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Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Stats: 48 • 115 lb • 5’6”
Gig: Manager of customer service and billing
Revenge Is Sweet.
It wouldn’t be fair to call her impressive results a “revenge body” — but a difficult end to an eight-year relationship helped prod Christina Koren into the gym on a regular basis. “Working out was an amazing outlet,” says the 48-year-old former competitive swimmer and aerobics instructor. “Before I realized it, I had lost 27 pounds and achieved a body-fat percentage of less than 10 percent.”
Although she gets plenty of moral support from her three teenagers — Olivia, Hunter and Greighson — when it comes time to lift, Koren goes it alone. “I believe in forging a strong mind-muscle connection, and training alone helps me concentrate,” she explains. “Afterward, the feeling of accomplishment and being one step closer to achieving my goals keeps me motivated. I’m always striving to be the best version of myself that I can.”
Putting in the Work.
Koren squeezes in workouts six days a week, knocking out 30 minutes of cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach before heading to work. She then lifts weights for 45 to 60 minutes at lunch or after work with her eyes on a bigger prize: getting ready for her first figure show and launching fitness-themed Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Stats: 37 • 137 lb • 5’4”
Gig: Registered nurse Cool Runnings.
For Jennifer Bayntun, there was exercise before weight training. “I fell in love with long-distance running in my early 20s,” she says. “I ran multiple half marathons, and finally, after having my two daughters (now 5 and 7), I committed to running a full marathon.” Bayntun ran the 2014 BMO Vancouver Marathon, finishing with a time of 4 hours, 18 minutes, and she was hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon when a hip injury derailed her dream.
Before then, Bayntun had never stepped foot in the weight room. However, with her hip sidelining her from track and trail, she decided to give the iron a try. “I’ve always had a naturally muscular physique, but I never worked out for fear of getting ‘too big,’” she explains. “One day, I was at the club filling my water bottle, staring at a poster of a girl who went from slightly overweight in her ‘before’ picture to posing in a sparkling bikini with abs of steel in her ‘after’ picture. I decided that was my new goal.”
Bayntun trained seriously for her first bikini competition, the 2016 INBF Vancouver Naturals, and won first place in the masters division and second in the overall. Now she’s aiming to earn her pro card before she turns 40. “I’ve been a runner-up twice in the open class, so I’m determined to persevere,” she says. “No goal is unattainable. If you put in the work, you will be successful. If I can do it, so can you.”
Deptford, New Jersey
Stats: 51 • 98 lb • 4’11”
Gig: Personal trainer
Father (and) Figure.
Kim Pfeiffer’s father passed away from heart disease at 46 when she was a teen, and it motivated her to focus on her health. Already active in softball and cheerleading, Pfeiffer pursued lifting, but she only started competing in natural shows seven years ago when she turned 44. During those seven years, she won two pro cards in two different figure organizations.
Pfeiffer arrives at her personal training studio early in the morning to train herself before seeing clients. “That’s when I have the most energy, and when I’m done, I feel like I can conquer the day,” Pfeiffer explains. Her workouts start with a five-minute warm-up on the stair stepper and end with a five-minute cool-down on the treadmill, with a 45-minute weight workout in between. “I also work my core at least three times every week,” she adds.
She recently lost her mother to brain cancer in 2016, but Pfeiffer is still inspired by her from beyond. “I still hear her voice in my head when I’m in need of motivation, saying, ‘Kim, you can do anything if you set your mind to it,’” Pfeiffer says. Her husband Chris is also a huge help, prepping all the food during the week and helping make sure her diet stays on track. “He reminds me of my strengths and helps me to be a better person,” Pfeiffer says.
Stats: 43 • 130 lb • 5’6”
Gig: Emergency medicine physician
Regina Bailey has plenty of built-in excuses to skip workouts: This single mother is also an emergency room doctor who often pulls 24-hour shifts. However, Bailey does not allow a difficult schedule to derail her fitness-forward efforts. “My mother passed away from complications related to diabetes, hypertension and kidney failure, and I decided I needed to change my lifestyle if I wanted to be around to raise my daughter,” Bailey says.
Bailey — a former NFL cheerleader — started working out six to seven days a week in 2016 and has dropped 30 pounds so far. “I hired a nutritionist and a personal trainer and got into ‘beast mode,” she says. “I took a no-excuses approach to losing weight and becoming healthier.”
From Beauty to Bikini.
Already comfortable onstage thanks to a decade of experience in beauty pageants, Bailey began entering bikini competitions, and since 2016, she has won three shows and a pro card. “Other women saw my pictures and would message me about how I inspired them,” she says. “I decided to start my own fitness company, Fit and Fine in No Time, and my own line of supplements.”
The Wisdom of Youth.
Though busy, Bailey carves out time to hang out with her 5-year-old daughter at the beach. “It may sound strange, but my daughter is my role model,” she says. “She has taught me to slow down and enjoy life.”
Stats: 35 • 130 lb • 5’5”
Gig: Nutrition coach
Tiffany Stosich always struggled with her diet, and by age 18, she was 50 pounds overweight. Still, she was active, competing in varsity soccer and softball, and training in the gym while also serving as battalion commander in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. After high school, Stosich stepped things up a notch, and by age 23, she had whittled down to 170 pounds and decided to prepare for a figure competition. “In 16 weeks, I lost 40 pounds, and in 2007, I won the overall title of Miss Figure Utah,” she says.
Stosich entered 16 more figure events after that, then stopped competing in 2010. After having two children, she decided to give it another try in the natural division and quickly earned pro status. Most recently, she won the overall in the Pro Natural Bodybuilding League and qualified for the 2018 Natural Olympia.
Loud and Proud.
Stosich hits the gym by 7 a.m. six days a week, working each bodypart twice weekly and incorporating 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training cardio daily. When training, she tends to go it alone — “because I like to listen to loud hip-hop music and I’m intense,” as she puts it. Stosich also loves burpees, which probably scares away the weak-willed. “I recommend lifting weights to failure, focusing on the eccentric movement and your mind-muscle connection on every rep,” she says.