Stettler women bodybuilders say sport ‘can be for anyone’

Female bodybuilding might not be a well-known sport in Stettler, but four Stettler women just made strides to change that

Stettler women Robin Schwartz (left)

Stettler women Robin Schwartz (left)

Female bodybuilding might not be a well-known sport in Stettler, but four Stettler women just made strides to change that with respectable placings in the Southern Alberta Bodybuilding Championships.

The women performed on stage last month at the Red Deer College performing arts centre.

Robin Schwartz trains the Stettler women, and she’s also a competitor. The Red Deer event was her second time in the regional competition. For Katie Bainbridge, Christie Greiner and Morgan Laurin, it was their first time in the bodybuilding event.

“Bodybuilding training, whether it is for health reasons, improved athletic performance, weight loss or a competition such as this, can be for anyone,” Schwartz said.

“It makes you follow through with a commitment, pushes you outside your comfort levels, and makes you realize that you can do things you never thought possible.”

The Red Deer competition was composed of several different categories of male and female bodybuilding, with each category subdivided into tiers based on weight and height.

Schwartz and Greiner competed in the figure Tier 1 short division, with ninth- and 10th-place finishes, respectively. Laurin placed eighth in the figure Tier 1 medium division, while Bainbridge had a 10th-place finish in the bikini medium division.

Figure competitions require three individual poses and a round of quarter turns, as judges look for athletic appearance, muscular development without looking masculine, overall symmetry and posing skill.

The bikini competition also requires poses, but with more personal flair.

Judges are looking for grace, leanness, suit appearance and feminine symmetry.

The local women began their training and pose practising in January, with a regimented routine and followed nutritional guidelines.

“It required a lot of dedication and hard work,” Schwartz said. “I am very proud of the girls.”

Schwartz and Laurin, along with two other local athletes, plan to compete in the Muscle Beach competition in October at Edmonton.

Earlier this month, Schwartz opened her own training facility in Stettler, known as Thrive 360.