Kelly Ryan's Corner - February 2003!

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

February, 2003 Issue

Well it seems as though everyone is off to the races, sparked with motivation from New Year's resolutions because the gym has been busier than ever over the past two months. Motivation derived from a New Year's resolution, usually only lasts just that, a couple of months. You see, fitness is not just a quick fix, nor a quick remedy. It is a type of lifestyle that must be carried out day after day in order to reap the benefits of having an improved quality of life. Everyday that you make small, subtle changes towards a healthier lifestyle, the easier it becomes over time. It almost becomes involuntary. So let's keep our resolutions going this year and accomplish the goals in which you have set out for yourselves. I am not saying it is going to be easy to do, but with a little help from this column each month, everyone should be able to stay on track. The questions keep pouring in so let's get down to business!

P.S. I am competing in the Arnold Classic-Miss Fitness International. See ya there!

Q. I've read and heard so many different things regarding dieting and training and it seems that everything is contradictory. My goal is to reduce body fat for a leaner, more defined look and I am confused about which methods are best for a woman. Help!

A. I agree that the information can become confusing but don't let it get you bogged down. Burning fat can be accomplished with a few tricks like cardio on an empty stomach. Competitors like myself use cardio on an empty stomach to kick our bodies into a high fat-burning stage in order to get ready for a show. The reason why this works is because your body has not taken in any calories for an eight hour period of time and your body will use its natural stores of body fat for energy, not food. If you were to eat a meal first thing in the morning, then that meal would fuel the exercise, not stored fat.

Another way to burn fat is to increase the amount of lean muscle tissue in your body. Training with weights will build muscle tissue in your body over time, if done consistently and intensely. It is true that training heavy is a great way to build the muscle first, and training with light weight and high reps will help increase definition. The truth is that you need to have a substantial amount of muscle in order to get cut up. You must take your body through what is called a building phase first, and allow your body to put muscle on. Muscle speeds up your metabolism naturally, and forces the body to have to work harder to just exist. This is where the theory of eating 5-6 small meals a day comes into play. Having muscle also requires having calories. Eating every three hours will maintain that type of metabolism and support the muscle you have obtained and are trying to gain. Muscle is a good thing to have especially for women so don't be afraid to train heavy and eat your meals when you are supposed to. It will only help you accomplish your goal of becoming leaner.

Q. I just wanted to thank you for all your advice; it has made so much difference in my training! I just have one more question for you. I train, run, swim, and take aerobics classes. What supplements could I take to help me really lose weight and put on some muscle?

A. Great news and I am so happy to help. I have recently come across an amazing company called Pure Form Nutrition. I absolutely love their supplements because of their all-natural approach to supplements. Pure Form doesn't use any aspartame in any of their Whey protein powders and Meal replacements powders, and use a Pharmaceutical grade cold processed Whey. They also use 100 mg of Methoxyisoflavone, a highly anabolic compound, in their Whey Protein which is a great promoter of muscle by increasing protein utilization and nitrogen retention. I use the Whey powder in my oatmeal in the morning to get me started each day, it is a great meal to train off of. I also love the Pure Form Tes-booster. This is a product that increases the levels of testosterone in the body -but only has the half life of real Testosterone- in order to prevent any side effects. When Testosterone stays in the body for long periods of time (for a female) this can evolve into side effects like facial hair. I use two droppers full under my tongue at least thirty minutes before I workout. For the guys out there- I highly suggest the Super Stack Pro. Pure Form uses five different pro hormones in the Super Stack Pro but also uses Chrysin to keep the pro hormones from aromatizing into estrogen. The arromatization of the pro hormones produces "gynomastia" or male breasts. Pure Form is one of the only companies to use Chrysin, so check it out! I am confident that these few supplements by Pure Form will help you put on the muscle you desire, and shed a few pounds in the meantime. I will even make this easier for you - Bodybuilding.com has now started to sell Pure Form. Just click here to get a special discount!

Q. I have been lifting weights for years and have a somewhat sculpted physique. I am considering trying a Figure competition. However, at 40 years old, it seems as though I should be a "Masters" Division if there is one. How do older women do in these competitions and is it realistic to compete with 20 year olds?

A. The beauty about a Figure competition is that there are no limits to entering one. There is no routine round, and you don't have to be in super shape to win. Most of my friends that are entering these competitions are being marked down for coming in too good of shape. I truly do not see any problems for a 40 year old to compete against a 20 year old because of the judging criteria. They are simply looking for a woman with a beautiful and marketable face that also has a great body more similar to that of a Hawaiian Tropic Bikini look. Too many women were complaining about the routines in fitness so the NPC brilliantly came up with another way for women to compete and keep their bodies in shape. This levels the playing field and if you have the looks to go with a great body... Go For It!!! Call the NPC office for your info about any shows in your area, and tell them I told you to call: (412) 276-5027. Bodybuilding.com also has a competition search online here.

Need a suit? Cynthia James "CJ" is my costume and suit designer. Contact her at (954) 786-9977or CEEJAY6630@aol.com and say I told you to call.

Q. I am a 27 year old trying to get into better shape. Currently I weigh 128 lbs. at 5'7" and most people would consider me to be skinny, but my goal is to tone up! I have a couple of questions I hope you can help me out with to fulfill my goal. What is flax seed oil used for? I find it helps with my cramps once a week but should I use it everyday? Second, should I drink lactose milk every morning with a high protein/fiber and low carbohydrate cereal if I want to cut up?

A. First I will start by answering what flax seed oil is used for. Flax seed oil can be used for a great source of energy when a person is on a low carbohydrate type of diet. It is also a great source for a natural fat that is readily burned and less likely to be stored in the body. Fats such as flax seed oil also keep the metabolism stimulated and helps a person (especially women) maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails. Flax seed oil can be used every day as your fat source within your diet structure and must be calculated into the caloric scheme of your daily intake.

To answer your second question about the lactose milk in your cereal every morning... no, you should try to eliminate dairy all together in order to cut up as you say. When I diet for a fitness competition, I eliminate breads, pastas, fruit, and dairy products of any sort. This is the ONLY way to achieve a low level of body fat. I do however cheat once a week on Sundays to keep my metabolism stimulated and to shock my body. When you eat clean day in and day out, for long periods of time, the metabolism can slow down. Once a week, have a nice meal, one that you will really enjoy, and it will kick start and confuse your body into speeding itself back up. I do not go crazy though, and I only cheat with one meal, not all day! This could be your opportunity to have dairy, but beware of the stomach ache afterwards, it can be a real doozie.

See everyone next month! Remember if you are coming to the Arnold Classic (Feb 28-Mar. 2) make sure you don't miss the awesome Physique Columbus, the Arnold After Party hosted by Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan and sponsored by Bodybuilding.com. Tickets can be purchased on WantTickets.com. More info about the party is here.

Keep those great questions coming to KellyRyan98@aol.com and keep training hard!