Name: Michelle Risley
Weight: Off-season 112 lbs; contest 103 lbs.
Current Residence: Raleigh, NC
Sports: Figure Competitor, Model
Why did you become vegan?
Many years ago, I watched Meet Your Meat and became aware of the horror and abuse I was contributing to by consuming animals. This knowledge, coupled with my love and empathy for all sentient beings led me to initially become vegetarian, then eventually vegan. The health and environmental benefits are a nice bonus. But for me, it’s all about my love and compassion for animals, and causing the least harm possible.
How would you describe your training program?
My training is a combination of weight training, cardio, and yoga. How much of each I'm doing just depends on my goals at the time.
Cardio 6 days per week, alternating days of 30 minutes of pre-breakfast (low intensity) with 30 minutes of post-workout (high intensity intervals). If I'm not losing enough body fat as I get closer to the date of a show, I will do some "two-a-days" with both types of cardio in the same day.
Weight training 5 days per week:
Day 1 Chest / delts
Day 2 Quads / glutes
Day 3 Rest
Day 4 Back / rear delts
Day 5 Bis / tris / abs
Day 6 Rest
Day 7 Hams / glutes
I only do 2-3 days of Cardio, alternating days of 30 minutes of pre-breakfast (low intensity) with 20 minutes of post-workout (high intensity intervals). I let my weight and how I'm eating guide me here. So it can vary somewhat from week to week, depending if I begin to lose weight or if I just "feel" like doing more or less.
Weight training, 4 days per week:
Day 1 Chest / tris
Day 2 Back / bis
Day 3 Rest
Day 4 Delts / abs
Day 5 Legs / glutes
Day 6 Rest
Day 7 Rest
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I first became interested in fitness in the mid-80s. Since that time, it’s been an ongoing evolution. My interest in nutrition, living a healthy lifestyle, and disease prevention have become more of a focus. Being vegan fits into all of those aspects.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
I eat a very clean, nutrition-dense, whole-foods diet. We really are what we eat. And for me, nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.