An Interview With New Zealand Pro Competitor Michael Kingsnorth.

After a stellar effort at the recent Australian Pro Grand Prix, 2006 New Zealand National's champion Michael Kingsnorth is again ready to test his mettle against the world's best at the New Zealand Elite and Professional Bodybuilding Championships.

After a stellar effort at the recent Australian Pro Grand Prix, 2006 New Zealand National's champion Michael Kingsnorth is again ready to test his mettle against the world's best, this time at the New Zealand Elite and Professional Bodybuilding Championships held on March 15.

A week out from the Australian Pro, Mike was philosophical regarding his chances against the big boys, and told me he would be happy to present a package he was happy with, and let the chips fall where they may.

After receiving 12th place with a ripped to shreds physique complete with stunning V-taper, and much positive feedback from the judges and his fellow professionals, Mike feels he accomplished exactly what he set out to do: to show his physique in its best light and attract the attention of the judges'.

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I spoke with Mike on Tuesday during the final stages in the lead-up his next big challenge in less than four day's time. Optimistic as ever he says he will bring a fuller physique to further impress.

The New Zealand Elite and Professional Bodybuilding Championships, the first of it's kind in the history of New Zealand bodybuilding, is expected showcase a phenomenal line-up of athletes in what will be Mike's second pro contest.

Michael Kingsnorth
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Michael Kingsnorth Three Weeks
Before The 2008 Australian Pro.

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[ Q ] How do you feel after your pro debut at the Australian Pro Mike?
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    Pretty good but a little tired. It's probably a rebound from all the water and carbohydrates, so the idea is to get dry again before the weekend.

    I want to get a lot more full, add another two or so kilograms. I lost so much muscle glycogen weight on the Friday before the show; it was incredible.

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[ Q ] Was this loss in weight a good or a bad thing for you?
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    Well I don't think it would have changed things. I still would have gotten 12th place.

Micheal Kingsnorth
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Michael Kingsnorth At The 2008 Australian Pro.
View More Pics Of Michael Kingsnorth At The 2008 Australian Pro.

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[ Q ] That was an awesome result for your first pro event, and given the field was very strong.
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    Well the promoter Tony Doherty pointed out that in any other year that would have been top ten. He said I came in fantastic condition and had great structure.

    I set the audience alight with my posing routine; they really loved it. Tony described (the line-up) as probably the best in the history of the competition.

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[ Q ] And knowing what you know now gives you greater incentive to improve your package to move up the rankings next year?
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    If I add six kilos of lean mass and come in half a percent harder I will be right up there. In Australia I was probably a good six kilos harder than I was when I won the (New Zealand) National's so if I can do this weight-wise again suddenly it is going to be like not just top ten, but I'm going to get looked at.

    In Australia I was 91.5 kilograms onstage, and will probably be up to 94 for this weekend (at the New Zealand Pro). Another six kilos on top of that will be close to 100 and Troy Alves is 101.

Troy Alves Troy Alves
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Troy Alves At The 2008 Australian Pro.
View More Pics Of Troy Alves At The 2008 Australian Pro.

    The guy that beat me by one spot at the Australian Pro was around 100 and the guy who I beat by one spot was also around 100.

    The Russian guy (Sergey Shelestov) was a genuine 122 and Martin Kjellstrom was 127; I know because I stood next to him when he stood on the scales.

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[ Q ] What was it like backstage at your first pro show?
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    They were all really nice guys. It just blew me away. They were all just really relaxed as they prepared to go onstage. Dexter was very focused but after the show he was more relaxed.

    They are all helping each other out despite the fact they are fighting it out for placements', Olympia spots' and contracts'. It was nice to see.

Michael Kingsnorth
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Michael Kingsnorth Backstage
At The 2008 Australian Pro.

    I spent some time talking with Melvin Anthony and he told me not to get overawed by it and to just relax. In fact Melvin was a really nice guy; he answered all my questions and even gave me some good tips on posing. I didn't know I was going to learn so much from just this one show.

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[ Q ] You were vastly improved in Australia compared to when I saw you in Auckland a few weeks before.
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    Oh yes, so much. I got down to just over three percent (body fat) for this show and even the guys backstage who were taking the photos spent a lot of time taking photos of me because I was just so hard.

Micheal Kingsnorth
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Michael Kingsnorth At The 2008 Australian Pro.
View More Pics Of Michael Kingsnorth At The 2008 Australian Pro.

    I was just rock hard backstage. I was just as hard as I needed to be and that is probably what landed me in 12th place. The fans just appreciated this; the fan response to the event overall was just amazing. They were just so positive and appreciative and you just felt great.

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[ Q ] Your great basic structure would no doubt have helped also.
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    Yes, narrow waist and wide shoulders. You are born with that and it can't be changed. So the idea now is to add some more muscle onto it. I will aim for 100 kilos then 102, 103 and so on.

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[ Q ] We are now four days out from the New Zealand Pro. What is the goal for you now? More fullness?
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    Yes I think it is going to be much easier this time around to come in fuller. And my tan will be a lot better this week. In Australia I had a chat with Bev Francis and she gave me some good advice on tanning. So I do think I can come in a little bit better this week.

    I will also re-jig my carbohydrate loading. I didn't carbohydrate load at all last week (before the Australian Pro). It was just a case of trying to maintain what I had.

    And with the dehydration I lost a couple of kilos so this time we will change a few things to see if I can come in a couple of kilos fuller.

    Even if I am off by a small percentage, but significantly fuller, this will make a big difference. And the guys that were behind me will probably try to come in harder so I will need to do something different to stay ahead of them.

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[ Q ] What additional adjustments will you make?
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    Well there are a few things. My side chest shot was very good, but my hamstrings were not popping as they should have been, so I will try to work on posing to bring these out better next time. I will also aim to re-jig my abs/thigh pose because I think it is just horrible.

Micheal Kingsnorth
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Michael Kingsnorth At The 2008 Australian Pro.
View More Pics Of Michael Kingsnorth At The 2008 Australian Pro.

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[ Q ] Was the judging fair at the Australian pro in your opinion?
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    Totally. I found that two of the kiwi judges even had me in 13th so this showed me that there was not special treatment given to me. The international judges scored me higher.

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[ Q ] Going into the New Zealand Pro you will now know to a greater extent what to expect from the competition.
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    Yes and one thing I learned: when you get to that level, and when the guys strip down backstage, they are all more than just pretty good.

    Salah (fellow Kiwi bodybuilder) was on 100 percent. When he walked backstage to get ready I looked at his face and thought, "yes he has done the diet".

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    He had an amazing Christmas tree lower back. I said, "Come on we are both from New Zealand, I'm the only one who is allowed a Christmas tree (laughs)." I will have to come up with something else now; maybe I will have to bring a muscular earlobe or something.

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[ Q ] Another of your fellow Kiwi's Moe looked incredible.
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    Yes I recall him and Dexter going head to head there and I feel he had Dexter in many ways, especially in the glute/ham area. His hamstrings were like little guitar strings and were just firing. Incredible.

Dexter Jackson Dexter Jackson
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Dexter Jackson At The 2008 Australian Pro.
View More Pics Of Dexter Jackson At The 2008 Australian Pro.

    The one thing that pleased me was that people were coming up after the show and commenting on how us Kiwi's were so ripped. We were acknowledged as being from New Zealand and shredded to the bone. I thought that was really cool.

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[ Q ] This shows you are 100 percent committed to that show.
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    Yes and I know the promoter Tony Doherty really respects that; the fact that you are coming in at your best, not half-pie (Kiwi expression for half-@ssed).

    You have done the work for the show and he appreciates that. He is not interested in some superstar rocking up and not being at their best, not looking like they care.

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[ Q ] A lot of guys do tend to come into their pro debuts out of shape. Not so with you and Salah.
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    That is true. I can't understand that philosophy: when you are competing in the pros, think of who you will be standing next to.

    I was standing next to Troy Alves and Melvin Anthony. Next to these guys if you are not at 150 percent of your best what are you doing there (laughs)? They would just embarrass you if you don't bring it.

Melvin Anthony Melvin Anthony
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Melvin Anthony At The 2008 Australian Pro.
View More Pics Of Melvin Anthony At The 2008 Australian Pro.

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[ Q ] So for the New Zealand Pro you will be amongst good company yet again.
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    Yes we were looking at lining up at least 20 athletes at one point. I'm not looking at the top ten at this point. I'm looking to beat what I achieved last week (12th place at the Australian Pro). If I can go up one place that will be good - if I look better I'm happy with that.

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[ Q ] You have definitely started well with your pro debut result.
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    Well the judges' will know who I am now so hopefully they will sit there and see a positive change or say, "Mike looks bigger than last week so let's have another look at him." And this time I won't have that feeling of awe.

    When I walked backstage at the Australian Pro my jaw hit the floor and when I walked onstage the same thing happened. Even though Melvin told me not to get overawed it is pretty hard not to be; when you are from New Zealand you don't see these guys frequently.

Micheal Kingsnorth
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Michael Kingsnorth At The 2008 Australian Pro.
View More Pics Of Michael Kingsnorth At The 2008 Australian Pro.

    But this time it is going to be, "these are just friendly, regular guys who are good to hang around with." I noticed that Dexter was totally relaxed before going onstage (at the Australian Pro). I on the other hand was probably pumping up with weights for a good 40 minutes to get ready.

    This time I will be more relaxed and there will be no great rush. If you pump up too soon it is even worse for you I think.

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[ Q ] So you learned a lot in Australia just watching how the season competitors acted and this should position you well for your second pro show in a few days' time?
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    Yes and you would not have to ask, they would just offer advice and so would the judges'. It was fantastic. One thing I learned was how to tan properly. I know that here in New Zealand we are doing it all wrong.

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[ Q ] You would think with the advent of the Internet and improved global communications in general that we here in New Zealand would know all the secrets by now.
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    Well you have to learn it to know it.

Michael Kingsnorth
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Michael Kingsnorth.

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[ Q ] And the guys who know it do not willingly share it?
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    Yes it is often not willingly shared unless you ask. There are just subtle little thing that can make a world of difference to how you look onstage.

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[ Q ] Well I am sure you will bring your best come March 15 in Auckland New Zealand at the Trust Stadium, Henderson. All the best Michael.
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    Thank you David and thanks for your support.