Monday, October 25, 2010

Michelle DeLeo Interview

Michelle DeLeo competed for the first time at the INBF Hercules taking 3rd in both Novice and Masters. Pretty good for a debut show I would say. She says she wants to represent the 40 year old mom's and show they can look just as good as the 20 and 30 year olds. She definitely does that, but I believe Michelle is the kind of woman who also can be very inspiring to those 20 and 30 year olds. Putting family first, there is no timetable for her return to the stage, but hopefully it won't be too long because Michelle is someone who has the ability to keep getting better and replace that 3rd place with a few 1st places.

Q: First, Michelle, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A:Thank you so much for asking me for this interview, I am honored.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I grew up in New City, Rockland County, NY and still reside here although I now live in Valley Cottage. I have 1 brother and the greatest parents anyone could hope for. I am married to a wonderful man, Tony and have 4 kids, Anthony 13, Samantha 10, Vincent 6 and James 3.

Q:Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have never played any sports growing up and into the present

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I always worked out but only at a level that really just maintained myself without ever losing any significant weight or building any muscle. After I had my youngest child I joined the gym and worked hard to shed the baby weight and began to results that I liked. I challenge myself to lift harder and heavier.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Training was something I definitely picked up easily, within the first year of working out I began to see the results I had hoped for.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I had gone to a show to see someone I knew of and became intrigued of the competing world

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: NO. Unless you go through the training and show I don't think you can understand why. They just felt it was crazy sticking to such a strict diet and training schedule. They thought that it was going to be unhealthy and to have the "look of muscles" was not going to be feminine, but the day of my show they were all in awe how beautiful the competition was and were very proud of me.

Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: I really didn't know what to expect. I was so afraid I would not have the guts to get out there.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I have only competed in one contest to date, it was the INBF Hercules Competition on June 26, 2010 and I placed 3rd in both the Novice and Masters categories.

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I really don't think I have a best body part. When I diet down I would say my legs but I don't think they are in the off season. I guess I would say my arms.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I really don't. I LOVE weight training and HATE cardio!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: My normal training is 40-45 min of cardio a day with about 45 minutes of weight training a different body part each day 6 days a week. I have been mixing up my contest prep weight training routines and eating my clean meals with some cheats.

Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: It is really mixed, alot of people automatically think I am aiming to be a big bodybuilder, some people think I am crazy for the strict diet others are really interested and encouraging.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That we are going to look manly.

Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Of course the best part is show day and the worst is the diet and double cardio.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire so many but the one that sticks out is Erin Stern

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Pizza

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Be strong, set your mind and your goals and you can do it. I would tell her that she needs to find that support and encouragement from friends and family to get through the prep.

Q: Do you think it s becoming more common to see women in the gym training and lifting as hard as men?
A: I think it is, I think more women who are interested in the gym know how important it is to develop muscle.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love the beach, it is just so relaxing.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Michelle DeLeo.
A: My day usually starts at 7 when the kids start to get up one by one. So its breakfast and getting myself and them ready and then off to bring 3 out of 4 to school. I get to the gym at 8:45 with my 3 year old in tow and since I work there I either have clients or I work out. I am usually there till 12:00. Errands and house duties take up my time all afternoon and then when the kids come home its homework, dinner and sports. I usually go to sleep past 11:00 p.m. and then the day starts over. Doing competition training for the most part it stays the same only I get up before the kids and do my morning cardio and then go back to the gym later in the day for the secong round.

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I am shy

Q: Describe Michelle DeLeo in five words.
A: Mother, Wife, Daughter, Friend, and Sister (Its all about my family)

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I have to wait until the spring, my daughter competition season for cheerleading is all fall and I help coach. Practices are every night and competitions are on most weekends the shows are scheduled for, so It was nearly impossible to do both. I would never let my competing come in the way of my children.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: My Trainer PJ Braun is the best, he is so knowledgeable and supportive, he amazes me all the time. Allison Frahn is my posing coach, she is such a beautiful woman inside and out and taught me so much. Jill Crean was my backstage girl, she tanned me and supported me every step of the way.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Michelle DeLeo the athlete and competitor?
A: I would love to get sponsored, ultimately that is my goal. I would hope to them that I can represent the 40 something mom out there that can look just as good as a 20 or 30 year old all while juggling kid, a house, being a wife, and working. Proving that with hard work and dedication you can achieve anything.

Q: Michelle, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Follow your dreams because when you do accomplish all you dream of there is no better way to great about yourself!

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