On May 13th, 2008 Alison began training for her first bodybuilding competition and today, 2 ½ years later she took first place at the prestigious Yorton Cup Bodybuilding Competition. This is her story…
When Alison first decided she was going to compete in bodybuilding she was 43 years old and the mother of two. She had just joined the Colosseum because she could get in a workout while her daughter was next door in ballet class. One night she met with one of our trainers, “Big Mike” Acham, and being no stranger to the bodybuilding world, he immediately recognized Alison’s potential. As Alison tells it, “He [Mike] saw far into the future and he had a plan.”
At the beginning, Big Mike set the stage for success by creating a structured workout program and gradually progressing her as she met the demand. As Big Mike tells it, “we began with learning the proper mechanics for each exercise. She had to feel it first … the reps and weight came later.”
Eventually, Alison’s workouts reached a new height of intensity, and no longer resembled anything the average human being would voluntarily push through. If you’ve been here to see her work out, you know. She lifted hard and she lifted often … and she had the mental fortitude to stick to her nutritionist’s diet plan throughout.
On her trainer Alison would like you to know, “I trust Mike completely. He knows how I like to be pushed and he was there to make sure I did it. I could not have accomplished what I have without him.”
In August 2009 Alison felt very confident in her body and competed in the Presidential Cup with hopes of winning. She was beat out by a tough competitor and took home 2nd place, but she was not discouraged. “In fact…”, she says, “At this point, I was hooked.”
Alison took a year off of competition to train. That may seem strange, but when bodybuilders diet down for competition it is near impossible to add muscle, so all gains are really made in the “off-season”.
“When I came in to work out I would leave my ego at the door. My focus was on my workout and I would listen to my body, listen to my trainer, and try to learn from both. Mike would ask me, ‘How are you feeling? Are you focused?’ and it would help. Training hard is a mental challenge. If you stop early one workout, then the next one will be that much harder.”
Excerpt From Alison’s Trainer, Big Mike:
“As a personal trainer I feel like an artist painting a portrait, except my canvas is a person, my clients, and my instruments are my senses and my commands. I helped Alison stay focused and keep her head in the game and she was able to sculpt a beautiful physique. To anyone interested in training, bodybuilding or not, just remember that you are your biggest competition. Your roommate or best friend or the other competitors next to you on stage are all secondary.”
“The day of the Yorton Cup, I felt very confident” says Alison. The Yorton is the crème de la crème of bodybuilding competitions, but Alison was at her best and she knew it. There were 6 competitors in her class, 11 overall, and Alison was hands down the winner. “I enjoyed every part of it. I enjoyed being around the people who share my passion. It was one of the best days of my life. I finished what I set out to do so long ago and the experience has brought me closer to the person I want to be.”
Winning the Yorton Cup also earned Alison her IFPA (International Fitness and Physique Association) Professional Bodybuilding status, or her “Pro Card”. Her next event is November 20th at the Pennsylvania Natural and she hopes to improve upon her posing skills.