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Noriko Nakagawa

I AM ALFA because everything that I have gone through in life has made me into the person I am today, from being overweight, to battling mental health issues.


Photography by: ALI SOHRAB

I am originally from a very small town on Vancouver Island called Ucluelet. I grew up playing multiple sports; competitive soccer for over 10 years, volleyball, badminton, you name it! After high school, I had no clue what to do or where I wanted to start. I took a year off and started getting into weight lifting, from there I decided I wanted to become a personal trainer and then pursued nutrition.

Now I am the assistant manager at a gym and a trainer!! About a year ago I got into bodybuilding as well and started to compete which has been such an amazing experience


I absolutely love being a personal trainer, it is one of the most rewarding jobs. I love helping my clients find a passion for fitness and to encourage them to look at training less like a chore and more like a privilege

I AM ALFA because I have overcome so many obstacles in life. From being overweight, to battling mental health issues. Everything that I have gone through in life has made me into the person I am today.

What are the most rewarding things that Fitness has brought you? Fitness has made so many changes in my life, not just physically but mentally. I learned to use it to help myself cope. As well as it’s brought me so many lifelong friends! It’s been so rewarding to see all my hard work pay off in the end when I compete.

When was the most alfa moment in your life? Going from being my heaviest to stepping on stage as a figure competitor within a year. I felt so empowered.


What’s next for you? I am currently prepping for the Leigh Brandt Muscle Classic where I will be stepping on stage in the new Bikini Wellness division.

Please share up to 5 things people don’t know about you.

I am only 4’10! Most people are very shocked when they first see me in person.

I grew up in a small fishing town and worked on a fishing boat.

I LOVE sushi.

I am extremely into baking and love to watch cooking and baking videos during cardio.

Please name up to 5 Alfa people you know.

My coaches Nicole Bates and Zach Khan

My fiance Kody Milanese

My absolute biggest inspiration Alexandra Sabo

What would be the ultimate training tips you could share with everyone

RERACK YOUR WEIGHTS. Don’t be that person who leaves weights everywhere Lifting weights won’t make you bulky ladies! Figure out your Whys, why you are training, or why you want to compete.

Hire a trainer or coach when you are starting out! I wouldn’t be where I am today without hiring my coaches.

Have a healthy 80/20 balance with your food choices. Eat for what your goals are 80% of the time and let yourself eat freely 20% of the time.

Your top favourite quote

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of your today”

Where people can find you?

Instagram: @noriko_fit


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