Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Michele Mayberry

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Michele Mayberry! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

I was in gymnastics and track growing up, and after college, I missed having something to be competitive in. I continued to work out randomly and stayed in decent shape, although tended to be on the skinny side. For my 2002 New Year's resolution, I decided to start working out every day at lunch time at my company's fitness center.

Somehow I stuck to it, and while on a cardio machine reading my new "Oxygen" magazine, I saw results from a fitness competition. I started thinking "Hey, I could do that." Eventually I was able to get in touch with Tanji Johnson (IFBB Pro) ( and started training with her in July 2003. I did my 1st show, the Evergreen State in Wenatchee, WA in September of 2003. I won the Master's figure class, AND the overall. I couldn't believe it, and from that point on I've been hooked.

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What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I tend to stay fairly lean all year long, and maybe gain 5-7 pounds at the most during the off season. During competition season, my workouts are 7 days a week of 2x 30 minute cardio sessions. I find that if I vary the types of cardio I do, my legs get better conditioned. I use the treadmill for jogging and walking uphill, I run through my very hilly neighborhood, stair stepper, stadium stairs, elliptical and I play soccer usually 1 -2x per week.

Weight training - In the earlier stages of my competition training I lift 6 days per week with heavier weight on just one body part per day.

Then towards the middle, I reduce the weight some so I can do 4 sets of 15 reps for 4 to 5 exercises per body part. Then the last couple weeks before a show, I go lighter and hit 4 sets of 20-30 reps depending on what body part I'm training. I also try to get 3 days of abs in.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

Originally, I was on a fairly low carb, low fat diet which works well in the early stages of training. But I've found that as I get down in body fat, I actually look better if I have a few extra carbs during the day, and I have extra energy for my evening workouts.

I tend to have a hard time keeping muscle in my upper body and it seems that I've been able to put on more muscle since I've added in a few more calories and carbs to my daily diet. I get my carbs from oatmeal, yams, red potatoes, Low carb tortillas, berries, grapefruit and granny smith apples. I get my protein from chicken, fish, ground turkey, egg whites, and fat free cottage cheese. I eat about every 2.5 to 3 hours and I don't eat carbs after 4-5pm. One new thing I've been doing this season is to have steak twice a week for dinner along with a baked potato. I know that sounds strange, but it helps me retain muscle. Just when I start looking depleted, I have a steak and potato and the next day, I'm all filled out again.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

That's a hard one to know for sure, but this season I've been using BSN Nitrix, and I do feel that I've had more gains this year than before. I think that with the combination of extra calories/carbs, I've been able to notice some gains.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I started out just wanting something to compete in, and once I got involved with it all, I fell in love with it. It's hard to say what I enjoy more, the competitions or seeing all the friends I've made around the country. When you walk into a show, it's like a whole different world filled with people involved in fitness. You have an instant bond with all these people that you've never even seen before. We all work very hard and we are so different than most of the people we see in our daily lives.

I feel kind of like a freak at work eating chicken and yams out of Tupperware every 3 hours, and working out at lunchtime while they all go get their burgers and fries. For me, staying in shape is just part of my life, and the fact that I can have a Fitness competition to show off my hard work and hopefully motivate others is so rewarding.

Also, being a little bit older competitor and being able to hold my own against the "kids" keeps me feeling young . It's funny, I get to thinking sometime that I'm old enough to be some of these girl's mother. I love the fact that no matter what age I am, that by training and eating right I can stay young.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I'm hoping to get my pro card at Team Universe or Nationals this year and then compete at the Pro level as long as my body will hold out. If I don't get my Pro card, I'll continue competing in 2-3 NPC shows per year. I am currently a Washington State NPC judge, and LOVE judging the local shows, so that will definitely be something that I can continue for years to come. I am also starting to help others prepare for shows and am teaching adult gymnastics classes.

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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

You have to love doing fitness/figure/bodybuilding for yourself. I've learned the hard way when I haven't placed where I wanted to, and wanted to quit, that that's totally the wrong attitude. I do this because I love it, not because a judge thinks I have the right look for that show. This should be all about being healthy and not compromising yourself just to win a trophy. Be proud of your hard work and how beautiful you are.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Tanji Johnson is my favorite Fitness competitor. Not only for her rockin', hip hop, kick @ss routines, but because she has so much class and integrity. No matter where she places, she has a great attitude. If she wins, she's genuinely happy and not conceded, if she loses, she realizes she either has to work harder, or she just didn't have what the judges wanted that day. I've never seen anyone work harder than her.

In Figure, I Love Monica Brant. I think her physique is beautiful and if I was judging her, I'd be placing her 1st! Elaine Goodlad is also one of my favorites and she inspires me to keep competing because at 40+, she is still one of the most beautiful ladies out there. It shows that age has nothing to do with it.