One Bradley student is breaking the mold of bodybuilding by not only being a student who participates in competitions, but also by being female.
Bradley senior Brooke Golden said bodybuilding, which is usually a male-dominated industry, has been a part of her life for about three years, and the impact it has had on her is something unrivaled.
Golden, a fifth-year advertising major, said she started bodybuilding during her sophomore year at Bradley when she felt like she needed to keep in shape because she stopped playing sports after high school.
Since beginning bodybuilding, Golden has participated in nine competitions over two and a half years. Golden said she has consistently pushed herself to become better at the sport, which helps her on an emotional level.
“I’ve always dealt with depression and anxiety, so basically bodybuilding was my way of coping with that because … I wanted to do something that was natural, that kept me motivated,” Golden said.
Golden said being one of the only female bodybuilders at Bradley has been an empowering experience for her, and she said she hopes to inspire other women to get more involved with bodybuilding and lifting weights.
After beginning her bodybuilding journey, Golden started posting her progress to social media and has since gained a following of 28,000 through Instagram.
Golden said she tries to keep her relationship with her Instagram followers as open as possible, which has helped her get through difficult times.
“[It’s important to be] as true to yourself as possible,” Golden said. “I know a lot of people on Instagram, they make up this fake persona of who they want to be, but for me, it was just sharing my story. I’ve always put everything out there for everybody to see.”
Golden said she has a passion to help others, which led her to create her own personal training company, Always Fearless Fitness. Golden helps others train for bodybuilding competitions by using the knowledge she’s accumulated from her experiences and research.
“I was two years into it,” Golden said. “I feel like I had so much education on the topic, and I wanted to share. I wanted to help people because I wish I had somebody there for me when I first started to kind of guide me into what I’m doing now.”
In the future, Golden said she wants to branch out with her business and continue sharing her knowledge with others.
“It’s a career path I want to go down – consulting people on their fitness goals,” Golden said. “Not just with competitions because that is … the focus of my business right now, doing consulting with the competition [preparation], but I want to get into lifestyle and transformation [too].”