Fitness Model & IFBB Bikini Pro Michelle Brannan Talks With Simplyshredded.com

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How did you get started with bodybuilding?

I was studying to become a Personal Trainer in 2009 and while I was researching fitness and training ideas on the internet I came across a YouTube clip of a bikini contest, it was amazing. I used to think I had a good body until I saw these girls!!! I had always been quite fit as I was a dancer but I didn’t work out with weights, so I decided to start training and see if I could transform my physique. I then entered and won my first show 6 months later and it was such a rewarding feeling. After a year of competing and five shows later (including 1st place Ms Bikini Amateur Olympia at British Grand Prix 2011), I joined Team Bombshell who helped me get to the next level.

I represented UK at the first ever Arnold Classic Europe and IFBB Amateur European and World Championships. I am the first UK athlete to earn an IFBB through competing in the Bikini Class.

Where does your motivation come from?

My motivation comes from being the best I can be and always giving 100%. Fitness for me is about being healthy, feeling good and striving to be my best. I would also like to empower other women and educate people that starving yourself does not equal a great body. Women (and men) today are under extreme pressure from the media to look good and to be slim, many of these women get the wrong messages about being healthy and often end up on crash diets which do not work leading to low self esteem and eating disorders.

Fitness is not a hobby or short term thing, its a lifstyle.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

This training split has worked well for me and it also allows me to focus on my weakpoints.

Full Routine:

Day 1: Legs

  • Cardio 60 mins

Triset:

  • Leg Press 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Leg Extension: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Leg Curl: 4 sets of 15 reps

Superset:

  • Smith Machine Lunges: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Jump Squats: 4 sets of 15 reps

Superset:

  • Travelling Lunge: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift: 4 sets of 15 reps

Superset:

  • Reverse Lunge: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Step Up: 4 sets of 15 reps

Day 2: Arms/Shoulders

  • 60 minutes cardio

Triset:

  • Lateral Raise: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Shoulder Press: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Front Raises: 4 sets of 15 reps

Superset:

  • Barbell Curl: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Skull Crushers: 4 sets of 15 reps

Superset:

  • Incline Biceps Curls: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Triceps Dips: 4 sets of 15 reps

Superset:

  • Dumbbell Biceps Curls: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Triceps Pushdown: 4 sets of 15 reps

Day 3: Cardio/Plyo Circuit

  • 60 minutes cardio
  • Plyometric Circuit: 5 rounds
  • Jump Squats: 20 reps
  • Switch Lunges: 20 reps
  • Pop Squats: 20 reps
  • Box Jumps: 20 reps
  • High Jumps: 20 reps

Day 4: Back/Chest

  • 60 minutes cardio

Triset:

  • Lat Pulldown: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Cable Row: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Single Arm Row: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Hyperextension: 4 sets of 15 reps

Triset:

  • Chest Press: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Incline Chest Press: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Cable Flyes: 4 sets of 15 reps

Day 5: Legs

  • 60 minutes cardio

Triset:

  • Leg Press: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Leg Extension: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Leg Curl: 4 sets of 15 reps

Superset:

  • Smith Machine Lunges: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Jump Squats: 4 sets of 15 reps

Superset:

  • Travelling Lunge: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift: 4 sets of 15 reps

Superset:

  • Reverse Lunge: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Step Up: 4 sets of 15 reps

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  1. Leg Press: I love working my lower body and the Leg Press machine is great to really target my leg muscles and you can change the positioning of your feet on the foot plate to work different muscles.
  2. Lunges (Smith Machine): Another great exercise to really target my leg muscles.
  3. Good mornings : My favorite exercise when it comes to training my glutes and lower back

What is your diet like?

I eat 6 meals a day and my diet is mainly low starchy Carb, moderate to high in Lean Protein, moderate Fats and lots of green veggies. I also have a cheat meal once or twice a week which is usually chocolate or something sweet.

Daily Diet:

  • Meal 1: 1/2 cup Oats with Cinnamon and Ground Flax, 1 scoop Whey Protein and 1 cup Black Coffee
  • Meal 2: 3.5 oz. Chicken or Fish and 1 cup Green Veggies
  • Meal 3: 3.5 oz. Chicken or Fish, 1 cup Green Veggies and 1/2 Sweet Potato
  • Meal 4: 3.5 oz. Oily Fish and 12 Asparagus Spears
  • Meal 5: 3.5 oz. Chicken or Fish and 1 cup Green Veggies
  • Meal 6: 3 oz. Chicken or Fish and 1 cup Green Veggies

(Snack) 1 Rice Cake and 1 tbsp. Peanut Butter

When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?

I like steady state cardio as it helps shape my legs.

I could get lean enough without cardio just weight training and clean diet but I find cardio has improved my overall look and shape.

What is your supplementation like?

I use Multi-vitamins with Extra B Complex, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc, 1000mg Vitamin C a day, Bacteria Supplement, Ground Flaxseed and Whey Protein.

Favorite Quote?

‘Do the things you are most scared of’ – Michelle Brannan

Website: www.michellebrannan.com
Bodyspace: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/MichelleBrannan/

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