The following is not only an interview with Kerry, but an inspirational message to bodybuilders everywhere who need to find that extra push.
I was there at the Ohio and saw first hand, judges doing what they should do, pick the right winner. Kerry won, not on being the biggest, not on being the most ripped, he won on his overall abilities and in the end, he was the most symmetrical bodybuilder on the stage that day.
Kerry has been a friend of mine for several years and I appreciate his abilities and humbleness and mostly his devotion to make himself better.
[ Q ] What started you in the sport?
In 1991 I had ruptured a disc in my lower lumbar area. At the time I had been married for 10 years and was a bit out of shape. OK, I had a pot roast beer belly.
| Intervertebral Discs
A broad disk of fibrocartilage situated between adjacent vertebrae of the spinal column.
These discs separate and cushion the vertebrae, the segments of the spinal column. They are composed of an outer rim of fibrous connective tissue and a gelatinlike inner core.
If the fibrous rim breaks the core may leak into the spinal canal, resulting in severe pain that is aggravated by bending, straining, or coughing. Material from the disc may press on spinal nerves and cause numbness or tingling, weakness, or paralysis in the area of the body enervated by those nerves.
When a degenerated or fragmented disk protrudes into the intervertebral foramen, compressing the nerve root, it is known as "ruptured disc."
My orthopedist said "you are too young to operate on" [30-years-old]. "Why don't you try getting in shape and tighten up that midsection?" I began weight training in my basement and started to learn more about nutrition.
I was on my way to a healthier lifestyle. Best of all, no back surgery ever has taken place.
[ Q ] What marked your best moment in the sport?
I would like to tell you my best two moments in the sport. The first being my first show.
Power House Classic
The Power House Classic in North Royalton, Ohio. My wife, Debbie, had convinced me that I owed it to myself to see how I would stack up to other guys my size.
I said, "I'll wait till I'm a master and compete when I'm 40."
She said "Why wait?"
Next thing I knew she is telling people, "Kerry is doing a show in the spring of 2000." I made the commitment to compete.
My friend, Jenny Hendershott, introduced me to Mike Davies, her trainer, and ask if he could help me get ready. He took me on then and has been a friend and trainer ever since.
Mike is the one that suggested I do a warm up show before the Mike Francois Classic. In 6 weeks Mike had me so full and ripped I was shocked to see how my body responded to different nutrition and timing of foods.
OK, we went up to North Royalton. Weighed in at 165 pounds. I'm in the middle of the middle weight class. Then they announced how many guys were in my class, 22 middle weights. I looked at Debbie and said "Why are we here?"
Mike said to us "That's great! This will show how you stack up to a large group of guys".
To make a long story short, at the end of the day, I was called back for the top 5. Then to my shock was given 3rd place. 3rd out of 22 guys at my first show! Well, you guessed it I was hooked. I came back the next year and got 2nd place. The 3rd year that I came back; I won the overall as a middle weight.
Ohio State Bodybuilding Championships
OK, let's fast forward 6 years and 22 shows to September 17, 2005. The Ohio State Bodybuilding Championships, I started dieting and doing cardio in March for two fall shows- North American and the Ohio. I could tell a long story about the journey to the Ohio. Now is not the time. I'll give the short version. I tried to weigh in Friday night and scaled 180 pounds. Bummer.
I went home and skipped the last two meals of the day. By morning I was back down to 176. I got to the show and scaled 176 on the nose. Now I could start eating again. I was tight, dry, full, and hard and complete and just what the doctor ordered. I competed in the Master Class and won it!
I competed in the Men's Open Middle Weights and won it! At this point all my goals had been met. Now don't get me wrong, I always kept that dream in the back of my mind: to win the overall. Now it was my main focus. I got back stage and kept eating, no water, just good old carbs and treats and sweets.
Pumped up more than any time all day. Touched my up color and hit the stage with the other big boys. We did our 1/4 turns, all mandatories poses. The MC say's "Gentlemen, pose down." The light heavy and heavy were going head to head like I wasn't on the stage. OK, I just tried to fit in where I could and do my thing. Music stopped.
The MC started to talk it up a bit. Then he said something like "the 2005 Ohio State Championship overall title goes to #46 Kerry Lind." You know the phrase "looks like a deer caught in the headlights." Well that was me. A bit shocked and overwhelmed. What an honor to be awarded this title.
To win this show just 3 weeks from my 44th birthday has given me such satisfaction that words can not describe.
[ Q ] What marked your lowest moment in the sport and what did you do to overcome that setback?
In the spring of 2003 I started to have weakness in my left
quad. Week by week my strength was dropping and at one point, simple light leg extensions were not possible.
No heavy training could be done. I started doctoring. I hit them all, orthopedist, neurologist and all the diagnostic tests to see why I could not contract the quad.
It turned out that no one could see what was wrong, just that it was nerve related. I continued my light leg training along with my other training. Mike Davies would later tell me,
I thought, "You know he is right and come back is what I'll do." In time the contraction in the quad returned and I could move more weight. 6-or-8 months later I was back to 80% and feeling stronger with each work out.
Mother Nature took care of the problem. My left quad looks better than ever.
[ Q ] What has been your most powerful positive influence for a successful career in figure/bodybuilding?
The support of my wife Debbie. She has believed in me from day one. She shops and prepares all foods. She poses me with the eye of a judge. She
paints me for my contest.
Most importantly she is able to keep me shored up when the going gets tough. She can give me strength when I am weak. Her positive outlook in life has helped me reach goals I never dreamed of achieving.
[ Q ] What have been your most negative influences to keep you from training or dieting? What do you do to overcome those obstacles?
I don't have an answer to this question. Since I have support at home there are no negative issues there. Dieting is not a negative. It is required to be the best you can be. Sure work and travel is a pain to fit in. You just have to plan a bit more and do the best you can.
[ Q ] Your typical day of pre-contest training: Hour by hour. Start when you get up. And it should look as simple as this:
- 5:45 a.m: Get up, take ECA stack. Start 45 minute cardio on recumbent bike
- 6:30 a.m: Shower, get ready for work. Deb will have made breakfast: protein; eggs, carbs, oats
- 8 a.m: Get to work at CedarAmerica. We manufacture products out of Aromatic Red Cedar for closets and storage units. Shoe trees, hangers, shoe racks & shelving etc.
- 9 a.m: Meal #2 Protein & veggie
- 11 a.m: Meal #3 Protein & carb
- 1 p.m: Meal # 4 Protein & veggie
- 3 p.m: Meal #5 Protein & carb
- 4 p.m: Leave work for the day and head to the gym
- 4:30 p.m: Train 1 body part 45 minutes:
- 6 p.m: Meal #6 Protein, carb & veggie
- 7 p.m: Take 40 minute walk with Debbie around our little village.
- 9 p.m: Meal #7 Protein: eggs
- 10:30 or 11 p.m: Snack: 50 gram protein pudding.
Late night snacks, aka cheating animal crackers: chocolate or vanilla. Mmmmm ... good stuff.
[ Q ] What has been the biggest change that bodybuilding or fitness/figure, that has occurred to your life?
Well, the obvious, a complete and total physique change after a long diet. It has taught me that bodybuilding can be a one man sport or a team sport.
My wife has made it a team sport for us. When I'm on stage she is right there with me pose for pose. She feels my victories and losses just as much as I do.
My success on stage is a direct result to the time spent preparing for that day. Without Debbie's support I wouldn't be on that stage.
[ Q ] Does your family/loved ones/friends support you? How do they do that?
You already know how my wife feels. My Mom and step dad have been to just about all shows. I can hear my moms little voice calling my name when on stage.
Can't beat good old Mom shouting out your name at prejudging! Gym friends understand the sport and support me. Outside the gym, friends think the sport is a bit excessive, yet they seem to respect my love for the sport.
[ Q ] Who are your current sponsors?
This is an easy one. Me, myself and I.
[ Q ] What advice would you give to someone? Top three training suggestions.
- Stay Consistence With Your Training Schedule. Meaning: Don't be missing workouts.
- Keep Your Training Progressive. Meaning: More weight or more reps, or shorter rest periods etc.
- Nutrition Must Be Kept In Check. You have to eat to grow. You are what you eat. Don't expect to grow muscle on fast food or lack of food. Eat nutrient dense foods 5-or-6 meals per day.
[ Q ] What would you like to do with your competitions? Where do you want to go in this sport?
Considering my age, 44, how much more can I do? I competed in the North American this year. Placed top 5 in both divisions I entered. What I learned was, at that level, guys in my weight class are 5-foot-4 or less. I'm 5-foot-6.5 tall compared to them. They will always look huge standing by me.
At the State level I just won the overall at the Ohio State Bodybuilding Championships. Here's the deal in 6 years of competing and training I have netted 10 pounds of lean muscle.
That's great. At that pace in 6 more years I'll be 50 and maybe competing at 185 lbs. I feel it's just too late for me to go much farther in the sport. Will I keep training? Hell yes! Will I compete again? You will have to ask Debbie.
[ Q ] What other items would you like to talk about?
I have been long winded with so many answers. Sorry for that. I will try to keep this short. This answer applies to everyone involved in bodybuilding, fitness and figure.
We all started out in this sport as a hobby, as a healthy way to live our lives and self improvement through training and nutrition. Then we started to have some local success at shows.
Then we started to expand our dreams a bit, landing that IFBB pro card. So, our training took on a bit more importance. Our diet got tighter and stricter. Our outside interests started to fade away. We had less time for family and friends and started to take for granted the loved ones in our lives.
Anyone in the sport, for any amount of time, knows damn well there is no money in our sport. None. If you are not the top 5-or-6 guys or girls in the world you get nada. I have seen relationship after relationship fall apart because one person just can't seem to balance their lifestyle with main stream life.
I have seen marriages break up because one person can't see the negative affect his or her sport is having on the rest of the family. All I'm saying is "keep it real."
Keep balance in your life. Because one day when you look in the mirror and say to yourself, "maybe I'm not cut out to be a high ranking pro." Hopefully you will not have sacrificed everything of true importance in your life.
[ Q ] Where are you from originally?
I was born on military base in El Paso, Texas, 1961. Then my parents moved back to Ohio a few years later. I live in a small village south of Columbus, Ohio.
[ Q ] What is your best body part? What is your worst? Why?
I would have to say my
chest. I have high full development.
Abs isn't so bad either.
I consider my chest to be developed well do to the early years of my training at home. I always put my bench up on a 6-inch platform for barbell benching. That slight incline was a standard method of training chest for me. Abs I hit hard once per week. Don't shoot me.
Just always made sure I used weight to help development.
Bad part, I will always say I need bigger legs to help carry my upper body. They have come up big time since training with Mike Davies for 6 years. Could use more sweep. Legs are a bitch to develop. It takes hard work week after week, year after year. I'm lucky they are as good as they are.
[ Q ] What do you hate about dieting? Doing Cardio? What do you do to fix that?
When I make the decision to do a show I commit to the diet, cardio and training. So, I never use the word "hate" in regards to these topics. I have always been driven by the pressure I have put on myself to come back in shape as good or better then before.
I have been known as a guy that is always in shape. Never have I done a show out of shape.
Yes, my conditioning may vary depending on the show and how many I'm doing in a row. Knowing the younger guys are always gunning to knock me off is motivation to come back better.
In fact I have always told myself I must do everything better than my competition to be successful in this sport. Train harder, eat cleaner and do more cardio.
[ Q ] Other hobbies?
I have always been a do-it-yourself kind of guy. I have remodeled every room in our house many times over. There is no project I have not been willing to undertake.
I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. My wife gets involved with her design and flair for colors. She has the vision and I try to make it happen for her. I love working with wood. Building projects around the house from furniture to room screens to small helpful gadgets, around the kitchen.
[ Q ] Kids and family?
I have been married since 1982 to Deborah. I have a step son, Neil. Debbie and I have been empty nesters for 14 years now. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister.
All my brothers were High school athletes. I was not. In fact my sister likes to call me the chubby brother. I heard that phrase the night of the Ohio after I won the overall. "My chubby brother is now Mr. Ohio!" Thanks Sis.
[ Q ] Favorite supplement?
Protein Diet by Optimum Nutrition.
I love to mix it thick to make a pudding. Sometimes when I want a meal replacement I will add 1/4 cup or even 1/2 cup of oats to it.
Freeze it and have it for on the go.
[ Q ] What would you eventually like to do with you sport? Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I have been considering judging. I can be fair and impartial. I just feel the judges should be given a bit more money for their day of service. I see judges travel several hours to get to the show. Spend a long day judging and collect $50 to $100 bucks. They only do it for the love of the sport, not the money. I know that.
You will notice we are not over run with judges. Why? Well they get next to no compensation. Their judging is always questioned. One person is happy with them and another 99% got robbed. Not a lot of reward for their efforts. We need to value the judges a bit more and maybe we will get more people willing to step up to the judging table.
The NPC raises their membership card price just about every year, which creating a gold mine since the addition of Figure competitors. Why can't they kick back some money to the judges?
Most promoters collect some nice coin at these shows. Everyone helping is a volunteer. They could contribute more to the judge's compensation. Another $1000 spread out between all the judges would go a long way in getting more judges to the table.
One other thing, I was thinking, I would not mind doing is helping guys get ready for shows. You know kind of the "go to guy" for contest prep advise. Diet, training, nutrition, color, posing and final weeks preparation etc.
[ Q ] Kerry, for you, it is best to ask, what you have noticed about training since you have gotten older. What adaptations have you had to do?
A special question for the older guy. I will say since I never picked up the first weight till I was 31-years-old I have always felt a bit like the older guy in the gym. I have competed with many younger guys that seem to grow like weeds. Year after year they are making big gains while I'll pick up another pound, many two.
The human body loves to stay the same. It does not like change. As bodybuilders we are forcing our body's everyday to change and hold it. Then change some more and hold it as we grow. I feel at my age I'm working against so many odds. I just try to maintain what I have built and work on areas to try to make me more complete.
Gaining size for me is over. I know I need more rest. I have major sleep issues to the tune of up 4-or-5 times per night. No sleep drugs have ever helped. You know how us old people are ... we just don't sleep well. Now leave me alone.
[ Q ] Closing statement: "Why have I been successful in this sport?"
I got into this sport to see how I could stack up to other guys my age. I soon found out that I was competitive in the open class with guys of all ages. My early success has driven me to compete again and again.
In 22 shows I was only out of the top 5 in 2 of them. I know I am blessed to have the shape and symmetry that is appealing to the eye. My parents gave me this body. I just built on what they gave me.
I'm not special, just lucky to have the right build for this sport. Where I have been fortunate is to have married Debbie, some 23 years ago. My relationship with her has given me the strength and drive to stay the course when preparing for shows. My wife loves to cook and bake. She is very good at it and loves to prepare gourmet meals.
Baking some of the best deserts you could ever enjoy. Baking is her hobby. So, when I'm knee deep into my hobby I'm taking away her favorite past time. Preparing for these fall shows this year she prepared more than 1,300 meals for me.
She does not get a lot of satisfaction from opening cans of tuna, broiling white fish, steaming broccoli or cooking egg whites. You get my point here?
Yet, she did it without complaining. I know I'm the luckiest guy on the stage because of what I have to go to after I get off the stage. She is always there with a big smile, hug and kiss. I love you Pumpkin. I will always remember the sacrifices you made for me so I could pursue my dream.
The other major factor in my success has been Mike Davies (Coach). He has worked with me since April of 2000. Never have I met a man so driven to bring the best out of each and every one of his athletes. He will put himself out to the point of complete exhaustion for his clients. At the same time he is a loving father to his two boys.
I have seen his business grow 10-fold over the last 6 years. His talents for being a top notch trainer and a nutritional genius go unmatched. He is a self-made man earning everything he has from his dedication to his clients and a work ethic that I marvel at. I respect him for what he does day in and day out and love him for his commitment to each and every one of us.
Thanks for the hours you have spent tweaking this old body into something I can be proud of.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share some of my story with so many people. I could go on and on about most of these topics. Bodybuilding will always be very special to me.
I hope I was able to bring a positive influence to the sport and stage during my 6 years of competing. All I ever wanted to do was see how I stacked up to guys my age.