Kelly Collopy - Bikini Competitor

I started weightlifting on my own after completing a round of the Whole30 (elimination diet); I was feeling so good mentally, had energy and was fueling with whole foods, so that all naturally lead me to wanting a physical challenge too. I had tried the various apps out there and accountability programs but nothing really felt right. Once I got the itch to just pick up some weights, that feeling never stopped. At first I just used free guides from, and as my confidence grew, I decided to interview contest prep coaches. I was also in the middle of planning my wedding, so I decided to use my training to help me look and feel my best on my wedding day with the goal of starting prep after my honeymoon. Having the goal of competing in my first season was an amazing motivator after all the wedding fun and festiviteis wore off.

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laying in my hotel bed, past midnight, next to my new/lifelong BFF in a total sugar shock and my heart is just so FULL ?? . . today I stepped on my first @npcnewsonlineofficialpage stage which has always been my ultimate goal when I set out on this journey to transform my physical and mental health and man I did the damn thing ???? . . proud, humbled and motivated AF. this show was huge, it was competitive and unlike anything Ive ever experienced. I wasnt as graceful as I hoped Id be, but each time I stepped on stage my confidence leveled up. my eyes are so wide open to just how many men and women work day in and day out to build their bodies with grace and grit. I have many areas I need to improve upon but for being a total NEWBIE I am so proud to have been honored with 3rd in Novice and 5th in my Bikini Open class ???? . . one more show on the books in a few weeks but for now, living a very blessed life. photo shoot with the talented @ngen52 tomorrow then flying ?? back home to my amazing man @mikecollopy and pup ???? to enjoy this all with my number ???fans! . . . #goalgetter #proudbutneversatisfied #gratitude #blessed #hardworkdedication #alwaysinbeta #bestself #buildyourbody #designalifeyoulove #toxicselfie

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I follow a flexible dieting plan (IIFYM), Over the last 10+ months I've learned A LOT about my body and my metabolism. I thankfully operate efficiently while high carb, so I've been grateful to have a high carb intake most of my prep. Currently, in peak week for my last show of the season, we have already started the reverse dieting phase and my body is responding very well. It loves its food! Although I am an IIFYM'er, I still fuel with whole, clean food. I don't use IIFYM as a way to regularly eat sweets, treats and more. I focus on organic, wild caught or grass fed protein sources, whole grains and gluten-free carbs, fruit, vegetables and healthy fats like olive, coconut and avocado oil and nut butters. Don't get me wrong I love my donuts and ice cream, but those have a time and place and while in prep, even though I could fit them in, I choose to eat clean and my body has noticed the difference.

I have tried just straight up counting calories before I had the knowledge of tracking macros and that failed miserably; I was severely underfuled. What's been the most eye-opening, and what I try to explain to people who have reached out to me seeking tips, is that you truly NEED to EAT to grow. If you're underfuleing you can't gain quality muscle, which you need to help burn body fat. Too many people think less food, less carbs and more cardio is the answer and it is not. IIFYM has been a game changer for me, best nutrition protocol I've tried.

Confidence...well, I'm still building it haha! That first time on stage was pure adrenaline, and each time after I get a little more comfortable. In all honesty, if it weren't for my husband supporting me I don't know if I would have had the confidence on my own to step on stage.

I train 6x per week with one full rest day. My current training consists of muscle group-focused lifts that rotate throughout the week; so a leg/glute day, arms/abs, shoulders/glutes, back, etc. I currently have a mix of steady state and HIIT cardio, anywhere from 5-6x per week. I tend to do my HIIT right after a leg training day since I'm already working those legs hard. For cardio I prefer moderate pace incline walking or stairs (no hands!) and for HIIT primarily I do sprints.

My most recent show was the NPC Natural Northern in Ohio -- it was incredible. The largest show and stage I have ever stepped on in my very new competition career. I was most amazed by how incredible all of the bikini competitors were backstage, especially when we returned for finals. It was truly a sisterhood and bonding experience. It didn't matter what 'team' you were on or how you placed, everyone was just so happy to share post-show goodies and their stories about how and why they compete. It was both humbling and motivating to be a part of.

My entire lifestyle has changed since dedicating myself to prep and training. I used to love to sleep in, now I am a morning girl, training anywhere from 5:30/6:00am to 8:00am every single day before work. I prep all my bulk food items on Sunday and pack individual meals each night before I sleep. It's become a routine, but one that I had to work hard on before it felt natural. In prep specificially, I have had to make a lot of sacrifices like missing out on happy hours, saying no to late nights out with friends, etc. but the prep phase is only temporary and it has all been worth it. Some friends understand, others don't, and that's okay. What matters most to me is the relationship I have with my husband and family, and I am so grateful for their support.

I have one more show this coming weekend, then it's growing season! I need to put on some quality muscle before I step on stage again, which will hopefully be a year from now, next fall.


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