Figure Competitor Melissa Gogan
It all started back in 2004 when I had just met my fiancé, Jeff and he was a few weeks out from competing in the bodybuilding portion of Fitness Atlantic. I had never been to a competition before, let alone even know what figure and fitness was.
I remember like it was yesterday sitting in the auditorium for the night show; the smell of pro-tan, the hundreds of perfect physiques, the music, the lights... I was in awe! And when I saw the figure/fitness girls come on stage I was so impressed. By the time the show was over, I told Jeff that I wanted to be one of those girls on stage in the future. Jeff and I continued to go to the Fitness Atlantic shows every year to watch friends compete, each show I would continue to educate myself on the ins and outs of being a fitness girl.
Without a second thought, my fiancé Jeff inspired me! Before I met him, I was one of those girls who would walk into a gym, not having a clue how to work out correctly and then leave the gym after 20 min. and go pick up a bagel and coffee from Dunkin Donuts! : ) He taught me everything there is to know about weight lifting, cardio and how to make healthy eating a lifestyle. Of course the 100% support and love from my family and friends never lets me down!
I vowed to myself that if I ever were to compete it would be in the Fitness Atlantic. And the very first show I did was the '08 Fitness Atlantic, figure and won overall winner! I then placed 3rd in the NPC Jay Cutler Classic a week later. I evaluated my problem areas and took the rest of the year off to train super hard for the '09 season! I am toying with shooting for the '09 Fitness Atlantic Model division.
Before I started training for figure competitions, I was 30 pounds over weight, skipped breakfast and ate fast food! After meeting Jeff, he knew my passion for competing and trained me to become what I am today. Now, 4 years later, 35 pounds lighter and living a healthy lifestyle... I owe it all to him!
Truthfully, after Jeff taught me the basics about nutrition, contest dieting and lifting, I did allot of the research on my own. I have always stayed up-to-date on the bodybuilding/fitness world. I am constantly researching it on the internet, magazines and love love love watching bodybuilding and figure DVDs! Jeff and I attend at least 2-4 shows each year and I am always doing my research there as well... Bodybuilding and figure are so much a part of my life!
I work out at 2 gyms in our area, the Berkshire Nautilus and Retro-fitness. I find that when lifting, I like one gym for lower body and another for upper. Besides it is nice to get a change of scenery every once in a while!
I live on Met-rx products! I use their delicious chocolate meal replacement shakes, whey protein and creatine. Every morning I take fish oil, a multi-vitamin, vitamin D, vitamin B, magnesium zinc, and I can't forget my chewable citrus vitamin C pill, (it's like having a piece of sweet candy : ) ) I use these supplements all year round. Pre-contest, I like to mix glutamine in my shakes before and after the gym and this year I am trying L-Carnitine and L-Arginine before my workouts, which are suppose to be natural energy and fat loss products.
Besides being in the best shape of my life, I am a totally changed women since I have incorporated healthiness in my lifestyle. I have more energy, I am usually always in a great mood and I have ambitions to do things I never dreamed of doing!
Fitness has given me strength, knowledge and most important a willingness to achieve things I never thought possible. Weight issues have been and will always be a major problem facing people in our society; I have fallen into the trap of giving up and being a quitter. But since I have transformed my tired, overweight and sluggish body into a strong, toned and confident one, I feel my mind has also become strong, bold and confident! Being able to face and conquer a fear or problem that you have always struggled with is a priceless achievement, and I have achieved that!
I am always striving to be stronger and better. Since last year was my first year of competing, I know what I need to work on to be bigger and better next year. I am so excited to see the outcome of my physique this year!
I try to eat clean all year round, of course we all have good intentions but the holidays can be so so brutal! Besides my occasional cheat days, off season I always get a meal consistent of protein and carbs every 3 hours or so. Pre-contest, I am very strict, no cheats meals, period! I may up my protein and lessen my carbs. I have learned that my body does not handle carbs very well and playing with high carb, low carb dieting always works best a few weeks before a show for me. My proteins consist of chicken, turkey, tuna, egg whites, and steak. My carbs are usually oatmeal in the morning and brown rice or sweet potatoes through out the day.
Every so often I switch up my workout plan to keep from boredom and to keep my body guessing. During my off season, I train every other day. Chest w/ biceps, legs w/ calves, back w/ hamstrings, shoulders w/ triceps. I do very little cardio off season and I try to train heavy. Pre-contest I stick with the same plan but I do about 30-40 min of cardio everyday. Since there is about 3 feet of snow on the ground right now, I usually wake up extra early before work and ride the bike indoors at home. I actually dread doing cardio but I love lifting, so I try to super set allot of exercises and train non-stop to get a good cardiovascular session as well!
I work for the US Postal Service as a manager. I am also taking night courses to finish my degree at the current time. After high school, I enlisted in the US Navy, did my time, then became a police officer in Virginia, and now here I am : ) I am very happy, but I am getting edgy to try something new and exciting! q14: Right now a big priority is finishing my degree, which will be tough being a full-time working gal! I am also trying to plan a wedding for this year and of course train for the upcoming figure shows... .I am a very busy chic at the moment!
I grew up trying everything in the sports world. I really took a liking to soccer and participated in gymnastics since I can remember being able to walk! Right now, my main hobbies are weight lifting, tennis, mountain bike riding and of course spending time with Jeff and my family!
My entire family has been so supportive of me! There love is so powerful helps me get through the rough days of training for a show. Many thanks for putting up with my grumpy days when all I wanna do is eat a whole loaf of bread and tub of ice cream.... and of course not giving me any!!!! : ) Love you guys!
The biggest obstacle I have become is just being able to have the confidence to get on stage and do a show! I can still remember thinking in my head after seeing figure show after figure show that there was no way I was going to get my fat but on stage with these gorgeous girls! But, I finally overcame my fear and realized that I too belonged up there and that so many girls can achieve this as well! I still look at pictures of myself on stage and say, damn is that really me : ) So now I am hooked and am so looking forward to feeling the heat from the stage lights and all eyes on me again!
A big thanks to the Fitness Atlantic show for holding such an impressive and awesome show! Without a doubt, this is the biggest show with the best physiques the area has to offer! I have never had so much fun and I can't wait to see you all in '09! Till then, love, peace and happiness to all.
Figure Competitor Melissa Gogan Photos