As you can tell from the pictures, Mirella is in pretty good shape. I first came across Mirella when she was Ultimate Performance being put through her paces by Nick Mitchell, cthe youtube clip if you want to see it.
I am of the opinion that girls should lift weights, no secret there, in fact I am of the opinion that they should all lift weights and do a lot less cardio. The proof is out there plain and clear to see and Mirella is walking, talking proof of how the ladies can look if they get some good coaching, sound nutrition advice and stick to the plan with some form of consistency.
Please have a good read and let us know what you think. Please like and share both this article and Mirella's pages. Enjoy!!
Can you give us a bit of background about yourself and your personal training career?
My original career choice wasn't in fitness. I worked for a number of years in the Tourism Industry and the Health Service. My various roles from PA to Business Executive were interesting but often boring. I always felt I should be doing something more…making a difference! It was when I moved to London around 5 years ago that I realised my true passion and decided to follow my heart into the fitness industry. Having always been into fitness from a very early age, as well as adopting a healthy balanced approach to life, it made sense for me to be helping others do the same. There is nothing better than waking up each day and looking forward to going to work.
You have just had a victory in the European championships, what category did you compete in? Did you enjoy it?
I competed in the 'Diva Fitness' category at the WBFF show in Denmark. I prepped for 13 weeks to get on stage and although hard at times, I wholeheartedly enjoyed the experience. I learned so much more about myself…how far I could push, the discipline, the focus. It was tough both mentally and physically at times and I did suffer from severe low moods. But I had set myself the challenge and I had to keep my eyes on the prize. I had to get up on that stage knowing that I had given it my all and no matter what happened, there was nothing else I could have done to improve. The hard work did pay off and I won 1st place and was award a Pro Card too.
What did a day in the 2 weeks prior to the contest look like?
It was sheer mayhem! I returned to the UK (i've been working out in Abu Dhabi) with just 2 weeks to go before the competition. I had stage walking lessons with my coach, photo shoots, training, catch ups with friends, as well as my usual online work to juggle. It was as if my feet didn't even touch the ground! It was hard to get all my meals in around all the rushing around. The last week before the competition was 'depletion week'…which involved cutting out the carbs and water-loading. I was a pretty tough week but as I was so busy, there wasn't really time to think about it.
What about on the day?
The day of the competition was amazing and so much fun! We had the 'pre-judging' show in the morning, so after tanning, hair and make-up, and carbing up on rice cakes and chocolate spread (such a treat after 13 weeks strict nutrition!), it was time for the first T-walk. Then back in the evening for the main event. The dehydration from cutting water was the hardest part of the final stages of prep. Being thirsty is so much worse than being hungry. Still, the atmosphere back stage made me forget all about my want for water. Although it was an extremely long day, once it was over, I wanted to go back and do it all over again.
Who coached you?
Tom Brazier, of Total Body Conditioning, is my coach. He will also be prepping me for The Worlds in Vegas. He is a great coach, highly knowledgable and expertise second to none.
What did you find most difficult in the lead up to the competition?
The low moods. I started supplementing with 5-HTP halfway through my prep as I just couldn't pick myself up. It really did help. There were times I was hungry but I knew it was all part of the progress so kept my focus. I'm very disciplined when I want to be. As I mentioned previously, the water cut and subsequent dehydration was the worst part overall.
What’s next for you competition-wise?
The WBFF Worlds in Vegas this coming August. This is where I will compete with the WBFF Pros…the Best of the Best. I'm very excited about doing another competition and meeting some more great athletes at the show.
Most females wanting to get into your kind of condition usually struggle to get really lean. What would be your five top training tips for them?
- Cut down on cardio
- Lift weights
- Lift heavy
- Train smarter
- No matter how hard you push yourself, someone can always push you harder…invest in a Personal Trainer
And top five nutrition tips?
- Living in a constant calorie deficit is not the way to get lean, sustain it and stay healthy. It can take time, don't damage your health in the process.
- Don't cut out all macros…get a good balance of carbs, proteins and fats that work for you
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat more protein
- Fats won't make you fat!
Where do you currently work? And do you have a specialty?
I have worked between Abu Dhabi and London for the last 12 months, training a lovely bunch of women…'ladies of leisure', and VIPs. I also do online training. My speciality is training women…fat loss and body composition, and I now also hope to take women through competition preparation to get on stage. Women are different to men…we are emotional creatures and a sympathetic approach is needed. Most of the ladies I see tell me I am an inspiration to them and it spurs them on to train harder and eat better. Hearing things like this make what i do all the more worthwhile. I can relate to women and the challenges and battles we often face with our bodies.
What is your method? How do assess your client’s needs?
I like to learn as much as I can about their history…medical, history, personal, etc, to get a better picture of who i'm working with. I make general assessment through biosignature analysis (skinfold measurements), health/lifestyle questions, food diaries. Also, posture and general fitness. I will look at what the client wants to achieve, and how we can fit this around their lifestyle to come up with a reasonable goal(s).
Do you deal with all aspects of your clients? Nutrition, Training, Psychological? Or do you refer out for different elements of the approach?
If it is something I can't deal with myself, or that involves a different level of expertise, I will refer out.
What do you say to clients/athletes who aren’t making progress as quickly as they would expect?
Progress takes time and should take into consideration many variables…general health, hormones, lifestyle, sleep patterns, stress levels, diet, genetics. Nutrition is key but there can be underlying reasons why a client may not be getting in shape as fast as they'd like. The most common question I get asked (and probably what most professionals in this field get asked) is "how long will it take for me to reach my goal?". It's the same as asking "how long is a piece of string?". There is no easy way of answering that. Everyone is different. Take the long road to achieving your goals and your body will thank you for it. Never compromise health over aesthetics.
Who are the top 5 experts in fitness and strength that have had a direct impact on your training and nutrition style?
Here are the first 5 I have pulled from the top of my head, but to be honest there are far too many to mention who I feel have expertise in various areas...
Huge thank you to Mirella for answering the questions and taking time out of her busy and hectic schedule, I think you'll agree that Mirella is going places in the industry. We wish her the best of luck in Vegas and hope she is as successful as she was in Denmark!
What’s the motto you live by….
A few that I like...
Wake up with determination, go to bed with satisfaction
Strive for progress, not perfection
Clear your mind of can't
FB athletes page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRLUVVa3IXI
FB profile page: https://www.facebook.com/mirella.clark