Brooke Brower, former Becker student and gymnast is gaining quite a standing in the world of physical fitness and bodybuilding. At 23 years old, she has captured two successful, back-to-back fitness competition crowns in the last several weeks.
Being fit, being active and being comfortable in the spotlight has been something Brooke has cherished over the years and is expected to continue for many, many years.
“Since I could walk, I was involved in activities,” says Brooke. “Naturally, athletic attributes were instilled in me very young including self discipline, a strong sense of motivation, a burning desire to succeed, optimism, work ethic, mental toughness, and being coachable.”
Brooke captured the local attention by starring briefly on the Becker Bulldog gymnastics team, then transferring to Annandale High School when her family moved to Clearwater. At Becker, Brooke struggled to fit in. Things changed when she and her family made the move southwest.
“Moving to Annandale gave me confidence,” Brooke says. “I established values and an identity that was strong and independent.”
“I believe we all are given specific, divine gifts,” she said. “Gifts that can help one another. When I was able to identify how much control I really had over my life, particularly in terms of health and wellness, I then wanted to help as many individuals as possible.”
Brooke currently works as a personal trainer, nutrition coach, sports coach and a competitor. She helps clients whose goals include weight loss, fat loss, building muscle, developing better eating habits, improving overall health and wellness, specific mobility/rehab, sport specific and of all ages and genders.
Brooke graduated from Annandale in 2016 and went to MSU Mankato for college to receive a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she hired her first personal trainer at the age of 18 and five years later, she has the same coach, Adam Bisek.
“Adam deserves all the credit,” Brooke says. “In those five years, we have built a relationship, learned/learning my body inside and out, worked through food sensitivities, injuries, behaviors, and he has taught me along the way from a professional standpoint how all this stuff works!”
Brooke earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, which is the study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior.
“So, when a client comes to me struggling with motivation, their relationship with food, getting to the gym, gym anxiety, being consistent, meal prepping, cravings, binge eating, managing stress, getting quality sleep, etc. — it all comes back to their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.”
During quarantine at the end of 2020, Brooke would call COVID-19, “COVID Come Up!” because the lockdown allowed her to create Brooke Brower Fitness | B. FIT, her very own fitness and wellness studio.
“I wanted to design a holistic wellness program that was anchored in deep health for anyone and everyone willing to work towards change in their life,” she said. “It’s an approach tackling nutrition, exercise, mindset, behavior, accountability, and education.”
Her holistic wellness program is 12 weeks long and is completely customized to the individual who accepts the tools readily available to them. The program is 100% online based including weekly coaching calls, an exclusive Facebook Community, 24/7 email access to Brooke, weekly formal check ins and more.
“I do offer one-on-one in-person training services as well,” she said. “Whether your focus is mobility/stretching, weight/strength training, cardio or circuit training, or sport specific. I do travel for in-person training sessions whether it be to the client’s home or outside. Otherwise, I am an independent contractor at the Los Campeones locations in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area.
Brooke currently lives in the Uptown Mpls. area and has been training as a National Physique Committee (NPC) competitor. It is the largest amateur bodybuilding organization in the United States. Brooke competed in her first NPC show in 2019 at the NPC Brew City in Wisconsin.
“I placed nearly last,” she said glumly. “I did the show as a bucket list item. I worked hard, but I was not on point.”
Brooke says she sometimes cheated on her diets and just wasn’t 100% invested.
“The experience was incredible, but I hate losing,” she said. “So I decided at the end of 2020 I was ready to make a comeback but with different intentions. I wanted to be a high level competitor.”
So Brooke registered for the same exact show she entered back in 2019. With deeper determination and focus, she ended up taking first place in all her classes, qualifying for a national level show - an opportunity to win her International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro Card.
“Competitors who have their IFBB Pro Cards compete only in professional shows against other professionals — battling against the best in the world,” she said. “Top finishers at professional shows can get a qualification to compete at the Mr. Olympia (the Olympics for any other sport).”
Brooke will be competing in her first national show July 30-31 in Phoenix, AZ at one of the most prestigious national qualifiers in the world, the 2021 NPC USA Bodybuilding Championships.
One of the best things to come out of her earlier competitions was the feedback she received from the judges.
“My judge’s feedback was that I am a high level competitor with an exceptional physique,” she said. “I needed to make a small adjustment to my back pose, but other than that they loved my confidence and poise on stage and noted I will be one to battle with on stage. Hearing this turned on the water works.”
Judges score competitors on balance and shape, overall appearance including complexion, skin tone, poise, and overall presentation. Every bikini athlete does their presentation which consists of a walk to the center of the stage, stop and do a front pose, then a half turn and do a back pose, then turn to the front again and face the judges. Length of time allowed is 10 seconds. Competitors are judged individually, then they are compared later.
Her best asset?
“I feel my ratios are what make me a top competitor,” she says. “My round delts and wide back to my small, hollow waist to my powerful glutes gives me that strong hourglass figure that the judges like.”
Brooke says the hardest part about being a bodybuilder for her is the diet.
“I have struggled with my relationship with food, particularly with binge eating,” she said. “In prep, we eat “clean” and are in a calorie deficit for so long. I battle my craving demons daily. The thing that has helped me through is my coach, being honest and vulnerable with him and surrounding myself in a community of people who are doing the same if not similar thing as me.”
Where does she see herself down the road?
“The recipe for being mentally and physically fit has always been the lifestyle I have been drawn to living,” she says. “In 5-10 years (hopefully) I am manifesting myself/my life as a professional bodybuilder, continuing to help individuals regain control of their health, traveling the world, building a family and impacting the world as much as I can in as many ways as I can.”