NAME: Michelle Nolder
OFFSEASON WEIGHT: 135lbs
CONTEST WEIGHT: 120lbs
DIVISION: Figure & Bodybuilding
CONTEST HISTORY: I have been competing in figure, bodybuilding, and women’s physique within natural organizations since 2010. I’ve taken three pro cards in both figure and in bodybuilding. More recently, my competitions have included:
- 2015 NPC Battle at the Border (Niagara Falls): 1st place, figure B; 1st place figure 35+; Figure Open Overall Champion
- 2015 NPC Greater NY Championship (Syracuse, NY): 1st place, figure medium; 1st place, figure 35+; 1st place, figure 40+; Figure Open Overall Champion
I was encouraged to compete by my friends and the owner of the gym where I train. I didn’t think it was for me. I went through a difficult period of time in my personal life and lost weight. I realized I had a decent amount of muscle. I needed something to think about other than how horrible things were for me at that time, so I decided to register for a competition. I trained really hard and dieted the best way I knew how to at the time. I eventually took the open overall and a pro card. This particular contest prep did wonders for me. I really learned a lot about my true strength and grit. It helped me get through a very miserable time in my life. I turned all of that negativity into muscles and trophies.
I found out about TEAM Warrior Within through a friend of mine, Andrea Ketterman (IFBB Pro), and she recommended Rebecca Mitchell to me. Rebecca has been absolutely wonderful. She understands all aspects of contest prep, both mental and physical. She made me work very hard, but I got the results I wanted. She is prompt with responses to all of my correspondence, and she is very supportive. I’ve even decided to continue with her during my offseason so that I can bring the best possible package to the stage in July when I compete in the NPC Universe. Since we live in different areas of the country, all of our correspondence was via email and we never actually met in person.
The hardest part of prepping for my shows is balance. A lot goes into prepping for a competition and it almost becomes your life, especially in the final weeks. I am always able to get everything done, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed with work, household responsibilities, workouts, cardio, meal prep, etc. You get really good at balancing your time and planning ahead.
For motivation, whenever I feel like sleeping in for morning cardio, or slipping on my diet, or slacking at the gym (and yes, this all happens), I tell myself that the other girls I’ll be standing next to on stage are probably getting up for morning cardio, probably sticking to their diet, and going heavier for longer than I am at the gym. This makes me angry and pushes me into action. When I am working on a particular muscle, I think about how I want it to look on stage.
For somebody looking to get started with competing, I would tell them that if you can’t stick to a diet, don’t do it. Surround yourself with positive people. Be prepared to take plastic containers everywhere you go. Be ready for people to judge and criticize your way of life. Be prepared to spend a lot of money on food and supplements, not to mention a suit, registration, travel expenses, etc. Don’t blame others or make excuses, get your ass in gear, and go after it!
During my prep, I learned that cardio makes me look amazing. I also learned that I was not eating enough in preparation for other competitions. The most important thing is that each time I compete, I improve. Each time I do this, I come in better. Each time I do this I always think there is no possible way I could work harder than I did the last time, and I do. In preparation for a competition, you really get to know your body and how it reacts to exercise and different foods, etc. It’s actually fascinating.
I’d like to thank Rebecca, she is awesome! And moving forward, I plan on doing the NPC Universe in July 2015!