interview Arlette Bomahou


” Being different is an advantage since it allows me to stand out “

Let me introduce myself. My name is Arlette Bomahou. I am a 43 years old French lady living and working in Ireland since 2005. Born and raised in Caen, north of France. My mother is from Togo and my father from Benin ( West coast of Africa). They moved to France in the 70’s to start a new chapter in their lives. I was born soon after in 1975.

Back in France, I was always active and involved in diverse sports from athletics, basketball and cross training. In 2000 my passion for sports and foreign languages took me to Amsterdam. I was employed by Nike and developed my skills as an account manager. More importantly, I discovered my first love : weight training. We were fortunate enough to have gym facilities, a basketball and tennis court. This work promoted a move to Dublin in 2005. 12 years on, I am still enjoying Ireland and hope to raise a family here.

After 13 years of fitness training, I decided to put my strength into good use by competing in powerlifting for Ireland nationally and internationally until I decided to change path. My main focus has been to become healthier and fitter by losing 110 lbs/ 8st/ 50kg the past 3 years. I finally competed in my first bodybuilding competition on Sunday 8th of October in Dublin with NIFMA, Northern Ireland Fitness Model Association, after 11 months of hard work. I won 1st place in the Body Transformation category over 40, 2nd place in overall Body Transformation and 2nd place in Figure Toned over 40. It was a qualifier for the World Championship in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

I then competed in the World Championships with NIFMA on Sunday 26th November 2017 in the Body Transformation and Couples division. I came 1st in the Couples, 3rd in the Body Transformation category. for the Couples category, I was actually on stage with one of my dearest friend and mentor Giselle Minehane. It was a very special moment for me as a year back I had seen Giselle competing in the same event and was very impressed with her. I came back stage to talk to her and since then we have been friends and training partner.

My current goals within bodybuilding are to keep improving, learning about the sport and to take part in more events nationally and internationally.

My long term goals like many athletes who compete in that sport, is to receive a pro card with NIFMA by November 2018 and by December 2019 with WBFF (World Beauty Fitness Federation).

How do you see yourself in the next five years?

” In 5 years I see myself with a pro status as a bodybuilder, married with at least one kid. I have inspired and helped thousands of women to take ownership of their health. I run a successful online coaching business, and do charity work all over the world.”

Today looking at myself in the mirror how do you define yourself ?

” Strong beautiful inside out”

What were the most difficult moments of your life?

” February 2014: my trip to France with my ex boyfriend. I went to visit family and we had a big family reunion. My family was shocked by how big I was and how much I was eating. My excuse was that I needed to gain strength to compete in powerlifing. This was my second year competing and had already won a world champion title. But my family was concerned about my health and gave me couple of warnings during my stay, I was not willing to listen to them. I felt upset and frustrated, I thought they didn’t acknowledge the hard work I was putting in the gym but just focus on my physical appearance. I was convinced that I was healthy although I was overweight I couldn’t accept the truth. I am grateful that they warned me and told me the truth, I am much happier right now. We decided with my ex to do a stop at the Eiffel Tower before heading back to Dublin. I hadn’t seen it in nearly 30 years. Although I was in one of the most beautiful city in the world, I was feeling so embarrassed each time he took pictures of me. I had checked my weight secretly before heading to the airport. I found out that I was up to 114 kg / 250 lbs/ 18 stones. I knew I had to so something but didn’t have the motivation at the time to do it. “

Is there an important reason why you started making this commercial?

” I love to share my experience and passion for sport in general. I aim to inspire empower women of any age, shape and cultural background to go after their dreams. “

What do you like about this sport?  

” Powerlifting and bodybuilding are an empowering sports although they are different. It provides athletes with strength and confidence. For women it creates the belief that the impossible is possible. Lifting weights one never dreamed could be achieved opens the mind to an array of more possible ties.”

What does it mean to you to be beautiful? “Being beautiful is to being able to love ourselves unconditionally despite our insecurities. And love ourselves to the point we fall in love with ourselves.”

Do you feel beautiful?  “Some days I do some days I don’t. ” Do you believe in God ? or better, in other words, what do you think?  I am a believer.

Do you think this sport has changed your person? ” I have grown as a person and an athlete and have learned a lot from my mistakes. It also made me realize how hard you have to work to succeed and be ready for the stage. I never worked that hard in my entire life. It has increased my ability to work under pressure and break through all the obstacles which were in front of me. on the negative side, it made me self absorbed and obsessed about the way I look.”

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about your future?

” I am optimistic about the future and believe that I can live life on my own terms. Positive mindset lead to a positive future.”

How would you like to be remembered for 100 years?

” For having made an impact into people’s life rather than for what I look like.”

Awards won :

Bodybuilding :

– National champion title 2017 : 1st place in Body Transformation category over 40, 2nd place in overall Body Transformation and 2nd place in Figure Toned over 40.

– World champion title 2017 : 1st place in Couples category, 3rd Place in in Body Transformation category.


-World champion title 2014 : in Dusseldorf in Single World championship on Sunday 8th June, broke World record in division equipped deadlift with 162.5kg, Silver medal in unequipped deadlift with 167.5kg

-World Champion title 2013: in Glasgow in full power World Championship on Saturday 2d November (Squats: 102.5 kg, Bench press: 62.5kg and deadlift 160kg)

– European champion title 2015: in single lift Championship in Riva Del Garda- Italy .  on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September. Bench Press @ 67.5kg. Broke World record with Deadlift @ 160 kg

– European champion title 2014: in full power Championship in Belfast on Saturday 10th May (Squats: 100 kg, Bench press: 57.5 kg and deadlift 165kg)

– European champion title 2014: in single lift Championship in Gorey co. Wexford on Saturday 13th September. Broke World record in equipped division with Deadlift @ 175 kg

-Gold medal National Full power on Sunday 16th August 2015 (Squats : 105kg ,Bench press: 67.5kg, Deadlift: 165kg). World record and European record set in Age 40 category.

-Silver and bronze medal National championship single lift on Saturday 22nd February 2015 (Bench press: 70kg, Deadlift: 177.5kg)

-Gold medal in National Deadlift and Bench Press competition in November 2014 (Bench Press: 65kg, Deadlift: 175kg)

-Silver medal National championship single lift on Sunday 9th February 2014 (Bench press: 57.5kg, Deadlift: 162.5kg)

-Winner of strongman competition on Saturday 9th March 2014 (Squats: 105kg, Bench press: 65kg, Deadlift: 165kg)

-Gold medal in National Deadlift competition in August 2013 (140 kg)

-Gold medal in National Bench Press competition in September 2013 (55kg)

-Gold medal in CIT powerlifting competition in October 2013 (Squats: 102.5kg, Bench 57.5kg, Deadlift: 152.5kg)

-Silver medal in National Deadlift and Bench Press competition in November 2013 (Bench Press: 65kg, Deadlift: 145kg)

You can follow Arlette on the following social media

Facebook :  The beauty of Weightlifting or  @ArletteBomahou

Instagram : @arlette_fitover40

Twitter : @ArletteBomahou

Pinterest : Arlette Bomahou

Linkedin : Arlette Bomahou

Google + : Arlette Maotie Bomahou

Youtube : Arlette Maotie Bomahou


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