Ancient civilisations called them ‘Amazons’ – an all-female group of warriors notorious in Greek mythology. They appear in classical art and are written about in Homer’s Iliad where the band is referred to as the ‘Antianeirai’ or, in keeping with the prevailing mindset of the time, ‘those who fight like men.’
While the formidable ladies, if they did exist, needed no comparison with their male counterparts given their fabled achievements, similar evaluations continue today with their modern equivalents – female fitness models. Seen as the preserve of men, when it comes to body sculpting some old-fashioned attitudes continue. However Dubai’s three-time World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) champion Andreia Brazier does not heed small-mindedness. Not only does she extol the allure of the people who compete in her field – akin to the magnetism the early Amazons were said to possess – she has parlayed her talents into a successful UAE fitness empire: A1Lifestyle.
“Fitness modelling is not bodybuilding,” Andreia said. “I lift moderate weights to shape myself and keep myself healthy. My body is like a house and I need to look after it.”
Andreia, in a coincidental turn, hails from Brazil, just south of the eponymous Amazon rainforest. A health fanatic, model and fashion and jewellery executive in her homeland, she arrived in Dubai three years ago to be a personal trainer initially for a four-week stint. After seeing the potential to take her 20 years of experience in staying trim to a wider audience, Andreia decided to stay.
A1 Lifestyle caught on and today Andreia trains, creates meal plans and acts as an inspiration for many clients across the city. She has even caught the eye of local physical education channel Physique TV upon which she regularly appears.
“I want people to be the best versions of themselves,” she said. “With good fitness and nutrition you can look 70 per cent younger, so when you get to 50 you will look better.
“I keep it realistic for all my clients. I can’t promise they will be like me, but with a new regime we can build a new, happier person. With good nutrition you feel fresher and with a good workout, you feel energised and healthier meaning you want to do more.”
With her business world essentially conquered Andreia says she is going in for one more contest before attempting a new frontier – starting a family.
Each foray into competition has so far been successful, yet Andreia feels she has had to grow into the performing side of her discipline.
“I began competing for self-motivation,” she said. “The first contest I ever did I was very shy and it was against just eight girls.
“I have been in five different competitions and won each of them, which gave me confidence. The WBFF in Las Vegas in August is against 80 women and I am hoping to bring home my fourth title. It will be my last for a while though. I want to build a family and I have to give someone else a chance to win!”