Muscular and feminine

Jacqueline Groenewald is a local fitness instructor.

Femininity is often associated with tight tummies, slim arms and toned legs. But according to a local fitness instructor, any woman can be feminine, even those with a bit of muscle.

These are the sentiments of Jacqueline Groenewald, who recently walked away as the winner of the Figure Division of the International Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (IBFF) Welkom Classic that was held in the Free State on Saturday, 29 July.

Jacqueline Groenewald is a local fitness instructor.

However, this is only one of her bigger achievements. In 2015 she finished third in the IBFF South African Championships.

“It takes months to prepare for a competition. You need to train for it, eat for it and, most importantly, prepare yourself mentally. The mind is so powerful, it can make or break you,” she explained.

When preparing for competitions, Jacqueline starts her day at 4am with an hour of cardio, followed by an hour-and-a-half of weightlifting in the afternoon, and another hour of cardio in the evening. This adds up to an astonishing three-and-a-half-hours of exercise per day, six days a week. Her husband, Izak Groenewald, who finished fifth in the Masters over 50 Division at the Welkom Classic only trains one hour per day, six days a week.

“It’s harder for women to put on muscle as we have a high oestrogen and a low testosterone level. This is also why it takes longer for women to lose fat,” she explained.

Even though Jacqueline has always been fit, she and her bodybuilding husband only started taking this sport seriously after they had met eight years ago. She competed in her first-ever body building competition in 2012.

“After my first competition my husband and I each opened our own fitness studio/ home gym. I did it with the aim of showing women that they don’t have to fit into a certain type of box, and that femininity is how you see it, not others. I want to inspire women to be the best they can be,” she said.

The Welkom Classic served as a qualifying round, so the next step for Jacqueline is to prepare for the IBFF SAs that will take place later this year. In the meantime she will compete in the provincial rounds to ensure that she is fit enough to be part of the SA team.

Izak and Jacqueline Groenewald.

Her ultimate aim is to compete in the IBFF world championships at the end of this year, and hopefully achieve a podium position.

“Consistency opens the door to where you want to go with your body. If you feel good about yourself, the people around you will benefit from your positivity,” she said.

“Body building is an art. I don’t consider myself as a body builder, I see myself as a fitness freak who enjoys the muscle.”

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Alanicka Lotriet

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