GALLIPOLIS — Local business owner Shantelle Rathburn will be competing in the bodybuilding 2018 NPC Mountaineer Classic at the Charleston Civic Center this Saturday in the bikini division.
Rathburn has run the gym The Warehouse for nearly a year on Jackson Pike.
“Basically, there is a showcase of your hard work,” said Rathburn. “It’s bodybuilding and there are different classifications. I compete in bikini. That’s really the gist of it, getting up and presenting the hard work you’ve put in and is a sport just like any other. Most people do a prep, which is what I did of 16 weeks consisting of training and dieting. “
This is Rathburn’s second competition as she also competed at a similar event in 2016 in Tennessee.
Rathburn said bodybuilding is a traditional method of lifting heavy weights and pushing oneself while working muscle groups and differs from crossfit or yoga.
“I love competitive sports,” said Rathburn. “I traveled and played basketball and played when I got in college and graduated. I just missed that aspect. The older I got I just didn’t feel as good. So, I started working out and I actually researched and came up with my own plan and trained myself for my first show. I took from it and learned a lot. In the fitness industry, you have to put hard work into it or you won’t get results and no one can take that from you.”
Rathburn said one of the things she liked about bodybuilding was the responsibility it placed on oneself to perform.
“In a team sport, certain factors can alter your success,” said Rathburn. “In this sport, no one can take it from you. Literally anybody can do it.”
Rathburn said being part of a gym was a place where everyone met for a goal and that was to better oneself. While not everyone may come to prepare to step on stage, it’s about being healthier and happier. She’s been at it for two years now.
The bodybuilder says she starts training at 4 a.m., might assist a few clients before heading to work for an eight hour day and then back to the gym in the evening for more training to meet her and her clients’ goals.
When bodybuilders compete, they must wear attire that meets regulation. Competitors showcase for a specified period of time and pose in an established routine. Following that is a group posing session. There are five judges typically, according to Rathburn.
“You want to have good muscle mass all while being lean,” said Rathburn. “It’s total body. You compete based on the amount of muscle. Bikini has the least striations showing. You don’t want all the muscle fibers showing. Where the bodybuilding division, people are huge.”
Bikini is a division in a bodybuilding competition and is still considered bodybuilding. Height and age are taken into consideration in competitions.
“I think that people put such pressure on you to be perfect and look a certain way,” said Rathburn. “It’s gratifying to know that anybody can do this. It just takes dedication and work but anybody can step on that stage. Overall, people in the sport are so positive and encouraging. Amputees and different people compete. Ninety-percent of the women I compete with have stretch marks or they have had kids. You’re not judged (on that). You may not necessarily be the best (in competition), but when you step on that stage, you’re the best you.”
Rathburn said she liked helping people and seeing them succeed and that was in part what drove her to train others and own a gym. In her time, she says she has seen seniors pose on stage after training and “rock it.”
Rathburn is confident that she can win her division of the competition. Taking first or second could potentially lead to competing on a national stage.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.