Sharon builds on body-building success
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
CALLIOPE'S Sharon Clough is not your average mum. The 37-year-old mother of two has earned a legendary reputation as one of Queensland's best body-builders after taking up the sport just four and a half years ago.
Not many people know too much about the sport of bodybuilding, myself included, so I took a trip down to Sharon's training venue ? the Yaralla Fitness Centre.
I am sure Sharon would not mind me saying this, but she cuts one mean figure with a body her rivals across Australia know plenty about.
My first question was pretty simple, how did she get started in bodybuilding?
'I was a bit overweight after having my son Zac and I got involved in the aerobics scene, then I just got sick of lifting two kilogram dumbells and it went from there,' Sharon says.
'When I was younger I was pretty sporty, but this has been something that I didn't really expect.'
At her competitions, Sharon competes in the Physique section which covers areas such as muscle size, definition and poses. "Most events are split into three ways, you have to be pretty versatile because judging covers a lot of areas,' she says.
'You work hard to get there and it is important you are ready to go when you are competing.'
And Sharon would know what working hard is because she mixes training with work as a nurse and being a mum of 12-year-old Aprel and Zac, 8.
Three months before every competition Sharon also starts her preparation, with a life of dedication to her diet and training crucial to her success.
'You have to be very dedicated, I train usually five or six times a week depending on my work schedule,' she say
"It is tough with the kids, but thankfully I have my husband Colin there who is a great support.
'My diet is pretty strict as well, with main meals of chicken and fish supplemented by some porridge, fresh green vegetables and of course my protein shakes.
'I also have to drink lots of water, around seven litres a day to keep hydrated, but that stops just two days out from competition.
'Don't worry, when competition is finished I make sure I get my junk food fix as well.' And while temptation is sometimes a hassle, she manages to overcome it.
'I was at a wedding just a few weeks from competition and everyone was eating dessert, but I thought in a couple of weeks I will get my reward,' she says.
Sharon does get her fair share of rewards at the top events including this year's Queensland titles where she finished second and is now looking forward to going one better this year.
'Last year was a bit disappointing getting so close, but hopefully this year I can get one better,' she says.
'I would also like to go to the Australian Titles and my biggest goal is to go to the Olympia event in the USA down the track.'