P.E.I. bodybuilder Jerrica Cormier placed first in a competition earlier this month in New Brunswick.
The Oyster Bed Bridge woman won her division — women's bikini — at the Flex Lewis Canadian Classic in Moncton. She was one of several Islanders at the regional competition.
Cormer said it is rewarding to finish in first place after a long period of preparation.
"It definitely feels great," she said. "I mean, I know everybody kind of puts in the same amount of work, so it's unfortunate that not everybody can win because it's so hard."
It takes dedication. Her preparation involved long weeks of weightlifting, fitness training and a strict diet.
She said it can be monotonous.
"Every day kind of looks the same," she said. "It's typically, get up, eat, go to work, eat once or twice more throughout the day, go to the gym after work and then do your cardio after the gym."
Most bodybuilders prep for as many as 20 weeks before a competition, Cormier said. She hired a coach in March and began her preparations then.
More mental than physical
Another Islander, Kee Naw, competed in the men's physique division at the same competition.
A Charlottetown-based bodybuilder, Naw didn't place in the competition, which was his first, but he said he is grateful for the learning experience.
"It's probably been one of the hardest challenges I've faced so far," he said. "It wasn't even the physical aspect of it. It was all the mental. There's been a lot more mental battles."
He's always been passionate about fitness, however, he decided to take things to a new level by competing, he said.
"I didn't have a goal going into the competition," he said. "I just wanted to test it out. I didn't have a coach. Everything I did I learned myself, I just taught myself from YouTube."
The mental toughness needed for bodybuilding draws him to the sport, Naw said.
"It is probably because every time I look back at where I came from it kind of pushes me," he said. "Whenever I started I was a really skinny kid ... there have been a lot of mental battles. I'm doing this to make myself proud."
As for Cormier, she said she might consider pursuing professional bodybuilding, but hasn't made any commitment.
She hopes other fitness enthusiasts on the Island give competitive bodybuilding a shot.
"It's a sport kind of like any other, and if you're already into fitness and going to the gym, it's something to really set a goal on to really challenge yourself and work towards."