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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Personal trainer Becky Schell competed in her first fitness competition in Victoria last week, believing it would help provide better coaching for her clients.

“I just did it because it was something that I had always wanted to do and would also make me a bit more of a better-rounded coach being able to have that firsthand experience with my own body,” said Schell.

Schell says she started prep on January 1st for a sixteen-week program. The community was able to follow along with her journey through Empowered Fitness with Becky.

“It is something that you have to be all in for because it is so labour intensive, and it’s mentally quite taxing.”

She explains that prep can be anywhere from twelve to 24 weeks long, depending on your body type.

“There’s no golden rule at all.”

She said that her coach had a pretty good idea of what her body would tolerate, how it would respond, where her hormones were at, and her overall health. Sixteen weeks was the number they came up with, but they were also trying to find a show date that worked out with her schedule.

Schell works out of Prevail Athletics as a personal trainer and instructor, so she is often busy.

She explains that she wanted to compete for herself before even considering training competitors but still feels like she wants to stick to “lifestyle personal training.”

“I also love teaching spin and boot camp and the occasional yoga class as well, so that all keeps me plenty busy.”

Schell explains that she enjoyed the regimented prep because she thrives “on a really particular schedule with lots of structure.”

“That said, that also would flip the other way, where it lacks any flexibility, so I wasn’t going out for dinner with friends, I was not having any glasses of wine with a friend on a Friday night, I was not able to eat out.”

She had to “put my blinders on and just have that tunnel vision for that entire sixteen weeks.”

Schell explains that during those weeks, with food levels going down, hormone and energy levels also deplete. She says that’s when pushing herself at the gym was crucial.

“Even mentally being like, no, I can do this, even though it’s hard, you have to be able to push yourself even when you really feel like you cannot do it,” she adds.

“It’s not for everyone.”

Once the final week of prep came up, she flew down to Victoria late on Thursday night, May 5th, with the final prep being done Friday morning, she said.

“There wasn’t a lot of stuff to do at that point. I was completely done working out and training, so it was just kind of all of your loose ends to make sure that Saturday went smoothly.”

Schell said that the most challenging part of show day was getting up on stage in front of all those people with no idea what to expect.

She added, “That spray tan, trying to keep that without any marks was definitely super challenging.”

(Becky Schell)

Schell wants to compete again, but not over the summertime, partially because she gets busy.

“[My] body definitely needs a break. Going off-season is super important.”

She explains that she was “too muscly” for the bikini athlete category, and next time she would go into the wellness competition.

“It’s a category that just fits my natural body shape and figure a bit better.”

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.