Many of you who follow my log may know I recently made the decision to try my hand in the world of bodybuilding. Why in the world would an elite level powerlifter take a step back to pursue the aesthetic side of strength training? It came right at the end of a high level meet and I knew I wasn't going to compete in powerlifting again until later this year. I asked a few close friends for their opinion on doing a figure show. It didn't really seem like my thing (heels, bikini, nails, hair and tan), but when the one and only John Meadows said I could essentially step on stage in two months, I had to give it a shot. Was this something completely and entirely out of my comfort zone? It was time for a new challenge.

In just nine weeks, I cruised through a diet and felt pretty good when it was show time. I stepped on stage at the NPC Mike Francois Classic in Columbus, OH. I entered the figure division, despite many people telling me that I might be a little too hard for that. I didn't care. This was going to be a one and done deal, solely for the experience. And even John Meadows thought I would do just fine in figure. I ended up placing 6th out of 15.

The day after the show, John texted me to tell me how proud he was of me. He gently let me know that there was another show in Dayton is just three weeks. I was given the option (as if it really was an option) of doing figure again, or trying my hand at physique.  Honestly, if I'm going to do another show, I might as well try the other division where I probably belong anyway.

Three more weeks of dieting and we're going to have to push it a little more. Physique requires me to be a little harder and my legs and glutes to come in a little more. These three weeks of dieting were a lot tougher on me mentally and physically. I was ready to be done. My body was getting fatigued and my brain was getting foggy. I knew, for a fact, that this was going to be my last show. Props to those competitors who do this all the time.

On June 1st, I ditched the clear heels and walked on stage barefoot at the Julie Palmer Ultimate Showdown in Dayton, OH.  With my sister in iron doing my hair and gluing my suit down, I felt much more comfortable in this physique division. I did have to learn five new poses in a short amount of time. While my presentation wasn't as polished as the other girls, I held my own. Even when my music didn't play for my routine, I was able to fly by the seat of my pants and make it work. I placed 2nd in this new division.

At this point, I could check two things off my bucket list (figure and physique)and get back to the ultimate iron sport of powerlifting.


So, when I did my last show a couple of weeks ago, I SWORE that it would be my last. I even went so far as telling my friend, "Allyson, if I say I'm going to do another one, remind me of this moment and tell me NO." Yeah, that didn't work. When John Meadows mentioned that I qualified for Junior Nationals, I was like, eh, it's fine...I'm over it. But when they mentioned that it was in my backyard, just up the road into Chicago, I was intrigued. Should I give it a shot? I mean, it is a National show.

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John is not one to blow smoke either, and if he says I belong up there, then I'm going for it. He is the one that originally pushed me to make it happen. So this show was a bit different. Pre-judging was Friday afternoon and Finals were Saturday night. That meant trying to hold onto my look for over 24 hours. Thankfully, I've learned pretty well what my body responds to.


Jennica came up to help me with the Pre-judging and it went really well. We walked on stage individually for a 45 second "free posing"...anything we wanted, but had to hit the five mandatories. (You can see some pics of this on some of the popular bodybuilding sites).

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Then, we were called out in two groups for the mandatory poses in front of the judges. I felt like I hit mine pretty well. Then, they made first call-outs and second call-outs. Ended up in the third call out so who knows where I'll end up.

I was a little bummed, but overall, it was a tough class. There were definitely some pretty jacked girls up there and I think I held my own considering I've only done this for three months. If I would've had more time with some density training for my legs, it may have been different.

Final Show:

By the time Saturday night rolled around, all we had to do was walk out on stage for an introduction and only the top five had to perform their routines. So that was a short night. I ended up 12th out of 20, so I can't really complain. I'm also qualified for any national show next year who knows what the future will hold.And this was Saturday afternoon... again I learned what I can eat without getting bloated, still staying tight and not getting flat either.

And this was Saturday afternoon... again I learned what I can eat without getting bloated, still staying tight and not getting flat either.