It requires discipline and confidence. Sophie Kitching speaks to three female bodybuilders from Hull who are preparing to take to the stage
COMPETING in bodybuilding competitions sounds daunting, but these girls seem to take it in their stride.
They have not been training for that long, but have all reached upcoming national finals.
They are part of the Muscle Honeyz, run by former Mr Universe and professional bodybuilder and personal trainer, Dan Welburn.
They train at Workout Gym in Ropery Street, Hull.
Charley Alexander, 21, is originally from Hull, but lives in Leeds, where she attends university.
A former dancer, Charley was gutted when a knee injury meant she was unable to continue with dancing, something she did professionally and had hoped to pursue as a career.
But when she heard about competing in bodybuilding, she could not wait to get started and take on a new challenge.
The 21-year-old physical education student, who only started training in bodybuilding about eight weeks ago, has competed in her first two competitions in the past few weeks.
She has reached the National Amateur Bodybuilder’s Association (Nabba) Britain Finals and the PCA Grand British Finals, both in the toned figure category.
She said: “I’ve competed in two competitions in the past three weeks.
“It was a very short prep for me, but we did it.
“I really surprised myself, definitely. I didn’t think I would place.”
routine.The former dancer says her previous stage experience helps, especially as she can incorporate dance into her
“I really do enjoy being on the stage,” she said. “It’s quite good for me because, when we do our routines on stage, I kind of dance in mine, so it’s good for me to bring it back. That’s one of the reasons why I like it.”
She also finds the strict diet a breeze, despite the repetition.
For her, it includes eating meals throughout the day, such as two slices of bread and three eggs in a morning, chicken and rice after she has been to the gym, tuna and rice and then cottage cheese and almonds before bed.
As well as this, she also has a “shake”, water and oats twice a day, and drinks water and coffee.
“It is really easy for me to prep my meals and just eat those and I am a bit of a health freak anyway,” she said.
“I do actually enjoy it.
“I think because I am always eating and I have a lot of carbs in my diet, I don’t really miss food.”
Hull, is a business studies student at the University of Hull.Anastasija Zakijeva, 20, of west
She also fits training around university and work, but still manages to maintain her dedication.
She is through to the PCA Grand British Finals on Saturday, June 18, in the toned bikini category.
The 20-year-old said: “I have always been interested in sports, but I’ve never found something I like doing.
“Bodybuilding in general is a lifestyle. I’ve learnt a lot about myself in general, discipline consistency, time-management and confidence. You learn a lot about yourself.”
She said getting up on the stage was nerve-racking to begin with.
“I kind of had the feeling of what it’s going to be like on stage because I have done catwalks,” she said.
“It was nerve-racking because it was completely different.”
Anastasija also has a strict diet, made up of eggs, chicken, salmon, avocado, tuna and sweet potato.
“Sweet potato is basically the only carb I get throughout the day,” she said.
Each of the girls train at least six days a week and are allowed a “rest day” if they wish.
Personal trainer Becky May, of South Cave, works at Cottingham Parks Golf and Leisure Club.
She has got through to the PCA Grand British Finals in the bikini toned category too, although a family holiday she booked in advance means she will be unable to compete.
She said: “I annoyingly can’t do the finals because I’m on holiday. I booked it long before I decided to compete.
“So now it’s a case of eat some more food and train as hard as I can and better myself for next year so I can place higher and qualify again and next year I will be going.”
The personal trainer only started with Muscle Honeyz in October and, like the other girls, has taken to the lifestyle naturally.
She said: “I’ve always trained because I am a personal trainer myself.
“I kind of went off the rails a bit and lost my passion for training. I had a year at uni and it all just sort of went wrong. I got to the point where I was like, ‘I need a goal’, I need to do something for myself, so it is something to focus on for me.
“It was to tell myself I could compete and I could get into that shape and that I could do it.”
compete and decided to go for it.She said she had being wanting to
“I have always been relatively fit because it was my job to be fit but I wanted something to transform myself,” she said.
Check out the Muscle Honeyz Facebook page for more information.