Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Delphene Balan Lifts To Live!

Delphene battled intense migraine headaches that affected her quality of life. See how health and fitness propelled her out of a rut and onto the stage at age 49!


How did your fitness journey begin?

I was a competitive gymnast and figure skater in high school. I also played basketball, volleyball, and track and field. Gymnastics was my favorite. I craved the solitude of the sport, which resembles bodybuilding. The iron caught my eye the first time I saw an issue of Muscle and Fitness with Corey Everson on the cover. I studied each movement closely and tried to feel the muscle work like the magazine said and connected with my body for the first time. I loved the look of a strong, pretty woman.

A news program from decades ago said sugar/high glucose levels feed migraines and cancer, and weakens the immune system, so I started working out with weights and doing cardio regularly. It was reported that people who worked out regularly reduced migraines, which, at the time, were crippling me. I was reduced as a mom, wife, and friend.

At age 23, I committed to change my life and started an exercise program when it wasn't popular for women to lift weights. Now I feel better at age 49 than I did at age 23.

"I feel better at age 49 than I did at age 23."

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

Fitness relieved my migraines and provided limitless energy. When I experienced how eating clean felt and looked, I never went back. Lifting creates strong muscles. The physique is a bonus.

What/Who motivated you?

Seeing Cory Everson and Gladys Portugues grace the pages and covers of Muscle and Fitness drew me in. My love for iron and muscle drove my desire to live in a healthy body free of debilitating headaches.

Where did you go for inspiration?

I started lifting weights before there were home computers. Muscle and health magazines were my treat or reward for accomplishing my goals. When computers came, I went online and connected with women who had similar goals. I love BodySpace for that reason.

I accomplished plenty and competed at age 49, but I'm still in awe when I see others achieve the same goals because I know what it takes to finish a contest.

What are your future fitness plans?

My plan is to compete at the 2013 Eastern USAs in women's physique and take 2014 by storm in Canada at Provincials in my home city. It will be my year. I can feel it.

What is the most important fitness tip?

Lift with power. The weight you select for power sets should look slow to people watching you, but it should feel fast to you. The eccentric part of the action or lift should be slow and controlled.

Who is your favorite bodybuilder/fitness athlete?

Dave Draper, Dave Palumbo and Bev Francis. I appreciate how much these bodybuilders give back freely. They love the art and sport and help many achieve their goals through consultation services and the media.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

BodySpace provides as much interaction as you need. You meet and collaborate with likeminded people who share similar goals. The prices and inventory are unbeatable at Bodybuilding.com, even with Canadian shipping.

Delphene's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Lady Gaga Medley Mash Up" by DJ Mario
  2. "Try" by Pink
  3. "Feel This Moment" by Pitbull (Feat. Christina Aguilera)
  4. "Holy Grail" by Jay-Z (Feat. Justin Timberlake)
  5. "Scream" by Usher