Because when this huge and fabulous-looking female bodybuilder isn't in the gym, pumping iron and building muscle, she runs a restaurant!
That's right – while dieting down for bodybuilding competitions, when her calorie-starved body is screaming for fat, sugar and carbs, Melanie just happens to be surrounded by oodles of mouthwatering food!
And to stick to a bodybuilding diet in those circumstances requires discipline of Superwoman proportions.
But wow, Superwoman is right, because when Melanie steps on stage she is a thing of bodybuilding beauty - 165lbs of rock solid, gorgeously proportioned, fabulously athletic, female muscle.
At 5ft 7ins Melanie is not so much taller than the average female bodybuilder but she absolutely dominates stages, with those huge 16.5ins arms, mountainous back, and one of the most perfectly muscular side chest poses in the business.
At 36 years of age Melanie has an impressive 18 competitions under her belt – but she has rarely looked more muscular or better conditioned than she did at the 2013 Jr USA's.
Perhaps her new trainer/mentor helped – one Iris Kyle!
Melanie said: “The biggest thrill in bodybuilding so far would have to be meeting eight times Ms Olympia Iris Kyle! I met Iris through a mutual friend Mr. Al Smith. She and I talked on the phone first to discuss her training me.
“I was a nervous wreck before the phone call! After that, she guided me through many months of diet, exercise, and cardio.”
The results are undeniable and Melanie is now well-placed to push for top honours at the major contests.
Iris or no Iris though Melanie's real strength is Melanie, and her love for the sport of female bodybuilding.
Like she says: “I like being different with regards to having more size than the typical woman. More importantly, I need the structure & discipline.
“Bodybuilding is not something you do; it becomes who you are! It's not a hobby or a sport. You can play baseball or go fishing, but you can't play bodybuilding! It's 24/7/365.”
Melanie Wiggins - a future Ms Olympia in the making? We think so!
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Female Bodybuilder Melanie Wiggins Full Athlete Profile
Name: Melanie Wiggins
Job: Owner of Southern Comfort Catering
From: I'm from Cleveland, MS. I currently live in Hernando, MS.
Height: 5ft 7ins (170cms)
Weight: Contest 164lbs (74.3kgs / Offseason 180lbs (81.6kgs)
Body type: Bodybuilder
Chest: 45ins (114cms)
Waist: we won't discuss this right now! HaHa!
Quads: 24ins (61cms)
Biceps: 16.5ins (42cms)
Calves: 16 (41cms)
Squat: Not enough! 315Lbs (143kgs) usually
Bench: 275lbs (125kgs) flat and incline (100lbs (45kgs) DB incline press)
DB shoulder press: 90lbs (45kgs)
Bicep curl: Dumbbell 50lbs (22.5kgs) / 125lbs (57kgs) straight bar
Contests and results: All total I've competed in about 16-18 competitions. The 3 I'm most proud of are winning HW at The Southern Classic, winning the Mississippi State Championship, and I'm really proud of my conditioning at the 2013 Jr USA.
What contest are you prepping for now? Planning to do the USA and possibly the Master's Nationals in summer of 2014.
How's it going/where are you at!? It's going great. I need to add in a little more cardio. Weight training is progressing nicely! I feel strong and focused!
How many years have you trained? Long story.....I started training in Jan 1999 and competed in my 1st BB show in October of 1999 (The Big River in Memphis TN) I won my class at that show. I really thought I was something then! Now, I look back at those photos and I realize that I look like a 12 year old boy! HaHa! I guess we all have to start somewhere! I competed in 2000 at the Southern Classic. Then in 2002 I won the MS State Championship. After that, due to knee surgery in 2003 and staying busy with our business, I TOTALLY stopped working out (I got SO out of shape!!!!) until July 2008. I stepped back on stage in 2009 and have competed in 1-2 shows per year since then.
Why bodybuilding? I've always viewed it as a challenge. I like being different with regards to having more size than the typical woman. More importantly, I need the structure & discipline. Bodybuilding is not something you do; it becomes who you are! It's not a hobby or a sport. You can play baseball or go fishing, but you can't play bodybuilding! It's 24/7/365.
How and why did you start ?
From an early age, I remember my Mom, Jeannie Miller, working out. When we lived in Cleveland, MS, she had a key to the gym and would go frequently to workout. I didn't know exactly what she was doing, but I knew it was something she loved. Many years later (after being away from the gym) my Mom got back in the gym, lost weight and transformed her body. I tease her now by saying "my Mom looked so good when I was a teenager, that I wouldn't bring a boyfriend home to meet her!"
My husband, Charlie, and I joined a gym in 1999 to workout each day from 2pm-3:30pm to relieve stress. This was the only time we had to do anything for ourselves as we owned a restaurant that required a substantial amount of hours each week.
What is your dream? Once you are bitten by the bodybuilding bug, you have grandiose ideas of one day earning your Pro Card, having sponsorships, and being a top athlete in the sport. Now, I still hold on to part of that dream in the sense that I still want (and will one day earn) my Pro Card. All of the other stuff would be nice, but my goals have changed somewhat. Now, I would hope that I can inspire others to achieve their fitness goals. They may not want to be a bodybuilder. They may simply want to be healthy enough to play catch with their children and grandchildren. If I can be a part of that then I've accomplished something far greater than anything I could have dreamed!
What is your short term goal right now? My short term goal is to do a better job of controlling my diet and adding in more cardio this off season.
What keeps you motivated? My biggest motivation is my husband of 16 years....Charlie. He is my biggest fan and the love of my life! He is my accountability partner in this whole crazy process! When I'm preparing for a show he handles everything for me. He helps me with my workouts, makes sure I have all of my food readily available, does most everything around the house, etc. Most importantly, he loves me and encourages me each and every day to be a better quality athlete. And, if I'm not doing my part....he calls Iris and tells her! HaHa!
What do you love most about bodybuilding? I don't think it's any one aspect. It's the whole lifestyle.....but if I had to single out one thing, it would be the discipline. How much willpower, determination, and focus can I maintain day in and day out.....
And what do you hate the most? Not being able to eat what I want when I want it!
What is the biggest thrill or moment you have got from bodybuilding? The biggest thrill so far would have to be meeting 8X Ms Olympia Iris Kyle! I met Iris through a mutual friend Mr. Al Smith. She and I talked on the phone first to discuss her training me. I was a nervous wreck before the phone call! After that, she guided me through many months of diet, exercise, and cardio. For my last competition, she sent me a workout daily, wrote all of my diet/nutrition schedule, etc. This was truly a humbling experience! After all, I had her photo on my refrigerator for 4 years and only dreamed that I would meet her one day....and now I'm talking to her weekly. She has shared so much knowledge with me! She pushed me when I needed it and she complimented me when I did well. She and Charlie even surprised me by having her attend my last competition! I have come to learn that as great as Iris is as a bodybuilder, she is an even better person! I feel very blessed to be able to call her my friend!
How often do you train? Competition season: 7 days a week (most workouts were 800-1000 reps which I sometimes split between am & pm workouts in addition to 1 hr of am cardio and 30-45 min pm cardio) Off season: 4-5 days a week.
What is your program/split? Off season: Monday, back/bis, Tuesday Chest/tris, Wednesday legs, Thursday Shoulders. Friday cardio
What really works for you? Iris had me carb cycling for my last show. That seemed to work better for me than anything. Also, the extremely high volume of reps in my precontest training was very effetive.
Biggest improvement in last 12 months? Conditioning and lower body
Improvements you are targeting ? better conditioning and bigger/better legs
What tips would you give to newbies? The best advice I can give a person coming into the sport is to stay consistent! Consistency with training and diet is the key. You can't eat everything that you want in the off season because in bodybuilding there really is no off season. You just have periods of time where you diet and train according to your goals (i.e. contest prep vs adding size).
I would tell them to stay in shape year round. I don't mean "contest shape". I just mean don't get out of control. The idea of "off season bulking" leads many to believe that there is no limit to how much weight they should gain. As we all know, weighing more is not always a good thing. Years ago, I fell into this same mindset. Now, I know that I need to stay focused on clean, healthy eating year round. I will admit that this is something I struggle with, but I'm doing much better this time around!
Any training secrets or amazing exercises which have worked for you? no real secrets. However, when Iris began writing my workouts, the volume of training increased substantially! I couldn't believe how much she made me do! I followed her guidance and it paid off!
Favourite supplement and why? I have 2 actually! I love the Vi Shake. I mix it with water and fruit when I'm not getting ready for a contest. I mix it with just water during contest prep. It's clean tasting and mixes easily with no harsh aftertaste. My other favorite is Neuro by ViSalus. It's basically "smart energy". It gets me really amped up to train with no harsh crash at the end!