Personal trainer Jessie Lacey, 31, of Woy Woy, has just won the NABBA/WFF figure-fitness championship in the Australian body-building nationals in Melbourne.
“Health and fitness has always been part of my lifestyle,” Ms Lacey said.
“As a child I did numerous sports and activities including athletics, we did every sport you could think of growing up, it was always a part of me.
“I wanted to pursue fitness as a career and in 2011 I started body building as a sport.”
Ms Lacey was encouraged by another female competitor to get involved in body building in 2010.
“I ended up getting ready for my first competition in 2011 with the Australasian Natural Body Building Federation.
“I got one number one trophy that year and in 2012 I got two firsts and a third in nationals.”
Her first win was at the 2011 Central Coast ANB competition.
Ms Lacey said the heavy demands of competition meant she did not compete in 2013 or 2014 but returned to complete four competitions in 2015.
“I am a figure competitor so I have to get very lean.
“To get to the condition needed to be successful at competition, it can take anywhere between 12 and 20 weeks of preparation.”
Jessie usually weighs about 50kg when not competing.
She manages to drop 9kg during preparation for a competition.
“Usually I want to maintain most of my weight except for the final four to five weeks before competition.
“It is a long, gradual process to get that lean, and it takes clean eating and a strict diet.”
That’s in addition to between two and four hours at the gym each day doing weights and cardio.
“There are other people who are very extreme but I like to maintain muscle so I don’t like to do too much cardio.
The categories in which women can compete as body builders are usually bikini, fitness, figure and physique.
“Figure and physique have to go on crazy diets.
“Over the years each category has gotten leaner because basically the expectation has changed for people to be a little leaner.”
The winning qualities in Jessie’s figure category are the display of muscle, definition and quality.
“You are judged on symmetry, on making sure everything is balanced, muscle balance, size, top to toe, left to right so you are nice and even through the development of your physique.
“You are also judged on the way you are presented on stage and the way you hold yourself so stage presence and posing is a very big thing.”
Jessie had victories in the NSW State Title which qualified her to compete in Melbourne for the National Championships in figure-fitness category.
Her preparation included guidance from her posing coach in preparation for the state titles and then using a variety of carb loading tactics to achieve a fuller look for the nationals competition in Melbourne.
She won her division in Melbourne but did not win overall champion, the status required to progress to international competitions, which is her ultimate goal.
“To go overseas I would have had to win overalls in which case I am up against the first in each category and the competition goes up to 60kg and has categories such as fitness (u45), performance (u50), athletic (u55), super body (u60) and extreme body.”
Jessie choses natural body building, with no enhancements.
“I love the challenge and I really feel that competing naturally means that you are on your own.
“It is basically you against you.
“It makes me feel good to know that I am natural and that I can still do really well in my competitions without any enhancements.”
Interview, 12 Oct 2017
Jessie Lacey, Woy Woy
Reporter: Jackie Pearson