Sam Jahnke lifts weights at the Crystal Pool gym Tuesday.

Sam Jahnke lifts weights at the Crystal Pool gym Tuesday.

Victoria welcomes bodybuilding championship

Saanich's Sam Jahnke doesn't look like a stereotypical bodybuilder.

Saanich’s Sam Jahnke doesn’t look like a stereotypical bodybuilder.

The 28-year-old stands five-foot, 10 inches tall with her long blonde hair pulled tight into a ponytail. Her arms and legs are carefully sculpted.

But for the last 20 weeks, Jahnke has been training to compete in the Victoria Cup Bodybuilding Championships this Saturday at the McPherson Playhouse. It’s one of the first British Columbia Amateur Bodybuilding Association (BCABBA) competitions on the island in the last decade.

Jahnke will compete in the bikini category during this weekend’s competition.

“In bikini, it’s probably one of the hardest ones to judge because it isn’t a structure-like figure, where you want to have a ‘V’ taper and in bodybuilding you want to have an ‘X’ whereas in bikini, the criteria is that you have a healthy appearance, no physical striations in your muscles, lean but not too lean,” she said.

In preparation, the lifeguard and personal trainer lifts weights and does cardio five

days a week, while also eating healthy.

“I really like the science and art of playing with your body,” Jahnke said. “It’s like building something. You get feedback from judges one show, so I like to be able to build that up in the gym and with diet and constantly seeing your body change.”

For the past three years, Jahnke has been competing in bodybuilding competitions, usually cracking the top five. Most recently, she came in second place during a competition last year.

This year, she hopes to make the top five, who then qualify for provincials.

The end goal is to make nationals in two or three years.

Jahnke is one of roughly 80 competitors from across the province who will be participating in the bodybuilding championships. This year’s categories include bodybuilding, bikini, figure, fitness and physique.

Corey Swiergosz, president of Influential Sports Inc., responsible for putting on the event, said there was a demand for this type of event on the island.

“The BCBBA only had Lower Mainland shows and there were a tremendous number of competitors from the Island that demanded a show come back to the island and we were able to bring one this year,” he said. “The fitness industry as a whole is booming. What we also hope is to inspire the next generation of fitness competitors and inspire people to live a healthy, active lifestyle.”