Katie McNally - Bikini Competitor

I have always been into fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. I have taught group exercise for years and worked in the fitness industry. I started challenging myself with running, I was always a poor runner growing up so I wanted to complete my first 5k as a personal goal. From there I fell in love and worked my way up to a dozen half marathons and finally a full marathon in 2015. During my running career I always followed bodybuilding and was very intrigued by these athletes. I knew one day I wanted to step on stage but wasn't sure if I could truly accomplish something like that. I had always been more of a skinny-fat body type and never really followed a set nutrition pla. During my marathon training, I knew I wanted to switch gears to bodybuilding after my marathon and that is what I did. They day after my marathon I researched coaches and found one that best suited me and started my improvement season and got a game plan to compete in my first show in October of 2016!

We did it! Your 2017 overall bikini winner for @npcprideofthemidwest #overall #npcprideofthemidwest #npc #bikinioverall #timefordonuts

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I have worked with the same coach for my two seasons. We take an approach to using food as fuel for the body and my body does well on whole nutrient dense foods. My off-season is a time to add in more "treats" with the focus still being whole nutrient dense foods. Consistency is key for both off-season and prep. I am coming up on my last show of the season, and post show I will take a slow approach to reverse dieting and add in more foods slowly to let my metabolism adapt to the increases.

The only plans that have failed have been the ones I haven't stuck to. My last off-season was very inconsistent and it showed. I didn't follow it like I should have and got off track quick! This prep meant I had a lot more work to do because of my inconsistency in the off-season. Any approach can work, as long as you are consistent.

My lifting style doesn't really change much throughout the year. I currently have a 6 day training split where I focus on lifting heavy. My cardio is a tool used during prep to get leaner. This prep I had a mix of steady state cardio as well as HIIT sessions. I like to balance my diet with training by focusing on pre and post workout meals. Making sure I have adequate carbs to fuel my work outs as well as help me recover.

I was so proud of the physique I built during prep that I couldn't wait to show it off. I had never looked like that before and it was amazing to see my transformation from my starting photos. The self-confidence was definitely something that I gained throughout prep while I was seeing results each week. I went to other bodybuilding shows as well to see other girls and what looked best on stage. The confidence shows when you watch competitors on stage so I wanted to be sure I exuded that as well when I was up there.

Stage experiences: Show weekend is the best. It is the weekend you prep for 12-16 weeks (or longer!) The atmosphere is always fun, you are surrounded by people with similar interests and goals and it is so nice being in that atmosphere where people understand what you went through. The shows I have done have been so well organized from athlete check-in's, tanning, pre-judging, and finals. Prep can be exhausting and during it you may question what is it all for and why you are even doing it. Once show day comes, it makes you realize that it is ALL worth it. There is nothing more rewarding than completing a prep and giving it your all and getting up on stage. No one can take away the hard work and discipline you put in. It is a selfish sport at times but it's not meant to be for other people, it is for you and you only. It shouldn't be about a trophy or a placing, while that is definitely the cherry on top if it happens :)

Being an athlete has taught me a lot about myself. It has taught me to respect other people's passions. There are many people that don't understand bodybuilding. I think as long as people do something they love and it isnt hurting anyone they should peruse it. To me, being an athlete has kept me healthy and active into my 30's now. I know how to have discipline and what hard work can do. From family, friends, work, to personal life being an athlete has kept me on track to being successful in relationships because it teaches me how to balance fitness with a social life.

I have one more show this season and then will focus on an improvement season. I want to focus on growing and adding lean muscle mass all around! Now that I am nationally qualified, I hope to hit a national stage sometime in 2018!

Contact info:
IG: https://www.instagram.com/Katiemac_fit
email: mcnallykm07@gmail.com

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