Sports & Recreation

Local female bodybuilder raises the bar

Donnalou Ramirez ranks seventh nationwide.
“Bodybuilding has been so empowering because now I am able to control the way I look through diet and training,” Ramirez said.
“Bodybuilding has been so empowering because now I am able to control the way I look through diet and training,” Ramirez said.
While competing in bodybuilding on a national level, Ramirez is also working on a master's degree in business administration.

Twenty-three-year-old bodybuilder Donnalou Alexis Ramirez is currently ranked seventh nationally against women of all ages. As a local, her fitness journey began inside Rovella’s Gym. Ramirez had struggled to lose weight, and in her senior year at San Benito High School, she said enough was enough. 

“Steve and Lisa Rovella have been so supportive over the years and really truly care about people,” Ramirez said. 

Said Lisa Rovella: Donnalou made the transformation from weight loss to competitor and never looked back. She will continue to inspire as she pushes forward toward her ultimate goal of her Pro card.” 

Ramirez sought further guidance from fitness coaches Chris Ellis with the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Camile Periat, IFBB Pro Olympian and Team Pulse member. They introduced her to the competitive side of bodybuilding.

“My coaches are both very motivating and recognized the potential in me,” Ramirez said. 

She started bodybuilding over four-and-a-half years ago and competed under the National Physique Committee, the largest bodybuilding organization in the United States. She’s been nationally qualified since 2016 and first competed at the national level at NPC Miami in 2017.

“Bodybuilding has been so empowering because now I am able to control the way I look through diet and training,” she said.

Ms. Fitness Olympia Whitney Jones has also coached Ramirez and belongs to her team Pro Physiques

“Donnalou takes this sport very seriously and gives 110% to everything she does,” Jones said. “She’s a year-round athlete who takes pride in knowing she controls what efforts she puts into.”

In June and July, Ramirez competed in three bodybuilding competitions in the figure category. She took first place in her class at NorCal 2019 in Sacramento. A week later at NPC Junior Nationals in Chicago, she placed seventh nationally. In her most recent competition, the NPC USA National Show in Las Vegas, she placed seventh again.

“My goal is to one day be an IFBB professional figure bodybuilding athlete and hopefully one day an Olympian,” she said. 

While competing in bodybuilding on a national level, Ramirez is also working on a master’s degree in business administration, as well as coaching individuals for figure competitions.

“Bodybuilding is not only a lifestyle but also a life choice,” Ramirez said. “It also has allowed me to keep setting bigger and bigger goals to achieve.”

 

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Blaire Strohn

Blaire Strohn is a graduate student at Oklahoma State University focusing on International Agriculture. Blaire also graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Communications. Born and raised on a cow/calf operation ranch in Paicines, she is passionate about the agriculture community and western way of life.