Sports personality steps out of comfort zone with nutrition, supplementation and training support

18TH September 2014:  No stranger to strenuous sporting events, fitness enthusiast and popular broadcast presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen today announced her latest challenge: She’s swapping her mountain bike for a bikini in preparation for the annual Mr & Miss Fitness SA Champs on the 27th September. With a team of support behind her – she has a personal trainer, supplementation specialist and nutritionist – Liezel will reveal her sculpted physique at the CTICC in Cape Town on the 27th September and compete with 100 other participants in the swimwear category.

“It’s been a race against time and I’ve pushed myself harder than I ever thought I’d be able to. The training’s been much tougher than I expected, and completely different to preparing for a sporting event, but after all the sweat and the occasional tear, I’m ready.”

Notwithstanding her interest in fitness pageantry, Liezel entered the SA Champs as it presented a new sporting challenge. “Completing a mountain bike race or marathon takes grit, but getting your body toned, sculpted and presentable on stage, in front of thousands of people there to judge you, takes ‘challenging’ to a whole new level!”, she explains.

Training for such a gruelling mental and physical event wasn’t easy. “I regularly compete in mountain biking events and triathlons, so I needed to find a balance between getting bikini-ready and staying on the bike.” So she turned to her trainer, Aubrey Preston from Kranking Fitness Studio in the V&A Waterfront, and the health specialists at Juniva, a health and wellness etailer, to customise a comprehensive training, eating and supplementation plan that ensured she slimmed down while sustaining her energy for endurance training.

“I ate eight small meals a day, and included vital supplements like Omega 3s and 6s, immune boosters vitamin C, potassium and recovery fuel into my diet. Preparing for a fitness pageant like this means taking a lot of vitamins and supplements, so as to help with my recovery. So the fact that I could order mine online from Juniva was handy.”

With just a few days until “race” day, Liezel says that among the biggest misconceptions about fitness events is that it’s all glitz and glamour. “This couldn’t be further from the truth. The driven participants are some of the most dedicated athletes I’ve ever met! Every day I watch ordinary men and women of all shapes, ages and sizes push themselves in the gym and stick to their stringent eating plans, determined to transform their bodies. I’ve seen new moms with baby-bodies metamorphose into lean, toned and bikini-ready athletes in a matter of weeks. Watching that powerful transformation is incredibly inspiring.”

When asked if she would do it again she says, “It’s a tough challenge to take on, especially when unforeseen hurdles present themselves such as the flu or a hectic work schedule. But with enough encouragement and support from family and friends, as well as the right nutrition and supplementation, I think anyone with a will can do it. I’ll be doing it again next year and will even compete in the International Federation of Body Building.”

Winners of the Mr & Miss Fitness Swimwear category will be announced at the CTICC on 28th September. Follow @junivahealth for updates and photos on Liezel’s progress.