M&F: A lot of trainers were unhealthy growing up. Were you ever out of shape?
Nicole Michel: I played a lot of sports in high school, but I never exercised outside of practice. I was soft. When I came to Salt Lake City, though, everyone works out here, and I fell in love with it.
And now you’re a Master Trainer at 24 Hour Fitness.
Yes. I have a B.S. in exercise and sport science. I keep a blog where I try to motivate and inspire every day.
Can you pick your best client success story?
One of the more notable ones was a 60-year-old man who weighed about 300 pounds. In five months, he got down to 212 and now leads a very active lifestyle and took up scuba diving.
Guys must hit on you all the time in the gym. What’s your worst story?
I can’t fault a guy for trying, but some behavior is just tacky. This one guy kept lifting his shirt to wipe his face—which is normal—but when that didn’t get my attention, he took his shirt off completely and asked me to show him some exercises!
What’s a better way to get your attention?
Confidence is key. I find that I’m attracted to someone simply by the way they hold themselves and interact with other people. I like a muscular build, but also athletic. If you can bench 400 but can’t touch your hands behind your back, it’s sad.
What’s your best piece of training advice?
Find balance. Anyone can go on a crash diet and training regimen. For real health, you need a balanced approach.
This is our special Arnold issue. Do you have a favorite quote of his?
I’d have to say his line from Pumping Iron about how getting a pump in the gym was like coming and how he must be in heaven. If I felt that way every time I worked out, I’d be in heaven, too!