Toia McDonald is one of a gorgeous lineup of great figures competing at the Go Figure Women's Figure Showdown at the NZ Fitness Expo on 14 July. 

However, if you asked her 5 years ago if she'd consider getting on stage in a skimpy bikini showing off her muscles, she'd probably laugh in your face.  But how things have changed and so has Toia!
In this article, Toia tells us how the gym changed her life from being a regular gym goer to her transition as Bodypump and Fitness Instructor and now a Figure Athlete.  Not bad for a Mum of 2 who weighed almost 100kg 12 years ago! 

" A lil about me...Am 40 now hahaha, started training in a gym back in the early 90's just a regular gym goer, not really achieving anything.

Moved up to Auckland in 2008 and found my saving grace (fitness 24/7 Gym in Airport Oaks) by accident. Husband was driving along motorway and spotted the Fitness 24/7 sign and honestly couldn't have come at a better time. I was just getting to that stage of slight depression, because we were brand spanking new to Auckland didn't know anyone at all, didn't know Auckland at all had been a les mills member but too afraid to start driving up here being so new and not knowing my way around ANYWHERE!!

Anyway joined up at 24/7 in 2009 where I met Maureen O'Connell, and of course Maureen and her ability to get the best and to see potential in people, she encouraged me to become a Les Mills Bodypump Instructor, and with a little encouragement and persistence took the leap and the rest is history.

Then came the next challenge "BODYBUILDING" Now this IS something that I never in a million years would have ever guessed I would do, not a huge fan of bikinis and high heels just laughed when they (Maureen and Lynne) mentioned it, thought they were taking the pi**, but they were deadly serious!!

So after much much ummming and aarrhing I let myself be talked into it. But now only would this be one of the toughest things for me to over come especially for us women who have had children and am left with a body riddled with stretchmarks and the after effects of gravity from going from a small person to this huge almost 100kg person at full term with my 2nd daughter, parading around on stage in a bikini and high heels really wasn't a very pleasing thought for me.


Toia at NABBA WFF Nationals 2012

My 1st bodybuilding show was down in Tauranga NABBA in 2010, where I did not place but had a fab experience and found a new respect for the sport and all the athletes that commit themselves to this arduous lifestyle all year round. It has definitely opened my eyes to the level of commitment and lifestly and training required to become a champion.

Next show was the Pan Pacifics in 2011 where I placed 1st in the WFF class 1(over 163cm under 57kg) and then the WFF/NABBA Nationals in 2011 where I placed 2nd to Teneka.

Then competed again in 2012 Pan Pacific Nationals and won my class WFF class 1 and into the overalls against that beautiful lean, toned physique of Johanna Mountfort, needless to say Jo took that 1 out hahaha, what a buzz that was.

Since then have just tried to maintain at a healthy weight range (5kg off comp weight) until this years comps.


Graduated last year from AUT with my Fitness Instruction Certificate, started working here at fitness 24/7 Jan this year as a Fitness Instructor, but started teaching pump back in 2010 and teaching bodystep in May 2013.

Up 1st this year was to become certified as a Les Mills Bodystep Instructor which I have recently passed and am now a certified Bodystep Instructor.

I am currently teaching 4x Bodypump classes and 1 x Bodystep class per week, I do my own weight training 5 x per week and also do 1 hour cardio 2 x per day 7 days per week at the moment.

Toia McDonald
10 June 2013

We look forward seeing the results of your hard work in the Go Figure Women's Figure Class at the NZ Fitness Expo Toia!

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