Model Mum

A single mum, a Personal Trainer, a massage therapist, a figure competitor and now our Wonder Woman!

Michelle Dixon was recently featured at by Maria Dunlop and we thought the questions are so good, we couldn't do any better so we thought we'd just transfer her story to our wonder woman page so thanks Maria for letting us share this.

You can't miss Michelle Dixon at a contest.  She's the one smiling, hugging everyone and is usually one of the more glammed up and gorgeous girls on stage.  And yet she is humble modest and dedicated figure.  Not only to her sport but to her 2 huge boys, whom she raised on her own for 11 years.  An awesome effort in itself!  

In this profile, you'll find out how Michelle pretty much pulled herself by up by her bra straps to successfully forge out a career in the fitness industry and what drives her to compete in figure competitions.

Michelle will be competing at the INBA Auckland Champs this Sat 3 June!

I am a single parent for the last eleven years raising two sons now aged 12 and 15. They were 3 and 6 when I started bodybuilding! When I left their father and the beautiful island of Rarotonga in 2001 I was literally homeless and penniless and had to restart my life basically.

I decided to make a living out of what I love doing and that was weight training. I had a background in martial arts, taught aerobics, and had always weight trained in the UK, then later I did stunt fighting and stunt work for Xena.

2010 NABBA Nats with her boys
The personal training courses here were not too intense back then so after qualifying and working as a fitness instructor for 18months I decided I wanted to do a bodybuilding comp as an investment instead of forking out for strength courses which as a single mum I couldn't afford....

I did my first comp 2004 and never stopped!!!!

3 years ago I started a degree in neuromuscular therapy; I am already two thirds through it plodding on part time completing the diploma in therapeutic and sports massage and will spend the next two years working on the final part of the degree. It has been the best thing I have done in that it has taken my knowledge of the human body to another level, as a trainer I have changed avenues and find I do more corrective work because of it and of course it has enabled me to change direction and add massage to my business.

I have opened my new clinic from home, mdsportsclinic, this year and it is going really well. Having spent the last two years working with the New Zealand Breakers has really helped me understand team sports and sporting’s been a privilege and lots of fun.

My children go to Dilworth Boarding school for boys being raised the old school Anglican way and we have an incredible relationship. We three are here alone in NZ, we don't have much but we have each other and our health.

I love my life, and have so many amazing people in my life, my work and sports enables me to be around like minded people so I am rarely encouraged to go partying or eat rubbish. My lifestyle or clean living is 100% and I do my up most best to be the best role model I can.


How long have you been training for?
I’ve been training heavy for competition for ten years now. But in total, weight training since I was 18 (but with a few gaps whilst traveling and pregnant) - 23years!!!!

When did you first get interested in weight training and competing?

I first got interested in weight training at university 1991 back home in London. I already did martial arts and taught aerobics. I had no idea what I was doing in the gym back then but nobody really did to be honest. There was a gap in my fitness life as I moved around the world and only after I left my husband and became a single mum at the age of 31 did I decide to take up the weights more seriously and became a PT.

It was this time in my life (about 2003) I began picking up the glossy fitness mags and reading up on the likes of Stevie Lasenby and Leanne Grindrod... they were beautiful and became my inspiration to compete.  I have been competing for 9 years this year with no gaps!


My Comps and Results so far

2004 NZFBB CNI's - no place novice figure tall [:(]
2004 NZFBB Wellington champs - 2nd Novice Figure tall
2004 NZFBB Nationals - No place
2004 NZFBB Taranaki Champs - 1st Novice Figure Tall

all that in 1 month!!! lol what an intro to bodybuilding whew!!!

2005 NABBA Auckland Champs - 2nd Novice Figure Tall
2005 NABBA Nationals 1st Place Novice Figure Tall
2005 NABBA North Harbour Champs - 1st Open Figure Tall & Overall Figure Champ

2006 NABBA Bay of Plenty - 2nd Open Figure Tall
2006 NABBA North Harbour Champs 2nd Open Figure Tall

2007 NZFBB Sonny Smidt - 1st Open Figure Tall
2007 NZFBB Auckland Champs - 1st Open Figure Tall
2007 NZFBB Taranaki Champs - 1st Open Figure Tall

2008 NZFBB Auckland Champs - 1st Open Figure Tall
2008 NZFBB Nationals - 2nd Open Figure Tall

2009 NZFBB Tauranga CNI's - 1st Senior Figure 35+
2009 NZFBB Nationals - 1st Senior Figure 35+

2010 NZFBB Pro/Am Figure Grand Prix Bodyfitness/Figure ??
2010 NZFBB Pan Pacific Champs - 1st Open Figure Tall
2010 NZFBB National Champs - 1st Open Figure Tall
2010 ANB Asia Pacific Champs - Gold Coast - 3rd Open Tall

2011 ANB Asia Pacific Champs - Gold Coast - 3rd Open Tall

2012 NABBA Counties Manukau - 3rd Open Figure Tall

2012 INBA.......WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!


Sometimes winning doesn’t always make the competition better than other comps, do you have a favorite competition that you have entered?

That’s so true. I have won comps where I know I didn't really have much competition, e.g. maybe a novice has just entered opens and there could be two of us only, that doesn’t feel particularly victorious.

NABBA Countites 2012
Whereas my last comp two weeks ago at nabba counties, I came third out of three but was elated when I saw the pics and saw that I very much looked in place right next to two amazing athletes. Also coming third in Australia’s ANB was overwhelming two years in a row...however I still want to win that one! 


How many days a week do you train?

I train 4 days weight training and when competing I do more if I can plus 5 days cardio. I don't always train for an hour though but simply train till I know I have fatigued the muscle group intended.

How do you stay motivated while training other people?
I believe so much in the lifestyle I have chosen and that which I advocate that it is really easy to remain motivated. I have seen changes in so many of my clients who put their trust in me that it is incredibly satisfying. Competing in bodybuilding comps provides me with a goal too and so I never remain clients feed off this energy and together we drive each others motivation.

  Do you train in the same gym all the time or vary it?
I work at one gym but have always paid to be a member of another gym where I am just a member like everyone else. I currently train at Vibe Fitness known to many as The Environment gym infamous for the team Soman bodybuilders lead by Tony Ligaliga.

Although I train myself I am not afraid to learn from others and being in a gym full of big heavyweights is always motivating. It took a while for them to get used to me and now I’m just one of the boys!!! Prior to this I was at BTS in Mt Eden for three years for the same reasons.



What are your top 3 exercises that you recommend all women should do?
1. Shoulder presses - for delt development as these are the coat hangers for the rest of your body to drape off!!

2. Dead lifts (of varying styles) for overall strength in particular in gluteal and hip region as well as for subtle upper back development

3. Walking lunges - also done in various styles for functional leg strength as well as aiming to isolate lower limb muscle development

With Donna Randell 09 CNI


What is your favorite food when you are not dieting?
Hubbard’s toasted muesli and scorched almonds as my treats.....otherwise non dieting but good food is bagels with cream cheese and salmon....a great post train meal.

What are your top 3 foods that you recommend all women should eat?
1. Omega 3 rich foods - for the health of the cell membrane necessary for metabolic processes to take place
2. Protein rich foods, not all animal protein though, such as nuts n beans
3. Fibrous carbohydrates for intestinal health

to pin point three actual foods, probably: salmon/broccoli/blueberries


I always tell my clients we brush our teeth twice a day we go to the gym 3 times a week... its just the way it has to be - no question!

So how I see it is even if we're not gym bunnies or adrenaline junkies or even vein enough to care, we know enough now to know that it is essential to weight train to keep so many of life’s killers at bay. 


To override osteoporosis and that withered-away look our grandmothers had, and with tonicity of muscle we can easily have the appearance of a younger body. The bonus to eating correctly in addition to this means that we really are slowing down the aging process with healthier cell membranes and improved metabolic rate....

The gym-time, I tell my sons, is adults playground time.... we need it to diffuse emotional and physical tension and really Im a better parent for it I believe.


Michelle Dixon
May 2012

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