Category Archives: Figure Competitor

Why Do You Compete?


It’s a question that is asked so often: “Why do you compete”? I know why I do but I thought I’d put the question out there to see the responses.

To Challenge Myself (The most popular answer)

A lot of women who are already fit or bikini ready sometimes feel the need for a higher goal.  Deciding to compete is a way of taking them to the next level. Nothing shows dedication and strength like a fitness competition. They love watching their bodies change from ordinary to extraordinary!  One girl told me  “Win or lose, it didn’t matter. In my eyes I won as soon as I got on the stage”.

To Cross It Off My “Bucket List”

Many women answered that they wanted to do something to feel accomplished. They made the competitions a goal to achieve and then crossed it off their list. The ironic thing was, that they enjoyed competing so much that they became hooked after only one show!

To Defy the Aging Process

As time moves on, so does your strength and physical beauty.   Competitions have an interesting way of stopping that unflattering process. At 40 I could do more push ups that I could at the age of 20, simply because I wasn’t taking my health for granted anymore.  Competing is a great way to fight the aging process and feel confident again. Age shouldn’t define your physique, in fact some of the best bodies I have seen are on women over the age of 40!

A Weight Loss Goal

One girl I talked to had previously weighed 215 lbs before becoming a bikini competitor and you would never have believed it by looking at her now! These are the inspirational stories that move us into our own motivation.

“Competing is to show others that with enough dedication you can achieve ANYTHING! I competed the first time to prove to myself I could do it. I compete now because I love the process of changing my body through diet and exercise. I’m a competitive person, the stage is my carrot!” Kaylee Norton

To Show Off All My Hard Work

A lot of these women are nurses, teachers and moms. They are not interested in walking around town showing off their hard-earned abs. Competing is a perfect way for them to showcase their determination and commitment.  There is so much sacrifice and discipline that goes into this sport. It’s an amazing feeling to finally feel like your hard work is being displayed!

Because IT’S FUN!!!!

Ask any girl 4 weeks out from a competition if she is having fun. Usually you will get the answer “NO!”.  However, ask her again the day of the show and you will get a completely different answer. The pure adrenaline and thrill of the show are like no other feeling in the world. The glamour and sparkle of it all makes you feel beautiful. The lights and music make you feel like you are part of a spectacular Broadway Production for just one evening. A bonus to it all is the new friends you make and the experience that you will remember forever.

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Crystal West – Fitness Model & Competitor


Crystal West is one amazing woman! A fitness model, competitor and attorney.  Not only is she gorgeous and smart…  she is strong!!!! She currently holds 3 world records and can perform 1,210 multi  grip pull ups and chin ups in 80 minutes! Read more about this incredible lady……


Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and attended college at the University of Washington.  I was always into sports and was actually voted most athletic in my high school class.  I was introduced to weight training when I was just 18.  I fell in love with the weights and have been training ever since.  I did do one show in 1986 but at that time the only type of competition available for women was bodybuilding and that just wasn’t for me.  However, I did continue training and have reaped the benefits now for the past 28 years.

After college I attended law school at the University of Colorado Boulder, graduated with my Juris Doctorate, and ended up practicing law in New York City for ten years as a criminal trial lawyer. I loved my job in New York and worked my way up the ladder so that towards the end of my stint in New York I was able to accomplish my goal of handling homicide cases.

When I was 41 I was looking for some new challenges and decided to become a full time personal trainer.  I also decided to do some fitness modeling and some figure and bikini competitions.  In the mean time I started doing pull-ups at the gym and eventually set my sites on breaking World Records in pull-ups.

I have been in various fitness publications, including a ten page spread in Ironman and also have gotten one magazine cover (Ironman) which I am very proud of.  Additionally, I hold three current World Records in pull-ups, so I definitely consider myself a strength athlete.  Because of the goals I have set and the things I have been able to accomplish through hard work and lots of determination, I have also been given the opportunity to do some motivational speaking which I enjoy.


What inspires you?

I have always been driven to be the best possible me I can be.  To that end, I believe that if you can envision a goal and if you work toward it consistently and with focus you can reach it.

Different things inspire me.  This year I am focusing on my friend Linda who recently passed away.  She had MS and was in a wheel chair with extremely limited mobility, but had a beautiful spirit and an amazingly positive attitude.  I am dedicating this year to Linda and will try and raise money for the local Act for MS chapter here in the Coachella Valley.  Linda’s body gave up but Linda never gave up on life.  That inspires me.


What shows have you done and what was the outcome?

I have competed in five shows two figure comps and three bikini comps.  I have received anywhere from 2nd place to 8th place (I think) in those shows and I always try to compete in both my age division category and the open category as I get a kick out of standing next to gals half my age.


What is your favorite part about competing?

I think it is just showing that you can look good and stay in shape as you get older, (I am 46 turning 47 in May). For me, the shows are also an outlet to be on stage which I adore, and just to do something fun with no expectations.

I also think it is important if you are a personal trainer to walk the walk.  If I am going to tell someone how to get ready for the summer weather (swimsuit season), my feeling is I better be prepared to get ready myself.  I am actually starting a lean down diet today.

What has been your biggest struggle?

My true love is my pull-ups and endurance training.  The bikini competitions are really outside of my comfort zone and not something I am naturally great at.  The challenge for me is to accept that when I do the bikini competitions and such it is really just for fun.  It is hard for me to do something just for fun because I am so competitive, but I think it is valuable for me because it allows me to experience a different part of the fitness world and to just relax and have a great time.

Photgraphy by Mike Neveux

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