Pitt Meadows Woman Medals at National Bodybuilding Competition

Lorie Muller at the National Bodybuilding Competition in Toronto. (news special)
Lorie Muller at the National Bodybuilding Competition in Toronto.  (news special)Lorie Muller at the National Bodybuilding Competition in Toronto. (news special)
Lorie Muller at an earlier event.  (news special)Lorie Muller at an earlier event. (news special)

No one expects to be in the best shape of their life in their early 50s.

It’s a particularly impressive feat considering the already high bar that Lorie Muller set for herself – the previous decades were spent running marathons. But that’s where she is.

And proof of that is the medals she won at the 2022 Natural Canada Pro Qualifier bodybuilding competition in Toronto last month. She finished second in the 45+ female figure masters class and in the 35+ masters category, and in an open age category she finished third.

The open category was particularly rewarding.

“There were girls in their twenties in that class, so I’m really proud of that.”

Muller turned 53 in June and won his medals last month.

Muller is well known locally, as she and her husband Eric own the Sole Experience Running Company in Pitt Meadows. She is the founder and race director of Athletes in Kind, a local charity that supports families struggling with the costs of childhood cancers. She also has a career as a paramedic.

Her new fitness journey began in 2019. Turning 50 was an emotional milestone in her life, as her mother Jan Saunders died of cancer at that age. It’s shocking to think that she’s already been three years older than her mother was, she says.

Muller is known for running, but likes to hit the weights. Strength training comes naturally. Even when she was little, her mother called her “Muscles”.

She had “no idea” about good nutrition, she said.

“It was good nutrition, it was just too much.”

Muller was never going to compete, but some of her friends are natural bodybuilders, and she was interested in their process — building muscle, then dieting to a superhero version of their old selves. It’s a natural competition, with tests of performance-enhancing drugs.

Her plan was to practice to prepare her to be on stage, but she never planned to walk on it. She gets stage rights.

She hired Sonja Cermak of Fitlife Nutrition, then even got a workout from the former bikini category contender.

“I lost 10 pounds of fat by eating more than I ever had before,” Muller said.

The staff at Envision Fitness also trained her and she had a good team that was giving her outstanding results.

Muller was in the gym twice a day for about three hours in total and followed a high-protein diet to build muscle.

Her weight dropped from 165lbs to 135lbs and her body fat dropped from 28% to just 9% on competition day – although she said that was not healthy to maintain.

She said it was like a “crazy science experiment”, and pretty much every day she could see changes in her body.

Eventually, she decided to compete in the 2019 BC Cup in Kamloops.

“I should experience it – do something that scares me,” she thought to herself.

After donning her bikini and high heels, but before going on stage, Muller suffered a panic attack. But she got over it and won a medal.

“I was pretty excited. It was a week before my 50th birthday. It was empowering.

Due to her family history, Muller is regularly screened for cancer. At the end of 2020, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She underwent surgery, recovered for six weeks, and returned to work.

She meditates daily, keeps her stress levels low, practices gratitude and says “I take care of myself”.

Muller hired coach Dean Brandt, and she came back and won the BC Cup in November 2021, which qualified her for the national championships in Toronto.

The coach said the secret to Muller’s success was his dedication. Even though she works shifts, she always makes sure to hit the gym.

“We were excellent – we never missed a training session,” he said.

The diet can be tough, but it’s essential for athletes in their 50s because their metabolism slows down. Again he said “She was great about it.”

He said she started strong and finished strong.

“Everyone is excited for the first four to six weeks,” Brandt said, but too often he has to be a cheerleader for them the rest of the way. This was not the case for Muller.

But he gave her a boost to compete in Toronto. He said a lot of bodybuilders need reassurance to do this kind of thing.

“Not looking good on stage is everyone’s fear.”

Muller was inspired.

After getting closer, she could return to Toronto, to try to turn those silvers into gold next year.

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Teresa E. Burton