Hope’s setting the bar high

Hope Bradley has just competed in junior bikini fitness and qualified for the British Finals in October
Hope Bradley has just competed in junior bikini fitness and qualified for the British Finals in October
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Blackpool beauty Hope Bradley is bidding to become a bodybuilding queen.

The 22-year-old, from Mereside, is through to the finals of the UKBFF Championships 2015, in junior bikini fitness.

She finished in second place at the recent qualifying event, in Leicester, and will now compete in the finals on October 3, in Nottingham.

Hope started training for competitions in April, and while it has been hard work, says she has not looked back.

She got interested in bodybuilding, after seeing Lytham mum Katie Mason, on social media, who is a bikini fitness competitor.

Hope said: “I love training in the gym and used to do a lot of running and aerobics classes. I’ve always been slim.

“I hadn’t really been interested in bodybuilding, but a few people suggested to me I had the physique to do well.

“Since I started training to compete and lifting weights, my physique has changed.

“I’m a lot more toned, I eat more, but I haven’t really changed size.

“It’s hard to get girls to understand but lifting weights doesn’t make you bulky.

“The gym is like my therapy, I love it.”

Hope, who is studying politics and international relations at Lancaster University, started personal training sessions with Katie Mason at Ribby Hall, in Wrea Green.

Katie – who runs a coaching business, Female Body Aesthetics – said: “I could see from the start, Hope was clearly geared up to put in the work and be patient.

“Although you would never have looked at Hope and thought she needed to get in shape, competing requires a lean athletic figure, which requires muscle for shape. This can only be achieved via strict diet and training, and so we set out to build some lean muscle and lower her overall body fat percentage to achieve this.

“I designed a diet plan and training programme for her to follow and we started working in six-week phases.

“After a couple of months in the gym, I could see Hope had the mindset it took to really get somewhere in the sport, and we decided to go for a show this year as a ‘trial’, so next year she would have some experience under her belt to build on. Seeing Hope get called back for the top three at the qualifying event at Leicester, I was over the moon.

“So when she then came in second, followed by an invite back to the British Finals, I shed some real tears of joy. It was the icing on the cake.

“Whatever happens, she is a champion in my eyes and most certainly in the making, not to mention a great role model for other young women.”

Hope trains six days a week, mostly weight training, with some morning cardio.

She said: “Training with Katie has really helped me and made a difference.

“It’s been hard work and taken commitment, but I do love the gym. I didn’t expect to get this far in the competition, I couldn’t believe it – but I am so excited now for the finals.

“I love all the girly stuff about competing too, like hair and make-up and fake tan.

“I know I’ve done the hard work and can’t wait to get up on-stage again.”

You can follow Katie on Twitter, @katie_maso and Instagram, @flaminkatie1 for fitness and healthy diet motivation.