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How did you first get started in the bodybuilding/fitness game?

My dad was in the Army so we moved a little bit while I was younger, but I have grown up and lived in Fort Worth, Texas for the past 22 years. I have a large extended family that lives in Georgia, but I am an only child, so it is just my parents and I in my immediate family here in Texas. My parents are still happily married after 34 years and I recently celebrated my two year wedding anniversary with my husband Kyle.

When I was in college, I started working as a receptionist at the front desk at a local gym. I had never lifted weights before and I used to bring fast food and eat it behind the counter all the time. One of the personal trainers suggested I start working out with him and as soon as I started to lift weights, see the changes in my physique and see how great it felt to be strong, I was hooked! I competed in my first figure competition in 2002 and for the past two years I have been competing at the NPC national level for a chance to win my pro card.

Was there a defining moment that got you to start training at a whole different level?

When I decided that I was finally going to go after my goal of becoming an IFBB Pro and I qualified for my first national show, my training intensified to a level I didn’t even know possible. My trainer IFBB Pro Abdul Sharif had me training one body part a day as we got close to the show and I was doing 10 sets of 32 reps with short rest breaks in between. I had never felt intensity like that and he was able to pull that out of me.

What are the top 2 ways you keep motivated?

Continuously improving my physique and doing competitions keeps me motivated to work hard. I know there are a ton of beautiful, fit women in this sport and if I want to compete against them. I have to make sure I stay on top of my training inside of the gym and keep my diet clean outside of the gym. I also believe and study the law of attraction and the power of positive thinking. I am constantly listening to audio books, reading inspiring quotes and surrounding myself with positive people that believe in me and keep me motivated.

In your opinion what is the biggest hurdle you or most people have to overcome in regards to their fitness career and goals?

To stop making excuses. That is the hardest part, to do what you know you need to do, even when you do not want to or feel like doing it.

Why do you think some people are able to overcome this hurdle, but others are not?

I think it is a matter of deciding. Life is full of choices, but each one we make is either going to move us closer to our goal or further away. The choice is all up to you.

If you had to ratio the importance of training, diet and rest, what would the percentages look like? (e.g. 20% training, 30% diet, 30% rest)

Well, I would say that your diet is 80%, training is 20% and rest is 10% as you can see I use 110%!

How useful do you think supplements are? Do you use supplements? What is your current top supplement?

I think supplements are important especially in contest prep to help your body get all the proper vitamins and minerals it needs when on a restrictive diet. Yes, I use supplements and I am currently sponsored by USPlabs. While in contest prep my current top supplement is OxyElite Pro, a super thermogenic, which aids me in fat loss while on my contest prep diet and gives me the little kick of energy I need to get the day going or to get in a great cardio session.

In general what does your current training routine look like?

It changes constantly, but right now my training routine looks like:

Monday – Shoulders and abs
Tuesday – Legs
Wednesday – Back and triceps
Thursday – Shoulders and abs
Friday – Chest and Bi’s
Saturday – Legs
Sunday – Off

What is your current diet routine?

My diet changes a lot while I am in contest prep as well, but currently I am in an offseason mode so I am eating more calories and carbohydrates than I normally would be in contest prep. Here is an example:

Meal #1-6 egg whites and slices Ezekiel bread w/2tbls almond butter
Meal #2-Protein Shake. ¼ cup oats and ½ cup strawberries
Meal #3-5oz Ground turkey, ½ cup pinto beans and ½ cup of brown rice
Meal #4- 4oz Chicken and 1 cup mixed vegetables
Meal $3-Protein Shake
Meal #6-5oz Chicken and a large salad

How do you feel about ketogenic diets and extreme diets in general?

I really think everyone’s body is different and sometimes you have to try different types of diets to see what works best for your body. Personally I could not do a ketogenic diet, because I love my carbohydrates and I think it is important to have a nutrition plan that you can easily live off of year round by just adjusting the portion sizes from on season to off season.

How did you get those awesome arms of yours?

I only train my arms once a week or once every other week now, even though I like to work them. My biceps and triceps grow pretty quickly so I have to be careful about training them too much or too heavy so they do not get bigger than my shoulders. It is important in figure to try and keep everything in proportion.

If you were to upload your arms to our muscle voting site (http://vote.ratemyarms.com/) right now, what do you think you would rate?

Haha…Most people comment on my abs, so I am not sure how my arms would rate, especially compared to others? Even though my arms are not super cut, for as long as they are, they are pretty solid and thick!

How did/do your family and friends feel about your training?

My family didn’t really understand my goals of competing when I did my first show back in 2002. All they saw was me getting thinner and thought it was unhealthy, which tends to be a big misconception in the Hispanic community. My family is Puerto Rican and they think if you have meat on your bones that is healthy and if you tend to lose weight or body fat that is unhealthy. As the years have gone by my parents understand the sport now and they are very supportive of my goals. My mom comes with me to every competition because she loves to be there to cheer me on. My husband pushes me to succeed and he is my number one fan and supporter. As far as friends go, it can be hard to keep them all when you live a lifestyle totally different than theirs, but the ones that are true friends will be there to support you even if they do not understand the life and the ones who don’t aren’t truly friends in the first place. As I get older, I do not have time for drama or to associate myself with negative people, so I eliminate those type of people out of my life. You have to surround yourself with people that support you and lift you up when things get hard.

Can you give us a brief summary of your competition history?

2002 NPC John Sherman Classic-Figure Tall-12th Place
2009 Musclemania Fitness Texas Show-Figure Tall-1st Place, Bikini Tall-2nd Place
2010 NPC Ronnie Coleman Classic-Figure Class C-2nd Place
2010 NPC Jr. Nationals-Figure Class F-3rd Place
2010 NPC Jr. USA’s-Figure Class F-3rd Place
2010 IFBB North Americans-Figure Class F-11th Place
2011 NPC Team Universe-Figure Class F-3rd Place
2011 NPC USA’s-Figure Class F-4th Place

What are your fitness/bodybuilding plans for 2011?

Well since the year is almost over and I have competed in two national shows this year, I think I am going to take the rest of the year off to make improvements to my physique. My goal is to maintain my weight within 10lbs of my contest weight for the rest of the year so when I decide to jump into a competition it will not be that hard for me to get contest ready.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 20 years?

In 5 years I see myself as an IFBB Figure Pro, having qualified at a pro show and stepping on the Olympia stage. My husband and I haven’t decided if we want to start a family, but in 20 years if we do, I hope to be a great mom, be involved in the fitness industry still in some way and enjoying spending time with my family and friends.

The RateMyArms team would like to thank you greatly for taking the time to do this interview. Do you have any last words for our readers?

Thanks for taking the time to read my interview and get to know a little more about me. Please follow me as well on my website, BodySpace, Facebook, YouTube and the USPlabs forum.

Thanks,

Michelle Beck
NPC Figure Competitor
USPlabs Athlete

Photo Credits: Martys Photography and Dan Ray

Bodyspace: Michelle Beck Bodyspace

Categories: Interviews, Women