While we spent the past six months attempting to dig ourselves out of our own hermit holes, Clean Eatz co-owner Leslie Weaver was making gains, counting calories, sticking to a rigid gym schedule and putting in work. That work paid off when she earned her IFBB Pro Card at the Pittsburgh Pro Masters national bodybuilding competition last month.
Leslie has dreamed of earning a Pro Card since she started competing 12 years ago — and quickly learned that dipping into the candy bowl or skipping leg, arm, or any day in the gym isn’t really an option.
“Bodybuilding for me is about 98 percent diet. I always say that it’s like marriage,” Leslie laughs. “You can’t cheat and expect it to work.”
And speaking of marriage, her husband Phil also competes in bodybuilding competitions.
“It really helps to have a partner that really gets it,” Leslie says. “Especially during those days when the diet hits hard.”
Dost thou even hoist, wench?
A lifelong gym lover, Leslie got her start as an aerobics instructor, complete with a Jane Fonda-style leotard.
“I worked at this resort in the summer and would babysit kids. Their parents always had the premium cable packages and I would watch the 80s fitness girls on TV,” Leslie says. “I remember thinking that I wanted to do that.”
She signed up for her first bodybuilding competition 12 years ago and felt the “bite” that made her want to keep on competing with a goal of obtaining the professional status.
Let’s see those #gainz
Before making it to the Pro Masters competition in Pittsburgh, Leslie had to qualify at the regional level. On the day of a competition, Leslie woke up a 4 a.m. First is hair and makeup, where contestants are tanned to accentuate every bulge and muscle curve. Next up is the pre-judge round, where those competing are judged against the others in their specific class.
The finals take place that night and include a 60-second routine that’s set to music. Leslie’s most-recent soundtrack of choice? “Chains” by Deraj.
“The routine can be just poses, but some people get really into it,” Leslie says. “There are so many people watching you. Thankfully, the lights are so bright that you don’t really see anyone in the audience.”
Although she has a Pro Card tucked in her pocket and an item checked off of her bucket list, Leslie says she doesn’t plan on giving up bodybuilding completely.
“Pro level is a whole new playing field,” Leslie says. “But, I do plan on doing it at least once.”