Winner of Miss Bikini bodybuilding competition in Seychelles encourages more women to lift weights

Miss bikiniJade Simeon is the winner of Miss Bikini, a competition organised late last month as part of the Seychelles’ first Regis Delorie Classic bodybuilding competition.

The competition was a chance for athletes who train at the Animal Kingdom Gym to show off their ability.

This was Simeon’s third competition. She participated in her first local competition in 2016 and two weeks later competed on a regional level in the Eric Favre bodybuilding competition.

Simeon hopes to inspire other women to venture into the sport despite its reputation of being just for men.

SNA met with the 24-year-old sales and administration supervisor to learn more about her experience in the competition and as a female bodybuilder.

SNA: What is it like to own the Regis Delorie classic bodybuilding ‘Miss Bikini’ title?

JS: It is a great achievement for me as I have worked really hard and have really pushed my limits. I wear the title with grace and honour but I realise that behind the title is great discipline, hard work, mental and emotional focus and support from loved ones and the Animal Kingdom team. As a woman, I hope to inspire other women to be the best versions of themselves both internally, as working out definitely has positive effects on one’s health, mental health and happiness, as well as physically. It is equally important for people to understand that it is okay for their bodies to progress differently than others, as long as they are comfortable with their progress.

SNA: How long have you been training for the Regis Delorie classic bodybuilding competition?

JS: After the competition in 2016, there was sadly no competition held for a good two years. Despite that, I kept on training as it had already become a lifestyle. In 2019, Mr Regis Delorie held his first-ever competition and I decided to take part. We had at least 12 weeks to get in shape. I was offseason and was not really eating clean so I really had to work extra hard especially when it came to adjusting my diet in order to lose weight for the competition.

SNA: Leading up to the competition what was your exercise and diet schedule like?

JS: I trained every day except for Saturdays. My workout schedule consisted of lightweight and higher reps and I increased my cardio to a minimum of 30 minutes to one hour.

As for dieting we had to cut out sugar, dairy, oil, sauce and processed foods. The hardest part was the last week before the competition where we had to completely remove salt from our diet in order to lose water weight or water retention.

SNA: When and how did you get into bodybuilding? How did you become a bikini model?

JS: I started working out during my last year of nursing school in 2015. At that time, I was more or less clueless about everything to do with bodybuilding. I knew I wanted abs and a toned physique but it was not something that I was completely devoted to. I went to school and then would work out at least three to four times a week. I established a routine and before I knew it, I started to see results.

In 2016 my friends at the Animal Kingdom gym convinced me to take part in the first-ever Miss Bikini competition held in Seychelles. I was reluctant at first as I never saw myself taking part in a bodybuilding competition but with much convincing, I signed up for it and under the guidance of Mr Regis Delorie I started to train and diet for the competition. It was then that I began to understand the fitness life and fell in love with it.

SNA: What’s your favourite muscle group to train?

JS: I enjoy training all body parts as they are equally important. But my favourites are legs, abs and glutes.

SNA: What supplements do you take?

JS: I do not take supplements every day and sometimes I will take a break especially if I have been using them for a while. BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are my go-to supplements as they trigger muscle protein synthesis and prevent the breakdown of muscles. I love having my BCAA or Amino acid on hand intra and post-workout to increase energy productivity and to boost my metabolism. I drink whey protein post-workout to promote muscle growth and also as a meal if I’m hungry. I also take multivitamins and fish oil.

SNA: Why do you think not many women practice bodybuilding?

JS: I feel that perhaps many have the wrong perspective of the sport. Perhaps they think that they will end up looking like men, as I have had people judge me before for looking too muscular.

On the other hand, from personal experience, some women are unable to commit to a regular schedule due to personal reasons. For example, working mums, career-driven women who work long hours. Lack of affordable childcare coupled with lack of finances to be able to afford a babysitter and gym membership at the same time. There may be various reasons that are not really intrinsic preventing girls or women from joining the gym world.

Lastly, I believe that a lot of girls are interested but the Miss Bikini category has only been introduced recently. I am sure that more girls will join soon enough.

Jade Simeon
Jade Simeon

SNA: How would you encourage more women to join the sport?

JS: I would love to see more girls participate in the future. My advice is not to expect results right away, it’s going to take time and consistency allow yourself to be a beginner as no one is born looking fit. A little workout a day adds up to the process. Be patient and keep going. Enjoy the experience and the journey and it is always handy to find a good support group!

SNA: What are people’s reactions when you tell them you’re a bikini model?

JS: Most people are supportive and happy for me. I am forever grateful to those people.

SNA: What are your plans for the future?

JS: I would love to represent Seychelles and compete internationally and hopefully one day earn my pro card. But more importantly, I would also love to get in a position where I can inspire, help and educate more people on healthy choices and keeping a good body image.

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