worried, especially after I worked  so hard to make it to the point where I would be able to compete in the Figure category. But I didn’t quit, and with the support of my coach I’m still pushing to hit the stage on October 10th 2015! I had to change my trainings with Josh from once a week to every other week but I’m so glad that we could make it work!


8.5 weeks out on the left and 7 weeks out on the right. This is my side pose which I’m still trying to perfect

Now, I am about 7 weeks out from my next show and I am so excited! I can’t wait to see the package that I’ll be bringing with me to the stage in October! So far I’m in love with what I see! I feel stronger, healthier, and more confident this time around! I want to place at the Oktoberfest show so badly! However, I could not be more proud of the work that I’ve put in so far! Waterloo here I come! Bigger, Better, Smarter, and Stronger! I’ll be posting more about my progress in these last few weeks of my prep! Stay tuned! 🙂

One thought on “My Bodybuilding Journey So Far

  1. Pingback: My First week of Prep, on the road to Provincials! – alex rinaldo

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