After taking a five-year break from Figure Competitions, Chelsea Mooney took the stage again on Oct. 12 to compete at the Natural VanCity Showdown. At that show, Mooney placed first and was asked to compete in an international event in Bogota, Colombia on Nov. 16.
Mooney has recently returned from the competition placing second.
Heading into the VanCity Showdown, Mooney told the Star she follows a strict preparation routine.
“I typically follow a 16-week prep,” said Mooney. “What this entails is a very strict diet, weight training, and cardio regimen. With regards to my diet I have about six or seven meals per day, and all of my food is weighed on a scale. I also perform some sort of weight training and cardio each day, with changes made to the routine every few weeks.
“A significant amount of time each day is dedicated to training and food prep, and sometimes it can feel like another job on top of the full-time job I already have. Although it can be a difficult process, I do enjoy the challenge and it is always satisfying to see the end result.”
She had four weeks to prepare for the show in Colombia and Mooney said she followed the same routine which brought her recent success.
“I followed the same four-week program that I used leading up to the VanCity Showdown,” said Mooney. “That program brought me some success and I was trying to achieve the same look on stage. As such, I found it easy to stay in routine for those four weeks because I had just been through that program.
“Therefore, I already knew what to expect and I knew I would be able to push through it one more time.”
It wasn’t her first international competition. In 2013, she competed in Budapest, Hungary and placed third. Mooney said there is a difference between national and international shows.
“The quality of athletes is always higher at an international competition, and this was true for the competition in Colombia as well,” said Mooney. “Once I saw my competitors I knew it was going to be tough.
“The other big difference between the two competitions was that the show in Colombia was a Pro Qualifier, whereas the Vancouver competition was a national qualifier. There are specific shows in which you can earn your IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) Pro Card and this was one of them.
“That is the ultimate goal for me, but it is extremely difficult to do so. In order to obtain an IFBB Pro Card, you have to win the overall title at either Nationals, North Americans, or a few other international events. At each of these shows, you are competing against the best of the best, so it is a challenging feat to win that overall title.”
Because an IFBB Pro Card was up for grabs Mooney said it created an exciting atmosphere.
“This was the first time that a Natural Pro Qualifier event has taken place in Colombia so there was a lot of excitement surrounding this show,” said Mooney. “There was also a lot of enthusiasm amongst the athletes, as every competitor was hoping to achieve that elusive IFBB Pro Card.
“This was a great event to participate in, and I am grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of it.”
At shows, Mooney competes in a category called Figure, which is a type of bodybuilding although there is less of a focus on muscle mass in the division.
While there is some muscular size and development required, the emphasis is more on balance and symmetry of all the muscle groups.
The Figure division includes a short routine involving the athletes’ choice of poses that they feel best showcases their physique.
The competition followed the same format as the VanCity Showdown with the one major difference being everything was announced in Spanish.
Mooney said she was going to go into the show with no expectations and described what it was like when her name was announced.
“Getting second at an international event is definitely an amazing achievement and I felt very proud in that moment,” said Mooney. “But I have to admit when you come so close to winning an event like that it can be a tough pill to swallow.
“This result certainly encourages me to keep working hard and have a productive offseason, and hopefully I can come back with some improvements next year.”
She learned after the show that it was a close decision between her and the winner.
“After speaking with the judges, I learned that their decision was a close one,” said Mooney. “In the end, two of the five judges had chosen me to win the show, and three chose another girl. Although I didn’t walk away from this show with the ultimate prize, I realize I had a legitimate shot at winning the title and that is something I can feel very proud of.”
Mooney touched on what she will be looking to improve upon when she competes again.
“From the judges’ feedback I know I have to work on building a bit more muscle so that is what I will be working on for next year,” said Mooney.
With the five-year break over, Mooney said she is feeling motivated to keep getting better and to do more shows.
“I feel very motivated to keep improving right now and make some positive changes for next year,” said Mooney. “Over the next several months I will try and make some progress, and I plan to be back on stage for Nationals next summer, which I qualified for at the VanCity Showndown, and potentially North Americans as well.”
Once a show is finished, Mooney said she can’t wait to eat. She said ice-cream is definitely a must, as well, she sampled some of the local fairs.
“Yes, I definitely enjoyed some ice cream but I also enjoyed some local Colombian food as well!” said Mooney.