Updated: Sep 8, 2020

By Sara E Walker

I have had several people ask why I have embarked on this bodybuilding journey and what has inspired me. Over the years, my inspiration was, in large part, internal. It was the combination of walking into a weight room for the first time and being consumed with a desire to be there and then seeing competition bodybuilding (mens) for the first time and needing to know everything about it. I believe internal inspirational drive is essential to achieving goals, and it is what pushes me forward.

Some of the early influencers for me were Bev Francis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman and Shawn Ray and Lenda Murray.

My renewed passion and drive for bodybuilding started about six months ago. I was perusing Facebook and came across a post from Olympic powerlifter Sarah Robles. Her recent posts were all about her getting back into lifting shape, working through kinks and getting back to the basics. Each time I saw her posts I remembered how much I love to lift. As I started coming across more female athletes in the sport like Nicki Chartrand, Justine Albert, Lenda Murray, Wendy Fortino, Iris Kyle and Margie Marvelous. I had this overwhelming drive that now is the time to take this journey. I believe everything happens for a reason, and though I can wish I had started this journey earlier in my life, now is the time to figure out how to get it done in the present.

Though many bodybuilders, male and female alike, impressed me, as noted in my previous post, it is International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro, Justine Albert, who rose to the top. It is her perfect mix of training intensity, knowledge, background, transparency about women’s bodybuilding, charisma and empowerment that spoke most to me.

Justine has a deep background in athletics and nutrition, being a trained dancer and having formal nutrition education. As a professional bodybuilder, she was trained by one of the top professionals in the sport, Theresa Ivancik. Justine holds an NSCA certification and is highly skilled herself at training competition bodybuilders. Additionally, Justine is unapologetically transparent about how bodybuilding affects a woman’s body and the grueling intensity it takes to grow in the sport. She is also extremely positive and empowering about what someone can achieve in this sport if they are ready and willing to put in the work.

I know this journey will be full of new inspirations along the way. I can’t wait to share them with you.

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