Joelle Rutledge - Bikini Competitor

I've always been huge into fitness. Started weight training in High School. I always wanted to be a Police Officer and once I started training longer in the gym I was inspired to train toward competing in a body building show.

Diet and training

I am not your typical bikini competitor. I stay lean throughout the year. I meal prep 90% of the year. It's my lifestyle now. Since my first show in February, I am only 5 lbs above my stage weight. But way more lean and definitely stronger. I'm lucky because my husband also competes so we meal prep every 4 days together.

I've learned the hard way. You need to feed your muscles more than you'd think to grow and develop and transform. Before I was so focused on being lean I pushed aside the fundamentals of how important fueling my body was. I am much happier now feeding my muscles proper food and nutrition. I believe staying consistent and being creative, even with "Boring" food makes it all that much easier. When I'm discouraged I just remember that doing 2 hours of cardio a day plus training before my first show is never something I want to experience again. That helps.

Failed diet: The 1200 calorie diet plans so far out from my show were a disaster. Everyones bodies respond different than others. It's important to listen to your bodies. If you're losing more muscle than fat, that's a problem. Find a coach that will listen to you and help adjust your diet accordingly. Diets are a science. It's not easy. You can do it to a "T" but if it's not doing what you want, it's not helping and actually doing more harm than good.

I train 6 days a week. I rotate muscle groups and do 25 minutes of fasted cardio 6 days a week. I try to get it in first thing in the morning so I don't have unexpected distractions come up that would keep me from hitting the gym and attaining my goals. I'm a mother of 3 teen girls so life is busy!


Transformation Tuesday. Life happens people Whether it be loss, injury, depression or whatever. I severely injured my back in a Military Accident and was put on meds that had me gain weight and sunk me into a bad depression. I've always been in shape so this devastated me. I'm proof that consistency and dedication is the key to success. Since October 2015 I am down 50 lbs! My trainer @skillpt helped give me the tools to achieve this and the results are proof that you CAN do hard things. My first NPC show I was able to take hardware home. AND I just had major back surgery in September 2016. That's 6 months ago! I'm so proud of myself and my transformation! #npcutah #npcbikini #fitchick #girlsthatlift #fitfam #npcutahcup2017 #npcbikinicompetitor #npc #transformation

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Self confidence: I'm a retired Military Police Officer. I am used to being only one of two women in our platoon and having to prove myself at every shift to our male counterparts. I just treated it like my job. Sometimes you have to fake it to make it. Have confidence that you've trained as hard as you can and go give it your all. You got this!! My tattoo explains me, "Don't underestimate me, I'll constantly press forward to the mark".

On stage

NPC Utah Cup was amazing, I had a great experience. Lots of women there and I felt so insignificant and was truly intimidated by the entire experience. So many amazingly conditioned women but more impressively so many women with so much more experience than me. I just was positive and supportive back stage to everyone I talked to and met. Military teaches us that we are all a team even though for brief moments we can only count on ourselves. I tried to be as positive and uplifting back stage as possible. When it was my turn to go on stage I tried to be as confident as possible and remember my posing routine.
After Prejudging I had no clue where I stood. My back injury was definitely being affected by the 5" heels. I tried to not let it show. Between the prejudging and finals I laid down to take the pressure off my back and then head into finals. Finals was so nerve wracking and wasn't sure if I'd even place. I chose not to put that I had major back surgery 6 months prior as I wanted to be judged on my conditioning and posing alone. I wasn't expecting to place at all. But to my surprise I came in 5th in Open. I was super excited about that.

Life as an athlete

It completely affects my life and those around me. It's a completely different lifestyle than most people lead. We don't go out to eat hardly at all. We are at the gym daily. We prep food for 4 hours every 4 days. It's expensive and we prioritize this with basic bills. We treat these costs like it's a utility bill. We just work it in. Although it's been a great example to my kids. I have three daughters ages 16, 14 and 13 (On the 13th). They love to work out and actually like to eat meal prep, even out of containers. It's great.

I have lots of future plans with competing. I'm currently 5 weeks out from my next show that's in Los Angeles California on July 22. I may do the Utah show in August and October and plan to for sure do the October 28th show in Louisiana and depending on how I place maybe nationals in Florida in November. I guess you can say I have the itch now. I love it.

Contact Info:
Email- joelle.mcquay@gmail.com
Instagram- @jojojo123456


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