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Ladies of Muay Thai: Meet #strongwoman Andrea Scheepers

Professional and amateur Muay Thai and MMA athletes will take to the hexagon at the Ultimate Warrior Fighting Championship on 27 April in Cape Town, with a number of all-female fights on the card.

Andrea Scheepers is one of the athletes. We spoke to this aspiring champion to find out what it takes to be a female Muay Thai fighter.

What do you do for a living? Currently, I’m a restaurant manager at Villa 47. I also recently graduated as a PR practitioner, so I’, looking to move into that field.

What led you to your active lifestyle? I’m not getting any younger and the way my bucket list keeps growing, the places I want to see and things I want to do, I’ll need a strong and healthy body to do it all.

What was it that first attracted you to the competitive ring? I think it’s the best way to test your training and see how far you can really push your body and mind.

What is the best piece of health and fitness-related advice anyone has ever given you?Trust your body and what you feel. Listen to it. Only you will know what works and what doesn’t.

When you’re not training, what do you spend the most of your time and your money on?I like to spend as much time outdoors as possible, or with loved ones, friends and family. I’ll have to get back to you on the money question…

What does ‘balance’ mean to you in the context of your lifestyle? Push yourself, but know when to take a moment and pause. Eat clean and healthy but don’t agonise over having something sweet because it’s not your cheat day. If you’ve trained for two hours today, go a bit easier the next. Work hard, play hard and rest hard.

What has been the best investment you’ve made into improving your life? Starting Muay Thai and eating healthily.

What are a few conventional wisdoms that pervade the broader fitness industry that you feel need to be changed? Shorter training times can be as effective as training for longer periods of time.

What’s your greatest ambition in life? To trust in myself and the choices I make.

What or who inspires you? My daughter, Tara, and Jennifer Lopez.

Favourite music to train to? Depends on the mood, but Hip-Hop or dance.

What do you do to relax? Netflix series binge.

Training talk

What’s your toughest workout? Definitely sparring.

What’s your weekly training split? FourMuay Thai, two cardio and two weight training sessions a week.

What other types of training or exercise do you do and why? Running and HIIT for cardio and endurance, and bodyweight exercises and light weights for strength, toning and muscle building.

What approach to training did you follow at first that may not have worked? Doing too much to soon, and going cold turkey on certain foods.

What did you learn from the experience? There’s never a “right time” to stop or start something. Stop waiting for a new month or a new year. Start today.

What do you do on the tough days, when motivation levels are low? Remind myself that tomorrow’s another day, and that today will end.

Do you change your approach to training from time to time? Yes! To strop my body from getting used to anything.

The fighter’s diet

What does your average diet consist of? Protein, caffeine and a bit of chocolate.

How do you prefer to cook when preparing healthy meals? As healthfully as possible. I combine fresh ingredients in raw form with grilled or baked options instead of frying.

How would you define a healthful diet? One that requires few supplements to make up the things your diet lacks.

What does your daily supplement plan include? Pharmaton mineral and vitamin complex.

Do you eat the same food on the days you don’t train as in the day days you do? I try to, on days I train I do tend to take in more protein.

What have you found has been the easiest way to stick to a diet, other than sheer will power? The trick is not to diet. When I tell myself I can’t have things, I tend to crave them more. I find eating healthy on a daily basis is easier than sticking to a diet for a short period of time.

Andrea article image

Yay or nay?

Long steady rate cardio? Yay, the heart needs it and it builds endurance.

Oats in the morning? Yay, healthy and filling.

Training in a crop top? Nay, I’m to old for that.

Burpees? Yay, nothing like a full-body exercise that tones and cuts at the same time.

Gym selfies? Nay, just not me.

Pre-workout nutrition? Yay. A banana or whey protein shake is great for that extra bit of push.

Intra-workout nutrition? Nay.

Post-workout nutrition? Yay, another protein shake.

Grilled hake? Yay!

Fat burners? Nay, keep it natural.

Deadlifts? Yay, like an all-round approach to fitness.

CrossFit? Maybe. Would be keen to try it one day.

Sports massage? Yay, those muscles need a good pull and stretch.

Cheat meals? Chocolate, Lays, and a burger and chips.

Early morning training time? Yay. In summer it starts at 6am. In winter, 7am.

Training partner? Yay! My competitive nature makes me work harder when I’m training with someone

Running? Yay.

Social media? When I feel like it or stalking someone.

Active rest? Yay. It’s good for the heart.

EMS, tried it? What’s that?

Final thoughts? The older you get the harder it becomes to break bad habits and begin good ones, so start as soon as possible. Stop putting things off.

Quick facts:

  • Born: Cape Town
  • Qualifications: ND in Public Relations
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 158cm
  • Weight: 54kg
  • IG: @andrealindsay84
  • Competitive achievements: Did a white-collar boxing match and lasted all three rounds.

Author: Pedro van Gaalen

When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

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