EMILY MCLEOD: BIKINI TO FIGURE BACK TO BIKINI
Interview by Ben Yosef // Photography by Chris Keeley
“UGHHH, WHICH DIVISION SHOULD I COMPETE IN???” THIS IS A COMMON DILEMMA FOR MANY ATHLETES WHEN IT COMES TO BIKINI VERSUS FIGURE. TOO BIG FOR BIKINI? NOT LEAN ENOUGH FOR FIGURE? THESE ARE JUST A COUPLE OF THE CONSIDERATIONS THAT THESE ATHLETES STRUGGLE WITH. EMILY MCLEOD IS ONE OF THESE GIRLS. LUCKY FOR HER SHE HAS A STELLER LOOK AND HAS FOUND SUCCESS ON BOTH STAGES. SO WHAT LEAD HER TO THE BIKINI STAGE? THEN TO FIGURE? THEN BACK TO BIKINI?
BIKINI TO FIGURE
“I WAS LIFTING PRETTY HEAVY IN THE GYM AND MAKING SOME SERIOUS PROGRESS…”
It was great and I had a lot of fun. I was nervous and excited to be on stage for the first time! After my first show I was definitely hooked.
NICEEE. HOW MANY BIKINI COMPETITIONS DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU DECIDED TO GIVE FIGURE A TRY?
I did three. I won Pro Card at my 2nd show.
WELL, THAT IS PRETTY IMPRESSIVE. AT WHAT POINT DID YOU START CONSIDERING THE FIGURE DIVISION?
The year after. I was lifting pretty heavy in the gym and making some serious progress on muscle growth. A couple of my good friends suggested that I should try Figure because I had really good back definition!
HA! SO, YOUR BODY BUILDS AND RESPONDS WELL TO THE TRAINING? YOU ARE NOT A HARD-GAINER?
I tend to gain faster in my upper body. I have some stubborn areas that I have to work a little harder at! I’ve always started back today with unassisted pull-ups to really challenge myself.
BACK TO BIKINI
“I PERSONALLY ENJOY BIKINI. THE POSING, SASS, AND ATTITUDE. I THINK IT SUITS ME BETTER….…”
Two shows. Both times I placed 1st in my class and lost the Overall! I didn’t bring my body in as lean as I would have liked. Figure is all about conditioning!
WOW, YOU ROCKED FIGURE! DID YOU ENJOY IT?
I did! It’s actually a lot of work holding those poses.
HA! TRUE TRUE. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO COME BACK TO THE BIKINI DIVISION?
I just missed the excitement of Bikini! It definitely allows you to show more personality on stage!
FIGURE IS NOT AS EXCITING?
It’s always exciting being on stage no matter what! But I think Bikini is a bit more fun and exciting.
SO, IT IS NOT A MATTER OF THE PHYSIQUE REQUIREMENTS? IT IS MORE A MATTER OF ONE BEING MORE FUN THAN THE OTHER?
No! I personally enjoy Bikini. The posing, sass, and attitude. I think it suits me better….at least for now. [smiles] I can’t say that I’ll never try Figure again. Maybe in a few years!
“I THINK BIKINI IS A GREAT PLACE TO START IF YOU ARE UNSURE!…WHO KNOWS MAYBE YOU’RE PERFECT FOR IT!”
Honestly I’m conflicted! I absolutely love lifting heavy! I think if one day I wake up and decide that I’m too big for Bikini I will make the switch back to Figure! But for now I’d like to remain in Bikini and keep my look! I recently added in some plyometric workouts and I’m now targeting glutes and hamstrings on their own days and combining upper body workouts instead of putting them on separate days.
NICE! WELL, I AM A FAN OF YOUR PHYSIQUE AND I THINK YOU WILL ROCK IT NO MATTER WHICH DIVISION YOU DECIDE TO COMPETE IN, WHICH HAS CLEARLY BEEN THE CASE. WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE TO GIRLS WHO MAY BE “ON THE FENCE” WITH REGARDS TO WHICH DIVISION TO TURN TO?
I think Bikini is a great place to start if you are unsure! Maybe talk with a posing coach and see what they think! Or sign up for a couple shows and get judge’s feedback and see how you like it! Who knows, maybe you’re perfect for it! BIKINI