A figure fit for competition

Grand Forks' Sharona Witwicki placed sixth out of 16 competitors at the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic, a bodybuilding event, in November.

In her first entry as a novice figure competition, Grand Forks resident Sharona Witwicki placed sixth out of 16 competitors at the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic, a bodybuilding event, in November.

Witwicki, who occasionally attended the gym, was searching for something stimulating.

“I needed motivation to get to the gym and we sat down and talked to Al and Nancy (owners of Body Edge, a personal training business) and they were willing to take me on as a client because they’ve never done a ‘figure’ girl before,” explained Witwicki. “It was motivation to get me off the couch and to keep going. It wasn’t just go for three weeks then stop.”

The ‘figure category’ contestant has to be in the seven to 10 per cent body fat range. A woman would be required to train to have a feminine athletic physique with exposed musculature lines, but not to the extent of those in the ‘ripped category’, clarified Allen Clark.

“It was actually my husband who spoke to (Witwicki’s) husband at the gym,” said Nancy Clark. “Your wife should do a show because she just has that look. We were both kind of surprised when they called us up and asked if they could come over.”

From there, Witwicki entered the program and persisted until the competition.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Witwicki. “Between the workouts and the diet – it’s a lifestyle change. It consumed my life.”

Clark pointed out that dieting is the hardest part of bodybuilding.

“Working out is secondary to the diet. You can go to the gym and workout but if you don’t have the proper fuel you’re going to fail.”

Apart from the dieting, Clark stated the last six weeks are the hardest.

“You’re basically starving yourself and working out everyday and doing cardio. You’re trying to get that last bit of fat off. If you can get through that you can get through everything; it definitely tests your character.”

Regardless of the trials of dieting and long workouts, what Witwicki enjoyed best was the final day.

“When you’re up on stage, that’s the best part,” she laughed. “It’s a complete rush and that’s what makes me want to do it again.”

Witwicki plans to enter her second competition next November at the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic in New Westminster.

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Nancy Clark also had her share of awards this year.

In July, Clark won the overall B.C. Bodybuilding Championship and in October she won Miss Canada Grandmasters Title for over 45 in Laval, Quebec. Clark missed winning an International Federation of Bodybuilding Professional Card by one point, which would have allowed her to compete internationally.

“When I went (to Laval), it was the first time I went to the Nationals so I really wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Clark. “To be told I missed out on my pro card by one point was huge for us because I really didn’t think I could go that far. I was basically going there to see how I would do and how I would measure out against the competition so it was quite the treat.”

A regular at the gym, Clark’s first competition was in 2009 when she decided to start competing in bodybuilding.

“The winters are so long here at the Lake,” explained Clark. “So we needed something to not make us nuts. We thought we’d give us a try and everybody says you either love it or hate it after your first show. I really liked it so I decided to carry on from there.”

Clark mentioned her initial motivation for continuing was to show her sons to never quit, and she has competed since then.

“Competing is up to the individual, but doing weight lifting and bodybuilding has given us a whole new outlook on life,” stated Clark. “I’m 47 and my husband is 52 and we’ve never been healthier. You just feel so much better and we don’t have problems with our joints, which we were complaining about before we took it up.”

Witwicki agreed. “I would recommend it to anyone looking for a complete turnaround in their life. It’s not for the faint of heart; it’s for someone who wants to make sacrifices.”

Clark remarked that it is a healthy lifestyle.

“You’re eating healthy all the time; you don’t drink, you don’t smoke,” she said. “You definitely sacrifice a lot in the social end. You do make some sacrifices but in the end it’s definitely worth it for sure.”

Clark’s next goal is to enter Nationals again, which will take place in Edmonton, and aims to win a professional card.

For more information on Body Edge, contact Al or Nancy Clark at 250-443-4381.