Missy Mckain

Missie Mckain

Cincinnati, Ohio

42 years old

I started lifting in 2000-2001

I was over weight all through the whole first half of my life. I didn’t play any sports growing up, I had no idea there was an athlete living inside me. When I graduated from high school i was 170-180lbs, at five foot two. That might not seem like a lot now. But back then and at the age of 18, I promise you things were said about it and I was not comfortable in my own skin.

Durning college I started losing weight, But all I did was walk. Friends had asked me to join a gym with them, I did but never left the treadmill. In 1999 I graduated from college, got married and started a career all in a three month period. Life hit hard and fast! I was working nights and weekends and my husband was doing…other things. My life felt kind of out of control. I didn’t know then, but I know now that food became the one thing I could control and no one could take that from me. So I ate less and less and did more and more cardio. I got smaller and pain fully smaller. I was still never satisfied with how in looked. I was over weight anymore, but i still wasn’t happy with my body! I remember watching one of the girls in the gym who was getting ready for a show and wishing I could just be half as confident as she was. One of the trainers pulled me aside one day and said “you know if you would get off that treadmill you could look like her!” I asked her if she would show me some stuff, and we never looked back….but I can tell you stepping into that weight room was terrifying to me. I didn’t think belonged there. But I did it anyway. And everyday I did it, the easier it became.

I started on your typical show prep diet, going from eating nothing more than broccoli some days to eating six meals a day. I researched everything I could get my hands on about bodybuilding. I would buy every mens muscle magazine there was and do the workouts and study form. It changed the way I looked but more importantly how I felt and what I thought. Seeing how far I could push my body and seeing what it could do was empowering. I was proud of what my will and perseverance was pushing me through. I had found my passion. I didn’t have to live being just the chubby, funny girl…I was strong and it was the best feeling in the world!

Since then lots of life ups and downs have come and gone, but the barbells never change. Its my therapy, my sanity, my happy place

I competed in my first figure competition in 2003 and won overall. I did two more shows after that, one being a national show. I loved the stage but have no further plans to compete. I do this because i love it. I live a constant show prep life, the work and willpower it takes is what makes me feel alive.

Patricia Butrim

Patty Butrim, 23, Annapolis Maryland.

I started lifting February of 2017 on a whim. I had just lost about 50 pounds, but definitely saw the gym as a punishment and a chore that I used to ward off the weight gain associated with an endocrine disease I have. I have never been athletic whatsoever, and honestly felt embarrassed and out of place in any gym setting. What I didn’t expect was to fall head over heels in love with the weight room, where I not only found an insane love of all things fitness and a badass community, but also a strength of character and fire within myself that I hadn’t previously discovered. Six months later I went into my first prep, and stepped on stage for the first (of what I hope to be many) competitions in March 2018. I can’t wait to see where this crazy lifestyle I’ve embraced takes me, and I encourage any woman interested in lifting to give it a shot. You may just surprise yourself.

Jessica Rodriguez

Hi my name is Jessica Rodriguez. I am a 30-year-old momma with a five year old princess. I used to do cardio and play with the weights a little before my daughters birth in 2013 but got into it seriously starting the 11th day postpartum. I was determined to lose the thirty pounds I had increased during pregnancy. I started to see my body changing and became addicted to living a healthier lifestyle. Two years after her birth I decided to really challenge myself and compete in figure. I went on to win my first show and the overall and have competed in six shows since. I have three overall wins and five first-place wins. I plan to continue to compete as long as it keeps exciting me. I love bodybuilding and all of its challenges. I love how it breaks you down and you build yourself up. You find out what you’re really made of and use it in the real world. I recently finished my bachelor’s degree in psychology and I am currently working on becoming a Pharmacy Tech. and being a better momma every day.

Miranda Souza

Name: Miranda Souza
Birth Sign: Aquarius
Ethnicity: Portuguese
Location/Hometown: Turlock, CA
Age: 28

Lifting Since: 2012

Hello beautiful people! I’d like to tell you a bit about myself and what I find fascinating! I’ve been an athlete all my life. My journey started when I worked as an Athletic Trainer. I loved working with athletes but I needed more than just that small array of individuals. My life forever changed when I became a personal trainer. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them not only with their physical goals but with their emotional, mental and spiritual goals as well! Growing strong in every aspect of life! My passion for coaching and inspiring others lead me to the NPC stage to compete as a Figure Athlete. I did my first Figure show in 2013. I plan on getting my pro card this year at Nationals.

     Any goal can be accomplished if focused, determined and dedicated! Competing is physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually stressful. Through my journey I discovered that keeping my mind just as active as my body was crucial to balancing out life. Life is all about balance. Everyone should strive to better themselves in every way possible, mind body and soul. “Self awareness is the key to success and happiness. Know yourself enough to identify your values, standards and philosophies for living. Once you’ve done this, you can rearrange your life to focus only on only the things that matter, while eliminating everything else.”

Hanna Potts

Hanna Potts

24

Houston, TX

6 years lifting

I started lifting after a knee injury from soccer when I was 14, I fell in love with the gym and joined my high school powerlifting team freshman year. I competed until more injuries took me out at the end of junior year. After high school I continued to lift until I went to college. I gained weight and fell into depression during and shortly after college. I started going to a kickboxing class until I felt confident enough to go back to the gym. I hired my first trainer in May 2017, and I give him much credit for pushing me and believing in me when I told him my crazy dream. I wanted to be a hybrid athlete. Powerlifting lifts with bodybuilding looks. After a year of hard training, I started prep for my first NPC figure show in May 2018. After competing in NPC bodybuilding in Sept 2018, I will start my training for USPA powerlifting.

Lifting has transformed me into a lively, confident, patient, mentally strong woman. My plans for the future are to continue competing in both disciplines, and to get my personal training certification. My goal is to educate women about lifting weights, and guide them through their own transformation.

Maddie Lynnworth

Maddie Lynnworth, Upton Ma, 20 years old, lifting 3 years.
My boyfriend introduced me to bodybuilding and I immediately fell in love with the power and strength that it gave me. The ability to mold and shape myself into exactly what I wanted to be was thrilling. Lifting allowed me to finally fall in love with my body, to begin a process of calming and growing my mind and spirit with it. Bodybuilding has shown me how strong I am, physically and mentally, and given me the gift of perfect balance. I am able to live freely, eat mindfully but enjoy everything I want to (lots of pizza!) while also having the knowledge that I have complete control over how I look. I have competed twice in NPC Women’s Physique shows, and will likely compete again after I graduate college so I can fully dedicate myself to the prepping process. Someday I hope to go pro in Figure, as that’s more what I want my end physique to be.
Lifting is a gift, and allowed me to love the skin I’m in so that everything else could flourish!

Dany Pérez

Daniela Patricia Pérez Salas (Dany Pérez)

Mexico City

27 years old

Lifting for 1 year and 9 months

I started lifting 3 years ago ’cause I wanted to start modeling and I knew that I had to make a improvement on my image, so my roommate back then took me to a gym and got started with a PT. It took me just a couple weeks to notice the difference in my body, I was feeling strong, determined, energetic and more beautiful; and that was it, that’s all I needed to became passionate about lifting, I was impressed by my strength and physical condition so I pushed myself harder every single day, a few months later I had the best shape, I was comfortable with and proud of my body but I lost it all one day when I had a really bad break-up and threw myself into depression, I had nobody to support me. I remember I saw myself in the mirror one morning and realized that in 3 months all that I had achieved with so much effort and sacrifice was gone, so I said to myself that enough was enough and that day went to the market got all my meals prepared and join to the gym to find myself again, but this time I was going to be better, I had no PT so I started studying nutrition and training. It lift me up again, set my soul on fire, my body respond fast to it and haven’t stopped since that day, I found myself again thanks to weightlifting , it took me out of my depression, found my career, in this path I also found my soulmate who has motivated me since the first day and now I’m in the best shape of my life, doing what I love the most, helping others and becoming a role model not only for the people that follows me, but more important, for my younger sister. As many have asked me if I wanna compete, the answer is no, is not in my plans, I’m not transforming myself to compare to others, I respect all of those who compete tho, But one thing that I want is to open the gym of dreams! Where you can lift hard, heavy, listen to heavy metal and just be yourself! I have a lot of ideas and I’m very excited about it but like everything in life, is a process, so I’m taking my time to organize everything and do it the right way.

I am really grateful about making all of these decisions ’cause it had led me to who I am and where I am today, growing in every sense, being a part of this amazing family, meeting new people who encourage me to chase my dreams, have emotional, physical and spiritual stability, which is what I’ve been chasing my entire life, I couldn’t ask for more than this.

Dany Pérez.

Hannah Polly

Luckily for me, I found my love for the weights early in life. I have my brother in law and my older brother and sister to thank for that. They got me in the gym when I was 14. Though I truly wasn’t fully committed/consistent until I was about 18 years old; that is when this little monster was created and I was absolutely HOOKED on strength training. Day after day in the gym and I kept trying to get stronger and stronger. I wanted to not only be strong, I wanted to look strong as well! Fitness soon became my life. I live it. I breathe it.

Seven years later, age 25, here I am. I started my own personal training business a little over a year ago and I couldn’t be happier helping women find happiness, confidence, and strength in themselves through fitness. I have met some of my absolute best friends and so many amazing people from this lifestyle. I believe everyone has a calling/destiny in this life, and I am truly blessed to have finally found mine. 🙂

Sarah Lili Herrington

Sarah Lili Herrington – 22yrs – Phoenix AZ
Lifting for 6 years
I quit my competitive soccer career due to a foot injury and started going to the gym to replace the cardio activity. One day, I saw a woman doing single arm rows with a 45lb dumbbell. I had never seen such a beautiful woman moving so much weight. I was instantly inspired by her beauty and strength and began to research lifting.
Lifting has given me an outlet for my anxiety, a place to better both my mind and body. The confidence that I have achieved through strength training is unparalleled. Getting into fitness and lifting has also helped me overcome a severe digestive disease.
I have competed in Bikini for the past two years and have placed at every show I have entered! I am working towards earning my IFBB pro card and growing my holistic personal training business, Apollo Fitness in Scottsdale, AZ.

Alyson Leigh

Alyson Atlanta 28
I got into lifting in 2015 when I met my fiancé, however, I have always been athletic as I grew up riding and competing in equine competitions. I starting actually lifting and not sticking to the machines and cardio equipment towards the end of 2016 and it changed my life forever. I found the strength I never knew I had! A found a whole new confidence and my wall I had built around myself slowly crumbled. 
I do not ever plan on competing, I just lift to stay happy and healthy.

Challenging myself is where it’s at for me right now. I never thought it was possible to feel this free- and I have lifting and all of the incredible people I have met through this journey to thank for that! I am proud to be a part of this team and help other women realize the amazing things that are hidden within them!

Amanda Caresse Lewis
Dayton OH , Age 24, Lifting for 3.5 years

I had a lot of self-image issues. I was extremely insecure with myself and nearly everything who I was ad what I looked like. My whole life growing up I never felt like I was enough or like I didn’t belong anywhere. With my partner at the time, we began gaining weight and feeling terrible, health wise. So we both made the decision to start getting into shape. I started using this Nutritional Cleansing system, which I still use, and I lost the body fat. After that, I ben lifting weights and I noticed the biggest difference. My entire shape and confidence began to elevate.

I have been obsessed with growth and improvement since. I am an entirely different woman as opposed to the girl I was then. No one can ever take my success away from me, that’s what I love the most about lifting. I had my first Figure Competition in April of 2018 (Emerald Cup in WA) I won first place in my height class, which qualified me for nationals. I competed at Jr Nationals in Chicago June of 2018. I got 3rd call outs, but the Physique and package I brought was unlike anything I ever thought I could do. It only gets better from here. I plan to take a whole year to 1.5 years to really grow and get the size I need for the national/pro level. Future plans- Compete the end of 2019 and work to get my Pro Card.

Amanda J

Haverhill MA
28 y/o
4 years weight lifting
I became interested in lifting after I stopped riding horses for many years. Lifting filled the void and also gave me the satisfaction that horseback riding once did. It gave me a whole new set of goals to work towards, plus who doesn’t love the results hard work in the gym gives? I competed in my first NPC show in April 2018 and placed 3 rd in both figure classes. I’m now working towards becoming nationally qualified. one step at a time towards hopefully going pro!

Lauren Riffel

Lauren Riffel aka “Strongerthanyourboyfriendd”

Residing in Davis, CA-originally from San Mateo, CA

23 years old

Lifting for 7 Years

BIO:

I first got into lifting weights when I quit playing basketball. I knew I wanted to continue being active, but never thought lifting was an option. After I got into the gym for a few training sessions, I soon discovered a new realm of passion. I later became a personal trainer for a local gym while I was busy focusing on my school studies. Being immersed in the gym environment with like-minded individuals, I quickly fell in love with training. The gym has now become my therapy, my art and a place to conquer life’s challenges.

A few years back, I experienced moments of anxiety, later to be diagnosed with OCD. Through many difficult times, the gym has given me a place to focus on positive energy. I have learned how to balance fitness with a normal, fun-filled lifestyle. It has become important to me to be able to integrate fitness into my daily life and share with others how it could be possible for them too. Most importantly, I have established that fitness is not only a hobby, but a lifestyle. In order to be successful, I have committed myself to leading a healthy lifestyle through fitness and bodybuilding. Although I have a long way to go and am constantly learning more, I am proud of where I am now.

Considering I never thought it was possible to achieve the physique I currently possess, I have decided I need to further my goals. I do hope to compete in the future with the hopes of proving to myself what I am capable of attaining. Apart from competing, I would love to start a clothing brand, promoting the “Strongerthanyourboyfriendd” movement. Even further, I would love to open a gym and a supplement line in the far future.

With support and commitment, I could only hope to change the stigma surrounding women within the fitness industry. Acknowledging that women can be fit and still maintain femininity is very important to me. Too often women are shamed for pursuing fit physiques when they should be receiving credit and support for following a passion. It is not easy to stray from the norm, but with a positive attitude, support and a little faith, anything is possible.

Georgia Kostopoulou 

Name:  Georgia Kostopoulou  Age: 24  Ethnicity: Greek  Years of lifting: 4 I’ve always been into fitness my whole life. After being a classical ballet dancer for over 10 years I decided to make a major switch to bodybuilding. Even though people believe that ballet and bodybuilding are far different, I actually believe that they are very similar. They both teach you extreme discipline and pushing way beyond your limits.

I have a very emotional connection with bodybuilding because it helped me overcome depression. I competed for the first time in 2017 in NPC Figure and came 1st in novice and open division. A year later I got the title of the NC STATE OVERALL Figure champion which it was a big dream of mine and something that happened really early on in my bodybuilding career. Couples of weeks later I made it to top 10 nationally.

Being a full-time student and an athlete is a very rough thing but if you are passionate about the things you do, you can accomplish anything you put in mind. 
My passion is teaching people through my experiences and mistakes I’ve made in bodybuilding. Presentation and posing is also another passion of mine- my goal is to teach people how to present themselves right on stage and polish their presentation. Some other passions of mine are makeup/skincare, and cooking!