Charmaine Barden

I am Charmaine Barden. I am 32 years old and started my journey to figure competitions in January 2011. My first competition was in May 2012 at the ABA Bodybuilding Championships, where I placed 5th in Open Figure. I now have two competitions under my belt as I have just competed in the NGA Windy City Classic, promoted by Ray Ramaljak. I took 3rd place in Open Figure and 4th in Novice. I have always had a passion for health and fitness. For years, I have read the Muscle and Fitness and Oxygen magazines. I had always thought that I might compete someday like the competitors I saw in the magazines, but didn’t know how to get to that place. I had searched online many years ago to get pointed in the right direction, but it never took me anywhere. I kept up my general fitness and health until recently I decided to make an effort again to pursue finding some guidance for figure competitions. I sent an email to a local personal training facility where I was connected with Sandy Wiedmeyer. Sandy taught me everything I needed to know about being stage ready. I could not believe that I had all the guidance I needed and it was from a Figure PRO. What more could you ask for?! I started my new diet and work out plan in January 2012. I am attending school for Mechanical Engineering and it was quite a challenge to stick to my timed meals and strict work-out schedule while attending classes at UW-Milwaukee. With my goal in mind, I kept to the strict regimen that Sandy had put me on. I was also planning my wedding which would be taking place 2 weeks before my first show. Yikes! I knew I didn’t have to do that particular show, but my dream of walking on that stage was so close that I didn’t want to give it up. It was tough, and I will say that I did fall off my diet for my wedding day. It probably did hurt my placing in the competition. I still walked away from my first competition with a great experience.

I will always remember my awesome teammates and coaches of Team FAB helping and supporting each other as teammates, rather than competitors. I will always remember the excitement, happiness, and tears of joy for fellow teammates as they came back with trophies and awards in hand. We all knew what it took to get there and we all lived those moments of celebration, pride, relief, and camaraderie together. It was one of the great experiences of my life.

I thank Team FAB for bringing together some awesome and inspiring women. I am grateful to be a part of this incredible team.