Feisty, bold, courageous and at times charmingly peculiar — these are but a few words one can use to describe Survivor SA’s 2019 Castaway Steffi van Wyk-Brink (who also happens to be married to actor and musician Clint Brink).
What stands out more than anything is her incredibly fit body, and one can’t help but wonder how the hell she built it.
Where it all began
Originally from Windhoek, Namibia, Steffi has always had a knack for physical activity and her passion for it never waned.
“I started competing in sport since the age of 6. I participated in many sporting codes throughout my life including athletics, netball, wrestling, hockey, rugby, bodybuilding and boxing,” she tells us.
It would seem that she was always destined for fitness-greatness as this was the path her life continued to follow. Steffi went on to study Sports Management, Sport Science and also completed a rugby strength training and conditioning course.
True to her diverse and adaptable nature, she pursued a career in fitness modelling and found major success.
“In 2015 I became Miss Namibia, and then I moved to South Africa in 2016 after I got married,” she says.
“I then snatched third place at Arnold’s Africa Bikini Fitness O/1.72, won the Fortuner 4×4 Challenge, and won an anti-bullying celebrity fight against Roxy Louw.”
She admits that it sometimes feels strange being a “full-blown jock” and a model at the same time, but it brings her joy. “I don’t have to compete against the world, as long as I can compete against myself, I’m happy.”
How she trains
While it’s quite clear that Steffi’s physical history has played a key role in her physique today, she says that there’s no magic formula to getting fit. The only winning formula for her is working hard and focusing on the core components of a training regimen.
Here’s what her typical workout routine includes:
- Aerobic exercises
- Weight training
- Functional training
- Olympic lifting
- Core muscles training
- Deep stretching
- Occasional Pilates
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“I also incorporate these with training isolated muscle groups for an aesthetically pleasing look, but I only train individual muscle groups once a week.”
How she eats
Steffi’s diet is closely linked to her workout schedule. “I eat according to what I train. The higher the output, the more I eat,” she explains.
But because she doesn’t want to turn into a calorie-counting zombie, she doesn’t weigh her food religiously. “I don’t want to develop a psychological issue due to not meeting goals and feeling that if I don’t stick to a diet I have ‘cheated’.”
Her philosophy on food is that its fuel and your body is a vehicle — if you feed it junk, the engine won’t function properly.
“I have adopted intermittent fasting as a form of allowing my body to go through a shock cycle in order for it to feed into the excess fat stores,” she explains.
When it comes to eating, Steffi only has four simple pieces of advice for everyone:
- Try new things
- Know your body
- Become your own personal scientist and
- Do everything in moderation
Self-love is key
But first thing’s is first, you have to love yourself as you are today before you start on any fitness/weight-loss journey. A new body is not the answer to self-love and Steffi is a huge advocate for this.
“Loving yourself becomes difficult when Instagram shows so many fitness models and ladies having 11% body fat and less. We tend to pressure ourselves to succumb to standards that force us to be perfect,” she says.
“We aren’t perfect, and we’ll never be. Embrace your flaws, learn to fall in love with training not because it will make you look good, but because it’s good for your health. Looking good should only be the perk and not the goal.”
Quick-Fire Questions With Steffi:
1/ WORKOUT IN THE MORNING OR IN THE EVENING?
Evening, but I need to become a morning person again. I guess it’s because our bodies want to stay in bed during the winter.
2/ WORKOUT AT GYM OR AT HOME?
It depends on the time constraints, what’s on the program and the availability of equipment for that specific workout outcome. Band workouts & stretching I do at home and I do weight training at the gym.
3/ BODYWEIGHT TRAINING OR EQUIPMENT?
All of the above. It’s important to work on power, strength, balance and body weight functionality for a holistic result.
4/ RUNNING, SWIMMING OR CYCLING?
It depends on how hard the rest of the week was. I swim more for active recovery (hydro-rehabilitation at the moment for me). I tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament in my right knee, prayed to Jesus for a miracle and received it! Now I have to strengthen my surrounding muscle groups because I was in a restrictive mobility brace for 6 weeks…. but let the journey to gaining full momentum begin.