Nicole Duncan “Keeping It Real” – Hardbody Road to The Arnold

Nicole Duncan is a veteran to the Fitness scene and will be making her fourth appearance at the Arnold Sports Festival. She has some of the best gymnastic moves in the IFBB Pro League and is know for her high flying routines. You can always count on Nicole to mix in some dance moves and get the crowd excited with her routines. The former NFL cheerleader joins us en route to the Fitness International. She chats about the Fitness sisterhood, what it’s like to prepare for a show during the winter months and more.


Nicole Duncan, 2013 Fitness International Contender

Keeping It Real
Nicole Duncan here, checking in from Oxford, GA. I actually grew up here and my neighbors have horses in their yard. There are cows, guard llamas, goats and even chickens at various yards in either direction with in a 5 mile radius. This is home where I was born and raised. Everyone here knows me as the “Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader” but most have no idea what a fitness competitor is. They think Olympics when I say Olympia. I got my pro card in 2006 and have been competing in competitions since 2002.  This will be my 4th appearance at the Arnold and I am truly honored to be representing such a unique and exhilarating division. The fitness girls share a bond like no other. It’s a true sisterhood of hardcore, hardbody women both amateur and pro. You have to be a bad ass to do fitness – I’m just saying.

Prepping for the Arnold is never easy.  My body and health does all sorts of wacky things during the winter months. I can’t recall ever getting ready for this show and not being sick. Oddly enough, embracing that and accepting the challenge has made prep just a little more bearable. I’ve somewhat changed my mindset as well. Six years ago when I started prepping for my first pro show, my only focus was winning. Now, I have quite a few goals in mind that keep me motivated.

1.  Focusing on Being the Best Me – This industry ain’t no joke (pardon my grammar).  If you get so focused on winning it will chew you up and spit you out. There are politics in everything but who cares! When I finish my career as a fitness competitor, no one will remember exactly where I placed and when, but they will remember my routines, how much fun I was back stage & that I hung in there and improved year after year. I started competing because it was fun and allowed me to express myself in a unique and rewarding way. Fitness is the fountain of youth. Competing keeps me young & healthy. And if I look like I’m having a blast during my routines, it’s because I AM!

2. Maintaining My Professional Career – Competing can be a full time job. In the past I’ve put everything on the back burner during competition time. I’ve recently been hired to work at a new fitness club in my area plus I continue to coach gymnastics & choreograph routines for fitness competitors. This time I’m working around the clock to keep my business and finances in check, working smarter so that my foundation is set.  It’s right back to work when the show is over. I’m getting older and realizing that I want other things in life too! It’s time to put my big girl panties on and set a foundation for my future.

3. Keeping IFBB Fitness Alive! – I got into this because of competitors like Nicole Rollolazo, Jenn Hendershot and Carol Semple. They had the skill and the personality and totally put on show for the crowd. I hope to encourage other women to go for their dreams and compete in fitness regardless of where the trend may go. I coach young gymnasts, dancers & cheerleaders. I hope that one day they will have this avenue to continue their skills as healthy adults. Fitness has totally shaped my life. I’d be sad if that option wasn’t available for others.

So, there you have it.  It’s been quite a tough week but God is good and I will manage.

Fitfully Yours,
Nicole Duncan

Follow Nicole on twitter at @fitnicinc, like her Facebook page and visit her website Check out Nicole’s competition photos here. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.