Stephen Smith
hboboxing / Getty Images

Mallory Haldeman has been through a bit of a whirlwind the past couple years. Not that it bothers her at all. The 2012 NPC Junior National Champion, new IFBB pro and Flex Magazine Female Rookie of the Year is one of the brightest newcomers in figure. The Pennsylvanian now living in Las Vegas placed fifth at the IFBB Figure Olympia, not bad for someone who only started training in 2009.

“I had a rock climbing accident and broke both my ankles,” she said. After her injury she was confined to a wheelchair for seven weeks and then made her way to crutches. After her casts came off, she started training and read the words of a legend.

“I read all the Arnold (Schwarzenegger) books,” she said with a laugh reflecting on her beginnings. She admitted when she started training she had no idea of what figure competitions were.

“There was a girl in my gym who competed before. I had no idea how to do it,” she said.

Enter IFBB Pro Tracey Greenwood.

Greenwood, the winner of nine IFBB pro titles including the 2007 New York pro, started training Haldeman for competition. Haldeman’s first show was the 2011 New York Metropolitan Championships, where she had a hard time adjusting her newfound endeavor. Although she finished second in the show, she doesn’t mince words when describing how it felt donning clear heels for the first time.

“It was horrible,” she says with a laugh.

“I was a mess. I had never been onstage and was very nervous. I’ve come a long way since then,” she said.

“Come a long way” is an understatement. She competed in the NPC Jr.Nationals where she won her pro card and then went on a subsequent tear in the pro ranks gaining second in the Pro Bodybuildng Weekly Championships and the Tournament of Champions Pro Figure. The pinnacle of her competitive year was finishing fifth in the Olympia.

“I was just excited to be there. I was the most relaxed on stage I had ever been,” she said adding the Rookie of the Year title was the best possible way for her season to end.

What drives Haldeman to be the best? It’s simply a matter of being “all in”.

“I think being in love with the lifestyle. Just being in love with living a healthy life. Being in a sport that rewards that is just icing on the cake for me.

Her training is basic and seeing that she is not trying to put on size, she goes the superset route and uses her weight training almost as a built in cardio session. However, she loves being outside.

“I really like the outdoors. My boyfriend and me go hiking or backpacking. The weather in Vegas is pretty nice year round,” she said.

Her inspiration in the sport is also an inspiration to many.

“I have always been a huge Erin Stern fan. She’s an athlete and I think she portrays the fitness lifestyle 365 days a year,’ she said.

Haldeman’s support system plays a role in her success also.

“Tracey pushes me and my boyfriend supported me in the move out to Las Vegas. My family supports me also. They always have special food for me when I go home.” she said.

The appropriate nickname for Haldeman should be “Mach-5” because she is certainly speeding her way up to the top.