Ready to muscle in on championships
Awhina Matthews-Egnot sponged on her fourth coat of fake tan at 4am today.
Her hair was curled and shining, her makeup painted on and her green diamante bikini was tied - but not for a photo shoot.
The 24-year-old former Christchurch woman donned her "stripper heels and string bikini" for the International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB) Australasian champs in Sydney tonight.
Weighing 53 kilograms and with less than 7 per cent body fat, Matthews-Egnot hopes to take out the short-class sports model title and go on to compete in the world championships.
Being a female body builder with rock-hard abs does come with its challenges, she said.
For the past three months, Matthews-Egnot has been on a strict training programme - one hour of intense cardio at 4.30am, an hour of weight training at 2.30pm and an hour of intense cardio after dinner every day.
Plus there is the thick, "sometimes orange" fake tan and being "freezing cold" with next to no fat on your body.
It can "intimidate" men.
"Some guys do get jealous and my boyfriend hates it. He hates that I can't go out and have a drink or go out for dinner and I am stronger than him in some things and he doesn't like that very much either," she said, laughing.
She eats six meals a day, including 30 pieces of asparagus, which is often "way more than my boyfriend".
To win the sports model section, women have to be muscular but also feminine and "really tanned", she said.
Four coats of fake tan are applied in the days leading up to the competition.
Matthews-Egnot was a member of Les Mills gym when she was only 14 and worked as a personal trainer from her home after the Christchurch earthquakes. She moved to Perth in October 2011.
Last Saturday, she placed fifth in the IFBB world champ qualifier in Perth.