Thursday, December 18, 2008

KELOLAND.COM - Breaking The Bodybuilding Norm

KELOLAND.COM - Breaking The Bodybuilding Norm

For many, weightlifting is simply an act of physical fitness. But for bodybuilders its an absolute passion. And while it's always been a male-dominated sport, it's become increasingly popular with the opposite sex. And a mom from Brookings is starting to flex her muscles.

Meet Jackie Geppert, 32-year-old nurse, mother of two, and champion bodybuilder...enjoying a family dinner at home with her kids.

"They'll ask me, how did your lift go today?" said Geppert. "Because they can probably tell if I'm crabby or happy how it went."

The gym is Geppert's second home.

"Every time I come here, it's a challenge," said Geppert. "It's mentally challenging, physically challenging, emotionally challenging, and I guess I like the challenge. I like the drive to see if I can get another rep, heavier weight, whatever it is."

"This is a goal and a dream of mine to be able to compete, and so I said, I'm going to go do this for me."

She started doing it at night after putting her kids to bed. Now, she has a babysitter for her daily two-and-a-half hour workout.

"I lift five days a week and I do cardio twice a week," said Geppert.

And she's also very strict about what she eats. Her kids help with that too.

"He will remind me, 'mommy, you don't get any SDSU Ice Cream because you have to stay focused for your competition, you have to eat clean.' Jackson was just telling me today at dinner that 'you've got to stay focused mommy, you've got to bring me another trophy. I like them trophies,'" Geppert said.

The trophy is from the NorthStar Bodybuilding Competition, which Geppert won in her first competition.

"I didn't go down there with the expectation of that I was going to come home with a trophy," Geppert said. "I went down there with the expectation that I'm going to do the best I can, I'm going to be confident in myself, and what happens happens."

What happens, Geppert says, is a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem, something she encourages everybody to find.

"Whether it's bodybuilding or something else that you want in life, don't be scared to go get it. Just go get it. Nobody can do it for you. Just go get it," Geppert said.

And there's at least two little people who have heeded her message.

"They'll flex their little muscles," Geppert said.

Geppert's win in Minnesota qualified her for February's national bodybuilding competition in Las Vegas, though she doesn't plan to go. Geppert says she doesn't feel ready for that level of competition just yet. But it's definitely a goal for the future.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Strong contender for global success

East Lothian Courier | Sport | Strong contender for global success

TRANENT strong-woman Mary Anderson put in a Herculean performance at the World Powerlifiting Championships in the USA, winning all six categories and breaking six world records.

And now the athletic 41-year-old intends to test herself against the most powerful females on the planet by entering World’s Strongest Woman 2009.

Anderson, a former national pentathlon champion in the 1980’s, has now secured a clean sweep of titles having been crowned Scottish, British, European and world women's under 80kg powerlifting champion.

But the Muirside Drive resident will probably miss out on a nomination for BBC's Sport’s Personality of the Year award because the sport – in which she has enjoyed unparalleled success – is not sufficiently popular in the UK.

“Powerlifting is not an Olympic or Commonwealth sport like weightlifting which is why it’s going downhill a bit, which is a shame,” said Anderson.

“But the field is still strong and so I'm chuffed with myself for winning.”

Powerlifting consists of three specific disciplines: the ‘squat’, where the athlete holds the weight bar on their shoulders before crouching and standing; a ‘bench press’, where the powerlifter extends their arms and weight from their chest whilst resting on their back; and a ‘dead lift’ where the weighted bar is lifted off the ground to the thigh.

Competitors can enter both the ‘equipped’ – aided by body supports or ‘wraps’ – and the ‘unequipped’ sections of the sport.

In the unequipped category Anderson broke the squat record by 5kgs lifting 160kgs and won the dead lift with 192.5kgs. In the unequipped she achieved a squat of 200kgs; a bench press of 110kgs; and a dead lift of 212.5kgs – the equivalent of three times her body weight.

A six day-a-week training regime on the run-up to the competition in Ewansville, Indiana, meant Anderson was in peak physical condition and so the county athlete declared she would have been dissatisfied with anything less than a win.

“This year’s worlds is the best I have ever performed in the sport but if I'm honest I’m never happy and always thinking about how can I improve,” she said.

And she hopes her scintillating form continues as she bids for the title of World Strongest Woman next year.

“This is something I have always wanted to do before I retire,” she said.

“I knew someone who competed in it last year and did quite well so I thought I could do that.

“I don’t do anything half-hearted so I will give a real go. And I kinda fancy my chances because I would not even consider entering otherwise!”

Success in the competition’s British qualifiers will secure a place in World's Strongest Woman contest to be held in May 2009.