FAQ

WHY HIRE US?

Coaching is your secret weapon. Hiring a seasoned coach takes the guesswork out. You have an opportunity to be what you desire and that’s to be competitive. Coach Michelle Johnson (Coach MJ) is a seasoned professionals with a great resume and a well of credentials. She has been featured in many national magazines as a fitness authority and athlete. She is recognized  worldwide. She has competed in fitness, figure & bikini. She is an IFBB Pro who has gone through the entire experience you will be going through. She learned some of her methods through the ISSA (International Sports Science Association) and from several top coaches and fitness professionals she personally was mentored by.

The programs are not your typical bodybuilding programs that are one size fits all. They are for YOU, YOUR BODY, YOUR LIFESTYLE, YOUR GOALS and will be streamlined to help you reach your goals and make them realistic for you. Not many coaches are sensitive to schedules of the athletes or concern themselves with your personal struggles. This is the total package.

When we say winner we mean you are always competing against your personal best. Yes, you compete with other girls, but we never know who will show up. We just want you to come in your all time best. We do not suggest you be on stage until it is approved or we discuss why you are doing it premature. Our motivation is only to support you in reaching the high level achievement you desire. However, we ensure our athletes have an amazing experience and learn as much as they can. Many jump through the ranks quickly. When you leave TK and complete your journey with us, you will be nicely educated and be able to carry on the tools of our training methods.

When you are stressed and struggling, we work as a team to get you through things so that you come out a winner no matter what! We have a strong reputation for having highly competitive and polished athletes. We have won overalls, over and over again. We took entire shows winning all classes in Bikini. Our figure and bikini athletes have ranked in the top 5 at National shows with little experience and we have helped develop multiple pros.

Even when girls move on they have strong basics that propel them to the top due to their experience with our team!

WHAT IS INCLUDED WITH MY PROGRAM, MEMBERSHIPS & COSTS

Each member receives (via email) a monthly nutrition, cardio and workout plan designed to meet your goals, objectives and fitness level as indicated on your application. All plans are modified biweekly and are based on your progress pictures, body compositions and interactions with our Staff.

Your membership also provide you with a personal liaison who is assigned to assist you on your questions. They will do their best to keep you inspired and present you with strategies during difficult times. Your diet and nutrition are always directed by and created with the supervision of Michelle Johnson. You will work with Michelle to set your program up, midway through and closer to your show. Your Peak week is always under the direction of Michelle.

You will communicate regularly with your Coach via email. If you are not happy with your coach for any reason that will be considered. Michelle is very hands on with all clients and will never take a backseat. The direction you get, at any time, by another approved Knockout Coach will be directly from Michelle. They are just communicating back to you these directions. Peak weeks are handled entirely by Michelle. All emails to other coaches are reviewed by Michelle. We know other teams rely on coaches outside of themselves to do their job. We don’t want this. We want you coached with supervision by someone who has credentials. This is important for your health and well being.

In order to best serve each client using other coaches is a way we ensure quality customer service.

WILL MY COACH BE AT MY SHOW?

Because we service clients worldwide, Coaches cannot be at all shows. Michelle will select specific shows she will attend that you may find noted on our Events Calendar. It is suggested if you want her in attendance at your show that you pick a show you know she will be at. We always try to have a staff member who is experienced on stage to help you with your suit, tanning issues that may arise, make up touch ups and more. Each staff member is trained on how to manage you the day of your show and what you need checked. Photos front, back and of your face are sent directly to Coach MJ before you hit the stage. Our staff will also observe your posing and ensure it is on point before you hit the stage.

If we cannot be at your show, we have a way of working, as if we are there.  This is an important time and we like to ensure you are feeling sure of yourself before hitting the stage. We are on call 24 hours the day before and day of your show!

DO YOU DO SPECIALIZED DIETS?
Coach MJ is an experienced nutritionist who has a background in many methods. Many coaches only offer what you can find in a magazine or use “old school” bodybuilding methods which can cause you issues post your show from hormonal imbalances and vitamin deficiencies. A shortage of micronutrients can put your health at risk. Her methods are holistic and include Vegan/Vegetarian, Food Intolerances, Metabolic Syndrome, Adrenal Fatigue, Macro & Calorie counting and more.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO DO BODYBUILDING AS A VEGAN/VEGETARIAN?
Yes, it is possible. Most Vegans/Vegetarians are lacking protein and tend to get too many carbs and salts. The bodybuilding methods used are sensitive to this issue and ensure you find the right balance you need to succeed on stage!
WILL I BE PROVIDED WITH AN IIFYM *IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS type of approach?

We set up a macro counting program in the beginning. In some cases when you can have a more flexible approach due to how far out from your show, you will receive these numbers and an exchange list. However, if you have a lot of homework to do, it is your best interest to eat specific foods that create a specific effect on the body. This is an art science. What you eat means more than how much you eat in some cases. Your program varies so your macro counts and calories vary so often we cannot promise that information each and every time we adjust your program.

At the end of your program it is okay to request where you should be for maintenance and we give you your calories and macros for maintenance or during the first phase of your program. It is up to you to schedule your follow up to ensure you get those facts and ask for them specificially.

Do Calories matter and will I know how many calories I am eating?
Caloric ranges do matter since you don’t want to go way under your RMR (resting metabolic rate) or you start to burn through muscle. In some cases, you will have to burn through your muscle to get smaller. If your muscles are too large in some places shaving the muscle down is a part of the process. However, if you need muscle we want to ensure you are in the right calorie range so that you fuel your body for that effort. You never will have to count calories or macros on this program. We do it on our end and take the guesswork out of it. If you are on a flexible program, we will give you macros and calories to consider with an exchange sheet. Remember this is an extreme sport so things are not always done in a traditional way. Sometimes calories drop very low for some days and we raise them way up on others.

We off set calories with cheat meals and varying your diet every two weeks.

Does my fitness level matter?
Your fitness level does matter! Your program is set up in a way that you do your best to meet the challenges and we give you guidelines and suggestions along the way. We will give you guidelines so you understand what would make sense to you and where you are at conditioning and fitness level wise. Each person’s heavy may vary so we don’t like to tell you how much to press without having experience with you and watching you in a gym. Since 95% of our clients use the ONLINE METHOD over in person, we can’t possibly understand how much you can press. However, you can always keep a journal and write down what you did. Your coach can make some suggestions if you are unsure of anything regarding the training aspect of your program. Video links can be sent to you for specific exercises that explain form and technique. These have been very helpful to our clients who just GOOGLE anything on their program and have found it’s all on the Internet in a variety of ways, but we are happy to provide you with anything you need.
How do I figure out my body fat?
Body fat can be done in person with Michelle, a reliable expert. We believe that one of the most reliable methods is with the
calipers and doing a 9-point reading. There are some reliable methods out there you are welcome to use. Just ask your coach what is best. Photos are what we also work off of and body compositions (including your weight and inches). You can come see Coach MJ in person for the most reliable reading. Whatever method you use, we will determine your pounds of muscle and pounds of fat to determine your direction for your program. The body fat percentage ensures you are lean enough in time for your show and that your program makes sense to your body and it’s needs at various phases. You can also use our online calculator, which comes within 2% of her readings.  At workshops and posing clinics, we offer readings as well!
I don’t workout consistently at the same time, does this matter?
When you are in sport precision matters. A commitment to specific work out times is important, however, we understand that it is not always possible. We suggest you plan your workouts, when and if possible, when you have the most energy. In some cases, you may need to double up your workouts to prevent over training all at once. This is more towards the end when you are phasing into your show and may have some stubborn body fat to shed.
When is it best to do cardio and when is it best to do weights?
We suggest cardio in the morning and weights in the afternoon or at night. Why? Because weights later in the day is more in sync with growth hormone levels and is the way to capture an ideal time to optimize muscle growth. We suggest 4pm on. We also suggest cardio before you first meal. If you won’t be able to get all your meals in, the morning cardio session can be post your first meal. There is no facts that support doing cardio on an empty stomach will get you better results. That is a scientific myth. It’s an athletes choice.
What should I do about pre and post workout?
Let’s face it, schedules change all the time. If time changes, change your meals, you can keep this Knockout rule of thumb in mind. Eat protein and a healthy fat pre workout and protein and a carb post workout. Just adjust your meals accordingly. Try to eat within a ½ hour to 45 mins of your workout and eat your carb and protein within 30 mins after. Carry your meals with you.
Do I have to food prep and carry my meals wherever I go?
Food prep is a great way to stay organized. Each athlete finds his or her way. There are services that you can use and we can provide you with the names of. They will prep food for you and if you don’t want them all made you can do your lunch and dinners this way. This is great for travel, those who don’t like to cook and those on the go! There are 6-pack and ISO bags available online, which now come in fun and fashionable styles. Food can always be brought on a plane, as well. This will eliminate excuses. Eating out is fine as long as you can control what is on your food & it’s not too close to show time when it can cost you!
What do I do if I Travel and/or Travel out of the country?
If you are traveling out of the country it’s important that you be well prepared. We can give you some guidelines. No matter where you travel it’s important you get a hotel with a kitchenette to prepare your meals and a gym ideally. You can order your meals online if the country will let you bring your own food. Keep in mind that in most countries there are bodybuilders, so where there is a WILL there is a WAY! You should have plenty of time before your show to research ahead. If you have done your physical homework well, you should be able to take some time off without consequences. Ideally, try to plan your trips post your show as a reward. This way you can enjoy it and not worry about dieting or training.
Will I learn anything new if I have been training for years and have a fitness and nutrition background already?
Yes, these methods are not your standard gym or trainer methods. Most bodybuilding nutritionists approach nutrition very differently. What you learn on this level is more advanced than any system out there. This is to create an effect on the body in various ways in order to grow muscle, lose fat and manage water levels. You must understand how to balance hormones effectively to coach this sport or all can go haywire! It’s about manipulating nature naturally with your body’s resources using food and exercise to achieve a finished look. Many of our athletes who are fitness professionals rave about the level of education they received doing a program with us. Some of our athletes became fitness professionals and even started their own businesses because they were inspired by the process and experience.
When is the best time to set up an in person visit with my coach and do a one on one or group boot camp?
In the beginning is most ideal to come to Washington DC and stay near our headquarters. However, you can always request a scheduled visit at any point. If you are out of town you can stay at hotel near by and train directly with Michelle. She will educate you on her methods and give you that personalized one-on-one experience. If this is something that interest you email michelle@michellefitness.com for more information.
How will I know what division to compete in?
You can compete in whatever you desire, but if your shape is not ideal for figure and bikini is a better fit, your coach will explain why. You will be provided with an understanding of what you may need to do training and diet wise to make that your sports-specific look happen. It’s always best to go with genetics vs. against them. However, a lot can be done when the right methods are in place and posing direction.
Will I receive guidance on stage suit, shoes, tanning and make up?
Every aspect of your show is covered with your program, including, which vendors are most ideal to go to. We are open to outside suggestions, but the ones we choose are the ones we have confidence in and have develop a level of trust with. We like to guarantee that you are in good hands and don’t work with “maybes”. We will ensure that you receive our RESOURCE sheet with our Knockout Strategic Partners and Secrets to use during the time you are competing. You can work with our vendors with confidence knowing they will cover the specifics related to their service. We do not get involved in those details for liability reasons and your vendors know their products and services better than we do.
Will you help me figure out what shows to compete in?
Yes, we will help you with all aspects of competition prep. We make only suggestions and give you guidelines. All choices are ultimately up to you!
What does it take to be nationally qualified or to become a PRO?
Check the website for your organization to learn more. Each division is different and there are different rules based on the shows you choose. That information is provided with your show information usually.
How will I know that I am show ready?
You have to trust your coach to give you that guidance. The body doesn’t always get ready just because we will it to. It’s a process and circumstances in your life can slow things down. Stress can sabotage a lot. Everyone handles stress differently. Once you have a level of trust for what we are doing to help you, we hope you understand if there is going to be more patience required. Ideally, we like to plan a show approximately six weeks out. Sometimes we wait two weeks out. We do not suggest rushing to register for a show just because YOU WANT TO DO THAT ONE. Let your coach lead the way to ensure your success. Timing is everything. Your coach is great at giving you the right direction when it comes to timing a show.
What if I compete and don’t do well my first show?
We always suggest doing a warm up show. This is a show you do your best, but can expect some rough edges. Many girls place right at the top their first show. However, the second show is where you seal the deal and nail it.  The warm up show helps with nerves and gives you some experience on stage. We tend to make the top 5 easily. It’s rare we don’t, but it does happens. However, we make our comeback the next show and strategically plan what is the right time to do the next show based on judge’s feedback. We base a lot on what we know we need to do to improve and the time it will take. This is all strategy.
I have a tight budget, how can I handle my show prep without going broke?

This is sport is not cheap. There are expenses. Just because girls want to do a show does not mean it is ideal for their lifestyle, financial situation, personal struggles or career. Your coaching is the most important part of what will make or break you on stage. If you have no experience it’s not wise to do it without a solid coach. You may not know that the less expensive coach you select is inexperienced or is coaching after only doing a few shows, themselves. They may also not be certified or have current updated credentials. These things should matter. You can ask about our AMBASSADOR PROGRAM and see if you qualify for this unique opportunity. You never want to pay for someone who lacks integrity and is an undercover “wanna be.” You want someone who is exactly what you need to succeed and has integrity.

Is posing included with my package?
Posing is included with every package. You get your first session free for up to an hour of posing. This can be done via Skype or in person. You get to do more posing at your check ins and you are always welcome to send 1-2 videos per month for tips and suggestions. Once your routine is set, your posing should not take an hour, but just a few minutes to tweak so you can go home and practice. You can receive discounts by doing your posing practices with our team liaisons. We will do all we can to ensure you are a “KNOCKOUT” on stage. Posing workshops and additional time are a charge, but well worth the small fee. You can go to our store to view our prices under Services. We pull out all of our punches to ensure our trademark posing methods help you succeed on stage.
Am I able to attend other workshops that are held by other coaches?
It is against our policy to attend other workshops for a variety of reasons. The main one is to protect our athletes from mixed messages that add stress to their efforts and can detour what they are trying to accomplish. Coaches often differ in opinions and other coaches are a conflict because they are often in competition with our team. This is a competitive sport. It is best to keep things simple and stay consistent with the coaching methods of your team and coaches direction. There should be no reason you should need to seek outside advice if you have confidence in your coach and coaching methods. Once you finalize your program it is your prerogative to pursue other coaches and their coaching methods. Clients who do not respect this are in violation of their service agreements. This prevents confusion and keeps the consistency of our brand in place. Some workshops will be suggested to athletes outside of ours. We do what best serves the athlete and some athletes need to be seen by other coaches when they live out of state. There are also some regional affiliated workshops that may be suggested if it will benefit the athlete.
How do I handle if someone gossips to me about other girls on the team, the coach or anyone affiliated with the competition arena?
Report this to your coach right away. It’s important we are aware of trouble sources. Gossip and negative energy travel like a weed and has the potential to corrupt our teams and the morale of athletes. We take this very seriously. We have an open door policy and believe in transparency. If anyone writes you or comes to you with gossip, please share it with us so we can correct the situation or give you some tips on how to handle it.
Can I have an unaffiliated trainer work with me while on this program?
No. It is a conflict of interest. We prefer our athletes train on his or her own or with a trainer we suggest. This way there is consistency with what we want you to do and there is no argument about what is best for an athlete. It can put stress on an athlete if there are mixed messages. In some cases, we have approved some trainers, but we like to know who they are upfront to prevent your training methods for the sport being confused by other methods not related.
What do I do if I don’t know how to set up the right weight while training or am unclear on what an exercise is?

When you see 8 and under reps you are going heavy and slow
When you see 10-12 reps you are going with moderate weight and moderate tempo
When you see 15 plus reps you are going lighter with your weight and using a cardio like tempo

It’s important that you drop set your weight to the next level down if you are pushing to heavy and losing your form. If it’s too light, you will add more weight. Make sure you at least add more weight at least for the next sets to come. You should also feel fatigued and a burn by the last 3 reps. If not add more weight or intensity. If unsure of anything, let your coach know!

Will I get to know other members of the team?
You will get to know your team mates if you attend the same workshops with, interact on social media and at shows! We work with classy friendly and fun girls. There is no shortage of friendships made while on the team. Many girls decide to share rooms and carpool together at shows to save costs. Girls maintain friendships long after their competitions in many cases. Birds of a feather tend to flock together, right? We love that you all wind up loving each other and build meaningful relationships. The most important thing is that you will have someone to connect with at your shows. We build a nice community for our girls, but this is a personal option and opportunity for each athlete. This is not mandatory or an expectation.
Do I have to food prep and carry my meals wherever I go?
Food prep is a great way to stay organized. Each athlete finds his or her way. There are services that you can use and we can provide you with names of. They will prep food for you and if you don’t want them all made you can do your lunch and dinners this way. This is great for travel, those who don’t like to cook and those on the go! There are 6 pack and Iso bags available online which now come in fun and fashionable styles. Food can always be brought on a plan as well. This will eliminate excuses. Eating out is fine as long as you can control what is on your food & it’s not too close to show time when it can cost you!

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