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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Anna Watson, Georgia cheerleader

Cheerleaders are mostly known for their lithe and wiry builds that allow them to be tossed to dizzying heights during pep rallies.

But University of Georgia cheerleader Anna Watson puts that stereotype to shame, proudly displaying incredibly sculpted arm muscles.

She was even looking at a $75,000 fitness modelling contract, before realising that the exhausting workout regimen and taking legal steroids just wasn’t worth it.

She started weightlifting at her first college, Hawaii Pacific, after she found that cardio wasn’t helping her do stunts and routines and caused her to lose a dramatic 35 pounds. That’s when friends and friends suggested she started lifting weights.

During her fitness heyday, Ms Watson would consume more than 3,000 calories a day, working out for hours on end, dead lifting 230 pounds and doing bicep curls with 35-pound weights.

Despite drinking 900-calorie protein shakes and eating bowls of rice, dozens of eggs, chicken, and vegetables, she had a difficult time putting on the necessary bulk she wanted.

A modelling agent took notice and encouraged her to take Anavar, a legal anabolic steroid. She told Ms Watson that she needed to put on around 50 more pounds of muscle to be signed.

She tried bulking up, but only gained ten pounds in four weeks, according to student newspaper That’s where the crash diet came in. She always ate though she was never hungry.

At her strongest, she could bench press 155 pounds, and squat 255, but still, she could not match the picture of the woman who took steroids.

She said that the modelling company told her several times that she was just a business venture.

‘They even told me that several times, “We just want to get you started so we can make money off of you,” and I’m like, “I understand that, but I am a person.”’

Finally, Ms Watson, a member of a local Georgia church, decided to consult Hugh Kirby, a former national power lifting champion and member of her home church.

'I think it’s really important to stay grounded and know who you are and knowing that shaping your bicep is not going to shape your personality.'

He advised her against it. She also wondered what the effects of steroids would have on her body long-term, especially when she wanted to have children.

‘I know that my identity is not in working out,’ Ms Watson told ‘My life is not all about exercise and working out.

‘I think it’s really important to stay grounded and know who you are and knowing that shaping your bicep is not going to shape your personality.’

She gave up her potential modelling contract with Elite Models and stopped obsessing about her weight and bulking up.

According to, she’s hoping to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic over spring break.

Despite turning down the opportunity and toning down her workout, Ms Watson boasts some seriously toned limbs.

She works out five times a week by herself and three times with the cheer squad.

She’s not currently cheering though – Ms Watson ruptured her Achilles tendon last week. However, sports still play a prominent role in Ms Watson’s life.

The 5ft10 student is studying exercise and sports science and hopes to become a personal trainer.

She competed as a gymnast for ten years before becoming a cheerleader in high school.

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