Janine Haywood – NABBA Figure Athlete

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I started training in 2004. My youngest child was 3 and I wanted some out time so joined a gym, I had never played any sport prior.
I trained at the only time I had spare 5.30am, 5 days a week. It was asked why I was working so hard and then it was suggested ‘why not think about doing a bodybuilding show’… I was curious so went along and watched the NABBA Auckland Bodybuilding Champs early 2005.

As soon as the figure ladies stepped out on stage I knew it was what I wanted to do… I have never looked back.



Earlier I had help with regards to nutrition by a couple of people and then Lisa Menzies guided me for some time, followed by myself doing it for a couple of years. Then for the past 4 years my food plan is done for me by my coach. I do not master my own nutrition… he does and I stick to it!



When I am training I am focused and get on with the business, so when the earphones are in I am unapproachable and I like it that way.

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I have been a member at the gym so long now that the members know this and respect it… they are awesome!
I spend time after training having quick chats with the members and friends, but respectful that they too are there to train!

I was diagnosed with weightlifters shoulders the first year of training and work around this condition every day… I have also had a few injuries over the years and have a great sports medical team that keep the pieces in place so I can continue, especially now that I am older. I work around any problems by doing what I can and doing as I am told!

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A photo posted by Janine Haywood (@janineghaywood) on

Rehabilitation has become a very important part of competing because if you to not rehab properly, then your competing days are numbered. I call it resetting!

I find it extremely hard to put on bulk weight so my coach has me on lean gain muscle… this works for my body type.

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I can not eat off diet. When coach puts ice cream on the plan I ask how much, not to ensure I do not over eat but to ensure I eat enough! I am at my happiest when I am cutting down for comp!


Weights do not make you bulky…. do not be afraid of them! Most importantly use good form. This ensures longevity with being able to exercise and keeping fit and healthy.

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It is slow progress, but progress nevertheless. Do not expect the mind to be healed and life to be all a bed of roses just because you ‘trained’ once, you have to be consistent. Women are known for the body image negative voices in their heads. You have to work through what you have told yourself over the years and probably still do… this takes time, going to the gym is not a quick fix! It is a lifetime promise to yourself.

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I would tell my younger self… ‘Believe in opportunities… and keep an eye out for them as they come in the most unusual containers’!
Over the years of competing I have learned a lot about human nature… it is the only sport I know of that you have no control of the outcome… but yet you have all the control over the journey!

I am privileged to have the support of GO Healthy NZ who have been there for me for the past 6 years and also Zeagold Egg White for the past 4 years… my journey would have not been complete without these two companies. They both believe in a Kiwi Mum and her dream to become good enough to represent NZ at an International level… and so my dream continues.
J 🙂

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