*Caption: Toni at the gym
Written by: Lisanne Lazarus
21-year-old, Toni Koster stole the show at the International Federation of Body Builders (IFBB) East Coast Classics after being placed first in the Beach Bikini category.
The International Federation of Bodybuilding is an organisation responsible for the sport of bodybuilding and fitness competitions in South Africa. It hosts an array of competitions based on the physique of the participants.
Koster who is currently studying teaching part time and still works full time said that she was introduced to the sport by her boyfriend.
“I started training when I met my boyfriend. I used to train before I met him but not seriously. He trains every day and eats healthy and it started off as something that we could do as a couple together. He helped me get into it and still does to this day,” said Koster.
During her spare time, she enjoys watching movies, spending a day out at the beach or just playing Xbox games with her partner.
Koster, who’s never lost a competition so far will be celebrating her two year anniversary of her IFBB fitness journey next month.
During the course of the two years, Koster competed in two IFBB fitness competitions and took first place at both.
“This year I did the IFBB Ironman and I won that. It was a novice show, so it was for people who had never entered competitions or never placed in the top three before. Then I entered the IFBB East Coast Classic and I placed first there,” Koster added.
She also adds that a lot of hard work and preparation goes into the build up of an upcoming show in order to look your best on the day of the competition.
“A lot of preparations go into it in terms of training, your diets and your diet is dependent on your progress and it gets very strict with the last two weeks and then extremely strict in the last week,” said Koster.
She also mentioned a technique that is used during the diet process of preparations that is known as water loading, where one drinks excessive amounts of water and then cuts it the day before.
Although some may argue that a woman with such a busy lifestyle is a party animal at night, but Koster is far from that. She finds that a relaxed weekend is more entertaining as it compliments her laidback personality.
Like any other modelling competition, appearance is the most important factor when the contestants are being judged so it is imperative to look your best. But it is also your confidence and your performance on stage that mesmerizes the judges.
Koster admits that even though there is a lot of hard work, preparation and an extensive wait during the competition, no feeling can surpass that of being a winner.
“It feels really great to be a winner and you also feel some sort of relief,” she said.
Fitness and bodybuilding is becoming more popular amongst females at the IFBB competitions, with males having to take a backseat.
“I think it’s great to see young women compete on a stage that was formally dominated by men and for them to be excelling in it, makes it even better. Toni is a great example for many other young women who think that their gender might stop them from going after their dreams,” said Bryan Lourenz, a gym enthusiast.
The 21 year old champion that resides in Amanzimtoti said that her dream job would be to be a book reviewer as she shares an unconditional love for reading and wouldn’t mind spending all day doing just that.
She also hopes to one day dazzle the stage of a national competition and to ultimately compete internationally and then set sail on a long holiday in Greece.