By Rob Potter
ROCK HILL Several weeks of intense training and strict dieting recently paid off for Bill Tolli and Ginny Tolli.
The husband and wife, who reside in Rock Hill, both earned awards at the 2009 National Physique Championships (NPC) Empire States Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships that were held on July 18 at Rockland County Community College in Suffern.
Ginny won first place in the Women’s Bodybuilding Lightweight Division. She explained that the division is for women who weigh between 110 and 124 pounds and that she competed at 117 pounds.
Bill won four awards at the event. He took second place in the Men’s Bodybuilding Masters (age 45 and over) Division, fourth place in the Men’s Bodybuilding Age 35 and Over Division, fifth place in the Men’s Bodybuilding Novice Middleweight Division and fifth place in the Men’s Bodybuilding Open Middleweight Division.
Bill noted that the middleweight division is for men who weigh between 158 and 178.5 pounds. He competed at 174 pounds.
After competing in the Saturday morning preliminaries, Bill and Ginny returned to the stage that night. They and each of the other competitors had to perform a 90-second routine consisting of various poses.
“You could use music in the performance,” Ginny said. “You got to choreograph your own routine, which was a lot of fun.”
Of course, winning trophies was fun as well.
“We were very happy,” Ginny said.
“The people you meet at these shows are unbelievable,” Bill said. “There are some great people out there. You start talking with them and get some new ideas about training and fitness.”
One of those nice people Bill met was a competitor from Buffalo. When the two men began talking, they realized they had worked together as corrections officers at Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg back in 1994.
This was the third time Ginny entered a bodybuilding, fitness and figure competition, but the first time she participated in the bodybuilding category. In April 2007, she traveled to Rochester to compete in a fitness contest. This past April, she competed in the fitness division at an Organization of Competitive Bodybuilding (OCB) event at Clarkstown South High School in West Nyack. Bill and Ginny’s daughter, Ashli, also competed in the fitness division at the OCB contest.
“In bodybuilding, you have a more ripped look with more muscle definition,” Ginny said. “In fitness, you try to look fuller.”
The NPC competition marked the second bodybuilding contest Bill has entered. Back in 1991, he earned second place at an event in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
“I got the bug to compete in shows again when I was helping Ginny prepare and train for the contest back in April,” Bill said. “Helping her got me started with my training.”
Although they have day jobs Bill is a corrections officer at Woodbourne Correctional Facility and Ginny is the office manager for Alvin Adler, a consulting engineer in Woodridge the Tollis also work as personal trainers.
Through their business, Total Body Fitness, Bill and Ginny train people all over the area. Either they train clients in the finished gym in their home or they go to that person’s house for training sessions.
They also teach fitness classes at the Fitness Factory in Monticello and Bare Fitness in Goshen.
Bare Fitness is where personal trainer Mike Montifore works. Both Bill and Ginny give Montifore a great deal of credit for assisting them with their training and nutrition routine leading up to the NPC show earlier this month.
“He is excellent,” Ginny said. “After working with him for a few minutes, he can tell you what you need to change with your nutrition and training.”
Ginny also praised Adler, who she said is “lenient and flexible with my work schedule.” With that flexibility in her schedule, Ginny is able to spend some of her mornings giving fitness classes to ladies at local Hasidic camps.
In addition to adhering to a strict diet and training regimen, there is something else needed when preparing for a bodybuilding show tanning paint.
Bill explained that on the Thursday before the NPC show, he and Ginny began applying tanning paint to themselves. By the time the show began on Saturday, they had covered their bodies with four layers of tanning paint.
“You want to be as dark as you can be,” Bill said. “Under those stage lights, being dark helps show all of your muscles and their definition. If you didn’t use the tanning paint, you would be so light that the judges couldn’t see your muscles.”
While Bill and Ginny are very pleased with their respective performances at the NPC show in Suffern, there is no time to rest on their laurels. This weekend, they will start training and dieting for the International Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (INBF) Natural New York State Bodybuilding & Figure Championships, which will be held on Oct. 24 in Poughkeepsie.