Women with muscles – Anthea Bradley

Anthea Bradley – Women with muscles

We chat to one of our inspirational women with muscles, Miss Anthea Bradley. A amateur female bodybuilder based in Cape Town, South Africa.

So, Anthea, give us a brief introduction about yourself:

Having competed in Provincial athletics during school, sports and fitness has always been a big part of my life growing up – I pretty much grew up in the gym. From a young age I knew I wanted to build my career around physical fitness not only because I love staying healthy and active myself but I wanted to impact and influence people positively and bring about a positive change in people’s lives. I might be extremely passionate about this industry but my no 1 passion is people.How to get fit - Women with muscles

What made you become a body builder?

Body building is an extremely inspiring sport. The reason why most body builders decide to compete is because they have been inspired by a current competitor. We inspire others to do the same the minute we step foot onto that stage which is why I knew I wanted to start. I wanted to inspire young women to be happy and confident in their own skin just as I was inspired. In 2014 I went to the WP Provincials show to support Scarlet Jackson, a strong and beautiful woman who is also a Personal Trainer at Claremont Virgin Active. She was my biggest catalyst and that night the flame in my belly was ignited and I began my journey to the stage.

What are the 5 most important things you can tell someone who is wanting to start?

  • Mental preparation is key, I cannot stress this enough. If the mindset is not right the body will not follow.
  • Be prepared to make major sacrifices
  • It is not for the faint hearted
  • Plan, plan, plan
  • Be prepared to get very uncomfortableHow to get fit - Women with muscles

Do you gym everyday?

To be a part of the women with muscles, this varies between what we like to call ‘on season’ and ‘off season’. Off season is when you are training for maintenance or when you are a few months out of a competition and you are working on the foundation and growing more muscle quality and muscle mass. This usually consists of 5x days in the gym and of those 5 days 2 to 3 are double sessions.

On season is when you are two to three months out of a competition and will consist of a more vigorous training regime, more time in the gym and usually 6, sometimes even 7 days as well as those 3 days as double sessions.

Do you get asked if you take steroids?

Never, my division is very soft.How to get fit - Women with muscles

Are you treated differently because you are a female body builder?

No, not really. People do tend to respect you a bit more as not just everyone can do this. It takes drive, sheer commitment and dedication to your goal.

Do people think its strange that you are a female body builder?

No, people are generally interested.

Have you been called butch/manly and how do you handle those situations

Never, sometimes bulky. During the off season or the preparation process the mirror is not your friend. Before you get smaller you must get bigger and its a very, very uncomfortable time period to go through. You need to remember from day 1 of this journey that this is a process and it is a marathon, not a sprint. I trust in the process and keep my eye on the goal which is what got me through these difficult times. If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never take your eye off the goal.How to get fit - Women with musclesWhat is your basic training schedule

Back, Triceps & Abs

Morning: Fasted cardio

Shoulders & Abs

Legs – Quads & Glutes

Rest – Yes, it is part of the programme 🙂

Morning: Fasted cardio
Evening: Biceps, Chest & Abs

Legs – Hamstrings & Calves

Morning: Fasted cardio

Do you take any supplements and which ones do you suggest?

I take the following to maintain my recovery:

  • L- Gluatime
  • BCAA’s
  • Whey Protein
  • Vit C

I take the following for fat burning & weight management:

  • CLA’s
  • Thermogenics – On season

All of the above is vital and highly recommended!

How did you get into body building?

I sourced a coach who I believed in and has worked with me in the past, she sent me all of my nutrition plans and training plans online via email. I actioned all of this and took care of the training part, I never had a one on one trainer but she was available 24/7 for questions and guidance etc. From there it was lots of hard work, sweat and a little bit of blood and tears 🙂

Is female body building super competitive?

There is a bit of a stereotype linked to this industry. The women I have competed against have been the most incredibly motivational and inspirational women I have met. We all help each other backstage because they share in the process and the struggle to get and to become stage ready. Don’t get me wrong there is a sense of competition and at the end of the day it is still a competition but in no way is it super competitive or bitchy.

Do you have another job or do you body build full time?

I work in the fitness industry full time for Virgin Active and am working towards being a Personal Trainer full time.

You can find some more inspirational Women with muscles here.

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How to get fit – Women with muscles



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