An Interview With Michele Naylon: NPC Figure Champ, Mother And Artist!

When she is not spending time with her kids she teaches a group fitness strength training class. The interview will give us a good picture of who Michele Naylon really is. Find out what she has to say about herself and the fitness industry.
A native of Western New York, married and a mother of two Michele began weight training a few years ago to get rid of the excess weight. Now she is a serious competitor in the NPC Figure division. When she is not spending time with her kids she teaches a group fitness strength training class, also helping IFBB Fitness Pro Jenny Hendershott organize her PHAT camps Tours, especially when it hits Buffalo. Can you give us your bio pertaining to all of the Figure shows you have done along with your placing?

    MN: I started competing in three organizations NGA, OCB and NPC before I settled on the NPC exclusively.

      NPC 2003 Rochester Championships - 1st place C class
      NPC 2003 Figure Nationals - 24th place
      NGA 2003 Olympus - 2nd place
      OCB 2003 Golden Triangle - 1st place overall
      NPC 2004 Buffalo - 1st place overall
      NPC 2004 Pittsburgh NPC 2004 Figure Nationals - 13th place
      NPC 2004 North American Championship - 10th place
      NPC 2004 Tri-State Championship - 3rd place
      NPC 2005 Pittsburgh - 16th place What is your full name?

    MN: Michele Ann Naylon

Click To Enlarge. When and where were you born?

    MN: December 30th, Buffalo, New York. How do you like living in Buffalo, NY?

    MN: What can I say... I'm a sucker for snow & high taxes! Other than that WNY is the best place to raise kids. You have nice lines & good looks about you. Can you give us your height, weight?

    MN: That's been the most interesting question to answer because my weight fluctuates as I'm still trying to put on some mass. I'm usually hovering around 125-130 off-season and I've competed anywhere from 113-118. I'm 5'4" tall. Do you have any brothers or sisters?

    MN: Yes. I have two brothers, one older and one younger and a younger sister. Just for the record they all think I'm crazy! What do your parents do?

    MN: My father is an engineer and my mother is a real estate agent. Did you do any sports when you were growing up?

    MN: I was a major tomboy growing up climbing trees, catching frogs and biking all day long. I played softball, volleyball, basketball and gymnastics until I was in high school. Was their college after high school for you?

    MN: I have a BS in art education and a MS in student personnel administration What got you started in Figure?

    MN: I have always loved female bodybuilding and it was my intention to compete as such but as I started training I realized that this wasn't going to happen.

    I have struggled to put on muscle and it has been a slow process but one I enjoy. Anyway, I wanted to compete to keep myself motivated and moving towards a goal. So far so good.

Click To Enlarge. When did you actually get serious in Figure Competitions?

    MN: I think I was hooked after the first show I did, but it wasn't until the first national show I competed in that I realized I wanted to kick it up a bit. Here is an interesting topic for you. What do you think the trend is for Figure and where is it heading? Do you think Fitness has had any influence on Figure?

    MN: Scary question. Figure is very frustrating for "us" competitors who are not as genetically gifted to step on stage and shine. Add to that the subjectivity of the judging process and it makes for many a trip back to the drawing board. I'm hoping that figure gains more credibility within the bodybuilding industry, but at the same time I'm hoping that it evolves into more than just quarter turns.

    I have a gymnastics background and I have thought that maybe I would cross over into fitness, we'll see. As for the influence that fitness has had on figure, well I think you can't have one without the other. I think that numbers in fitness are lower than figure, but that will change as more figure girls rethink the figure process and/or get bored.

Do You Think Figure Will Ever Gain More Credibility Within The Bodybuilding Industry?

No - They Are Not Respected.
Yes - Figure Is Getting More & More Popular. I understand that you are taking a little time off, Why?

    MN: That's correct. I consulted with an IFBB judge in March as I was preparing for my season and he advised me to take some time off to work on building up certain areas and to give my body more than a 4-5 month break from dieting.

    Since I qualified for another 2 years nationally this was the best time to lay back. So, after my 16th place in Pittsburgh this past May I decided that I would make that my first and last show of the season. I will be back at Jr. USA's in April 2006 bringing a new and improved physique to the stage. What is next on the plate for you?

    MN: Training, training and more training. I have some photo shoots scheduled for this summer, but I will most likely enjoy being a spectator at as many shows as I can attend, lay low and observe. What was your best experience in Figure?

    MN: When I stepped on stage at the 2004 Figure National show, my second time, and realizing that I had made major progress in one year. Small changes but very meaningful. What was your worst experience in Figure?

    MN: Being backstage at this one show with no place to change and one bathroom for over 100 figure competitors. How many weeks before a contest do you start to diet?

    MN: I usually do well starting at 12 weeks.

Click To Enlarge. What supplements do you use? What things need to be changed in the sport of Figure competitions?

    MN: I'd like to see more representation by figure/fitness professionals sitting on the judging panel and the addition of "something" else such as a posing round or a tougher qualifying process so the figure numbers aren't so big. What do you do when you're not doing Figure competitions or working out?

    MN: I stay pretty busy with my two children, ages 4 & 5. I am also a mosaic artist, I do mostly commissioned work and occasionally I pick up a PT client to work with.

Click To Enlarge.
Michele's Mosaic Art. What would you have to say to other girls who may want to enter into the realm of figure competitions?

    MN: Go to as many shows as possible to see if it's what you really want. If it is then get to work. Either hire a reputable trainer, travel to a fitness camp or do the research. For fitness camps I recommend Jen Hendershott's Phat Camps ( because that's how I got started. Either way you have to find as much information you can about dieting, training, essential contest items and so on... So, how does one get an 8x10 of you?