Kent State student trains for bikini tournament


Celeste Morales poses, showing off the work that she has put into. Morales will be competing in May.

Shelbie Goulding

Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

Celeste Morales’ hands shake with each pull of the weight. Her eyes focus on each movement her arm makes. The intense expression on her face shows concentration and confidence.

Morales is a senior studying psychology with a minor in criminology. Fitness is a hobby she loves to take part in alongside her studies. As her last year at Kent State comes to an end, she decided to not end her final year without leaving her mark on Kent, by prioritizing her fitness goals and hoping to become a fitness champion by the end of the year.

This is Morales’ first time competing in a bikini tournament.

“I’ve done beauty pageants before, which focused on etiquette and beauty along with fitness,” Morales said. “This competition is all about fitness.”

Morales is currently training for two bikini competitions in May: the Mike Francois competition (May 12) and the NPC North Coast Championships (May 26).

She started training for the competitions in September with the help of her trainer, Dylan Bair. Bair is the founder of Bair Aesthetics, a fitness community based in Columbus, OH.

“Ever since I started my training, I’ve lost about 20 pounds,” Morales said. “My goal was to get in shape, but I didn’t think I’d lose that much honestly.”

Bair has given Morales a strict workout schedule for the year in order to get her in the shape she needs to be in.

“Bikini competitions focus mainly on the glutes, hamstrings, delts and abs,” Morales said.

She says Bair’s assigned workouts has her going to the gym six times a week, along with accommodating five workout sessions throughout the week.

“It’s always the same workout plan,” Morales says. “I just add more weights and reps as times passes.”

Morale’s focus and intensity are noticeable in her eyes at every point in her workout, first stretching out her arms. She continues her routine, her eyes stay locked on her muscles. With every lift of the arm, she inhales and exhales as though it’s choreographed with the workout, sweat serving as the tangible determination drips down her face.

“I’ve come so far, but there’s still a lot of improving that needs to be done,” Morales said. She never started becoming a fitness fanatic until her sophomore year of college.

“I used to be really self-conscious when it came to working out. I always thought people were watching me and judging me, but it was all in my head.”

She now goes to the gym confident and with one thing in mind: herself. She tunes everyone out once she walks into the gym, keeping her mind focused on her goals to become a champion.

“If anything has changed the most, I would say it’s my diet,” Morales said, citing that carbs and fat were the toughest thing to cut from her diet.

“I used to eat twice the amount of carbs than I do now.”

Her diet is strict to the point, with exact measurements of photo and the cutting of certain foods altogether. 

According to her roommates Allison McAleer and Carolyn Sloss, Morales’ changes in diet have impacted their lives too.

“It’s difficult for her to go out to eat with us sometimes,” McAleer said. “I honestly don’t think I would be able to do what Celeste does, and sometimes she doesn’t either, but she works really hard.” 

“We don’t have unhealthy food in the house anymore,” Sloss said. “If we have junk food, we have to keep it in our rooms to help her stay on track with her diet.” Sloss says she helps keep Morales positive during her training because it’s really difficult.

With the two competitions being a couple months away, Morales is continuing to push herself to work hard and stay on track, sticking to her workout and diet. 

“There’s still a lot to be done and a lot of room for improvement,” Morales said. She inhales and exhales as she begins to lift weights overhead again.

Shelbie Goulding is a recreation and fitness reporter. Contact her at [email protected].