Erin Heintschel of Los Alamos describes herself as a goal-driven person. As a fitness instructor at the Los Alamos Family YMCA and a personal trainer at CrossFit Los Alamos, she was already athletic but decided it was time to strive toward a new objective. As a result, Heintschel entered in Fitness New Mexico, a figure competition.
Despite being a newcomer to the competition, Heintschel earned first place in the bikini novice division, third place in fitness model and fourth place in the commercial model division. The competition was held June 4 at the Route 66 Casino.
Judges evaluate contestants on stage presence, poise, physical appearance and overall physique.
Besides getting top marks in the categories she competed in, Heintschel said, “The most rewarding part was meeting so many amazing, driven women at the event who are also similarly focused and supportive.”
To prepare for the competition, Heintschel said she added a lot more weight training and cardio to her exercise regime. Additionally, she hired a coach to help her with the step by step process to get ready for the event.
Training for the event, Heintschel said, “really forces you to become disciplined with your nutrition and your workouts.” She began training in January, explaining she wanted to take a slow, healthy approach to it. Besides increasing her workouts, Heinstchel said the experience “really forced me to clean up my diet.” Staying mentally focused on her diet plan was one of the challenges of preparing for the event. It meant sacrificing social get-togethers and packing a lot her own meals rather than eating out.
To have the hard work pay off, Heinstchel said solidifies her capabilities as a trainer. “The biggest thing I gained was self-confidence. It really helps me push away any doubt of my abilities as a trainer.”
Heintschel is certified in ACE Personal Training and Nutrition from Santa Fe Community College.
Another big benefit was the support she received from friends and family. Heintschel said her husband, Dustin, “has been a big factor in my success as a trainer and as a competitor.” She added, her friend and fellow fitness instructor Toni Brown Keith was also instrumental. Brown Keith was Heintschel’s workout partner through the whole training process. “She pushed me on days I really didn’t want to do it. She has been there for me.”
Growing up, Heintschel said she was a cheerleader in high school but that was as far as she dove into sports.
After having her son, Heintschel said she felt overweight and unhealthy so she started running and improving her nutrition. This kick started her passion and she ultimately decided to become a trainer and help others.
“Being a trainer is really rewarding because I help people unlock their potential,” she said. Plus, she can help clients meet their goals and achieve things they didn’t think they could achieve.
Heintschel plans to continue competing in figure competitions; she is training for November’s Fitness New Mexico Southwest Championship.