Kelly Ryan's Corner - October 2004!

Kelly Ryan's personal area to answer your questions about getting into fitness.
I am starting this month's column by saying that Craig and I just returned from Utah where we appeared and Craig guest posed at the Utah Open. Craig and I appeared on behalf of Pinnacle and Cytodyne Nutrition as well as the Elite Nutrition Centers. Ted Joiner and his amazing choreographer wife, and ENC store owner Justin Dees took great care of us and showed us what a nutrition store should look like.

Continued success guys and see you real soon! I want to say how much we appreciated the kindness we were shown by everyone there and Craig and I would definitely go back again in a skinny minute to perform. Paul Tidwell is the new NPC Chairman for Utah and he is already off to a great start with the successful turnout for his first show, with promoter Scott Schmall.

I am really looking forward to seeing all the cool Utah bodybuilding fans at the Olympia in two weeks; we are going to have an awesome time in Vegas! I really enjoy the Olympia weekend so much because I get to see all of you die hard fans that I have met over the year or years, and for me it is the perfect time to get caught up and have some fun. The prejudging for the women is on Friday Oct 28th this year and the ticket price is included in the cost of the expo ticket. Please come and yell for all the female competitors, we really use those cheers to psyche ourselves up for the routine rounds!

On another competitive note, big congrats to Adela Friedmansky, Kim Klein, Jen Hendershott, Teri Mooney, Julie Palmer, and Debi Czempinski were the incredible top six finalists for the Show of Strength in Atlanta Oct 8th. Way to go ladies, I was there in the audience cheering my butt off and so impressed with how everyone did! I was really bummed to sit out due to an injured (partially torn) left calf, but I really enjoyed the show.

2004 GNC Show Of Strength
Get all the results and some great photos from the competition!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

I am rehabbing my leg big time to be ready for the Fitness Olympia coming up soon. Thanks to all especially Dr. Dean Stuart of Addition2 Chiropractic and Dr. Tony Chin of the Sports Rehab and Spin Institute, for the treatments and support I have received since my injury and all the good luck wishes and prayers. It has helped me so much and I wouldn't be able to stay so positive without all that support.

So without further due, let the question and answer session begin. Here are this month's super questions:

[ Q ] I've recently started pursuing a long-standing goal for myself, that is to compete (probably in figure first). I have a long way to go and am just starting with the goal of getting myself back into shape. You're Mom and I took Rep Reebok together at 24 Hour Fitness in Laguna Nigel a couple of years ago.

She was my biggest cheerleader as I started my career as an aerobics instructor. She got me hooked on Oxygen Magazine when you were on the cover (she was so proud? I think the whole club knew). Since then I've moved to Tennessee, and am going through many life changes including a divorce. In order to keep my spirits up and my body in shape I have set some pretty ambitious goals for myself.

There is no one else's help that I'd rather have than yours! Send me prices, ideas, encouragement or even decline, but I'd love to have you walk through this challenge with me.

Thank you for your time and inspiration,

    A. I think it is so great that you have contacted me for this journey and challenge. I can only imagine the fun you and my mom had at the Rep Reebok. She is my inspiration and the reason I am the way I am today.

    I am very proud of her and it is awesome you were able to share some positive experiences with her. Since moving to Tennessee, you have gone through some major changes and it is fantastic you have chosen ways to keep yourself in the right place mentally and physically. Stress from things such as divorce can reap havoc on the body and mentally drain you as well.

    You should feel really proud of yourself to just taking this initiative. I feel that the best way for you to move towards your goals is to make a plan of attack so that the challenge itself doesn't become overwhelming at first. Begin with a good meal plan, and keep it simple. Eat 5 meals a day, (approx 1500-2000 calories total) with each meal being every three hours and have one serving (4 ounces or 30 grams) of protein with each.

    Then have one serving (30-grams) of complex carbohydrates with your first two or three meals of the day, and switch the carbohydrate source to fibrous for your last two meals. One and a half cups pf broccoli equals one serving so make sure you eat enough vegetables to fit your fibrous carbohydrate needs. I would also suggest having either a handful of cashews or raw almonds with your last two meals for your fat intake.

    Nuts are a great source of fats and your metabolism will remain healthy by doing so. This is a great meal plan to begin with, and for variation you can add a cheat meal on Sundays. This will keep you mentally stimulated and motivated to follow your program if you reward yourself once a week!

    I hope this at least gets you started, and please check out my past month's columns for more information on training, cardio and supplements. Keep in touch with me and I will tell my mom that you send your regards. I am sure she will get a kick out of this. Take care and stay positive. Your attitude determines your outcome.

[ Q ] I am employed by D & A Nutrition and am under the supervision of Adam Ogden. He mentioned to me that it might be possible for me to speak to you about fitness/figure competition, since I am an inspiring athlete without any sense of direction.

I am currently training with partners, both being men, but I feel that as a woman my body reacts differently and as a result develops and grows differently. I have been in a bulking phase for approximately six weeks now and consequently as Adam puts it, appears "full". This physique is not exactly what I am striving for, but with patience and understanding I assumed it would only be temporary.

Then my trainer revealed to me that I would be trying to put on mass for the next 16 months. Do you agree with this type of training for a female? Do you have any suggestions regarding training or supplementation? I am already considerably strong, but I think I need to work towards cutting and developing a leaner physique. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

    A. Nicole, do not fret, you are in great hands with Adam Ogden, and your company D & A Nutrition. I never like to step on anyone's toes so I will not give my opinion of your personal trainer's program for you, I will just make some subtle suggestions. I feel as if your trainer has the best intentions for you due to what he may see in the magazines as far as physiques go, but I would not suggest the supplementation program he suggested for you to do for three months.

    A female should not take certain things designed for a man to take. Muscle can be acquired by training hard, intensely, and consistently. You should think about taking supplements like Creatine, Glutamine, and BCAA's. These are great for females because they allow you to build, protect from being used as energy, and to recover after your training and cardio sessions.

    Pinnacle makes an incredible Esterified Creatine(meaning it stays in your system longer and less gets wasted). Cytodyne Nutrition produces an amazing whey isolate protein powder (Cytodyne CytoPro) in Vanilla that taste great and I am using it for the Fitness Olympia right now. Glutamine and BCAA's can be picked up easily by any company, and need to be taken three times a day surrounding your training and cardio sessions.

    If the leaner look is what you desire, change your training up a bit, and increase or implement some cardiovascular activity 3-4 days a week for 40 minutes each session. Keep the weight you use in the medium to heavy weight range and up your reps to 15-20 reps. This will not only fatigue your muscles but keep your body in the work zone for longer periods of time.

    Short, max rep sets are okay, but I do not feel they are calorie burning enough for women who want to get lean. You can put muscle on while you get lean. The more muscle tissue you build, the faster your metabolism will be. I think these small changes will help your body and mind a lot.

    It is important for you to trust your programs in order for it to work for you. Talk to your trainer and express how you feel. It will make you feel better and help him understand what it is you are trying to accomplish. Good luck and tell Adam and Monique I send my best. They are sweet people who care very much about the folks who work for them.

    p.s. check out my new column called Contest Prep 101 in Oxygen Magazine where I explain each step of the contest preparation for fitness, and stay tuned to this column for more info on training, nutrition, and cardio!

[ Q ] I am so inspired to train and eat properly after reading through your section on The last 3 months have been life changing! I have suffered from bulimia for nearly 5 years and over the last year have managed not to relapse using various survival tactics.

As a result I have managed to mess up my metabolism big time. I am feeling positive and confident enough at this moment to start looking attentively at my nutrition. Please could you take a look at the "average day" that I worked out for me based on info from various magazines?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My stats are: female, 5'7" and 84 kg.

As far as nutrition goes I am getting a bit confused with "so much information".

  • Breakfast: apple and protein bar
  • Snack: meal replacement shake with fat free milk 170 cal, 10 g, carbs, 24g protein, 3 g fat
  • Lunch: ? c brown and wild rice, chicken breast strips and lemon juice with 1 c chopped salad, avocado, 1 tblsp low oil dressing, ? chopped apple, 1 tsp red kidney beans
  • Snack: meal replacement bar = 270 cal 24 g protein, 27g carbs, 6 g fat or meal replacement shake as above
  • Dinner: pan seared sole, 2 tsp olive oil with lemon and black pepper seasoning, salad exactly as above for lunch
  • Snack: meal replacement shake as above

    A. Thank you for writing all the way from South Africa and it sounds to me from your e-mail that you are on the right path so far. I did the same thing you did when I first became interested in fitness. I kept my head stuffed in bodybuilding magazines to learn as much as possible about training and nutrition, but as you know all the information can become jumbled when trying to sort out what is best for your body type.

    I like what I see so far for your meal plans and would like to suggest some small changes that I feel are necessary for you to make in order to attain the results you so desire. For right now, let's try to cut out the fruit and dairy to kick start your program. I feel that by removing these items, you will see better results much quicker.

    Coming from that same eating disorder background as you, but mine being for much longer unfortunately (11 years) it is good for you to see something happen pretty quickly to build trust in it. For breakfast let's replace the apple with some sort of complex carbohydrate such as a whole grain cereal.

    You being on the go, try to pick up some Gerber's Baby Rice formula dry cereal in the box since you do not have time to cook. Two ? cups equals one serving of complex carbs perfect to combine with your protein source which would preferably be a whey powder instead of a bar. Bars are okay once in a while, but can be very hard on the digestive system.

    Next, for your snack, try having the meal replacement shake with water and ice instead of milk. Milk is not so much bad for you; it is just that water is a much better choice for what we are trying to achieve. Your lunch selection is perfect up to the avocado, dressing, and kidney beans. Keep the chicken breast strips and ? c of rice.

    You only need carbs and protein for this meal, and should put your fats with meals that do not contain as many complex carbs. Complex carbs and fats fight to be used for energy by your body, and what is not used up is stored. Allow your body to pull from your complex carbs and not store the fats you eat with them.

    The next snack, is it possible to make this a meal or shake with water? Again, bars are not bad; the better choice for you would just be the liquid rather than the bar because of digestive reasons. Lastly your dinner is perfect and sounds like it is very tasty. Making your food taste good is a huge part of staying on track. If you do not enjoy what you are eating, you will most likely not follow your nutrition program. I know I wouldn't LOLOLOL.

    The last snack is up to you and how hungry you are after this day of eating. Other than that, way to go! Do your very best to follow these adjustments for the next couple of weeks and I am confident you will see changes in your physique.

[ Q ] I am a fitness competitor from Winnipeg, Manitoba and was wondering if you choreograph routine for other people. I know that Jen Hendershott does this sort of thing and I really enjoy your style of routines. I was wondering if you would be able to help me out in this area.

I am getting ready for the Canadian Nationals which take place in April. If you do this sort of thing please let me know how much it costs and what we could arrange. I know you are very busy right now preparing for the Fitness Olympia, where you will be amazing as you usually are. Please reply when you can either way.

Thank you so much for your time,

    A. Tina thank you for the vote of confidence going into the Fitness Olympia this year. I am right in the final stages of my prep and you just made my whole day. I love choreographing routines and try to do it whenever my schedule permits. What usually determines whether I will take on a job or not is if I can dedicate myself to the client 220% or not.

    I refuse to take a job and not give it my all. As a perfectionist I will not let myself do that, plus I charge $1,000 for my routines because of what I feel I can offer the client as well. I like to have the client come to Las Vegas and stay for at least 4-5 days if possible. Included in the $1,000 is 3-4 sessions with my gymnastics coach so that all your technique used for tumbling and tricks is cleaned up for the hard stages.

    This will build great habits when you are on your own, and keep you safe on the hard floors. My coach charges by the hour so I pay him for you out of my fees. It is best to have your own DJ where you live so that you can tell him what you want in person, and make sure you love you routine music.

    I will give you the guidance you need to ensure that you give the judges exactly what they want to see from you on stage, and to be as entertaining as possible. Speaking of routines, I have mentioned before that I am designing my own wrist wraps, not wrist straps, they are completely different. Wrist straps are what I use for weight training and have for sale on my website

    Wrist wraps are what I am designing and soon launching on my site for fitness competitors to wear for the routine rounds to protect their wrists and palms on the hard stages. Tricks that land in the push-up position (schooshanovas) are killer on the palms of your hands, and without wraps, you can severely bruise your hands making performing the routine rounds almost impossible.

    APT ( is making them for me out of the best materials so stay tuned. Back to the question, Tina, if you or anyone else reading this is interested, please feel free to contact me ASAP @ so we can discuss the matter further. Thank you for your inquiry and best of luck to you this year. I hope you rock the Canadian Nationals in April!

Keep those e-mails coming so we can work on attaining our goals together. Keep training hard and pushing yourself each and every time you step into the gym. Until next month, I'm out so I can go do my second cardio session for the day. Peace!