Natural Iowa competitor spotlight: Marissa Knoop
How do you make a champion’s physique even more impressive? By knowing it didn’t happen overnight and the process it took to get there. Marissa Knoop shares her story below on her journey to win her IPE pro card at the NANBF Natural Iowa, which happened after many years of refinement and hard work. You can watch and listen to her victory interview onstage and read the rest of her story below.
Link to interview and class highlights: https://youtu.be/-xH9q1aQqtY
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO COMPETE?
I started competing on the bodybuilding stage because I have always been an athlete. I played
college soccer and after college I needed something else to fulfill my competitive nature. I fell in
love with the process of bodybuilding. I started in the weight room only knowing the basics.
Once I started seeing results, I was hooked. I did my first bodybuilding show in May 2016. I
didn’t understand the stage quite yet and had no expectations. I just thought it looked cool and I
could say, I did that. Now, 5 years later of going through trial and error, many coaches, and
finding what works for me, I went into my second show ever in April 2021 wanting my IPE pro
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART AND OBSTACLES YOU OVERCAME DURING YOUR PREP?
The most difficult part of the process was the lack of energy for training, the depletion phase of
peak week without carbs which left my brain foggy, and little to no social life. During the
pandemic I was left to training in a garage like most others and the only cardio was to run. I
quickly learned to love running and to become creative with my weight training.
The lifestyle of a bodybuilder is not easy, so when I learned that I have Celiac Disease after my
first show, it made the process even more challenging. However, I learned to adapt to the
changes and to use it to my benefit.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT COMPETING?
I love bodybuilding because you can never stop improving. There is a saying: “proud but never
satisfied.” Ultimately, it is you vs you. If you show up on the stage better than before then, you
win. Show day is like Christmas. You put in all the hard work and this is the time to show it off.
The bodybuilding community is like nothing else. The support of others backstage and during
prep is amazing. Everyone goes through the same challenges to get on stage.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN IPE DRUG-FREE PRO?
My goal coming into the two shows I planned to compete in this year, was to win my pro card as
an IPE pro. I am proud to say I am an IPE pro of a drug-free federation, and I can say this
physique is all hard work. There was nothing to show for progress except the work I put in. I won my pro card and now I enjoy life balance. I plan to compete in a pro show after starting a family and enjoying that journey.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE OTHERS CAN TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR STORY?
I want others to know that if you have a dream or a goal you have always wanted to pursue, do
it. Do it for YOU. Others may think you are out of your mind or do not understand why you want
to succeed at what you want but, all that matters is that you’re proud of yourself.