Sonya Lynk loves getting physical.

The 24-year-old University of New Brunswick graduate student has played high-level womens hockey for New Yorks Elmira College and is about to compete in her first two bodybuilding competitions.

The Sydney River, N.S., native sat down with reporter Adam Bowie before a workout at the GoodLife Fitness Club to discuss the sport of bodybuilding, her sparse diet and what kinds of junk food shes dying to eat after the competitions are over.




Q: What three things are always in your fridge?

A: Right now, Id say egg whites, tons of water and chicken breasts.



Q: How did you start bodybuilding?

A: I went away to prep school when I was 15 to play hockey and it was also in connection with the National Sports Academy. So we would actually train and practise in the mornings before school. Thats when I was first introduced to weights, but I really started to get into it when I went to university and continued playing hockey there. Id go home and train with a bodybuilder in the summer and I learned a lot that way.



Q: So it started as preparation for hockey, but you also grew to appreciate the training as a sport?

A: Yeah. At the gym, my trainer would also train other women for bodybuilding competitions.

Id see them there and watch their training and see the changes that would take place with their bodies and I found it all really fascinating. I decided Id like to try that sometime.



Q: Tell me about the two competitions youre going to be entering.

A: The first one is today and its the Nova Scotia provincial championships. And next Saturday there is the Atlantic Classic and its held in Moncton. Its an open competition and anybody from the Maritimes can compete in that show, so its not strictly provincial competitors only.



Q: These are your first two serious competitions. What kind of expectations do you have?

A: With these being my first two competitions, my expectations arent really high because Ive been told by many people that your first few competitions are basically learning experiences. You have to figure out what works for your body, etc.



Q: The sport isnt completely about physicality, right? Its also about posing, showmanship and putting together a solid posing routine.

A: Definitely. In the pre-judging, you have to do all the mandatory poses. Women dont do as many as the men. They dont have to do the lat-spread, the most muscular, etc. But we do the front double-bicep, the back double-bicep, the abs, the thigh, side-chest, side-tricep and a 60-second posing routine in the evening show thats set to music. You kind of have to be creative and hit the poses that will show off the strongest points of your physique.



Q: When youre training for a competition, you have to go through a lot of sacrifices. Tell me about your diet.

A: The dieting is definitely the most difficult part. Its easy to go to the gym and work hard and sweat, but the dieting really makes or breaks a persons training.

Most people start on a 12- week diet, depending on how lean they already are, or if they have a lot of fat to lose, its more like 20 weeks. A lot of people prepare differently.

For me, around 10-12 weeks I cut out dairy products and as it progresses you cut out fruit, as well. Thats because theyre sugars dairy is sugar, fruits are sugars.

You only eat very complex carbohydrates like brown rice and sweet potatoes and, as you get closer to the show, you taper that off as well. You eat mostly lean proteins like chicken breasts, fish and egg whites.

You combine that with protein powders and healthy fats like nuts and peanut butter and olive and flax-seed oils.



Q: What three things are you looking forward to eating after these competitions?

A: Oh my God, chocolate. All I really care about eating is chocolate and cookies and sweets. Im excited for pizza and nachos and those kinds of food will be good too, but Im most excited for the chocolates.

Im a huge sweet-tooth chocolate freak, so Im thinking about chocolate cake and things like that.