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Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Karen Jones

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Karen Jones! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Karen Jones
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 44
  • Where: Dallas, Texas
  • Height: 5'
  • Weight: 130 Lbs., Contest: 110 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :25
  • Favorite Bodypart: Legs/Back
  • Favorite Exercise: Lat Pulldowns
  • Favorite Supplements: Protein

How Did You Get Started?

I've always been athletic and bit of a tom-boy as a child. Indoor games like Xbox and Nintendo didn't exist so most kids used their imaginations or we played outdoors all day. My sister was more "girly" so she would suddenly stop any outdoor activity to watch television or to bake a pineapple upside down cake.

I wasn't having anything to do with baking or sitting around watching TV. This was way too boring. I would spider ride skateboards, we would go on long bike rides, and put together go-carts for racing. I was always delegated as "pusher" because I was the fastest runner. I even pushed the boys and they didn't seem to care as long as our team won. I had shoulder caps, developed legs and abs as a child, this was not popular for girls and at first I hated it.

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When I was a freshman in high school I remember noticing that there was a distinct difference in how the boys and girls were instructed during gym class. There were way more interesting activities available for the boys which also included weight training. Whenever I could I would stray to the boys weight room but one day the coach approached me and said, "If I see you here again you will have to work out" and then he emphasized "hard." He was obviously trying to deter me but he had no clue that he just offered me an open invitation that I just could not pass up. I quickly jumped right in there and began lifting, curling and leg pressing (does anyone remember the leg press machines that had foot pedals instead of a platform LOL).

Looking back I realized that those old machines and the iron plates were heavier than what's out today - this increased my strength a great deal. This same coach saw that I was serious (or maybe crazy) but he later invited me to join the track team. I was one of the youngest girls to be offered a spot on a track senior level. When the first Bally's and Family Fitness (now 24Hr Fitness) commercial came along I got memberships and have never stopped training.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

In the beginning I learned a lot from reading articles and books by professional bodybuilders like Lee Haney, Rachel McLish, etc. I would duplicate some of those workouts. I also took an Anatomy class which helped me understand the human body. Now that I've learned my body and my tolerance levels, I train instinctively by feel. I don't follow a specific day for this or that with specified reps and I may repeat a body part until I feel it has been appropriately trashed. I'm not much of a rubber band or ball girl so I stick with all of the very basic old-school exercises that still hurt a lot. I use weights that are a challenge for me.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I consume high protein, very moderate carbs and low fat meals. I don't like a lot of extra salt on food. Also, what's works for me is knowing that in bodybuilding meal preparation is absolutely essential. It is very important to prepare my own meals as often as possible. My husband and I will spend a entire afternoon grilling a variety proteins. This helps us to stay on track with meals and not miss. Plus, I don't have to worry about someone else deciding for me that an extra "sprinkle" of something fattening won't hurt. I know exactly what's in my food because I made it. When I'm not competing I enjoy a few junk meals like everyone else but there are only so many days of it that I can tolerate before I'm turned off and then I'm back to eating "cleaner" meals.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Protein, Protein, Protein. There are a few very reputable companies that I really like who provide great supplements but even the supplement companies will tell a bodybuilder to eat properly while using their products for the best results. As far as pre-contest supplements, in the early ephedra years I was able to get myself into top shape with this item. I really miss real ephedra based products being readily available on the market.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding gives me (all of us) the power to train for strength, mental clarity and focus. Bodybuilding releases stress and keeps me youthful. Bodybuilding keeps me from sagging and gives each of us the power to control and sculpt our physique into whatever we visualize. I love the fact that I can begin the process of taking my physique to a pre-contest look whenever I feel like it - even if there isn't a competition.

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What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

Professional status - for starters!

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Be consistent. Don't make "qualified" excuses to stay home (too much work, family/children, school, business responsibilities). Within reason, force yourself to train on days when you feel like crude. Those awful tired days can turn into some of the best workouts once you get there -- and you probably would have wasted a few hours either on the computer, eating junk and/or watching television. Finally, Never say, "I can't or I quit."

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Jack LaLanne, Lee Haney, Carla Dunlap, Linda Murray, Rachel McLish and the host of "old schooler's" that were pioneers in art of competitive bodybuilding. Two of the greatest champions today are Iris and Ronnie. What they have accomplished with their bodies takes a great commitment plus their winning records can't be overlooked. Those consistent wins are not an easy tasks to pull off and if anyone thinks so they should try it for themselves.

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