My Daughter’s First Bodybuilding Competition

In January I was a little shocked when my fourteen-year-old daughter told me she wanted to do a bodybuilding competition – the teen fitness division. After two years of pandemic eating we had both gained weight and felt out of shape and she wanted to take control of her health. She had been watching me do bodybuilding competitions for the past decade and saw how much fun I had and the results.

Flexing with the kids at Muscle Beach

“Are you sure?” I asked. “Bodybuilding is great but really, really hard. Less than 1% of the human population does this sport and it’s for good reason. It’s a big commitment. You have to eat clean and exercise consistently. Are you ok with that?”


I had a few ground rules. School would always come first. If she wanted to stop training at any time that was ok. And she had to wear an age-appropriate bikini. (For those of you who have never seen bodybuilding competitions, posing suits show a lot of skin and I wanted her to wear something more modest.)

So you want to do a show…

She decided to sign up for the INBA show in Dallas on July 2nd, so it would give her enough time to get ready and she’d have a month of summer break to focus on the competition entirely. Teen fitness requires both mandatory poses and a fitness routine.

Rylee training with Robin Johnson

Diet and Exercise

We worked out together with my long-time trainer, Robin Johnson. Three days per week she woke up at 5 a.m. and lifted weights. I started cooking healthier again, like I used to eat. As she ate better and exercised she began to feel better physically and gain confidence. It felt amazing to watch her bloom.

Once AP exams and finals were done we increased the workouts to five days per week. The only cardio we did was to take a long walk to the neighborhood farm to pet the goats. She didn’t take any supplements either because I wanted her to learn you don’t need any of those crutches to be healthy.

Standing with Karyna at her first bodybuilding competition

In a fun twist, the first girl I had trained for a teen bodybuilding competition, Karyna Rodas, is now all grown up and a personal trainer. She created the fitness routine for Rylee. I remember teaching Karyna poses in my living room with her mother, who was also doing a bikini competition.

The Big Day

Show day finally came. We drove four hours north to the competition in Dallas. I prepped lovely meals like tuna and asparagus… I did her spray on tan (we actually used lotion instead of spray), hair and make-up. She wore one of my fitness costumes for her bikini. She did her figure poses with more poise than I ever had.

Ryleee Traugott Teen Fitness
Figure poses

Later she did her fitness routine and forgot some of it mid-dance (like mother, like daughter) but she kept going.

Rylee doing her fitness routine

When they gave out awards she got her gold medal and they gave her a tiara. She beamed ear to ear.

“You earned it,” I said.

Rylee Winning Teen Fitness

Ten years after my first bodybuilding competition, my daughter did her first. I’m so proud of all her efforts! She already said she wants to train for another. Who knew?


Lisa and Rylee Traugott
After the competition


Now I just have to get my husband and son to compete…

Lisa 😉

Copyright (c) Lisa Traugott 2022. All rights reserved.

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