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2010 Olympia Interview - Candice Keene - 'I Believed In Me!'

Candice entered her first figure competition on a whim and ended up becoming the overall winner. Now she is getting ready to compete for the big time Bikini Olympia title! Does she have what it takes?

By: Isaac Hinds

Article Summary:
  • Candice won overall in her first competition in Florida
  • Candice switches up her workout by adding in plyometrics.
  • Candice makes her own confection called ProCakez which is a sugar free MRP.

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Olympia Interview - Candice Keene

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Candice Keene

    IFBB Figure Pro Candice Keene will be competing in her first Olympia and is gunning for a top spot. Find out what Candice attributes to her success and find out what a Pro eats for the Olympia.

    Name: Candice Keene
    Born In: Dallas, TX
    Raised In: Phoenix, AZ
    Currently Resides In: Orlando, FL


[ Isaac Hinds ] How did you get started in competing?

[ Candice Keene ] My trainer Jaime Ibone is a competitive bodybuilder himself and trains other competitors as well. The August before my first show, my friend talked about competing in NPC All South Championships. I had an inspired thought and feeling and I went with it. Haven't looked back since!


[ IH ] How important has it been for you to work with a trainer?

[ CK ] I believe it is very important to have a trainer/coach by your side. They are able to advise you with macronutrient manipulation and cardio. Self perception during contest prep can be a very tricky thing.


[ IH ] When was your first show?

[ CK ] It was Nov 8, 2008 at the NPC All South Championships in St Augustine, FL


[ IH ] You won the overall there, right?

[ CK ] Yes, I did!


[ IH ] And you turned pro in your second contest ever (2008 NPC Nationals), right?

[ CK ] Yes! It was actually 2 weeks after All South. I figured I would go up there as a learning experience, but came back as a Pro! Very cool feeling!

Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions. Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
View More Pics Of Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.


[ IH ] What do you attribute to your fast track to success?

[ CK ] I had a goal, a desire to reach that goal, a passion for that desire; all while focusing on what I wanted. But most importantly, I believed in ME. You cannot have any doubt...doubt is a killer!


[ IH ] This will be your first Olympia. How does it feel to be on the biggest figure stage in the world?

[ CK ] It feels absolutely incredible! Not too many have this opportunity, I am so very grateful and so very excited!


[ IH ] What does your family think of your figure competitions?

[ CK ] My family is very supportive. My mother is always there with me. My brother is a huge bodybuilding fan, so he thinks it's exciting. It is very important to have a good support system.


[ IH ] Were you in any sports or athletics in high school college?

[ CK ] I was not actually, far from it. I did however take a weight training elective class my senior year. That is when my interest sparked.


[ IH ] What type of cardio are you doing in preparation for this show?

[ CK ] I switch it up between treadmill, elliptical, and the stepmill. I also do two 60-min plyometric sessions a week.

Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
View More Pics Of Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.


[ IH ] When do you prefer to do it (plyometrics) and how much are you doing?

[ CK ] Right now I am doing it 2 times a day. I prefer to do it sometime in the beginning of the day and again in the evening after my workout.


[ IH ] Do you do cardio on an empty stomach?

[ CK ] I normally don't do it before breakfast, but I do time it out right to where it's the last hour before my next meal.


[ IH ] What's a sample day of eating look like?

[ CK ]

Meal 1:

Meal 2:

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

Meal 6:

Also, I don't count my veggies. On my 'hungry' days, I can eat a field!


[ IH ] Do you allow yourself any cheat meals?

[ CK ] Not usually during contest prep. Although last weekend I was allowed a piece of chocolate peanut butter silk pie and you betcha I savored each and every bite!


[ IH ] What's the one food you miss while dieting?

[ CK ] It's not so much the food, it's being able to freely go and have whatever you want without feeling guilty and I also wish I could eat more carbs.

Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
View More Pics Of Candice Keene At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.


[ IH ] What's the biggest mistake you learned in your first year as a pro?

[ CK ] To not blow up after a show! My 1st year as a pro was pretty much my 1st year competing too, so I was still getting 'familiar' with my body and post show indulgences. You need to be careful not to take too far because it could potentially hurt your conditioning for your next show.


[ IH ] What changes did you make for this year that helped you win?

[ CK ] I started focusing on my legs more with training them 2 times a week plus a 1hr plyometric session each week. I bumped up my intensity, and focused on the end result (my overall package to be presented on stage).

Candice Keene At The 2009 New York Pro Figure.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Candice Keene At The 2009 New York Pro Figure.
View More Pics Of Candice Keene At The 2009 New York Pro Figure.


[ IH ] When you're not training what do you like to do?

[ CK ] When I am not training, I am usually busy with school or making/selling my ProCakez. I admit though, I am a bit of a homebody.


[ IH ] How did you come up with your ProCakez?

[ CK ] The invention of ProCakez was not intended. I was playing around coming up with different concoctions for myself and after tweaking a few things and trial and errors, ProCakez emerged. They are 17 months new.


[ IH ] Tell more about them...

[ CK ] ProCakez are a low glycemic, sugar free and high protein meal replacement. I currently have 8 flavors and brainstorming more! Right now I am selling them locally, until I figure out the shipping (they aren't small and they need to be cold) but you should be seeing/hearing more of them this upcoming year! If any of you are in Florida, I can get 'em to ya! You will love them!


[ IH ] Any supplements you'd recommend to other women?

[ CK ] I take a good multivitamin/mineral, fish oil, BCAAs, glutamine and glucosamine. I have also taken an interest in herbs, so I take an array of them. As competitors, our adrenals get fatigued, so I take certain herbs to support them..I call it my "adrenal cocktail". They include Raw desiccated adrenals, maca, Siberian ginseng, Korean ginseng, licorice, astragulus, rhodilia, schizandra. To make it easier, I break open the capsules in my shake.


[ IH ] What advice do you have for women thinking about competing?

[ CK ] To set goals, find a trainer to advise you nutritionally, focus on the end result, and most importantly to believe in yourself

Candice Keene At The 2009 New York Pro Figure. Candice Keene At The 2009 New York Pro Figure.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Candice Keene At The 2009 New York Pro Figure.
View More Pics Of Candice Keene At The 2009 New York Pro Figure.


[ IH ] What is your goal for the Olympia?

[ CK ] Anyone goes into a show wanting to win of course! My goal is to do well, but really stepping outside the box and looking in. I have already accomplished so much! I am so appreciative of that! I am so excited to compete with the best bodies and beautiful ladies in the industry!


[ IH ] After the show what do you have planned... food or drink?

[ CK ] Hmmm good question! Not really sure. As long as it involves a juicy burger, a yummy dessert, and a tasty martini I'm good!


[ IH ] Will we see you compete again after the Olympia?

[ CK ] As of right now, I am not sure. I am leaning towards the Fort Lauderdale show. I leave back home to Phoenix for a week that following Monday, so that will make for a very nice vay-cay!


[ IH ] Where can people find out more info on you?

[ CK ] You can find me on Facebook, as well as Myspace. My website will be coming soon too.

Thanks, Candice! Good luck!

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