Stunning Bikini Competitor And Model Michelle Hanson Talks To Muscle & Strength

What is your athletic background and how did you get involved with fitness bikini?

I played every sport in high school, was involved with cheerleading and I was a gymnast in elementary school. I started out as a figure competitor 7 years ago and have now moved to Bikini. I love the way it makes your body look and I hate it when a competition diet is going on and I can’t have any sweets.

What do you love most about competition?

It absolutely shows that you can do anything you put your mind to. I love how healthy you feel and the dedication it takes!

Michelle Hanson

What were the major milestones that gave you that “extra” motivation boost?

When I won my first figure show in 2006, when I won overall figure Texas Shredder in 2010, overall bikini Redstick Classic in 2010, 3rd at Jr. USA in 2010, and my most exciting to date was when a major fitness website offered me a contract for 2011.

What keeps you motivated?

The simple fact that I will keep myself looking younger and healthier with my nutrition and training. I want to be around for my daughter and future grandchildren for a very long time.

Who were your heroes growing up and how did they help inspire you to get involved with figure and bikini?

Cory Everson was the first woman I saw with a smoking body. I fell in love with her legs and knew I wanted to look like that some day! Then I really admired Monica Brant and still do these women are amazing and look amazing. This shows that age shouldn’t matter.

Michelle HansonWhat are your future goals, dreams and plans?

I want to take this as far as will go. I want to be able to give advice and help to other single moms and moms overall with their physique, nutrition, goals and activities for their children.

What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?

Cardio is super important (I do an hour a day but I break mine up into two 30 minutes sessions). I train with weights 3 days a week, high reps and medium weight. I also incorporate abs and glute exercises at home as well. Breaking my workouts and cardio into separate sessions throughout the week makes it easier to keep up with and I really enjoy that!

How often do you perform cardio?

I do cardio 7 days a week and I break it into two sessions 30 minutes each.

Do you supplement your weight training and cardio with any other physical activities?

I do pilates, zumba dance classes with my daughter, kickboxing with my daughter, plyometrics once a week as well as ice skating with my daughter too 🙂

How often do you change your training routine, and do you periodize your training?

I change my routine every 4 weeks.

What are your thoughts on fasted cardio?

I think doing cardio on an empty stomach first thing in the morning is wonderful…burn off those remaining calories from the night before.

Which do you prefer, and why…stead state cardio or HIIT?

I prefer high interval cardio because it burns more calories and you don’t have to do it as long as steady pace cardio to get the results you are looking for.

Michelle Hanson

What are some of your best training tips for someone who just wants to look good and ripped, but doesn’t want to compete?

Eat 5 to 6 small healthy meals every day, keep your good carbs first 4 meals and no carbs your last two meal, very important to try and drink at least 3 liters of water everyday to flush out toxins and fat. Be sure to take your multivitamin, be consistent with training and do your cardio at least 5 days a week and up to 45 minutes.

What are your favorite 5 muscle building exercises and why?

Lunges and leg press (great for nice shaped glutes) hamstring curl (great for hams and glutes), shoulder press (pretty rounded shoulder caps), abs (always nice to have a nice stomach).

Michelle HansonWhat are some of the biggest training mistakes you’ve made?

Over-exhausting myself and trying to do to much.

Do you have any gym, muscle building or fitness pet peeves?

I can’t stand it when you are trying to train and people want to stop and socialize because you lose your pump or when you are training and someone will not share the machine and just sits on it. Very frustrating.

What are your best tips for getting ripped and shredded abs?

Work your abs 3 times a week and 3 different exercises. 80% of abs comes from your diet so eat clean and 5 to 6 times a day to keep your metabolism going.

What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?

I take carnitine and Evogen before my cardio sessions, I take a multivitamin and multi-mineral, I love juice plus, I also take glutamine before I go to bed.

What does your off-season bulking (eating) plan look like?

I do not go crazy when I am on my off season. I always remain within 10lbs of my competition weight. I do cheat a little however I feel better when I eat clean and its easier to maintain. I like to keep a nice figure year round.

How do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?

I work two jobs so for me timing is everything. I cook my meals for the week on Sunday.

Do you believe recomping is possible (gaining muscle while losing fat), and if so, is it as difficult as most people think it is?

I absolutely believe it’s possible. It’s not difficult. If you continue to feed the muscle and exercise your body will use the stored fat for energy … eating often and healthy is so important for this to happen.

What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?

Mexican food, caramel apples, tres leches, cheeseburgers with French fries.

Michelle Hanson

What are your thoughts of niche diet approaches like the Paleo diet, Adkins diet, Keto runs, the Warrior diet, Intermittent Fasting, etc.?

All of these work, however, if anyone tries to diet it always comes back so its easier to just have a lifestyle change and pick healthier choices. If your miserable you are not going to continue.

What are your favorite meals and foods?

I love breakfast. It’s my favorite. It is the most filling to me with the oatmeal, egg whites, almond butter. This is my biggest meal and I’m starving when I wake up so it’s my favorite.

Which athletes do you admire any why?

Jamie Eason because she turned a tragedy into something wonderful (she knows nutrition and stays in fantastic shape year round and more importantly she has truly inspired and continues to help others). This sport tends to be selfish so I admire those who are not and give back to others what they have learned through their experiences and knowledge.

Michelle HansonWorkout music – Don’t care, or MP3 player?

I just put my iPod on random.

What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?

Do you live to eat or eat to live!

If you could be one athlete or person for a day, who would it be and why?

Nobody because I am happy to be me.

If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?

Facebook fan page: Michelle Hanson NPC National Bikini Competitor, and or

Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to compete in your sport?

Yes try it and see if you like it.

What attracts you to the natural side of sports and competition?

It’s achievable and anyone can do it.

Favorite activities and hobbies you enjoy when away from the gym?

Scuba diving, horseback riding, bike riding, traveling.

Movies and TV shows you’ve enjoyed recently?

I like Chuck, Regis and Kelly, George Lopez Show, Everybody Hates Chris…these are funny.

Funniest thing you’ve seen at the gym recently?

This guy was trying to show off and he missed his step on treadmill and was thrown off and hit the wall.

Which college or professional sports teams do you root for?

Saints football.

Michelle Hanson

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