Two Manitoba grandparents are among dozens going to great lengths to grab a title from an amateur bodybuilding competition this weekend.
The Manitoba Amateur Bodybuilding Association is holding a provincial competition on Saturday, hoping to find the biggest, buffest men and women in the province.
Grandparents Scott Miner and Debra Geisel weighed in for the competition on Friday. Two years ago, the pair had never even seen a competition before.
Geisel, 51, injured her knee two years ago and gained weight. When she went back to the gym, she said she said a group of bodybuilders inspired her to give it a try.
"I saw all these girls and guys getting ready for a competition – never saw one before in my life," she said.
So Geisel and Miner went to watch a competition.
"I said, ‘I think we can do this’," said Geisel.
So Geisel and Miner, a 57-year-old retired firefighter, embarked on a major journey. Strict meal plans, hours of exercising and even spray tans have now become their life.
The pair eat six meals a day each and work out constantly – closely monitoring their weight and diet with the help of a trainer to prepare for the event.
"Once you do it for any length of time – I don’t know anybody who stops. People train into their 60s, 70s," said Miner.
"The president of our bodybuilding association, Tom Heffner, is 68. He just competed in the world qualifier a month ago."
The pair said doing competitions together comes with its challenges. They’re a lot of work, and the strict diets take a mental toll.
"She has to put up with a lot of me. When you’re low-carb your brain doesn’t work properly," said Miner.
"You’re dumb as a stump. It really is not an easy thing to do as a couple."
Geisel joked the pair let their grandson make the major decisions while they’re training.
"You just smile and keep going," she said.
The pair even won an award from their trainer for remaining a couple while prepping for a show.
On Friday, the pair will flex for the crowd in hopes of nabbing a title.
Afterwards, Geisel said, she’s looking forward to having a red velvet cupcake.
"Some people bring cookies, some people bring cheesecake," said Geisel.
"You walk over there once you’re done because he won’t give you one before."
Miner said anyone can get involved, and Winnipeg’s bodybuilding community is very welcoming.
"It looks hard from the outside, but it’s actually easy because when you get with a good trainer you just follow the instructions," he said.
"We love to see new people in there and we try to help them as much as we can. We all started somewhere, and we all worked hard to get this way."
The provincial competition will begin Friday at 5 p.m. at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre.