Natural Olympia PNBA Pro Figure Champion Sherrie Bingham:
Wins the Gold at the 2017 Natural Olympia

Interview by Eric Lipton

Sherrie Bingham won the incredibly competitive PNAB Professional Figure title at the 2017 INBA PNBA Natural Olympia. The 51-year-old only started competing relatively recently, but has been incredibly successful in her career. Sherrie brings an unbelievable combination of muscle, shape, and conditioning to the stage. Continue reading more about this incredible champion.

Sherrie, was born and raised in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in a single parent home with sister and mother. Sherrie graduated from Oakland High School in 1984, and then received a four year scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University. She lives in La Vergne, Tennessee and is a mother to a daughter and two sons, and a grandmother of two boys and a girl. For the past seven Sherrie has worked for Nissan Manufacturer in Smyrna, Tennessee as a line tech.

Tell us about your competition history, when and how did you start competing, and what are some of the highlights of your career?

In 2010, I was lifting without a purpose and then I met James Johnson. It wasn’t until James took me to the Flex Lewis Classic in June 2013 in Murfreesboro that I wanted to start competing. In July 2013, James introduced me to Tony Haines of Team Haines Training in Hermitage, Tennessee. From there, Tony got me started with my prep for my first show in October, 2013, where I placed first in the figure 45-plus class. Nine months later, I earned my SNBF pro card at the George Southern Open, followed by winning my WNBF pro card in 2015, IFPA pro card in 2015, PNBA pro card in 2016, OWU pro card in 2017, and IFBB pro card in 2017.  In November 2017, I became the PNBA Natural Olympia Figure Champion.

Congratulations on your great victory at the 2017 Natural Olympia! That was an incredibly difficult class. Can you describe what this accomplishment means to you?

Winning the 2017 Natural Olympia and taking $3,000 home was my biggest accomplishment. When I started competing, I set small goals for myself. Once I earned my PNBA pro card, just to be able to go to the Natural Olympia in 2016 was one of those goals. I reached that goal and placed second, so I then set my goal to try and come back to win. After hearing the judges’ feedback after the show, I knew that I was on the right track. I just had to focus a little harder and bring a much better package than before. Being the PNBA Natural Olympia champion means a lot, as I know that I’ve competed with so many ladies from different countries on the same playing field of being drug-free and being different ages. It feels good, but it just pushes and motivates me more because I know that next year, someone is going to come in to try and take that spot. I’ve got to work even harder now.

What are your competition plans with INBA/PNBA for 2018?

Defending my Natural Olympia PNBA Figure Title.

You have an incredible combination of muscle, shape, and conditioning! I am sure everyone wants to know how you achieved such an incredible physique. Can you tell us about the style of training you use and your diet?

As far as my physique, I guess I can say that I’m genetically blessed, but I train six days a week, focusing mostly on what I feel are my weak points at the time. Off-season always focuses on my conditioning. My diet doesn’t change too much during the season or in the off-season. I try to stay within 10 to 15 pounds of stage weight. Following coach’s orders takes me close to 3000 calories in the off-season and close to 1700 during the season, depending on which shows I will be competing in. As far as me as a competitor, I am very serious when I’m in the gym. I stay focused on my workout and don’t get wrapped up in talking. I’m a loner most the time in the gym, but I seem to workout better and get more out of it than I do when I have a workout partner.

What are you goals?

My goals for competing and in life are to compete as long as my health allows me to, because I enjoy it and it’s a healthy lifestyle.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I have a testimony that many don’t know about. In 2006, I was shot twice by my ex-husband a week after my divorce. I was on a life flight, not knowing if I was going to make it or not. I spent 7 days in the hospital and 19 days out of work. I’m a fighter and once I’m determined to do something, I don’t stop until it’s done. I guess you can say that I’m always determined because I have a reason to never give up on anything.

Wow, you are an incredibly strong woman and it is truly amazing that you came back from that to achieve what you have in life.

I thank God that I was able to fight my way back without having to do any rehabilitation and return back to my regular daily activities with only bad memories and a scar. I once was ashamed of stepping on stage because of it. But there again, James made me realize that my scar was only a reminder of what a hard fighter I was to survive such a tragic accident. So now, I look at it as part of my motivation to try as hard as I can to succeed. I keep a post up around my house that says “If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will succeed.” I’m not sure whose quote that is, but it keeps me going.

You are inspirational Sherrie! Is there anyone you want to add?

I would like to thank my kids for standing behind me and putting up with me during my prep season. I also want to thank all my supporters that are always cheering me on, but most of all, James Johnson and my coach Tony Haynes of Team Haines Training for believing in me more than I believe in myself.

Thank you for the interview Sherrie. You have achieved a spectacular physique and overcome a significant personal tragedy to do so. I am sure your story will inspire people to go forward with their goals in life! 

Photo Credit: Ban Studios