GHN Athlete In The Spotlight - Sarah Sheppard

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The 2023 UK Fitness & Bodybuilding seasons are drawing to a swift close with some impressive results for Team GHN.

GHN recently caught up with PCA, FIT-X, FMC Bikini Competitor Sarah Sheppard to discuss her first full competitive season and her aspirations for 2024.  

GHN: Describe your experience of your first competitive season.

SS: It’s been a complete whirlwind! I was only planning on doing PCA First Timers as a confidence challenge to help overcome my shyness and anxiety. I ended up falling in love with the sport and doing far better than expected so just adding more shows to the schedule. 7 competitions, numerous placing and a British Champion title later, I’m on such a high and still in disbelief at how this well first season has gone.

GHN: Apart from your recent success what is your best highlight to date.

SS: Stepping on stage at First Timers will always be my biggest achievement. It took a lot of courage but I overcame my fear and grew so much as a person during my off season and prep. That and all the wonderful friends I’ve made. For a sport that’s all about aesthetics and is highly competitive, there is also a huge sense of camaraderie and support which has been lovely to be a part of and certainly surprised me.

GHN: Describe your journey from an amateur fitness competitor to a national fitness competitor, including your sacrifices, your dedication to training and how GHN have helped.

SS: It’s not been an easy road. I’d only been training properly in the gym for a couple of years before deciding to compete. In that time I was only using cardio machines, too timid to set foot in the weights section and far too self conscious to wear a sport bra or shorts. It’s been a huge commitment and complete lifestyle change but it’s all been worth it. I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone, sacrifice things such as meals out, little treats, even holidays all with the end goal in mind. Mental challenges like forcing down food even when I wasn’t hungry, training even when I was tired and aching, cutting calories and dehydrating in the run up to shows when I had little to no energy. It really is an extreme spot and I was a bit naive of quite how challenging it would be going into it. It’s been nice to have the GHN community to look to for inspiration when things have gotten tough. 

GHN: Describe how you've remained physically & mentally fit and strong during your shows and competitions.

SS: My coach has been amazing. 7 shows is a lot for anyone, particularly a first timer but he got me through it and with some amazing results. I was in prep from February to November, an unusually long time to be competing for. As it was such a long season, my coach had to gauge when we needed to pull back, just coast or dig deep ready for each show. On top of this I’ve been prioritising rest, practicing yoga and leaning on those closest to me when things have been hard mentally. Putting your body under that much stress and for so long takes its toll mentally, physically and emotionally, so it’s been nice to have people I can turn to (particularly other competitors who understand and been through it themselves).

GHN: Do you have any advice for any young me and women looking to pursue fitness & bodybuilding as a career?

SS: I would say think long and hard about it. It really is a huge commitment and a lifestyle choice. I see the junior body builders starting out and they astound me. I never would have had the mental fortitude or discipline to do this when I was young. I have a lot of admiration for them. Competing involves a lot of sacrifices, expense and learning the art of patience. We train hard for years just to step on stage for a few minutes and you aren’t always guaranteed a medal or trophy at the end of it. It can be tough knowing how hard and how long you’ve worked for that moment. It can however be extremely rewarding too. It’s boosted my confidence and shown me that with hard work and determination you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

GHN Athlete In The Spotlight - Sarah Sheppard

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About GHN

GH Nutrition was founded in 2015 by an ex-professional sportsman Grant Hodnett and is based in Warrington, Cheshire, UK. Whether it's better nutrition, a healthier lifestyle, or that next big competition, GHN is the ultimate in providing the products you need to achieve your physical performance and results. 


"The products are great and there's nothing better than a GHN Whey protein shake after a tough session - especially during the gruelling weeks of pre-season!" 

Helen Ward, Watford LFC & Wales