Posts Tagged ‘female bodybuilder’


“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” ~ Aristotle

After 21 years in the Health and Fitness industry, I can finally say that I’ve found my niche. I am a strength and conditioning coach at 2 well known gyms located in downtown Toronto. I also work part-time as a physiotherapy assistant. I like the balance of helping individuals to attain their fitness and aesthetic goals; as well as aiding those who require a more therapeutic form of exercise; whose goals are more predetermined and specific ( ie, get up from a chair without knee pain).

I’ve always been an athlete, kind of the black sheep in my family in respect to that. I saw being active as pure enjoyment; the racing heartbeat, adrenaline and sweat was something I always enjoyed. I’m also very competitive by nature and I excelled in all sports related activities. My favorites are soccer, water polo and volleyball. I enjoyed these mostly because of the energy and synergy of the team environment.

As I got into my late teens, I had a shift in feeling about the team dynamic and felt like I wanted to try a sport where the competition was within one’s self. At 18 I began running long distance and by the time I was in my second year of university I had run 4 marathons. As much as I liked the cathartic feeling of a long distance run and the endorphins that followed, I was not built (bio-mechanically) to be a good runner. I experienced several injuries in my plantar fasciitis; knee and back discomfort, as well as a fateful left hamstring tear which occurred while running a marathon in Massey, Ontario.

After that injury I saw a chiropractor as a form of preventative treatment. My Doctor at that time recommended that I begin weight training to strengthen my hamstrings and offset the imbalance created by my strong quads. At the age of 21, I started on a path to bodybuilding and it has been my passion for almost 20 years. To me there is no better feeling than lifting heavy weights and pushing the body beyond its comfort zone. It’s not a natural state of mind; it can be extraordinarily painful; yet I continue to push forward to attain the desired goal. This thought process or state of being has transferred to other areas of my life. It has made me persevere, maintain focus, calm my mind and feel more confident. When I set my mind to something “I WILL” get it done. In other words I have attained a level of discipline that cannot be taught by book; classroom nor motivational speech.

The hardest obstacle that I’ve had to overcome as a female bodybuilder is twofold; the need to create balance between the gym and my personal life, as well as society’s misconception of women who have attained larger than average muscles. Unfortunately, it’s not as accepted as I’d hoped. Crossfit and various athletic (or fit) celebrities have helped somewhat, yet I can still occasionally feel the look of disapproval from people who don’t know me, yet judge me on what they see. It has nothing to do with masculine or feminine. In my eyes it has always been about building the perfect human form through weight training. I’ve always likened it to adding bits of clay to a sculpture bit by bit, until the results are perfect. I’ve discovered however that once attained there’s always a new goal on the horizon.

In the last 20 years, I have competed and won 5 times. I’ve also competed at Nationals and placed 4th. I’ve gone on to do discuss body building in the media, as well as trained other fitness athletes who themselves have attained great success. I now envision myself a mentor and teacher to other women with the same ideals.

My current workout routine, after trying several variations and muscle groupings, is 6 days a week, 1 body part a day, no more than one hour if possible, followed by 20 minutes HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) or 1-2 x a week – spin class. My diet consists mainly of fish, sweet potatoes, Ezekiel bread, oatmeal, whey or casein protein, and several servings of fruit and vegetables as well nut butters and coconut oil for fats. My supplements have been basic for a while, as I try not to rely on them for my nutritional needs. I have a greens supplement drink first thing in the morning, followed by a pro-biotic and vitamin C. Post workout I have BCAA (branch chain amino-acid) as well as a shake. At night I take a multivitamin, vitamin D and magnesium.

My current fitness goals are trying to add more muscle to my legs and back; it’s the support system for the body and we can always benefit from getting stronger and more muscular.

One of the things that I try to convey to all of my clients is the fact that being inspired to train is good, but you must get to a point where you don’t need inspiration; only dedication. It all comes down to how badly you want to succeed. If the want is greater than the need, you’ll never be able to truly understand what it takes to get into the best shape of your life.

The sacrifices are many, but the rewards are tenfold physically, mentally and spiritually.

Kristen McCarthy
twitter @thehulklady

I Can Become a Pro Body Fitness Athelete

A very young Michelle

As a child I was timid, shy and not very stable on the feet. I recall every time I attempted to run in my school compound during games I would fall and hurt my knees. I have so many scares on my knees it isn’t funny. Thus outdoor activities were a no-no in my mind. I stayed indoors most of the time and was a spectator to outdoor activities.  At the age of eleven I started to become conscious of my appearance. I remember stepping on the scale one day, and couldn’t believe that I weighed approximately 136lbs. That was madness in my eyes! But I just did not see it fit to do outdoor activities for fair of falling as well as others looking on.  I turned to doing aerobics in front of my television with a local Aerobic instructor Monday to Friday mornings at 5:30am for a half hour prior to heading to school. 

Since I began aerobic training I saw no reason to stop doing some type of training.  At age 16 I got my first taste of weight lifting and loved it!  Muscle and Fitness Magazines were my research tools for various programs while trainers at the gym helped me execute exercises. I was so intrigued by the changes in my body that in 2000 I went to a bodybuilding event as a spectator and decided “I can do that … I can become a competitive body builder”. Thus at age 25 I competed in my first show as a female bodybuilder and am still competing and Representing Trinidad and Tobago as a National Body Fitness Athlete.

 After my first competition I was diagnosed with endometeritis and had to undergo rush surgery but by the end of the 6 weeks of bed rest I was right back in the gym doing leg press. The drive to compete became my motivation to ensure a speedy healing process. Although I was told that my medical problem would return (and it has) it doesn’t stop me from training and wanting to be the best I can in this sport.  On the contrary my illness became a motivational factor to push me to become the best regardless. “I believe with the grace of God my goal of becoming a Professional Body Fitness Athlete/Body Figure Athlete will be achieved.”

Healthy living is my ultimate goal in life. My ability to limit painful symptoms from my illness, the continued visual changes in my physique and the opportunity to share with others, ways of living a healthy lifestyle have all been instrumental in driving me forward to keep training, keep pushing. With God on my side anything is possible.

My friends and my family are my supporters. My parents, hubby, training partner, sponsors BodyGlow and AmericanMuscle Supply Inc., and the team of coaches. With their support it is inevitable for me to reach this far in my journey to succeed in a lifesyle of fitness and wellbeing.

For the past 10 years I have been honoured to represent Trinidad and Tobago as a Body Fitness Athlete in national, regional and international Amateur Body Building and Fitness competitions sanctioned by the International Federation of Body Building (IFBB). While pursuing my goals as an athlete, I can recall being pushed by others and it was no different when I travelled with the National Team of Trinidad and Tobago to look on at the competition. There was one coach in particular, who was at an international event I met who trained some of our bodybuilders. I could remember him saying “you can become a pro as a body fitness athlete  once you want it really bad”. That trip was bitter-sweet because on the day for both the coach and I to leave the island of Aruba he got a massive stroke and subsequently died.  I always remember him and his words of encouragement and I will continue to drive forward to achieve my goal as a Body Fitness Athlete. From 2006 onwards I have been a National Representative for my country for the sport of Body Building and have been able to achieve the follow accomplishments: 

 2007 July – 1st Place IFBB Eastern Caribbean Championships – Trinidad 

2007 September – 2nd Place IFBB Seniors National Championships – Trinidad

2007 October – 3rd Place IFBB Central American and Caribbean Championships – Bermuda

2008 September – 2nd Place IFBB Seniors National Championships – Trinidad

2008 November – participant in Sacramento NPC Championships – United States

2009 May – 7th Place NPC Championships Contra Costa – United States

2009 May – 1st Place IFBB Eastern Caribbean Championships – Trinidad

2009 September – 2nd Place IFBB Seniors National Championships – Trinidad

2009 October – 2nd Place IFBB Central American and Caribbean Championships – Grenada 

2010 March – 4th Place Natural Ohio Show – United States

2010 July – participant in Indianapolis Championships – United States

2010 September – 2nd Place IFBB Seniors National Championships – Trinidad

2010 September – 4th Place IFBB Central American and Caribbean Championships – Aruba

2011 July – 2nd Place IFBB Southern & Antilles Championships – Venezuela 

2011 September – 3rd Place IFBB Seniors National Championships – Trinidad

2011 September – 3rd Place IFBB Central American and Caribbean Championships – El Salvador

I train on average 3 times in the day – 2 cardio sessions, 1 in the morning period and the other in the pm, and midday I would do my weight training.  6 days a week I would do cardio training while 5 days a week I would do weights, working Legs Day 1, Back & Arms Day 2, Shoulder and Chest Day 3, Legs Day 4, Shoulders and Arms Day 5.  Training may follow a 4 week cycle rotation which I find best suited for my goals of leaning out for competition. My multivitamins and supplements b6, b12, vitamin E, Vitamin C, L-Glutamine, Glucosamine all play a part in recovery given my intense workouts. I am currently getting competition ready so please note that the cardiovascular training is at its highest intensity to get leaner faster.

On an average day I would eat six small meals. Consisting of high fiber, vegetables, good fats, and protein, protein, protein! High fiber carbohydrates such as oatmeal, rice, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables are quite typical in my diet. Flaxseed oil, olive oils are a must while fish, chicken, beef, ground turkey can easily be part of my protein choices.

This year I am aiming to become Trinidad and Tobago’s next Pro Body Fitness Athlete.  In addition I look forward to competing on the pro circuit soon. “Dream Big…Achieve Bigger” that’s my motto!  I would like to thank my new sponsors BodyGlow and AmericanMuscle Supply Inc. I will represent you guys with honor. Thank you for believing in me.

I must also thank  Socially Fit for the opportunity to share my story. The more you learn the more you can share with others. Be patient and goals can be achieved.  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain 

You just got to start with one step and you would be one step closer to your goal!


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