A 22-year-old Williams Lake figure competitor flexed her way to first place late last month at the BC Cup provincial fitness and bodybuilding show.
Held at the Rex in Kamloops on May 25, Nicki Trotter brought home first place in her figure class among natural athletes from across the province.
It was her first time competing at a fitness, figure, bikini, physique and bodybuilding show, and Trotter prepared a strict, rigorous 16-week training regiment to get ready.
“I’ve been working out for about six years at the gym and was always kind of interested in wanting to do some sort of fitness-related competition, and last summer I was deciding between bodybuilding and powerlifting and went with bodybuilding. It was in December of 2018 when I decided I wanted to compete at this show.”
Trotter hired a coach, Shelbi Piche of Kelowna, contacting her through Instagram, and the pair decided on a routine that saw Trotter at the gym seven days a week: cardio twice a day and weights once — a total of three to four hours a day.
“The diet was nuts. It was very much hitting a certain amount of macros that decreased slowly as it went,” she said. “The main foods were chicken, beef, green beans, broccoli and yams. Those were pretty much my staples for four months with no seasonings or sauce.”
Meanwhile, Trotter was also working on finishing her final year of an early childhood education degree at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops and working at Popeye’s part time, plus full time at a daycare in the River City.
“I’d wake up at 4:45 a.m. and go to the gym for an hour and a half, go to work, then go back for an hour or two depending on the day,” she said. “I was pulling about 55 to 60 hours a week of work, plus school and gym prep. I pretty much had no life, but it paid off.”
At the BC Cup, judges are grading competitors in the figure class — in Trotter’s case the ‘short’ category — on their physique. She competed once in the morning and once in the evening — a 15-second routine, followed by participants forming a lineup, with quarter turns, plus judging. In the evening participants performed another 15-second routine where, after, they are put off to the side and given overall placings.
“Your delts, your lats and your quads are the main things they look at muscle wise, and they want to see an hour glass shape,” she said. “You also have to be a be able to walk in your heels, come off natural, but still look feminine.”
When Trotter saw the position the judges placed her on stage, she knew she’d won her division. She also went on to place second overall in the figure class.
“I was stoked,” she said. “The crowd went wild and it felt so good. I got emotional, but it was nice to know a lot of people from here in Kamloops and my family from Williams Lake came down.
“I thought I was going to be nervous, or have the anxiousness but I was pretty calm and relaxed all day. A lot of people said I looked like a natural and it felt natural. It was really good and I enjoyed it.”
Right after the competition Trotter said she enjoyed a well-deserved donut, followed by a burger, pizza and fries.
Joining Trotter at the meet from Williams Lake was Lorissa Laity, also competing at her first show as a bikini competitor.
Laity also stuck to a gruelling 16-week schedule and said she’d love to do another one.
“Once I go through an improvement season and really build up some muscles to lean out with next time [I’m looking forward to it,” Laity said.
“I trained with a coach from Kamloops and it was an awesome experience to work with her.”
While Laity didn’t place in her class she said she was humbled by the experience and will be back even stronger.
She noted while the sport does take fitness to the extreme and isn’t for everyone, the end result was worth it.
“Those who do end up competing join in on creating an amazing and motivating community,” Laity said.
“The amount of like-minded friends I have gained throughout this experience is a win on its own.”
Trotter, too, said she’s looking forward to competing again in the future.
“During the whole prep I was miserable and said I’d never do this again, but then I did that show and came first, and now I totally want to do another one. It was such a great experience, and how can you not do something when you know you’re good at it?
“It won’t be any time soon, but in the next couple of years. I did qualify for the pro show next year, but I would want to do really well.”