Weights, weight training is a non-negotiable condition of lean muscular physique. Get this, your body can not burn fat for fuel, if your carbs are high, meaning your blood sugar is always elevated, meaning your insulin is always high, telling your cells to store fat and burn off all that sugar in your blood stream. You can still burn fat of course, but then you really have to starve yourself and run off all the excess glucose first.
For the amount of carbs an average modern human being consumes, you got to run for hours to burn it all off to start tapping into your fat storage. Want to become a fat-burning machine?!
Lower your carbs god damn it! So the solution to this whole sugar-burner VS fat-burner dilemma is keeping your protein at optimum level. Stick to this ratio that seems to work amazingly for building lean physique and lowering body fat but also for health, eliminating cravings, high energy levels :.
Go Kelly! I realize that most of you probably don't want to be body builders or land the cover of a muscle magazine. But most of you DO want to drop body fat, increase muscle tone and look better. I think we often compare ourselves to the women on magazine covers and then lament about our fat thighs or belly rolls in comparison. But what does it really take to look like THEM? And more importantly, is looking like that worth the suffering it takes to get there? I decided to interview Kelly about her experience, and she told me straight up, without sugarcoating it, exactly what how hard it was to stick to her strict diet, what her workouts were like, and how she felt about her body before and after her transformation.
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Here's a photo of Kelly before she trained for the competition. You looked great before you trained for the figure competition. What was your body like "before" and what did your workouts look like? I worked out 5 times a week. I alternated between upper and lower body strength training. I would do cardio at least 4 times a week for 45 minutes or so. I also taught fitness classes: Spinning 2 times a week , toning classes 4 times a week and Pilates 3 times a week. Although I taught many classes, I never considered them part of my workouts.
Including them, I probably exercised more than an hour per day days per week. Overall, I was happy with my body. If I wasn't doing competitions, I would have never changed anything. What was your diet like then? Did you count calories? Did you watch what you ate? I ate what the average person would think was healthy. Sure, I'd eat ice cream and cookies or whatever, but in moderation. I ate balanced meals, but I didn't count calories or anything.
I ate when I was hungry—whatever I felt like eating at the time. How did you become interested in bodybuilding? Since I had been in college, I missed competitive sports like I played in high school. I like lifting. My friend said, "Why don't you do a figure bodybuilding show? So, I started to train! I trained for 7 months, trying to gain more muscle. What specifically is the type of competition that you did? In female bodybuilding, there are three categories.
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First is body building when you get extremely muscular and you do all the poses that the male bodybuilders do. Then there's figure, which is what I did. You're more feminine and you do all the "manly" poses, but you do quarter turns and a "relaxed" modeling pose. Women on the cover of Oxygen magazine—most of those girls are "figure girls" in real life. You stand there and try to look pretty. Then there's a fitness category, which is like a gymnastics routine, but they also have to do the quarter turns too—it's more in depth than figure, but the body shape is similar.
Oh, and there's a new category called "bikini," which is a fit-looking girl without being dehydrated or striated. These are more "model" bodies, like on the cover of more mainstream fitness magazines like Shape. During the first 4 months of your training, you were in a strength-building phase.
What was it like? I lifted weights 5 days a week, but did hardly any cardio 3 times a week for 30 minutes. I worked on one muscle group per day for no longer than an hour. We were lifting extremely heavy weights with low reps no more than 8. The goal was to gain muscle—as much as possible—and because I'm a female, I can't get extremely bulky. It takes a while. I followed the same routine for 2 months, then changed it for the last 2 months.
I ate more calories to help my body build muscle. I started to eat oatmeal and eggs in the morning as most bodybuilders do. I got in a routine of eating every 3 hours, so, 5 meals a day and 2 of them were protein shakes. I didn't have to eat a lot more protein because I naturally ate a lot of protein before. But I did become more conscious of measuring things.
And I didn't just eat when I was hungry. I had to eat even when I wasn't hungry! After 4 months, I gained 10 pounds. I probably gained about 3 pounds of fat and seven pounds of muscle. Probably a lot of it was water though because muscles contain so much water. Below is a photo of Kelly training during her strength-building phase. Are these results typical? I think it is if you stick with it.
The training was a big part—I never missed a day. What came after the strength phase? We [Kelly's best friend Kirsten was her training partner] had to maintain our muscle mass and drop our body fat for the show itself. I "held my fat" pretty well, in my opinion. I don't hold it in my stomach—I hold it in my legs, like most women tend to.
Our workouts changed focus from building muscle to maintaining muscle and dropping fat. We did more reps but we still tried to lift heavy weights for upper body. On legs, we changed completely—high reps to failure reps of leg exercises, because we didn't want to make our legs bigger. We did cardio 4 times a week for 30 minutes, and that gradually increased every 2 weeks until we reached 60 minutes of cardio 6 times a week on top of our strength training.
What was your diet like at that time? Three months before competition, I stopped eating bread. I limited myself to 1, calories a day. I would only eat oatmeal in the morning , eggs, chicken, protein shakes, sweet potatoes, more chicken, broccoli, some almond butter or avocado for healthy fats , tuna or fish and salads spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, and fat-free dressing with less than 6 grams of sugar.
I ate like this for 6 weeks straight. You are not supposed to cheat at all—no going out to eat. No sugar. Very few carbs—oatmeal, sweet potato, brown rice—that's it. It gets worse. Six weeks out, I followed a stricter diet, which was basically no carbs, except on a "carb-load day" twice a week, when I'd have a banana, sweet potato, oatmeal, almond butter, and green beans.
The purpose of carb-loading is to give yourself energy until you can carb load again. This is when I saw my body fat start to drop. I'm bored just thinking about it… I would try to spice it up a little bit. I came up with different salads and seasonings. I liked to make my own dressings for all the salads. My mom helped me come up with recipes. I like to cook so I came up with creative ways to enjoy what I was allowed to have. If you're not creative with your meals, it's extremely boring. I was always thinking of new ways to make the foods I could eat. To be honest, I never cheated in that 6 weeks.
When I felt low on carbs, I'd eat a Luna bar for carbs I had like 4 over the course of 6 weeks.
That satisfied my chocolate fix and gave me more energy. I never ate ice cream. I never ate a cookie. I kept it fun by changing up my meals. I took expensive vitamins, too. How did your body change after this phase? My body fat dropped extremely fast. I weighed I did get bigger, according to my measurements.
My overall body proportions didn't change a lot. And I don't have boobs anymore. They went away…and I don't think they're coming back! Below is a photo of Kelly complete with spray tan and custom-fit suit on the day of the show! Note the difference between this "show" look at her photo at the top, which is what she looks like on a day-to-day basis.
How did you feel during all of this food restriction and heavy exercising? On the strict diet, I could tell a difference. I felt really out of it my brain needs carbs. Once, I lost my phone for 2 hours, and I was talking to myself, looking everywhere for it, and it was right in front of me.
I wasn't tired, but I got a lot of sleep. I did drink some black coffee or green tea for energy and for something other than water, which I drank a gallon of each day. I was really carb-depleted. Today I had 60 grams of mashed sweet potatoes for some slow release carbohydrate pre workout, and combined that with 95 percent grass fed beef. I pan friend 8 ounces of grass fed beef in 1 tbsp. Coconut oil is far superior to olive oil in terms of metabolism boosting and keeping you lean.
The fat content of coconut oil is considered a MCT, which means your body utilizes it as an energy source instead of being stored as body fat. For my pre workout supplements today I took some Colostrum and Creatine and combined them in a shaker cup.
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Colostrum is great for digestion and helps to boost your immune system and recover faster from workouts. It is a little known supplement that I highly recommend to bodybuilders. I first learned about it when watching a video with Phil Heath. He discusses it in great detail and uses it to recover in the offseason.
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This is one of the hardest workouts of the week and includes the following routine:. This fuels me on these tough workout days and gives me a nice insulin spike mid workout and then another one post workout during my post workout meal. For a naturally skinny guy like myself this is really powerful for building lean muscle mass mass.
The post workout meal is crucial for me as this initiates protein synthesis and starts the process of building lean muscle mass. Today I had 1. Jasmine rice is really high glycemic and is the perfect post workout carbohydrate source. I prefer to eat fish post workout because its light and flaky and allows me to eat more protein than when compared to eating turkey and chicken which fills me up quickly. Broccoli is a post workout staple of mine because it contains Vitamin C which helps your immune system health and blocks cortisol levels post workout.
For a few additional carbohydrates I top my fish and rice with some delicious mango salsa! Time for more work! Today I continued to work on my YouTube channel and touched base with a few of my agents on upcoming opportunities. I also did some reading on social media marketing. The grind of being a fitness model! I try to drink a lot of water post workout so that my body can recover and I do not get dehydrated following an intense leg day workout.
I also snack on some healthy fats.