Local woman is National Bodybuilding Figure Champion

JOHN RISHEL/THE EXPRESS Brooke Mayes, a lifetime local to Lock Haven, poses with her National Gym Association championship trophy.

LOCK HAVEN – Brooke Mayes, a lifetime Lock Haven resident, has recently become a National Bodybuilding champion. A loving wife and mother of a son, Brooke’s interest in fitness only began about 11 years ago, at age 40, after her son had entered middle school.

Being a stay at home mom for over 10 years, Brooke was ready to do something different … so she got involved in her first fitness classes.

She recalls the very first fitness class she attended when the instructor yelled at her “C’mon Mayes get down there and hold it, everyone else is holding it and they’re waiting for you!”

Brooke went home a little broken that day, but she was inspired to do better.

Over the last 11 years, she has rarely missed a workout. Fitness, for Mayes, has become more of a lifestyle than a fad. Numerous workout partners, for one reason or another, haven’t stayed with her same focus and intensity. This was fuel for Brooke’s fire.

About two and a half years ago, Brooke taught her first class as a substitute group fitness instructor and has never looked back. Now, Brooke is a prime example of what eating clean and exercising can do for one’s health and body. At 51 years of age, she’s in the best condition of her life and helping people achieve that in their own lives.

Several years ago, Brooke decided to participate in a Strongman Competition, after attending one of the events and realizing “hey, there are strong women here too, I could do that.” She quickly learned that it is very tough and requires a different level of strength and will.

She turned up the intensity. Competing without winning was not her goal.

Over the next four years she competed in several more Strongman Competitions while challenging much younger women, and much more seasoned women, but each time coming home a winner.

As Brooke’s muscles and body tone became more refined, friends would often suggest she should “show them what you’ve got in bodybuilding.”

So Mayes decided to step out of her comfort zone and go for it.

The National Gym Association (NGA) is an all-natural bodybuilding group that presents contests across the US and in 15 other countries. The NGA supports and promotes many different categories such as bodybuilding, physique, figure, and bikini. Age groups range from teens to seniors and levels of experience include debut, novice, and professional.

With Brooke’s new focus and a new coach to help get her show ready, she started a new regime, a new diet and practiced posing several times every day. With the help of her husband, Brooke spent countless hours preparing for her first show and competed in the NGA’s Pro/Am East Coast Natural Championships, in State College. Being brand new to the sport, she qualified for the “Debut” category. Since she had never won a show, she qualified for the “Novice” category. Since she was over 45, she qualified for the “Masters” category and all competitors typically participate in the “Open” category. All were entries in the “Women’s Physique” Amateur Division.

Brooke brought home the first place trophies in all 4 categories that day.

Her level of preparation as a first time competitor impressed the judges so much that they had no critiques to offer for improvement.

That left a burning hunger in Brooke as she registered for another NGA show, the New Jersey State Open Pro and World Championships.

This time there were more competitors, so there was a NGA Professional Membership on the line.

With the added competition, the categories get divided by age and height to showcase an overall balance of fairness between different types of bodies. Then, the winners of each category will compete head to head to determine an overall winner.

“Riding the wave when you’re prepped” as her coach Earl says, led Brooke to took first place in all of her category entries, including amateur physique and figure, and won both one-on-one challenges leaving with six trophies and earning her Professional status as an Open Figure competitor, and as Masters Figure competitor in the NGA.

She entered the NGA’s Universe Pro/Am Championships in Coral Springs Florida the following week, Nov. 10, 2018, going against the seasoned professionals after just three months of experience.

The hard work, commitment, coaching, and support paid off.

Even with all that experience and competition on stage, Brooke was the runner-up in the entire competition and placed second to the defending NGA Universe Women’s Figure Champion.

Moving forward, Mayes plans to keep helping and inspiring others, training and sculpting herself, and hopes to secure sponsorship support to continue traveling and competing.

Her next stop is already scheduled for April in the 2019 NGA North American Championships which is held in Wilkes-Barre.