Building the future one muscle at a time
At 19 years old Mia Martin is far from your average teenager. As a gold medalist in the 2014 Central Japan Bodybuilding & Figure Competition (Yokota Bodybuilding Competition), she competed against 16 other women of all ages in a multistage competition testing their posing abilities.
“When I get up in the mornings, all I’m thinking about is what I can do to better myself,” said Martin. “Most people my age want to get a fast car and party on the weekends, but me, I want something more. I want to be the best me I can be.”
She has the evidence to prove it too, during a recent armature bodybuilding competition at Yokota Air Force Base, she placed first among sixteen female contestants.
“When I got to the competition, it was really nerve wracking,” said Martin.
“But, I knew that I had worked hard to get here, so I was going to do my best, and that’s exactly what I did.”
That hard work, consisted of eating clean for nearly 18 months prior to the competition in addition to working out at the gym for two hours a day six days a week.
“The hardest part of keeping to the whole plan had to be eating clean for so long,” said Martin.
“It was hard because so often my family or friends would invite me out to eat with them and then I’d have to turn them down or be that girl that brings her own food places.”
But, it’s not all hard work and meals at home, Martin added.
“It’s not just about being strong for yourself,” said Martin. “I’ve had little girls come up to me and tell me how they wanted to be like me, it’s such a great feeling to know that they’re seeing that being strong, and fit isn’t just for men or meatheads.”
She’s not the only one, in the last five years, almost every bodybuilding competition, in Japan and in the U.S. has seen a rise in female participants, with many citing the desire to counter the culture stereotypes about women.
That’s really what it’s about for many of the participants, Martin added. They just want to be proud of who they are, to know that they’re being the best and strongest them they could be, and when they can mentor to and be role models for younger girls well, that is just icing on the cake.