Fairview woman wins national
By Rhett Wilkinson
FAIRVIEW—After winning a national bodybuilding competition, Sharlane Hess of Fairview said it feels “a little unreal” to be a national champion.
She placed first at the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) Team USA Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in Bikini Diva Short Open and Bikini Overall, held Sept. 25-26.
Hess competed in the bikini category at the Las Vegas, Nev. event because of her body size. (There are other categories for bulkier bodies.)
Hess advanced to the world competition—The Pinnacle of Natural Sport, INBA PNBA Natural Olympia, to be held Nov. 12-15 at Paris Las Vegas in Las Vegas. (The event is usually not in the United States, Hess said.) It will be open to spectators, according to the INBA PNBA.
Hess “probably” is attending.
“[I’d] be competing with people from outside the United States, which is kinda cool,” Hess said. “[It’s] pretty cool … if you win, you get to hold your flag.”
Hess also took first Aug. 29 in the Bikini Diva Short and Bikini Overall categories at Utah State Naturals, the statewide bodybuilding and fitness competition.
“I never pictured myself competing in anything except the state level,” Hess said. “Winning it was a little out of my scope and I never thought it was possible.”
The national competition was different from other years because of restrictions due to COVID-19. Usually, it’s at Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. This year, it was at a gym, resulting in less people. That made Hess “feel more comfortable,” she said.
She still described the national competition as “super, super, super intimidating.”
While she enjoyed the state competition, Hess was “nervous to take the next step and every woman that I saw … felt, like, flawless and just perfect.”
But the Team USA organizers made their competition “really comfortable.”
“It was a really good show,” Hess said.
And that wasn’t just because it was smaller.
“Everybody was so kind,” Hess said. “Even the other competitors, no backbiting or anything. It’s a really nice federation.”
INDA PNBA is the only natural body building federation of which Hess is aware, she said.
In the competition, Hess had to do a “t walk” as seen in beauty pageants to music. She had to do quarter-turns in various directions while judges compared the muscles on each woman. After winning the bikini diva short competition, she had to compete against the bikini diva tall winner. Each champion did the quarter-turns again.
“Then they choose the overall winner,” Hess explained.
Hess thanked her good friends, husband and children for their support.
“Not only do they put up with it; they encourage it,” Hess said in reference to her training and general championship pursuits.
Hess will continue to work out at 180 Fitness Mt. Pleasant. She has a trainer from California who Hess communicates with over Zoom.
“She is amazing,” Hess said. “She has got me to where I am at, too.”
Hess goes by a “strict” diet. She relies on “macros” – a certain amount of grams of proteins, carbs and fats. When she hits “peak week” (six days before a competition), Hess changes her diet, cutting down on carbs and fats “a little.” When Hess gets “really close” to a competition, her trainer manipulates the water and salt in food.
Much of the diet is fish and chicken. Sometimes Hess “gets” steak, Hess said. And lots of dark, green veggies are involved in her diet.
Hess’ training involves working out for an hour-and-a-half in the morning. Then as she gets closer to a competition, Hess does two-a-days—high-intensity training in the morning, followed by “steady state cardio” at night.
Hess does not plan on bulking up further.
“I’ll stick to the bikini division,” Hess said. “It’s where I’m comfortable.”