Kelly Ryan's Corner - November 2003!

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

October, 2003 Issue

Olympia Weekend is coming up and I hope all of you fitness buffs are able to come out to beautiful Las Vegas for an amazing weekend. Fitness Olympia prejudging begins Thursday, October 23rd at 1 p.m. and Finals follow Friday, October 24th at 7 p.m.

Don't miss the Second Annual Olympia After Party presented by Pinnacle and Muscular Development Magazine and this year hosted by Dorian Yates, Craig Titus, Chris Cormier, Amy Fadhli, Tito Raymond, Christina Lindley, and myself. The place to be is House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay (event hotel) at 11 p.m. Saturday (after the men's finals and Olympia Banquet) until 4 a.m. It then moves to club Seven until the sun comes up!

Craig and I have gone all out for YOU, the fans, this year to have the best time ever... so come hang out with your favorite pros and fitness personalities.

Thanks to everyone for all of their good luck wishes to me for the O this year! I will definitely use them and really appreciate the support while preparing for this huge event. I will do my best to bring home the title this year. These questions have kept me so motivated and focused on the task ahead of me. Let's get started so you can see what I mean...

This Month's Questions

Q. Lately I have been reading that when weight training you want to lift until your muscles completely fatigue, otherwise known as lifting to failure. Is this something that you follow? I started doing this with the last set of each exercise and noticed that I can surpass my regular reps a bit, and it has helped with my definition. What do you think?

A. This is just one particular method to follow for weight training. There are different ways to train, and this happens to be a great one. I use this method sometimes when I get ready for my shows. In fitness, it is not so important to be as big muscle wise so this type of training allows me to become stronger (muscular endurance) and more defined. I do not recommend this method for year-round training. Remember your body will reach a point of plateau, where the body stops responding so well.

When I am not so close to a show I train with less reps and more rest in between sets. The change in training regiments forces my body to have to adjust and this somewhat shocks my system. If you do not respond to a slower paced training routine, then try giant or super sets where two or more exercises for the same body part are done consecutively to keep the heart rate up and blood forced into the muscle being worked. This is similar to rep failure but instead of the same exercise causing muscle fatigue, your amount of activity from each exercise causes muscle fatigue. Keep working hard and training for those great results!

Q. I am a 24 year old graduate student in nutrition. I feel very educated in the area of nutrition, and I have no problem helping others with their goals, but when it comes to me, I am at a complete loss. I am 5'7" and weigh 165 lbs. I take step classes four days a week (for an hour) and on other days, I do at least 30 minutes to an hour of cardio. I just recently started lifting weights and have noticed that I am gaining weight, not losing it. You would think that with all this cardio I would be losing. Any reason why? Also I would like to lose about 30 lbs. of fat... how many calories should I be consuming a day? I eat between 1400-1600 calories a day right now.

A. Try not to get too down on yourself. It is hard to practice what you preach. The whole idea behind nutrition is to make sure your body gets enough of the nutrients it needs to build a healthy, strong body. Without knowing what you eat each day, it is hard to say if you are doing something wrong, but your caloric intake is almost right on track. I consume anywhere between 1500 and 2000 calories a day. I eat protein with each meal (30 grams) and keep my complex carbs (30 grams) to the early morning and lunch. I eat lots of green leafy vegetables with my protein at night. I also throw in fats at night like cashews or almonds (one handful).

Cardio is only one dimensional. What I mean is that by adding weight training to your program, you will burn 50% more fat and calories a day. I used to work for the FIRM. They make aerobic with weights tapes and have researched this philosophy. When you do so much cardio, and do not eat enough calories to support your muscle, you end up only losing weight initially and then plateau. Weight training allows you to build lean muscle mass and increase your overall metabolism. You will gain weight first because muscle weighs more than fat and your body is going through a building phase. Give it time and soon you will see your body fat decrease and your measurements drop in size. Keep up with your weight training regiment at least three times a week. Split your body parts up so that you do not over train as well. Bump up your calories a bit to make sure you are eating enough for your activity, and make sure you take your vitamins and drink plenty of water. Check out some of my past columns below to see what supplements I recommend. Go for it girl... you can do anything you put your mind to!

Q. I need your advice, Kelly. I am 20 years old, 5'8" tall and 120 lbs with 15% body fat. I have been having trouble lately making any gains in the gym lately. I have been working out consistently for the last 7 months. My diet is egg whites, chicken, tuna, nuts veggies, fruits, rice and oats. I drink lots of water and for the first few months I was taking protein powder. Then when it was finished, I did not buy anymore. When I look back my body was really responding during that time. Are supplements really that important to one's program?

A. From reading all of your e-mail, I did not include everything (word space) in this one question but will try to answer all of it for you and everyone else so it makes sense. You are eating the right food groups, and the right amount... almost 2000 calories a day, and training right... 4 times a week, split body part training with lower reps and heavy weight. For some people's body types, it takes a little something extra to make the gains they want. Supplements do work! They were designed for those that take working out seriously.

I would recommend taking a protein powder again. It has branch chain amino acids in it to help you build muscle better. Try Pinnacle's Juiced Protein with Myo-Zap in it. This is what I am currently using to prepare for the Olympia. Their chocolate flavor is the best out there... no doubt!

Try by adding one element at a time back into your program so you can see how it works for your body. What works for some does not for others! Remember the biggest reason why you are not making gains so fast is your young age. Give it time, and keep following your program. You have only been at this a short while and it takes time to build muscle. The older you get the easier it is to build muscle, but you have to stay consistent. It sounds to me like you are a very disciplined person so keep your chin up and you will reach your goals!

Q. I am an amateur bodybuilder, 35 years old, have been working out for four years, and competed once. I had a great time competing as well. My question is that I need help getting cut for my next show. I feel as if I am stuck at the point where I am now. I want to lose a bit more fat while keeping the lean muscle. I work out 4-5 days a week doing a split workout; I do cardio 6 times a week for at least 30 minutes each. My diet consists of 5 meals a day with low carbs/fat, and high protein. Please help me by suggesting something I can do to get cut, and lose the bit of fat I have. Thanks!

A. Do not fear... by reading your question I can already pick out something to help you reach your goal. First, starting at 12 weeks out, you must do morning cardio before you eat breakfast for at least 30 minutes to begin. Then in the afternoon of that same day, do another 30 minutes of cardio. Do this for the first week. Bump it up to 45 minutes per session the very next week and continue so for about four weeks. Your final cardio goal should be one hour in the am, and one hour in the evening five days a week, with Sundays being your off day completely.

I am using a product called Xenadrine as a fat burner/thermogenic. I love it! It is ephedrine free and still gives me the results I used to get using ephedrine based products. I take two capsules in the morning to get my day started. Xenadrine gives me great energy for my routine practices, workouts, and cardio sessions. Thermogenics do make a difference and should be cycled into your program so that your body doesn't get used to them. I use Xenadrine only before a show and come off of it directly afterwards.

Get on this cardio program before your next show at the twelve week mark and start taking your Xenadrine at the ten week point. Do not take the Xenadrine on your days off from the gym or Sundays. You will love the results that much more! Good luck.

Q. Hey Kelly, I read online somewhere that you signed a contract with APT's Pro Wrist Straps. What's the deal?

You are absolutely correct about this and I am very excited to tell you what makes APT Pro Wrist Straps different from any other straps. First of all, Craig and I have been using this particular type of wrist strap since the Show of Strength last year. I believe in using wrist straps because they allow me to intensify my back and leg workouts without worrying about dropping the weights I am using, or working secondary muscles I do not want to grow anymore. My biceps grow like crazy and for me to train my back heavy, I have to take my arms out of the equation. I love APT's because they are super durable, yet soft on my skin. They do not feel like a rough canvas material rubbing my wrists raw as I work out. I am still a woman and want nice hands and skin.

I also have a pair to match each of my outfits... baby pink, yellow, red and baby blue. Each of my straps is outlined in black as my own, "Kelly Ryan Signature Line". Why not look cute when you are training, right ladies? I train just as intensely as any guy would but my pink straps match my shirt, when a guy doesn't care. I am going to make these Kelly Ryan wrist straps available on my website Kelly-Ryan.Net, and for any other IFBB Pro reading this, or business like a personally owned gym, you too can have APT design a wrist strap with your logo or name to sell to your fans or customers. Go to if you are interested in designing wrist straps for yourself, or your business, or if you just want to pick up a pair of my signature line and look hot while you train your butt off!

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