WSU student pursues competitive bodybuilding

Senior won first in national collegiate competition; will continue training, competing



Nadya Islas spends about four hours a day in the gym in addition to at-home workouts. She won first place in a national competition after training with her bodybuilding trainer for two years.

JARED BRADLEY, Evergreen reporter

After saving up enough money for a gym membership, WSU student Nadya Islas started training and treating it like her part-time job.

Two years later, she won the National Physique Committee Teen Collegiate Masters National show in Orlando, Florida.

“I never did sports as a kid,” Islas said. “My parents were constantly working and they never had sufficient money or time to put me through.” 

Islas is a senior human development major from Prosser, Washington, a small agricultural town much like Pullman, she said.

She trained for eight weeks during her first prep for a competition. Standard bodybuilding prep usually takes place over a span of 16 weeks. She entered her first competition in half the time than usually allotted for prep, Islas said.

“I did not place that high in my first show, but I never let that discourage me,” Islas said. “You have to be on a calorie deficit. You have to do a lot of cardio. You have to train hard. It takes a lot of dedication physically, mentally and financially.”

Islas said training for and attending bodybuilding shows is expensive. A single show can cost over $1,000 when competing, including travel fees. She said that just the competition suit costs about $650.

Islas’ sister, Dianna Islas, said she has always been determined. Every time Nadya starts something, she sees it through to the end.

Her trainer, Tino Robles, is also the owner of the gym she first joined two years ago. She trains at Power Athletics Compound in Richland, Washington. She said Robles doesn’t allow her to have a single cheat meal while prepping for a show.

“I wanted to do a competition because I knew it would be something that would challenge me and push me to do something new,” Islas said.

She trains at 5 a.m. and then again at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday every week, averaging four hours a day at the gym on training days. When she isn’t at the gym, Islas said she does 80 minutes of cardio a day six times a week.

Islas said her current gym schedule is intense because she is planning to attend more shows soon.