Hard work, commitment and dedication all paid off for three lakecity fitness competitors March 14 at the Leigh Brandt Muscle Classic.
Tina Campbell, alongside twin sisters Reani Sharp and Renee Cooper, all punched their tickets to the upcoming May provincial championships in Vancouver after each finishing in the top five in their respective divisions at the event, held at New Westminster’s Massey Theatre.
Campbell, in the Masters Figure 35 and up division, claimed a first-place result out of six in the category after 17 weeks of both mental and physical preparation.
In the figure division, competitors are judged on physique and overall stage presence.
“It was a huge, huge amount of effort,” Campbell said. “I trained six days a week with one rest day. I was at the gym in the morning for about half an hour of cardio, then body training and building and lifting at night for usually about two hours, then more cardio after my workout session. After that I’d do about an hour of posing practice with my coach on Skype.”
In preparation Campbell trained with two coaches from Vancouver — a bodybuilding and nutrition coach and a mental preparation and posing coach.
“I really appreciated having that mental prep side, especially on days I was struggling,” she said. “She’d give tips and tricks to get through those things and always made sure during the journey you wouldn’t do anything that would make you resent it. It’s a very solo and independent training style.”
At the end of the day, however, Campbell couldn’t be happier with the result.
“I prepped really hard and just wanted to give everything I had,” she said. “I didn’t expect to win by any means but wanted to do well. I loved the journey, and I loved the people I met, and winning was the cherry on top of the cake.”
Renee and Reani, meanwhile, competed in the bikini open division and finished third and fifth, respectively. While Campbell’s class was judged more on physique, the bikini class is adjudicated based on overall fitness.
“It’s more of a balance between shoulders and glutes,” Reani said, who was competing in her first fitness competition. “It was awesome, and a great experience.
For Renee, who was taking part in her third competition, the result was also welcomed.
She said having her sister alongside her to train with also helped in the preparation process.
“Having Reani alongside for the process was a great experience,” she said, noting the pair trained for two to three hours a day for seven days a week over six months guided by trainer Dean Brandt of Port Moody through an online program.
And once all was said and done, all three indulged in some of the savoury cuisine they’d had to remove from their diets during the training process.
“Some wine gums, a Quest Bar, sangria, a burger, fries, tzatziki and pita bread and a Greek salad,” Campbell said.
“Wings, hamburger sliders and a belini,” said Reani, while Renee had wings, nachos, a belini and hot chocolate with whipped cream.
Now, though, it’s back to business as all three are preparing for provincials May 23 and all three are looking forward to the experience.
“The bodybuilding community can be very intimidating for many people but it’s a very friendly, supportive community of people. It’s a neat atmosphere when you go,” Campbell said.
“Everyone is supportive of where you are in your journey. It’s a positive environment to be around.”