Kelly Ryan's Corner - January 2003!

Kelly Ryan's personal area to answer your questions about getting into fitness.

January, 2003 Issue

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone! "Here's to positive things happening for positive people in 2003". I always love New Year's because it gives us time to reflect on the special times we had with our friends and families, as well as the accomplishments we made during the year. Usually during the holidays we take time to make our resolutions for the New Year to come or just set new goals to keep ourselves motivated. Motivation is what brings us together to go over this month's questions. Remember that we are all in this together and with support from each other, we can all accomplish our goals. So let's get down to business and answer this month's great questions.

Q. I do not have a hyperextension bench in my gym. Is there any alternative for this exercise?

A. This is a great question because a lot of gyms do not have this particular piece of equipment. What I have done in this type of situation is use a flat bench. You will need a partner to sit on your legs. Slide yourself down to the edge of the bench, until your hips hang off the end of the bench. Your entire upper body should be hanging down towards the floor. You will be in the same position as if you were on a hyperextension bench; just the range of motion will be shorter. The height of the flat bench is lower than the height of the hyperextension bench. Cross your arms in front of you, but keep your elbows in close to your body. This method is much harder than the regular hyper but sometimes in order to achieve your goal, obstacles must be overcome. Good luck and hope this helps. Here are some pics:

Hyperextensions On A Flat Bench.

Q. I would like to know what a good meal plan is. I just want to get lean but muscular at the same time. I weight train, swim, run, and do aerobics classes. I know that eating smaller meals more often is better because it speeds up your metabolism, but I am not quite sure what I should be eating in the meals. Thanks for your help.

A. You are absolutely correct. Eating smaller meals and more frequently throughout the day will speed up your metabolism. The idea is to get all of your daily nutritional needs in within these meals. The best way to establish your meal plan is to start with breakfast, and then set your next meals after every three hours. For example, I would eat my breakfast at 8 am. After breakfast comes the mid-morning meal at 11 am. Lunch would be at 2 pm, and a mid-afternoon meal at 5 pm. Finally, your last meal being dinner would fall around 8 pm. Now you have established your meal plan by eating a small meal every three hours, and five times a day.

Next you need to divide your meals up according to the types of foods they require. Always keep your complex carbohydrates (bread, pasta) to the earlier part of the day. I never eat complex carbs after 2 pm because they are high in calories and it is best to use the earlier meals including carbs for energy. I also include a serving of protein with each of these complex carbohydrate meals. For my last two meals of the day, mid-afternoon and dinner, I only vegetables and protein. Vegetables are less calories but full of vitamins and minerals, and the protein is important for building lean muscle tissue. Take your time learning about food plans and do the best you can each and every day because your diet makes up 80% of your program.

Q. I am a 17 year old competitive cheerleader with a problem. We have a 2 minute and 30 second routine with non-stop jumps, stunts, dancing, and tons of tumbling. I am having a very difficult time getting through the routine and we have our first National Championship of the season in little over a month. I notice my heart rate gets extremely high when I finish the routine. I am in pretty good shape (5' 2" and 122-125 lbs) and I take natural Creatine in my water too. I know your fitness routines are very similar to the cheerleading routines we have. What do you use to get your endurance going for these fitness routines? Thanks so much for your time and please answer this ASAP!

A. Do not worry my cheerleader friend. I used to have the same problem when I cheered in High School and College. The routines were so tough and draining that we would almost throw up after performing them. It is true that our fitness routines are quite similar to those in cheerleading. Performing a fitness routine is similar to running a sprint, full speed for a total of two minutes. What I do to build up my endurance is practice, practice, and practice. Along with that practice, I use Pure Form's Liquid vitamins. They cover almost 97% of your daily nutritional requirements. The only other three come from your foods made up of complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These liquid vitamins also contain CO-Q10 enzymes which a lot of Olympic cyclists use to increase their endurance and stamina. The vitamins also contain Ginseng which is a natural energy booster, powerful anti-oxidants, and Ginkgo Biloba which helps provide mental clarity and focus while training. These are just a few reasons why you should use the Liquid Vitamins.

I would also recommend you try Pure Form's Power Joint Pro Formula as well. This product contains Vitamin C, MSM, Chondroitin, and Glucosamine. Together this formula will reduce inflammation of muscles, reduces lactic acid build up, improves circulation, and increases flexibility of body tissues. Those tough practices are hard to recover from and to keep up with the rigorous training schedule; your body will need all the help it can get. Supplementation will be the difference between performing your Nationals' routine and slam dunking it! will have these products within a few days in their cyberstore, so tell them I told you to order. Good Luck!!

Picture By Bill Dobbins. Click To Enlarge!

Q. I am a 34 year old female that stands 5'7" tall and weigh 120 pounds. Right now I am at 15% body fat but a couple of months ago I was down to 13%. I am writing to you because I am interested in entering a figure competition, and unfortunately where I live, there is not a lot of information about it. Are there any videos available that I could buy? My other question for you is that I am trying to build more muscle mass. I have a couple of areas that are stubborn, such as my legs and my delts. Any advice would be great. Thank you so much!

A. First of all congrats on all of your hard work. You are doing a great job so far and for Figure competitions, that level of body fat is perfect. There are not any videos available as of right now, but you can contact the NPC office, (412) 276-5027 or at and ask them for the competition guidelines for the Figure Division. The next step would be to obtain a schedule of shows in your local or surrounding state areas. This way you can see first hand what the "look" is for Figure. From my experience, the girls have been told to come in a lot softer than fitness, and they look more like bikini models. Cynthia James "CJ" is the best swimsuit and costume designer in the NPC and IFBB. Her number in Florida is (954) 786-9977, and her e-mail is Tell her I told you to call and she will design something amazing for your first show.

The answer to your second question deals a lot with your nutrition and supplementation. Obviously you are training hard, but 80% of your program is made up of how and what you eat. It is very important to eat get your protein in daily by your food or whey protein shakes. My new Pure Form Whey has Methoxyisoflavone in it, which helps increase your ability to build muscle at a rate which is almost anabolic. This product will not produce any side effects except looking great and increasing muscle mass. Give it a try by ordering it on (within a few days it will be online), and tell them I told you to order it. :)

Once again thank you everyone for writing in and sending me these great questions each month. Remember that the beginning of a New Year is the best time to set your new goals to improve the quality of your lifestyle. You can learn how to do it by just being involved with Kelly's Corner. Check out my other month's questions and answers below as well. Till next time, train hard and reach for the stars!!

Keep those great questions coming to and keep training hard!