Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Maxine Johnson

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Maxine Johnson! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Maxine Johnson
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 55
  • Where: Seattle, Washington
  • Height: 5' 4"
  • Weight: 135 Lbs., Contest: 125 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :3
  • Favorite Bodypart: Shoulders, Arms & Back
  • Favorite Exercise: Legs
  • Favorite Supplements: BSN NO-Xplode, Twin Labs Amino Fuel, NOW Liquid L-Carnitine, Nutrex Lipo 6, Optimum Nutrition And L-Glutamine powder.

How Did You Get Started?

I was standing in the grocery line browsing through a fitness magazine. It was summer 1987 and I was 36 years old and a mom of 3 children, ages 5, 8, and 12. The magazine had an extensive article in it with pictures of Rachel McLish. Up until that day I had spent most of my life bemoaning the fact that I didn't have a slim twiggy body. My legs were too full and my butt was too round for me to think that I had a great shape. But when I saw all the amazing curves on Rachel I was totally blown away with how beautiful they looked on her. She didn't look anything like a skinny model and she looked strong, feminine and gorgeous.

Right away I connected with what she had done and I knew I could do it too. So I made myself a promise that no matter how long it took, I was going to have curvy muscles like Rachel and that by the time I was 40 years old I was going to be in the best shape of my life. I took the magazine home, drug my husband's old weights out of the closet, and started lifting in front of the mirror, following the pictures of Rachel in the magazine.

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Soon I joined a ladies' gym and bought some books written by Rachel, Gladys Portuguese, Joyce Vedral, and Cory Everson. I remained consistent in my workouts and faithful to my promise. After about 2 years people started asking me if I was getting ready to compete. I had not considered doing anything like that but the seed was planted.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

At first I worked a 2-day split using pyramids in all my sets. Over the years I have experimented with different split routines and I like the one I use now: 4-day split with an extra day for leg isolations and plyometrics.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

In the early days, the buzz in my world was no fat, little protein but lots and lots of carbs! Amazingly it worked for awhile. But, as I became serious about competing I learned how to eat to grow muscle and burn fat. Now I eat 6 or 7 meals a day using a basic 40-40-20 macronutrient split.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

NO-Xplode, BCAA's, Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey (Gold Standard is my new favorite), and Optimum Nutrition L-Glutamine powder.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love fitness because it gives me a sense of control over my world and helps me stay focused on one of the most important areas of my life and that's my health. My gym workouts were therapy for me as I grieved the loss of my sister and lost my 20-year marriage in the spring of 2000. Without fitness training I feel a sense of loss of control which affects other areas of my life.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I am the new Fit Over 50 icon! I will be using my platform and success to encourage women to get in the weight room! I am proof to the world that women can grow muscle in their 50s, 60s, and beyond. It is possible to reshape your body and be in the best health of your life through weight training no matter how old you are! You don't have to compete, but there is no reason why you cannot look like a competitor! I also want to educate our nation on the importance of eating real food.

It is a tragedy that we have become a fast-food nation and that the fast food available is the cheapest, poorest quality imaginable. Now the children are suffering and I want to be in the forefront of turning that around. As Susan Powter used to say we have to "Stop the insanity!"

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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Be kind and patient and faithful to yourself. Keep your promises to yourself. I see young women starting out in their first year of competing and getting discouraged because they are not seeing the growth and definition they want and/or getting the scores on stage that they want. But the thing is, this is a lifestyle. And if you are competing just for the score, I think you are competing for the wrong reason. Sure, top 5 placings are great, but it is not everything. Bodybuilding and competing is one of those lifestyles where the journey is as much, if not more, important than the destination because of what you learn and experience along the way.

A true bodybuilder (figure and fitness gals included) lives the life of a bodybuilder. It's not something that you just try once in awhile and expect to be successful at. No - to be successful you have to commit to the lifestyle and that means disciplined workouts and meal planning and learning about yourself. For tips, education, and supplemental helps, use as your #1 resource! The site is huge and rich with information! I refer to it often.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Rachel McLish is my all-time favorite and I would be overwhelmingly honored to meet her someday. And I will always have a deep appreciation for Cory Everson, Gladys Portuguese , Diana Dennis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger for the inspiration, contributions and examples that they set before the rest of us.

I love Monica Brant and I did get to meet her at the 2005 Olympia. I actually got choked up as I walked up to her booth because she has been a real inspiration to me when I started competing. She is just as beautiful in person and in spirit as she is on stage. I also enjoyed Betty Pariso at the 2006 Olympia and was impressed with her youthfulness and beauty and she just turned 50 last year! I am also impressed with Lenda Murray because she has a lovely feminine quality and an encouraging spirit about her. Of the men, I like Ronnie Coleman and Gunter Schlierkamp.

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