Not many negatives that I can see.

Published: Sunday, 28 August 2016 07:00
Written by Steven Sukkau

Derksen says weight training provides many mental and emotional benefits as well

Kim Derksen is officially the 11th fittest woman in Canada. The local figure bodybuilder placed 11th in her class at the women's Canadian Body BuildingDerksen placed 11th nationally after starting to seriously compete only one year ago Federation's national competition in New Westminster BC August 13. Derksen was invited to nationals after placing first at provincials earlier this year.

While initially disappointed, the Winkler resident says the competition was fierce, the top athletes in her category were six year veterans of the national competition. This was Derksen's first.

"I've got some growing to do and I have lots to learn," Derksen says. "First time around I guess I should be happy with my placement but I am slightly disappointed."

After four years of faithfully going to the gym, Derksen only started seriously training for competition last summer.

"My coach says I need to be more proud of myself," she says, adding her competitive career began with taking second place at a novice show, to placing first in the province, and then reaching 11th at nationals in a single year.

While she's achieved enormous success in the sport, she says the side-effects are just as gratifying.

At 40, Derksen says it's never too late to start bodybuilding, noting the physical, emotional and mental benefits are huge.

"Training makes you feel like a million dollars," she says. "And when you put in the effort and you start seeing results... it just gives you a totally different outlook on who you are and what you can accomplish."

Though it can be intimidating to start weight training at a gym next to a bodybuilder, she encourages everyone to create goals for themselves.

"Don't be afraid to show your face in the gym," Derksen says. "Everyone is there for the same reason, we're all there to support each other and encourage each other."

Without giving away her trade secrets, she explains training takes place seven days a week, focusing on a different body part every workout. The Figure competition favours the "X" shape, large shoulders and lats, a small waste and muscular quads.

"Of course all body parts are worked out, but a little bit more emphasis is put on certain ones to have that shape," she notes.

Derksen explains dieting is the most crucial, and the most challenging aspect, "and there is no cheating," she says. "each cheat could possibly hold you back a position."

She joins her husband Vern, who reached the top ten at the men's national competition in July in Winnipeg.

Her goals for next year are to take an off-season to grow muscle mass, and later increase the intensity of her training to hopefully place higher at the 2017 nationals.