One on One With Personal Trainer And Bikini Athlete Melissa Strijdom

Quick Stats

Name: Melissa Strijdom
Age: 27
Height: 1,60 m
Competition weight: 53 Kgs
Current weight: 57  Kgs
Current city: Somerset West, South Africa
Occupation: Personal Trainer, Online Coach, Brand Ambassador for QNT SPORTS, Brand ambassador Roxology gym wear

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How did you get into training, eating healthy and competing?

I wasn’t athletic at all when I was younger.  I got into weight training about 4 years ago.  I always admired the toned tummies on the cover of Fitness Magazines, and being the inquisitive person that I am, I started reading a lot and asking around and getting advice on how to achieve a body like that.  I never had a coach, just figured it out with trial and error as I went along.

“When I saw what my body was capable of, I was hooked and never looked back a day in my life.”

What do you love about it and how has it changed your life?

I love how good it makes you feel to look good.  I love the goosebumps I get when I walk into the gym with my headphones on and music pumping. The utter focus when I am in the middle of a set and see veins popping out.

It changed my life in the sense that I have learnt new healthy habits and made me a healthier happier person inside and out.

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What were some of the mistakes you made when starting out in the gym?

Nutrition! I used to pick up too much weight after competitions and then really battled to get it off again. Very bad rebound! With time you learn to control your cravings and appetite.  I have a bad sweet tooth!

What are your future plans?

Everyone in the bodybuilding world has the dream of a pro-card.  I would love to achieve that, but then again there are many great athletes who do not have a pro-card.  I want to be the best I can be and inspire others to do the same.

Take us through an average day of yours:

  • Wake up  at 4h00 normally and take my BCAA and L-Glutamine. Check my email, eat some oats and  drink an espresso.
  • Shower and get to the gym to see clients from 5h00.
  • Spend my day there.  I have meals every 2-3 hours (which I pack the previous evening).
  • I usually get home around 19h00.
  • Then I eat and prepare meals for the next day. I do my client prepaation for the next day and follow up emails for my online coaching.
  • Shower and ZZZzzzZZZzzzz

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You have lived and competed in France for a bit of time. Tell us a bit about why you moved and how the fitness industry is there?

Yes, I came back 2 months ago.  The main reason being that I could not get a working VISA.  I did my personal training via correspondence when I was living there.  I believe myself to be very motivated and ambitious, therefore wanted to settle myself in the industry as a fitness professional.

“I loved competing in France.  It has its politics, as in SA also.  I guess this comes with the sport.  I never get involved though as I try to keep a clean reputation as an athlete.”

The level of competition in France really improved in the last 2 years and the Bikini division is still new (3years now) there, which has the effect that every year more girls compete and the physiques just get better and better.  I met some amazing French competitors, which I will remain friends with and will admire for a long time to come.

Overall, it was a very positive experience for me and it taught me a lot.

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Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet, pre contest and during the off season.

I believe in not over complicating things.  Keep it simple and stick to the basics.  No one ever got fat eating vegetables and lean meat.  I try to stay within 3-4 kg of stage weight in the off season.  You need to gain some weight in the off season to add muscle. This is a fact.

My typical menu will consist of the following:

  • Breakfast

Oats, QNT whey protein, almonds, phsyllium husk

  • Snack

Half scoop QNT Whey with coconut milk, water, stevia

  • Lunch

Chicken, vegetables, tablespoon olive oil

  • Snack

Lactose free yogurt, Macadamia nuts and stevia

  • Dinner

Fish, vegetables and flax oil

I love cooking and like to try out new recipes.

What are your top Nutrition Tips?

  1. Never go shopping hungry!
  2. Always combine a carbohydrate rich food with fat or protein.
  3. Foliation! Lol. Add lots of green fibrous vegetables. This keeps you full and keeps the cravings away.

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Do you have a favorite healthy recipe?

Protein pancakes!


  • Simply mix QNT Delicious whey with 150g egg whites and a touch of almond milk.
  • Pan grill the mixture.
  • Top with berries, tablespoon of almond butter and cinnamon.

What’s your view on supplementation?

When you are training at a very high intensity it takes a lot out of your body.  Therefore, I believe in adding supplements in contest prep.  If you put in the hard work, you want to see the results.  In the off season I do not use anything though.  I flush my body for a few months.  Have to keep the kidneys happy 🙂

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What supplements do you use?

I am sponsored by QNT Sports.  They have an amazing range of products.

I use:

  • BCAA and L-Glutamine for muscle building and recovery
  • Whey protein powder
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Multivitamin

Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training and on average how long do you work out for?

I love my workouts.  It’s never a challenge for me getting in the gym.  In the off season I will workout within the 6-8 rep range to add muscle. In competition prep I like to do a lot of HIIT style training and supersets in the 12-15 rep range.

How do you measure your progress?

Practically.  I use the mirror as my guide.  The mirror never lies.

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What would you say are the three best exercises women should include in their back work outs?

  1. Pushups are my number one
  2. Bent over rows with the EZ bar
  3. Pull ups

What are some of your strategies for the final week before a photo-shoot or a competition if you believe in doing such things?

I change nothing.  If your body looks good, why bother it with unnecessary things? I simply reduce water intake the day before the shoot to bring out muscle definition.

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Fitness models or bodybuilders?

Fitness models 🙂 🙂 🙂

Favorite female fitness icon(s):

Amanda Latona and Bella Falconi.

Favourite Quote:

“You cannot out train a bad diet.”

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Advice for someone wanting to change their lifestyle and achieve their ideal physique?

MAKE THE SWITCH! This does not happen overnight.  It will take practice. There will be good days and there will be bad days, but don’t give up. Get support in. Tell your friends about your goal because this makes you accountable. It takes 2 weeks to form a new habit.  If I can do it, YOU can do it!

What competitions have you competed in?


  • Grand Prix Midi Pyrenees France |  5th
  • IFBB WP South Africa | Ladies overalls | 1st
  • South African IFBB Nationals | 3rd


  • Top de Colmar France | 1st
  • Fitness Europe | 2nd


  • Gym & Co France | 2nd
  • NBBUI France | 6th


  • Shameen Classic South Africa | 6th
  • USN Classic South Africa | 5th
  • WBBF National Championships | 3rd


  •  Muscle Mania South Africa | 5th

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Where can people get hold of you?

Melissa Strijdom Gallery

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