Update: Local woman defends pro bodybuilding figure title, places second
–International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Masters Pro Figure competitor Linda Flynn competed at the 2021 IFBB Pro League Pittsburgh Pro Masters on July 21-24, placing second in both the Masters Figure 55+ and Masters Figure 60+. After head judge Sandy Williamson noted Flynn’s continuous improvement over the years, Flynn is holding off on retirement and looking forward to competing in two future shows in Florida and Reno this fall.
“Bodybuilding is a very subjective sport – I have been here before and it just makes me want more. I always go into my shows competitive but more so focusing on being better on stage with my physique and posing,” said Flynn, who won $1,100 at this show and missed first place by just one point.
Flynn aims to encourage the community to embrace an active lifestyle, which will reap rewards both physically and mentally.
“At 60, I am in better health and better physique than any other time of my adult life,” she said. “You do not need to be a bodybuilder or compete to achieve obtainable goals. Just because we are older does not mean we accept how we are. You can change at any age and I see it all the time.
“In the media you are seeing those in their 70s picking up the weights and changing themselves fully. Just on the psychological side it’s worth the effort as we age as many develop anxiety and depression; that can be changed also,” said Flynn. “Everyone in our community can benefit, young and older. We have kids from 18 to older adults up to and beyond their 80s training in The Studio…If I can give any advice to all ages and both sexes is to make [exercise and understanding how food fuels your body] a lifestyle.”
Original report July 21, 2021:
Local woman defends pro bodybuilding figure title this week
Linda Flynn plans to retire after 2021 competitions
–Paso Robles resident Linda Flynn, an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Masters Pro Figure competitor, will defend her title at the 2021 IFBB Pro League Pittsburgh Pro Masters on July 21-24. After receiving her pro card in 2019, Flynn plans to retire after this show, capping off a decade-long successful career inspiring people around the world in fitness, food, and bodybuilding.
Flynn has always embraced an active lifestyle. She was an avid runner until her body changed and instead shifted to weight lifting. When people suggested she try a bodybuilding show, Flynn trained for three years in preparation and her first competition was the 2014 IFBB/NPC Tahoe Show in the Figure class.
“It’s like every year you learn more, that’s why it’s so hard to stop. You evolve and learn about how to help people or train people. You never know everything and are constantly learning. Every year I do a show, I learn more…the body is amazing,” said Flynn, noting that the stage kept pulling her back in after that first show.
Flynn will do two shows a year, taking some time off after a show but staying in the mindset of working out, eating healthy, and prepping for the next competition. In 2019, Flynn achieved her goal of going pro by receiving her pro card and now competes in the Women’s Figure – IFBB Pro 60+ division. Flynn notes that “in 2019, I was a little bit bigger and the judges liked where I had gone, they had seen I had improved, and I finally got my pro card.” She originally planned for 2020 to be her final year of competition, but after a bulged disc right before the 2020 Legion Sports Fest in Reno, Flynn wanted to finish strong during the 2021 competitions.
Flynn owns The Studio, a private gym open 24 hours located in Paso Robles, along with business partner and fellow pro bodybuilder Art Gutierrez. The gym provides a quiet, encouraging environment for those in personal training sessions.
“I think just having a goal, not even getting on stage and competing, but to learn how to live healthy [and] just keeping your body healthy as you get older [is important]: your bone health, your muscular health, your mental health. More people are getting into the bodybuilding shows because one, there’s more divisions, but I think they see the positive influence it has on not just themselves but the people around them,” said Flynn. “I just wish more people would realize that moving, getting out of your house and walking has a benefit for yourself, [as well as] more education about food.”
After retiring from competing, Flynn plans on continuing her personal training online and at The Iron Jungle, getting back into the equestrian world, staying active through mud runs, and spending time with her family, including two grandchildren with another on the way.
“She loves Paso Robles [and she is] a great representative of our community, healthy lifestyle and all of us older people globally… a true ambassador,” husband Bob Flynn said.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the name of Flynn’s gym.