A MULTI-GOLD medal winner at competitions run by the International Natural Bodybuilding Association since 2007 became interested in fitness only in her late 20s. At 56, she is “as driven as ever”.
Monika Greich, of Hastings, says she only started “strength” type gym training at 39 to “tone up” her upper body.
“What began with nine years of walking eventually turned into running, martial arts, strength training and barefoot running,” she said.
“I was quite lean from running, so didn’t have the issue of wanting to lose weight which is the reason most people join gyms.
“Little did I know it, but those years of consistent walking conditioned my body and joints, enabling me easily to take on the extra loads and activities waiting in the future.”
Her dedication and commitment to her sport has reaped personal rewards: “I have been successful all the way through, including my most recent competition at Bally’s Casino, Las Vegas, on 13-14 November.”
Competing in four categories over two days, Greich won four gold medals and one silver medal – including the title of Overall Ms Physique Master Champion and earning the right to compete as a professional next year.
The INBA is associated with its American INBA counterpart, which includes the Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA).
“The Natural Olympia event is the Olympics of Natural – natural meaning drug free – competition. It is the pinnacle event for which all competitors strive. I have competed in five Natural Olympia events.”
Presentation is everything in the glamorous pageants – especially in show biz meccas like Las Vegas.
“I spend big money on professional stylists and make-up artists,” Greich said. “When I think of what I spend on costumes, tanning and bling it amazes me. But, having been a professional violin teacher years ago I know that presentation wins prizes.”
Greich says her main focus now is training and eating solely for bone and muscle health. “I am self-sufficient. I train from home, as I have done for nearly two years, apart from a one-month stint in a gym at Hastings earlier this year.
“I do not use machines at all, and feel the better for it. My training regime is constantly evolving while keeping up with the latest trends in body-mind health. I do not consume traditional bodybuilding supplements – just good food and training, that’s it.”
The mental health nurse says she is “becoming more interested” in the area of alcohol and other drugs. She has qualifications in personal training, strength and conditioning coaching, and wellness coaching.
“Training, for me, provides a sense of wellness and purpose in life. I just love it. Health is my wealth.”