Michelle Bridges has a guilty gym confession.

There’s a sneaky little move that just about anyone who’s ever taken an RPM/spin class is guilty of pulling: pretending to turn up the dial on the bike when the instructor demands more intensity.

Look, we’re only human. It’s not like it’s our job to be superhumanly fit, okay. Someone like Michelle Bridges, on the other hand, could have that dial right up the whole time and not even break a sweat – right? Actually, nope. Evidently the fitness guru is a mere mortal too.

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“Yes,” she confesses, without a nanosecond’s pause. “That’s a yes, yes, yes. Who doesn’t?”

Right on. Here’s something else you mightn’t expect to hear from the Biggest Loser coach – she also gets a bad case of sloth some mornings.

"So many times I don't feel like going for a workout - shock horror, Michelle Bridges says she doesn't feel like going for a workout!," she says, effectively writing my headline for me. (Thanks, Michelle!)

"Trust me - I wake up in the morning and think, 'Ugh, I really don't feel like going to the gym'. But I know on the other side of that, I'll feel like a total rock star when I walk out of there."

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So what exactly does Australia's fittest woman (...probably) do to drag her reluctant body out of bed? And how does she find the time and motivation to cook herself healthy meals and not resort to cereal for dinner every night? Well, you're about to find out.


How do you convince yourself to get out of bed for a workout?

"I do not allow my brain to switch on.. I just do Robot Mode. Just get out of bed. Put your clothes on. I don't let myself start thinking, because as soon as I start thinking I'm on the slippery slope. 'Oh, maybe I could train this afternoon'. 'Oh, maybe I could do a double workout tomorrow'. Shut up. You're already talking yourself out of it."

RELATED: 8 ways to drag yourself out of bed to work out

What is one exercise you'd recommend for anyone to try, regardless of their sporting ability?

"Well, walking away from the cake that someone's brought into the office, that's an excellent exercise...." (Note: when I was on the phone with Michelle I was sitting next to a giant carrot cake I'd brought into the office that morning. Oops.)

"But one of my favourite exercises would be a Thruster. It's basically a squat, but you're holding either dumbbells or a barbell in front. You squat, and as you come out of the squat you thrust the barbells or dumbbell up over your head, and then bring them back down to your chest. It's tough but it works everything – your legs, butt, back, front, core, chest, shoulders, triceps. If I had to take one exercise to a remote, deserted island, it would be that."

Here's what Michelle's been up to on Instagram lately... [post continues after gallery]


Do you have any tips for cooking healthy meals at home - and actually doing it?

"It's just a bit of forward thinking ... One thing I try to make sure of is having a couple of go-to recipes. We're creatures of habit; I've got these go-to recipes and I try to have go-to nights - Monday might be soup night, Tuesday is fish night, Wednesday night is make your own pizzas... I like to keep my life simple. Like everyone, I'm busy."

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"When I go into the Biggest Loser house, as an example, everyone is overthinking it. Often I'll say, 'Okay, for the first week you have two breakfasts, you have two lunches and you have two dinners and you alternate them'. One brekky might be an omelette and the other might be a fruit salad. Lunch might be a chicken salad and a tuna wrap. The two dinners might be steamed fish and vegetables and the other might be a beef stir fry. Write a shopping list that covers you for the week. There'll be groceries to buy, but not a huge variety. As long as you're storing it well in your fridge it's not a big deal."

What's a bigger issue in Australia right now – the food we're eating, or a lack of exercise?

"I definitely think we have issues around the kinds of foods we're eating; there's just so much high-calorie, low nutrition food around us. It's damaging to our health and psyche ... the kinds of foods so many people are eating is not only bad for your body, but it's also bad for the way you think and feel – particularly when you start feeling sluggish, tired and bloated, then you look in the mirror and go, 'Oh my god, what happened?' It starts wearing away at your self confidence and self worth.


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"But then with exercise... everyone thinks about it as the means to a better body, a 'bikini body', looking great in jeans, being skinny. It's all based around weight, whereas in my brain I see exercise as something that's all about your head. There's so much research on depression and how good exercise is for you. I think people forget about that. I want to see more messages out there about how good exercise is for your head and how good it makes you feel."

 You're giving the keynote address at the upcoming Fitness & Health Expo in Melbourne. What will you be talking about?

"It's targeted at understanding how to put actions into play, so that you can get what it is you say you want. So many of us get to a place where we do know what we want, and we have a plan, but for some reason or another we can't action it ... In many instances we self-sabotage or use excuses or the blame game or a victim mentality as to the reasons we can't obtain what it is we want. That could be losing 5kg or wanting to run a half marathon, or that could be getting the job or relationship you want, travelling or buying a house.

"When people know I'm going to do a keynote or talk about what I do, a lot of people put me into a box and say, 'Oh, she's going to teach me how to squat and eat lettuce'. Don't get me wrong , I'll be doing that, but what underpins the exercise and the nutrition is a much bigger picture – that's your mindset and what's going on in your head that's stopping you getting what it is you say you want.


What's one thing people who struggle to see health/fitness programs through have in common?

"Often they don't actually believe it's going to work. So they go into it with a foot in each camp: 'Oh yeah, I'll give it a go...', but deep down they think it's not really going to work. Well, you've already killed it right there in the water. If you're going into it thinking it's not going to work, guess what?

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"There's also the fear of failure. That's a fear everyone has – some people have it dialled up quite loud, and are crippled by it or won't move forward because of it. If you're prepared to learn the lesson from falling over or making a mistake, if you're prepared and big enough to dust yourself off and check in as to why that went the way it went down, and ask yourself some introspective questions, how on earth could that be seen as a failure? I see it as a win."

If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would you do?

"I would put major restrictions on all junk food and their marketing. I'm pretty sure most junk food headquarters have my photo up in their tearoom with a target and they play darts. I'm pretty sure [laughs]."

You can catch Michelle Bridges at the Fitness and Health Expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on the weekend of 10-12 April. It's a huge showcase of the latest in fitness technology, trends, gear and more. Michelle will also be undertaking a national tour for her latest book Powerful Living – find out more info here.