Nicole Wilkins has solidified herself as one of the best IFBB Pro Figure competitors of all-time. She’s steadily climbed her way to the top of the Figure ranks and hasn’t placed lower than second since 2009. She was the first woman to achieve pro status in not only Figure but also Fitness, at the same show. Something that will never be matched since competitors are no longer allowed to compete in both at the same show. She tried her hand at Pro Fitness and with some success but it wasn’t until she focused her efforts solely on Figure that she shot to the top.
The 2012 competitive Figure season wasn’t the best of her career but now that she’s settled into a new home and taken some time off, the champ is back. Keep in mind, “not the best” for Nicole was winning the the 2012 Figure International (for the third time) and three runner-up finishes, something most competitors only dream of accomplishing. This weekend Nicole will compete on the stage where she achieved pro status, the Tribecca Performing Arts Center. The nervous excitement will likely be there again but this time she’ll be after the New York Pro Figure title.
We caught up with the popular fitness model, spokes-model and champion figure competitor on the heels of her return to the stage.
HARDBODY INTERVIEW with NICOLE WILKINS
How’s it feel to be back on stage?
I am excited and a little nervous. I feel like it has been so long!
How long of a break did you take?
I haven’t stepped onstage since the beginning of Oct last year at the Sheru Classic in India.
This was the longest break you’ve taken in a few years, right?
Right. This was the longest break I have had since 2006.
What was the most helpful thing for you to take a bit of a break?
I was really tired and burnt out last year. I wasn’t feeling my best and I needed to take a step back to enjoy myself in the gym again. I had more time to get settled into my new home, spend time with family, go wine tasting in Temecula, gain some strength back, enjoy dinner dates, etc. When it was time to start the prep for this show, I was ready.
What was the most challenging part of not competing for months?
There is not as much structure. I love routine and order. It was also a little difficult to sit out of the Arnold. Other than that, I honestly enjoyed every minute of it. It went by pretty fast.
Did it feel weird not prepping for a show over the holidays?
Yes definitely. I caught myself a few times. I still ate clean and worked out like normal, I just had some dessert My family is pretty healthy even during the holidays and always make me plain chicken, yams and veggies. I have been competing at the Arnold since 2008, so I have dieted through the holidays every year since then. I had developed a bit of a habit I guess.
This weekend is your return, did you do anything different for your NY PRO Prep?
Every prep my body is a little different – especially the older I get. For this show, I still lifted heavy and incorporated carb cycling, but we were careful not to overdo anything. I am the type of person that will run myself into the ground if that is what it takes. It can be a blessing and a curse. I also recently moved to Temecula, so I was able to pose every week with Kim Oddo. It helped that he could see me regularly.
Do you pack all your food for a show like New York?
I always pack my own food on all of my trips, whether I am competing or not. I measure everything out and put it in baggies. Oatmeal, yams, rice cakes, almonds, steak, salmon etc. I bring it all in my 6 Pack Bag (www.sixpackbags.com). I have to be prepared and food is the most important part!
When’s your last weight training day before a show?
Wednesday I will train shoulders and it will be my last training day.
When do you stop doing cardio before a show?
Usually Wednesday. This time I may do 30min in the morning on Thurs before I fly out.
Who makes your competition suits?
Maggie Keaveny (www.maggie-suits.com). She is amazing and has been doing my suits since 2007!
What’s the best part of living in California now?
The weather!!! I did not miss the cold snowy winter. I love that I can hike outside up the hills, lay in the sun and go running in the morning – the weather is always the same. I also moved from a tiny tiny apartment into a house, so I am loving the space.
Most challenging part of living in Cali?
Definitely missing my family and friends back in MI. Thankfully, I have gotten to see them just about every other month since I moved. I travel a ton so I try to get back as often as I can. My parents and some of my best friends will be in NYC and the Olympia and I will go back in July for a week for my show (NPC Nicole Wilkins Classic July 13 www.michiganfitnessshows.com).
You have a video blog on Fitness RX for Women – what topics do you get asked about the most?
Definitely diet and motivation. It seems like most people have the training part down. The challenging part about the nutrition is that no body is the same and your body is constantly changing. There isn’t a ‘one plan fits all’. With the thousands of different diets out there, its no wonder people are confused. And as far as motivation, no one can give that to you. You have to find it within yourself. It comes and goes all the time. Just be consistent, find something you are truly passionate about and don’t let anything or anyone stop you.
Are you still training others?
Yep! I do one on one training during the week and I also do online training. My current site is being renovated so it is best to just directly email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you train dudes or only women?
It is primarily women but I do have a handful of men. I don’t discriminate ;P
Where will peeps see ya after the NY PRO?
I will be home for about 3 days and then off to Finland and Sweden for 10 days, home for 3 days, then off to Chicago for Jr. Nationals, then to New Orleans, Texas, Team Universe in Jersey, USAs in Vegas, then to Massachusetts and finally Windsor all before Aug 10th. I am tired just looking at that schedule!
Mantra heading into this weekend’s show…
Give it to God and have fun!
Thanks Nicole, safe travels and we’ll see ya in The Big Apple.
Thank YOU! See you in NYC!