Nicole Wilkins Interview

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Many sculptors, from Michelangelo to Rodin, produced marble statues of the ideal human body. Nowadays, the art of body sculpting is still found in the form of the annual Ms. Figure Olympia contest that brings out the best physiques in the world to battle it out for the title. She is beautiful, ripped, muscular and perfectly proportioned - say hello to the new Ms. Figure Olympia - Nicole Wilkins.

Author: Jonathan.L - owner Models Observer
October 2009

1. Nicole, how are you?

Nicole Wilkins: Fantastic!

2. So, what led you to a career in the fitness industry?

Nicole Wilkins: I was a gymnast for 13 years and had known previous gymnasts that went into the sport of fitness. After attending the 2002 Arnold Classic (as a competitor in gymnastics) and watching the fitness girls perform at the night show, I knew that this was something I had to be a part of. I met my husband that next year (who was a competitive bodybuilder) and he helped me get ready for my first show.

3. At the 2008 IFBB Figure Olympia you've taken the 9th place and last week you became the 2009 Figure Olympia Champion. How has your training and diet changed since last year?

Nicole Wilkins: My diet really was very similar- lower carb, moderate fat and higher protein. The major change I made was the increasing the amount of running I was doing. The main critique I had received from last year was to streamline my legs a bit more to match my upper body. I began running just before the Arnold this year and had continued through the summer. I still lifted upper body heavy (shoulders especially) so that my upper half wouldn't change too much.

4. This year you've entered five competitions and won three competitions in a row, including IFBB New York Pro Figure, IFBB Europa Show of Champions and the massive Figure Olympia. How does your body cope with so many tough figure competitions?

Nicole Wilkins: I have always been the type to perform better at the second show if they are back to back. Maybe it gives me more confidence going into the second show knowing that I am where I need to be. I did the Europa the week after NY Pro Fitness and the Olympia after the NY Pro Figure and won them both as you had mentioned. I believe I have found the weight that I need to be at to look my best.

5. You've had success in so many areas of the industry, as a competitor, international fitness model and personal trainer. What accounts for your tremendous success in so many areas?

Nicole Wilkins: I am extremely self motivated and always try to look at life optimistically. I know that whether or not I put forth 100% effort, I deserve the consequence good or bad. I don't dwell on the bad, I just make improvements for the future. I am always trying to learn new things and challenge myself.

6. Are champions made or born? What effect does genetics play in championship athletes like you? Are you naturally endowed with perfect physique, or do the changes in muscles shape / dimension occur mainly by vigorous fitness training?

Nicole Wilkins: Champions are made, however you can be born with great genetics. I know many athletes that are extremely talented but don't do anything with it. I can honestly say that I have worked very hard for the way my physique looks today. I was a gymnast for a majority of my life which I contribute to the width of my back and the sweep of my quads. When I ended my gymnastics career, I began vigorous fitness training in the gym with weights to improve on my weak areas. However, if you look at my family, no one works out on a regular basis like I do, so it is hard to know how much my genetics have played a roll. To answer your question, I think it is a little bit of both.

7. Describe your cardio routine (type, duration, frequency), pre-contest and off season.

Nicole Wilkins: Precontest it ranges from 45min to 2hrs 6-7 days a week. Offseason I do 5-6 days of 45-60min. I am really big into cross training. Each cardio machine or workout works different muscles. To avoid overuse injuries and to keep it fun, mix it up!

8. What do you feel is your most outstanding body part?

Nicole Wilkins: Probably with width and conditioning of my back.

9. How much time do you spend practicing posing for your shows?

Nicole Wilkins: Everyday for about 10min. I offer one on one posing sessions at our studio so I will practice for an hour with the girls during that time too.

10. How do you pick the right competition suit?

Nicole Wilkins: I work with a fantastic suit designer. When I pick the colors, I try to choose colors girls have never worn. I love mixing colored stones with different wild fabrics.

11. Tell me about Top Shape Fitness studio.

Nicole Wilkins: Top Shape Fitness is a one on one personal training studio that my husband and I own in Sterling Heights, MI. We work with individuals ranging from ages 12-95, men and women, athletes and seniors, weight loss to muscle gain, and NPC competitors. We have been open for almost 5 years now. You can check us out at

12. You are a role model to many women. What's your advice to women looking to compete or get into the fitness lifestyle?

Nicole Wilkins: #1. Hire a trainer and listen to that person ONLY. #2 Research and never be afraid to ask questions, #3 Attend a show before competing in one and #4 Attend a local posing seminar if available.

13. So tell me what is the best memory from your wedding day?

Nicole Wilkins: The best memory is walking down the aisle and seeing Alan at the alter. The whole night was amazing.

14. How does your husband help you with your Fitness shows?

Nicole Wilkins: He is my #1 fan. He is with me at every show I do, helps me grocery shop and cook and he is always there for support and motivation. I couldn't do this without him.

15. What is the craziest thing that you have ever done?

Nicole Wilkins: Geez this is a tough one...ha I'm not that adventurous! I am always up for trying new things.

16. Your favorite health food? And cheat food?

Nicole Wilkins: Health food- Oatmeal. Cheat food- a loaded salad or anything chocolate in chocolate with chocolate on top.

17. Away from working out what do you like to do?

Nicole Wilkins: I am much more of a home body than a party animal. I enjoy movies, shopping, traveling, cooking and spending time with friends and family.

18. I see you like funny, action, and romantic movies, What's the best movie you've seen recently?

Nicole Wilkins: The most recent movie I saw was Julie and Julia. Very good- highly recommended.

19. So what's up next for Nicole?

Nicole Wilkins: Right now I am going to prepare for the Arnold and hope to be the first figure pro to win the Olympia and the Arnold!

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Nicole Wilkins

Nicole Wilkins