MUSCLEWEEK Senior Editor, Shane Ray is a man of faith. On a recent visit to the Lone Star State to speak in the Houston Astrodome during a Sunday sermon of Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. Shane spoke to the thousands in attendance about the Power of Christ breaking the chains, shackles, bondage and binding demonic spirits of serious competitive bodybuilding from him.
As fate would have it, Muscleweek’s Publicist, Social Media Director and Shareholder, Therese Janc shot Shane a text message:
“Hey. I want you to meet up with michelle hanson. Here is her number….”
Always up for a new interview it was down Reliant Park Dr. over to I-610 into south Houston where he met up with the lovely Michelle Hanson at Lifetime Fitness on Town & Country Lane as she was 6 days out from the 2012 NPC Jr. Nationals.
MW: Michelle Hanson. Welcome to Muscleweek. It’s a pleasure for you to meet me. So let me get this straight. You grew up in Louisiana but now live in the (713). What brought you to The Lone Star State?
MH: It is a pleasure to meet you, I have been a fan of your site for a while so I’ve been wondering when you would get to my interview. Actually what brought me here was the lure of a big city filled with growth and opportunity. Also having a mass communications degree from LSU, my first job was with Inside Houston Television in 1996. Plus the clubs here are great too.
MW: So were you an athlete in school? Most people who get into physique competitions transition from sports. Was this the case with you?
MH: Absolutely, I was involved in cheerleading, basketball, volleyball, softball, and track. To say the least I had my parents tied up every afternoon driving me around. I think my ADD was a big part of this as well.
MW: Excellent! I used to pop adderall like Tic Tacs when I was in school. So you compete in Bikini. Would you consider yourself an athlete? Often it has been said that physique competitors shouldn’t be considered athletes since the competition is virtually identical to a pageant.
MH: Obviously there is a lot of misconception out there. I believe that all fitness competitors (Bikini, Physique, and Figure) have the same stringent dietary and workout requirements as any professional athlete (if not more). It is a truly grueling and intense lifestyle to transform your body into a firm and tone competition machine. Plus with the lack of carbs, starvations and 3 hours of gym time a day, I can’t imagine what the question and answer section of the pageant would sound like. [Laughter]
MW: Based on the pictures I’ve seen of you have you ever thought about flipping divisions and maybe competing in Figure or Women’s Physique?
MH: I have actually competed in Figure and won Overall, before. Although I admire the hard work and dedication that it takes to compete in Physique, it is just too muscular for the look I want. Not a good look on me. I feel so much better like this.
MW: What’s the main difference between Figure and Women’s Physique? Is it simply a matter of high heels and a 60 second posing routine? What’s the deal?
MH: That, along with amount of muscle, a routine, and lots of balance and skills to pull some of those crazy moves they do. I would tell you that I could compete in Physique but I would be lying. Physique is a very athletic division if you ask me.
MW: Fitness is the true athletic division of the NPC & IFBB. The biggest criticism Bikini competitors endure is that any girl who works at a Hooters can slap on some Jan Tana and waltz on stage. What do you have to say about that?
MH: Bring the wings and curly fries on! Sounds like we have a new division. OMG. I can’t even believe you brought up Hooters. I’m starving right now. All I am going to be thinking about now is Hooters.
MW: I think about Hooters all the time but the other kind not the restaurant. High Five! So can a girl even be competitive in the NPC these days without being on some TEAM or having a popular nutritionist or trainer?
MH: Absolutely. It’s all in the work and the time spent on this but a popular trainer does not hurt let’s make no mistakes about that.
MW: Do you do all of your prep on your own or do you have a coach who guides you through the process of it all?
MH: I have blond hair. I definitely have a coach. I actually have 3 of them and don’t listen to any of them like most girls. No. I’m only half-kidding. Blondes have more fun when they are told what to do. Joking of course, I have a trainer and a nutritionist, and would not be able to do this without them. Shout out to my coaches!
MW: What is the end result of all of this? Is a Pro Card on Michelle Hanson’s wish list or is this more of a hobby for you?
MH: Both. My hobby is to wish for a Pro Card. I take this pretty seriously or I wouldn’t be competing this weekend at Jr. Nats but the truth is if I never win a Pro Card I won’t lose any sleep at all.
MW: You’re competing this weekend in Chicago at the Jr. Nationals. What do you expect to happen there? Jr. Nationals is notorious for having 400 + girls competing.
MH: I expect to make new friend in you, shake my arse a like a salt shaker, and be happy with whatever place I get. Sometimes the adventure is more important than the destination. I like your town anyway. I have so much fun there.
MW: Pfft! I’d trade you Chicago for Houston and I told you any friend of Therese Janc is a friend of mine. Bodybuilding is very subjective. Can any human being alive be able to judge so many similar looking bodies and accurately declare who looks better than who?
MH: It takes years of training to do so, but I think they can. Then again who knows. The only thing I can control is coming in as good as I can. Nothing else.
MW: I often say that the criteria changes from show to show not only to drive the competitors mad as they try to predict and encrypt what the judges are looking for but also so nobody is held accountable for their decisions. Is there a real tangible concrete criteria that you know you need to bring to the stage this weekend?
MH: Just like Mr.Potato Head, I usually bring several sets of booties, abs, shoulders and thighs, so that I can fit the judging model for the weekend. In all seriousness it is hard to figure I out. I try to go into it with a Figure and Fitness level mindset that makes me happy. If you take this too seriously you will drive yourself crazy.
MW: Figure-Seriously-Crazy should always be used in the same sentence. High level physique competition could take a toll on personal relationships. I heard you’re engaged now. Please tell me you date a normal guy with an actual J-O-B and not some piss broke mooching bodybuilder who lays on your couch all day wondering which shirt he will wear to the gym later.
MH: [Laughter] You are 2 for 3. I’m not engaged, but right on the money about the rest. I am in a very healthy and happy relationship. It’s a complete opposite of what I have experienced prior to this as you so eloquently allured to.
MW: It’s a running joke on Muscleweek. We say it all the time, we say What Do You Call a Bodybuilder Without a Girlfriend? Homeless.[Laughter]Moving on. Facebook is totally saturated with every creep this side of the Milky Way galaxy. How often do schmoes bug you with private messages soliciting nude photos or other seedy requests?
MH: None any more. What I do is ask them for nude pictures of them first and then email them to their moms and wives. My inbox has been silent ever since!
MW: I see what you did there. I like that. Let’s say you win your Pro Card. How does this change Michelle Hanson’s life?
MH: Winner winner chicken dinner! GEAUX TIGERS! No. Honestly let’s say I won this weekend I’d go out for some good Chicago style pizza and maybe have a drink with friends in a safe setting. Not much more beyond that.
MW: Tell me one movie you think everybody should sit down and watch.
MH: The Blind Side.
MW: “One Mississippi”. Agree. Who is your “industry husband” Whose glutes do you want to squeeze or pecs do you want to “motorboat”?
MH: Ryan Workman for sure. He has a great body plus he is a great friend.
MW: [Laughter]. How could a bodybuilder have a last name like that? We already said they are mostly lazy unemployed turds. Supplements. Tell us your three staples your kitchen counter is never void of.
MH: Multivitamin, CLA, and BCAA’s.
MW: Crossfit. This style of training is starting to become very popular among Bikini competitors and even Figure & Physique. Do you dabble in Crossfit?
MH: I like Crossfit but I don’t think it targets muscle groups like figure or physique need to. It is a great cardiovascular workout though. It’s getting really popular now. I see gyms opening up that strictly focuses on Crossfit.
MW: If you can change just one thing about the bodybuilding industry what would it be?
MH: The stinky arm pit smell backstage. OMG! It’s horrible. I just don’t like stinky people. There is no excuse for that.
MW: Michelle. Is there anything you would like to promote? How does one contact you for possible sponsorship or modeling work?
MH: I would like to thank bodybuilding.com for all their support and sponsorship. They are one of the most informative supplement website in the industry. http://www.facebook.com/MichelleReneaHanson
– Favorite song: Anything by LMFAO!
– Favorite cheat food: Tress Leches.
– Favorite exercise: Jump Squats – Oh, how they burn.
– Favorite piece of gym equipment: Leg Press.
– Last book you read: My Bible, I have one on my toilet and on my nightstand.
– Finish this sentence: The Stars at Night are Big and Bright… Deep in the heart of Texas!
MW: Michelle. You survived Muscleweek’s Hot Seat. Congratulations. Good luck this weekend.
MH: Thank you very much for this opportunity. Loved the questions.