Just when I thought I was becoming a badass by working out five times a week, I spoke with Shonda Lewis, winner of the 2009 Arnold Sports Festival figure division and founder of the Arnold Sports Festival’s Rock Star Bikini contest. Lewis transformed her life from a realtor to a cut fitness maven who started her own bikini competition. If you need some “I-need-to-get-into-shape-for-that-bikini” inspiration, read on.
The making of a winner
Lewis was always into fitness, but work and too many milkshakes led her to become 165 lbs., which was touted on her 5’4” frame. She decided to use a trainer to help bring fitness back into her life. And she went with one of the best: Mike Davies Fitness in Columbus, Ohio, who is known for training people for fitness, figure or bodybuilding competitions.
“One of the trainers wanted to kick me out of the group when I first started,” Lewis remembered. “But Mike Davies knew I had the determination and the mind set [to succeed].”
After 90 days of an intense pairing of aerobics and weight lifting, Lewis went down to 124 lbs. Her eating habits also improved. Usually, Lewis would only eat one big meal around 4 p.m. then she learned to eat six to eight small meals a day.
“It truly was a lifestyle change,” Lewis said. “I started eating more protein, fruits and veggies. I also started drinking a gallon of water a day.”
(Check out her “before” and “after” photos here.)
In the next 90 days, Lewis took her fitness regimen even further, and dropped an additional 15 lbs. And while she continues to maintain her body — by doing cardio workouts twice a day, six times a week (including two days of bootcamp classes), weight training five times a week (switching from major and minor muscle groups) — Lewis took her newfound confidence to the stage, entering in small amateur fitness shows and even won fourth place in her first show.
And when she remembered that the Arnold Sports Festival, one of the largest multi-sport events in the nation, is in her hometown, she took a chance and entered the amateur fitness competition.
“I was feeling good, my body was in tip top shape and I just felt like going for it,” she said.
To Lewis’ surprise, she won first place.
“Bikini is the new sexy”
So what does a fitness maven do when she feels her best? She encourages others to show off their confidence (and bodies) through her Rock Star Bikini contest, the official online bikini contest of the Arnold Sports Festival and Expo, taking place March 1 through March 4 in Columbus, Ohio. (You read right: the Govenator has his own bodybuilding and fitness expo!) The contest is for women who don’t have a bulging bodybuilder’s physique, but still look damn good in a bikini — whether they worked their butt off for it, or never broke a sweat in their life.
“An amateur competitor spends a lot of money and time entering contests, and doesn’t get paid,” Lewis said. “I created a mainstream, online bikini contest so anyone can enter.”
Those with bikini dreams enter online at Rockstarbikini.com/entry.html. Pay the $25 entry fee and submit two photos (front and back view). The 12 finalists are invited to compete at the Arnold Sports Festival. The top six finishers receive refunds for their pre-registration fees. The first place winner gets $1,000 cash; a cover shoot for Muscle & Body Magazine; a professional photo shoot; photo and lunch with Arnold Schwarzenegger; plus other goodies.
Catch a live streaming of the show on March 1 at 9 p.m. at Rockstarbikini.com.