Issue #60


by Juan Carlos Lope

20 Questions with Cover Model and NPC Figure Michele Bigler

Kim's Kounseling Korner
by Kimberly Martin

Video Interview with IFBB Pro Figure Jenny Lynn

Michele Bigler, Nicole Pearson, Patty Zariello, Zarah Pacheco and Jennifer Blundell

Interview with Helene Ahlson Figure
by Anne Pietila

Video Interview with IFBB FIgure Pro Irina Veselova and Robert Samborsky Part 3

Video Interview with IFBB FIgure Pro Irina Veselova and Robert Samborsky Part 4


20 Questions with Cover Model and NPC Figure Michele Bigler

Michele Bigler

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Michele Bigler?

Hello everyone!!  I am Michele Bigler.  I am a 43 year old mother of three great children ages 21, 15 and 11.  I have been married to the most awesome hubby in the world since April 1988.  I am enjoying life more now than I did in my 20’s and 30’s because I have chosen to be healthy and exercise.   I have lost over 45 lbs since Feb. 2008.  I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking in the mountains, playing games, watching movies and just enjoying each others company.  My husband and I enjoy running on the mountain trails, weight training and road/mountain biking.  I hope that I can inspire women of any age that it is NEVER too late to dare to live your dream.  My dream is to be an IFBB pro-figure competitor.

2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?

I am the oldest of five children.  I have three sisters and one brother.  I was born and raised in So. California.  The O.C.!!   I have the best friends and family anyone could ask for.   My husband and my children are the best.  They love and support through all the ups and downs of training and competition.

3) How did you start competing in figure?

I was asked by a friend, Krissy, if I ever thought about competing. This was in 2007.  In May of 2008, I took her up on that thought and she was my help and inspiration with diet and exercise to get me through my first three local shows at the end of 2008.  I was hooked and have been ever since.

4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?

I think that muscle is beautiful.  Symmetry is beautiful.  I want to be just right for me.  I am naturally more muscular and I could never be too soft.  I struggle every show coming in too lean and muscular. 

5)  What is your idea of what judges want in a Figure competitor? Do you think judges are clear enough with competitors about how they want you on stage? It seems in Europe they are very clear unlike in the USA and now in Canada things are confusing.

This is a complex question.  I was hoping that the bikini division would really make figure more defined.  But I am still seeing differences in each show and I really feel for the judges, they have a very difficult job.  There are up to 50 ladies in each height division at the national level in 2009 with different looks and styles.  I don’t envy their job at all.  We have the NPC guidelines that are written, lets look at those and do what the judges tell us to do at each show.  I also ask the judges what they are looking for. 

6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!

I need to take off muscle on my legs and get a few more inches off my waist and hip area.

Michele Bigler

7) What is your typical training routine in the gym (per day, include sets and reps!) How much cardio do you do before a show?

I train like a track and field athlete.  I have plenty of muscle, I pound the pavement.  I feel like Forrest Gump.  I run 35+ miles a week, I do two 40 min upper body circuits per week alternating exercises with 5 minute sprints and one leg day doing the same.  I do plyometric training 2-3 days a week with my trainer Pete and another 45-60 mins of cardio 6 days a week. Are you tired yet? I am!!!

8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)

My diet is fish and asparagus every 3 hours the week before the show.  That’s it.  Yummy! 

9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? How much water do you drink the day of the show. Please be specific.

I drink up to 2 gallons of h20 everyday.  The week of the show I cut back ¼ a gallon a day.  Three days before the show I take herbal diuretics and cut down to just water with my meals. No water day of show until after prejudging. 

10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you looked up to?

I am a type A personally.  I am driven to compete, even if it is just against myself.  To be better than I was the last time.  I graduated with a BS degree in Dental Hygiene with a 3.94 grade point average.  I take my goals very seriously.  I have always looked to Monica Brant as having a great physique.  I had to find her trainer.  I did and now I am one of Kim Oddo’s Angels.  He is the Best and I am grateful to him for pulling me through my first year in Nationals.  I have spent a few hours training with Gina Aliotti.  She is the best, so professional and friendly.  I have also had the pleasure of talking to Jen Gates and she is my true inspiration.  I saw her and said that’s my body type, I can do this!!!

Michele Bigler

11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?

I passed out on stage at the March 2009 NPC Utah show after the masters division and then had to gag down a few m&ms and get up and run across the backstage and line up for my open division.  I took third that day.

12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed? 

I think that it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sheer tenacity to put on a tiny bikini and 5 inch heels and walk across the stage in front of hundreds of people and look like you are relaxed and not the least bit nervous or depleted.  I love the fitness industry!!  The friends my husband and I have met this year are some of our closest friends now (Dave and Linda!!!)  The awesome photographers that remember you and the fun photo shoots.  There are always things that can be made better or changed; we will all be working on those things as an industry. 

13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?

I have overcome a lot of challenges and changes in my life.  After 43 years who hasn’t.  I thank God everyday for His great blessings in my life and for giving me the strength to get up every morning and fight the good fight and give service to others around me.  I try to make lemonade out of the lemons life throws my way!!!

14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...

Yes, Kim can look at me and add things and pull things from my diet.  Sometimes my body reacts correctly and other times—oh no.  I am trying to get really lean this time so that I can carb up and fill out so I am not so muscular.

15) What do you think of bikini division?

I appreciate the time all the athletes spend in preparing for the competition, but I was hoping that the bikini division would have separated the less muscular ladies from the more muscular figure ladies.  Some of the bikinis are a little too skimpy for my taste.

16) What are your favorite foods to eat right after you compete on a Saturday night?


Michele Bigler

17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?

I was raised in a strong Christian family.  We still go to church every Sunday and spend the day with our family.  I worked in a doughnut shop at age 15 and then onto an ice cream parlor.  I was always a chubby kid and the boys used to joke with me that I should be a linebacker on the HS football team.  If they could only see me now.  Maybe they will!!

18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?

I was in the HS marching band. Played one year of AYSO soccer and took piano lessons. Oh yeah I even did JAZZERCISE a couple of times---seriously!!!  I never really exercised until I was 23, after my first child was born. 

19) What is a typical day in the life of Michele Bigler? From waking up to until going to bed?

I wake up at 5 am go to the gym until 7.  Come home take my supplements and eat breakfast, shower pack up my lunch and running clothes, say my prayers and go to work.  I run 5-6 miles at lunch and go back to work until 5 or 6, on Mon. and Thurs. nights, I head back to the gym for another hour or so of training.  I then go home to my first and favorite job, as a wife and mother.  Dinner, homework, pay bills, etc., sit down and talk to the kids and hubby before we all fall asleep and start the whole process again.

20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do you specifically do in your job?

I am a full time mother and wife.  My part-time job which I do three days a week is as a Registered Dental Hygienist.  I am the one who makes sure that you floss and brush correctly and that you remember to not eat too many sweets.  My profession and my fitness passion fit really well together.  I also do some personal training and nutrition consulting.


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