RIPPLING arms and rock-hard abs helped two Launceston women win places at international bodybuilding championships in Melbourne last weekend.
Police officer Skye Carey, 25, and intensive care nurse Ktima Child, 29, won third and second places respectively in their divisions at the International Natural Bodybuilding Association championships.
The competition is the world's biggest all-female bodybuilding contest, and attracted more than 300 entries.
The Physique Novice category at the event was Mrs Child's first contest, after beginning her strict workout and diet regime in October.
``I've wanted to do it ever since I was since 16,'' she said.
``(In October) My daughter was 19 months old and I wanted to inspire other mums and show them that anything was possible.''
Mrs Childs used weights and a high-protein diet to get into shape for the competition.
``I was very unhealthy before and I had a high-fat diet,'' she said.
``With the changes I've made, I've never felt better.''
Miss Carey won two second places and a third at the Tasmanian titles in September, and placed third in the Intermediate Physique category in Melbourne.
``It's such a discipline,'' she said of bodybuilding.
``If you're not 100 per cent committed to training and your diet . . . It's no wonder there's such a small percentage of people who do it.''
Miss Carey was inspired by her now-coach and bodybuilding champion Bridget Freeman, to whom she credits her success, and works out six days a week.
Miss Carey said she was used to receiving criticism about the way she looks.
``People who don't understand it are very critical, and say it's not feminine,'' she said.
``We do get glammed up (for the competition), with the tanning, waxing, high heels and bikinis . . . to say it's not feminine is ridiculous.''
Mrs Childs said she got an adrenalin rush out of competing.
``It's knowing that you've achieved it, and it's nice to be acknowledged for five minutes on stage,'' she said.