Samoa's female bodybuilders flex for SPG
The Samoan female bodybuilding team has arrived in Apia and its members are getting their bodies into peak condition for the South Pacific Games show-down on Friday.
Viola Timoteo-Etuata is representing Samoa in the under-57kg division. Being a two-time Miss South Pacific Women's Champion, she was given the honour of being one of the South Pacific Games flag-bearers at the Opening Ceremony. Other members of the women's bodybuilding team include Debra Wilson Tafili, current Miss South Pacific Champion, and Eleanor Cockburn, who was placed fourth in the 2005 Women's World Championships representing New Zealand. Samoa has five women competing in the South Pacific Games.
The Samoan bodybuilding team's recent success at the Sonny Schmidt competition in Auckland has given it a big morale boost as preparations heat-up for the games. Timoteo-Etuata says, "It was great to tweak our routines and poses at the Sonny Schmidt Classic. We were also able to mentally prepare ourselves for SPG". Timoteo-Etuata won gold in her division. Fellow team-member, Eleanor Cockburn, who competed in the under-52kg division, also won.
Since arriving in Samoa from New Zealand, the women's bodybuilding contingent has been training heavily at Joe's Gym in Lotopa. Timoteo-Etuata is feeling confident, and having persistently trained, she is relaxed about the outcome of the games.
The dietary and fitness regime for bodybuilders in training is very strict. The average bodybuilder will spend 12 weeks before an event focusing on dieting-down and dietary fitness. On a normal day for Timoteo-Etuata, she wakes up at 3 or 4am to do house-chores. At 5am, she starts getting ready to do one hour of cardiovascular exercise. Then, she is off to work for a full day before undertaking 1.5 hours of weight training and another 30 minutes to 1 hour of cardiovascular exercise. Timoteo-Etuata aims to get to bed by 8.30pm, but admits that this is difficult.
Around her busy day, Timoteo-Etuata has to concentrate on getting the right dietary needs to get her body ready for competition. After the morning cardiovascular exercise, Timoteo-Etuata consumes five egg whites and an egg yolk, mixed with flaxseed oil. Lunch and dinner usually consists of either fish or chicken with steamed vegetables. In between the main meals, she will have a protein shake. As competition day looms, the competitors cut more out of their diet to strip their water intake. Due to the unique nature of the bodybuilding team's diet, they are not eating at the dining halls with other athletes, but have special meals catered for them.
However, there will be no rest for Timoteo-Etuata after the South Pacific Games. She will be training for the nationals in New Zealand. She hopes that she and her team members will find some time to go to the beach and celebrate.
The Samoa Bodybuilding Team for SPG 2007:
Eleanor Cockburn, Daisy Lee Neru, Viola Timoteo-Etuata, Deborah Wilson Tafili, Tauvale Fala.
Men: Tony Sila Feagaiga , Karl Adam, Chris Tautiaga, Vaeagi Tufuga, Puipuia Maposua, Tonic Williams, Iusi Tony Ligaliga, Malositele Paetau Faiumu, Moelasi Moelasi, Faleupolu Leiataua, Joseph Fepuleai, Levi Savea, Williiam Matautia
Manager: Tom Etuata