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Kelly Ryan's Corner - March 2004!

Kelly Ryan's exclusive area for answering your fitness questions.

March 2004

Craig and I have just returned from amazing weekend in Columbus, Ohio, where we competed in the Arnold Classic. I took second in the Fitness International and was so happy with the way Chad Nicholls brought me into the show. I have never had so many people tell me how good I looked, and from what I went through to get there, I felt like the weekend was a total success. I competed while I had Vertigo. Vertigo is caused by the fluid of the inner ear dehydrating and completely throws off your equilibrium.

Basically, I felt dizzy every time I stood up, bent over, or turned my head a certain way. I got down on my knees every night before bed and prayed for the strength to just get through the weekend. This is the first time in my career where I was absolutely frightened backstage instead of confident. Somehow I managed to perform my new "Janet Jackson Tribute" routine and win both routine rounds. My reasoning for telling all of you this is because sometimes when you feel like your back is up against the wall, you find ways to dig deeper within yourself and conquer whatever it is you are up against.

I feel extremely blessed and once again would like to thank Chad Nicholls and his awesome wife Kim (6-time Ms. Olympia) for bringing me into the show in such great shape. I know that if I hadn't had you there, along with the tremendous support of my husband, I wouldn't have made it through the weekend, let alone win both routine rounds. Thank you so much, I really appreciate everything you all did for me!

Now let's move onto this month's questions.

p.s. It was so nice meeting everyone at the Expo on Sunday. It is nice to put a face to your questions.

[ Q ] Dear Kelly, I am currently 5'9" and weigh 200 lbs where only a few months ago I weighed 230. That was before I became serious about bodybuilding. I have been eating less and running 5-8 miles a day to lose weight fast but, when I go to lift weights, I am just plain exhausted. I was considering quitting the weights just for a while and just running until I got my body where I wanted it to be. By doing this I know I will be sacrificing some of my muscle for energy for my running. I have been taking Cell-Tech Hardcore and Whey protein for my supplements. My question to you is what advice on a routine and supplementation would be greatly appreciated.

    A. Okay Bubba thanks for writing and here is what I would suggest. It is always good to have a program that is balanced. Your time doing weights should equal your cardio time, and that includes the importance of your nutrition as well. Just eating less is not going to cut it. If you can try to eat 5-6 small meals a day, at 3 hour intervals, you will speed up your metabolism just by doing so.

    Each meal should contain 4-6 ounces of protein (fish, filet mignon, chicken breast, turkey, etc?) and since you are running so much, I would include (20-30 grams) starchy or complex carbohydrates in three of your first meals of the day.

    Complex carbs are hot cereals, potatoes, brown rice, and yams. These are the best types of carbs to eat. I would stay away from bread and pasta for now, to get the results you desire faster. Next come up with a weight training schedule that fits you personally.

    For example, if you run every day, then you should weight train either before you run, or run first thing in the morning, and weight train much later that same day. I prefer to do a four day split workout program and it looks like this:

    • Monday- Chest/ Biceps/Abs
    • Tuesday- Back/Hamstrings/Calves
    • Wednesday- Rest
    • Thursday- Quadriceps/Glutes
    • Friday- Shoulders/Abs

    For me this program has been very effective without over training, or causing any imbalances in my body parts. Bubba, you should train each body part with three sets of 12-15 repetitions and slowly add more exercises to the program as your body becomes adjusted to the program.

    The problem you were experiencing was too much cardio and yes you were sacrificing muscle tissue for energy on your runs. Your cardio does not have to be so taxing on your body to be effective, remember that.

What You Don't Know About Overtraining!
Written by Tammy Thomas. The general definition of overtraining is this - a syndrome occurring in athletes who train too frequently/in excess OR who may not allow for adequate recovery from intensive exercise. Read on to find out about the basics of overtraining!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Simply walking on a treadmill, on an incline, or riding a stationary bike can burn just as many calories but, I do understand the runner's high. Anyway, give this info a try and see how your body feels over the next couple of weeks. I know your training will improve as well as lower your body fat. Good luck!

[ Q ] I am 6' 228lbs and currently carrying 20% body fat with a 41 inch waist! I am doing cardio 6 days a week first thing in the morning at 5 a.m. for 30 -45 minutes. I've noticed some improvements over the past month but am starting to get frustrated by my slow progress. I am eating 6 meals a day (clean) and lifting 4-5 days a week.

My question: At what intensity should I be performing my cardio? I'm currently on the treadmill at an incline of 5-15% and power walking hard to getting my heart rate up to 130-150 BPM.

Would I do better by slowing down? I heard that low intensity would be better. I want YOUR opinion! Thanks and continued success to you and Craig.

    A. Well, it looks like you are off to a great start and here is what I would suggest to kick it up a notch. Try slowing down a bit, walk at a pace of 3-3.5 and walk without holding onto the rails. Begin with the incline at 5% to warm up your shins and legs in general, then go for it, turn up the percentage to 12-15% for the remainder of the time. Your warm up should be for the first 5-10 minutes, and then begin to count your cardio time from there.

Proper Warm-Up To Enhance Performance.
Warming up, a phrase loosely thrown around by trainees across the world. A proper warm-up can go a long way in increasing the bodies ability to perform. Learn why most people don't warm-up correctly and how to fix it!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Your warm up time is not burning calories at maximum capacity so don't count as part of your time. You need to walk for at least 40 minutes to get into your fat burning stage. I believe this small adjustment will make a heck of a difference. Most of the time we think more is better, and get into an anaerobic state during our cardio.

    Calorie Calculator
    Find out how many calories you burn. Hundreds of activities! [Read More!]

    Bodybuilders have always used lower intensity cardio for fat burning since they have to be so lean for stage.

    It has been working for years, so give it a try. I used to be the same as you- I would go for it on my cardio. I looked like Jennifer Beals in the movie "Flashdance"- during the song "I'm a Maniac". I swear my heart rate was through the roof, in the 150-160 range! Now that I have slowed it down, I maintain a lot more muscle, and burn way more fat and calories. Keep up the great work and I hope this really helps. Keep me posted okay.

[ Q ] Hey Kelly, I heard you just signed an endorsement contract with a company called Home Bodies Home Gyms Fitness Equipment. I would like to check out their website and possibly design a home gym for my house. Thank you for your time.

    A. In your e-mail you also stated that you were from Georgia and coincidentally so is this company. They are located in Peachtree City, Georgia, which might be close to you, I am not sure. It is true about the endorsement contract and their company is fantastic when it comes to customer service. HomeBodies HomeGyms gives lifetime warrantees! I don't know of any other company that does this.

Working Out At Home!
This article is designed to help you decide what to order, where to order, one of my favorite programs, and similar things like that. Working at home may be for you, but it may not be. But as I said, it's been the best decision I've ever made.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    What this tells you is they fully back all of their equipment be it cardio or machines for their customers. Part of the contract with Craig and I is that we come out to your house to show you how to use whatever it is you buy. The website address is www.HomeBodiesHomeGyms.Com and they are ready to help you get in shape today. When you contact them, tell them Craig and Kelly sent you, and they'll hook you up brother!

[ Q ] Dear Kelly, I just saw you at the Arnold Classic (we spoke at the booth Sunday. My boyfriend and I went to USC like you) and was overwhelmed with the changes you made with your physique.

What supplements did you use to get ready for the Classic? I forgot to ask you in person. Ha-ha-ha. You were so much more streamlined and your waistline was totally different.

How did you do it? Give me the secrets- I have a show coming up soon and would die to look like you on stage. Continued success and the Fitness Olympia is yours this year for sure with this new look.

    A. First, Go Cocks! Second, I totally remember you and your boyfriend from the Expo. You both were so nice to me and I really enjoyed meeting you. You made my day by saying that, I really appreciate your kind words and support and would gladly help you for your show.

    I worked with Chad Nicholls this time and he is the most amazing trainer to work with. He really understands my body and had a vision of what he wanted me to look like on stage before we even began.

    I followed a low carb diet, a lot lower than I usually diet on and did two hours of cardio a day six days a week. I also went to routine practice 3-4 times a week which lasts for almost two hours plus conditioning afterwards. Basically I busted my tail to get into this kind of shape and never felt so good on stage.

    There is nothing more rewarding than to have your fellow competitors tell you how good you look backstage. I have struggled with my physique my whole career and have always killed myself to give the judges what they ask of me.

    Chad has that eye necessary to do just that. Give the judges what they want. His expertise is second to none and his philosophy is hard dieting and lots of cardio to get the job done.

    My supplementation program was as follows;

    Pinnacle's Omega VM-multivitamin/multi-mineral, Xenadrine's NRG new formula of thermogenic. Let me tell you this new formula is super powerful and lasts up to 8 hours. It is ephedrine free but you feel it working. I like to feel my body heat up to know it's working, and the NRG makes you sweat like crazy when you're working out.

    I also take Pinnacle's SAME Joint Complex to help my body recover faster and to protect my joints from all the pounding in my fitness routine.

    My first two meals consisted of 2 scoops of Pinnacle's Juiced Protein but this time I used the strawberry flavor instead of the chocolate the whole way through the diet. It is super yummy! Like I have said in the past, I am not a big eater and need shakes to get my protein in. I cannot gag down any protein either- it has to taste great or I just won't drink it.

    To answer your question, we basically took the muscle I already had and just shrunk my body size down. I weighed about 127-128 lbs. on stage at the Fitness Olympia, and at the Fitness International I weighed only 118-119 lbs.

    I was much lighter on stage and this helped streamline my physique. I kept my training the same, a four day split, mentioned above in question number one. You have my e-mail so keep in touch with me for further questions leading up to your show. Train hard, and put all the hard work in now, it will be totally worth it on stage! I promise :

[ Q ] Dear Kelly, what are your future plans? What shows do you plan on competing in so my friends and I can come see you compete and rock the house! Thanks a lot.

    A. Thanks so much and as of right now I am planning to compete in the GNC Show of Strength scheduled for Oct 8-10th in Atlanta, Georgia. Craig and I were there last year and it was a fantastic show. I won the fitness the first year they had the show and they treat the athletes really well.

    I am going to use this show as a warm up show for the Fitness Olympia scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 29-31st, Halloween weekend.

    This years' Fitness Olympia will be the deciding factor in my career. If I win, I will continue to compete, but if I take second place again (it will be the sixth time out of six Fitness Olympia's) I will retire. I just want to win this title once. I would love to be able to use the title to promote the sport on all of the talk shows. The more viewers that see how entertaining the routines are and how athletic the women are, the more our industry will grow.

    Fitness changed my life and can be taught to the younger generation all over the US to decrease the problem with over weight children. I hope to see you at one of these shows. Please come and say hi to me at the Expo!!

    Another month of great questions has been answered and I really enjoy this column. Thank you everyone for your interest and together we can improve the quality of our lives through physical fitness.


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January, 2003
March, 2003
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