January 31, 2012 12:20 PM EST
UGA cheerleader Anna Watson has become an overnight sensation. Not because of her back flips or her cascading brunette locks but because of her ripped muscles.
Anna Watson is not your average girl. She can bench press 155 pounds, she eats 900-calorie mass-gainer shakes and she has four inches of muscle on her biceps. Watson's muscles raised eyebrows after a photo of her flexing began circulating on the Internet.
Some were shocked when they first saw the photo of the ripped college junior. She has been dubbed as "college football's strongest female cheerleader" by some. While other bloggers commented on the stark contrast Watson poses to other cheerleaders.
"Usually when we write about cheerleaders (like here, here, and here), it's for one reason and one reason only: Because they're hot. Not the case here," wrote Complex blogger Chris Yuscavage. "Sure, Anna Watson has a pretty face and probably cleans up pretty nicely. But we're interested in her because she could also probably power clean, bench press, squat, and dead lift us if she wanted to."
Twitter reactions to the UGA cheerleader have been mixed. Here are some of the responses the photo of Anna Watson flexing her muscles got on the social network:
- "This is a real pic. This girl is not on steroids."
- "THIS IS A DUDE! IT HAS TO BE!"
- "Talk abt scary"
- "Georgia's Anna Watson The strongest FEMALE cheerleader! DAAAANNNGG GGIIIRRRLL!"
- "ummmmm.....NOT hot!!!!"
- "One last time - Even SEC cheerleaders could beat your football team"
- "This woman puts me to shame.Go girl."
- "Tim Tebow's future wife... he just doesn't know it yet."
- "This girl is strong in more ways than one."
- "This is one girl who doesn't need a dad to protect her!!"
- "That's an atrocity against femininity."
- "It's clear where her treasure is. Love this!"
- "Meet the Mike Mamula of cheerleader,UGA cheerleading workout warrior Anna Watson."
- "UGA cheerleader Anna Watson not defined by physique"
- Anna Watson........that cheerleading is DIESELGEEZ o.O...........*does some pushups*
- Hey guys, do an google image search for "anna watson georgia" and prepare to feel inadequate"
Despite her physical appearance, Watson insists that her life is not exercise. She even turned down a $75,000 fitness-modeling contract. Though she had been bulking up to meet the requirements for the modeling career, Watson realized that the extreme regime was too much.
The modeling agency wanted her to continue pushing harder, even though she had put on four inches of muscle onto her arms in just 10 months. She also had to take the legal anabolic steroid, Anavar.
"I don't serve a modeling agent. I serve the Lord," Watson said. "I'm not going to compromise my morals and my beliefs just to take pictures. I believe that my body is a temple and a beautiful creation, so I don't want to put anything into it that can harm it."
Watson turned to her Christian faith to find balance.
"When working out became a greater passion to me than serving the Lord and serving people around me and loving other people, then I realized that was a big no-no," Watson said. "I was frustrated. I was cranky. I didn't want to go to the gym, but I felt like I had to. I was stuck in this regiment and it was almost oppressive and it was like I was trapped. So being able to realize that working out is not my purpose in life really was able to set me free."
After college, Anna Watson wants to use her skills to help others by becoming a personal trainer."I want to show people that working out can be freeing," Watson said. "It can be enjoyable. It doesn't have to be something that you have to do all the time. It doesn't have to be oppressive and I think a lot of people just need to be freed from that image or that idea, 'If I can lift five pounds more, if I can lose five pounds more, then I'm going to be better,' because it's a never-ending cycle."