Name: Michelle Van Rooyen
Competition weight: 123 lbs
Current weight: 125 lbs
Current city: West Palm Beach, USA.
Occupation: Online Trainer and fitness model
Have you always lived a fit lifestyle? How did you get started?
I have always been very active, I played a lot of sports throughout school and my family was always quite active.
I went to watch a male friend compete in a fitness show and I saw the beautiful girls on stage. I wanted to look just like them and so I started researching how to get into shape. I read tons of fitness magazines and googled ways to build lean muscle and cut fat. After putting this knowledge into practice for a while someone came up to me in the gym and told me that I would be silly not to compete.
I found a show to do, trained my butt off and won my first show.
I loved the adrenaline rush of being on stage and the sense of achievement that I entered one each month after that for the rest of the year! It was so much fun and I won my first 8 shows! I’ve been addicted ever since.
How do you manage to stay motivated and consistent throughout your training and eating right? Do you think it requires a lot of sacrifices?
I feel good about myself when I am in shape, I have confidence to wear whatever I like and that is important for me.
I am also very competitive and know that if I am not consistent, someone else will be. I want to win. It’s not possible to maintain a great shape if you are dieting just for a show. It’s a way of life.
Unfortunately there are a lot of sacrifices. Socially, people don’t understand when you don’t want to drink alcohol and it can be hard at times but it’s all about priorities I guess. I have experienced so much more by committing my life to fitness than the people I know that drink and party every night.
I remember the experiences the next day! That’s for one thing.
You seem to love travelling, tell us a bit about your latest travels and was it easy to carry on training while travelling?
I do love travelling! It’s the best thing I have ever decided to do!
Over the last year I have travelled from South Africa to New York, Miami, LA, Palma Mallorca, France, Italy, Spain and Thailand.
Within these areas I have travelled to many different cities and experienced such amazing sites, food and cultures! Dieting while travelling is especially hard.
The trick is to always choose a protein option when eating out, ask for everything grilled, not fried and drink as much water as possible. I make sure I exercise wherever I am.
Whether I find a gym to go to in the area or just run on the beach, I make sure I fit it in! I also like to do outdoor activites like paddle boarding, swimming, surfing, wakeboarding etc all of which is a workout too but it is just fun holiday living!
Tell us a bit about your bootcamps that you ran, and your style of training used in it?
I ran private exclusive bootcamps from clients homes. This was usually held on a tennis court with a bunch of mums and their friends. The mums loved it because they could bring their kids along and they could watch them there too.
I saw amazing results with my clients. We incorporated a variety of training styles into the workouts, including kettlebells, TRX, slow steady state cardio, plyometrics, weight training, circuit training and body weight movements.
What are you currently busy doing and what does the future hold for you?
I am currently working on improving my website so that I can reach more women around the world, I will be travelling until October and will compete again around that time, probably at the Vegas show.
I would like to achieve my Fitness Universe Pro card and win worlds. I would also like to give motivational talks to high school girls around the world.
I would like to get involved in corporate wellness seeing that I completed my Bachelor of commerce in Industrial and organisational psychology so I would like to fit that in with my personal training qualification.
Take us through an average day of yours:
- In the week I wake up and do a morning cardio session, usually HIIT on the treadmill.
- Then it’s time for breakfast.
- I work from 8 until 5 doing personal and online training and make sure I have my lunch and two snacks in between then I go straight to the gym to do my strength session which will include weights and plyometrics.
- When I get home I will have dinner and do a bit more work before retiring.
On weekends I wake up a bit later, go to gym and then meet friends for brunch, go exploring or do something outdoors like hiking or go to the beach and then maybe go out for a dance with some friends in the evening.
Do you follow quite a strict diet? Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet:
I stay away from wheat, sugar, milk and alcohol. I eat low GI carbs and include all kinds of fat into my diet.
My Diet consists of:
- Oatmeal with coconut, cinnamon, raw honey and cranberries
- 2 fruit
- Chicken, lamb, pork or beef
- Rice or sweet potato
- Green veg
- Fish or chicken
What are your top Nutrition tips for keeping in shape?
- Stay away from alcohol!
- Avoid refined food.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal and as you wake up.
- Have some protein in every meal.
- Never cut out a food group, you need carbs, fats, and protein.
Do you weigh all your food and track the numbers when it comes to calories of everything you eat?
No, life is too busy for that. I just make sure that whatever I put in my body is natural.
If I am hungry after a meal I will just eat more protein and veg to fill myself up. There’s no point in being hungry, I need energy to do awesome stuff all day!
Do you think it is necessary?
It is necessary in the beginning to get a feel for how much you should be eating, especially if you may be over eating but I don’t think it’s maintainable if you want to live a normal life of going out for dinners with friends etc.
I train harder so I can eat more, it works.
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training and on average how long do you workout for?
I like to keep my heart rate up at all times to burn calories.
Doing weight training does that and tones the muscles well. I do 20 minutes of cardio and then 30 minutes of weights and plyometric training.
A month before a show I will split my training into cardio for 30 minutes in the morning and weight training in the evening for 30-45 minutes.
What are some of the other types of exercises that you enjoy doing?
All water sports!
- Wake boarding
- Jet skiing
- Trying to surf lol
- Action netball
What other specific forms of exercise in your opinion can ladies benefit from in addition to weight training?
Yoga is fantastic, it helps me when I start feeling aches and pains from training hard. It’s also very relaxing and provides great flexibility. Dancing a lot will also give you a great body, dance every night!
What are your 3 favourite exercises?
Good for toning the gluteus and legs. If you want a small round perky bum then lunges should become your best friend.
Jump Squats | Gluteus
If you want a bigger, rounder, fuller bum then squats are essential. The explosive movements activates your fast twitch muscle fibres which help create that rounder stronger look in the muscle. It keeps your heart rate up and burns a ton of calories.
Fat burning and lean muscle mass.
What advice would you give the ladies to developing strong and fit legs?
Train your legs 2 to 3 times per week and make them a priority. Do weighted exercises to tone and build lean muscle to have that strong but sexy look.
Sprint, lunge and squat!
Your flexibility is incredible! Do you place a lot of emphasis on stretching in your workouts?
I stretch after every workout for 10 minutes and try to get to a yoga class once a week if I can. Stretching is essential to prevent injury, to help with recovery and to lengthen your muscles.
I love stretching.
What tips and stretches can you give to someone wanting to get more flexible?
- Stretch every day after your workout or a hot bath when your muscles are warm.
- Sit in the stretch for at least 15 seconds.
- Be consistent and push yourself further each day.
Fitness models or bodybuilders?
Fitness model without a doubt. I can appreciate the hard work that goes into body building but I don’t think its sexy.
What is the most common question you get asked?
You’re from Africa? But you’re not black???
Lol, No comment.
Favorite female fitness icon(s):
Jamie Eason and Michelle Lewin.
“In the end we only regret the chances we don’t take.”
What is the one thing you see people do in the gym or when training which you would like to see less of?
Men throwing down their weights!
Best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.
What are some of the highlights of your competitive history?
- Miss body beautiful | Bikini
- Mr and Miss Fitness | Bikini
- Miss Bikini Universe | Tall Bikini
- WBFF Pro card
- FAME pro card