Congratulations on your recent competition and placements, Sharon. What competitions did you competed in and how did you place?
I started in 2011 and have successfully placed in 6 competitions with the Australian Natural Bodybuilding Association.
This year I completed in:
ANB Newcastle State Titles Australia 2014
- 1st Place – Women’s Short Figure
- 2nd Place – Women’s Masters Figure over 35yrs
ANB AUSTRALIAN Titles 2014
- th Place – Women’s Short Figure
- 5th Place – Women’s Master Figure over 35yrs
That’s quite an accomplishment taking such a leap and placing so well. Well done! What was your competition experience like?
This year I turned 40 and my ultimate goal was to compete at a National Level for the first time. This experience was a lot more pressure as the best in Australia enters this event. I needed to make sure I was at a National Level and bring to the judges the best version of me I could.
I think that’s excellent and it shows a lot of confidence, and the icing on the cake was taking First Place! Have you always been athletic? Did you play sports growing up?
Yes I have been quite athletic, loved playing sports – Athletics, swimming in school years. Touch football and entered the weight room at the age of 16yrs.
You’re quite the active one. So, what got you involved in competing in Figure Competitions?
The idea was put in my head when I was 19 years old. But I did not have the confidence to get on stage. It wasn’t until I was 37 years old and after 3 children that I thought I need to do something for me. I wanted a hobby and since a trained every day why not show off my hard work.
So a lack of confidence kept you from accomplishing your goal nearly 20 years ago, but then you finally attempted it and you took it by storm. 🙂 I want to drive focus to this point because SO many women lack the confidence to compete. You will NEVER know what you can accomplish until you try. Hear that ladies?? Now Sharon, are you comfortable with competing or did you have to build up the courage?
I am comfortable in my own skin. On stage as soon as those heels go on I am a completely different person. But I have learnt to be strong, at times it felt like I had been to hell and back but I worked on my weaknesses. I accept that I am beautiful, I am happy with my own body inside and out. But one thing that took a long time for me to realize was to be worthy of myself, and I feel now feel adequate and very successful with my accomplishments in life.
You have a great mindset and are very organized in your thoughts. How long have you been into fitness and working out?
Wow 25 years. I started the gym in high school for sport. When I left school I signed up to my local gym. I kept my exercise routine while being pregnant (3 times) and living healthy is not just about weight-loss, I found that it is about moving your body and feeding it good things for healthy and longevity. Age has become no barrier for me as my entire life has been around health, beauty & fitness. Being a positive woman and firm believer of lifetime fitness I desire a long-term fitness regime to improve the quality of my life knowing how good the health benefits are that comes along with this lifetime guarantee.
Well, I guess you summed that right up! I think you have a good grip on life and what you want to accomplish. What is your competition weight and off-season weight, and how tall are you?
I’m 59kg (130 pounds) on stage and 63kg (140 pounds) off stage, and I’m 163cm (5’4″) tall.
You hold a GREAT off-season and contest-ready weight. You’re packing a lot of muscle on that frame. How long did it take you to prep for your figure competition?
I took 25 weeks of prep time.
You went with the gradual route. My max prep was 16 weeks, making the first two weeks as a lead-in. What motivates you to keep in shape?
Honestly, its cellulite and a fat stomach. It is not attractive and not healthy. I like to be fit and healthy and look good.
If that isn’t motivation, I don’t know what is. LOL How do you stick to your goals?
A well-designed plan in exercise and nutrition
You hit the nail on the head there. What is your nutrition like off-season?
Off-season is about 80% clean eating.
Excellent. What is your figure competition diet like?
My comp diet is the 3 D’s. Dedication, Determination and Discipline. Purely because it’s a well-balanced plan which I must consume 6 meals a day of protein, fats and carbohydrates. The meals are amazing and extremely tasty. I feel the best in comp mode.
Meal one- eggs & sweet potato
Meal two- fish & brown rice
Meal three- chicken, peanut butter & green veg
Meal four – chicken & green veg
Meal five- fish, avocado & green veg
Meal six- eggs
That’s a good structured meal plan for prep. What is a basic cheat meal for you?
Yum Cha. My whole family makes a date and travel to eat this Chinese cuisine for morning tea.
You make a cheat meal a family event. How cool. Are there any sacrifices? If so, how do you overcome them?
As a beginner 4 years ago I would say yes and many. As it was hard socializing, eating certain foods that are not on the list, and going away on holidays with friends. But now that I have done like 8 competitions in total the sacrifices that were once are now none. I have become stronger mentally and I don’t sacrifice anything because I really enjoy the whole process. I plan the competitions around my calendar and once I cross that line there is only one thing on my mind.
What do you find to be the hardest part about getting into contest shape and how do you overcome it?
The hardest part of any competition is the discipline. My will power is strong and I am motivated but it never really gets tested until you’re well into comp prep and when I struggle that’s when my family is best. The support I get from them is 100%
That’s great because many competitors don’t have that family support. What is your training split like off-season?
Train 5 days a week
Monday – Chest & shoulders
Tuesday – Legs
Wednesday – Back & abs
Friday- Arms & abs
What is your training life when you are prepping for a contest?
I workout 7 days a week. 5 days are weight training, 7 days are cardio; 3 high intensities a week. Train like an animal, eat like a queen and sleep like a baby.
You sure keep it in high-gear for contest prep. What do you do for cardio?
I get extremely bored walking, running on treadmills. So I like to freestyle my cardio workouts and make them creative with Plyometrics training– such as stairs, skipping, boxing, functional body weight exercises that use 2 or more muscle groups (burpees, mountain climbers, push ups etc)
How funny… I prefer the boring cardio equipment. LOL Do you have any future competition plans?
Yes 2015 International level
Keep moving forward… Do you use supplements? If so, what are your favorite supplements?
BCAA’s, glutamine, fish oils and protein powders.
Nice supplement line-up. Does your family support your fitness endeavors?
Yes 100%. My husband has competed before and is my Personal Trainer. He has supported me in all 8 competitions.
Good Husband! What hobbies do you have outside of fitness?
Apart from being a mother of 3 beautiful energetic children, I love traveling & catching up with friends.
Sounds like your kids keep you running. What advice would you give someone who wanted to get in such outstanding shape as you are in?
The most important thing in life is your health. Without it you have nothing. Making change is a must, not a should. Prioritize more and start reciting “ It’s all about me”
How has competing in figure changed your life?
I have realized that there is no going off the clean eating plan. I love my body transformation, more importantly what this process can do to your body over a period of time and my life. My biggest lesson in all is that the best diet is NO diet at all. Eat real food, in quantities that fill you and fuel your body, that’s what promotes health, and this is sustainable for a lifetime. I encourage to start with what you have, do want you can, get better every day at any age.
Well said. Do you have any long-term goals in the fitness industry?
Yes I currently own a gym and am in the process of creating my own website to inspire women who want change.
Congrats and good luck! If you could give one piece of advice to a first time figure competitor, what would it be?
To enjoy the journey, don’t let it take over your life. You are only an amateur not a professional. It is a hobby – but an extremely rewarding hobby with amazing benefits for your health, body and soul.