Sherry Strong, Images by: Bess Adler

Sherry Perper is a 51­-year-­old single mother of three living in Marlton, New Jersey. She is also a bodybuilder.After suffering a stroke in her mid-­twenties, the incident prompted a deep interest in health and fitness.Eventually, in her mid­-forties, she began entering into bodybuilding competitions to prove that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. After a five year break from competing, Sherry decided to get her pro­ card in an all natural organization called National Gym Association (NGA) at 50­. She wakes up at 4:30 am every morning for strict training in order to be a present mother for her youngest son Justin, who is in high school. Sherry works as a personal trainer and coach to clients that compete in bodybuilding competitions. Her boyfriend Dan, a bodybuilder as well, has been Sherry's nutrition and workout coach during the entire process. Sherry maintained a very specific diet for the shows.

Sherry trains at Smart Bodies PersonalFitness Center in Marlton, New Jersey, whereshe works as a personal trainer and coach. 

Sherry practices figure poses at her gym inMt. Laurel, New Jersey after working out. Totrain for a competition, Sherry will generallystart her workouts at 4:30 am so that she willbe home in time to take her son to school. 

To begin the process of preparing for her firstcompetition in five years, Sherry gets her hairdyed at a local salon. 

In another step in the process of preparing fora competition, Sherry gets a spray tan at agym in Bloomfield, New Jersey. 

Sherry flew to Florida with her son Justin andboyfriend Dan for the National GymAssociation's (NGA) Universe bodybuildingcompetition, an all natural show. TheUniverse show is NGA's last competition ofthe year. Pictured, Sherry takes advantage ofher hotel's sauna after working out. 

After a fresh spray tan, Sherry puts on hersuit and practices her figure poses in themirror at home, with her dog Leia at her side. 

Sherry kisses her youngest son Justin in theirkitchen in Marlton, New Jersey. 

Sherry kisses her youngest son Justin in theirkitchen in Marlton, New Jersey. 

Sherry helps her boyfriend, Dan Margolis practice his poses for the Europa GamesExpo 2015 bodybuilding competition at hishotel room in Atlantic City. 

Sherry's boyfriend Dan sprays some oil onher at a bodybuilding competition in EastOrange, New Jersey. At this show, Sherryreceived her pro card with the National GymAssociation. 

Sherry does push ups before getting on stageat a bodybuilding competition in Bloomfield,New Jersey. 

Sherry has a quiet moment to herselfbackstage at a competition in East Orange,New Jersey. At this show, Sherry received herpro card with the National Gym Association,an all natural organization. 

Sherry touches up her make­up at abodybuilding competition in Bloomfield, NewJersey. 

After getting her tan touched up, Sherryspends some time with her youngest son,Justin at a competition in Coral Springs,Florida. 

Sherry competes in the Pro Figure categoryof the NGA's Universe show at a high schoolin Coral Springs, Florida. She received thirdplace. 

Sherry wears her pro medal at NGA'sUniverse show at a high school in CoralSprings, Florida where she received thirdplace in her category. 

Sherry tries on her new suit in her hotel roomin Coral Springs, Florida hours beforecompeting in the National Gym Association'sUniverse show in the figure category. 

Using Format