Melissa Norgart – Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Melissa Norgart
- Height: 5’2″
- Weight: 119 pounds
- Date of Birth: 11/19/1972
- Hair Color: Brown
- Bust: 34
- Waist: 24
- Hips: 33
- Location: Florida
- Website: facebook.com/fitchick1119
Melissa Norgart – Fitness Model Interview
What is your background?
Growing up as an athlete, I gained a renewed interest in a fit lifestyle after I encountered some health problems in 2007. I became determined to be a healthy role model for my children as well as other women. I enjoy working out and living a healthy lifestyle, as well as sharing my passion for fitness and inspiring others. I am a fitness model, and NPC figure competitor working hard to become an IFBB pro. I hold a B.S. in Psychology, and I am currently working on my Master’s as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. I am also an I.A.F.S. and N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer, as well as an I.Y.C.A. Certified High School Strength & Conditioning Coach, and I.Y.C.A. Certified Youth Nutrition Specialist.
How did you get started in the fitness field?
After encountering serious health problems in 2007, I was forced to take an honest look at the unhealthy lifestyle I was leading. As a widow, and single mother of 2, I knew that I had to do everything in my power to turn my health and my life around. I started eating healthy and working out. I was amazed at the changes I started to see. This fueled my passion, and I became hungry to learn everything that I possibly could. The more I learned, the more I changed. This led me to want to help others that had been in my shoes.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
I love the way living a healthy lifestyle makes me feel, but I really love the opportunities it has given me to meet amazing people, and help them change their lives.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
Last year I approached my local city council about the possibility of them doing a Mayor’s Fitness Challenge. To my delight, they accepted my proposal, and I helped organize the Inaugural DeBary Mayor’s Fitness Challenge. The event was such a success that the city has decided to make it an annual event, and they have asked me to help organize it.
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?
I think that’s a personal preference. I know models that do both. I feel that it is safer to use an agency. Especially for a model just starting out with little to no contacts in the field.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
After getting my kids off to school, I start my day with a little morning cardio. Immediately after that I eat breakfast, followed by strength training. Then my day launches into training clients, and working on school work for my Master’s degree. In the evening I teach boot camps at a local fitness center. Sprinkled throughout my day is LOTS of eating (clean eating that is)! I eat every 3 hours.
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 like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This is when you work at a high intensity for 30 seconds to a minute, then at a lower intensity (also known as active recovery) for a minute or two. One of my favorite things to do for cardio is outdoor hill sprints. I have a hill near my house that I sprint up and walk down 10 times. It takes about 20 minutes, but is a great fat burning workout.
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
I always tell my clients to not really focus so much on the scale. Instead focus on how they look, how they feel, and how their clothes fit. Muscle is more dense than fat (pound for pound) so it takes up less space.
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?
For pre-workout, I stick the basic rule of protein and carbohydrates. I consume 25 grams of protein via lean meat or egg whites and 25 grams of carbohydrates (my favorites are sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and Ezekial bread). The purpose of the pre-workout meal is to give you energy to power through your workout, reduce muscle glycogen depletion, reduce muscle protein breakdown, and reduce post-workout cortisol levels. I usually eat my pre-workout meal about an hour before a workout. My post-workout meal follows the same protocol as my pre-workout meal, 25 grams of protein and 25 grams of carbohydrates. The goal of the post-workout meal is to replenish muscle glycogen that you depleted during the workout, reduce muscle protein breakdown that exercise causes, increase muscle protein synthesis, reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, reduce cortisol levels, and enhance overall recovery. My post-workout meal is usually extra lean ground turkey and rice. I consume it within 30 minutes of my workout.
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 have a checklist that I run through. First, is it even time for me to eat yet? I have found that by eating every 3 hours, I don’t get the food cravings and the desire to graze like I used to. I also stay full until it’s time for me to eat again. If it’s not time for me to eat, I drink 8-16 ounces of water. This will fill me up easily. Next, I ask myself if I am just bored. Often times if I am just bored my thoughts may linger to fatty foods which trigger cravings. If I find that I absolutely must have something, I refer to my healthy recipes that I have been collecting over the years that satisfy whatever craving I may have that just won’t go away. This way I kill the craving, NOT my healthy eating.
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?
Extra lean ground turkey, chicken breasts, extra lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, any kind of white fish, salmon, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, quinoa, rice, Ezekial bread, plain non-fat Greek yogurt, whey protein (my favorites are Dymatize ISO-100 Chocolate and Image Weight Loss Whey Vanilla Graham Cracker), Unsweetened vanilla almond milk, coconut oil, nut butter, asparagus, spinach, green beans. These are just a few of the staple items I always buy.
I’m about 35 pounds overweight. 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 recommend to start with reading food labels and watching portion sizes. Try to eat 5-6 small meals per day timed to about every 3 hours. You don’t want all of your efforts in the gym thwarted by poor eating habits. Next, I recommend strength training AND cardio a few times a week to get started. Also do little things like park further away from a building, take the stairs instead of the elevator, plan an outdoor activity on the weekend like hiking or biking a trail, canoeing, etc.
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?
Unless you know how to eat at one, stay away from a salad bar. The average salad bar ends up containing more fat and calories than a cheeseburger. Stick to either grilled chicken, fish or sirloin steak. Order them without sauces (this is where a lot of fat and calories are hiding). Order the steamed veggies or side salad with fat-free dressing or like I do, ask for balsamic vinegar (not the vinaigrette dressing but the plain vinegar). I also order water or unsweet tea. There are tons of calories in the things that we drink, so remember that when you’re ordering.
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
I have a day specifically dedicated to training glutes. I split my legs up into a 3 day training split. Monday is hamstrings, Wednesday is quads and calves, and Friday is glutes. Specifically for the glutes I try to hit the glutes from different angles. My workouts change all the time but I do various types of squats, cable kick backs, weighted walking lunges, and vertical leg press (which is my favorite for working that glute/hamstring area). I also do all of my cardio on an incline. I love my incline trainer which I can crank up to an incline of 40!
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
For me being a mother of 2 and prepping for competitions has been challenging at times, especially when it comes to the contest prep diet. There’s so much that I can’t have when I am prepping for a competition, not that it’s necessarily unhealthy, but I just can’t have it during prep. Dieting with children should be an Olympic sport!
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
- Breakfast: 5 egg whites, 1/2 cup oatmeal (measured dry) made with unsweetened vanilla almond, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Mid-Morning Snack: 2 slices Ezekial bread with coconut oil, and a protein shake (8 ounces of unsweetened almond coconut milk, 1 scoop whey protein).
- Lunch: 4 ½ ounces of extra lean ground turkey with 4 ounces of sweet potatoes.
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: 8 ounces of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 scoop Image Weight Loss Whey Protein Vanilla Graham Cracker flavor, ¾ cup blueberries, and stevia to taste.
- Dinner: 5 ounces of fish (either white fish or salmon) and fresh veggies (my favorite is asparagus).
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
Strength Training Exercises: I train 6 days a week. I split my strength training up; Monday is hamstrings, Tuesday is biceps and triceps, Wednesday is quads and calves, Thursday is shoulders, Friday is glutes, and Saturday is back. By splitting them up like this, I am able to get a workout in at the gym and not spend half a day there. I focus on symmetry and proportion when I train, so I make sure to hit the muscle at different angles. I also use a lot of single limb movements to make sure that I am training both limbs equally. It’s normal to have one arm or leg a little bigger than the other, but by focusing on each limb alone it minimizes this.
Cardio Exercises: I switch up my cardio so that I don’t get bored. I love the versatility of my incline trainer for this purpose. It can go on an incline as high as 40% or decline as low as 6%. Some days I’ll do sprint intervals on the incline trainer or outdoor hill sprints, and other days I’ll strap on 10 pound ankle weights and crank up the incline trainer on a super high incline and walk at a speed of 2.
Additional Training: Every few days I throw circuit training into my routine. I also switch up and will use resistance training or my TRX system.
How does your family and friends react to and deal with your strict fitness lifestyle (dieting, eating out, workouts, parties)?
My family and friends are very supportive. I couldn’t do what I do without their love and support. I have even made some healthy recipes for family gatherings during the holidays that were a huge hit, like my protein sweet potato casserole.
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Drink plenty of water! I aim for a gallon a day.
2. Eat small frequent meals (5 to 6 meals per day, every 3 hours).
3. Don’t consume complex carbs after 3pm (we are usually less active in the evenings so we don’t have the opportunity to burn off the carbs. Carbs are for energy, and what we don’t use is stored as fat).
4. Strength train! Ladies, you will NOT look like a man. You want that toned look? Strength training is what will give you that. Not to mention, strength training can boost your metabolism.
5. Cardio! I recommend 20-30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle?
1. Eat to grow! Make sure that you’re eating enough protein and carbs to build muscle, but make sure that it is clean eating. Often times you hear the phrase bulking when people are eating pizza, burgers, and junk. This will pack on size via fat but not muscle. In order to put on muscle, up your caloric intake. Eat more of the same foods you would eat to lose weight. Increasing your healthy fat intake is an easy way to raise your caloric intake. For example, add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to a protein shake you would normally drink plain. Peanut butter has 190 calories and 16 grams of fat per serving (2 tablespoons).
2. Eat protein with every meal. I eat 25 grams of protein 5-6 times a day.
3. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest. This means not overtraining muscle groups by training the same muscles every day. Also, get plenty of sleep because our muscles grow when they are resting.
4. Cut back on the amount of steady state cardio that you do. Stick toHIIT cardio for 20 minutes.
5. Make sure to include glutamine and BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) in your supplementation.
What is the most important thing you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
Set your goals, and make sure that they are reasonable and attainable. Next, break them up into short term and long term goals. Review your goals on a weekly basis to monitor your progress, and re-evaluate your goals on a monthly basis. The most important thing to help keep you on track once you have started is variety. You do not want to get bored with your fitness routine or you won’t feel like sticking to it at all.
What is your training routine like?
Monday: Hamstrings – All exercises 4 sets of 12 reps. (Superset) Assisted Hamstring Curls & Stability Ball Curls. (Superset) Dumbbell deadlifts and Single leg dumbbell deadlifts. (Superset) Weighted step ups and Standing hamstring curls on Free Motion machine. Cardio: 30 minutes on incline trainer at 20% incline with 10 pound ankle weights at speed of 2.
Tuesday: Biceps and Triceps – All exercises 4 sets of 12 reps. (Superset) hammer curl, elevated cable curl, and static curls. (Superset) low cable curl with V-bar, incline dumbbell curl, and preacher curl (Superset) weighted bench dips and V-bar push downs (Superset) overhead dumbbell tricep extensions and skull crushers. Cardio: Outdoor Hill Sprints (sprint uphill, walk down 10 times).
Wednesday: Quads – 4 sets of 12. (Superset) leg extensions 12 reps with toes in and 12 with toes out, single leg leg press, jump squats. (Superset) Smith machine squats close stance, weighted one legged squats holding weight over head, and jump rope for 60 seconds Calves – 4 sets (1st set 18, then 15, 12, & 18 again) Superset – seated calves, single leg standing, on leg press. Cardio – 30 minutes incline trainer start incline at 40% for 5 minutes, 35% for 5 minutes, 30% for 5 minutes, 25% for 5 minutes, 20% for 5 minutes, and -6% (downhill) for 5 minutes.
Thursday: Shoulders – 4 sets of 12 (Straight Sets) diagonal dumbbell raises, cable cross rear delts, one-arm bent over cable lateral raise, side lateral dumbbell raises, incline rear delts, bus drivers, and one-arm iso-lateral press. Cardio – Outdoor Hill Sprints – Sprint uphill, walk down 10 times.
Friday: Glutes – 4 sets of 12 (Straight Sets) Smith machine lunge squat combo with a 6/10 split 6 lunges on each leg followed by 10 squats, box jumps, weighted walking lunge squat combo with a 6/10 split 6 lunges on each leg followed by 10 squats, leg press 5 sets of 20 with 20 seconds rest. Cardio – 30 minutes incline trainer at 20% incline with 10 pound ankle weights at speed of 2.
Saturday: Back – 4 sets of 15. (Superset) seated row close grip and seated row wide grip (Superset) Wide grip lat pull down and assisted pull ups (Superset) Dumbbell pullovers and straight arm pushdowns widegrip. No cardio.
What type of nutritional supplements do you currently use and which ones do you recommend for a beginner getting started on a fitness program?
I use ROC Supplements BCAAs, Beta Alanine, and Rush. I use GNC’s 2500 Glutamine power chews. 1,000 mg vitamin C, multivitamins, ALA, CLA. Whey protein (Dymatize ISO-100 Chocolate and Image Weight Loss Whey Vanilla Graham Cracker).
What is your favorite healthy food or meal you really enjoy eating? Also, what is your favorite cheat meal or food you like to indulge in from time to time?
I really enjoy salmon or orange roughy. I have a sweet tooth, so I love baked goods or a really fresh doughnut occasionally.