Semret Russom is the first Eritrean woman to compete in the fitness industry and the first Eritrean woman to earn her IFBB Pro Card. Fitness is a way of life for Semret and she takes her clients fitness journey as serious as she takes her own.


In 2013, I decided to start training to hopefully compete in my first bikini fitness
show. It was a sport I knew nothing about but one I quickly fell in love with. I enjoyed the strict discipline & challenge to my will power. Diet was the hardest part! I eventually walked on stage for the first time in a bikini & I felt proud, accomplished, but also embarrassed. (-:

Modesty is deep-rooted in my culture. I come from a small country in East Africa called Eritrea. My people are the most kind & beautiful on this earth but they are also old fashioned. Women don’t go to the gym and women don’t have muscle. I moved to San Diego when I was 13 so I grew up in both East Africa AND the United States. I’ve always felt a powerful influence from both of the worlds that shaped me.

I continued to compete in fitness competitions for the next several years. I am a strong, independent woman. I wanted to show other women, especially young Eritrean girls, that it is ok for women to be strong. It is even beautiful. Who cares what people think.

In 2017, I contracted a rare disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome which attacks the immune system. I felt flu-like symptoms that kept getting worse so I drove myself to the hospital. By the time I got there I was almost completely paralyzed. I spent 30 days in the hospital including 20 days in the ICU.

I left the hospital in a wheelchair & my road to recovery began. I decided that nothing was going to stop me from getting my health & strength back. After months of physical therapy, I traded the wheelchair for a walker. I couldn’t drive so I took Uber to the gym to workout.

Although I still have neuropathy pain, I ended up making almost a full recovery. I got my health & strength back. The next challenge I gave myself was to become a professional bodybuilder. In 2018, I accomplished my dream and earned my pro card as an IFBB Bikini Pro.

Now I was ready to start my career as the first female Eritrean bodybuilder! I signed up for the next show & started my strict diet & fitness regimen. A few months into my training I found out that I was pregnant! Oh my, what a wonderful surprise!

Being a mom is the thing I had longed for most in my life. I was so happy that god blessed me with a daughter. I was 39 years old when I gave birth to Delina. She was perfect. Her name means “gift from god” because that is what she is to me.

May God bless you and your family. Thank you all for the support!
With Love,