Returning to capture former glory.
Donna Hall retired from bodybuilding at the age of 45. Now, 18 years later, the Bethany Beach World Gym trainer made a comeback at the age to conquer the 2017 Eighth Annual NPC Amanda Marinelli Bodybuilding Competition in Florida.
Hall, 63, was enthralled at the introduction of an over 60 division, and discussed her desire to compete with Jim Miller, World Gym Manger:
“I told Jim, I have to do it one last time.”
Donna elected to compete in Figure. She told Costal Point, that for figure she needed to be toned and emphasize “total symmetry” over being “thicker in muscularly.”
Hall competed for around a 5-year period in her prime, and experience told her that she needed al least four months to prep for her Nov. 4 competition.
At her age, Donna said the main focus was on nutrition. Already very slender, with a 5’4 frame, Donna aimed to drop from her natural bodyweight of 113 down to a stage weight of 108.
“I had to be a lot more meticulous with my nutrition,” she said.
In general, Donna tries to eat “clean” and “pretty much organic.” During her slim down though, Donna said she felt the need to maintain muscle, and drastically increased her protein intake adding bone broth, protein powder and chicken.
For training, Donna focused on work with heavy weights, again with the intention of maintaining muscle. She stopped cardio altogether after noticing that it detracted from her muscle building efforts and that she was already slimming down thanks to a focused diet.
She said the Figure category is perfect for her.
“I’m a small girl. Figure is a lot more appropriate for my physique.
“The butt is big,” she said, “having a tight butt — that’s hard for women over 60. The two areas I wanted to bring ‘up’ were my butt and abs.”
Hall said experience in fitness was her greatest ally. She began training in the late 1980’s and now, what’s a daily grind for some is “like taking a shower,” for her.
She emphasizes the habitual nature of health to all her clients.
“It’s a lifestyle. It’s not about just going to a gym to lose 20 pounds.”
Hall ended up taking first place in the over-60 division and second place in the over-50 division. Her sons, 28 and 32, could not be more proud.
“They are both very much into working out,” Donna said, and it seems like she is on the fence concerning wether or not to compete again. “I don’t know,” she said. “You kind of get the fever…”