It's jarring at first, seeing just how much the human body is capable of."People say we're gross or that women shouldn't have abs," says Nissan Weaver, 25, a competitor in the glamorous "bikini" category. "But it's beautiful, and it takes a lot of hard work."Many women spend years lifting double their weight at the gym and weeks cutting out sugar and alcohol, all for the few seconds they'll strut out on stage, strike a pose, and hope for the No. At stake is prize money (,000, in some cases), qualification for the Olympia, the so-called Super Bowl of the sport, and, of course, glory. "Doing pageants was fun," says the petite blond, "but figure competitions challenge me emotionally, spiritually, physical, and intellectually in a way that pageants never did."Go Figure For the uninitiated, women's bodybuilding can be a confusing and intimidating sport, but with thousands of women competing everyyear, it's one of the fasting growing athletic events in the country.There are four main categories of female bodybuilding, says Steve Toms, Ashley's coach and husband (the two met in the Life Time Fitness gym where she was training for her first competition!
The Program Training for a figure competition definitely isn't easy. (See a typical day in Ashley's training and nutrition plan on the next page.) Steve adds, "It takes a tremendous amount of willpower. And you have to keep it up for the 12-18 weeks it takes to prep for a show."It doesn't feel like deprivation to Ashley, who loves the whole transformation process.Everywhere you look, there are professional female bodybuilders with buns of steel and glistening biceps getting spray-tanned a deep Oompa Loompa bronze (it increases muscle definition under the bright stage lights). He's like, "My 5'1, 110-pound girl lifts more than me."How did you get the nickname Freak Diesel? On social media they say, "Oh, you look like a man," "Too much muscle, that's gross." They just don't get it. What do you think when you see super-skinny runway models? Bedazzled bikinis are being glued to butts, and the only form of sustenance in sight is peanut butter, the go-to, protein-packed preshow snack. A bodybuilder I used to train with said I was a freak because of how strong I am for my size and like a diesel going full speed ahead. Basically, whether you are looking for romance, love, friendship, information, emotional support or just to connect with people you share something in common with, you are in the right place!Decades ago, how did people find other people who liked what they liked?The bikini, the high heels, the posing, and of course the stage: All this can make a woman's figure competition look like just another beauty pageant.Not so, says Ashley Toms, 27, a national figure competitor and former beauty pageant queen.Quickly and Easily Connect With Body Building Singles From the Comfort of Your Own Home! Say Goodbye to Striking Out When You Go Out, Now You Can Find Single Women and Men Who Treat Their Bodies Like Temples and Want the Same From the Person They Date. Even if you work out regularly, it's easy to feel flabby backstage at the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness New York Pro Show. Some of them are naturally like that, but some of them have issues. Our Muscular Singles members not only are weightlifters, body builders, and those that admire a muscular physique, but actively seek the type of friendship, dating, and romance that creates lasting and meaningful relationships.The unique chemistry which sparks deep connections between people is not a science, it's a process of discovery, a journey, and an awesome adventure.