McAllen bodybuilder earns second Overall Champion title, heads to national stage

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) – A Rio Grande Valley bodybuilding competitor earned her second overall champion award in Houston over the weekend and is heading to her first national competition on Friday in hopes of being the first in the Valley with a pro card in the Wellness Division.  

Courtesy: Shannell Barbosa

McAllen resident, Shannell Barbosa, 30, only just decided to go all-in on her bodybuilding career at the beginning of this year and is already showing promise in the sport.  

Four months into her bodybuilding career, Barbosa brought home her first set of medals from the IFBB/NCP Houston Tournament of Champions with titles that included Overall Champion in the Wellness Division that she competes in. 

The Wellness Division is a new addition to the bodybuilding categories, and Barbosa aims to be the first in the Rio Grande Valley with a pro card in the division.   

A pro card is awarded to bodybuilders who have worked their way through to national competitions and won, it is an aspiration for many in the sport.  

Over the weekend Barbosa competed at the Branch Warren Classic in Houston and celebrated another win as Overall Champion in her division.  

Barbosa said she has been overwhelmed with emotion as the journey to the stage has been a rigorous one where has had to push past her limitations on a daily basis. 

“The victory was very sweet. I put a lot of hard work in leading up to this show and it was worth it, but the gride has not stopped,” said Barbosa. “I’m actually preparing for my show in two days and it’s hectic, it’s been crazy… This sport will either make you or break you and I’ve come to learn that.” 

The Classic was Barbosa’s warm-up for her next competition where she will be competing on a national stage.  

Courtesy: Shannell Barbosa

Because of the back-to-back competitions, Barbosa has had to keep her body in peak condition for two weeks as opposed to the usual one week. 

“It is taking a huge toll on my body, but the strength that I’m gaining from this is incredible,” said Barbosa.  

While Barbosa’s journey has been challenging, she has various sources of motivation, one of which is her son who accompanies her to her competitions.  

“I always look out for my son’s face when I’m on that stage and just to see him looking up at me and being so proud of me, it all becomes so worth it. And honestly, I’m just following what God has planned for me,” said Barbosa.  

Next for Barbosa is the NPC Universe Pro Qualifier that will be held on July 2 in Charleston, South Carolina. You can watch the competition on pay-per-view.  

“No matter the outcome of this show, this is not the end for me, this is just the beginning. I’m going full force with this and I’m going to do what I do best and it’s having fun on that stage.” 

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