A woman not just a bride but a pride! Redefining modern age woman and their abilities, Tiana Flex has been a sound of an International melody. Niloy Banerjee from Sportz Business got the opportunity to get hold-off  Tiana Flex, International Ifbb Athlete & Free Lance Model | Online Coaching & Personal Trainer to understand the bodybuilding business from an ardent woman’s eye. Tiana aptly muscles her journey on how it is for a woman to be in this body building business and ending up being a marvy mom at the end of the day. Edited Nub of this courageous journey below.

1. How & what made you come into the bodybuilding business?

10 years ago in 2009 on the 1st of September I decided to start training. I scouted for a personal trainer as I wanted to improve my appearance and feel better about myself.

On this journey I met a possible trainer, Tony Flex who suited my criteria in a personal trainer and soon I signed a contract with him on the 1st of October 2009. Within 3 months of keeping strictly to the guidelines, training routine and working out with all of my being I saw major changes in my body.

tiana flex 3

 2. To where you belong, how is the scenario of female bodybuilding sport?

Within months from setting my foot in a gym, I would step out on stage to do my first show in January of 2010. I JUST LUV muscles. Participating as a female bodybuilder is sometimes quite a challenge. I am faced with people having no compassion for me as a female bodybuilder, but I do not allow myself to be offended. Most people in South Africa find my physique too muscular and I am often faced with mocking comments, finger pointing and even scalded with comments as not being a woman. On the up side, within the fitness and bodybuilding arena male and female athletes know the hard work it takes to reach your full potential and thus honour your effort, but the same cannot be said for the general public.

3. What challenges you faced or say still face regards to training facilities, infrastructure, environment and diet, if any?

My preparation is always fierce. I train heart and soul because of my love for the sport.  I do not face many challenges with training facilities. Our gyms and facilities in South Africa is well on par with the rest of the world. Challenges are more in how my body respond to travelling when I participate out of town or in foreign countries. I have to find a balance to prevent my body from retaining water. During a general check-up at my gynaecologist in June 2016, the tests revealed that I suffer with Polycystic Ovary syndrome (PCOS). It is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance and it is a genetically transferred condition. It causes problems with the use of insulin, creating insulin resistance etc. resulting in me finding it difficult to loose weight. I always have to put in extra effort as my body responds slow compared to other athletes. It is now known that 10% of woman in the age group 18 – 44 suffer from this disorder.

However this diagnosis brought many things into perspective and helped me to adjust my eating habits and lifestyle even more to be a healthy, vibrant athlete.

 4. Kindly tell us about your fantastic and inspiring journey and achievements to our readers?

Within 3 months of starting my lifestyle changes, I was completely hooked. No turning back ever. Not only did my physique become my pride, I also married my trainer. It was my husband, Tony Flex, who spotted my potential and encouraged me to participate competitively. I am inherently shy and it took some consideration and real thought, but I do not regret stepping out for a moment. I did my first show in the Ladies Figure class and won that show in May 2010.

I was hooked. I just loved my new me and my physique improved week after week. I joined the WBFF Federation and participated in a show hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa. I won my class and overalls. Was presented with my WBFF PRO CARD in figure class and moved on to compete in LAS VEGAS. The world championship event introduced me to the PRO League. I placed 11th in a line up of 28 athletes.

In 2014 I decided to join the IFBB Federation as they just introduced a new class, Ladies physique. Since my body had developed and evolved so much I knew this was the route for me and voluntary surrendered my PRO CARD with WBFF federation.

Prepping in 2014 was a completely new ball game. I needed fuller rounder muscles yet still keep a feminine appearance. I placed 2nd and were invited to participate at the IFBB Amateur Olympia. There I won the Ladies Physiue Class. Wow! I was so satisfied it was a year that ended on an all time high for me.

Accolades of Tiana Flex:

2010    pretoria Classis

Ladies Figure 1st Place

2010    WPF Northern Gauteng Regionals

Ladies Figure 1st Place

2012    ROSSI Rainbow Classic 2de

2012   NABBA Provincials

Ladies Figure 2nd Place

Received my PRO CARD with the title WBFF SA PRO FIGURE DIVA


Figure Division 1st Place and

Overal Figure Championl

2014   Amateur Mr Olympia

Ladies Physique 1st place sa’s

2014   Amateur Mr Olympia

Ladies Physique 1st place sa’s

2014   IFBB Gauteng Regionals

Ladies Physique  1st place2013   WBFF WORDLS IN LAS VAGAS

Figure Division 11th Place

2015   IFBB Womans Extreme

Ladies Physique 1st place


Ladies Physique 1st Place and

Overall Physique Champion


Ladies Physique 1st place


Ladies Physique 4th place

2018    I took a sabbatical to rest my body and get the mind focused for 2019


Ladies Physique 1st place


Ladies Physique 1st place


Ladies Physique 3rd place

5.What is you training schedule and regular diet?

I work out 6 days a week, twice a day. I start in the morning with Cardio and finish my day with weight training.  Meal preparation is a daily discipline too. Every meal is measured to the gram and I eat every 3 hours, 7 days a week.  We become what we eat, thus I make sure to prepare our meals fresh every morning and take meals where ever I go so I will not have a need to buy unhealthy meals.  My cheat meal is Sushi.

6. What keeps your mental and physical strength to par, helping boost your overall development and suggestions for other woman who’re willing to choose bodybuilding as a career and say, ‘LIFE’?

Junk food make me feel ill, thus I always follow a very strict eating plan. Eating clean nourishing meals is my lifestyle. I BELIEVE TRAINING NOT ONLY KEEPS ME HEALTHY IT ALSO KEEPS ME MENTALY FIT. Not only on stage but in life always do your best and impress. This motto keeps me focussed. I also fervently study, the latest trends in fitness,  always wanting to know more and more about the human body, so I can encourage and educate my clients and people in general. Bodybuilding develops such a holistic approach to life in general. Self-Discipline, diligence and pride in who you are is key. Also this lifestyle keeps you healthy above all.

 7. What it is like being a Woman into the Fitness Business?

Although Female Body Builders are not as revered by the non-training fraternity, the athletes in the fitness industry know the discipline, commitment and effort we put in. I would honestly say I enjoy the Fitness Industry, it is vibrant, always evolving and always expect the best from every athlete in every genre. I will not change my career for anything.

 8. Is Muscle in Woman Still Seen as a Taboo and How Can we Collectively Get Rid-Off these Stereotypes?

Yes! I think it is still a taboo as I find it extremely hard to find any sponsorship in South Africa. It is an uphill battle all the way. In South Africa, the general public also do not perceive my achievements as something to admire, they rather point fingers and make nasty comments about me, saying I am not a woman.

It will be difficult to change perception or stereotyping as every individuals idea of beauty is different. This uniqueness is what is setting us apart. I focus on my self-image, my dreams rather than picking up an offence. By allowing others opinions to affect me I will lose my joy.

 9. India has quite a lot of women bodybuilding shows, to which, what are your plans to show your flexes in the Indian soil?

I would be most honoured to be invited to participate in India. I find your culture and country exceptionally diverse and interesting. I would also be honoured to be a guest speaker and motivational speaker to the younger generation, youth and female athletes in particular. Inspiring them to join the sport as it is so fulfilling to see your beauty as a woman as a whole.

 10. A bit personal life of Tiana, (Hobbies, Music etc.)

I was born in South Africa on 20th of July 1983.

Lenght:  1,53

Weight:  Competitiom 132.5 pounds

Off Season:  144.1 pounds

I am married to Tony Flex and I have a 14 year old son Tiaan.

I am also an avid equestrian since the age of 8. Participating both locally and internationally in dressage and endurance. I listen to gospel music most of the time. I am passionate, committed and truthful, sincere and caring and just love being a wife and mom. Currently, I am studying to achieve my National Diploma in exercise science Pt1. I specialise in Weight management, Functional training Pre- and Post fitness training. Keeping my followers updated and excited on social media where I have quite a substantial following.

11.What is the toughest thing you believe in this bodybuilding business?

Having the discipline to be motivated day by day even when obstacles arise and results are not achieved as predicted. Finding sponsorship. Ultimately, it is important to find a sponsor to assist you financially to achieve your goal of become the best bodybuilding athlete in your class in the world.

12. Lastly, what are your thoughts having bodybuilding as an Olympic sport?

Any growth for Body Building is needed and will be of great benefit to the genre. Since power lifting is entertained at the Olympics I cannot see why Body Building cannot be an event on the Olympic menu.

 Where can Tiana be reached by potential clients, sponsors and fans ?

email :                  Flextiana@gmail.com

FB page   :            Tiana Holtzhauzen (TianaFlex)  and Tiana  Fitness Page

Pinterest:            Tiana Flex WBFF PRO

Twitter   :             @TianaFlex

Instagram:          @TianaFlex1

The  5 P’ s  “ Proper  Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”  introduced by Kai Greene is my life story.


The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.


Aspiring journalist working for sportzbusiness.com and exploring the juncture of sports, business and technology. Interested in sports economy and logistics of sports policy-making.

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