Meet the Suffolk woman with one of the best figures on earth

Sam Lawson

Sam Lawson - Credit: Gregg Brown

Suffolk fitness athlete Sam Lawson can say she’s one of the best on earth after taking third place in the IBFA World Body Building Championships in Rome.

Lawson after the World Championships

Lawson after the World Championships - Credit: Gregg Brown

Lawson, from Bury St Edmunds, claimed third in the Over 35s Figure category, her greatest career accomplishment to date.

It comes just over four years since she first started training at the Fitta Bodies gym in Bury.

“My husband Jason is a body-builder and he’s competed a few times,” said Lawson, a self-employed beauty therapist.

“I went to the gym with him to try and lose a bit of weight and he suggested doing a bit of weight training – I just got hooked.”

Lawson in training at the Fitta Bodies gym in Bury

Lawson in training at the Fitta Bodies gym in Bury - Credit: Gregg Brown

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Lawson is also the current British champion in the figure category, which emphasises a toned and sleek physique over the more muscular shapes seen in the body-building world.

Her achievements are the product of an incredibly-disciplined lifestyle which sees her train up to six times a week and stick rigidly to a high protein, low carb diet in which she consumes up to 750 grams of chicken a day.

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“You have to eat very cleanly as well as all the training,” Lawson explained.

“My diet is quite simple – lots of protein, limited carbs and sugar is a definite no no.

“It means that if friends ask me if I want to go out and have a few drinks at the weekend I can’t, and if you go out for the day you have to take all your food with you because you have to know what you’re eating.

“It’s really disciplined and very very hard – until you do it you don’t realise what it’s like.

“A lot of my friends are very proud of me and say they like the way I look but that they couldn’t do it.

“It’s something that you’ve really got to love – it’s a lifestyle.”

But all the sacrifices are worth it when Lawson takes to the stage to compete.

She said: “It’s obviously quite nerve-wracking beforehand but once you get on stage and the adrenaline starts flowing it’s an amazing feeling.”

Of her success in Rome, she added: “I felt over the moon, I couldn’t quite believe it.

“It was the best feeling ever and even better as my husband and my parents were there to cheer me on and see me achieve it.

“It feels amazing to be in the company of world class athletes and competitors.”

Now Lawson must decide whether to shoot for the top in the figure category at next year’s World Championships, or target another challenge.

While she wouldn’t make the move to body-building, a switch to the bikini class could appeal.

“Figure is a less muscular category than body building – you have to look like you train and be very toned, but when you go up in category you get women who are very muscular and lose their feminity,” she explained.

“If I want to continue in figure I’ve got to improve my physique and change my training a bit, or I could decide to go into bikini.

“I definitely need another challenge, I like to have something to focus on.”

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