By Giacomo Brunelli @GiacomoBrunelli
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Videographer / director: Janio Edwards
Producer: Giacomo Brunelli, James Thorne
Editor: Sonia Estal
Adriana, Alessandra and Andreia Dantas, 37, of Sao Paulo, Brazil have been training and competing as an identical trio for years.
The three sisters have matching diets, exercise routines – and even the same plastic surgeon – to ensure they all have the same chance as winning.
They’re so alike that in a previous bodybuilding competitions the judges couldn’t even tell them apart.
“It was very difficult for them to evaluate; the judges couldn’t differentiate us” said Adriana.
Andreia has been living separately from her sisters in Italy for over six years. But recently came back to Brazil to compete with her siblings.
Alessandra told Barcroft TV: “We have a stronger bond than normal siblings - we are always doing things together because it’s fun.
“We always cut our hair the same - when Adriana got silicone prothesis surgery me and Andreia also got the same procedure with the same doctor.”
In order to maintain their physiques, they all follow the same diet and exercise regime, which is made up of eight small meals per day, each one a different food group.
Adriana said: “We follow the same diet and the same exercises.
“You need a strong mind to be able to stick to the diet on schedule, the training, the supplements - all this affects you psychologically.”
The diet is especially tough because they have to weight each meal to specific amounts and are limited to eating carbohydrates only once a day.
Alessandra said: “Chicken, fish, meat, eggs - we only have carbs once per day, which is in the post-training.
“It is complex and tense, it is a very strict diet - it’s very easy to give up, especially when you a have a routine with family, with children.”
Alessandra’s son Enrico, 13, says he will never get into bodybuilding.
He said: “I don’t see the point of it - I will never follow in my mother’s footsteps, definitely not.
“Having a mother that is into bodybuilding is like living your life with an athlete in the house - every day she wakes up early to go to the gym and do her daily cardio.
“She always wants to keep you pumping. Wants to keep you pumped. Moving around, doing everything, she doesn’t want you to sit down and watch tv all day.”
When Enrico’s friends first found out about his mother’s bodybuilding, they didn’t elieve him.
“They thought I was joking - now they think it’s really cool, one of them even said she’s super-hot which is a little weird,” he said.
“Whenever my friends are in our home, my mum’s always there with her six-pack making me feel a little less of myself.”
The Dantas triplets cultivated their passion for bodybuilding as a trio because they have always enjoyed doing things together.
Andreia explained: “Perhaps if I wasn’t a triplet, I would find a normal job, but with them there is more hope, it’s more cheerful, more motivating.”
After a competition hiatus of over three years, Andreia travelled back to Brazil to train and compete with her sisters again.
As well as following the same diet, for their training they do the same exact exercises and are even synchronised with each other.
She said: “We exercise every day, five times a week - the importance is to grow old well, to have a good physique, it must be useful you know?”
Their personal trainer, Guilherme, was also in disbelief when he first realised that he was going to train identical triplets.
He said: “I had never seen triplets training together training, doing exercise - it’s really nice to see one helping the other with the same objective, I find it fantastic.”
On competition day, the triplets finally got to find out whether all their hard work has paid off.
“We hope the judges will tell us apart!” joked the triplets before walking on stage.
But there is no competitiveness between them, if one wins it’s as if they’ve all won.
“If she wins or she wins, I feel myself a winner as well,” said Andreia.
“Whether we win or lose, what matters I always tell them, what counts is the glamour,” Alessandra added.
Incredibly, Adriana placed second and Andreia won first place in the competition.
“Incredible, I think he judged wrong - I think I was supposed to rank first,” Alessandra and Adriana jokingly complained.
Satisfied with the result, the triplets are now looking to their next venture, which will see them start a lingerie business together.
“We have beautiful bodies, so we’ll be the faces of our own brand - we’ll save up on models!”