Kimberly Berry - Bikini Competitor

I played basketball, ran track and competed in powerlifting throughout high school. Staying active was always important to me and it wasnít until my senior year of high school that I got involved in powerlifting and from there, I was very interested in increasing my strength and muscle mass. However, during my late teen years I got involved into some not so healthy behaviors and struggled with certain addictions. It wasnít until my early 20ís, no longer struggling with addiction, married and with two daughters, that I started to take my health serious once again. I was working on my Bachelorís degree and took a personal training class and from there I became aware of figure competitors such as; Ava Cowan, Nicole Wilkins and Erin Stern. Those were the three ladies that I was enamored with. This was back in 2011, so a lot has changed in the industry since then. I did my first competition in 2012 and I did not have a coach or anything of that sort. The prep was very dialed in but I still had no idea what I was doing. Fast forward to 2018, I am finally competing again. This time with a coach and a team! Competing was always something I wanted to do and now that I have my three daughters and husband cheering me on, it is such an amazing experience.

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Nutrition is such a key component to any type of physique change. When I am not prepping for a show, my diet is much more relaxed. Now that does not mean I eat whatever I want, but I am not overly restrictive with my food choices. I will stick to macro ranges based off my lean mass and current physique goals. As I enter into competition mode, my food choices will change and calories will gradually decrease. I still track my macros; however, I am not as relaxed with my food. My prep diet will consist of 6-8 meals so I am eating all day despite the reduction in calories.

If you knew me off the stage, then youíd probably wonder how I was able to strut my stuff in that tiny bikini under those bright lights. Iím not generally an overly confident person but Iíve always wanted to compete and I knew that I would have to mentally prepare as well. Everyday I would visualize myself walking across the stage. I would imagine the judges, the audience, the other competitors and myself. I believe that this helped me prepare and build my confidence leading up to the show. Also, during the show, I was able to see my husband and daughters and I focused on them!

My training program varies depending upon how close I am to a show. During the off-season, I will lift weights 5-6 days a week and do very minimal cardio, if any. I love lifting weights so that is the easy part! As I come into prep, my weight training sessions will stay about the same with 5-6 days a week and I will add in conditioning. The type of conditioning is usually outdoor hill sprints, track sprints or a variety of plyometrics. If I am needing something not as intense, I will throw in some stairmaster. The conditioning sessions are no more than 30-minutes so itís not that bad! I try to balance my diet and training around one another. By that I mean, I will have two days a week to prep food. This helps me so that I am not cooking everyday.

The last show I competed in was a definite learning experience. Before pre-judging, I did not consume enough carbs and was unable to ďpump upĒ. Once the finals came around, I had had more carbs and was able to slightly pump. As a result, one of the judgeís feedback was that I looked better at finals, I was more full. Honestly, I was nervous to eat too much before pre-judging because I was not sure how my body would respond. Now, taking the judges feedback, I can put that to practice during my next competition.

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Competing as a bodybuilding athlete requires a lot of time and attention to detail. If you want to compete, you will find a way to make it work. In addition to competing, I have three daughters, my own personal training business and am a PhD student. There are certain areas of my life that I have to sacrifice in order to balance everything. I have to wake up before my family so that I can get in my weight training sessions. I donít go out drinking or partying, but I did enough of that in my late teens to early twenties to last a lifetime! Thankfully, my family is very encouraging and understanding about this lifestyle.

My future plans are big! I plan to continue competing and learning as much as I can about this sport. Also, work towards getting certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and certified Sports Nutritionist. Then eventually working as a prep coach in addition to my personal training. Lastly, I plan on starting my dissertation in 2019 and earning my PhD in Health and Human Performance.

Again, thank you for taking the time to get to know me! If you would like to contact me, I can be reached at Thank you!

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