Sunday, January 24, 2010

IFBB Pro Colette Nelson Interview

If you know bodybuilding, then you know Colette Nelson. Colette is one of the most popular figures in the sport. People love her for her beauty, her amazing physique, her friendsly out going personality, and her knowledge. Whether it be one of those things or several, if you ask fans of the sport or followers of the sport, or even those involved in the sport, who their favorites are, you sually will see Colette's name on that list. SO I am proud to post this interview will Colette and elt you know more about her. ALso do not forget to check her out on

Q: First Colette, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. It is an honor.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I'm from Royal Oak, Michigan, just outside of Detroit. Have one sister and two wonderful parents!

Q: Were you always an active person. Play any sports or anything?
A: Yes, always bundles of energy, but never could play any sports. In fact I was always the last person picked in school for gym class. But... I love theatre and dance, which I started at age 6. I always wanted to be the center of attention! Type A personality. I was in a singing choir in high school, I was a cheerleader, in an elite singing group, danced for the school, was on the honor society, and ran for class president. I was insatiable. I couldn't be stopped. While at MSU I taught A LOT of aerobics classes and ran the aerobics program!

Q:I believe it was age 12 where you were diagnosed with diabetes. For those who don't know, can you share a little about what that is.
A: With Type 1 Diabetes, or Diabetes Milletus, the body does not produce insulin. A hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy. Blood sugar has to be constantly monitored, regularly checked, and in the case of Type 1 you need insulin to LIVE. I inject insulin with every meal and micro manage my blood sugars to make sure I avoid all the complications associated with diabetes.

Q: Do you find it in anyway is a detriment to your training?
A: No, not in the least. In fact it keeps me more focused. I need to eat 6 small meals and stay active to keep my blood sugars good and this fits right into the bodybuilding lifestyle.

Q: Is there any place you recommend where people can read more about it and become more educated?
A: The American Diabetes Association ( is a great resource.

Q: As a Michigan fan, I will forgive that you went to Michigan State. What did you study there.
A: I studied Dietetics and minored in Dance.

Q: Did you continue your education after MSU?
A: Yes, I went on to complete my graduate studies at NYU and earned a Masters of Science in Nutrition.

Q: At age 19 you went to the Powerhouse Gym and started training. Why did you start training and what made you fall in love with weight training?
A: It is actually a funny story. I started teaching aerobics at 17 years old and ran the aerobics program at MSU. I wanted to start teaching at a gym and never really worked out with weights much at this point. Then, I met a bodybuilder that told me one day I could be a professional bodybuilder if I stopped doing all those aerobics and started training with weights. I was hooked ever since.

Q: At 24 you started doing local shows. What made you decide to compete?
A: It's something I was encouraged to do and wanted to give it a shot! After 6 years of lifting under my belt I was ready to give it a go! But the true motivation was my boyfriend at the time, Domingo Tanco, an accomplished natural bodybuilder. He encouraged me to step on stage.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported?
A: In the beginning my parents didn't understand why I would want to put on muscle. I came from a dance background where it was in style to be thin. My whole family is naturally thin so the idea of muscle was a little unusual for them. But, once they saw me compete and on stage they fell in love with the art form.

Q: Was that first show what you expected it to be? Did anything surprise you?
A: My first show was in 1998, a natural show in New York City with the WNBF, a natural bodybuilding organization. I won..... and I couldn't believe it. I enjoyed the whole journey and performance aspect of the competition. I was hooked.

Q: Then you went to Detroit and did your first NPC Qualifier, which you won. What made you decide to do that show, and what did it feel like to win your first big show?
A: This was an amateur show associated with the World Pro Bodybuilding Expo and Competition. It was a big National Qualifier and first NPC show. I wanted to compete in Michigan and have my family there to support me and see me on stage. It was probably one of the most memorable shows because I had friends, family, and cousins, etc., in the audience.

Q: What do you consider your best body part, or the one you get the most compliments on?
A: Upper chest..... I have a naturally thick developed upper chest...... a lot of guys are jealous.

Q: Is there a part you most enjoy training?
A: Chest or back.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I train a different body part every day: Legs, Chest/Tri's, Back/Bi's, Shoulders, and Arms.... all on their own day with 1 1/2 hour of cardio each day (including a warm-up). For contest prep, I add in another hour of cardio in the morning before breakfast. I follow a low carb/keto diet all year round and try to eat fish at least once a day. Love fish! During contest prep, I cut the cheats way down or out completely and stay REALLY strict.

Q: When someone sees your physique for the first time what is the most common response? More positive or negative?
A: Positive. Overwhelmingly positive. Usually people won't go out of there way to tell me something negative.

Q: When they see it that first time, is there one question you are sick of hearing?
A: "How much do you lift?" LOL

Q: Are there any major misconceptions about female bodybuilders or things you wish people understood?
A: We're still women. Like to shop, go out, go to the spa, and all that. Some people see us and assume female bodybuilders want to be like men because of our physiques.

Q: You are one of the more popular women in the sport. Do you think that it is because you are very beautiful, admiration of the physique, that you are so outgoing, a combination of those, or something else?
A: I really don't know but I'm very grateful for it. I am always friendly and I make it my business to help ladies with hair/make-up and tanning. I love the sport and want to give back as much as I can.

Q: If someone came up to you and said they wanted to start bodybuilding, what is the one piece of advice you would want to give them?
A: The diet is 85% of how you look, so you can train as hard as you want, but if you're diet isn't on point, then you don't see the rewards from the gym. Really, that is the most important piece of it.... that and being consistent with everything you do including training, sleeping, eating on schedule, and regular chiropractor/massage.

Q: Do you have any favorites in the sport, or any you admire?
A: I always admired physiques like Melissa Coates, Lenda Murray, and Sharon Bruneau. Let's not forget the incredible Iris Kyle.

Q: Do you think the judging in the sport is ok, or is there anything you would like to see changed?
A: Judging is very.....inconsistent. It's a very subjective sport. I would like to see more consistency between shows.

Q: Can you tell people about Muscle Girls Inc. and the radio show.
A: Dave Palumbo started RxMuscle which is an internet media site featuring everything bodybuilding. They host several radio shows and Muscle Girls Inc. has become one of them featuring Krissy Chin and myself. She and I interview celebrities in the fitness/figure/ and bodybuilding industry.

Q: You also do website development. What got you interested in that?
A: I love to be in control, LOL!! I had a webmaster and decided that he didn't work fast enough for me.... so, I took classes in HTML and learned Dreamweaver. The rest is history.

Q: You also offer services like choreography, hair and make-up, and other things. Why are those things so important?
A: You can have the perfect physique, be in the best condition, but; if your tan, hair, make-up, posing presentation is OFF--- it could cost you your placing. It is very important to pay attention to detail.

Q: If people wanted to use any of the many services, what is the best way to reach you?
A: Through my website or my email at

Q: Can you mention your website and what people can find there.
A: Sure, my website is People can find out a bit more about me, where I'll be, what shows I'll be offering services at, purchase some of those services through the website, and there's a members section.

Q: Describe Colette Nelson in five words.
A: Loving, Intelligent, Perceptive, Sweet, and (a bit) High-strung. :-)

Q: Anything else I forgot that you would like to plug?
A: In 2010 look out for a cookbook with recipes based around taste but all dietary.
I am also going to launch an exclusive DIET site featuring DIET advice and membership services.
Also going to be updating my website members gallery with TONS of photos and video.

Q: Any plans for 2010 as far as competing?
A: Absolutely! I'll be competing at the Phoenix Pro in February, the New York Pro in May,the Hartford, CT Europa show in June, and (hopefully) the Olympia in Vegas this September.

Q: We know how important sponsors are. Are you looking for any, and if so, tell them what they are getting as far as an athlete and competitor in Colette Nelson.
A: I am not only and IFBB Professional bodybuilder, I am a registered dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Board Certified Sports Specialist Dietitian. What more do you want?

Q: Colette, again, I want to thank you for doing this. It is an honor.

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