If ever there was an advert for the 'time-stopping' benefits of female bodybuilding it is surely this 59-year-old grandmother who is currently 13 weeks out from her first Pro show - Wings of Strength in Chicago on July 5.
Onstage Ann is a beautiful combination of female muscle, strength and grace. From her jaw-droppingly striated 23 inch quads, super-tight mid-section and fabulously peaked 14 inch biceps, everything screams high quality female muscle.
Women not just half her age but one third her age would die to have a body like hers.
Ann harboured a dream of building a muscular physique for 20 years, after watching her bodybuilder brother muscle-up in the 1980s.
However she did not pick up a weight until the age of 50 – and some of her friends laughed at the notion. Ann was undeterred and remarkably, thanks to an unstoppable focus and determination, she flexed her way to her first contest win just one year later.
She said: “When I turned 50 I told all my friends that I would be on stage the following year. Many were kind and some laughed at me. I was determined and worked very hard. I was 30 lbs overweight and at 4ft 1ins every pound was magnified.
“I began cardio and lifting every day and changed my eating habits. I hired a trainer and dug in. In one year's time I was ready to hit the stage at 98lbs at the Empire Classic in Spokane. I won first place and I was hooked.”
The statistics confirm this - Ann's Pro show in July will be her 20th bodybuilding contest.
She said: “This sport defies age – you have to believe in yourself and stick to your goals.
“I’ve been training since 2004 when I turned 50. I’ll be 59 in a few weeks. I’m a bodybuilding grandma.
“I feel great and think I am still competitive. I am a very competitive person and I love to lift weights. I enjoy the fitness aspect. I also like being different.”
We at realfemalebodybuilding.com know Ann will be bringing home the trophy in July, and wish her many more years of female bodybuilding success.
Watch Ann onstage at the 2010 Emerald Cup below, then checkout her fact file!
Name: Ann Gannon
Age: 59 (on April 25)
Job: COO for Center for Reproductive Health, Spokane, WA
Where are you from (and where do you live now if different): Spokane Washington
Weight: Off Season 130. Show weight 109 last year
Body type: Bodybuilder
These measurement are now. I am 13 weeks out from my first Pro Show.
Squat: 300 lbs
Bench: 205 lbs
DB shoulder press: 60 lb dumbbells
Bicep curl: 45 lb dumbbels
Contests and results:
2012 Teen Collegiate Masters Nationals 55+ 1st Place, Pro Card Award
2011 USA ’s Open Lightweight 4th Place
2011 Teen Collegiate Masters Nationals 55+ 1st Place, 45+ 3rd Place
2011 Emerald Cup Masters 50+ 2nd Place
2010 Teen Collegiate Masters Nationals 55+ 2nd Place, 45+ 5th Place
2010 Empire Classic Lightweight 1st Place, Masters 50+ 1st Place, Overall Winner
2009 Northwest Night of Champions 2nd Place Lightweight
2009 Washington Ironman Masters 50+ 2nd Place
2009 Empire Classic Open Lightweight 2nd Place
2009 Emerald Cup Masters 50+ 7th Place
2008 Empire Classic Open Lightweight 2nd Place
2009 Emerald Cup Masters 50+ 3rd Place
2007 Evergreen State Open Lightweight 2nd Place, Masters 50+ 2nd Place
2007 Empire Classic Open Lightweight 1st Place
2007 Emerald Cup Masters 50+ 3rd Place
2006 Empire Classic Open Lightweight 2nd Place, Best Poser Award
2006 Emerald Cup Masters 50+ 5th Place
2005 Evergreen State Masters 50+ 2nd Place
2005 Empire Classic Masters 1st Place
What contest are you prepping for now?
I’m training for my first IFBB Pro Show, Wings of Strength in Chicago, IL on July 5 and 6, 2013
How's it going/where are you at!?
I’m ahead of schedule compared to last year. Really focusing on my legs, glutes and abs.
How many years have you trained?
I’ve been training since 2004 when I turned 50. I’ll be 59 in a few weeks. I’m a bodybuilding grandma. My first grand daughter was born January 2, 2013! I feel great and think I am still competitive.
I am a very competitive person and I love to lift weights. I enjoy the fitness aspect. I also like being different.
How and why did you start ?
I started on my own in 2004 but quickly discovered that I needed help. I found a trainer who helped me a lot. Life happened and he had to stop training right before my first competition. I was mostly prepared and got up there and won my class. I was hooked.
My youngest brother was a bodybuilder in the 80’s. I thought it looked like the greatest thing. I stored the thought away for 20 years and then started myself. I love the sport.
What is your dream?
My dream is to be the best I can be. I never thought I would attain Pro status but in Bodybuilding it depends on who shows up… and your conditioning of course. My trainer, Gerri Davis has been instrumental in helping me condition to degree I have. My dream now is to place in the top 10 at the Wings of Strength.
What is your short term goal right now?
My short term goal is to condition for July and achieve that sense of accomplishment you get when you know you have done your best.
What keeps you motivated?
My motivation is keeping my eye on the performance goal at the upcoming event. Adding five more pounds to the lift and staying happy.
What do you love most about bodybuilding?
I love the training especially lifting.
And what do you hate the most?
The diet is the most difficult but the most important.
What is the biggest thrill or moment you have got from bodybuilding?
When I got my Pro Card, July 2012!!
How often do you train?
I train every day. One day a week is cardio only. No cardio on Leg Day. Cardio and lifts every other day of the week.
What is your program/split?
I split the lift from cardio – so lift in the AM and cardio in the PM. I’m doing an hour of cardio and lifting usually takes me an hour with a partner.
What really works for you?
Keeping legs very heavy with a lot of squats!
Favorite bodypart to train and why?
My favorite body part is legs because I can really move the weight up to 5 times my bodyweight for leg presses.
Biggest improvement in last 12 months?
I think my glutes have improved the most.
Improvements you are targeting ?
Legs, glutes and abs are my target at the moment.
What tips would you give to newbies?
Be realistic about how much time it takes to do this. Be focused about eating – it is the very most important piece of this puzzle.
Any training secrets or amazing exercises which have worked for you?
Drink your water! Do not consume artificial sweeteners (your body reacts as if it were sugar). It causes sweet cravings and helps you retain water!
Kids – how many and ages?
I have two sons, 35 and 33. They are very proud of me. I have been married for 35 years and my husband is very supportive. You need support to succeed.