Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Kerry Keen Monaghan

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Kerry Keen Monaghan! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Kerry Keen Monaghan
  • E-mail: trixie_nola@yahoo.com
  • Age: 40
  • Where: New Orleans, LA
  • Height: 5'4"
  • Weight: 126 lbs
  • Years Bodybuilding :1
  • Favorite Bodypart: Biceps and Back
  • Favorite Exercise: Stiff Leg Deadlifts
  • Favorite Supplements: BCAAs, Nitric Oxide, Whey Protein

How Did You Get Started?

July 4, 2010 I finally decided after beating cancer 3 times it was time to reclaim my life and make sure this nasty beastly disease did not try and make a comeback and knew I needed to get my body healthy and strong due to neck and back complications. I picked up the phone and called my friend and personal trainer John Leavell and told him two empowering words that have stayed with me and keep me going "I'm ready". I haven't stopped since, haven't looked back or regretted it once.

Kerry Monaghan
+ Click To Enlarge.
Kerry Monaghan

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

Our primary goal is weight loss and we did several different types of routines starting with full body workouts, then to 3 day split routines, cross training/boot camp style. Our current focus now is building muscle. We are now on a 4 day split always with 15-20 mins of cardio warm-up then I train and follow it up with an additional 30 mins of cardio on training days only. On non-training days (Sat and Sun) I focus on one hour of cardio, changing it up every 15 minutes with interval training.

My main focus always and foremost is to always control the weights and maintain perfect form. With my health history I had to work harder than most to strengthen certain muscles struck with atrophy from the surgeries. I'm proud to say I've made huge strides in making those muscles much stronger and continue to work extremely hard at that to this day. Always progress to be made.

Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Back/Calves
Day 3: Legs/Abs/Plyo Circuit
  • Lunges: 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Step Ups: 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Squats: 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Hanging Leg Raises: 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Stiff Leg Deadlifts: 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Plyometric Circuit: 2 rounds, 30-60 seconds rest
    Box Jumps: 1 set of 10-15 reps
    Single Leg Box Jumps: 1 set of 10-15 reps
    Frog Leaps: 1 set of 10-15 reps
    Power Step ups: 1 set of 10-15 reps
    Jumping Lunges: 1 set of 10-15 reps
    Truck Jumps: 1 set of 10-15 reps
Day 4: Shoulders/Traps/Calves
Day 5: Bicep/Triceps/Abs
Day 6: Off
Day 7: Cardio Only
  • Cardio: 1 hour with 15 minutes intervals
Kerry Monaghan
Kerry Monaghan

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

We have my plan based around nutrient timing. I started off with a very low carb meal plan in the beginning. Here is a sample of what I currently have for my nutrition plan; we will be changing it soon as we are now working on muscle growth/gains. I eat 6 meals a day, every 3 hours. On days I'm running or not able to eat the "meal" itself I will incorporate my whey protein shake, usually this happens around snack times, or meals 2 or 4 though not that often.

Meal 1: Upon Waking
Meal 2:
Meal 3:
Meal 4:
Meal 5:
Meal 6:
Kerry Monaghan
+ Click To Enlarge.
Kerry Monaghan

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

15 Minutes Before Meal 1:
With Meal 1 & Before Bed:
With Meal 1 & Post Workout:
With Meal 1:
3 Times Daily:
  • CLA: 1 scoop in water
Pre Workout:
Post Workout:
Before Bed:

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

The transformation of the human body and how beautiful every muscle, tendon, ligament is especially when working together and creating a completely new body. It's a constant change; it's a positive change from a weak and battled body to a strong, confident, healthy body. The people I have met in the last year have become my biggest motivators, they are truly part of my family, always there for you and always checking to see how I'm doing and offering help/advice all the time and following up to see how it worked out.

The fitness world/family is all real, true kind hearted people who do not judge you, do not promote any negativity. This has been the absolute most positive change I've made in my entire life. I can't imagine going one day without talking to each and every one of them and being allowed to celebrate in all of their accomplishments as they reach their goals and create new ones as well as share my goals and accomplishments with them.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

My history of cancer (three times, reverse curvature in my neck with degenerative disc disease, and no disc in my lower back). My memories from each and every diagnosis of cancer and the treatments and surgeries that followed. Remembering laying in the hospital bed praying I could just walk again with no pain, be a healthy mom here to watch my children grow up and run around and play with them.

I promised them and myself when I was recovered I would take this life experience and make something from it. How's that saying go, "Three strikes and you're out?" Well, my motto became "Three strikes and I kicked cancer out." Remembering how to just a walk to the bathroom two feet away was like walking up Mt. Everest. Seeing how many fellow cancer warriors like myself along with meeting people fighting their own personal medical battles have the drive, the determination, the I will not quit or give in attitude they carry every second of their day.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

My children first and foremost, seeing the amazement in their faces when mom comes in from a hard 2 hour training and they tell me they are very proud of me, that their mom is not a quitter, that I inspire and help so many people. When they ask what did I do in the gym, and can they see the muscles along with both of my amazing children telling me they know their mom will succeed and be there for others like myself because they believe in me and they remind me if I kicked cancer's butt therefore I can do anything I set my mind to.

It also makes them set their own fitness goals and seeing them workout together at the ages of 16 and 10 is enough to make me keep pushing forward and being my best. Proving to myself I can and I am actually doing this and it feels phenomenal, especially walking into the Oncology wing for checkups and seeing the faces of the staff knowing two years ago I was laying there listless, depressed and scared for my life. Now I live my life happy positive, blessed, appreciative, thankful!

Kerry Monaghan
+ Click To Enlarge.
Kerry Monaghan

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I am still as I like to call it a "work of art in motion"-I'm currently increasing my training as well as studying for the ACE exam to become a personal trainer myself. My desire is to reach out to others like myself that conquered a medical problem no matter the severity of it; to me overcoming any health or medical issue makes you a hero in my eyes. I want to reach out and grab everyone up that thinks they can't do this and have low self esteem. I want to show them how special and amazing each and every one of them really is.

I'm also discussing some modeling prospects as well as considering a competition next year. As I approached turning 40 in December this year I've been working harder with my amazing personal trainer and his business, and have been chosen as his spokes model. My goal is to bring success to our business and reach out and help as many people we can no matter what their own personal goals are, their goals are our goals. I take pride in being allowed this incredible honor to help inspire and motivate others.

I also volunteer for cancer (all) awareness and I visit young cancer patients fighting this battle and let them know I'm there for them cheering them on, as I did with my amazing friend Casey and his parents Kelly and Harry. (I have posted in a blog with pictures on my BodySpace.) I also participate with my trainer in the Susan G Komen every year and sport pink highlights year round for breast cancer awareness in honor of someone like a mother to me all my life that I lost to this nasty disease.

I'm currently also trying to organize a run/walk for cervical cancer awareness, that's the cancer that tried to take my life and I want to bring awareness to the community of this silent killer that sneaks in and brings havoc into your life. I lost a friend to this as well and she left behind 4 young children, it has to be stopped with a cure for all. This is my dream, my hope, my goal.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Never allow negativity into your life; never let anyone tell you this is not a sport, that it's not worth it. Do not let anyone ever take away any of your goals, dreams, and ambitions. Be who you know you are meant to be and with that comes true life happiness, because without being happy with yourself you cannot make anyone else happy. Be yourself and love yourself first and foremost and believe in yourself!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Everyone that takes that first step to make themselves healthier. I have nothing but admiration for every single person that is doing this, that gives 100% of themselves to their workouts/training, whether they walk on that stage or do their own private/personal goals and gains, everyone that is having that triumph of accomplishment is a true inspiration to me. With that being said I have to also add my personal trainer, John Leavell, owner of Xtreme Definition.

What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?

Definitely the progress pictures. Updating my pictures shows me that I am achieving all my goals I set and allows me to see those areas that need work as well and to improve in those areas. I also list my supplements and try to review them to help others when making those decisions since there are so many to choose from.

I try to keep up with my stats/goals and the workout trackers as well, but lately we've been changing them so much due to my increased strength and amazing progress and I haven't been able to keep updating as much as I would like.

Special Thanks To My Family:

I'd like to make sure to say thank you to my husband and my children for supporting me, for understanding the importance of my gym time, eating every 3 hours, meal preparation and my nonstop talk about my insane amazing workouts/training. Also for telling me they know I can do this and cheering mom on, to see my children go in my home gym and workout together has been the absolute most rewarding of all of this. Knowing they will grow up to be healthy, strong, adults is the best feeling!

Thank you to my husband for preparing those meals, boiling those eggs when my time was extremely limited and for helping me take over the "man house" and turn it into a 600 sqaure feet home gym to train myself in as well as my future clients and for adding a full bath for me with mirrors for miles for all my progress pics and putting gym equipment together while I focused on my training.

My Personal Trainer Credit/Acknowledgement:

I'm a young 40 year old mother of two amazing children and a cancer survivor. I also have no disc in my L5 and have a reverse curvature in my neck with degenerative disc disease as well as arthritis in my spine and 3 bone spurs with 1 in my neck and 2 in my spine. I suffer with muscle spasms and back/neck issues however with the advice and approval of my doctors I was told the best thing I could do to help these conditions was to not only lose weight but to make my back/neck muscles stronger.

I do not have any lymph nodes in my groin so for the rest of my life I have to watch for lower edema and blood clots. For the past 2 years I've been cancer free and July 4 2010 weighing in at 180 lbs I made a major life changing decision to move forward to a healthier, stronger, fit life. I picked up the phone and made one of the best phone calls of my life and that's when John Leavell became my personal trainer, my motivator, my supporter, one of my best friends and my reason for wanting to become a personal trainer and help so many others.

I have to say when I started my journey into working out/fitness I never imagined I would become this in love with bodybuilding or dedicated to it, and definitely surpassed what I thought I was capable of and have surprised many who thought I was wasting my time.

The one person who never thought I couldn't do this and be successful was John. John believed in me from the beginning. I had never entered a gym before, never lifted weights, never had nutritional training. When I met with John and he asked me what I wanted to achieve and what my goals were I said first and foremost to be healthy, strong and of course lose weight.

John's response to me was "your goal is my goal" and with John's guidance and constant support we have managed to not only get my weight down from 180 lbs to a healthy 126 lbs in 8 months we also have conquered amazing strides, I have so much upper muscle strength and definition it's unbelievable, when we started I would be lucky to get 2 pushups, I couldn't lunge or squat to save my life and I knew nothing about lifting weights.

Now I can do those pushups like nothing, I can do 80 walking lunges without blinking, I can squat 150 lbs on a Smith machine, I leg press 275 lbs, and I have no back or neck pain. Even more importantly I had a "growth" we had been watching that has disappeared completely, and I know I owe it to God first and foremost and to John for keeping me focused on never giving up and getting myself in shape and strong. John has taught me the importance of eating clean, taking vitamins, drinking my water, and understanding the importance of eating clean, cardio and working out/lifting.

Without the knowledge and the guidance of John I would not be where I am today living this amazing fitness lifestyle. John has also helped me find my confidence in myself, I'm no longer afraid to walk into a gym alone and approach the machines. When I use to say "I can't" John would tell me "you will." He never lets me quit, he is focused on his clients so much and gives 200% of himself when training, he listens to your concerns and explains everything in detail. I never feel rushed, or like I'm bothering him when I have questions.

I'm always looking forward to my training sessions with John because we always are doing something new and it makes it fun and exciting knowing I'll be learning new techniques while making this body stronger and challenging. John truly loves his job as a personal trainer and it truly loves him back. I haven't met a trainer yet that has been so "available" even when it wasn't your time for training. John is very in touch with his clients and always puts their needs ahead of his own.

I've seen him offer advice/help to people before in the gym who without guidance of proper form would have hurt themselves, that to me speaks volumes. John Leavell cares, he motivates, he encourages, he gives off such a positive energy that makes you want to do your best. John leaves you looking forward to your next workout/training session every time.

I am so proud to have John Leavell, owner of Xtreme Definition, as my personal trainer, a man who continues to teach me, motivate me, believe in me and go beyond what trainers usually do for their clients, if I can be 1/4 of an awesome amazing trainer he is I will be proud of myself. There are no words to thank John for everything he has done and he never ever takes credit for it, he always tells me it's me doing the work that gets me to each goal when without his guidance I wouldn't have made it past the first week, and to now be chosen as his spokesmodel for his amazing company, Xtreme Definition is a true honor that I take very very seriously and will always work harder on my goals, the company's goals and John's dreams.

I cannot think of a better, more deserving person than John Leavell to have nothing but success ....thank you John for helping me not only transform this body and make it healthier but for helping me have the confidence in myself, in my social and professional life and for showing me the BEST lifestyle I could have ever imagined.

With that being said I also have to give a huge enormous thanks to every single member of our Xtreme Definition Facebook group/team who continue to push harder every day, motivate me and inspire me to be the best I can. I wake up every morning looking forward to checking in with each and every one of them along with all of my amazing friends on BodySpace who continue to support me and encourage me. The friends I have made in the past 9 months are true and dear to my heart I am truly blessed to have them all in my life. I can't imagine a day going by without each and every one of them.

Also to all the wonderful people on BodySpace who have listed me as their inspiration, you leave me speechless and choked up every time I read all your kind words and compliments to me that you chose me as an inspiration is such an amazing honor and I never take that honor for granted. Little do you all know you are all my true inspirations and not being able to list you all is hard, 10 just doesn't cut it for me.

I promise to never let you down and to always be there by your side lending a helping hand, support, motivation and cheering you on as you do to me. Without knowing it each and every one of you has brought so much into my life, thank you for sharing you with me. Thank you for making me smile every single day!

I would like to give a very special thanks to Adam at Snap Fitness of Metairie/Kenner, Louisiana for his enormous generosity and kindness with allowing my trainer, John Leavell to work with me transforming this body, making it healthier and stronger in a very positive environment like Snap. I really appreciate all of your understanding and sincerity Adam. I couldn't have asked for a better gym to enhance all of my fitness goals.

I've saved the most inspiring for last in parting, much love and respect goes out to Casey and his phenomenal parents Kelly and Harry who I fell in love with from the first day, and then being blessed to have Casey come into my life and having Kelly and Harry share their amazing son with John and me. Although I only had him for a few months, I learned more courage, strength, compassion and determination from that young man than anyone I've ever met.

Kerry Monaghan And Casey
+ Click To Enlarge.
Kerry Monaghan And Casey

Although my heart aches for him I understand why he was called back home to God, his job here was done and we are to continue on with the gifts Casey left with us to reach out and help others. I now wear Casey's wristband for his cancer awareness all the time, I promised Casey when I lift he will always be lifting with me, right by my side where I was with him, and when I run I feel Casey run with me as the wind pushes my back. When the moments of "I can't go on" start to creep up, Casey gives me that push to continue, to do work, to be better, to "stay strong, stay determined."

Last but not least thank you to Bodybuilding.com for this incredible tremendous honor of Over 40 Amateur of the Week. Being welcomed into your amazing website has brought so much into my life I don't know where to start, but I would like to say a huge thank you! Thank you for recognizing everyone's working hard, promoting great health and fitness, supporting all of us and making us aware of so many useful tools, tips and information on your website. This is where it all started for me back in November 2010, little did I really realize the positive impact your website would have on my life. That this was truly my beginning of my new journey in life. Thank you always!