Gretchen Klise - Figure Competitor

Gretchen: Growing up I was never the skinny girl. Virtually my entire life I struggled with my weight. At my heaviest my weight was 208 lbs. I knew I had to change my habits for once and all. At the young age of 29 I was faced with many health issues including being borderline diabetic. I also had an ulcer. I had to regain control of my life.

Soon after this realization I discovered what clean eating was. It was then that I committed to making it my lifestyle.

During my fitness journey I remember picking up muscle magazines and admiring fitness athletes like Jamie Eason and Monica Brant. I was hooked! I was determined to make clean eating and weight training part of my life.

By the time I was 40 I was using every resource possible to learn about weight training and diet. I soon became more confident in the gym and consistent with my eating habits. I was inspired and felt I was ready to take that next step and get on stage.

Gretchen Klise

Gretchen started her journey in 2001 where she weighed 208 lbs and on the brink of diabetes

My first competition show I attended was at the age of 42. My heart raced when the girls walked on stage. I knew in my heart I wanted to be part of that experience.

Six months before my first show I hired my coach Allison Moyer. She made my contest prep work for me by gradually cutting my calories but not as low as I had expected. It is very individualistic what each person requires. This sport does require eating a certain amount to train hard and perform.

Depending on how my fat loss is progressing we may make necessary changes. Thankfully my carbohydrate intake never gets cut too drastically overall.

During the off-season I gradually add back in calories so I don't rebound. I tend to have more variety in my diet during this time. I try to get a variety in my diet to get all the necessary nutrients.

What helps me stay lean is incorporating a clean re-feed once a week with extra quality carbohydrates to replenish my glycogen levels. I do incorporate a free meal when I'm not preparing for a show. It's always planned and I never eat fast food or fried food. Some of the foods I enjoy are steak, potatoes, and sushi.

What works best for me in my diet is moderate protein and incorporating a good amount of carbohydrates including some starchy carbohydrates and smaller amounts of healthy fats. Most of my carbohydrates come from sweet potatoes and other root vegetables. Including a good amount of carbs ensures I have enough energy to sustain my training and build/preserve muscle tissue. My healthy fats come from avocados, MCT oil, coconut oil, almond butter, and cashews. I really pay attention to my body and what works best for me.

In terms of supplements I take probiotics, Glutamine , BCAA's, beta-alanine, D-ribose, a good quality fish oil, a multi vitamin, vitamin D, and a whey isolate protein powder.

I train 6-7 days a week focusing on my shoulders and back. I incorporate high intensity interval training, cardio intervals, and plyometrics. I have at least one day of recovery during off season. That may include active recovery like hiking or yoga. I make sure I get enough sleep, drink a lot of water, and reduce as much stress as possible.

For me my experience competing is very positive. I am motivated to train because it is my passion! It's what drives me to become my best both physically and emotionally. It enables me to find my worth and it empowers me to overcome obstacles. The best part about competing is that it's a celebration of all my hard work. I love sharing it with women who have the same goals and passion as myself. I make every day count and I use my passion to help others. I believe age is just a number. You can be fit at any age.

Gretchen can be contacted at:

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