Holly Wilbur – “A Natural Performer”

Holly Wilbur Holly Wilbur is petite, fit and full of controlled energy. Ms. Wilbur, 32, sat and talked about her hobby – women’s fitness competitions – in the Auburn Wellness Complex on Route 20.

In 1998, she was working out in a gym on a Stairmaster and watching a Fitness America Pageant on ESPN. As she watched the women, she thought, “I want to look like that. I want to do that.”

A physical therapist in Leominster and Clinton public schools, Ms. Wilbur by nature lives a healthy lifestyle. After getting a proper start by first hiring a personal trainer for a short time, she has just recently begun to take part in competitions run by the Fitness Universe Pageant.

Ms. Wilbur had thought about doing fitness competitions on and off, but was busy being a cheerleader for the New England Patriots in 1998. She had been surprised to learn one only had to apply to be a cheerleader, so she tried out and made it.

Later, she and her husband, David, moved to Philadelphia, closer to her hometown of Bethlehem, PA, and soon she was cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles. Then, they moved back here and she began to pursue her hobby with vigor.

“Dance drives me to do this. I’m a little competitive – I compete against myself,” Ms. Wilbur said. “I try to be the best I can be with what I do.”

She has been dancing since she was 5 years old and performing comes naturally to her.

It also turns out that her husband used to compete in tae kwon do, she said. He gave it up, but now he just wants to practice the art.

Her first fitness competition was with the North American Bodybuilding Federation on April 12 at Somerset High School in Somerset, MassWilbursetts. In the combined scoring for the two segments, Mrs. Wilbur came in third; in the lady fitness modeling or bikini segment she placed second.

Competition is divided into a routine round and a bikini round. Ms. Wilbur said the routine round lasts 2 minutes or less. During that time, the contestants demonstrate strength, flexibility, aerobic endurance and any other athletic talent. Her talent lies in baton twirling, which she perfected as a majorette in middle school and high school.

In the bikini round, Ms. Wilbur said, the judge’s look at symmetry and body shape, muscle tone and poise.

Ms. Wilbur was in her second competition April 26, 2003, this time in the Fitness Atlantic Pageant Regional Championships in New Haven, Connecticut. She placed 12th in the Fitness Atlantic Pageant out of 27 contestants and 13th out of almost 30 in the Ms. Bikini Atlantic competition.

She said she is focusing on the Fitness America Pageant Organization because it stresses fitness and a feminine look. “They’re not looking for a bodybuilder kind of look. It’s achievable, attainable,” Ms. Wilbur said.

She has been invited to compete at the Fitness Universe Pageant in June in Miami Beach, Florida.

Asked how long she expected to compete, Ms. Wilbur answered by talking about almost 36-year old woman that had a baby six months ago and was in the April 26 competition. The woman was 6th place out of the 27 contestants.

Ms. Wilbur’s 105 pounds were perched on the edge of her seat. “That’s my competition weight. It is not typical for a competitor to maintain that weight year-round,” she said. She stands 5 feet 2 inches tall.

To train, she’s at the gym by 5a.m. three or four times a week doing cardiovascular exercises and 45 minutes before she goes to work, she comes back and lifts weights, five times per week.

When competition time gets closer, she said she meets with her choreographer, Cathy Savage of Walpole, to “clean up my routine.”

And of course, her diet is paramount. She eats six to seven small meals a day. There is a lot of protein in her diet, along with tuna, egg whites, chicken, salmon, protein shakes, yams, oatmeal, salads, and leafy vegetables like broccoli and asparagus. She eats almond butter – healthy fat and ground flaxseeds. She eats cottage cheese, but not popcorn.

“On cheat days, I have chocolate, chocolate, chocolate,” she said, laughing. "We try to eat clean."

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