IFBB Pro Figure Competitor Emily Nicholson Talks With Simplyshredded.com

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

Since I was a kid I enjoyed looking in the muscle magazines and admiring the incredible physiques. I started working out at young age and really loved it. I wanted to grow up to be a professional bodybuilder. I always asked for weights for holiday gifts!! I wanted to compete for a long time, but never thought I was ready.

Finally, I had to just step on stage and do it! Once I competed the first time, I was hooked!

What gets you motivated?

I’ve always been a big fan of the sport. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to compete, do what I love, and live this childhood dream. Since I’ve been given this time and opportunity in my life to do this, I don’t want to waste it or take it for granted.

So, I give it a 110% effort every day.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

The exercises I do each week for each body part vary. I don’t want my body to get accustomed to any routine, so every week is different. I usually do 6 – 8 exercises per body part; 3-4 sets per exercise, and my reps are generally between 6 – 20.

Monday: Legs

  • 4 laps walking lunges no stopping
  • 4 x 10 Leg extensions
  • 4 x 10 One legged squat
  • 4 x 10 Manual Leg curls
  • 4 x 10 WS D-bell squat
  • 3 x 15 Abductor machine
  • 3 x WS D-bell straight leg dead lifts
  • 1 x 100 NS Leg press

Tuesday: Shoulders

  • 4 x 10 Full range laterals
  • 4 x 6 Behind neck press
  • 3 x 15 Up-n-backs
  • 4 x 10 Upright rows
  • 4 x 6 Pronated rotated press
  • 3 x 10 Front plate raises
  • 4 x 6 Candlestick front raise/plate push combo

Wednesday: Back

  • 4 x 10 One arm rows
  • 4 x 10 One arm Alt d-bell dead lifts or Kettle Bells
  • 4 x 15 Hyper extension
  • 4 x 10 NG Pull downs
  • 4 x 15 Bent over pull downs
  • 3 x 15 Stead pull downs at cable cross over machine

Thursday: Arms

  • 6 x 10,10, 6,6,3,3 CG bench
  • 4 x 15 Skull crushers
  • 4 x 10 Bar dips
  • 4 x 15 NG pushdowns
  • 4 x 6 One arm kick backs
  • 4 x 10 Sissy bar curls
  • 4 x 6 Straight bar curls
  • 3 x 15, 45 degree incline bench supinated curls
  • 3 x 15 Lying sissy bar cable curls

Friday: Chest

  • 4 x 10, 10,6,6 Heavy incline d-bell press superset
  • 4 x 12 tot. Lateral push-ups on step
  • 3 x 15 Incline press outs
  • 4 x 10 Cable cross overs
  • 4 x 15 Pullovers superset
  • 4 x 6 Pop push-ups
  • 3 x 40 foot plate drags

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

  1. Bench press: I love the bench press! It’s one of my favorite exercises for sculpting the upper body and I enjoy lifting heavy!
  2. Pull ups: They are a great exercise for building muscle fast. Anything you can do using your own body weight will give you some amazing results!
  3. Leg press: The leg press hits all the leg muscles at once. There are many angles you can use to hit different parts more aggressively too. You can’t get a more complete leg exercise!

What is your diet like?

  • Meal 1: 1/3 cups oats, 4 egg whites
  • Meal 2: 3 oz chicken, 1/2 cup broccoli
  • Meal 3: 3 oz tuna, 2 rice cakes
  • Meal 4: 2 oz flank steak, 2 oz chicken, and 3 rice cakes with honey
  • Meal 5: 10 almonds and 3 oz tuna
  • Meal 6: 4 oz chicken
  • Meal 7: Small salad with 1 cup veggies, one rice cake and 2 oz tuna
  • Meal 8: Protein shake

I try to eat every two to three hours and combine a protein and a carb.

They say that the pre and post-workout meals are the most vital meals for the day, what do yours consist of?

Pre workout, I typically have some oats and/or rice cakes with a small amount of protein. I eat most of my carbs in the morning. Post work out, I take in some form of protein (shake, chicken, or steak) and a fast burning carb (like fruit or rice cakes with honey) to quickly aid muscle recovery.

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

When trying to cut down, I prefer to combine HIIT with normal cardio. I never want my body to get used to anything so I like to mix it up and keep my body guessing.


My supplementation includes Glutamine (for muscle recovery), B-complex (for energy), Glucosamine (for joint health), Vitamin C (to fight colds) and Vitamin E (for skin care).

Favorite Bodybuilders?

My favorite bodybuilders and initial inspirations into the sport are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cory Everson. I especially loved Cory’s attitude toward training and toward life in her interviews.

Favorite Quote?

There are two fatal errors that keep great projects from coming to life: 1. Not finishing 2. Not starting.

Website: www.figurestar.com