Vital StatsName: Kate Kennedy
Job Title: Senior Manager of Private Label
Date of Hire: 10/05/2011
Height: 5' 3 1/2"
Weight: 110 lbs
Growing up, Kate was fit and strong, capable of beating the boys in arm wrestling when the teacher wasn't looking. Later on, to deal with college stress, she got more seriously into lifting. Her first trainer told her she could compete and maybe even become a pro. Though she laughed it off, that conversation planted a seed in her mind.
"I tried it and fell in love with the whole process," she says. "I loved being onstage, watching my body, and learning how I could manipulate it. My whole life, I'd always been drawn toward fitness. I never saw a career in it."
And then, one day, she did. After finding herself continually thinking about fitness during her graduate school classes in speech pathology, she chose to take a temp job in Bodybuilding.com's customer service department. From there, she moved up to curate our private label products.
Today, Kate is a testament to our company's core values. She's honest, hard-working, helpful, and is a diehard competitor in hot pursuit of her IFBB pro card!
How did you come to work at Bodybuilding.com?
I intended on working as a speech therapist before I realized my true passion is, and actually always has been, in fitness. I had an opportunity to take a temp position here at Bodybuilding.com. After days and days of deliberating what the right thing to do was, I quit the master's program at Idaho State University and took the job.
It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made and seemed like a dumb move to my family. Turns out it was one of the smartest decisions I ever made! I plan on living my life doing what I love, and doing it surrounded by positive, amazing people who have the same values.
What goes into creating a private label like Bodybuilding.com's Foundation Series and Platinum Series?
Most of the products we sell are already manufactured by someone, formulated, packaged, and shipped to us. All those other labels are already set up before they are even brought to us. With private label, we do everything from the ground up.
We come up with the concept, work with manufacturers to develop a formula, and go through the sampling and naming process. Then we work with legal to make sure the name clears, and our compliance department makes sure it meets FDA regulations.
We get supplement facts, work with our graphic designer, and create the SKU. We utilize every team in the building to make it happen.
I make sure our private label products are safe and the best value for our customers. We disclose all information on the label and try to educate customers along the way. I'm always looking for people on social media who might benefit from our supplements. We seek out individuals who seem lost and have a hard time financially and physically.
What do you want to accomplish in fitness?
My ultimate goal is to be able to reach women who are in the gym just doing cardio or women in their 30s who have kids, and whose life is only about the kids and what needs done around the house. Kids grow up and they leave. They are not always going to be there. Then women get empty nest syndrome and they don't know what to do with themselves.
It's important to take care of your body and your health. You need your own outlet, your own identity, other than just mom. You need to be you, too, so you have something to do on your own when the kids are older. There are a lot of women who have kids and they lose themselves and they don't have to. You are a better mom if you don't.
Were you always in such killer shape?
I got voted "Best Body" my senior year in high school and won "Most Fit" in a competition my freshman year of college. In grade school I always won the sit-up challenge and flexed-arm hang.
Clear up until seventh grade I could beat all five boys in my class in arm wrestling—this is what farm kids in Nebraska do when the teacher leaves the room. I would have friends over and make them do aerobic exercise tapes with me. So I've always been into fitness of some sort.
How does it feel to know you inspire fellow team members with your efforts?
Inspiring others is the fuel that feeds my fire. They say you get more joy out of giving than you do receiving. The same goes for my fitness efforts. I love going to the gym because it's my "me" time and relieves stress. I love seeing the results of my hard work, but the absolute most rewarding thing is to hear someone tell me I've inspired them.
The three greatest things that can be said to me are:
- I love you.
- You are a good mom.
- You inspire me.
You have had some success on the stage. Are you satisfied, or do you want more?
Heck no, I'm not satisfied! I want my IFBB pro card! That's a goal I set for myself a few years ago, and I'm not one to set a goal and not attain it. I'll push forward no matter what.
I turned 35 this year and will compete in the masters category at the next two national shows I have coming up in July. Where I place in masters is going to be a big deal for me. These will be women my age and probably several who also have three or more kids.
We'll see how these shows go, but for now, I'm not planning on competing next year. I'm competitive and of course I like to win, but competing is about much more than that for me. I love challenging myself to get better and I love the challenge of being on stage, but there is much more to it.
What are your favorite things about competing?
First, it gives me a lot of exposure, which in turn helps me inspire others. I love being "Mama Kate" backstage and offstage.
I want every girl who competes to bring her absolute best package and to feel confident. I want her to have all the advantages of posing practice and inside info. Along the way, I also want her to meet new people and make new friends like I have.
And second, it'll make a damn good story for my kids to tell my grandkids!
How does fitness improve your quality of life?
I feel that fitness is directly related to everyone's quality of life. Being fit usually means being healthy. You can fight off many diseases and illnesses by taking care of your body and staying fit. Activities that improve fitness also release endorphins and help with stress.
Think about it: Kids run and play. The majority of young active kids aren't depressed. As adults we often become more sedentary. Adults still need to run and play! The statistics for declined health once we hit retirement are proof.
Here is a recent program I did:
- Week 1: 2 sets of 11-14 reps
- Week 2: 3 sets of 5-8 reps
- Week 3: 3 sets of 5-8 reps
- Week 4: 4 sets of 11-14 reps
- Week 5: 5 sets of 5-8 reps
- Week 6: 2 sets of 5-8 reps; 3 sets of 11-14 reps