Liv achieves ultimate goal
Whether she is walking down the street, picking up the groceries or dropping her daughter Cruiz at day care, Liv Miller is used to turning heads.
While the ‘funny looks’ used to bother her, she has accepted she is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’.
“It has taken me a while to understand that I am different and that what I do is unusual, particularly for a woman,” she said.
“I know that I look different and I think that’s why I like it.
“I don’t actually want to look like this for ever, but for now, I’ve found something I’m good at and I want to push myself to see what I can achieve.”
Miller, who grew up on her family’s farm at Laharum and now lives in Darwin, took up bodybuilding about eight years ago.
During the past fortnight, she has reached the pinnacle of her career to date – coming third in Australia’s premier bodybuilding competition and winning professional status in an event in New Zealand.
Miller collected bronze against a stellar field in the women’s physique division at the Arnold Classic Australia in Melbourne on March 16.
A few days later she flew across the ditch to compete in the New Zealand Pro Am, winning her event to secure an IFBB – International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness – Pro Card.
“New Zealand was awesome,” Miller said.
“It is any bodybuilder’s dream to win a pro card. I have achieved my ultimate bodybuilding goal – I am no longer classified as an amateur and I can compete worldwide on the pro circuit.”
Miller said the New Zealand Pro Am had a two-show format.
“We had pre-judging at 9am and then the finals started at 5pm,” she said.
“I didn’t get onto the stage until nearly midnight, which is a long time to stay dehydrated and in peak condition.”
She said her performances at the ‘Arnolds’ and the classic circuit’s qualifying events stood her in good stead for the international competition.
“The Arnolds have been on my radar since I began bodybuilding eight years ago. It is the pinnacle of bodybuilding in Australia,” Miller said.
“I felt like I was jumping in the deep end a bit. I started prepping in October, when Cruiz was about 10 months old.
“I decided after having her it was time to get back into it.”
Miller competed in two of four qualifying events, in the same weekend, winning in Perth and coming second in Melbourne.
“In the lead-up to the final I had scouted out my competition and thought I could make top four,” she said.
“My main goal was to look like I belonged there. I figured it didn’t matter if I came last, as long as I looked like I was competition. I wanted to make sure I gave them a run for their money. To finish third was unbelievable.
“Fifteen months on from having a baby, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve achieved. Cruiz also loved it – she’s fascinated by the sparkly bikinis.”
There is no doubt Miller is dedicated to her sport.
She hits the treadmill in her lounge room each morning at 4am and does daily cardio and weight training sessions.
Along with running around after an active toddler, Miller is also planning her wedding to fiancé Greg Thomas in May and runs her own personal training business. “Life is definitely busy,” she said. “It’s hard because Greg does fly in, fly out work and is only home for six days out of 35. Plus, being up in Darwin I don’t have my mum, or sister or aunties around the corner to help out.
“That probably makes my prep a little different to other people’s.”
Miller said despite trying to fit so much into 24 hours a day, the mental side of bodybuilding was infinitely harder than the physical aspect.
“Bodybuilding is such an individual sport – it’s all on you,” she said.
“Nobody knows if you sneak a Mars Bar at a servo or if you have a sausage roll for lunch when you’re home alone. But you do. And your body does.
“Your body is the best food diary you’ve got.”
Miller said months of physical training, supplements, food restriction and sacrifice came down to five minutes on a stage.
“The judges don’t care if you have the nicest personality in the world, they are purely judging you on your body at that specific moment in time,” she said.
“And the thing is, you don’t look the same every day. One day I look good and then the next day I’m salt loading and I’ve drunk 10 litres of water and look all fluidy, with the aim of looking dry, tight and conditioned the following day. It’s all about strict timing.
“It’s not like footy or netball where if you have a bad game you can pick yourself up again the next week. Or you’re part of a team and someone will cover you.
“If you don’t present at your best you can’t just come back the next week and try again. You have another six months of preparation before you can have another go.”
Miller plans to relax her diet and training slightly in the lead-up to her wedding, but come the end of May it’s all systems go for her European debut.
She has set her sights on events in Alicante, Spain in October and Milan, Italy in November.
“It is going to take a while to establish myself on the pro circuit – it’s the best of the best,” she said.
“I don’t expect to place in my first year. My aim is to get enough points to qualify for the Olympia in Las Vegas, the best bodybuilding competition in the world.
“I’ve been five times as a spectator – my aim is to be up there on the stage.”
Miller said the key to any sporting or fitness pursuit was to find something you enjoyed.
“You’ve got to really want she said.
“Any time I go to hit the snooze button or cheat on my diet I think, ‘would the girl I will be standing next to have hit snooze? Or cheated on her diet?’.
“No? Then. I’m not going either.” it,” to
DREAMING BIG: Bodybuilder Liv Miller celebrates her bronze medal at the Arnold Classic Australia in Melbourne.