DDT: Could you give us a little background info on who Mike Pucci and Brittni Shae are?
Mike: I am a ANBF and IFPA Pro Bodybuilder. I graduated in 2009 with my BS in biology from UCF, Go Knights! I work full time as a Veterinary Tech at an Emergency clinic. I also own Team Unique Prep which provides consulting services using a flexible approach for contest prep.
Brittni: I am a WBFF pro bikini competitor, certified in personal training and sports/fitness nutrition. I have my Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy and work full-time in a hospital with mostly orthopedics. I do online coaching on the side because I really enjoy helping women reach their fitness goals with a healthy and balanced approach.
DDT: Can you tell us about your experience with your Bikini/Bodybuilding competitions along with Powerlifting competitions and any tips for a first time competitor?
Mike: So I kind of mentioned this above but, I started in 2010 with 1 bodybuilding show, over the next 2 years I did 2-3 shows both years. In 2012 I started more powerlifting and competing there as well. My biggest accomplishment was being able to be apart of the Arnold and lift with some of the best lifters in the world. Then winning my pro cards in 2015 which was a goal of mine when I started back in 2010. Tips for a 1st time competitor 1) enter this knowing that your opinion of food and your body will forever be changed/altered. 2) find a coach who is flexible and reputable, you pay for what you get, don’t try to find the cheapest coach and know that this industry is expensive, if you don’t have the financial means just don’t do it. 3) Enjoy the process, you’re only on stage for a short period of time and if you don’t enjoy the time you’ve put in to get there it will not make it an enjoyable experience.
Brittni: I began competing in bikini in 2012, by competition number four, I went pro in the WBFF, but in fitness diva. I competed in my first pro show in 2013 for fitness. I took a little time off mentally and physically (after using bro science too much at the end) throughout the year of 2014. I met Mike, we began dating, and he introduced me to reverse dieting and powerlifting! In 2015 I spent the year training for two powerlifting meets in July and December. Powerlifting re-sparked my competitor in me and also had helped build a better physique. I have enjoyed hitting some major PRs at two different weights. Both are completely different but I have found a happy medium with competing while living my life. It can be a dark road for competing in bikini if done incorrectly. Powerlifting can also have some wear and tear on the body as well as be dangerous without a good coach!
DDT: You two clearly demonstrate what a power fit couple represent, can you tell us how you guys balance each other out and how it is to both share the same passion?
Mike: It truly is a blessing having a partner who is involved in the same lifestyle as I am. It makes life easy when we can go shopping together, cook dinner together and we both know what the other likes or how to calculated the macros for the meal so we both can enjoy it. Neither of us really drink so we don’t have to worry about one person always wanting to go out to the club or things like that. I have kind of rubbed off on her in the gym as she does a lot more powerlifting now and once she started seeing results from it and getting the strength gains she became addicted just like I first did. Being so involved in the industry I really cant see how you can be in a relationship with someone else who isn’t, it really takes a lot of time and dedication and I could see there being a lot of fights over things of that nature. She is easily able to read my mind and suggest great places to eat or she bakes some pretty amazing dishes also with macros included J
Brittni: Thank you so much! Mike definitely brings my stress down a notch and has helped me develop stronger both mentally and physically. Our methodologies match and we often bump ideas off one another. It is also nice to share ideas and learn from each other. We both have our niches one is better at, which I believe has helped us become better individually and as a couple. We both support each other’s life, fitness, work, and other personal goals. It does make it easy that we both essentially do similar routines (minus Mike’s crazy overnight hours), which has helped us both reach our goals even easier!
DDT: Can you tell us what your daily rituals and habits look like?
Mike: So for my daily habits, my week is pretty much split up into 2 parts, I have the first 3 days where I work 3 nights in a row so those days are literally work, sleep, work, I have to take training off Monday and Tuesday because working 14 hour shifts there is not any time with sleep, the rest of my week I wake up around 10-11am, eat, answer client emails, do some errands, gym, then spend a little bit of time with Brittni before she goes to sleep, then since I stay up to be on a partial night schedule I’ll answer any late emails, do some reading, I’m currently studying to get my CSCS and I go to bed around 2-3am.
Brittni: Speaking of routines! I personally work mostly Monday through Friday 7:30-4:00. I wake up and get ready quickly and already have my breakfast pre-packed. I let the dog out and work a full day. I do utilize my lunch break to work on online coaching and social media. After work I eat my pre-workout meal and I swing by a gym. I say, “A” gym because Mike and I go between 4 gyms. We have our favorites for certain body parts and some are closer to another depending on what our evening looks like for errands or a better timeframe to train. I meet Mike every Wednesday through Friday to train with him after I get off work. After the gym we cook dinner and sit down together for our meal without our social media (after we take a pic of it for social media of course). I typically pack up three out of four meals the night prior. We clean up the house a bit and finish any simple errands around the home, I pack my gym bag, and go to bed.
DDT: At times life throws challenges at you to test your mental toughness and heart as a person. What has been your biggest challenge in life and how did you both overcome it?
Mike: I have worked since I was 13 pretty much consistently through high school, college and even now. Growing up it was only my mom raising me so I did what I could to try and help her out. It helped to teach me about responsibility at a young age. Probably one of the events that challenged my mental toughness the most was competing in 2012 when I placed 2nd 3 times in a row and the guy who beat me won his pro card in all of the shows. That really placed a fire under me and I decided to take 2.5 years off after that and make sure that didn’t happen again.
Brittni: I believe competing, becoming obsessed with food restricting overtime and selfish in the sport. I impacted my family at some point acting the way I was acting. I also lost myself at one point. I felt I lost 2 years of my life and almost regretted putting myself into this situation. I look back now though and appreciate the journey as I can now be a positive and healthy advocate to avoid most of the things I did!
DDT: What are your future plans with competing and other areas of interest?
Mike: Future plans for competing…. Hmmm so I will be taking 2016 off from any bodybuilding I dieted for 36 weeks last year so I’m ready for some food 🙂 I had a little back injury a few months ago that’s healing up so I would like to do a few powerlifting meets this year and try to do the Arnold again next year, but that all depends on how my back heals up.
Brittni: I am currently twelve weeks out from my second pro show in the WBFF, but in bikini! I have decided my body type is best suited for bikini (at the pro level). I also plan to compete again in the USAPL 52kg in July for my third meet! I also am working on becoming certified in foam rolling and functional training. I do several certifications per year as I need to keep up with my continuing education for both Occupational Therapy and personal training (they both meet the criteria for these courses, win win!)
DDT: If your brands were gone, Instagrams were erased, your followers left, and all your content was deleted… you have a piece of paper in front of you and it was the final moment and you had to write 3 truth’s you knew were to be true and this was your final message to the world, what would those 3 truths be??
Mike: If everything were to be gone and I had to tell 3 truths they would be:
1) If you don’t love what you do, change it, the worst thing in life is going through it spending so much of your time at a job just for a paycheck.
2) Everyone you know will let you down at some point at another, if you expect that, it wont surprise you.
3) Money is the best and worst thing you can have, too much and it changes everything about you, too little and it changes everything you can do.
- You cannot trust many people
- Money makes the world go round
- Stay true to yourself
DDT: Squat, bench or deadlifts…if you had to pick only one to do for the rest of your lives and why?
Mike: So if you asked me this before I hurt my back I would have said squats, but now I’ll say bench. I currently hold the Florida bench record at 418 and hopefully once I recover some of my strength I will be able to break that record this year weighing less.
Brittni: Deadlifts … because I can pick heavy weights up and bring them down! Plus I feel like I am in much better control!
DDT: Who’s stronger at the big 3 lifts? 😉 Jk. What are your guys’ big 3 totals?
Mike: She catching up quick, but I am for now 🙂 my best total was 1589lbs
Brittni: haha – 555lb 🙂 at 114lb
DDT: What did your first date consist of and who picked up the tab?
Mike: Haha, so first date was at bonefish grill and this was before she even knew I was a flexible dieter so I kind of just yolo’d that night on the macros even through I just recently found out that they do in fact have the nutrition for there which is pretty amazing. Being the gentleman that I am of course I paid.
Brittni: Well we went out to dinner at Bonefish grill (a healthier spot in Florida) because I could pick something “clean” for the date as I was a couple weeks out from a photo shoot. Little did I know Mike tracked macros and they did not have them! Of course I made him pay 😉
DDT: Your favorite Saturday night controlled-indulgence meals are_________?
Mike: Every night typically is something amazing, we usually have a Pizza night with home made pizzas which are amazing or some Sushi from Fresh market. A new favorite is egg plant with other veggies and ground beef with pasta sauce.
Brittni: Does it have to be just Saturday? Haha, Mike and I both eat ice cream VERY frequently. I do say we like to go out to dinner more for a larger meal or buy sushi at Fresh Market!
DDT: What does Mike and Brittni like to do for fun? Please don’t hold back on us 😉
Mike: So for fun you can typically find us at underground raves till around 5-6am pretty much in zombie mode raving all night with glow sticks and stringers on, lol jk. We like to go relax on the beautiful beaches they have here like siesta key or Armand, We like to go on trips to different places we haven’t been before like Vegas and LA, and drive around nice cars while we’re there.
Brittni: We love to travel, but also come home after a few days! Haha. We both enjoy eating, not surprising there! We spend many nights on the couch watching OnDemand movies, we love to try and see new things, and spend time with each other/family/friends.
DDT: We wanted to take a moment and acknowledge you both for all the awesome work you do in this industry and you are a true inspiration. Where can our readers and supporters follow you and your work?
Mike: First I would like to say thank you to the both of you for having us to do this, I appreciate you guys taking the time to put this out there. You can find information out about my coaching through teamuniqueprep.com. You can follow on IG or Snapchat at mpucciitm, My twitter handle is @mikepucci and you can search for me on Facebook by using my full name Michael Anthony Pucci
Brittni: Thank you! My handles are:
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook athlete page, Snapchat, YouTube: BShaeFit
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