Sailor gets pumped on fitness

Amy Young bodybuilder

LS Amy Young is a regular at the Naden Athletic Centre weight room as she prepares her body for competition.

It’s one thing to face yourself in the mirror and flex your well-developed muscles; it’s a whole other experience to pose on a stage and be judged – in a bikini.

Completely exhausting and very intimidating is how LS Amy Young characterized that experience.

A few weeks ago, she oiled up her five-foot-two-inch frame, glued on her bikini and flexed every muscle in a series of poses designed to showcase her exceptional physique.    

It was her first Women’s Physique competition, held within the B.C. Provincial Championships for the BC Amateur Bodybuilding Association.

“You train and train and train, but when you actually get on stage and it’s just you and the judges, everything becomes a lot scarier,” she says of the experience.

Fear was not apparent in the judges’ eyes, as LS Young was awarded Women’s Best Poser, and second place in the Women’s Physique A category, netting her a spot in the National Championships Aug. 17.

The results were remarkable for only a year’s effort working to sculpt her body.

“I was thrilled to place where I did,” she says. “The girls there were in incredible shape. To have hacked it with them, and held my own, was a real honour.”

Body building, like many sports, has its dark side. Some competitors go to extremes to enhance muscle definition.

“Some of these competitors don’t drink anything for three days before the show to keep their liquid weight down,” says the sailor. “They think it gives them an advantage as far as muscle mass goes, but it can just as easily put them in the hospital. I’m not in it for that.”

Bodybuilding caught hold of LS Young last year as a way of getting back into shape after her son was born. She’d dabbled in the sport at 18, but at age 25 she thought now was the time to re-ignite that interest.

She didn’t go it alone. A little wisdom that comes with age set her in search of a trainer – local bodybuilding legend Lisa Giesbrecht.

“She got me in line in terms of workout routines; it’s a bit of a secret, but I can say she’s got me working very hard.”

While LS Young won’t reveal her workout routine, she is very clear about one aspect.

“I train a lot. Like a lot. I’m probably in the gym up to 30 hours a week,” she says. “Each day I focus on a different body part; one day I’ll do the back, the next day the shoulders, the next day the legs. It takes up a lot of my time but it’s worth it.”

When not at work or the gym, she’s with her family.

“My husband knows how much this means to me, so he doesn’t get upset that I’m training all the time,” she says. “He’s been so supportive of this dream of mine, and I love him for that.”

With a trip to New Westminster for nationals just around the corner, LS Young is in the midst of physical and mental preparations.

“It’s nerve wracking. Placing in the top three at nationals makes you a pro,” she says. “The girls there are going to be at the top of their game, so all I can do is work hard and make sure I am also at the top of my game.”

-Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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