I AM ALFA because I can see my own potential without question. The year that I earned my pro card I was faced with many difficult hardships and challenges.
Photography by: ALI SOHRAB
Shoot Location: World Champion Club
My name is Tessa Barresi from Victoria, B.C. I am a 20 year old IFBB Bikini Pro and I have been bodybuilding since I was thirteen years of age! Throughout my years in the gym, I have found my passion in the fitness industry and have pursued my dream of becoming an IFBB pro.
What are the qualities in you that you consider yourself to be an ALFA?
I am ALFA because I have redefined what relentless means to me. The year that I earned my pro card I was faced with many difficult hardships and challenges. I lost my father to a brain aneurysm, I lost two more family members throughout my prep, but despite all that was going on externally I refused to give up on myself and my dream.
I am alpha because I can see my own potential without question. I am alpha because not for one moment I doubted my own capabilities and my determination to make my dreams come true.
What are the most rewarding things that Fitness has brought you?
It’s the realization that I can always improve, I can always become a greater version of myself and I take that lesson and apply it to life. If you are unhappy in life, make a change, fix it. If you are unhappy with your physique, make a change. This applies to all things in life - we wake up every day and make the choice whether or not we will be happy. We choose our destiny and I truly believe that as long as we stay true to who we are and our alignment, we can fulfill our deepest desires and become limitless to what we can do.
When was the most ALFA moment in your life?
When my father passed away, six days before I was supposed to step on stage at the Vancouver Pro Qualifier in 2018. Everybody in my support circle at that time asked me if I wanted to stop - to give up. Because it would be justified... However, I did not give up. I chose to keep my head high for the next six days and step on that stage not only for me but for my father. I was not raised to just give up based on circumstance... I was raised to be brave. I was raised to be alpha.
What’s next for you?
Since I just dieted for ten months straight in my pursuit for the pro card, my body is heavily in need of some off time. That being said, I feel that a whole new world of opportunities has opened itself up to me. As I reverse diet myself into an offseason, I realize I can do so many things. I can pursue yoga, I can get my degree in holistic nutrition, I can travel, I can be a better athlete for Gymshark and travel around the world promoting the fitness lifestyle that I fell in love with. What's even better is now I get to do that as an IFBB pro, confident and respected in the industry.
Please share few things people don’t know about you.
I am a gamer. My all-time favorite videogame to play is Halo 2, and I own every single Halo game every made, even some double copies. My second favorite game to play is Skyrim, where I am a level 86 Kahjiit, and have maxed out my Sneak skill 4 times over... That's some nerd talk right there.
I danced for 13 years. When I was six years old my mom put me in ballet. Throughout the years I have danced ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, contemporary... the list goes on. I quit studio dance when I got my first ever gym membership but continued to dance competitively in high school.
I am a real math nerd. Believe it or not I took Pre-calculus 12 TWICE because I was not satisfied with how much information I had retained the first time around, so I took it again, and did it for the A+ grad. I also took physics and chemistry. I was “THAT KID” in high school.
I have four cats, one dog, and a fish. My mom wants to one day get a farm but it already feels like we have one.
I used to powerlift. Before I started bodybuilding, I got into powerlifting and competed, broke every single record for my age and weight in the province. My max deadlift is 315lbs, max squat is 245lbs and bench is 135lbs.
Please name few ALFA people you know.
1. Adriana Gentile
2. Mike Sheffer
3. James Ayotte (my coach)
4. Samaya De Laat
5. Angela Gagne IFBB Pro
What would be the ultimate tips you could share with everyone about life and health.
The ultimate tip would be to STAY CONSISTENT. Change does not happen overnight but as long as you stay consistent and committed to your long-term success, you will succeed!
You can find me on my main platform on instagram @tessabarresi and you can find me on Youtube as well under my name Tessa Barresi, where I post content about my journey to becoming an Ifbb pro and the new chapters that await me
Any tips you can give to our reader about becoming successful
For sure. I would start with Putting it on paper. Write down your goals, your dreams. Don’t just visualize them but WRITE THEM DOWN so that you SEE them in front of you.
Prioritize your time and protect your energy. Make sure you are doing things in your day to day that SERVE YOU and will help you get to your goals. Write a list of your daily priorities and how you will focus your energy for that day.
Keep a gratitude journal. While working towards something we want, it’s very important to constantly remind ourselves of all that we have. This is humbling and allows us to take a moment to reflect and realize the many things we have to be grateful for already.
Surround yourself with successful, forward individuals. I had to cut a lot of loose ties on my journey to the pro card, merely because I was not willing to give my energy to those who would not reciprocate that type of "go-getter" vibe.
Be prepared to sacrifice. When we strive for greatness we never know what challenges might await us on our pursuit. You have to be prepared for the worst, and be willing to continue throughout external circumstances.
Destroy your bad habits and replace them with new ones. Habits are tough to break, and tough to form, but they make all the difference. I got into the habit during my prep of waking up and practicing my posing before doing ANYTHING else (except brushing my teeth - that's habit #1). My posing was one of the things that got me to where I am today, because I made it a habit to practice it every morning.
Understand that you are already successful. The very fact that you are alive, breathing, living life means that you are a success of mother nature. Whatever you choose to do with your life, always keep in the back of your mind that you are already enough. You choose what success means to you, but remember you as a human being are already a success.
What’s your favorite quote?
Now, I have a lot of favorite quotes but this quote means something special to me. Before winning my pro card, I spoke to one of the head judges. He had made a comment about how he has now seen me six times in a row at back to back shows. I looked at him and said: "so long as I keep showing up, I will always have a chance."
How true that was that day.
YOUTUBE: Tessa Barresi