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Pearl Solo
Pearl Dobson


Pearl (competition)
Pearl Dobson in competition

Female bodybuilder Pearl Dobson will be flexing her muscles for the Isle of Wight at the Miss Universe contest on Sunday (28th May) – and Island Echo has caught up with the 58-year-old ahead of her big appearance…

Pearl was born in Hayling Island just across the Solent. She moved to the Isle of Wight in 1998, after living in Wimbledon in South-West London.

She 1st came to the attention of the public by winning the PCA (Physical Culture Association) championship in her class (over 35). This has led to an invitation to take part in the Miss Universe competition.

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Pearl’s win was a considerable achievement as she was the oldest woman to take part in the event. Her victory has attracted media attention with BBC 1’s One Show expressing an interest in her appearing on the programme.

Mrs Dobson trains every day at The Gym Group on Coppins Bridge. She is also a keen recreational rower but has taken a step back to concentrate on bodybuilding competitions. However, she says she would like to get back on the river.

The bodybuilder says she has always been a gym-goer. However, a year ago, she got an online coach to see if she could get into shape and take part in competitions. She has also had the help of local coach Lance Griffiths, who trains her 5 times a week.

Pearl Dobson (back)

Island Echo met up with Pearl outside her gym in Newport.

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First, we asked her what you have to do to succeed in the world of bodybuilding.

Pearl said:

“80% is nutrition. I eat 6 times a day at 7:00, 10:00, 12:00 and so on. I have to stick to chicken, eggs, bananas and lots of salad and fruit. I avoid processed food such as crisps and biscuits and anything with a high sugar content.

“Training is the ‘easy’ bit. Food is the hardest. First, I put on weight for 6 months to build up muscle. Then, I have to spend 6 months losing fat to improve muscle definition.

Pearl Dobson (gym)

When asked why middle-aged ladies should take up weight training, Pearl replied:

“It helps you to build up stronger muscles and bones and it will help you through the menopause. My age is the time to invest in yourself.

“When you get to a certain age, some people think: ‘What’s the point?’. But you’ve only got 1 body, so you should be looking after it.

“Weight training is the up-and-coming thing for women. It’s far more beneficial than simply pounding the treadmill.”

Pearl weighs a mere 52 kilograms. She is dwarfed in bulk by her trainer Lance Griffiths, who weighs in at 105 kilos. However, if measured by weight-to-power ratio, Pearl is the stronger of the pair.

Pearl And Lance
Pearl with trainer Lance

When asked whether bodybuilding was ‘unfeminine’, Pearl replied:

“There’s no longer a stigma attached to female bodybuilding. There are now more female competitors at the Mr/Miss Universe event than males.”

In reply to being asked what the hardest part of taking part in competitions was, Pearl said:

“Stepping on stage is the most difficult part. This takes a lot of courage.

“However, on Sunday, it all comes together. This week (more than ever) all food has to be weighed accurately to get the right amount of salt, fluids, carbs, fat and proteins. It’s all very scientific. But it works.

“I’ll give winning Miss Universe my very best shot.”

Finally, Island Echo asked Pearl how she saw her future in bodybuilding. She said:

“I’ll continue to bodybuild all my life. I’d like to make it to the Olympia professional competition.

“However, I have to pay to enter competitions, and the costs all add up.

“Just the hand-made bikini that I require to take part costs £500.”

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Karen frazer
Karen frazer
1 year ago

I’m 37 I wish I looked that good now

1 year ago

You go girl, rooting for you.

Gary Dobson
Gary Dobson
1 year ago

I think you’re amazing and you will win again this weekend


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