Teen Amateur Of The Week: Family-Fueled Fitness

The Hansens know how to keep fitness it in the family. McKenzie's brother made an early example, her sister led the charge, and her mom provided endless support!

How Did Your Fitness Journey Begin?

I sat on the bench for most of the sports I participated in growing up. I was the person who went in the gym and walked around the track waiting for my brother to finish lifting. I always had a love for fitness, but never pursued it until I went to my older sister's first bodybuilding show. I was shocked at how amazing the competitors looked and envied their focus and determination.

After the show, at age 17, I started going to the gym every day and lifting as heavy as I could. I saw my body improve and couldn't get enough. I was addicted. Three months after watching my sister compete, I stepped onstage. My sister decided to compete with me so I wouldn't get nervous backstage and I could bring a fun energy to the stage.

My sister always pushed me to do my best. She called every morning to wake me up and make sure I did morning cardio. She's my best friend and her persistence helped me take first place.

I competed again two months after the NGA Natural Fall Show. I didn't place as well the second time around (fifth in bikini tall). I talked with the judges afterward to find out that I didn't have enough muscle to compete in bodybuilding. I was devastated, but I couldn't give up.

I took a year off to put on muscle and experienced amazing gains. I love going to the gym and lifting more than some boys my age. I couldn't live without the gym. I'm excited to compete this spring and display all my hard work and progress.

How Did Your Passion for Fitness Emerge?

I've always been interested in anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and health care. Going to a medical-based high school, I learn about the body and how it functions. Knowing what food does for the body affected how I eat and how I value physical activity.

I always seek to improve and push myself to my limits. I like the way muscle looks and I'm not afraid to lift heavy. My ultimate goal is to earn my pro card in bikini and compete in the Olympia.

What/Who Motivated You to Be a Fitness Guru?

My family impacted my views about fitness. My sister got me into competing, but my older brother got me to lift. I was afraid to lift because I didn't want to look manly.

Where Did You Go for Inspiration?

I found inspiration from hearing other success stories. I also love looking at FitnessRx magazine and seeing my favorite competitors.

What Are Your Future Fitness Plans?

I plan to work out for the rest of my life. It's not a hobby, it's my lifestyle. I hope fitness will eventually lead me to a pro card and an Olympia appearance. I would also like to become a fitness model.

What Is the Most Important Fitness Tip?

Create a plan and stick with it. My biggest issue was sticking to one thing. If I didn't see immediate results, I got discouraged. It takes time and persistence. Don't switch up your diet too much. If you have a trainer, listen to him/her.

Who Is Your Favorite Competitor?

Nicole Nagrani. I look up to her so much. She does it all, from being a pre-med student to a professional bodybuilder. I also love Andreia Brazier's physique.

How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?

BodySpace really helped me reach my fitness goals. I use the site for inspiration, to track my progress, and to provide guidelines to follow. It's a wonderful site to use for anything fitness related.

McKenzie's Top 5 Gym Tracks
  1. "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore
  2. "Psychosocial" by Slipknot
  3. "Barry Me With My Guns On" by Bobaflex
  4. "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
  5. "Only Way I Know" by Jason Aldean

Special Thanks: To my older brother for always pushing me in the gym and dragging me on days I refused to go. I also want to thanks my older sister for always having faith in me and my mom for being so supportive of my goals and dreams.