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Kelly Ryan's Corner - May 2005!

Kelly answers some common questions for the fitness enthusiast. What are the symptoms of overtraining, what supplements can you take for anxiety or depression, how to improve your immune system and more!

The reason why so many of us workout so intensely and so frequently is because we believe that it will improve the quality of our lives. This is true and yet there are so many myths floating around that can cause great confusion for us. Many of you have e-mailed me questions this month asking me to shed some light on these so-called myths.

The answers to these questions are solely my opinion and what I have learned through my own personal experiences. On another note I just returned from performing with my new dance group called "Vibe Tribe" at the Contra Costa Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championship promoted by Jon Lindsay and Steve O'Brien. My two partners are Tanji Johnson and Nicole Rollolazo, whom are both amazing professional fitness competitors and dancers. This was our second performance and was a huge success.

Vibe Tribe will be performing next at the USA National Championships in Las Vegas Nevada, next month so make sure to get your tickets for the show and plan to be seriously entertained!

Click To Enlarge.
Tanji Johnson & Nicole Rollolazo.

[ Q ] My girlfriend is a huge fan of your and trains almost every day at our local gym. I see how much time and effort she puts into her training but feel that she might be over doing it a bit. How do you know when a person is overtraining? My other question is that someone at the gym told her to only eat protein and vegetables to become leaner. Is this concept true and is it healthy for her to do?

    A. Please tell your girlfriend thank you for the support and to keep up the great work. It sounds to me like she is the type of person that believes more is better. The problem with training everyday is that your muscles will simply stop responding to the workouts.

    The Symptoms Of Overtraining Are:

    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Moodiness
    • Water retention

    If your girlfriend tells you that she is experiencing any of these symptoms, you will know that she is over training and needs a few days of nothing but rest and good nutrition. Make sure she gets all of her small, well balanced meals in and gets at least eight hours of sleep each night.

    Moving on to the idea of just eating protein and vegetables for weight loss and fat burning. This concept can be effective if followed for only a brief period of time however this nutrition program requires a lot of discipline and will powering order to see good results.

    The body will go into a state of ketosis where the body will use its fats stores for energy because the glycogen stores are no, longer present.

What Does Ketosis Mean?
An abnormality of the body's metabolic process, resulting in an increase of ketones in the blood, which can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Ketosis is prevented by eating at least 100 grams of carbohydrates a day.

    Complex carbohydrates are what provide the body with Glycogen and your muscles use this glycogen for energy during workouts. The pump or swelling sensation that occurs during weight training is from the glycogen and rush of blood to the muscles.

    The negative side effects that can result from being in ketosis too long are: the body's immune system becomes weak, and the catabolic breakdown of muscle fiber. It is important to understand that each person will respond differently and so I do not suggest following this method.

    Eating only protein and vegetables can be very unhealthy because you are not taking in sufficient calories from each of the four food groups. Remember that it is always good to question an idea or method that someone tells you so that you stay healthy and keep getting the desired results.

[ Q ] My name is Brandon and I am writing on behalf of my girlfriend. She will be competing in the Miss Mississippi Pageant for a shot to advance to the Miss America. The problem is that she has to be in a swimsuit and is working really hard to achieve that perfect physique. I am currently competing in bodybuilding and have tried to help her with her diet but she feels that the types of foods I eat will make her look like me.

Please help because she will not listen and I figure if someone with as good of a body is yours gave some advice then she would understand more about what she needs to do. She is bad about skipping meals and tends to quit eating after noon and only eats sugar-free jello and fruit.

The weight training she was doing has also stopped and turned into only cardio sessions because she thinks she is going to bulk up. My girlfriend is 5'3" and weighs 133 pounds. I just want her to be ready for her competition and am afraid that without anyone with your experience that she will listen to, she will not be ready in time.

    A. Brandon, this is perfect timing for your question because this month's Q&A session is mostly covering different examples of nutrition and training myths that float around and hold people back from achieving great results. Your compliment is very much appreciated and I know that I can help with this situation especially since the advice is being given by a woman.

    My brief encounters with women who compete in the Miss America Pageants has led me to believe that the majority if not all pageant contestants put a lot of pressure on themselves to look absolutely perfect in the swimsuit round, more than any of the other rounds.

    Do's & Don'ts Of Your First Contest!
    In this article I will talk about some DO's and DON'TS of contest prep!
    Crash dieting and massive amounts of cardio exercise are two examples of contest preparation mistakes.

    It is a total myth and misconception that basic weight training will cause a female to immediately "bulk up" in muscular size.

    It is also a misconception that if a person eats 5-6 small meals versus 3 large meals a day it is too many calories to consume in one day.

    Skipping meals and too much cardio exercise without any resistance training will cause a person's metabolism to slow down and doing too much cardio will eventually burn up muscle for energy causing an increase in body fat and potential weight gain related problems in the future.

    Having experienced years of dealing with an eating disorder, it was very hard for me to believe that less cardio, more weight training, and eating more calories from the right food groups would actually cause me to become leaner and my body proportions smaller.

    Here Is An Example For My Nutrition Program:

    Breakfast - 8 A.M.

      1/2 c oatmeal (regular not quick oats)
      4 egg whites scrambled (ketchup okay)

    Mid-Morning 11 A.M.

      1 scoop protein powder (whey isolate such as Cytodyne Nutrition's Cyto Pro-chocolate flavor)

    Lunch 2 P.M.

      4 ounces chicken breast grilled
      1 med cooked sweet potato

    Mid-Afternoon 5 P.M.

      1 scoop protein shake (ice and water)

    Dinner 8 P.M.

      4 ounces of grilled salmon
      Mixed greens salad (balsamic vinaigrette dressing)


    This program can be modified to meet individual's specific needs, and it is a basic program that will allow muscle gains as well as fat loss. The supplements that I have suggested will only enhance the appearance of your girlfriend and enable her to achieve the look she desires for stage.

    Try to be as patient as possible with her because this is new territory she is moving into mentally and she will need all the positive encouragement you are able to give in order to for her to stay consistent with the program. Tell your girlfriend I wish her the best of luck for her Miss Mississippi Pageant.

[ Q ] Dear Kelly, I am a fellow USC Gamecock like you and have been thinking about getting into competing in either fitness or figure. The only thing that really keeps me from doing my first show is that I have a weak immune system already and I seem to get sick with common colds and the flu a couple times a year.

Is there a way to supplement or nourish myself throughout the contest prep in order to maintain a consistent training schedule? I am worried that with my health where it is now, there is no way I could get ready for a show and look the way I need to. I hope you find this e-mail and are able to write back.


    A. First and foremost I must say Go USC Gamecocks! I was captain of the cheerleading squad for two years and then became captain of the dance team called the Southern Belles for the last two years of school. I really miss all my friends and family back in beautiful South Carolina. I hope that USC is treating you as good as it did me and enjoy the rest of your college life. To answer your question, I know of a great supplement/vitamin program that I follow every time I prepare for a fitness contest.

    I had an amazing and brilliant co-worker of mine from Pinnacle Bodyionics design a vitamin profile that not only kept me extremely healthy but increased the turnaround time of my body from my intense workouts at the gymnastics center and gym.

    I desperately needed this type of a program because like you I too was getting sick too often and had to train through it. This is A. not good for you to do at all because of the potential damage and strain it puts on the body, and B. every time you become ill, it takes more effort by your immune system to recover.

    The supplements listed below are the exact same ones that I take myself both pre-contest and throughout my off-season to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    Vitamin Supplement Program

    Duration of usage must be at least 12 weeks in order to see maximum improvements in a person's health.

      Multivitamin - Pinnacle Energie High Multivites, vitamins, minerals, lipotropics, various enzymes, different amino acids. 1 cap tab should be taken 3 x's daily.

      Multimineral - Pinnacle Energie High Multivites. 1 cap tab should be taken 3 x's daily,

      Vitamin C - NOW C-1000. Vitamin C is a great anti-oxidant. 1 capsule should be taken daily.

      Fish Oil - Health From The Sea PFO Pure Fish Oil is distilled pure fish body oil from deep sea, cold water fish. PFO Pure Fish Oil has a natural, light juicy orange flavor, with no fishy aftertaste. 1 tsp. should be taken daily

      Isomer E - Pinnacle Bodyionics, Isomer E-400 I.U., I soft gel should be taken 2x's daily

      Glutamine - Higher Power Glutamine 1800. 1 capsule should be taken 2 x's daily, especially on heavy training days.

      Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's) - Eclipse 2000 Deluxe BCAA is a full 1000mg per capsule of pure free form Branched Chain Amino Acids. It's one of the best Anti-catabolic and anabolic supplements available to bodybuilders. 1 capsule should be taken daily.

    Follow this and you will see a great improvement and increased strength of the immune system. Give the competitive scene a shot and I bet after your first show, you'll be hooked just like the rest of us fitness fanatics!

[ Q ] My question is simple and to the point. How often do you train and why?


    A. The types of e-mails that I always seem to get are usually very long and detailed in their descriptions. I appreciate each and everyone of my readers' e-mails and thought it would be only befitting to include one so short in length to conclude this month's edition of "Kelly's Corner".

    Kelly's Training Schedule:

    My training schedule is a split training type of program which consists of the following split:

    Each large muscle group such as back, chest or legs, training will include 4 exercises, 3 sets each. Small muscle groups such as shoulders, biceps and triceps, my training will only include 3 exercise maximum and 2-3 sets only. My arms grow very fast so I have to cut back on the amount of sets I do for these body parts in order for my physique to stay balanced.

    Your weight training program should be designed to fit your body's profile in order to maximize your efforts and time spent at the gym. I train my abdominals 3 x's a week on the days when I am only training two body parts and consists of 3 sets of 2-3 exercises with 25 reps each set. I really focus on having proper technique and form when I workout to avoid unnecessary injuries. Make your trips to the gym as consistent and intense as possible.

    Stay focused on what it is you are trying to achieve, and set small goals weekly or monthly to track your progress and reward yourself for the hard work you have put in. I hope this helps and keep training hard!