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Muscle & Fitness is in Los Angeles for WrestleMania week, where we got to catch up with one of the fittest women on the pro wrestling circuit, the ripped Rhea Ripley, ahead of her championship clash with Charlotte Flair on Saturday night. We soon learned that becoming one of the most powerful and dominant forces in WWE is about lifting “all the heavy stuff.”
Forget calorie counting! Even simply grabbing a cup of coffee is challenging during WrestleMania week. “To be completely honest, this is my first coffee of the day,“ says Ripley, who was up early to give her time to journalists like myself, when all the Australian powerhouse really wants to do is prepare for the biggest match of her life. “I had a little bit of fruit beforehand, but that’s probably the only thing I’m gonna have until, I wanna say, maybe like 3 o’clock. So, it’s mayhem always around Mania season. We don’t really get a chance to breathe or stop, but it’s all worth it in the long run.”
While preparing for a big match during WrestleMania week is an unpredictable affair, Ripley understands that the real hard work needs to be done in the weeks and months before pro wrestling’s grandest stage of the year. At WrestleMania 39, Ripley will face her biggest nemesis in Charlotte Flair. She knows all too well that Flair took her NXT championship away in 2020 and then bested her for the Raw women’s championship in 2021. In fact, Ripley has never defeated Flair in one-on-one competition but hopes to change that in a packed SoFi Stadium.
“I’ve definitely been stepping it up the few weeks before [WrestleMania)]” says Ripley. “I’ve been hitting a lot of PRs in the gym … I really just wanna beat Charlotte Flair. She’s one of the best. She’s a 14-time women’s champion. At the end of the day, like I said on TV, it’s her legacy against my destiny and my destiny is to be the best bloody women here in the WWE, and it’s gonna happen.”
Rhea Ripley Is Driven to Lift More Every Week
Fortunately, when it comes to having a great workout partner to keep her inspired, Ripley’s real-life partner and fellow wrestler; Buddy Matthews helps her to get the job done. “I mean, I just try and pick up heavy stuff and put it back down,” says the potential future champ. “I don’t really have a schedule sorta thing. Like, yes, I have my allocated days for certain muscles but sometimes that gets muddled up (due to the demands of a pro wrestling career). This is a very taxing job so you don’t know how you’re gonna feel each and every day, so you just try and go in and do as best as you can but for me, I just try and lift all the heavy stuff! Like, I workout with Buddy Matthews, so, he lifts extremely heavy and I try and keep up with him. It’s pretty much impossible but, you know, I do make him question himself every now and then!”
Rhea Ripley challenges Charlotte Flair for the WWE Smackdown women’s title on Saturday night, April 1, at WrestleMania 39. You can live stream pro wrestling’s biggest show of the year on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.