HOHENFELS, Germany (June 25, 2013) -- It's not every day you see women in the gym moving mass amounts of iron, but for Justine Molton that's what it's all about.
"I really like lifting heavy," Molton said. "After a set I'm always asking, am I done? Can I do two more? Can I add that extra plate?"
Looking at her impressive physique, one would assume Molton has been pumping iron for years, but the 24-year-old Texas native has been training for less than a year. Yet despite her relative inexperience, she is already gearing up for her first bodybuilding competition.
U.S. Army Garrison Natural Stuttgart European Championships is sanctioned by the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation will be held Aug. 24, 2013, in Stuttgart. Categories include Men's Bodybuilding, Women's Bodybuilding, Women's Figure and Ms. Fit.
Molton will be entering Women's Figure, but she's also got her eye on the Ms. Fit title.
"Figure is a little softer look, not completely ripped out," explained Molton. "I definitely want to win Figure, but my main goal is Ms. Fit."
If dedication is any indication of victory, Molton is well on her way. She trains each body part two times a week and is often in the gym twice a day.
"When I started, a bug bit me, and I wanted to be in there all the time," she said.
Molton began with a 12-week program lifted from Bodybuilding.com. She chose the program designed for men and said she's glad she did.
"It really helped me get the muscle mass I have now," she said. "For most women in this field, the hardest part is getting that mass. For me, I feel like I have a really good advantage because I've always been a little more muscular. Now the hard part is discipline and diet."
Discipline is something Molton clearly has. As the mother of a 2-year-old daughter, finding the time to hit the gym is not always easy, but Molton says her husband, Spc. Joshua Molton, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, is extremely supportive.
"At first he was not a fan," she said. "But now we've got a routine, he knows I'm serious, and he is really supportive."
Molton said family support is vital.
"You're away from your family a lot, you're always grouchy because of your diet, so it's really important that they're behind you," she said.
Molton said her husband works out with her as much as he can, but he has no interest in competing.
"That's OK, he's a great supporter for me," she said.
After the birth of her daughter, Molton wanted to impress her family and friends with how quickly she got back in shape. She started hitting the gym, but focused mostly on cardio.
"When you come from just doing cardio, and you switch to weight training, you see results so much faster," Molton said. "It's amazing, people really should incorporate weight training into their programs more."
Now what drives her is a commitment to excellence.
"I really want to be the best at something. I'm good at this. I have what it takes to do it. It's a mental thing from here on out," she said.
Molton decided to compete after viewing photos of the Ms. Olympia competition in one of her husband's bodybuilding magazines.
"I saw the best in the world, and I thought 'I could do that,'" she said. "It's not untouchable. You just have to be willing to put in the work, and you have to love it."
Love it she does. Besides the thrill of moving heavy weights, Molton enjoys inspiring others to what they can achieve.
"I definitely like the feeling when I go into the gym and you get that 'wow' from people," she said. "When someone compliments me or asks for training tips, every time I hear something positive, it is very inspiring and I push myself even harder. And I want to be that for people one day, I want to be able to help people reach their goals."
Molton stresses, though, that competitive bodybuilding is not for the faint of heart.
"It takes dedication," she said. "You have to really love being in that gym all the time. You have to love to exceed beyond what you did yesterday, and get a pump from that, and then the next day do it again, and do it better.
"That's what I do every day in the gym. I'm just going to push myself to be the best I can, and hopefully, I'll win," she said.