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Kelly Ryan's Corner - July 2004.

Kelly Ryan's personal area to answer your questions about getting into fitness.

Well I have so much to say this month but I will try to keep it to a minimum so we can get down to business as usual. I am ecstatic to announce that I have been appointed the new IFBB Fitness Representative for the year 2004. Jenny Lynn is the Figure, Betty Pariso is the women's bodybuilding, and of course Shawn Ray has been the men's bodybuilding rep for some time now.

I feel that with this panel of athletes we will be able to communicate better amongst ourselves as athletes with the IFBB and NPC, and promote each of our divisions to the fans and sponsors on a much higher level. This establishment will only help improve our sport as we will all be working together as one family instead of four different entities.

Jim Manion was appointed the IFBB Chairman and now heads up both the entire NPC and IFBB. Everyone feels he was the perfect choice and is looking forward to such a positive year ahead!

IFBB 101: What's New, Who's New, & Who's Out?
As everyone has heard by now, there have been huge changes in the world of professional bodybuilding. Just what are these changes and what do they represent? Find out here...
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Locally in Las Vegas, Nevada I was appointed to the Women's Health and Fitness Advisory Board of the Las Vegas Athletic Club. The members of this Board represent all aspects of women's health including obstetrics and gynecology, endocrinology, nutrition, exercise physiology, plastic surgery and the important place of women in amateur and professional athletics.

We on the board will also be providing research and education on important health issues, such as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I am not only honored but extremely excited to be apart of both of these great panels.

For any questions or inquires about the Las Vegas Athletic Club or its Fitness Advisory Board please click on, and any questions regarding upcoming shows or events in both the NPC or IFBB please click on or

Now here are this month's great questions!

Questions & Answers

[ Q ] I read your Q & A section on and have a question for you. I just bought Cell Tech and some Isopure protein powder which in both products have been taking 10 grams of creatine and 50 grams of protein.

I am trying to gain muscle mass but also stay lean. With all the calories from the creatine and protein, when do I eat? I'm used to eating 5-6 small, low calorie, high protein meals throughout the day to stay lean. But now, with all of these extra calories, am I going to gain fat if I eat the same amount while taking these supplements?

Thanks a lot for your time,

    A. Fantastic! I am very happy to hear that you are implementing supplements into your program because they will take your body to the next level.

    What I will tell you is this, there are other options that work with less sugar and overall calories but will still help you gain the muscle mass you desire. The problem with Cell Tech is just what you said; it has 300 calories, 75 grams of sugar and 75 grams of carbohydrates per serving. That in itself is almost two meals.

    Pinnacle makes a Juiced Creatine that Craig and I both use that has CreaPump3 and Glutamine Peptide with only 70 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and is naturally sweetened with sucralose. This is quite a big difference in all three areas, sugar, calories, and carbohydrates.

    The CreaPump3 is the advanced delivery system which allows your body to sustain muscle mass and repair, and also allows the creatine to be utilized in your system at a much slower rate than ordinary creatine.

    The net result is that your muscle tissues are kept saturated with greater, more consistent levels of nutrients which much less waste. The Isopure is a good protein because it is an isolate like our Juiced Protein from Pinnacle. A whey isolate is the purest, highest quality form of protein to use and is also the easiest to digest, so you get a better absorption rate as well.

    In conclusion, my suggestion would be in order to keep you metabolism stimulated by eating your 5-6 small meals a day, and allow your supplements to not interfere nor add any additional unnecessary calories to your program, I would just switch your Cell Tech for Juiced Creatine by Pinnacle. You will attain muscle mass without adding any additional body fat in the process.

    Supplement the Isopure into you meals as a shake or instead of your cooked protein source. Your body will be able to utilize 50 grams of protein per meal as long as your activity and training intensity are consistent. Good luck!

[ Q ] My name is Candy (cheek) Vanek and I love reading your articles and columns because I love the advice you give.

Because I feel you are great at your job, I have a question for you. I have a real problem with back fat, (bra overhang). No matter how much I weigh, this is a consistent problem for me. Because I have a large chest, my back being big only makes me look fatter.

What advise can you share to help me? How can I slim my body down (especially in my back) while still enjoying the weight training. I am 5'4" so every pound looks like an extra 10 on me, so I want to get this situation under control. I feel so fat and it's becoming a cross to bear.


    A. Well my fellow South Carolinian, I have a solution for you because I do not want you to feel like this anymore. I know what it feels like when you constantly think and feel like you are fat so here is what I would suggest. First, monitor your meals or nutrition.

    Make sure you are only eating 4 ounces of protein and 20-30 grams of complex carbohydrates for your first 2-3 meals in the morning. Then after say lunchtime, switch your carbs to veggies, like mixed green salads and keep your 4 ounces or 20-30 grams of protein with each of your last two meals.

    Next, as far as you're training goes, since your body responds very well then you do not have to lift extremely heavy every set. Shorten your rest time between sets and lift at a medium weight range with reps of 15-20. By the 20th rep you should feel a definite burn and fatigue in your muscles because of lack of rest time between sets. Use good form and concentrate on the workload being placed on the body part you're working. Having a big chest is not such a bad thing.

    Training your chest is what I would suggest to tighten up the muscles underneath and add extra support internally. Any time you add lean muscle tissue to any area; it speeds up the metabolism of that area. It is not really target reducing, but can work that way indirectly. Bra overhang can be eliminated with a good thermogenic or fat burner as well.

    Keeping your body's core temperature running hot all day long forces your body to have to work harder, equating burning more fat and calories throughout the day. Try the New Xenadrine NRG! It is time released (8 hrs long) and moves the fat out of your cells and allows it to be utilized for energy. Take one pill (2 is very strong)to start first thing in the morning, hit about 45 minutes of cardio on an empty stomach and then start your day.

    These small changes to your program will definitely eliminate that bra overhang, and slim your body down without losing any muscle tone whatsoever. I hope you continue to follow my articles and columns, and thanks so much for your great question! Keep training hard and reaching for your goals!

[ Q ] I was wondering what you do for your diet when you're traveling? I travel a lot and find it hard to stick with my diet program. Another question I have is that I am a fairly new Mom, with a 13 month old baby.

I do a lot of lower abdominal exercises, and it just seems to hurt my lower back, how do I correct this? I just want to say that you are an inspiration to me and I think you are awesome!


    A. Thanks Becky and congratulations on your baby! Traveling does make things more of a challenge but here are some ways Craig and I make life a bit easier on the road. First I will pack a lot of shakes. I put Protein powder by itself and protein powder with a complex carbohydrate like the Rice formula Baby cereal by Gerber in shaker cups to travel on planes with.

    Two ? cups makes up 30 grams of complex carbs and the flaky consistency of the baby cereal allows it to be mixed well in a shaker cup. Grabbing a shake is a much better choice than the food courts in an airport. Another philosophy to follow is to go with more meat and fats for the day you're traveling.

    If you only can choose from fatty foods, keep the carbs out of the choices and stick to higher fatty proteins with veggies. When you arrive at your destination, scout out the restaurants to eat in and incorporate your carbs back into your morning meals.

    Next, locate the nearest gym, they always have shakes available as well as bars if you get into a time crunch. I do not suggest eating bars all the time, it is better to stick with foods in their natural state or shakes if possible.

    The last suggestion I have is to find a local chef that makes food to go. When Craig and I are pre-contest our every meals counts, so we hired a friend that has her own company called Encore nutrition. Cynthia Castillo shops and prepares all of our meals to order. I simply just pack the meals she has prepared for us in a cooler and away we go. This has made such a huge difference in the way we eat on the road.

    For about $1,500 a month, this service is provided for us. We figured that the money spent on eating out was equivalent to the money being spent on the Encore Nutrition food service and so we look at it as an investment in ourselves. Hopefully with one of these suggestions, I have helped ease your travel/nutrition dilemma.

[ Q ] I am 6'2" and weigh 165lbs. I am originally from London, Ontario and go to Michigan State. I am on the volleyball team there and am very athletic. I have a 34 inch vertical and can dunk a basketball easily! According to the strength coach, I am very strong as well.

I bench 115 lbs for 13 reps as a max burn out set, I curl 25 lbs for reps, I squat 185 for 8 reps max burn out and leg press 270 lbs on the machine for 15 rep burn out max. I am curious if you think I might have difficulty due to my height and how much I already lift?

I love being strong and powerful and want to continue to try to be even stronger than I already am. Will I still be able to lift as heavy as I do if I begin to train like you? May I ask how much you lift yourself? How many years have you been training? What does the future look like?


    A. Wow, you are very tall but man can you jump! Good for you girl, I bet you can spike with the best of them, and you maybe should consider a career on the Pro Volleyball AVP Tour like my friend Gabrielle Reece did. She made such a huge impact on women's pro volleyball and got an endorsement contract from NIKE out of it as well. Can you say Cha-ching! $$$$$$.

    Fitness is going to be tough, and so is Figure to be quite honest with you. I helped a girlfriend who is 5'11" tall get ready for a Figure show and she only weighed maybe 136 on stage. The problem is she towered over everyone else and that made her look so much bigger on stage. Remember that if you are already 6'2" tall, you will be 6'6" tall in heels! Most of the girls are not taller than 5'6" tall and so you would definitely stand out.

    I am not saying that there is no chance for you, but it will definitely be a challenge. I think that my type of training is a lot lighter than yours because I have attained all the muscle I need for my competitions. In the beginning of my career I trained very heavy like you do to put as much muscle on as quickly as possible to catch up to my competitors.

    Now, almost 9 years later, I have changed my training to be more like this; I do split body part training where for each large muscle group I do at least 3-4 exercises per and 12-15 reps per set. For each small muscle group I do only 2-3 exercises with the same rep counts.

    A lot of my training exercises also incorporate using my own body weight like push-ups and pull-ups. If I get too heavy, then I cannot perform my fitness routine to the best of my ability. I need to be just as strong dumbbell wise as I do proportioned to my own body weight.

    What I would suggest is keep training like you have been because obviously that has been working for you so far. You know the saying, what isn't broke don't fix? This goes for you. With your height, both fitness and figure will be a challenge so stay focused with your volleyball career and see where they takes you. I hope this doesn't disappoint you; I just want you to know what to expect if you chose this route.

    I am only 5'3" tall and weigh maybe 125lbs in the off-season now and 118lbs on stage. To answer your question, what does the future look like, for me it looks very positive and for fitness as well. We as athletes keep taking the performance rounds to the next level, and as an athlete yourself, you can definitely understand what I am saying.

    I wish you only the best and to keep training like the driven person you are! BTW, my close friends Tommy and Kellee Ostrander own the Powerhouse Gym on the Michigan State campus. You should definitely check it out, it is such a great place to train and they are very sweet and really helpful people!

[ Q ] Kelly, I just wanted to thank you for giving me some great tips at the Arkansas State Show on June 12th. I also enjoyed visiting with you. I am the arm-wrestling gal that also competes in figure shows. I do have a few more questions for ya. You shared with me the night-before the show contest meal with me at the show. Would you mind sharing it with me once again so that I know for sure?

Also, what do your meals consist of the week before the contest? I have yet to receive my scores from the show. I have been practicing the poses you showed me. I know that I was flat; could my suit have had anything to do with having a lower score? Tan not being dark enough? I really appreciate your help. If I can I will try to get to Vegas to train with you sometime!

Take care and God Bless,

    A. Hey Tanya! It is so nice to hear from you and always a pleasure to help. Here is the night before meal I told you about. Since I usually lower my sodium going into the show, the night before, I will throw it back in so that my muscles fill out for stage.

    I will have some pizza, or a cheeseburger and fries. The only problem is sometimes it bloats my stomach after eating because I have been eating so clean.

    This is why you do this the night before, so your stomach has a chance to digest your food. The week of the show, the only thing that changes in my diet is my sodium levels three days out. I just cut out condiments and any additional salt in my foods. I do not carb load or deplete; I am a fitness competitor, not bodybuilder! I looked at your photo and you looked great!

    Here is the thing, having a suit made for the shows can only come from two sources that I know make winning suits and that is just plain experience talking. I would call "CJ" (954) 786-9977 or Jagwear Suits (510) 234-0114, either of these sources will make a winning suit for stage! Tell them Kelly Ryan told you to call okay.

    Your color looked fine, but is best to always be dark enough for stage to show your body's definition better. I use Olympic Competition Tan (here) and you can say I told you to call here too.

    Great job at the show and you will only get better every time you step on stage, that is the beauty of competing, you learn from every experience you have! I wish you and your man good luck in your upcoming arm-wrestling contest and hopefully will see you at the GNC Oct 7-9th in Atlanta like we talked about. Keep in touch!

That's All Folks - See ya next month and take care!