Laura Petrolino - Figure Competitor

I first considered competing when I was 20. After losing a lot of weight from having celiac (although we still didnít know what was wrong at a time), I worked with an awesome trainer who helped me slowly build my body back through the right nutrition and lifting. But I just never did it.

As a competitive figure skater and gymnast growing up I really searched for my ďcompetitive outletĒ as an adult. Bodybuilding stayed in my mind, but I kept making excuses as to why I couldnít compete. Finally in 2012 I made a systematic decision to call my own BS about life in general and create the life I wanted. I set some goals to do that and competing was one of them.

Long story short: Competing and bodybuilding means so much to me because it was that domino decision that helped me change everything. It empowered me to believe in the power of my choices to create the life I wanted. And so I did. And continue to, everyday.

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When you have to wear a dress, but you still like to flex!

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Diet: The foods in my diet stay pretty much EXACTLY the same. I just eat more of them during my improvement season. I have a very high metabolism so my improvement season calories are pretty high. Which is a blessing and a curse. People think itís all fun and games to eat a ton of calories, but itís really not always enjoyable and can feel like a job. Iíve always followed a macro-based diet plan and found it effective.

Self-confidence: Haha! Iím an only child and an extrovert. I LOVE being the center of attention. As soon as I see that stage Iím ready to go out there and show them what Iíve got!

I work with a coach (Paul Revelia @paulrevelia) who creates my training and diet plan. Cardio increases steadily as I get closer to a competition but otherwise my training style stays the same. I lift hard and heavy, use a combo of rep ranges and tempos, and make sure every workout is one that matters.

One thing that surprised me when I first started competing was how amazing all the other competitors are to each other. Itís part of what makes the sport so great. This is especially true when it comes to women supporting women. Itís so rare to find a community of women that truly cheer for each other and you find this across the board in bodybuildingÖboth during training and competition. I walk away from every competition with new friends. Thatís one of the best parts!

Bodybuilding isnít a hobby. Itís a lifestyle. So it really affects everything. Mostly for me I feel itís helped me learn to embrace the value of struggle in life. Build the mental stamina to power through really tough obstacles, and understand the joy of chasing long-term goals. Itís also really empowered me to understand I can change anything about my life I want to, I just need the right focus, patience, and drive.

My eventual goal is to become an IFBB pro. It will take a lot of time and a lot of work, but I love this sport and the process of getting there, so Iím as excited about the journey as I am the goal!


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