Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Michelle Brannan

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Michelle Brannan! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

I first became interested in fitness through my love of dance when I was looking for a course to take to gain insurance to teach dance in a gym. In 2008, I enrolled onto a Fitness Instructing course and began reading about fitness and researching ideas. In 2009, I came across some video clips of physique shows and my interest was drawn to the Bikini class in particular, those women had amazing bodies.

I decided I wanted to train to get a physique like that. I did a lot of research and had just qualified as a Personal Trainer so I trained myself basically, I asked lots of questions and got some really good advice from some of the trainers I worked with and resources on the internet and of course

I worked hard on not losing too much weight but changing the composition of my body, in the first six months I dropped 6% body fat and gained more lean tissue. I probably weighed the same but had a smaller waist and more shapely legs! I started competing in 2010 and won my first show, after the first day on stage I was totally hooked. I am very results driven so to be able to see all my hard work directly was great for me and also I loved the feeling of being on stage!

Michelle Brannan
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Michelle Brannan

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I use a split body part workout consisting of 4/5 days a week weights with some plyometrics incorporated and have started doing cardio 5/6 days a week. I have tried total body workout and no cardio which worked well for me for my first show but in order to improve I work more closely on improving specific areas of my body. I joined Team Bombshell in June 2011 and have been following Shannon Dey's training and nutrition plan which works very well for me.

The training and nutrition were not dissimilar to what I was doing before but small tweaks here and there and I feel like I have improved greatly. The major difference was the incorporation of cardio. I never really did any cardio as I thought I was already lean enough for bikini but now I do cardio for a more shapely lower body and more athletic look.

Day 1: Legs
Day 2: Arms/Shoulders
Day 3: Cardio/Plyo Circuit
  • Stair Stepper: 60 minutes
  • Plyometric Circuit: 5 rounds
    Jump Squats: 20 reps
    Switch Lunges: 20 reps
    Pop Squats: 20 reps
    Box Jumps: 20 reps
    High Jumps: 20 reps
Day 4: Back/Chest
Day 5: Repeat Legs
Day 6 And 7: Off

My training split changes week by week, mixing high and low sets and reps to keep the body guessing.

Michelle Brannan
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Michelle Brannan

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I tend to eat 6 small meals a day; I find a nutrition plan of moderate to high protein, low starchy carbs and lots of green vegetables works best for me. I used to eat a lot of fruit but have found my body has improved by limiting the fruit sugars. I try to eat real foods rather than relying on shakes and bars, most of my protein comes from white fish and chicken.

Meal 1:
Meal 2:
Meal 3:
Meal 4:
Meal 5:
Meal 6:
Cheat Meal:
  • Once per week
Michelle Brannan
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Michelle Brannan

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I feel that training and diet are the cake and supplements are the icing on top, they do make a difference but you have to have the fundamentals in place. I try to eat real foods where possible but I do use a good protein powder and have found that I cannot live without ground flax to give me my good fats.

Supps: Multivitamin, extra vitamin c, Good bacteria tablets.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love fitness because I love the way you can change the shape of your body through training and nutrition. There are lots of women out there who are unhappy with the way they look and feel that is 'just my shape' and there is nothing that can be done. I admit, we tend to favor fat stores in certain areas and these areas can be stubborn but with dedication this can be shifted.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

I am a personal trainer so I like to lead by example. I gave up my office job to be a freelance personal trainer and at the same time I decided to compete so for me, doing well in my contests helped me to prove my theories as a trainer. I test training methods out on myself, friends and clients and I am always learning and looking for new ideas. I want my clients to know I practice what I preach.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I wanted to achieve my goals because when you set yourself a goal you must commit to making the best of the goal and when you enjoy the journey and are successful in that goal it inspires you to do more.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I will be representing the UK in the Bikini class at Arnold Classic Europe and IFBB Amateur World Championships in Serbia both in October.

Michelle Brannan
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Michelle Brannan

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Set yourself a goal and then find out how to get there. Every day do something to take yourself one step closer to your goal and ask yourself the question 'is this going to help or hinder my progress?' in everything you do.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

There are so many girls that inspire me in the industry, I like the Bikini look best and all of the Team Bombshell girls are amazing. Jamie Eason is also an inspiration. I think the first ever female I looked at and thought 'wow' was Amy Fadhil in a women's fitness book.

What Features Do You Use On

I use to research ideas on training and nutrition and to keep up to date with news.