Michelle Cleverly- Physique Competitor

Michelle: Coming from an Athletic background I have always enjoyed gym work to supplement my sports goals. At the age of 24 I was still training but was newly married and had a family to raise. In 2010 after dedicating my life to being a mother of six children I thought it was time to get this body back into shape. I started back in the gym and began weight training gaining more strength, muscle definition and stamina and I did not see my age and the fact that Id had so many children as being a barrier. Competition was a natural progression and once I started to see good results at the beginning of 2014 I decided it was time for me to get on stage and compete.

My nutrition plan, posing, and training program was prepared by an amazing woman and good friend Michelle Nazaroff from Nazafit. I found Nazafit eating plans delicious and high in nutrition. This eating plan suited my lifestyle and the goals I had set for competing. It required six meals a day prepared fresh daily and included one cheat meal a week to help re boot my metabolism and kept my mind and body in check.

I would see Michelle once a month where she would take my body fat measurements and progress photos. As I got closer to the competition date my calorie intake was reduced and the training program remained the same. At times I found the calorie restrictions difficult to maintain due to the heavy training and cardio however my resolve and determination to be the best kept me on track.

My first bodybuilding competition was held in Sydney on the 13th of July 2014 where I placed 1st in The IFBB Women's Open Physique Division. I went on to compete again a few months later in Perth on the 9th of October 2014 at The Omara Classic where I placed 1st in The IFBB Open Women's Physique and IFBB Women's Overall Physique. This qualified me for the Nationals in Sydney two weeks later. It was a good experience competing against elite physique competitors from all states, I learned a lot that I can apply to future competitions and placed in the top five.

In my off season I did not get too crazy with my eating. I added a few more carbs, lean meat and protein to my diet and also added in 2 cheat meals a week so I was not depriving myself of some of the food I really enjoyed.

In the past I have tried different diets but I found they never worked for me simply because they were either tasteless, lacking nutrition or unable to meet my nutrition requirements.

The supplements I am taking at the moment are 2 x Juice Plus vege and fruit tabs each morning,5g Glutamine, BCAAS, Creatine, Vitargo, Isolyze Whey Protein and Casein Protein. I have found my body has responded well to these supplements giving me extra boost before, during and after my workouts. My recovery is better and I can train more often.

My new weight training programme consists of 6 days of fasted cardio for 45mins each morning, then I weight train different body parts each day for 1 hour. I usually do biceps and triceps together. I also do two leg sessions a week now to help improve my legs and calves and have been concentrating a lot more on developing my delts and back.

Bodybuilding is an art form so attention to detail is needed to sculpt a well proportioned and symmetrical physique. You can have large muscles but they must be proportionate to the other body parts or an uneven and awkward body shape can develop.
In order to balance my training and diet I have a very well organised routine and I make sure to stick to it. It is important to settle into a routine that gives you the time to train, recover and balance other responsibilities. As most sports dictate, it is all or nothing, meaning it is critical to decide at the beginning of every journey to have a plan and be prepared to give up many of life's indulgences to achieve the dream. For some this is easy because the gym is an addiction which is in the blood, it is not something we have to do, it is something we love to do. Some of the benefits such as being stronger, looking sexier, having stamina and high energy levels makes it all worth the effort.

At the moment I am helping others train and allowing my metabolism to recover from a very rigorous years training and a few illnesses that have made me quite sick. My future plan is to compete at the end of this year and I am enjoying my off season physique which is slowly gaining the size I think is needed for high level competition. I would love one day to get my IFBB Pro card.

Email: michelle.cleverly@hotmail.com
FB: Michelle Cleverly

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Michelle Cleverly

Michelle Cleverly
Photo by Theron Kirkman