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TV star-turned-bodybuilder Emily Craig is just one fitness celeb appearing at this expo devoted to optimum health

Are you a gym junkie? Mad for martial arts? Crazy for crossfit? Do you even lift? If you answered yes to any of those you'll probably be keen to check out the Australian Health and Fitness Expo. There will be over 250 health and fitness exhibitors showing off the best in gear, equipment, nutrition and apparel. There will also be plenty of live action, with fitness competitions, training technique demos and fitness celebs (yes. Michelle Bridges and Commando included).

Time Out talked to Beauty and the Geek star Emily Craig, who will be appearing at the expo.

Emily, what will you be doing at the Australian Health and Fitness Expo?
Competing in the bikini division at the South Pacific Grand Prix run by the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA).

Many people will be coming to this expo because they’re really into fitness, but others will be coming to try and kickstart their life. Was there a moment for you that something clicked and you really got into it?
When I was younger I wasn't much of a fitness fanatic or that into sport. I am very much a creative person and into things like dancing, acting, writing, theatre and graphic design. I did gymnastics when I was very young then moved onto dancing for 10 years – and then began cheerleading, which is where I got my first real taste of competitions. After I stopped cheerleading I got more involved in the gym to maintain my fitness and physique, but I am a very competitive person and needed a goal.

I saw a bodybuilding posing class at the gym with a few girls who all had amazing bodies and I couldn't help but stare and think, "Wow, I want her body!" But I thought I could never possibly achieve what they had. I had a trainer who helped me get started and once I began seeing results and watching my body transform I couldn't wait to get on stage and show off what I had achieved!

You won Beauty and the Geek, along with Brett d'Avoine, which included completing some jungle dares and swimming among sharks. What has been your biggest challenge since finding fame?
In October 2013 I took part in the under-30s bikini category of a bodybuilding competition and managed to place first out of a line up of 18 girls. This was such an accomplishment and so much fun. It has now motivated me to aim for bigger and better things in 2014. I'm studying to become a personal trainer so I am able to help other people achieve their goals, especially in competing, modelling or just general fitness and health.

You’re competing in the Natural Body Building Comp. What are people’s misconceptions about natural bodybuilding, particularly concerning women?
Working in a supplement and sports nutrition store I always get girls saying they don't want to drink protein or lift weights because they don't want to get big and muscly. They’re always surprised when I tell them I compete and that most of my workouts involve lifting weights with minimal cardio. Having a bikini category in bodybuilding competitions is a great eye opener to girls and proves lifting weights won't make you manly, but lean, defined and toned. This category would be ideal to a lot of every day gym goers (mainly women), as its considered a 'bikini' body look that most ladies strive for.

What will your training involve?
When I was going to the gym to just stay fit I didn't have a set program. I did a lot of cardio, but didn't have as much motivation to train since I had a goal to achieve. Having a competition as an end goal really motivates me to train harder and keep me on track. I have a set program that involves a lot of weight training and High Intensity Interval Training. Changing programs and types of training also helped broadened my knowledge on different muscle groups and training in general. My diet is the one thing that has changed immensely and is the hardest thing to stick to. I used to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and knew next to nothing about nutrition. Most people that compete understand that the diet is critical and without sticking to it you're unlikely to see much physical change. Going from eating fast food almost every day to barely any cheat meals was difficult but definitely worth it in the end.

By Jenny Valentish   |  

Australian Fitness and Health Expo details

1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf 3006

Telephone 03 9235 8000

Nearby Stations: Flinders Street; Southern Cross

Price $20.00 to $30.00

Date 04 Apr 2014-06 Apr 2014

Open 9.30am-5pm

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre map

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