Bodybuilders: 'They think because we have muscles, we're related'
EUGENE, Ore. - Sara Butler knows a thing or two about getting in shape.
"I get called She-Ra," said Butler, an IFBB Pro Physique Bodybuilder.
"I've been called Terminator," added Katrinka Danielson, a female bodybuilder from Eugene.
But Butler said she can't take all the credit.
"They think because we have muscles, we're related," Butler said of training partner Danielson.
"She's the brunette bombshell, and I'm the blonde bomber," Danielson said.
"It's fun role playing," said Butler.
Butler said Danielson is more than a training partner: she's an inspiration.
"That's the female that can rock the muscle, but she's still gorgeous," she said.
That inspiration took Butler on a journey to bodybuilding competitions.
Building her physique didn't come overnight, and it takes constant work.
"Our fat cells are twice as big as a man's, so when we're preparing for a contest: 3 to 5 percent body fat," said Butler. "That's pretty dialed for a female."
Right now, Butler and Danielson are in the off-season.
"Yes, in the bulking phase," said Butler and Danielson in unison.
On Saturdays, they focus on the muscles that make up the human back.
And these women push one of the largest muscle groups in the body to the limit.
"An average of two hours in the weight room, not including your cardio, which is probably anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour," said Danielson as she finished a set on one of the gym's back machines.
Butler and Danielson are part of a bodybuilding group in Eugene who call themselves the Iron Demons. They said hours spent each day in the gym are only the tip of the iceberg for a bodybuilder.
"If you can't get your diet to the T, what you do in the gym is going to be pointless," said Butler.
To show what it really takes to get to this level of fitness, the Iron Demons took KVAL News to their kitchen.
"This, in a nut shell, is what goes into our bodies to make us look the way we do," said Danielson in her kitchen at her home in Eugene.
They said bodybuilding is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week sport, and nutrition is 80 percent of it.
"Learning how to eat right was awesome for me because that's when I started seeing the gains and seeing changes in my body. And then, that's when I became addicted," said Danielson as she prepared egg whites for the first of her 10 meals of the day.
It's a way of life that may seem like hell to an outsider.
"They can't imagine becoming so obsessed. It is an obsession," said Danielson.
But to these Iron Demons, it's just life.
"The prepping the food, the getting your cardio in and getting the weights in - we're just an average person," said Danielson as she sat next to Butler on her living room couch. "We just choose to put that time into our bodies and into our day."