By Dan Guttenplan
---- — There are few things Allison Pierce enjoys more than standing in a bikini before a panel of judges and receiving scores on her figure.
“No, I actually love it,” said Pierce, 25, of Amesbury. “I think it’s the greatest thing in the world. I love being on stage. I get nervous before going on, then it goes away.”
The fact that Pierce typically receives high marks in bodybuilding competitions only helps. The Amesbury High alumna placed first in two competitions at the OCB Yankee Classic at Newburyport High Saturday.
She won in the novice and open classes for Best Figure, a class of bodybuilding in which athletes are measured on physique rather than bulk.
“You want to have muscles like bodybuilders, but you don’t want to be as big or defined,” said Pierce, who is a dental hygienist in Georgetown. “You don’t want to have veins or as many striations. You still want to show definition in muscles.”
The OCB Yankee Classic marked Pierce’s first competition since she was 19, as she took six years off during college and dental school. She trained for 10 weeks prior to Saturday’s event, dropping her weight from 167 to 136 pounds. At 5-foot-7, she says her ideal weight is 142.
“I just love to see the changes in my body and see how far I can push myself,” Pierce said. “Plus, I love the gym.”
Pierce, who enjoys snowboarding during the winter months, grew up playing basketball and softball. She has also dabbled in karate, gymnastics, dance, skimboarding, hiking and camping. She worked with a personal trainer, Lisa DeMeule, in preparation for Saturday’s competition.
“I’ve always been training, but Lisa gave me a mixture of weights and cardio over the last 10 weeks,” Pierce said. “She also writes out my diet.”
As is the custom in bodybuilding events, Pierce abstained from drinking water for 24 hours before she took the stage Saturday. She will go through it all again in September when she competes in another event in Boston.
“I’m right back at it on Monday,” Pierce said of her training. “I relaxed and enjoyed doing nothing on Sunday. A lot of people overeat afterwards, but I don’t want to tack on 20 pounds right away. I’ve worked too hard to take it off.”