Nicole Wilkins—three-time Figure International and two-time Figure Olympia Champion—returns to the stage this Saturday, May 25th at the IFBB New York Pro. Having opted out of the 2013 Figure International, this is the longest break between shows Nicole has had since she began competing in the IFBB. A champion in every possible way, I knew that she spent that time wisely—so, I was eager to learn what she’s been up to and how she’s approached this prep. I caught up with the always-inspirational Nicole for a quick interview and made sure to bring along YOUR questions from Facebook. Here’s what the Champ had to say…
JB: The last time we saw you on stage was in the Fall at the 2012 Figure Olympia & 2012 Sheru Classic. This spring, you opted out of the 2013 Arnold. What have you been up to since your fall shows?
Nicole: Since the Olympia and Sheru last year, I have been doing some international travel, having fun in the gym, spending time with family…and the biggest thing is I moved across the country from Michigan to California.
JB: How has the time away from the stage helped you with this prep?
Nicole: I felt a bit burnt out after last year. Although I did decent, my body was tired. I wasn’t really having fun in the gym. It had been about 6 years with the longest break between shows being 3.5 months. I needed to take a break mentally and physically before getting ready to do another competition. I spent more time with my family, got to eat a Christmas dinner for the first time since 2007 (had a few too many cheat meals), changed up my training and got a lot of strength back. I also really enjoyed more outdoor cardio living in California during the winter. I am the type of person who likes order and routine. So, with a big move smack in the middle of the Arnold prep, for me, it would have been a nightmare to prepare for that show. I got it all out of my system, so when I began prepping for this show, I was all set and ready to go.
JB: What were your goals for this prep? How do you feel about where you are with your progress as of today?
Nicole: I had a lot of goals for this prep. As far as body goals, I wanted to put on some muscle from last year’s Olympia. I came in a bit too small compared to my usual self. I wanted to work on my conditioning coming into the show, round the glutes, tighten the hamstrings, tighten the waistline, add a bit more size to my calves and more definition to my arms. LOL That’s all. So far, I feel pretty good!
JB: How have you approached this prep differently?
Nicole: A couple years ago we (Kim Oddo and I) began implementing carb cycling and that seems to work well for me. My calories were a bit higher than last year, which helped a lot. I also rested more. I was incredibly regimented with my sleeping patterns and eating patterns. It helped that I wasn’t traveling quite so much.
JB: Complete this sentence: The most important thing I need to do to be successful this Saturday is_____________.
Nicole: Just have fun! The hard work for me at that point is done. I need to stay calm and relaxed and just take it all in. Losing keeps you on your toes and winning is icing on the cake. It’s a win-win for me.
JB: What was your funniest prep moment? I’m talking about those crazy things we do when we are tired and low on carbs.
Nicole: Ha! Well I put green beans in the spice cupboard….
JB: While prepping for this show, you put together a new training DVD. Tell us about it. When will it be available and where can readers get it?
Nicole: Yes! It is an instructional DVD for Legs and Glutes. It can be for beginners to advanced exercisers. I explain how to structure a leg workout with alternatives to mix it up. I discuss proper form and technique, how to adjust the machines, etc. I also talk about cardio for the glutes, my 5 favorite glute exercises, plyometrics and two bonus track workouts! We are in the editing phase now and designing the cover so I am hoping it will be done in a few months. It will be available on my website: www.nicolewilkins.com. I am excited!
FACEBOOK FAN QUESTIONS
Fan Question 1: What was the hardest part of this prep? (Tiffany Shirilla)
Nicole: Ignoring any self-doubt. I have good days and bad days just like everyone else. I just know now that bad days will pass, and if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, it will all fall into place.
Fan Question 2: How do you control the urge to binge from controlling your carbs during cutting? (Heidi Vosberg)
Nicole: I think about how the whole world will be looking at me in a bikini. :p No, seriously, I just eat a lot of greens. I have huge salads with veggies and balsamic vinegar when I am having cravings. I will also read a book, go for a walk or have a huge glass of tea. It takes discipline—I just remind myself that I want to have a good body more than I want that brownie.
Fan Question 3: How much goes into the final couple weeks of leaning out in terms of protein and carbohydrate ratios? Ex: When do you start cutting out carbs, then reintroducing them go get the desired muscle fullness? (Kristen Jolly)
Nicole: I never fully cut carbs. I decrease them on low days and increase fats. It really depends on how I am looking. Sometimes there is very little change, sometimes there is a lot.
Fan Question 4: How many hours a day do you train and do cardio when prepping? (AT Williams)
Nicole: About 2hrs a day—two sessions of 40min cardio and one weight training session.
Fan Question 5: How many hours of sleep? (AT Williams)
Nicole: I need to sleep 7-8hrs a night. Any more or less than that and I am tired.
Fan Question 6: What is your first treat meal after comp?? (Elizabeth Stewart)
Nicole: A glass of red wine :) I never binge, because I gain weight so fast and I hate the feeling afterwards.
Fan Question 7: I’m competing for the first time this year, and I understand on the day of the show the girls can get quite bitchy towards one another. How do you stop it from getting to you? (Crystal Trace)
Nicole: If a girl is bitchy, it is not my problem and none of my business. Something is obviously bothering her and I would just ignore it. Thankfully this doesn’t happen often.
Fan Question 8: How often do you work abs? Favorite exercises? (Norma Jean Hall)
Nicole: 2-3x per week. I like decline sit ups, bicycles, and leg raises into a butt up.
Fan Question 9: How long did it take to get your biceps like that? (Samantha Lamb)
Nicole: I have been training for about 15years. Funny you say that though, because my arms are my most insecure body part. So, thank you!
For More Nicole…
Check out her “The Fit Life” video column each week at FitnessRxWomen.com and her TRAIN LIKE A CHAMP Print & Go Workout. Also, pick up her DVD, “In Pursuit of a Dream,” for tons of detailed information on training, nutrition and the life of a top pro athlete! You can order the DVD now at www.nicolewilkins.com!
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