Groggily rising at 5 a.m. every day to do a cardio workout and getting more training in between college classes makes for a hectic schedule for UNC-Greensboro senior Jasmine Williams. All that hard work and commitment has paid off, though.

Williams, who is majoring in exercise science and also is a personal trainer, recently was named the Bikini F Class Champion in the 2015 National

Physique Committee National Bodybuilding Championships in Miami. She competed against about 300 other women in the bikini division and more than 1,000 total competitors.

A Nashville, N.C., native, Williams took up bodybuilding in 2014 after a friend encouraged her to give it a try. After a couple of months of workouts, she discovered how much she likes it and decided she wanted to participate in bodybuilding shows and competitions. She works out at Absolute Fitness in Greensboro with Quincy Roberts, her personal trainer and posing coach.

Williams made her novice debut at the 2015 N.C. State Championship in Greensboro, where she placed first in the novice sector of the bikini division. She competed in her first national-level competition in May 2015 and then began training to compete in the National Physique Committee National Bodybuilding Championships.

“I achieved my biggest goal thus far of my career, which was winning my pro card and doing so within 11 months of competing,” Williams said.

To prepare for the championships, Williams did resistance training four times a week beginning in August, and during the first half of her show-preparation period, she did about an hour of cardio a day. For the last half, she progressed to training two hours a day five to six times a week.

One of the biggest lifestyle adjustments Williams had to make was changing her eating habits. She only ate sautéed, baked or grilled food with no sodium, consistently ate every 2 1/2 hours and stopped eating after 6:30 p.m.

“It’s all second nature after a while,” she said.

She also refrained from drinking alcohol and didn’t leave her house after 8 p.m.

“My grandmother passed away this past July, and after coming to grips with myself and this tragedy, I dedicated my training and my win to her,” Williams said. “This definitely fueled my training fire.”

She laughed as she recalled Roberts instructing her to “carb up” and eat a cup of brown rice in between the morning and afternoon show during the national championships.

“I cooked one cup of rice, and in turn it made double,” she said. “I ate the rice, as well as put syrup on it.”

Bodybuilding taught Williams she’s much stronger than she thought.

“I now hold myself to a higher regard, and at all times I’m more aware that whatever I partake in will affect others in some way,” she said. “I’m so happy to be a positive role model for young girls and a motivator to others.”

Williams said her family and friends have been supportive of her bodybuilding.

“The most common reaction that I get from people when they see my pictures is amazement and disbelief, followed by curiosity,” she said.

After graduating in the spring, Williams plans to continue as a personal trainer and pursue more bodybuilding. She will make her pro debut at the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Pro Show Europa Games bikini competition in Charlotte in July and hopes to qualify for Olympia.

“I will now be afforded the opportunity to compete amongst some of the best of the best in the world, domestically as well as internationally,” Williams said. “I also have a large platform to empower young girls and women.”

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Contact Jennifer Atkins Brown at (336) 574-5582.

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