David is a hard ass, and definitely full of tough love. He criticizes when needed and is brutally honest. He also seemed to have a knack for knowing when I was about to give up, and had a way of making me not want to disappoint him or myself. And I would push harder because of it. I feel confident in what we can accomplish working together.

Justine Conover

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NAME: Justine Conover

AGE: 29

OFFSEASON WEIGHT: 135-140lbs

PRECONTEST WEIGHT: 120lbs

DIVISION: figure

CONTEST HISTORY:

  • 2014 NPC Jay Cutler Baltimore Classic, bikini: did not place
  • 2015 NPC Shawn Ray Classic: 3rd place

I always admired the discipline of bodybuilders, and loved the movie Pumping Iron. I started looking at women like

current Nicole Wilkins, Dana Lynn Bailey, and Lenda Murray, and always admired them. I wanted to compete, but always came up with a reason why I couldn’t—mostly fear of failure I think. Then in 2014, I was finally fed up with how I let myself go after my son’s birth, and decided it was time for a change. I picked a competition and worked my ass off. And here we are!

I had a few friends who competed with the TEAM Warrior Within trainers and I always saw them rocking their shows. I listened to David on the GEAR’D Up podcast, and I reached out to him do help me with my prep.

David is a hard ass, and definitely full of tough love. He criticizes when needed and is brutally honest. He also seemed to have a knack for knowing when I was about to give up, and had a way of making me not want to disappoint him or myself. And I would push harder because of it. I feel confident in what we can accomplish working together.

My body tends to be stubborn when dieting, and since I came to David with a long way to go and only ten weeks left, we pushed for about five weeks of this last prep on no carbs, low fats, and two hours of cardio daily. Definitely the hardest part of my prep, and it beat me up! Of course, I had David there to threaten to choke me if I put in all of that work and then quit that close to the finish line!

During the difficult times, I would just remind myself that it’s actually a blessing that I can do this. I have a functioning and capable body. I am able to eat six meals a day. I have air in my lungs and a heart that beats and allow me to physically perform. I would also listen to old Arnold speeches, especially his “Six Rules for Success”, Eric Thomas motivational speeches, and the GEAR’D Up podcast.

I would tell anybody who is looking to get started with competing to do your research and really understand what you’re getting yourself into. This isn’t a walk in the park, it’s not easy, and it’s not for the weak willed. You need to understand post competition and what all it involves. Just make sure you are ready for prep as well as off-season. For me, that part is actually harder.

Most of all, put your mind to it and work your ass off. And remember that no one is making you do this. It’s a choice.

During prep, I learned that I am mentally tougher than I would have ever thought before. The old me would have thrown in the towel and quit without a second thought.

I would like to thank my family and friends for putting up with me, and Justin Pryor of TEAM No Mercy for getting me started on my journey in 2014 and my initial transformation. And of course, I’d like to thank TEAM Warrior Within for the constant motivation and David for pushing me to places I never thought possible.

Moving forward, I plan to bring up overall muscularity, work on my weak areas, and possibly compete again in late 2016. I’m going to enjoy my off-season and work with David on becoming a mini monster!

-Justine Conover

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