Michelle Ulibarri is one of today’s top NPC competitors, a title she has earned through a dedication to fitness and sport that she has had all her life, whether it was in cheerleading, gymnastics, dance or a bevy of other athletic endeavors. Health and Fitness Talk recently caught up with Ms. Ulimbarri to discuss her recent championships, her life as a recent mother and her training to be the best fitness competitor she can be.
Start at the beginning. How and why did you get into fitness? What were your first sports and how long did you participate in them? Was there anyone who inspired you when you were young?
I’ve Always been pretty athletic danced competitively for about 12 years, cheered for 5 years, did gymnastics and tumbling for 3 years and did numerous other sports soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball – you name it and I probably tried it! I grew up with all boys – that’ll do it to you! I also dance professionally for an indoor football team.
I got into training and fitness after I met my fiancé [UFC prize fighter Jorge Lopez]. He is very athletic hence the fighting. After taking interest in the gym, his dad suggested I do a show. At the time, there wasn’t the bikini division, so I said why not and we started training. I ended up taking the stage and placed 5th. It was awesome getting up there but figure competitions were definitely not my thing so luckily they introduced bikini and ever since I’ve been hooked! Growing up I didn’t really have any one that inspired me “celebrity” wise. I did really look up to my parents – they are both hard workers and I knew I wanted to be just like them!
You began competing at an early age. Describe some of your early achievements. What awards did you win? In what sports/competitions?
As a gymnast I competed at the Utah summer games and placed 2nd. My senior year in high school I became an NCA All-American Cheerleader. When I was a dance competitor I took overall and queen numerous times, I loved to dance!