CM: It has always somewhat been in my life, even though I wasn’t interested in it. My father is a doctor and former bodybuilder, and my mother is a personal trainer, but beginning May 2012 a friend of mine told me to join her gym so we could do some of the workout classes together. I thought it was a good idea so I joined. I began going around 3-4 times per week. It wasn’t until October 2012 that I was going every single day, and then January 2013 that I decided to change my lifestyle, really dedicate my entire life to fitness, and prepare for an NPC figure competition.
After considering yourself quite the party girl when you were growing up, you changed. You haven’t had a sip of alcohol since the first of the year. What motivated you to make this change and how do you feel about it? Is your mind and body reacting differently?
CM: I was just sick of being uncomfortable with my body. I wanted to feel 100% confident that I was doing everything possible to put the best “me” out into the world. I had known for a while that I needed to quit the drinking and partying if I really wanted to change, and after making that change I am happier than I have ever been. I feel like every day I am working towards my life goals. I never feel sick or hungover which is also a plus!
Do you miss partying even in the slightest?
CM: I actually asked myself this question the other day. I was at the gym, it was a Friday night, which is a time that 1 year ago, I would usually have been out partying. I realized that the gym was exactly where I wanted to be. I don’t miss partying at all. I feel so much more fulfilled living the way I do now.
You are currently competing as a NPC Figure competitor. Describe the difference in being a Figure competitor versus being a Bodybuilding competitor. Do you have aspirations to be more of a bodybuilder as you get older?
CM: The division of Figure is different from body building for a few reasons. In figure we wear clear high heels, while bodybuilders wear no shoes. We also only perform 4 mandatory poses with open hands, rather than a flexing routine. Figure is considered to be a more feminine category. We also do not have the same degree of muscle size, that female bodybuilders must have to compete. I do not aspire to be a body builder because figure is strong and competitive, but remains extremely feminine at the same time. Bodybuilding is more unnatural and unappealing to me.
You recently competed in your first NPC competition at only 18 years old. What was this experience like? You must have been one of the youngest competitors in the field! Was it intimidating?
CM: It was a very exciting experience! Everyone says you wont understand it until you do it, and its very true. I wasn’t intimidated, but I realized I do have a lot of work ahead of me. Being almost 19, I was the youngest woman in the competition. Most of my competitors were 25-40! I loved the feeling of being on stage and knowing that everyone there was coming together to celebrate the same health and fitness goals. It was an incredibly positive energy and I can’t wait for the next one!
You are heading into your second figure competition in only a few weeks. Has your approach to training and dieting changed between your first and second competition?
CM: My approach to training has somewhat stayed the same, I am adding a little more cardio and I changed up my lifting split, but besides that the same intensity which has been high. My diet has changed in that now I am only eating carbohydrates that come from a plant source such as broccoli, asparagus and cauliflower. I am definitely missing my oatmeal in the morning!
Describe the physical and mental discipline and demand when it comes to training and dieting for competitions. How do you prepare your body for this?
CM: It definitely isn’t a normal diet or daily schedule. Preparing for these contests is extreme, and it is about pushing my body to do things it really doesn’t want to do. I am also still in the process of getting my body to the lowest body fat it’s ever been. I’ve never had a “bulk,” I’ve always sort of been in “cutting” mode. It takes a lot of mental discipline to not eat at night, or not eat certain foods that a figure competitor can’t eat. It can be exhausting to go in for a second workout after having very little carbs all day, or having another cardio session right before bed. It eventually becomes routine, and I have learned to have a lot of mental strength to make myself do things I don’t want to do.
How do you balance your time between being a full time student with being a figure competitor?
CM: I try to take as many online classes as possible! Luckily I only have 1 more year until college graduation, and then I can fully focus 100% of my time on my fitness!
What do you think is better for a post-workout meal: a real, natural food like turkey or whey protein? What is the advantage of one over the other, or could they theoretically provide the same exact results?
CM: I don’t really feel that there is 1 specific answer to that question. Whey protein has been proven to provide quick absorption and release of amino acids which is why it is promoted as being a good post workout supplement. Natural food is always a good option as well, as it is natural, and our bodies for thousands of years have built muscle without the aid of protein powder. I think either option would provide a good source as protein, the protein powder is often just more convenient.
Do you believe that sticking to a strict diet every single day is the best way to improve muscular vanity and balance or do you believe cheat meals are essential in getting the physique you want? Why is this so?
CM: I believe that eating as clean as possible is always the way to go, but allowing yourself one cheat meal every 7-10 days is always a good idea if it helps you stay on track. I do not believe this means eat whatever you want for an entire day of binging, but I do believe that allowing yourself a piece of cake, a scoop of ice cream, or some pizza is a healthy way to stimulate both the metabolism and keep yourself sane.
A lot of people go on these crazy and unconventional diets including carb starving. Explain how important carbs are, and since there is time sensitivity that plays into that equation, at what times are they most effective?
CM: Carbs are very important for energy and muscle growth. Having said that, excess carbs will store as fat, which is where the fear of carbs comes from for most people. Knowing specifically the amount of carbs your body needs per day to power through a workout, and to power your brain, is very important. Carbs are most effective early in the day so they can be utilized for the rest of the day. There are also many different kinds of carbs. Complex carbs such as brown rice, veggis and sweet potato have less chance to be stored as fat because they are absorbed slower. Simple sugars such as fruit and table sugar, have more of a chance to be stored as fat unless consumed directly after a workout to restore glycogen levels!
You see many people consuming loads of protein after their workout, upwards of 60-70 grams at a time. Do you believe this is too much? Research suggests that your body won’t be able to digest such a high amount of protein. What do you think is the ideal amount of protein for a post-workout meal?
CM: There are so many different ideas about pre and post workout meals. There have actually been studies that show the best way to build muscle is consuming protein before a workout and carbohydrate afterwards. I think, as with anything, it depends on each persons individual goals, but speaking solely about post workout protein, it would be ideal to have at least 25-30 grams of protein such as in a whey protein shake for some quick releasing amino acids. It also depends on whether or not the person ingesting the protein is male, female, level of intensity of the workout that was just completed, and total amount of calories taken in per day by that person.
What’s your stance on supplements? Do you believe they are necessary or are natural foods enough for proper muscle growth, recovery, and general well-being?
CM: I think its impossible to really know this, but I think that our food supply in the world is not as vitamin rich as it once was. Therefore supplementation of vitamins can add viable nutrients and micro nutrients that otherwise we cant get. I think protein supplementation is helpful and convenient, because sometimes it is hard to consume enough protein in a daily diet without feeling stuffed or uncomfortable. BCAA’s and amino acids are also helpful to promote muscle growth and prevent soreness. I don’t think they are necessary, but we are evolving as a society and have options to use supplements to aid us in our journey, so why not take advantage of science.
Do you believe that strength and size are correlated or can you build strength without size and vise versa?
CM: Size often has a lot to do with genetics. Some people naturally get bigger faster than other people. But, in saying this, I do not believe that we are ruled by our genetics. If someone wants to get big, they must eat specifically and train specifically for their goals. I have also seen seemingly “small” people, able to lift tremendous amounts of weight. On the other end of the spectrum, I have seen big muscular people who were not necessarily very strong. It really depends on the person.
What are some things females do wrong when it comes to their training and dieting?
CM: A typical downfall I see for women in their diet is not eating enough protein! They believe this will make them bulky, when in reality, it will help them obtain adequate calories in the day, from a lean source that wont turn into fat like carbohydrate. In training, often women try to stay away from the weight room, or stick to lighter weights to once again “avoid getting bulky.” Women do not produce enough testosterone to get bulky muscles like men! Which is why I always recommend women get into the weight room!
Your parents have had such a profound impact on your life and career. What do they mean to you and how have they helped you get to this point in your life?
CM: My parents are not only two of my biggest inspirations in health and fitness, but also my biggest supporters. I would not be the person I am today without the both of them. They are incredible role models in my life and have taught me discipline, strength and perseverance.
Who do you believe are the greatest male and female bodybuilders of all time? Why do you think this?
CM: I believe the greatest male bodybuilder of all time would have to be Arnold Schwarzenegger. I have followed his career since I was very young, and I consider him forever to be the best bodybuilder of all time. Bella Falconi is not a bodybuilder, but she is a female figure athlete and fitness model. I have always admired her. I love what she has achieved with her body, and I look up to her. She is always pushing her body to the next level of health and strength!
Besides health and fitness, what do you like to do in your free time?
CM: I have a dog and I go to school as well as I have my personal training buisness and consulting business. I love to travel and of course when I have time, I like to hike and spend time with friends.
What’s one thing people may not know about you?
CM: I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Doe as well as green belt in Kenpo, I play multiple musical instruments, and I used to competitively ride horses.
What are your future goals both personally and professionally?
CM: My professional goals include obtaining an NPC pro card which would make me a Professional Figure Athlete and I would like to grow my personal training business to help as many people live a healthy lifestyle as possible. My long term goal is to own and operate my own gym. In my personal life I plan to graduate college in 2014 and eventually long down the road, settle down and establish a fit family.
continue to next page for Chloe Meltzer’s workout routine