News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Local Interest

June 26, 2012

Fit and Fem: Competitive fitness

Terre Haute’s Jessica Roberts pushing herself all the way to national fitness championships

TERRE HAUTE — Muscular, yet feminine.

That’s how Terre Haute athlete Jessica Roberts, who will turn 31 Friday, likes to think of herself and she’s proven her point in fitness contests over the last few months.

The 5-foot-4 3/4, 124-pound Roberts, who moved to Terre Haute from Massachusetts with her husband Owen in September 2010, entered bikini and figure competitions in her late 20s.

Those probably weren’t athletic enough to be featured in a newspaper sports story, but few would argue that what she does now is worth coverage in this section.

“I’ve wanted to do fitness competitions since I was in [Portage] high school,” she told the Tribune-Star. “I had been in gymnastics my whole life and this is a nice spinoff of gymnastics. Then earlier this year, I decided to give it a try and signed up for a competition.”

Roberts and other female fitness contestants are judged in two rounds.

In the first round, they wear a two-piece bathing suit and pose to demonstrate muscle definition, low bodyfat content, symmetry and femininity. In the second round, they perform a two-minute routine — choreographed to the music of their choice — during which they must show five mandatory moves. Those are a pike hold, a straddle hold, a high front kick, a side split and a one-arm push-up.

“It helps to have gymnastics ability, flexibility, strength and dance skills,” she mentioned, “but only strength and flexibility are mandatory.”

A part-time personal trainer at Ultimate Fitness in Terre Haute and full-time mother of a daughter who’s almost 3, Roberts said she can do as many as six left-arm push-ups in a row. She also can perform three different no-hand flips successfully.

The 2003 Valparaiso University graduate made her fitness-contest debut in the Kentucky Derby Festival Championships back in April in Louisville, where she finished second. This event was sanctioned by the National Physique Committee (NPC).

“I learned a lot about posing in that competition,” Roberts reflected. “I knew I had to step up my routine.”

She quickly changed up her routine and entered the NPC Jay Cutler Classic in May in Boston. This time, she received the overall championship trophy, beating out 11 other fitness competitors. She posed to “Little Red Riding Hood,” a techno song by A-Moe.

“I knew my poses better and I didn’t fall in my routine this time,” Roberts assessed, referring to a stumble in her April debut. “I think I did really well.”

By winning the Cutler Classic title, she qualified for the NPC National Fitness Championships on July 6-7 at Teaneck, N.J.

“Realistically, I would just like to place in the top five,” Roberts said. “It would be amazing if I became an IFBB [International Federation of Bodybuilding] pro. But I would have to place in the top two in my [tall] division to do that.”

After the national championships, she plans to eat regular food for a while, then gear up for improved showings in 2013.

Roberts said the diet of fitness athletes is strict — but not as strict as the kind required by competitive bodybuilders — noting that complex carbohydrates in small amounts are more tolerable for fitness athletes.

“We still need to have that muscle definition,” added Roberts, who usually diets down to 120 or 121 pounds to get in tip-top shape for competitions.

Roberts explained why she enjoys participating in a sport that receives so little publicity.

“It’s challenging,” she emphasized. “It gives me a sense of why I do the personal training. For some of my clients who are trying to lose weight, it gives me an idea of what it’s like when I’m losing weight. It gives me something in common with them.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Interest
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Bull Run Comes to Middle America Space Station Shipment Launched From Virginia Raw: Divers, Snorkelers at Undersea 'Concert' Wisconsin Cop Ready to Roll...On Skateboard Israel Deploys Ground Troops to Gaza Strip Giant Whale Vacuumed in New York City Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Lightning Kills Two in National Park in Colorado Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Hamburger Champion Downs 26 Burgers Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale Raw: Truck Crash Spills Turkeys on Va. Highway Raw: Stunning Timelapse of WC Final Host City Diaz and Segel Strip Off for 'Sex Tape' Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters One Dead, 19 Injured in Greyhound Bus Crash WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Soft Robot Fish Lead New Wave of Robotics
NDN Video
Germany Wins The 2014 FIFA World Cup!!! RAW VIDEO: Stampede injures ten at Georgia World Congress Center Cellphone Video Shows Assault Tracy Morgan released from rehab month after crash LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity