Keeping Fit: IFBB pro Michelle Brown says nutrition key to physique transformation
Michelle Brown hits the gym intensely. And often.
But the IFBB pro figure competitor admits that the real magic happens in her kitchen.
“Nutrition is about 80% of what I do,” the 45-year-old resident of Los Gatos, Calif., tells Keeping Fit by phone. “Because if you’re not putting in good food to build muscle, and/or putting in the right food to lose weight — depending on which portion of the plan you’re in — you’re kind of working out for no reason at all.”
Brown learned this early in her training.
She started pumping iron at the age of 35 after getting out of a “not-so-great relationship.” That was a decade ago and back then, the five-foot-five Brown weighed 137 pounds.
“Even though I wasn’t big, I had a lot of fat on me,” she recalls, noting her bodyfat percentage was measured at 26%.
Brown — a gymnast, softball player, competitive cheerleader, long distance runner and tennis player in her younger years — took to weight training immediately.
“I started going to some trainers and I loved it,” she recalls. “I started hitting goals and would go more and more.”
But her physique didn’t truly begin to transform until she cleaned up her diet — something she wasn’t too keen about doing initially.
“I’m like, ‘What? Oh, I don’t want to do that,’” she chuckles. “But then I was like, ‘OK.’ I hired a nutritionist and started changing my food around and smashed all those goals.”
Until then, Brown admittedly had subsisted on “crap food,” including plenty of pizza, burgers and french fries.
“It was literally fast food every day until the age of 35,” she adds. “I didn’t know any different.”
Once she got the nutrition part down pat and completely revamped her diet, Brown eventually began searching for new goals to “smash.” It was around that time she was introduced to bodybuilding and attended a local show as a spectator.
“I was floored,” she remembers. “I was like, ‘Oh I want to be that girl right there.’ I took a picture of this one girl and called up my trainer the next day and said this is what I’m doing.”
Her trainer told her she was “insane,” as Brown recalls.
“And I was like, ‘Good! Bring it on!”
Brown made her competitive debut in 2008 at a regional show — where she finished second and third in a pair of figure classes — before becoming a certified personal trainer.
Over the years, she has honed her physique and climbed the competitive ranks, while amassing several other fitness certifications and training clients to help them achieve their own health and wellness goals.
Last year, Brown earned a coveted IFBB pro card by virtue of her “masters figure 40-plus” class victory at the 2015 NPC Team Universe championships.
“I’m here to show people that if you really want something, it’s totally possible,” she enthuses. “If you want it, you can go out there and just make it happen.”
These days, Brown weighs a chiselled 121 pounds — with a bodyfat percentage at 8-9%.
She says she reduces her bodyfat to an ultra-lean 2% for contests.
Now that’s ripped!
The key, Brown notes, is ingesting the right daily balance of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat).
“Working out is of benefit. But until you get the right amount of carbs, fat and protein, it’s not going to work for you as fast as it would if you did,” she explains.
“And it’s a big game because everybody’s body is totally different. What works for me may not work for the next person because our bodies absorb things differently.”
All three “macros,” as they’re often called, play crucial roles in achieving good health — even carbs, which have suffered from a poor public image in recent years amid the low-carb and no-carb trends.
“Carbs are necessary,” Brown notes. “Carbs are brain food. When you go without carbs, you’ll notice that you are forgetful, you’re very fatigued and you feel like you’re just drained the whole day.”
It’s also important to note that a physical transformation takes time. Brown’s road to IFBB pro status, for instance, took seven years.
The affable blonde advises making gradual — rather than drastic — changes.
“It’s the small actions you take in your daily life,” she says, “that make the big end result.”
She's pretty awesome...and hot. Motivating
MILF for sure!
Originally Posted by Iron-game
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