We chat to multiple Miss Bikini winner Monique Lopes

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Bodybuilding: Monique Lopes

We got the opportunity to chat to South African body builder and fitness model, Monique Lopes and find more about her and the sport she loves!

Firstly Monique, thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few of our questions.

What got you hooked on Body Building?

Monique Lopes: I’ve always been sporty. In actual fact, karate was where my passion for fitness began. And that was at the age of 5. I instantly fell in love with movement, being active, feeling strong and fit. Bodybuilding found its way into my heart when I was in my second year of varsity. I was a crossfitter training for my first crossfit competition when a personal trainer at my local gym approached me and asked me how many weeks I was out from my bodybuilding show…confused with the question he explained and I loved what I was hearing. I then went home and Googled about these “bodybuilding” and “fitness competitions”. I was so intrigued. I wanted in! All my life I had been judged by my physique – leaving me feeling self-conscious yet secretly loving my look – I finally found my people. I contacted the first coach I could get my hands on and went onto competing in my first show 4 weeks later and I haven’t looked back since! This was less than 3 years ago.

What is your training regime?

Monique Lopes: Gosh, it changes weekly as I like to keep things fresh and exciting for every workout but mostly it consists of:

Monday: Morning Cardio and Legs and gluteus in the afternoon

Tuesday: Morning cardio and Shoulders and Triceps in the afternoon

Wednesday: Morning Metcon Workout and afternoon abs and cardio and Evening Switch Class

Thursday: Morning Cardio and Legs in the afternoon

Friday: Morning Cardio and Back and Biceps in the afternoon

Saturday: Switch, Abs and Cardio Catch up

Sunday: Switch

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How do you stay motivated?

Monique Lopes: I’m extremely goal driven and very hard on myself. Once I set my mind on something – I go for it. I also attach emotion to my goals. Small weekly goals that allow me to stay on the road to bigger dreams allow me to feel accomplished when achieved. I also surround myself with people who add value to my life and who themselves are motivating. Changing up training regimes and constantly keeping it fresh makes every workout exciting and adding variety and thinking outside the box in terms of food preparations (I like to eat with my eyes too) also keeps me sane and motivated. That said, my mom is most probably my biggest motivator.

What is the biggest challenge for you in the sport?

Monique Lopes: I’d say that the biggest challenge in the sport is the final week before a show as there are major restrictions in terms of the foods you can eat and spices etc. that you can use too. I love food so when it comes to that point in my prep where food pretty much tastes like nothing… I struggle.

Another challenge, which I think I have finally successfully overcome already, is accepting that you cannot look stage ready every single day of the year. We become so obsessed with how lean and toned we look on competition day that we tend to set unrealistic goals for the remainder of the year. I have finally found balance and fallen in love with my off season look. I still remain relatively lean all year round but I keep the right look for the stage now and I’m okay with that. I’m happy.

What advice would you give any young lady body builders looking to get into the sport?

Monique Lopes: The most important advice I could give a future female competitor would be to find yourself a great coach that listens to you in terms of your goals as well as your values. Always stay true to yourself and never let a coach talk you into doing or taking things you don’t want to and aren’t aware of. Winning is not always everything. Always ask questions – always make sure you understand what you are doing and why you are doing things.

Surround yourself with positive people and people who add value to your life. Set realistic goals and ensure that whatever you do … makes you happy! Happiness and health is so important!

And of course … be consistent and always place little reminders of your goals all over the show – they really help on those tough days.

Who is your biggest influence?

Monique Lopes: My parents are my ultimate role models… but if I had to pick someone outside of my family circle I’d definitely say my boyfriend Adrian Colyn, a former WBBF Pro and Steve Uria (founder of Switch). They both have an incredible zest for life and energy and are always working towards empowering people and making them feel so powerful. I love that!

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What has been the highlight of your career thus far?

Monique Lopes: I would have to say… the first time I won SA Champs in 2014 (NABBA/WFF). It was an incredible day. Everything was just so magical!  I loved my bikini, my hair, my family and friends were in the crowd. I won my line up and overalls too… it was incredible!

But there’s another moment too … starting my MoniqueFit Movement has been the best thing I have ever done.

What are your aims for 2017?

Monique Lopes: In 2017 I’d like to continue spreading my message, continue my movement and continue educating, motivating and empowering young woman.
In terms of competing – I definitely want to defend my SA Title and qualify for World Champs again and place better than my last placing (6th) on an international stage. Essentially … I want my pro card.


Who are your sponsors and how do they support you?

Monique LopesMy main sponsor is Cipla Nutrition. They have been absolutely amazing! They provide the monthly supplements and vitamins that I need and they often provide financial support towards my travels for competitions. Wildcat dresses me up for the gym and for casual days too.  Their clothing just gets better and better every range. Ultimate Glamour sponsors all my hair and makeup needs for shoes and photo shoots. Tammy Taylor Boksburg ensures that my nails are perfectly glammed up for whatever occasion I have ahead. Switch allow me to play on the playground every day! I have a few others coming up too … so that’s so so so exciting.

How important is your eating regime and supplement plan in your training?

Monique LopesMy eating regime is extremely important! I do however eat very different to most “bikini athletes” as my main focus is health and balance. I love food, I love variety and I love cooking pretty meals too. But it’s so crucial to understand that you cannot out train a bad diet. And being consistent is always important too! I also find that if I don’t eat well, my training doesn’t feel amazing and I don’t feel amazing so I essentially eat and train to feel and look good.

Connect with Monique on Social Media

Athlete Bio



Miss Junior Bikini u23 and overall Winner (Nabba Gauteng Provincials)

Miss Junior Bikini u23 and overall Winner (Nabba SA Champs)

6th Place Junior Bikini u23 WFF/NABBA WORLD CHAMPS (Ireland)


Miss Bikini Model u23 and over 1,65 m (Rossi Grandprix)

Miss Junior Bikini u23 and overall Winner (Nabba Gauteng Provincials)

Runner up Miss Fitness Bikini over 1,65 (Nabba SA Champs)


Miss Junior Bikini u23 (Nabba Pretoria classic)

Miss Junior Bikini u23 (Nabba Gauteng Provincials)

Miss Junior Bikini u23 and overall Winner (Nabba SA Champs)

Miss Teen BodyBeautiful 2014

Nabba SA Miss Junior Bikini u23 and overall Bikini winner
Miss Teen BodyBeautiful SA 2015
Rossi Grand Prix Miss Bikini Model u23 and over 1.65

Numerous National titles in both Kumite and Kata and SA Colours
2012: Gold Medal for Ladies 18-21 years Light weight Kumite
Silver Medal for Ladies Team Kumite
2014: Silver Medal for Ladies 18-21 years Light Weight Kumite
Silver Medal for Ladies Team Kumite
Bronze Medal for Ladies 18-21 years Kata

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