Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Kelli Turned Athletic Skill Into Strength!

Kelli chased fitness to fill a competitive void when college basketball ended. See how this born athlete ambushed the field to win her first bikini competition with stunning beauty!


How did your fitness
journey begin?

I was very athletic growing up and sports were engrained in my life. I started playing basketball with boys at age 4 and went on to play every sport possible including volleyball, golf, basketball, softball, and track and field. I was determined to be the best at every sport.

Unfortunately, my dream of being a multisport athlete was halted before my sophomore year of high school when doctors said I needed back surgery. I couldn't give up what I worked for, so I convinced my surgeon to let me focus on one sport (basketball), which he allowed.

I pushed myself to get better, stayed after practice to take extra shots, and was in the weight room at 6 a.m. every morning on summer vacation. I wanted to be the best. I built a great work ethic, battled through two spinal surgeries in high school, never missed a game, and competed at the collegiate level.

My college career was sadly cut short due to continuous back complications, but I still craved a competitive edge. I graduated with a degree in kinesiology and marketing and moved from my small, Midwest town to South Florida, where I found a new passion for fitness after joining a kickboxing gym. I looked forward to the gym daily. I loved working with a trainer and putting on the gloves to hit the bag.

I was in shape but missed a major aspect of fitness: proper nutrition. I ate clean but wasn't eating enough calories to support the amount of energy I burned. I certainly wasn't eating enough protein to support my muscle either.

What fitness regimen delivered the best results?

I work with my trainer, Brian Beauvais, three days per week, focusing on legs, shoulders, and back. I focus on arms, chest, abs, and cardio on my own and do a full-body boot camp on Sunday. I do 45 minutes of cardio five days per week on the stepmill and treadmill.

"My passion to compete was sky high and I never felt better. I saw changes in my body weekly which drove me to reach my true potential."

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

Being fit has always been a big part of my life. It wasn't until I decided to compete last year that I really saw the results of my hard work. I spent countless hours lifting and doing cardio before but never saw a change in my figure. When I met with my trainer, he helped me through the options for my body. Through the support of my trainer and family, I stuck to a strict regimen of eating clean and training. My passion to compete was sky high and I never felt better. I saw changes in my body weekly which drove me to reach my true potential.

"Being comfortable with myself is the best motivation. The difference between how I felt before and after my competition was unbelievable."

What or who motivates you to live healthy?

I'm motivated by the way I look and feel when I train for a competition. Being comfortable with myself is the best motivation. The difference between how I felt before and after my competition was unbelievable. I ate clean and trained hard for 12 weeks. One night of splurging on pasta and ice cream after the competition was enough to know that I never want to feel like that again.

Where did you go for inspiration?

I go to "Fitness RX" and "Muscle & Fitness Hers" when I need inspiration. I always have them in my gym bag. If I ever feel like going home rather than hitting the stepmill or weights, one look through those magazines gets me fired up.

What are your future fitness plans?

Training for my first bikini competition was amazing. I loved eating clean and training daily and can't wait to compete again. Competing at the pro level against amazing athletes will be an experience of a lifetime. It's my dream to make fitness my career.

What is the most important fitness tip?

My favorite fitness quote is: "There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results."

Being fit is a lifestyle and a true commitment to yourself. The only person you can do it for is you.

Who is your favorite fitness competitor?

My favorite bikini athlete is Amanda Latona. I admire her physique and incredible muscle tone. I will strive to continue improving the way she does for every competition.

How did help you reach your goals?

I use BodySpace to track workouts, diets, goals, and struggles. It holds me accountable and lets me see how others work toward their goals. It's motivating during prep to know there are athletes with the same goals as me.

Kelli's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "When She Says Baby" by Jason Aldean
  2. "Do What You Want" by Lady Gaga
  3. "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry
  4. "Timber" by Pitbull (ft Keisha)
  5. "Timebomb" by Pink
Competition History
  • 2013 OCB Midwest States - 1st Place Overall
Photo Credit

Nate Peterson of NP Design Photography