Interview By Ben Yosef | Michael Brooks Photography
“…IF I DO NOT WIN, THERE IS NO WAY I WANT TO LOOK BACK AND THINK IT WAS BECAUSE I DID NOT FOLLOW MY PLAN “THAT ONE TIME.” IT WILL BE BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS A BETTER PHYSIQUE AND PRESENTATION THAN ME.“
But first, a little history…
Sarah McManus hit the IPL Bikini stage for the first time at the October 2018 Southwest Grand Prix in Phoenix, Arizona. At this this contest she placed 2nd in Bikini Novice Class A and 3rd in Bikini Open Class A. These placements would qualify her to compete at APEX in November.
At 2018 APEX III Sarah would find herself in a stacked Bikini Open class, featuring some of the best Bikini competitors of the 2018 season. Needless to say, she was able to snag 1st place and IPL Pro Card. Following her 2018 success Sarah was featured in Natural Bikini Magazine discussing her amazing season.
Fast forward just six months and Sarah was back on the IPL stage at the 2019 4th Annual IPL Arizona Championship in Phoenix, Arizona. This time for her Pro Bikini Debut. In a stacked Pro class Sarah looked incredible, emerging victorious, and earning her first Pro Bikini title. Shout out to Kristen Perez in 2nd and Ramsey Moore in 3rd, rounding out the top three.
Next up for Sarah was the 4th Annual IPL Grand Prix Pro/Am in October. The contest that started it all for her one year ago. Here Sarah would snag her second Pro victory. Shout out to Brittney Truman 2nd and Stephanie Contreras 3rd.
What an incredible run for Sarah in just one year of competition! With these two Pro victories Sarah joins an elite group of IPL Pro Bikini title winners who have won more than one Pro title. She is only the 5th athlete to ever earn this distinction. We are excited to see what’s in store for Sarah in 2020!
BEN: YOSEF: What an amazing year you had in 2019! You Killed it! Big congratulations to you! And welcome back to Natural Bikini!
SARAH MCMANUS: Thank you so much! I had such a fun year competing in both Arizona shows. I’m so honored to be featured on the cover of Natural Bikini Magazine.
BEN: It is safe to say that your rise through the IPL has been meteoric. Literally in one year you competed in four contests and climbed right up to two Pro Bikini titles in that time. What do you attribute this success to?
SARAH: I would say the most important factor in being successful is following my plan. This includes nutrition, lifting and posing. Even when I am tired, stressed or no one is “watching,” I will not let anything become an excuse or get in the way of my goals.
I do not cheat on my nutrition plan, ever, unless my coach says I can have a free meal. I follow a meal plan year-round, not just during “prep” a certain number of weeks before a show. I will not miss a workout, unless I am sick.
I always tell myself that if I do not win, there is no way I want to look back and think it was because I did not follow my plan “that one time.” It will be because someone has a better physique and presentation than me.
BEN: Spoken like a true champion! What an incredible mindset and amazing routine you have. I think there are many athletes who can certainly take pages from your book! So, you looked absolutely amazing at the Arizona Pro, your Pro Debut. Then you came back for the Southwest Grand Prix arguably even better. One of the areas where you seemed to have improved on was the conditioning department. You were shredded! Do you test your body fat? And was it an intention of yours to come in leaner to that second Pro show?
SARAH: Well, thank you! I actually don’t test my body fat. I rarely weigh myself either. The numbers aren’t important to me, which is funny because I am a former math teacher and a total numbers girl in other aspects of my life. Occasionally my coach would have me weigh myself in the morning as we got closer to the Grand Prix show, around 8 weeks out, but not that often. He has a good eye and can accurately guess where I am at.
I wouldn’t say my goal was to come in leaner, but just to come in looking better than I did before. That is always the goal. To bring a better package. And hey, if I can do it eating a giant bacon cheeseburger and fries the night before the show and during intermission (yep, that happened!) I will take it!
BEN: Love it! How were you feeling after that first Pro victory in the spring? I imagine that that win gave you a ton of momentum heading into the fall show, your second pro show.
SARAH: That was quite the moment, especially after having a pose down with Kristen! I had a lot of fun at that show. All the Pro competitors were so nice and encouraging. It definitely gave me momentum going into the fall to bring an even better package to stage.
BEN: Which you did! Nothing against Stephanie Contreras or Brittney Truman, who are fantastic athletes, but when you walked out in that lineup it was pretty clear that this was your show. It basically was a fight for 2nd place at that point. Were you feeling pretty confident in that lineup?
SARAH: I was confident because I did everything I was supposed to do up until that day as directed by my coach. That is so important in competing. You want to walk out on competition day feeling confident and proud of the work you put in. It doesn’t matter who you are competing against and if you win or if you lose. What matters is knowing you did everything to bring your best package to stage. Then you really win no matter the outcome, as cheesy as that sounds. But don’t get me wrong, at the same time, I was also nervous. I always get nervous. Not sure if that feeling ever goes away! We will see this fall!
BEN: Such a great outlook. It has been really great watching your amazing progress and success over the past year or so. And it will be awesome to see you hit that stage again in the fall! Any final thoughts?
SARAH: Thank you for the opportunity to be featured on the cover of Natural Bikini! I have enjoyed competing in the IPL and will continue to work hard to make myself, family and the league proud. Thank you, once again. BIKINI