Chloe-Beth Morgan has made a huge name for herself in the beauty competition world. She has travelled the globe and dazzled judges on every continent. She is the very picture of grace, style and femininity and it’s easy to see why she has enjoyed so much success.
So how does she prepare for such competition? If you think it’s days of calorific restriction and hours in the make up box in front of the mirror you’d be wrong as she explains it’s, “Lots of gym work, heaps of weights and as heavy as I can manage!”
It’s perhaps not the answer you would expect from a multiple beauty pageant champion who is slender, trim and entirely lady like. But Chloe-Beth is living proof that women can weight train with serious intent but without the threat of “bulking up”, “getting too muscley” or “looking like a man” and all those other clichéd excuses we hear trotted out too often.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
In fact, far from detracting from the feminine figure, weight training can enhance it, as the 5ft8/1.72m 8.3 stone/53kg Chloe-Beth illustrates loud and clear. Chloe-Beth has just finished university and is looking to use her degree in Health, Exercise and Nutrition to work with individuals and communities. The qualified PT has been serious about her training for several years and sees nothing incongruous about the beauty competition world and the sweat and strain of her gym work.
“I think people still associate that world with skinny waif like types who could no more lift weights than eat 32oz steaks! But one of the best things for posture, body symmetry and confidence amongst other things is resistance training.”
There are of course some areas of modelling out there that have been synonymous with looks and figure shapes that really are not perceived as particularly healthy.
It hardly appears that catwalk models are encouraged by the fashion world to achieve an even vaguely athletic shape and condition and this has lead to descriptions like ‘heroin chic’ and disturbing stories about how some models have settled upon and maintained what is deemed to be the right body shape for their work. But Chloe-Beth is quick to emphasise that training is actually the best way to achieve the optimum look and gain heightened levels of self-assurance and confidence.
“Far from getting big and muscular, these women will actually accentuate their angles and curves, they will tone and strengthen and their metabolism will increase and they’ll be doing something vital for the prevention of potentially crippling osteoporosis in later life, a condition that affects women in particular. Thankfully health, fitness and lifestyle magazines like ultra-FIT do a fantastic job of promoting genuinely healthy images and messages that are sensible, inspiring, aspiring and achievable.”
Chloe-Beth adds, “I feel like it’s the responsibility of each individual to educate themselves on what a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle can do for them and putting yourself outside of your comfort zone can be so beneficial physically and mentally and you never know where it might take you. One day a person might be taking tentative first steps into a gym and a year or two later they are making plans to compete. It happens!”
Chloe-Beth took her own uncertain initial step into the pageant world in 2008 and promptly won the Miss Wales crown. At the resulting Miss World in South Africa she was the highest placed competitor amongst the UK Home Nations. In 2009 she triumphed in Miss UK and at the China-hosted Miss International Pageant she achieved a superb 2nd place.
“We can find our most feminine figure whilst being fitter and stronger than ever if we grasp those weights, lift them, pull them and push them and enjoy the results”
After a break Chloe-Beth tackled the 2011 Miss Universe Great Britain and won that too. In fact she has become the most successful British Beauty Queen ever and the first to compete in the top three international grand slam pageants.
This is a feat only a handful of women anywhere in the world have achieved. 2013 has seen further victories in the Miss Wales event and also Miss Intercontinental Wales.
And at the end of this year she will bring down the curtain on her glittering beauty contest career at the International Pageant.
Beauty, style and substance
But don’t be fooled into thinking Chloe-Beth is all about make-up, hair products, gleaming teeth and glittering wardrobes. As well as style there is substance in abundance. A qualified fitness professional, she stepped into the world of fitness competition in 2012.
“I was a bit nervous about it all but after visiting BodyPower Expo last year I felt motivated and inspired, and when I saw the growth in the Bikini Competition category I realised that was for me, so I decided to give it a go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Although already fit and a regular gym goer and trainer, the 12 weeks of dedicated preparation still came as quite a shock to the system, but I grew to enjoy the challenge, the goal setting required and the necessary focus and discipline.”
Chloe-Beth added to her bulging trophy cabinet when her first foray into fitness competition resulted in a third place at the UKBFF Welsh Championships and earned her a coveted invite into the British finals.
“That was a massive thrill but I chose not to compete because I just didn’t feel ready. However, by the time people read this article I will have competed at the UKBFF Kent Klassic and am in much better shape than last year. Hopefully all will go well and I can have a proper tilt at the British this time!”
“I have no doubt that the confidence I found in my body is a direct result of my weight training regimen”
If all this sounds a bit self-absorbed, exhibitionist and ‘look at me!’ it couldn’t be further from the truth. Chloe-Beth is happiest in the gym where she trains and works, she loves guiding others to their fitness goals, she pageant trains aspiring beauty queens and during her recent university years immersed herself in volunteer community work in health promotion and healthy living, working with schools, adults and whole families.
Chloe-Beth very much sees her future in inspiring, motivating and training others, spreading accessible, positive and valuable health and fitness messages where possible and always showing that women can and should workout and hit the weights without fear of metamorphosing into anything butch or burly.
“Like anyone I have favourite training disciplines and then there are elements I’m less keen on! I really don’t derive too much pleasure from cardio work, though I do appreciate its great importance. Weight training is what I really enjoy. The only body part I’m not too keen on hitting is the calves. The DOMS are the worst!
“Deadlifts, straight leg deadlifts, upright rows, shoulder press and squats are among my favourites. Plyometrics is another issue. I know it’s a great training method, but I am terrible at jumping. I do persist though and if nothing else, it provides others with a bit of entertainment!” Chloe-Beth wants to do as much as she can to improve people’s health.
“Getting healthy and fit, maintaining fitness and building on it is obviously good for everyone. And beyond the physical benefits it also teaches discipline and persistence and the rewards are there for all to achieve. I want to help as many people as I can and along the way and if I can steer any girls toward an understanding of what a healthy lifestyle can give them, I will be delighted.
I feel that the importance should be put on becoming the best version of yourself you can and see and feel the benefits along the way. I have no doubt that the confidence I found in my body is a direct result of my weight training regimen and I hope that women will be encouraged rather than deterred to lift and get the body that best suits them and that they can be proud of.
Girls – we can find our most feminine figure whilst being fitter and stronger than ever if we grasp those weights, lift them, pull them and push them and enjoy the results!”