Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Flexing Feminine Muscle!
Name: Leah Beyer
Facebook: Leah B. Fit
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Age: 22 Height: 5'5" Weight: 110 pounds
Years Bodybuilding: 4
From age 8 to 18, I pursued a career in classical ballet and attended prestigious ballet schools and summer programs in the United States including The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, The School of American Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Chautauqua Dance Festival, and Tulsa Ballet. I graduated from The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida in 2009.
Soon after graduation, I developed severe stress fractures in both legs and feet. I was terrified to go to the doctor and hear my career was over. Yet it was also a comforting thought. I left ballet with no warning and did a complete 180. I registered for college in July 2009 and moved into my freshman dorm at Western Kentucky University in August 2009. It was a whirlwind of emotions, but I loved the thrill.
I chose to major in exercise science because I thought it would come naturally since I had working knowledge of anatomy and exercise from my ballet training. I had no clue how much the decision would impact my life.
When I arrived at WKU in August 2009, I was 100 pounds and 18 percent body fat. I was petite, thin, and had no muscle tone. It was the perfect body type for ballet, but not for the real world, so I decided to gain weight and get in shape. A friend I met during the first weeks of school helped me design a workout program that helped me add weight and muscle. He's now my fiance and we're getting married in December. After the first initial workout, I was hooked.
It was tough to learn how to work out to gain weight. No one understood why I wanted to do it, but it was important to me. I was tired of being known as the thin, wimpy girl. I wanted to be confident in my strength and functionally strong. During the first two years of college, my fitness routine was strictly to learn. There were times I didn't step into a gym for months, but I always researched, learned, and sought information. Majoring in exercise science was incredibly helpful and pushed me to improve my wellbeing. It took two years to realize the passion I developed for fitness. After my sophomore year, I was hired to teach group fitness at a local studio in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This is when I realized how much I loved helping others and loved my job.
In October 2012, my friend and I took a big step and signed up for our first NPC bikini competition. I had no idea what I was doing. My prep was all wrong, but it didn't matter because I was happy and proud of my effort. I gained 10 pounds and walked on stage at 110 pounds with 18 percent body fat. I competed with 15 girls and took 13th place. To most people this would be considered a failure, but to me, this was winning. I had never been on stage for any reason besides ballet and the knowlege that I had the confidence to showcase another part of me was breathtaking.
After the competition, I became incredibly serious about fitness and my body. To expand my knowledge, I studied and received my AFAA personal training certification in November 2012. I immediately started personal training and fell in love. This was my destiny. I was made to be a personal trainer. I entered two more NPC bikini competitions to show my clients that I was helping them achieve their goals and working to achieve mine. On May 25, 2013, I stepped on stage at the Hub City Fitness Quest at 110 pounds and 12 percent body fat. I placed second in bikini open middle class. I still get chills remembering the moment. Going from 13th to second place in seven months was unbelievable. I never sacrificed my happiness or health to reach my goal. My prep was 100 percent happy, healthy, smart, and designed by me.
I was recently given the opportunity to represent one of the fastest-growing supplement companies in the industry. I'm a Tennessee street team rep for the supplement company Pro Supps. As a street team rep, I attend demos for the company, share my love for their products, and represent their brand through my fitness training. I believe in their products and can't wait to see what the future holds for Pro Supps.
Throughout my training, I followed a common theme to gain muscle and tone. It's a rush to see my muscles pop during a set. For these reasons, I train with high weights and low reps. I start with the lightest weight at 10 reps and work my way down the ladder until I can only perform one rep of the heaviest weight. If I don't work until failure, then I'm not finished.
During my competition prep, I like to keep my training the same but push myself to lift heavier and longer. I add more minutes on the stairmaster because it works wonders for your hamstrings, glutes, and heart rate. I like to walk on stage the way I look 95 percent of the time rather than looking that way for only 1-2 days out of the year. It makes me feel more confident on- and offstage.
3 sets of 10 reps
Circuit: 3 sets
My nutrition plan is different than most. I don't believe in dieting, counting calories, or using water pills to deplete before competition. Fuel yourself as if you're a car. Fuel your body with food that's 100 percent natural and organic.
Although my nutrition plan is different, it worked wonders for me and made me look my best on and off stage. I eat 5-6 meals per day and never count calories. I only look at the nutrition label, carb and sugar amounts, and if the product contains high fructose corn syrup.
I have occasional cheat days and think they're important to maintain a healthy metabolism and mind.
Fitness became a never-ending staircase. I want to keep climbing, learning, and succeeding. It's the most thrilling industry because it never ends. There's always something.
Graduating with a degree in exercise science introduced me to the science behind dumbbells. My degree helped me understand the industry in more depth, which adds to my everlasting passion.
My fiance, Kasey Kingsbury, motivated me every step of the way. Kasey and I met during the first week of college and he helped me design my first fitness and nutrition plan. He never gave up on me and always motivated me to keep going, even when times got rough. He's always by my side helps me succeed in everything I attempt. He's the best fitness boyfriend ever. I can't thank him enough.
I always look to my personal training clients for inspiration. I can't imagine a more dedicated and inspiring group of people in my life. They all have amazing stories and incredible journeys. I look up to them for constant inspiration, especially as I watch them transform before my eyes.
My parents, Loren and William Beyer, are a big part of my inspiration. They worked hard throughout their lives and continue to push themselves to lead healthier lives. My mom attends barre and yoga classes and my dad likes to lift.
I currently live in Nashville, Tennessee, and constantly work to expand my in-home personal training business. I work with clients who have busy schedules and can't find time to go to the gym, but are dedicated to changing their lives. This is great for new moms, stay-at-home moms, celebrities, and busy workers. I want to make their fitness goals come to life.
When I have a set clientele and everything is running smoothly, I want to get a location in Nashville and start my own personal training studio. This is my dream. I can't wait to set it in motion.
I would love to be a featured fitness model. I've always dreamed of opening a magazine and seeing myself featured in a spread. To make this dream come true I will continue competing in at least two competitions per year and prove that I can do this.
Stay happy and healthy. If you're in the midst of training and realize you're not happy or aren't feeling your best, then it's time for change. Never sacrifice your happiness, health, and overall wellbeing for anything. Fitness and nutrition will change your life for the better, but make sure you're accomplishing it in a safe and healthy manner.
Courtney Prather has the total package. She's incredibly healthy, in shape, and has an amazingly generous and genuine personality. I remember the first time I came across her website and emailed her some questions. To my surprise, she emailed me back personally!
I love Bodybuilding.com! This is the best source for all fitness, supplement, and general health needs. Where else can you find a workout plan, diet plan, talk to professionals, and buy supplements? Bodybuilding.com's articles and workout plans helped me realize my potential and create realistic goals.
- "Stronger" by Kanye West
- "The Wop" by J Dash
- "When I Grow Up" by Pussycat Dolls
- "We Be Steady Mobbin" by Lil Wayne
- "I'm Me" by Lil Wayne
–Tricky Jackson Classic 2012 - 13th Place
–The Hub City Fitness Quest 2013 - 2nd Place
–To ProSupps for welcoming me as a Street Team Rep and giving me the opportunity
to represent their products.
–To my parents, Loren and William Beyer, for their constant love, support,
and encouraging pep talks.
–To Kasey Kingsbury for helping me find my passion in fitness, believing in me,
and dedicating his time to help me succeed.
–To everyone who doubted me and tried to tear me down. You made me stronger.
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I enjoyed reading about your more relaxed/ sustainable approach to nutrition and competition. Very well done with the 2nd place and finding a job you love!
You described yourself as weak when you started college. I've always been lead to believe that ballet dancers were extremely strong for their size, especially in their core and legs. Is this not the case?