Growing up in Idaho, Whitney Johns wasn’t good at what most girls her age wanted to excel at. Cheerleading didn’t pan out, and neither did choreographed dance. “I was kind of a disgrace,” she says. “But it was ironic because even as a kid, I had muscle and all this pent-up athletic energy. I just needed a better way to express it.”

So at age 16, Johns started lifting weights with her father. Quickly, she was hooked. She gave up her dream of being a dancer and became a gym rat instead. But that didn’t stifle her passion for artistry.

“I fell in love with fitness and the way I could sculpt my body as an art form,” she says.