Alexa Bliss’ sporting career began at age 5, when she competed in gymnastics at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH, her hometown. She returned to the Arnold as a cheerleader years later and graced the stage there in 2013 as an IFBB bikini pro. She even returned to the festival this spring as an NXT Superstar as part of a WWE event.

Bliss started to compete in the bikini division as a way to stay in shape after college. “I told my trainers that I was serious and wanted to compete. They gave me five weeks to prepare! I was training nearly every day and taking posing classes. It was grueling, but I went on to become one of the youngest people to get a pro card [at age 20],” Bliss recalls.

After a year of competing in the IFBB (placing as high as sixth in the Pittsburgh Pro), Bliss set her eyes on sports entertainment. “I’d heard there was a [WWE] tryout, so I made a video and sent it in,” she says. “I got a call back, went to L.A., and was signed shortly thereafter.”

Read the rest of our exclusive interview with Alexa Bliss on page 24 of Muscle & Fitness Hers‘ September/October issue, on newsstands now!

Here’s what else you’ll find in the September/October 2016 issue of Muscle & Fitness Hers:

  • Alexa Bliss’ dynamic training workout
  • Hers’ 2016 Cleanest Packaged Foods Guide
  • An upper body workout featuring IFBB figure pro Nicole Wilkins
  • A “Get Lean” workout poster
  • Olympia Bikini champ Ashley Kaltwasser‘s winning exercises
  • Editor-tested athletic shoes
  • Our favorite fall activewear pieces that’ll take you from gym to street style
  • Olympia insights from top competitors
  • And more!

Photography by Per Bernal.
Hair by Jennifer Beverly.
Makeup by Fawn Thoi.
Clothing by TapOut.