Claudia Berk - Figure Competitor

Hi, Iím Claudia Berk. I am 58 years old and Iím at the beginning of my figure competition journey.
While on a Caribbean cruise 3 years ago, I made friends with a beautiful young woman with a knockout bikini body. We were swimming and taking pictures holding starfish in our hands, she asked if I have ever considered figure competing. I had to ask what it was. Yes! I had to Google it!
When I returned home, I decided Iíd look into what this was all about. After 25 years of competitive league tennis, hitting new PRís in CrossFit, and 4 knee surgeries later, I was intrigued with the idea of taking a new fitness challenge.
I hired a coach, struggled through the strict diet regime, laid off CrossFit style workouts which could widen my waist, and trained to stay injury free while building my V- taper.

Claudia Berk

* Photo by Roberto Rabanne.

At 56 years old, I was once again a novice, now a fledgling body builder. How cool is that?
My focus became laser sharp. I found that more than any other form of fitness I got myself into, I was able not only able to change my physique, II discovered through the bodybuilder lifestyle and diet, I could literally turn back the clock on many aspects of aging. Figure competing is empowering to me. I gained more self confidence than ever before. I learned that no matter how many injuries I have had in the past, the disappointments in my life, and being a woman well into my 50ís, I can achieve the brilliance of a beautiful jewel and have my shining moment on stage to reveal the newly emerged, confident woman I had become.

For me, it hasn't been about weight loss per se. It has been about redistributing my muscles and curves through a disciplined diet and tailoring my workouts. I have maintained a clean eating lifestyle for the last 10 years due to keeping close to a nutrient dense diet, combined with a 80/20 Paleo regime. I can thank CrossFit for that. Once I began bodybuilding, I quickly learned to remain open minded, and completely trust my coach. I follow my coachís advice and diet. I highly recommend hiring a competent coach in this business.

Believe me, its easier to maintain a healthy weight if you stick to a whole foods, natural foods diet. I stay away from refined sugar and white flour. I take my multi-vitamins, fish oil, and calcium religiously.

The trick has always been a challenge to maintain my muscle. Thatís the age thing. The key is consistency in my workouts, along with balancing my protein intake, fats, and carbs. I will never be one to write down everything I eat and fit in some junk just because it fits into my macros. My diet is the key and is the main proponent to why I donít carry excess body fat, and have healthy skin and hair. I have a positive attitude. I am willing to go outside of my comfort zone. I just follow my coaches advice, and let him do the math for me. My body responds really well with adding in healthy fats each day. I have 6 meals a day spaced 2 1/2 - 3 hours apart. I fill up with just enough carbs to fuel my workouts. My coach Brian Hoydic adjusts my diet during the season depending on how I look and how close I am to a contest. I never get bored with my diet. Iím not watching the scale. Right now during my off season, I am eating to gain muscle. Year round, I maintain a diet to match my goals.

A photo posted by Claudia Berk (@claudia_love) on

* Photo by Roberto Rabanne.

I balance my week with my tennis matches and at least one day off for active recovery. I will train my legs on non-tennis days, and Iíll do yoga or just steady cardio on my off day. My basic training plan includes legs 3 times a week, cardio every day, dedicated back and shoulders twice a week. The key to my success is balance. I travel frequently so I throw some resistance bands in my suitcase. No excuses for no workouts while I travel-I can always do body weight workouts and resistance training with my bands. Iím never too far from a gym. Besides, I love to train. I can see myself competing well into my 60ís. I took a stab at the National stage last Summer. This year, I plan again to be up there, smiling, hitting my poses in my blazing sun-tanned, sparkly, bikini-clad body.

I want the world to know that at no matter what age you are, you can shine, be your personal best, and inspire others. This is the icing on the cake for me-being told that I am an inspiration to others. I love meeting other like-minded women in the body-building world. Especially the other 50 + ladies who share the same zest for life as I do.

Thus far, I have competed in 6 shows. At my first show, I actually did figure AND bikini. NoFear! This was a good way to get my feet wet as well as find out exactly where I belong. Yep, Iím a figure girl. I have won 1st. place in 3 of those shows, and also competed closely with girls half my age. I have a collection of beautiful trophies. I have decorated the tall ones with LED lights and they are a focal point in my home. Iím sure a lot of us competitors will attest, it's not the number of trophies weíve won, but the memories and monumental achievement we feel through competing. In addition to my new love of this sport, I maintain my travel agent career, and I hope to join the ranks of several other women who are successful as mature models. Training will continue to be my home base for living my multi-faceted life. Living a fit lifestyle has opened many doors for me as I continue to grow and mature.

Claudia Berk CTC
Unlimited Vacations & Cruises
mobile: 330 388.5105

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