Peninsula women compete in amateur bodybuilding championships
Amanda Holloway and Danielle Isaacs agree bodybuilding is a surefire way to defeat shyness.
A year of hard work and training has paid off for the two Burin Peninsula women.
They recently competed at the Newfoundland and Labrador Amateur Bodybuilding Association’s (NLABBA) championships in St. John’s on Nov. 14.
Holloway, who grew up in South East Bight and now lives in Marystown, placed fourth in the figure short category. Isaacs was fifth in the bikini medium tall division.
Stepping up on stage and well outside of her comfort zone was not something she — or those who know her — would expect her to do, Holloway said.
“Not only was this a big physical challenge, mentally it was a big challenge to sort of overcome those self doubts and to overcome that lack of confidence and be able to walk up on stage and just be proud of all the hard work you put in and proud of the package that you put together over the last year,” she said.
“Walking around in a bikini in front of that many people, you’ll definitely get over being shy,” said Isaacs, who lives in Burin.
Both women are new to the world of amateur competitive bodybuilding and participated in the provincial competition for the first time this year.
Holloway, who said she had no expectations beforehand and placing where she did was icing on the cake, was pleased with the outcome.
“I went in with the goal to just do the show, to be a sponge and learn everything I could from the other competitors, and to just be able to say that I did it,” she said.
Holloway started her health and wellness journey about five years ago. It has completely changed her life, she said, noting she once weighed 200 lbs.
“I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder so doctors recommended exercise and nutrition as a way to sort of combat that,” she said.
“Once I started getting fit, I realized that competing was something that I would love to do, so last year I started training for the show and then did a 16week prep ( leading up to the championships),” Holloway, now a personal trainer, said.
Isaacs, a student and parttime employee at Sobeys in Marystown, decided she wanted to compete in the event about this time last year.
“I didn’t really plan on doing anything when I started lifting weights, but it just sort of panned out that I ended up doing it,” she said.
Isaacs said a desire to be healthier inspired her start in the sport.
“I started training in early June, first to build a bit more muscle and then I started cutting down in like August,” she said.
“It was definitely a new experience for me and something I really enjoyed, and I really want to do it again.”
The sport of bodybuilding requires every inch of your physique to be critiqued, Holloway said.
“To walk into this competition … and to be surrounded by such supportive and encourag- ing individuals, that was probably the most amazing aspect — the backstage piece, getting to form those relationships and hearing all the transformation stories from all the people who were competing,” she said.
“That was definitely my favourite part of the show.”
Isaacs, who was the youngest competitor in her category, also enjoyed the social aspect.
“I liked everything. Everybody was so friendly, and the sport itself is (about) being better than you were before — it just makes you physically and mentally stronger, and knowing you can push yourself to do that kind of thing,” she said.
“It’s really interesting to watch your body change through that short amount of time.”