During the pandemic, this Hilo mom and daughter bonded … through bodybuilding – Hawaii News Now

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Heather Rosario has long had a passion for fitness and helping others get in shape. The personal trainer and bodybuilder opened her own gym in Hilo in March 2020.

“Most people who find this place are very happy to have discovered a small safe environment where they can explore their health,” said Rosario, owner of Transformations Personal Training Studio.

Unfortunately, operations quickly hit the pause button with the pandemic’s arrival.

But the bigger concern wasn’t the bottom line.

Rather, it was her teenage daughter Naomi’s wellbeing.

“When COVID hit our business was shut down, schools were shut down and I saw my very vibrant daughter kind of retreat into her room like I think a lot of teens did,” Rosario said.

“It was very concerning.”

Distance learning took a toll and Naomi could feel it affecting her health. So for her senior project, the Waiakea High student pursued a fitness overhaul and entered a weight training program.

In a matter of months, she lost 30 pounds and then with her mom’s help came the next step ― competitive bodybuilding.

“I started losing body fat and gaining muscle,” Naomi said.

“The first time when I hit the stage in Las Vegas competing against the other competitors, it felt really good to win that competition, so I wanted to continue it.”

Since last August, Naomi has competed in four national shows with more to come.

After graduation this May, she wants to share her expertise and create fitness plans for her peers.

“A lot of times girls will come or they’ll try to go to the gym to lose weight and get in shape, but they either don’t know what they’re doing or they don’t want to get judged,” Naomi said.

“So I’ve seen a lot of girls go to the gym and then they’re like ‘oh you have to do what the guys are doing’ and they start deadlifting and it’s not that great for a girl.”

Heather Rosario is not only proud of how Naomi took the initiative to change her lifestyle, but also feels it could serve as an example to the community about the importance of staying active.

“People argue back and forth about what to do and how to protect themselves,” she said.

“But honestly, your health is the longest, lasting most in-depth comprehensive thing you can to do keep yourself healthy this season and in the long run.”

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