Name: Gabi Barras
Age: 18
Competition weight: 54 – 56 Kgs
Current weight: 55,2 kgs
Current city: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Au Pair/ Personal Assistant, currently taking a gap year.


With 18 Yr Old Fitness Competitor, Gabi Barras


How did you get started in the fitness industry so young and where does your energy and motivation for it come from?

I was exposed to the fitness industry as a young child as my father was involved in the industry as well as being involved in a fit and healthy lifestyle his whole life. As I grew older and I was exposed to the “fit life” and began gym sessions with him a few times a week.

I fell in love, and I immediately knew that this was my passion. My incredible team at Essie and amazing coaches keep me fuelled with motivation every day.

I am also extremely passionate about the fitness industry and this keeps me excited to go train and prep my meals consistently.


With 18 Yr Old Fitness Competitor, Gabi Barras


Who has been your biggest influence/support in your life and how did they affect you?

My mother has been an incredible support to me throughout the process, helping me with meal prepping, being at every single competition to motivate me and cheer me up when I’m disappointed with my placing.

She would always give me a reason not to be discouraged, and would motivate me to work twice as hard for the next one. She puts up with my mood swings when I crave or I’m tired, and on the day of my comps she makes sure every little detail is perfect.

Also, my boyfriend, Matt Robinson has been an extreme influence on me in the past 2 years, he is also my training partner and my best friend. He never lets me miss a meal or skip gym, he motivates me and keeps the flame in my heart ignited and passionate about the fitness industry. From knowing every single weight I lift, knowing my boundaries and pushing me beyond them, he has been there for me every step of the way.


With 18 Yr Old Fitness Competitor, Gabi Barras


What are some of the things newbies should be aware of, going into their first prep?

For anyone starting their first prep, they should definitely be made aware of all the stages throughout the prep and should be prepared to tackle them with a strong and positive mindset.

There are going to be days where you will want to give up, where you feel like you are going nowhere and when you question why you are doing it.

Keep a clear set of goals in mind at all times and constantly remind yourself of how worth the reward is, regardless of the difficulty in the process.

Do it for you.


With 18 Yr Old Fitness Competitor, Gabi Barras


What are some of your tips for people just getting into the fitness industry with hopes to get into fitness modeling and competing?

This sport takes an immense amount of discipline and commitment, without those one will never be successful in the sport. Its not just a sport its a full time commitment, a lifestyle.

Did/do you ever have to deal with negativity from other women in the gym regarding the ‘fitness’ sport and your involvement in it? how do you deal with that?

Yes, there are always going to be people who don’t support you or look down on you. I’ve often dealt with specifically females trying to discourage me and demotivate me with their negativity, however most of the time this is rooted by jealousy.

Not everyone is prepared to make such a big commitment so the fact that I’ve done it at a young age and remained consistent seems to bother them. The best way to deal with this negativity is to try brush it off and focus on all the amazing, positive people you have supporting you.

My Essie team and my coaches Stef Estment and Tarryn Zelow, constantly remind me of how speaking negatively about people is no way to better yourself. Their ethos is such a positive influence in my life that I am able to forget about the negative people.


With 18 Yr Old Fitness Competitor, Gabi Barras


Take us through an average day of yours:

  • As I wake up in the morning I get dressed and head to the gym to start my day with some fasted cardio.
  • After cardio I return home to prepare all my meals for the day and plan my day.
  • Throughout the day I make sure I never miss a meal.
  • Later in the afternoon I return to gym for weight training, I then return home, shower and eat all my meals and ensure I get a good nights rest.


With 18 Yr Old Fitness Competitor, Gabi Barras


What are your nutrition tips for losing fat?

Diet would be the one of the most important things. Abs are made in the kitchen!

Sticking to a healthy meal plan suited to your body and remaining consistent would be the most important thing to consider.

A consistent balance between cardio and weight training is a necessity to losing fat. I also find fasted cardio done in the morning and weight training done separately in the afternoon/evening is the most effective method of training.


With 18 Yr Old Fitness Competitor, Gabi Barras


What are your essentials that are always in your bag?

My earphones. Music helps keep me motivated and energetic during my training, a water bottle with ice water in it, a shaker with my protein shake, and my gym card of course.

Do you have any fit fashion tips for the ladies?

For any fit female, I understand we all want to show off our gains, however we are still ladies and I believe showing too much leaves no mystery for stage time 😉 Plus- we still need to act like ladies!

My favourite outfit for gym would be a sports bra and some gym leggings, or gym shorts and a tank top. (ps, im extremely excited for the collaborated Essie and Lauren Blue fitness line to come out !! )


With 18 Yr Old Fitness Competitor, Gabi Barras


Favourite male fitness models or bodybuilders?

  • Matthew Robinson! 😉

Favourite female fitness icons:

I have so many more :p


Advice for girls who are a bit afraid of the gym and weights?

The gym really isn’t as scary as females seem to think before they’ve been, and if a girl is worried about getting ‘big’ if they touch weights, believe me if it was that easy I’d be 3 times my size after over 4 years of weight training!


With 18 Yr Old Fitness Competitor, Gabi Barras


What competitions have you competed in?


With 18 Yr Old Fitness Competitor, Gabi Barras


abs fitgirls

Where can people get hold of you?

  • Facebook: Gabriella Barras
  • Email: Gabriellabarras[at]
  • Instagram: Gabibarras_fitness

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