#StrongWomen Marcelle Collison Heads to Arnold Classic

With the second Arnold Classic Africa around the corner (5-7 May 2017) we chatted to Marcelle Collison about her road to this year’s competition following the success in winning her line-up (Body Fitness over 1.68m) at the inaugural event.

Please detail the highs and lows of your ACA journey this year

Highs: Definitely competing at the King Shaka in KZN.

It was awesome and I am super excited to see what I can bring to the stage this year. I have also been blessed with a few new opportunities regarding sponsorships and working with people I have always looked up to in the industry.

Lows: I got sick a few days after the King Shaka and I was stressed out because I was missing workouts.

I kept telling myself to trust the process. Apart from this I have not had too many lows as I have started changing my mindset about my prep. Overcoming obstacles and keeping an eye on the end goal is what it is all about!

This is your second Arnold experience.How did you go about stepping up your game?

I have been consistently working to make certain improvements to bring a different look to the stage.Training and eating healthy is already such an enormous part of my lifestyle regardless of whether I am competing or not.I have been more consistent in my off-season period compared to previous years.I have also locked away the Cookie Monster for good. LOL!

Have you switched up your training and dieting from what you were previously doing?

I have been training harder and smarter with a focus on problem areas I would like to improve without neglecting stronger muscle groups. I have started to incorporate giant sets as well as plyometrics with great success! Diet-wise I have found carb cycling to work really well for my body type.I am fortunate enough to be working with IFBB Pro bodybuilder Andrew Hudson. This man’s knowledge about the sport is truly insane!

At the end of the day it is you on that stage competing. How do you cope with all the stress of being an athlete?

I do have moments where I am thinking stuff like “Am I good enough or lean enough?” but then I tell the negative voices in my head to swiftly move along! Having guidance from Andrew makes a world of difference because he knows my goals and exactly how hard I am willing to work. I trust him to get me where I need to go.When I am finally called out on stage I know I have given it my all and all that is left is just to enjoy the moment!Although I am extremely competitive I don’t ever base my self-worth on this sport for it is a very subjective sport.I thrive on inspiring people. If I can do it…then so can you!

Training is not always rainbows and butterflies. The toughest training days stick with you for the longest. Do you agree?

Absolutely!I am not going to lie here. I have had moments where I have cried and felt beyond tired and mentally drained but I have fantastic people in my corner who have encouraged me during hard times. When it’s tough you basically have a choice – either give up or pull up your socks and do your best!

Tell us about this support structure?

My mom has been my rock and kept me balanced while still reminding me about the reason I do what I do which is to inspire and help others.Andrew has also been incredible. Not only do I respect him as a coach but also as a person,a family man and as an athlete. I also have 2 to 3 very close friends who are constantly supporting me in all aspects of my life! For these people I am eternally grateful!

How do you balance everything?

My passion is my work and I am fortunate enough to be based in a gym working as a lifestyle consultant. Everything is connected to a certain degree.I set times aside in the day in between clients to train.The most challenging part is managing a gym, seeing clients throughout the day while still finding time to lift weights and prep meals. It definitely becomes a mine-over-matter issue and how to manage everything successfully and still remain sane!

In the end it does not really matter how bad it hurts but if you can suck it up and keep moving forward to reach your goals.What is your ultimate fitness goal?

My ultimate fitness goal is to compete as a Pro on the international stage and to inspire women out there to achieve their individual goals. I want to show others that muscle can be sexy and that you can overcome anything life throws at you! I also would like to grow my brand in the fitness industry and go from strength to strength.

Check out Marcelle as Muscle Evolution’s latest Babe in the May/June issue or follow her on :

Instagram / Twitter or Facebook Marcelle Collison (Gouws)

Go to www.arnoldclassicafrica.com for more info on the ACA 2017.

Author: Tanja Schmitz

Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.