Today I attended my first ‘Get The Edge’ Workshop. It’s a pre-competition preparation event for bodybuilders, anyone thinking of competing at any level or even trainers that get approached to assist with comp prep. David Salamon ( who is bringing the ANB to South Australia this year organised bringing the Get The Edge (GTE) team here and promoted the event so we knew about it – for this and all your hard work David, thank you. The turn out showed we needed this workshop.

The GTE workshop today was held in Adelaide, my hometown, and there was an amazing turn out and a room full of people (there was at least 60 of us), all ready to take in all they could and squeeze all the information out of the speakers in the 5 hours that flew past way to quickly! I swear even if they had two days for the workshop and it was underwater we’d all still be able to talk about this industry without taking a break or coming up for air.

Maria McCarter and the Get The Edge Team, which have been holding these workshops in the eastern states since 2006, covered a whole range of topics from Nutrition, to Posing and Supplementation for natural athletes. It was also clear that the team were there to help us not only as an individual but remind us that in such a selfish sport at times, the support we have around us and team spirit that can be found. More so the group of us were able to be quite interactive in a ‘non scary way’, and we were all given the tools of where we can find further information locally, the networks available that were touched on during the day.

Personally, I love seeing all the familiar and even new faces, feeling the energy and excitement over setting goals and achieving them, and also listening to people with the experience passing on the logical information that most rarely give out freely unless among trusted friends.

The ones there that have never competed; these workshops give them a realistic view of the best way to get into that mindset of competing if this is a goal. The ones that have competed, you have the experience of doing a show, but as we know, we always want to improve and attending this workshop proves that I’m still as in love with what I’m doing as when I first set that goal to compete a few years back.

We were able to connect with the team, starting with Maria McCarter (,, who is a voice for natural bodybuilding based in Victoria. She shared her stories, experiences, advice and made sure the day was running as well as possible. Really as someone in the audience I was able to connect with Maria straight away as she speaks from truth. Lindy Olsen (, with too many achievements to list is her own person and an amazing one that that. Sharing her experiences and advice in such an open manner was refreshing and as a competitor the best way to be able to connect and inspire others to reach their own potential. Sample meals, general rules, her beliefs and experiences as a person and competitor – it was well worth the trip down to Adelaide as I feel the room was hooked on every word throughout the day for this gorgeous woman.

The workshop then ran through registering, show day and then into posing with the talented, funny, real Vicki Areif from Victoria. Main point to take out of this was the visual of what NOT to do. Vicki created a highlight of my day in posing routines and symmetry. Thanks to Aaron Braithwaite from Physique Nutrition ( and Duncan Rankin ( for demonstrating the compulsories for a whole room full of people. No Egos were show (hahahaha) but it was a respect we got from watching this. Belinda Walker ( ran through the female compulsories and we were all separated into our preferred divisions to experience further and get more tips from the team. All for athletes showed the skill it takes to present their best package of stage and how important it is to get this right! WELL DONE!

Lindy Olsen, David Salamon & Amelia Ricci ( helped with the fitness models, male and female, which was where I went and we could see there is a lot of potential from after this workshop for the future of this division. Bianca Richards & Sarah Davis – both National title holders were gorgeous strutters, but all of us has a go at the t walk and it really wasn’t that hard to have a smile with the male fitness models in the room and, even big Gabe (Fit Pharm had a strut.

Amelia ( then spoke about tanning prep on the day. If anyone has see a show or competed, you know how important this factor is in getting right. I’m sure all the tips will sink right in (pun intended). Amelia has been a coach of mine and sportsmodels across Australia, aswell as an amazing role model and person. I personally have had my prep done, and most importantly post comp prep plan is already at the ready! She would be happy to assist you get in the best shape of your life, just visit her site.

Food was provided by Michelle Kohn ( and was gobbled up – we even received a bag with treats, shakers, discounts and a massive raffle was drawn ($500 worth) and won by lucky Aaron Todd with my lucky number of 22.

The day wrapped up with a massive group shoot and then we all tried to do out last bits of talking before the venue kicked us out and the team missed their flights! People even travelled hours just to attend. That is commitment.

It was just a reminder that we have such an amazing network of people within our reach and in whatever our goal is, the best thing to do is build those relationships and give back to something you love and enjoy so much so it continues to flourish. When we look back we tend to regret the relationships we didn’t form, this workshop instils this. Bodybuilding is a positive sport and lifestyle – you just need to open your eyes to all the opportunities and take them.


If you are interested in attending please contact your promorter for the local shows. For South Australia, the contact is David, and you can email him on so he knows you are keen!!


See you all on stage!

Gemma Dawson

Blog writer for the Australian Natural Bodybuilding website

Featured Athlete/Competitive Fitness Model and Motivational Personality

Assistant Coach and Online Trainer through

‘Get HEALTHY and you NATURALLY get LEAN’ – Gemma Dawson