Kelly Barnes - Figure Competitor

From participating in rec league sports when I was young to playing collegiate level softball, I have always been an athlete and embody that intrinsic competitive drive.

At 25, I became pregnant with our first daughter Maddison in 2014 and continued to work out, lift and eat healthy balanced meals up until the day she graced this world. Although I stayed pretty active throughout my pregnancy, I still had gained roughly 40 pounds and didnít feel like myself. I was sluggish, somewhat deconditioned, and completely exhausted from the new no sleeping routine. Once I was cleared to start working out postpartum I got back into the gym, started a new routine and started tracking my food intake again. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I felt EVERY. SINGLE. REP. It was an absolute grind but it made me stronger!

A photo posted by Kelly Barnes (@kbfitt) on

Fast-forward to March of 2016- I was approached by a woman at the gym who said I had a great build and the ideal shape for competing in Figure competitions. I signed up with her and completed my first 12-week prep and snagged a 1st place in novice and a 4th place trophy in my class at the Golden State show in Sacramento. And from there, I have been hooked!

I am always eating for wholesome nutrition whether I am prepping for a show or not. Throughout this process I have learned that nutrition plays the biggest role in your physique, both off and on prep. During prep I include a lot of foods that are nutrient-dense, lots of protein, lots of small balanced meals throughout the day, and plenty of fluids. I am currently in my first offseason and am slowly reverse dieting making sure I donít gain too quickly or too slow. My diet is a bit more flexible in comparison to prep diet and includes some goodies here and there but mostly the nutrient-dense foods and hitting my macros/micros is the main goal. Youíve got to EAT to GROW!!!

If you are thinking about competing, self-confidence and being sure of yourself as a woman is imperative BEFORE getting up on stage. I have always been self-conscious of my body and how others saw me. But after having my daughter, gaining and losing the 40 lbs and giving my everything in the gym/kitchen to keep the weight off has boosted my drive, self-love, confidence, and my motivation to keep moving forward and getting better. The glitz and glam part of competing was so out of my comfort zone but thatís one of the reasons that I wanted to compete. You have to get out of your comfort zone in order to change, and change I did!

Although your diet is a major key in maintaining/altering your physique, training is just as important as well. I am a certified personal trainer and have a background in Exercise Science and Physiology so my knowledge of training/nutrition is fairly extensive. Since your offseason is also your improvement season, youíre aiming to build muscle while keeping fat mass at bay. I am incorporating a lot of hypertrophy exercises to help build up each muscle group-particularly my shoulders, back and glutes and a few cardio sessions to make sure I donít gain a lot of body fat while in a caloric surplus.

A photo posted by Kelly Barnes (@kbfitt) on

Bodybuilding has opened my eyes to a whole new world of fitness that I wish I knew about years ago. It has brought my husband and I even closer, I have gained life-long friends, met some amazing people who share the same passion that I do and have been lucky enough to work in tandem with people granting me with some amazing opportunities. It has also inspired me to reinvent and be more creative with my online personal training clients with my business, KB Fitness and Training. I canít wait to continue my journey and work with Chris Ellis and Camile Periat with Team Pulse in the Spring. I have no doubts that I am in great hands and am SURE that we will be bringing a very competitive physique in 2017!

Contact Info:
IG: @kbfitt

Competition Prep e-Books