I recently sat down with Mel Warrington, a figure competitor just days away from an important contest to get inside her head to see what she’s thinking.
Q: Can you tell us your background Mel?
A: I am a single mom to two beautiful kids – Alyssa who is 12 and Logan who is 3. Discovered fitness in spring of 2008 after having gone through a messy divorce and needed to find something for ME. Picked up a weight, LOVED it and haven’t looked back since!! Worked with a trainer all summer and attended the Olympia in Vegas in September, 2008 to watch my trainer compete. I was so motivated and inspired by that weekend that I decided to try competing myself. I did three shows, back to back, in late October/early November and placed 4th in Figure in all three shows!!
After the three shows in a row, I needed some down time, so I took the winter to regroup and decide where I wanted to take this. I was chosen as one of the models for the Fitness Fashion Show at thein Ohio in early March and was, once again, re-energized and inspired to push on.
I began working with Andre Rzazewski in late March, 2009 and I have competed in two shows since then…the first being the Fitness STAR Model Search in Toronto, where I placed 2nd and my most recent (BIG) success of competing in Figure Universe in Miami, FL and placing 3rd in my division!! It is unbelievable to me that I have only been competing for 8 months now and have placed top 5 at all my shows to date!!! After the Figure Universe placing, I am even more determined than ever now to continue on and see what more improvements can be made to my physique working with Dre. We have many competition plans in the works, one of which is to return to Miami next year to take the title!
Q: How have you improve your legs recently?
A: I’ve done numerous shoots over the past few months, including an infomercial for “Leg Magic” and a work out spread for Beyond Fitness magazine. In preparing for a shoot, it is very similar to the prep work that we do for a show. I increase my cardio, decrease my carbs and deplete my water. In working with Dre, I wanted to focus on a few key areas…I knew, from past judges’ comments, that I needed to increase my muscle mass, particularly in my shoulders and legs and also needed more definition in my legs. We’ve achieved significant improvement in these areas, and others, but I’m continually a work in progress!
Q: What do you do with your cardio during the final weeks out?
A:For the two weeks or so prior to a shoot or show, my cardio is increased from approx. 40 mins/day to 1 1/2 – 2 hrs/day. I would typically do an hour in the morning (on an empty stomach) and 45 mins – an hour at night. My preference was to do the step mill in the am and treadmill in the evenings. I would change it up at times, to TRY to avoid boredom of cardio!
Q:For your upcoming contest, what do your diet look like?
A:For me, this has been a complete lifestyle change….so I don’t “diet” per se…rather, I eat clean all year round. If I don’t have a competition within 12 weeks or so, then I will allow myself a cheat meal once a week, but otherwise, it’s clean eating for me! If I have a shoot or a show, I will cut back on my carbs and increase my protein (for a show). Staying lean all year round allows me to “coast” into competitions or shoots, rather than having to “crash diet” as some fitness models do. My weight only fluctuates 5 – 10 lbs. throughout the year.
Q:What have you learned about your body this time around?
A:As I’ve gone through this process, I’ve learned lots about myself, my body and my abilities. It continues to amaze me how quickly my body responds to new training and diet. Every so often, Dre will change it up and we see results almost immediately.
I am fortunate to be able to build muscle quickly and, again, by staying lean throughout the year, it’s easy for me to “dial in” for a show or a shoot. I’ve also learned that, for me, it’s easy to follow the eat clean diet…even with cookies and treats in the house for the kids! In the beginning, when I did cheat, yes, it would taste/feel great for the few minutes I was consuming the garbage food, but afterwards, I would not only feel sick to my stomach, but I would be guilt-ridden, so I’ve learned to not miss those foods at all!! Not to mention, that I kinda like my rock hard abs all year round, thank you very much!!! 😉 Don’t get me wrong though, after a big competition, such as Figure Universe, I pig out too!! This time around, it was a cheeseburger, fries and a Pepsi that I was craving…oh, followed by chocolate chip cookies and ice cream!
Q: What’s next Mel?
A:Next up for me is the Miss CHIN bikini contest in Toronto on July 4th, followed by a few local competitions throughout the summer/fall. My personal website will be up shortly www.melwarrington.com but you can also find me on facebook or Model Mayhem as well! I appreciate all the support throughout my journey in the fitness world…and I assure you, this is only the beginning for me!
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