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Kelly Ryan's Corner - August 2004!

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

Hey all you summertime readers! I hope this summer has lived up to all of your expectations. Trips and vacations with the kids, cool summer bar-b-que with friends and neighbors, there is nothing better. If you're lucky then you have amazing cooks for neighbors like Craig and I do.

Wow can they cook and when we are not dieting, it is the best! Well, enough talk about good food, I am starting to get hungry thinking about it. I am currently preparing for the GNC Show of Strength Oct 8-9th in Atlanta, Georgia, and then three weeks after that show will be the Fitness Olympia in Las Vegas, Nevada on Halloween weekend.

I have had so much fun guest posing all over the US for the past couple of months and meeting so many new people. I sincerely hope to see you all at these shows; your support means so much to me and psyches me up for the routine rounds! When I here your cheering voices, I get super excited to perform and it makes me drive hard to do my best for all of you.

Speaking of guest posing, Craig and I just returned from the Sun City Bodybuilding, Fitness, and Figure Championships in El Paso, Texas. Special thanks to the promoters Fred Guerrero and Henry Baca, and all of the Texas Crew, job well done!!! There was a power outage and yet the show went on. Mike Johnston and his gang were second to none in the NPC. Craig and I want to extend warm thanks for all the love we were shown by the fans and competitors. All I can say is WOW!!!!!!! El Paso rocks!

[ Q ] I am 5'7" tall and weigh 210 and no it's not muscle. I saw your picture in a recent Fitness and Health magazine that I picked up at Gold's Gym I recently joined and I said to myself, "Wow all of your hard work really shows."

I know that I just started and I have a long hard road to go down in order to reach my goals but I am 38 yrs old and I have the goal of being in the best shape of my life when I reach my forties. I have to admit that I haven't taken care of myself like I should have all these years.

I want to have an idol to look up to and I chose you. I feel that you are in great shape and I need a role model. I have read your biography and I am going to continue reading more about you. I also liked that you mention everything you do in full detail. Not too many mention what they take or do.

So here is my question, what else should I be taking to help me lean out or better yet feed my muscles so that I may start to look toned or cut? By the way my husband looks pretty darn good and I want to look good right along side of him and I need to do this for myself and for him also. I couldn't want anything more right now!

Thanks a lot for your time,

    A. Dorothy, I appreciate your support and I love the mindset you are in right now, Carpe' Diem (seize the day)! Sometimes it takes a moment in time to help you realize where your life is going, and where you want it to go. I always say that we control our own destiny so with that being said here is the answer to your question.

    You are on the right path towards your goal by eating healthy and doing cardio and weight training. Without knowing exactly how much of each you are doing, I would suggest that you try your best to do cardio on an empty stomach 4-5 times a week. This cardio session will jump start your system and increase your fat burning capabilities.

    Each cardio session should be for at least 40 minutes; because that is the minimum time it takes to get into your fat burning zone. By taking a thermogenic prior to your cardio, again you will increase the intensity of each cardio session thus burning more fat and calories, and increasing your leanness. Since the removal of ephedrine off of the market, which I totally disagree with since alcohol and tobacco are legal, thermogenics have been reformulated to mimic the same activity of ephedrine in the body.

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    I am not familiar with the effects of Hydroxycut EFX, which is the only Hydroxycut on the shelves now but I am familiar with Cytodynes' new product called Xenadrine NRG. It does exactly what the name states, provides increased energy. Besides that it suppresses your appetite so you are able to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.

    Take 2 Xenadrine NRG's in the morning first thing when you wake, let 20 minutes go by and get on that cardio girl! Next to feed your muscles you need to take glutamine both before and after your workouts, and once more before bedtime. Glutamine is the best supplement around for muscle recovery and it's an anti-catabolic agent meaning it keeps you from burning muscle during all of your activity.

    Both of these supplements can be purchased here on under Pinnacle and Cytodyne's product selection. Remember it is up to you to take action and supplementation will always take your body to the next level. Good luck!

[ Q ] I am so glad to have found your database! I am a 20 yr old female with a history of compulsive exercise and anorexia. I've always been interested in bodybuilding and decided to work with a trainer to put on some muscle.

I've already made some progress, but the 6 years of my eating disorder behavior and thinking are proving to be difficult hurdles. I am currently consuming 3,000 calories a day and lifting heavy weights 3-4 times a week. I am also doing cardio for an hour everyday (it is a weakness).

Yet, I am scared of gaining body fat. Do you have an advice or motivation for me? Will I get fat on this program or am I headed in the right direction?

Thanks for your time,

    A. Emily, first of all you should be very proud of yourself for what you have already accomplished. Recovering from an eating disorder is not an easy task at all. You see you have to eat to survive, unlike being addicted to drugs or alcohol where you can easily live without either one.

    As long as this trainer knows your background, then he will understand your emotional tie to food and how stress affects your eating habits. For people like yourself, it is not about having to be pushed to work harder, it is making sure you do not over do anything. I never want to over step my boundaries with someone including changing up a program that another professional has laid out for you.

    Express to him your concerns about gaining body fat and he will adjust it for you. I went through the same thing when I first started competing. I did not feel comfortable with the amounts of food I was eating and would always make sure I would do extra cardio to make up for my distrust. The most important thing here is to trust your program and know in your heart it is the right thing for you.

    Maybe you can lower your calories a bit to about 2,000 and lighten up on the cardio so your metabolism has a chance to work off the food on its' own and not depend on the regular cardio sessions. The more efficiently your body runs on its own, the better. I was bulimic for almost 11 years until I met Craig Titus my husband. He forced me to stay with him after each meal and taught me how to trust food again without doing a zillion hours of cardio.

    My metabolism and heart have him to thank. I have now been recovered for 5 years, the total time I have been involved and married (4 yrs) to Craig. He saved my life, and it sounds to me like this trainer/manager has taken the initiative to do the same for you. God bless him! Emily you must believe in yourself and express any feelings of doubt to your trainer.

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    Communication is the key to your success. Trust me on this one; I am a whole new person because someone took the time to care about my health when I couldn't get a hold of it by myself. Please keep in touch with me; I am really pulling for you.

[ Q ] I have recently made a 110% commitment to fitness. I previously worked out routinely until my husband passed away almost 3 years ago. I was left with two children and a successful business to run all on my own at the age of 26.

After going through what I did for the past three years I decided to write a book to teach women to never give up no matter what life throws at you. Hopefully more women will realize how much fitness can really change your life. I recently hired personal trainer, joined gymnastics again and dance classes so my question is; is it realistic for me to be able to compete within a year?

Of course I know it's based on the individual and dedication but I would at least like to know your opinion. Please let me know what you think. You are truly amazing and I've heard many wonderful things about you and Craig. You are a beautiful couple. Good luck to you!


    A. Thank you Michelle, that is very sweet of you to say that about Craig and I. I know that I can speak for the both of us when I say that. I am very sorry to hear about your loved one passing away and am really impressed with your tenacity after the fact. Writing such a book will definitely inspire other women to do the same as yourself and that is to never give up, no matter what hand life deals you.

    Realistically, I will say that it is definitely possible to compete in a fitness show within a year. I will tell you why. It is realistic because you are already familiar with the requirements necessary to compete and so you have an advantage with time. Next you are taking the right steps to get ready, for example gymnastics, and dance for the routine, and hiring a personal trainer for your physique.

    Those would be the exact things I would tell you to do if you were asking me how to get ready for a show. Just like you said, it takes discipline and dedication to do this and you are just the woman for the job. Just look at what you've done to make such a positive event out of such a tragedy. The key for your success is to pick out an NPC show on a local level (, contact that promoter and get all of your affairs in order.

    Order your suits and costumes CJ-(954) 786-9977, or Jag wear (510) 234-0114. I always use CJ for my costumes and both companies make awesome suits. Definitely use Olympia Competition Tan, which is available through Craig and I at 702-736-7668 (office line), and wear only clear heels of 4-5" high heel and no platform under the toes. This should at least get you started.

    Depending on your body fat right now, your goal should be to compete at around 9%, with the exception that you do not look completely shredded at this body fat level. Dieting and training is about creating the right look for you personally, okay. Let me know how your preparation is going once you pick the NPC show you are going to compete in. Go get em!

[ Q ] My name is Madalyn and I am new to competing in fitness. I plan to do my first show sometime next spring, once the NPC puts out their schedule. I am 16 years old, a former gymnast, and currently a gymnastics coach.

I just wanted to write and tell you how much you have inspired me to compete. I knew that since I couldn't really go as far as I wanted to in gymnastics that fitness was for me and I am dedicated to becoming an IFBB pro one day. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication.

Well I've pretty much gotten everything I need to compete but I was wondering about preparing your tan, what tanning product do you use, or think is best? Also I've seen bodybuilders wax pretty much their whole bodies, but I didn't know what it was like in fitness.

Do you suggest I should wax or shave my arms, legs, bikini area? Other than that I think I've got the preparation down. Thanks for your help and good luck at the Olympia this year! I hope to meet you at the Arnold next year with the gymnast I coach.

Thank you for your time,

    A. That is awesome news about you wanting to compete in fitness; it is music to my ears! I appreciate your support so much and look forward to meeting you in the future. I too have seen where bodybuilders wax their whole bodies but it is not something I would suggest for you. One main reason is the pain factor.

    I have had my bikini area waxed before and you could have heard my screams three states over yeeouch! Never again! LOLOL Shaving is just fine and only your legs, arms, underarms, and bikini area. Do not shave your back or anywhere else that you do not already shave, it is not necessary. I prepare my skin weeks out from the show by tanning in a tanning bed for six weeks leading up to the show.

    I moisturize and exfoliate my skin every day to make it smooth and soft looking. The last week before the show, I STOP using moisturizer on my skin to dry it out, and shave my body parts mentioned before using a brand new razor just before I begin to put on my stain. I recommend using Olympic Competition Tan, because it is the best competition color on the market right now.

    I will be wearing it at the GNC and Fitness Olympia for sure. (See answer to the previous question for ordering info) Every friend I have has use Olympic Competition Tan, is always asked backstage at their shows, "Wow, what brand of tanning product did you use? Your color is amazing." In conclusion, you sound really excited to compete and I am really excited for you. This prep method is what I do myself so take it and run with it. You are sure to look amazing on stage!

[ Q ] I am one of your French fans and I was able to see you at the Amsterdam Grand Prix last year, but I was too scared to ask you to take a picture with me. I hope you will soon make a trip to France.

It's been two years since I started training but I have a huge problem with the diet! I'm a sugar addict and I cannot get rid of it. Maybe you can give me some advice on how to diet better. I weight train 3-4 times a week with some cardio and pretty much carry most of my body fat in my stomach and legs. What would you suggest, and I hope you can help me.

Thanks a lot for your time,

    A. Thank you for your support and please do not ever feel like you cannot approach me in public. I am just like anyone else, and love when people come up to me to talk or take a picture with me. It is such a compliment! My recommendation for your dieting struggles is to make sure you are eating enough complex carbohydrates because the glycogen from the carbs regulates your blood sugar levels.

    If your body does not do well with carbs then just keep your first two morning meals with the complex carbs in them. Make sure you also include your protein source as well, no more than 4 ounces because a calorie is a calorie. Next, allowing your self to have good fats in the evening with your last two meals will also decrease the amount of sugar you crave.

    I use a small handful of cashews or almonds on top of my salads and this keeps me feeling very satisfied. Last there are a few snacks that if your are still craving sugar, try sugar-free Popsicles, sugar-free diet hot cocoa, and Arrowroot Baby cookies. Each of these snacks is non-fat, and what I call filler foods. They take awhile to eat so the effort in eating them distracts you from feeling so hungry.

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    The last suggestion I have is to follow your program throughout the week and then allow yourself a cheat meal on the weekend to reward yourself for all the hard work you have put in during the week. Do not make this an all day affair, but have something you truly enjoy, which sounds to me like something sweet. So in conclusion, re-evaluate your nutrition so it is balanced among each food group, and give these healthy snacks a try.

    Sugar stops the fat burning process immediately so do your best to keep it to a minimum if you just have to have it. Sticking to your nutrition program will give you the feeling of self accomplishment and discipline that will have a real positive effect other areas in your life. It pays to eat clean. Keep training hard and I hope to make it over to France real soon! Merci' beaucoup!

That is all for this month's Kelly's Corner. Keep sending those great questions and working hard towards your goals in fitness. Together we can achieve our goals and make them a reality. See you next month and take care.