Local Bodybuilder qualifies for 2014 North American Championships

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Belle Monroe traveled to Tuscaloosa, Alabama last week and competed in a national qualifier, hoping to

earn a trip to Pittsburgh for a spot into the North American Bodybuilding Championships set for August 29th.  She accomplished her goal, winning her class and the overall division.

Belle works out at Wolfpack Athletics in Gulfport where she also serves as a trainer. She says she wants to become a world-class bodybuilding pro.

"I've wanted to do it for a long time, it is addictive," stated Monroe. "My hopes are actually to hit the stage, make a name for myself, go pro and work myself into a big fitness supplement industry, marketing, promoting from there."

Monroe grew up in Eastern Washington and Western Montana before she spent 6 1/2 years as a Seabee.

While her military background has helped Monroe in her strength and conditioning drills, she says she's always enjoyed lifting weights.

"I've been doing weight training, started when I was about 16, so 16 years now," she said. "I didn't actually start in bodybuilding until last year."

To chisel one's body into a lean machine,weight training is just one crucial aspect of the bodybuilding game.

Monroe stated,"My diet is actually liberal. I start out with about one-to-one carb to protein ratio. I start cutting out my carbs slowly throughout my contest prep. Coming two weeks before my contest prep my carbs are pretty limited. I'm down to about 25 percent of my bodyweight."

Monroe trains about 90-minutes a day, six days a week... mixed in with cardio workouts. She says once the bodybuilding competition approaches, she's trains at least 3 hours each day.

"A lot goes into it. a lot into the contest prep, the timing, when to put size on and when to start cutting," she said.

Monroe will be competing against 15 to 16 women at the North American Bodybuilding Championships.

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