Female bodybuilder Yoly Hawley (27) is an educator at Learning Unlimited Preparatory School. Hawley tells us about her bodybuilding routine.
Why did you decide to enter the CAC competition?
This was my second time entering the CAC competition. This year I was determined to win overall. The CAC competition is the biggest competition within the Caribbean andCentral America, where an athlete is capable of winning their IFBB Pro Card. This was the main reason I entered. I thought this was an opportunity of a lifetime to be a step closer to my goal and it would mean absolutely nothing if I didn’t take advantage of it.
How did you prepare for the competition?
I started preparing in February. My preparations included clean eating and increasing in my cardio. I started cutting down on my food and water intake one week before the show. The fact that I am a bikini athlete, my water level should not be as low as in other categories.
What did the competition entail?
The competition is the biggest bodybuilding competition in the Caribbean andCentral Americabecause athletes are able to win their IFBB Pro Card. Once you achieve your IFBB Pro Card, you are part of the international competitive level; meaning you are capable to compete with the world’s elite. There are many categories in the bodybuilding industry. The female categories includeBikini, Figure and Fitness and Women’s Physique. I was in theBikinicategory. In this category, women are very lean. The judges are looking for a softer look than that of the other categories; they are not looking for the same muscle mass or definition as that of the fitness, figure or physique competitors. Competitors are judged based on balance, poise and physical appearance, from front and back angles. Think tight and toned. The myth of saying “you are too muscular or don’t get too muscular” doesn’t apply to the Bikini Category, remaining feminine is crucial.
What was your strategy on stage?
To show the judges and audience that I love what I do. I truly believe that people can see when you enjoy being on stage and love what you do. Before stepping onto the stage, I think on this being what I love to do and that I need to showcase myself within 30 seconds. As I enter the stage with total confidence, fierceness, elegance and femininity, I do not forget to smile and hold eye contact with the judges. I showcase my best performance and make sure the judges could see that I am doing this with passion.
What gave you the edge?
It was a tight competition. Everyone looked their best. In the end, I brought one of my best packages on stage. Also because I competed last year, I was hoping some of the judges had remembered me and would see the improvements in my body and stage presence. This was my fifth bodybuilding/bikini competition. My first was in April 2014 inAnguillaand I won first place. My second was St. Maarten Body Building and Fitness Association (SMBBFA) in September 2014, where I also won first place. My third was the CAC held inSt. Martin, October 2014, where I won my class, but not overall. The fourth was organised by SMBBFA in August 2015 and I won first place. My fifth and final was CAC last month.
How does it feel being the overall CAC winner?
It’s an overwhelming feeling. I am most definitely proud of myself, because this has been one of my greatest achievements thus far. I gave this competition my all, especially during my preparations. I sacrificed many things to reach my goal. I’m now ready to take on the new challenge of being an IFBB Pro. This is definitely a new chapter in my life and ultimately this is the purpose of my life.
How did you become interested in fitness and competing?
In August 2013, I joined Juliet’s Gym and committed myself to losing weight and building a toner and healthier body. However, my results weren’t as successful as I had anticipated. Training alone wasn’t easy. Then I met Cleo Carti, who is known within the bodybuilding community and began personal training with her. She encouraged me to compete in theBikinidivision. I was also approached by SMBBFA to compete. In February 2014, Carti introduced me to my current nutritionist/coach Antonio Gosilio. I didn’t know this was the beginning of my bikini fitness journey.
Advice to other females who want to also clinch these titles?
Know your goal; set your personal goal and work towards it. When you have a goal you are stretching and reaching for, you will find out you have talents you never knew you had. Eat healthy and hydrate; what you put in is what you get out! Rise and exercise! Focus on the long term results; weight isn’t gained overnight and will not leave overnight. Trust the process, consistency is the key.
What’s next for you?
The next step for me is to compete in a professional show, against other IFBB Pro athletes.
What differentiates you from other athletes?
I know what I want and I pursue it every single day. I raise my standard. Whatever I set my mind to, I give it not just 100 percent, but 200 percent. I give it my all, my heart. I don’t look at training and dieting as an obligation or something I am forced to do. I think of it as an opportunity and not an obligation.
How do you think this field can be improved?
I would personally like to see more respect given to all athletes in different sports in our community. Being an athlete takes a lot of commitment and dedication for what we may want to achieve whether it may be for a professional career or hobby. Being able to put your body into such vigorous training and dieting takes so much self-motivation and discipline. As athletes, we have to be mentally and physically strong to endure criticism.
What’s your regular training regimen like?
I weight train five days a week, beginning and ending each training session with cardio, whether it is running, spinning or the elliptical machine. I also split my weight training into various routines per day.
What do you like about bodybuilding?
Knowing that you can transform your body by just eating the right food and exercising; I became fascinated by the results that were taking place. These results did not come easily. It took hard work and consistency. My body displays my commitment to the sport.
What do you do to maintain your shape and body outside of the gym?
Eat healthy and in moderation. Training does not necessarily mean going to the gym. You can always train at home or outdoors. Technology also makes home training so much easier by following fitness videos or apps.
Height: 167cm, Stage weight: 57kg , Off stage weight: 60kg.
Pizza when I’m not preparing for a competition. During competition, asparagus.
Favourite and least body part to work out?
I enjoy working out my back and my least is my shoulders.
Favourite weighted exercise move?
There are so many, but if I had to narrow it down to one, I would definitely say hyper-extension because it works my hamstrings and lower back.
I want to be an inspiration to others and make an impact. I would also like to compete in the Olympics.
Creating interactive learning tools for my classroom. I also enjoy tutoring, swimming and listening to music.
I am fortunate for the constant support from family members, especially my parents who have been there to every competition and travelled to theBahamaswith me to witness my victory. Also my coach/nutritionist Gosilio; Carti for encouraging me to pursue this new career, Incredible Fitness and More and St. Maarten Body Building and Fitness Association.