When Ade Bishop first stepped on stage a couple of years ago she had no idea she would soon be representing the UK in one of the most prestigious events on earth.

But next week Ade will join Hannah Cave, Ballas Mustafa, Wagner da Silva, Lisa Graham and Anna Pears as part of the UK team at the amateur Arnold Classic Africa.

She is a great example of the opportunities available within the UKBFF/IFBB for athletes who train hard and are successful.

The Elite Pro show that accompanies the amateur event has $80,000 worth of prizes, more than half of which are for female classes. There is $8,500 up for grans in each of women's physique, fitness, bodyfitness, bikini fitness and wellness.

Aderonke ‘Ade’ Olusnaya-Bishop

AGE: 47
HEIGHT: 159 cm / 5 ft 3
CONTEST WEIGHT: 55 kg / 121 lbs
BEST CONTEST RESULT: 4th at British Championships, Sugar Classic winner and Fitcon winner
AMBITION: To get in the top six at the Arnold and win the British title

How did you qualify for the Arnold Classic Africa?

I qualified for the Arnold Classic Africa and Arnold Classic Europe by placing fourth at the British Championships last season.

What are your thoughts about competing at the Arnold?

For me the Arnold Classic is one of the premier events worldwide. There are not many people who can say that they’ve competed in it. This year it is especially close to my heart as I’m competing in the African version and as a British Nigerian it’s an honour to be selected by the UKBFF to represent the UK on the African continent.The long trip will be completely worthwhile for me as the scenery and opportunity for a once in a lifetime holiday afterwards was too good to refuse.

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What does it mean to be selected?

It shows how much the UKBFF does for its athletes. It’s an incredible experience to compete against the best in the country but to be able to compete against the best In the world is amazing. Last year I competed at the Arnold Europe and the standard was incredible. I’m hoping for the same again this year as I’ve made some good improvements in my physique. The UKBFF has taken a lot of unfair criticism of late but I’ve always felt welcome and at home with the federation and always got feedback on what areas of my physique needed improving and worked my hardest to bring a better package each time I step on stage. I'm looking forward to the future with the UKBFF as I feel it’s still the number one for the athletes in the UK.

How did you get into bodybuilding?

By accident a few years ago. Some of the guys at my gym were doing a show and convinced me to do it. At about the same time I met my husband who is also into bodybuilding so it kinda was fate, I suppose.

Why do you prefer women's physique?

It gives me a bit more freedom on stage. I feel more relaxed when I can showcase my body's full potential. I used to compete in bodyfitness but never seemed to fit the category. I was too cut but at the time didn’t have the required muscle mass for physique. Also I can train the way I like to in physique i.e. hard and heavy. In bodyfitness I had to hold back a bit and couldn’t diet as hard.

Winning women's physique at last year's Sugar Classic in Leicester. PHOTO: Simon Howard

Winning women's physique at last year's Sugar Classic in Leicester. PHOTO: Simon Howard

The number of female competitors in contests is beginning to exceed men. Why do you think this is?

I think more women are getting into the sport and into the gym/fitness in general. There’s been a big cultural shift in the way people view fitness in the last few years. I think social media has helped this and also there is more awareness that the body you desire can be built in the gym and not via surgery or over quick or dangerous fixes. Also, with bikini fitness and now wellness getting ever more popular women no longer have the stereotype of a female bodybuilder when they think of gym.

Give an overview of your weekly training

I train 6 sessions usually over a 8 day period

Day 1 Quad dominant

Day 2 Back deadlifts and rows

Day 3 Push delt dominant

Day 4 Glutes and hamstrings

Day 5 Back – usually more machine work

Day 6 Push chest dominant – since I’ve been in physique I've had to train chest more.

Describe a typical gym session

A typical session usually consists of 2-3 big compound exercises, doing 3-5 sets on each exercise in the 8-15 range. This is followed by 2-3 more isolation exercises in which I do 3-4 sets on each exercise in the 12-20 rep range. I try to finish the weights in about 60-75 mins then do a little cardio at the end.

How much cardio do you do and what type?

I’m fortunate that I don’t need much cardio as I teach 25 classes a week and PT clients most days so the most cardio I do towards the end of prep is 20 minutes a day. I participate in the classes I teach so that’s my cardio.

What do you eat in a typical day dieting?

My food is probably similar to most people on prep.

Meal 1 Breakfast oats

Meals 2 and 3 rice or yam with lean protein choice (fish or chicken breast) and vegetables

Meal 4 beef with rice, yam or wraps

I may also have a protein bar or shake during the day.