WINDHOEK - With her overall 2nd place at the recent Muscle Mania Show in Cape Town, South Africa, Namibian female body builder Elzke de Goede has established herself as a force to be reckoned with on the South African fitness scene.
Competing in the Body Fitness category of the IFBB-sanctioned event, De Goede narrowly missed out on first place to Romanique Cronje from East London, with Elsa Lombard finishing 3rd.
The achivement was the Namibian’s 2nd podium finish in 3 months – the other one was a 1st place position in the Body Fitness division of the IFBB- sanctioned Cape Classic earlier this year. The USN athlete and ambassador was delighted with her placing.
A relative newcomer to the fitness pageant scene, De Goede cut her teeth at the Fitness SA contests during 2010 and 2011 but constant frustrations coupled with inconsistent judging prompted the Namibian to move to the IFBB contests, where competitors are given clear guidelines of what the judges are looking for.
De Goede, a former gymnast and full-time personal trainer, is well-suited to the criteria of the Body Fitness division, where competitors are judged on a well-defined female physique and penalised for being overly muscular. Balance, proportion and symmetry are all aspects that are heavily favoured, while presentation on stage is also scored.
No body building poses are allowed. The contest started with pre-judging on Saturday morning, before contestants showed off their hard work before a live audience in the evening. Jetaime Ribbink from KZN was the winner of the slightly less muscular Bikini Fitness division, which was also hotly contested
Elzke is currently the only Namibian athlete competing in South Africa, with Christine Visser and Alethea Borman taking a break from the rigours of competition. Key elements of her 12-week preparation phase are a very clean high protein diet and two workout sessions daily, six days a week.
The 34-year-old’s day starts at four in the morning and she sees her first clients at 05h00 while she manages to fit her own training programme in between that.
Based at the YAM training facility is a huge bonus, as she doesn’t have to travel far to get her weight training done.
Cardio workouts take place in the scenic surrounds of the Avis Dam, where she does high intensity hill repeats to melt off the body fat. Her dietary needs are taken care of by USN, who have supported her since she started some 3 years ago.
At 160cm and 57 kg, she is living proof that dynamite comes in small muscular packages. Her single-minded focus while working out often has her training partners wishing for a time-out. She has a wealth of local knowledge in the form of Mark Thomas, a former body builder, and Terry Liang, a Chinese Crossfit guru, who have both played a huge role in mentoring her.
Elzke is adamant that weight training for women is not only healthy, but often vital. The myth that lifting weights will turn skinny women into muscle-bound hulks is complete nonsense, as she recounts.
“Cardio is good, but lifting weights is the only way to build fat-burning lean muscle because I personally give training to both men and women from all walks of life while helping them to achieve their own fitness goals,” she charged.