Kelly Ryan's Corner - May 2003!

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

May, 2003 Issue

Hey everyone! The Night of Champions is now four weeks away and both Craig and I are busy getting ready to try to win both of our divisions at the show. We have been training like crazy people and dieting very hard so this month's questions seem to fit appropriately. Let's get down to business…

P.S. The "Official Night of Champions After-Party" is going to be at the China Club in New York City. Tickets are available now on We have rented out the best club in town for you the fans to come celebrate the 25th anniversary of the NOC and meet all the amazing hosts of our party- like Bob Bonham, Rob Lopez, Dennis James, Shawn Ray, Bethany Howlett, Victor Martinez - phew - are these names amazing or what?

See ya in New York!!

Q. Dear Kelly, what do you think of CLA? I hear it is safe and works well on abdominal fatty tissue?

A. I am a big fan not only of supplements like CLA, but all types of essential fats products. They are literally essential for our health and if we lower our fat intake too much, the metabolism will slow down as well as other health issues will occur. Women especially should always make sure to include some type of essential fats product in their diet regiment in order to keep their hair, skin and nails healthy. As for it being effective on abdominal fat, CLA works on the body as a whole by keeping the metabolism stimulated therefore, assisting in lowering the total body-fat of a person, not just a targeted area. Remember, if a person tends to carry body fat in one particular area, it is usually that area that will lean out last on the body. Try to focus on the body as a whole and the results you desire will be attainable.

Q. I am currently reading a book called, "Muscle - Confessions Of An Unlikely Bodybuilder," which is a wonderful source to get inside the mind of a bodybuilder. However I am a female that is more interested in fitness, and I wish I could read something like this book, only from a fitness perspective, maybe written by someone like you. My question to you is how to maintain the discipline and focus. Have you ever heard of any books like this?

A. I myself have never read such a book, but honestly feel that research can be quite enlightening and allows you to gain an understanding of a particular subject, especially one as complex as bodybuilding.

Fitness can be looked upon as a way of life. My approach to fitness was more of a business approach which helped remove most of the emotional attachments, mainly with the food. Being a recovered Bulimic now for 4 years, I had to set up more of a structured eating program and take the thinking out of it. I viewed each day as a separate day and by getting my training, cardio and meals in, that was my job for just that one day. If I looked too far ahead, I would become overwhelmed and frustrated with the workload ahead of me and fall off my program so to speak. Focus and discipline is something that can be learned through practice and other aspects of your life. I took the discipline and focus from my athletic background and translated it into my fitness training, (diet, cardio, etc) and so far this formula has been quite successful for me.

Unfortunately I do not have any book recommendations for you at this time, but consistently reading the magazines like Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness Hers will honestly help you learn more about yourself by seeing what drives others to succeed. There are always articles written by pros dealing with motivation, nutrition, and training, just to name a few. Go check out your local newsstand for these publications or you can buy them here on, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

P.S. I will probably write a book, but only after I retire.

Click To Enlarge Pics!

Q. Do you believe in taking vitamins, and why?

A. Yes, most definitely because you cannot get all of your daily nutrients just from the foods you eat. Your nutrition program would have to be perfectly measured out each and every day to accomplish this. Plus, the way we prepare foods these days doesn't allow all the nutritional value in the food to stay intact.

The important thing to realize about vitamins is what type of source they come from. Most multi-vitamins on the market come from a rock source and our body's digestive systems cannot break down and absorb rock based substances, they just pass right through us. The dyes used on these vitamins trick you into thinking your body has fully absorbed the vitamins... I know I used to think this myself. The brighter the water in the toilet, the healthier I thought I was. This is not so. Vitamins that come from plant sources are best, and there are a few on the market today. One in particular is a Liquid Vitamin product being manufactured by a few companies. This liquid form of vitamin has 100% absorption rate and makes taking vitamins easy and convenient. happens to sell a liquid vitamin so check out it out here.

Q. How often do you practice your fitness routine?

A. I go to a gymnastics center, "Go For It USA" (site), in Las Vegas, three times a week almost year round. My practices tend to last at least an hour and a half in order to get in all the training I desire. I have gymnastics in my background but it was over ten years ago. That is a very long time to keep up certain skills, especially when I am 6 inches taller than what I was as a gymnast. I go to practice three times a week in order to maintain skills I had ten years ago, and to work on new and more exciting skills for my routines. I also work on my flexibility after each practice by stretching, as well after each cardio session. I do presses and push-ups after each session three times a week to increase my overall strength and endurance. Anything less than twice a week, doesn't allow a person enough time to make any gains throughout the season, nor increase their cardiovascular endurance for the routine round.

Q. What do you do about tanning? Do you go to a tanning salon or just use self-tanners for the show?

A. My husband Craig and I both usually begin tanning about six weeks out from a competition. We never tan in the off-season to prevent any further or unnecessary skin damage. Unfortunately part of being ready for competing requires you to be tan, and the ONLY way to achieve this is through baking in the sun, or tanning in a tanning bed. I prefer the tanning bed, because I do not have the time to lie out in my backyard. Tanning six weeks out gives me a nice base tan before I use any self tanning products. I also use tanning accelerating lotions that keep my skin moisturized and have bronzing agents in them.

I also make sure I drench my skin in moisturizing lotion separate from my tanning lotion. This keeps my skin in great condition and silky smooth for stage. Presentation is about looking great on stage and I have known competitors who have been marked down for bad skin either on their face, or body. Now for the competition itself, I use Jan Tana products. I use her Show Tan for my stage color and her moisturizing lotion for the sheen on my skin under the lights. Oil is not allowed for fitness competitors. Jan Tana's products are the best on the market today. Her Show Tan darkens the skin as you apply it, and her moisturizer blends in all of the tough areas, like around the elbows, knees and ankles. Believe me; from my experience Jan Tana's products have given me the best color for stage. The last time I used Pro Tan it turned my skin olive green. What a nightmare! It is all the little things that add up to make you look like a champion. Getting your skin in the right condition for tanning takes time, but it pays off every time.

See everyone next month! Keep those great questions coming to and keep training hard!