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The Southern Muscle Belle! Pro Female Bodybuilder Sherri Gray says she loves bodybuilding because it pushes her to be her best

Sep 26
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Sherri Gray is the American bodybuilding dream writ large – very large! She's a beautiful blonde bodybuilder, a mom of two, a personal trainer and a successful Pro female bodybuilder (and Lord knows there's precious few of those around!).

And, at the age of 42, personal trainer Sherri, is fabulously focused on getting bigger and better the only way she knows how – by keeping it simple, setting achievable goals and giving 100% every time she hits the gym.

Sherri, from North Carolina, turned Pro in 2012 after her gorgeous blend of rock hard muscularity, beautiful athletic lines and southern belle charm won over judging panel after judging panel.

Now, though she is amazingly humble for such an outrageously accomplished woman, she is setting her sights on the Ms Olympia.

Sherri told realfemalebodybuildng: “My dream is to make it to the Olympia stage but I try to take each season and show one at a time.

“Each show my goal is to do better than I did in the last, and every off-season, to make improvements that are noticeable when I step on stage.

“It's why I love bodybuilding, because it pushes me to be my best I love to see my body change. To strive to make improvements by getting bigger, leaner or more conditioned keeps me motivated.”

Sherri is only 5ft 4ins and competes at 128lbs yet her lifts are incredible! She squats 325lbs and benches 225lbs – and it takes a very rare blend of guts, determination and perseverance to do that.

Sherr says: “Set small goals and stay focused. Stay humble and know there are always improvements to make. There is always someone working just as hard as you they may be standing next to you on stage.”

Full Profile of Female Bodybuilder Sherri Gray

Name: Sherri Gray

Age: 42

Job: Personal trainer

From: I grew up in Charlotte, NC but have lived in Wilmington, NC for 25 years.

Height: 5’4”

Weight: Off-season 145-150 lb, Contest weight 128-130 lb

Body type: Bodybuilder

Measurements

Chest: 39ins

Waist: 30ins

Quads: 24ins

Biceps: 15ins

Calves: 15.5ins

Lifts
Squat: 325lbs

Bench: 225lbs

DB shoulder press: 60lbs

Bicep curl: Straight bar curls- 85lbs

Contests and results:
I turned Pro at the Masters Nationals in 2012. My first Pro show was the Wings Of Strength Chicago Pro in 2013. I placed 9th out of 15.

What contest are you prepping for now?
I will pick a show or two for next year after the schedule for 2014 is released. Hopefully there will be a few added in 2014 to include Women’s bodybuilding.

How's it going/where are you at?
I am currently training for next season. Off season is always about making improvements. I feel good about the improvements I made last year, so I hope to to do the same this off season. Changes take time and even if they are small, I’ll take them. I just keep working hard and give 100% every time I step in the gym.

How many years have you trained?
I have trained to compete for 7 years, but as far as training in general, I have been going to the gym since college. You can do the math to figure out how long that has been!

Why bodybuilding?
I love bodybuilding because it pushes me to be my best. I love to see my body change. To strive to make improvements by getting bigger, leaner or more conditioned keeps me motivated.

How and why did you start ?
I decided to compete to see if I liked it and thought it would be a one time thing. When I started training for my first show (Figure Division), I loved how I felt and how my body was changing. After the first show, although I didn’t do that well, I was hooked. I wanted to continue to see if I could make more improvements, and not to mention how much better I felt by eating clean.

What is your dream?
My dream would be to make it to the Olympia stage.

What is your short term goal right now?
I try to take each season and show one at a time. Each show my goal is to do better than I did in the last, and every off-season, to make improvements that are noticeable when I step on stage.

Have you competed or do you plan to?
Yes – I did many national shows before turning pro. I placed top 3 in each one. I have only competed in one Pro show so far, where I placed 9th out of 15 women.

What keeps you motivated?
I love to push myself each week to work on making improvements for the following year. Trying to lift a little heavier or try a new exercise or angle of something keeps it challenging and me motivated.

What do you love most about bodybuilding?
I love bodybuilding because I find it fascinating how through specialized training and nutrition you can sculpt your body. It’s so scientific and I find that amazing.

And what do you hate the most?
I hate the toll that the training takes on your body at times. Sore joints, fatigue, and sometimes injury.

What is the biggest thrill or moment you have got from bodybuilding?
I’ve had a few experiences that stand out in my mind. The first is placing 2nd at the Arnold Amateur in 2010. The second is winning my IFBB Pro card in 2012 and the last has been competing in my first pro show in Chicago in 2013. All are great moments for me.

Training

How often do you train?
Off-season 5 days a week, Pre-contest 5-7 day.

What is your program/split?
I train one muscle group a day all year long

Favorite bodypart to train and why?
I really don’t have a favorite bodypart to train. As I notice progress with each muscle group, I look forward to working it again.

Biggest improvement in last 12 months?
I added a little more thickness to my lower back, and the shape of my legs has improved.

Improvements you are targeting ?
Always trying to add thickness and width to my back.

What tips would you give to newbies?
Set small goals and stay focused. Stay humble and know there are always improvements to make. There is always someone working just as hard as you that may be standing next to you on stage.

Any training secrets or amazing exercises which have worked for you?
No secrets or anything amazing but I think the key is to keep your training fresh. Change it up each week, different order, throw in a different exercise, etc.

Favourite supplement and why?
My favorite supplement is probably Pure Whey Plus Protein by Champion Performance. It’s hard to narrow it down because I use many of their products and I like them all. I like the protein the best because not only does it have enough protein, it also tastes great and mixes well. As we all know, this is very important when choosing a protein powder. One other I could say is a staple is Amino Shooter Core. It has BCAA’s and a small amount of caffeine. The other products I use that are also important in my supplementation are BCAA’s, Glutamine, Liver Cleanse, Multi-Vitamin with Energy, Muscle Nitro-PM, Thermo-Gold and AdreNO-8. Quality supplements are important to build a quality physique.


Kids?
I have 2 children. A son who is 14 and daughter who is 11. Both are great kids and are very active in sports! I’m always there to support them in all they do. My entire family is very supportive of me which I am very thankful for.


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