Michele Wood Fitness Model Interview and Photos

fitness models photos michele woodName: Michele Wood
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 124 pounds
Date of Birth: June 30th
Hair Color: Brown
Bust: 34
Waist: 25
Hips: 34
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Website: twitter.com/Michelewood50

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fitness models photos michele wood

What is your background?

I was born and raised in the inner city of Chicago. I was always athletic as a child and fell in love with the sport of gymnastics at the age of 4. I was a competitive gymnast until the age of 17. I left for the Army after I completed high school. I have since pursued a career in law enforcement. I competed in the Figure and Bikini Divisions with The Natural Bodybuilding Association, Fitness America and NPC and have been lucky enough to become a Nationally ranked bikini competitor. I have appeared in several fitness magazines and works as a demo model with the supplement company MHP Maximum Human Performance. Most recently, I was featured on the ABC TV Show called Take the Money and Run. I'm married to a fellow MHP athlete and bodybuilder and we enjoy living a healthy lifestyle and encouraging others to do the same.

How did you get started in the fitness field?

I have always been involved in fitness. I was a competitive gymnast as a child. I was an aerobics instructor and personal trainer for a few years when I decided that I wanted to take my fitness to the next level and compete in Figure and Bikini Competitions.

What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?

I love being around other like minded individuals. It's a great way to stay on track especially during the holidays. Most of all it is a great break and escape from the stress of my full-time job and it's always an honor to work as a fitness model at the fitness expos like the Arnold Classic and Olympia.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?

Although I recently have taken a break from competing due to my "real" job commitments, my biggest accomplishment while competing was being lucky enough to consistently place in the top 5 at national shows and being featured in many fitness magazines.

The biggest accomplishment for me personally is being able to assist other competitors as a coach with posing, training, dieting and all of the other small details that come before stepping on stage. I have also helped co-workers lose weight and get into great shape. I love seeing other people reach their goals. It's cheesy but true.

What is the best way to get started in the fitness modeling industry? Should I just contact the photographers directly or should I use an agency?

The best way to get started in my opinion is to get on stage and compete. Before you do that though, make sure you watch a show and see what it's all about. If competing isn't for you, you can contact supplement companies and ask to work as a demo model at the various trade shows. Use caution when dealing with fitness "photographers" because there are a lot of sleaze balls out there with a camera who claim to be photographers.

Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?

No day is typical for me but usually I start the day with a protein shake. I make the shake with protein powder, green food powder, chia seeds a few berries and glutamine. I wait about an hour or so and start getting ready for the gym. I train at the gym for about 2 hours and follow my workout with a protein filled meal or a shake and oatmeal. After that I run errands and come home and try to relax before work. I work nights and often work a lot of overtime. If I get stuck at work I will adjust my training schedule to allow myself enough time to sleep. I always have healthy snacks with me for this reason.

I don’t have that much time during the day to workout, so I really want to burn major calories in a short amount of time. What is the #1 “bang for the buck” cardio exercise I should do to burn serious calories?

I think jumping rope, sprinting or plyometrics are the best things to do when you are short on time. You can also throw in some push ups, burpees and lunges. I can always find time to complete a 30 minute session.

How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?

I don't think you should ever lose more than 2 pounds a week.

What type of food or supplements should I take before and after my workouts to help me see results in gaining lean muscle and losing fat?

I think carnitine and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is great for fat loss. I'm also a big fan of amino acids especially glutamine which I take throughout the day and especially at night. Glutamine minimizes the breakdown of muscle and helps with protein metabolism.

How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food? I can stay on a diet for maybe a few weeks but I eventually get really bad cravings and binge on snacks and fast foods.

I allow myself one cheat day a week. Usually after a cheat day I am looking forward to getting back on track. I also have a bunch of healthy recipes that help me get through the week. Hot sauce makes everything better and tea is a nice treat and it helps me with cravings. A little square of dark chocolate here and there won't hurt either.

I’m trying to create a healthy shopping list to stick with. What are some of the main foods I should include to maintain a lean and muscular physique?

I am a creature of habit so my shopping list always looks the same. Chicken, fish (usually mahi mahi or barramundi), eggs, oatmeal, sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, mixed berries, Ezekiel bread, almond or peanut butter and MHP Probolic Protein Powder.

I’m about 35 pounds over weight. I have never started an exercise program and really don’t know where to start. What tips can you give me to get started on the right track?

I would start with a physician and get a full check up and blood work to make sure everything is working properly. Then I would focus on doing things like walking instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of the elevator while cleaning up your diet. In my opinion diet is just as important as exercise. You can workout every day and continue to make unhealthy food choices and not lose a pound. Once you are ready, join a gym or find a buddy to run or walk with you. If you do join a gym I would suggest hiring a trainer to get you started. This can help you avoid any injuries.

I tend to eat out most of the time and really don’t know what healthy foods to order from the menu. What tips do you recommend for eating out at restaurants to make sure my diet will not suffer?

I think it's best to stick with chicken cooked plain with no sauce or seasonings and a green salad. A little oil and vinegar for dressing isn't too bad.

What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?

Squats and lunges are the best exercise for your booty as well as the stair mill and stair climber.

What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?

The most challenging thing is not being able to go out to dinner and splurge with friends. I do believe that you should allow yourself a little treat here and there but having happy hour every night will show.

Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?

Breakfast: Protein shake with mixed berries and ¼ cup oatmeal with cinnamon.

Mid-Morning Snack: Hard boiled eggs with a piece of whole grain toast or Ezekiel toast.

Lunch: Boneless skinless chicken breast with brown rice and broccoli and cauliflower mixed together.

Mid-Afternoon Snack: Protein shake mixed with berries and 4 ounces of almond milk and 4 ounces of water and ¼ cup of oatmeal.

Dinner: Chicken salad with hard-boiled egg and oil and vinegar dressing.

What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?

Strength Training Exercises: I do a combination of free weights and machines.

Cardio Exercises: Jump rope and stair climber.

Additional Training: I'm a big fan of push ups and dips.

What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?

1. Push ups (works chest but also works arms).

2. Pull-ups (assisted if it's too difficult).

3. Tricep kickbacks.

4. Seated preacher curls.

5. Dips (concentrating on proper form and squeezing triceps).

What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?

1. Fasted cardio if you're healthy enough to do so.

2. Supplementing with carnitine for fat loss.

3. Doing cardio 5 times a week.

4. Get an exercise diary and diet journal so you can record everything you eat and every exercise you perform.

5. After a few successful weeks of dieting allow yourself one cheat meal a week!

What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?

1. Incorporate protein, carbs and fat into each meal.

2. Lift weights that are heavy enough to exhaust you at 10-15 reps.

3. Perform weight training exercises for each body part.

4. If you are new to working out, hire a trainer to demonstrate different exercises.

5. Eat 5-6 small meals a day opposed to 3 large meals.

What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change:

1. Get a journal and keep it with you.

2. Hang out with liked minded people.

3. Subscribe to one of your favorite fitness magazines.

4. Allow yourself a cheat meal for special occasions.

5. Get rid of all the junk food in the house!

What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details - training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)

Monday: Leg day. I always perform a minimum of 6 exercises with 4 sets and a minimum of 15-20 reps per set. I also do 30-45 minutes of cardio.

Tuesday: Back and biceps with 30-45 minutes of cardio. My routines change weekly.

Wednesday: Chest. My routine changes weekly but consists of a lot of push-ups and bodyweight exercises.

Thursday: Plyometrics or Trainology Class (consists of endurance and stability
training).

Friday: Triceps and shoulders.

Saturday: 40-60 minutes of cardio. I like to do the stair climber or stair stepper.

Sunday: Rest day!

What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for losing fat around the stomach and developing a toned and defined midsection?

1. I think abs are made in the kitchen so clean eating is very important!

2. Steer clear of diet sodas which cause bloat.

3. Eat a lower-carb (not no carb!) diet.

4. I'm a big fan of drinking lots of water.

5. Stay away from sugar as much as possible.

What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?

1. Perform plyometric exercises like jump lunges and jump squats.

2. Once or twice a week do squats, squats and more squats!

3. Front lunges, lateral lunges, lunges and knee lifts, and split squats.

4. Sprinting and running stairs.

5. Clean eating!

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