KatLynne Matusak - Bikini Competitor

My fitness journey was much of an evolution. At age 5, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and my life was never the same. It has been a whirlwind living with a chronic condition and navigating the muddy waters of its application. I always searched for ways to reach my fitness goals. For a long time I just wanted to be skinny. For a girl growing up that is hard enough, let alone trying to do so while balancing medication, countless doctors, and influences. I tried every fad diet, did hours of cardio, and restricted my calories severely. Not only did this not work, but I was in the worst shape of my life.

Five years ago, I stumbled across influencers such as Ashley Horner and Amanda Latona and decided that is what I wanted to do. For the first time, I didnít want to be skinny. I wanted to be strong. I started with an Ashley Horner program, walked into the weight room, and my life has never been the same. As I continued to progress and fall in love with the process, it was a natural evolution to want to compete. Doctors told me that having type 1 would not allow me to compete - that it wasnít possible to achieve the goals I wanted with the medication and regimen I was on.

That only fueled my fire to compete even more. I went from wanting to compete to prove to myself that I could to wanting to compete to prove to those doctors and nay sayers that I could. From there it has only continued. My passion for bodybuilding, helping others, and following my dream has exploded and continues to grow each day.

Contest Prep

I believe in a flexible dieting approach. Now when I say flexible dieting, there is a distinct difference between IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and flexible dieting for me. 90% of the foods I eat are whole unprocessed foods. However, I do not believe in a restrictive diet even on prep. During the off-season (or improvement season as I like to call it), I am a bit more relaxed. I will allow myself to go out to dinner, enjoy time with friends and family, and have more flexibility. For the most part, I still enjoy eating whole, nutrient dense foods, but am not completely restrictive. During prep, I do employ a flexible dieting approach. I don't follow a meal plan. I still have my macronutrient and fiber goals, but allow myself to eat a wide variety of foods to reach my goals. I prefer to eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. I do find that I have an adaptive metabolism, so during prep I do need to get pretty low in terms of caloric intake. Everyone is different and has a different experience, however I have found that to achieve the stage physique I strive toward, I need to get pretty low in macros.

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One thing to remember is that bodybuilding is an extreme sport. There is a difference between every day lean and stage lean. In order to step on stage and achieve a competitive physique, it is sometimes necessary to dig deep! The best advice I have is to trust your coach and your prep. Just because someone else is able to cut on 2000 calories and you find yourself needing to get down to 1100, doesn't mean your coach is wrong or something is wrong with your prep. Everyone is different!

In previous preps, I have cut my calories too quickly and added too much cardio early on. As I continue in this sport, I have realized that it is important to save ďsome in the tankĒ for crunch time, or a few weeks out. If you cut down too quickly, you will have nowhere to go when you need to lose the last bit of body fat. It is important to cut on as many calories as possible and as little cardio as possible when you begin prep to conserve the muscle gains you have worked so hard for in the offseason. It is also important to be patient with your body. Just because a change in prep protocols did not yield an immediate result, does not mean it isn't working. Sometimes your body needs time to process and adapt to the new protocols. Give it time and again, trust your coach!

I have 5 heavy lifts, which are broken into Chest/Triceps/Core, Quads/Glutes, Back/Biceps, Shoulders/Core, Hamstrings/Calves. I complete 3 HIIT sessions for 30 minutes with a 15 minute steady state after-burn, 1 LIIT session for 30 minutes, and two Tabata style training sessions per week. I practically balance my diet with training. I lift with intensity and purpose each session, working to preserve strength and bring in my conditioning, supplemented with cardio. My food and diet is positioned to supplement my training, provide my body with the necessary fuel, and ensure that I do not go catabolic between training sessions. I try to stack most of my carbohydrates around my pre and post workout meals (which can be tricky in balancing my blood glucose and medications).

Iíve found that the split that works best for me is cardio in the morning and lifting in the evening. Iíve found that completing my cardio late at night makes my blood glucose drop too quickly and can create problems health wise. So for now, this split works the best! As I get closer to the show, my cardio is increased and I will add more plyometric work within my lifts to keep my heart rate elevated. I also ensure to spend time on my flexibility and mobility and will spend about 15 minutes stretching each evening. This is so important in terms of performance in the gym, posing on stage, and overall balance and symmetry.

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On Stage

For a lot of girls, getting on stage is nerve racking and terrifying. You need to remember that the stage is your time to shine! At this point, you have put in the time, work, and dedication to bring you to this point. Remember why you started in the first place and enjoy the process! Show off that hard work and HAVE FUN. A huge part of judging is stage presence and presentation. The judges aren't interested in the girl who looks miserable or nervous. They want to see the girl who is truly smiling, happy, and looking like she is having the time of her life! And if you are having trouble with nerves, think about that burger thatís waiting for you. That will certainly make you smile!

My last show was the WBFF in Atlantic City, NJ. I can only describe the emotions and feelings as a bit like a rollercoaster, but so worth experiencing. During the athlete meeting, you are anxious, starting to look at other competitors. Your whole prep is flashing before your eyes and you almost begin to question yourself, but have to keep reminding yourself that you gave all you could, gave 100%, and are bringing your best possible package to the stage! You start to get excited, ready to get on stage, and ready to show off what you have worked so hard for!

During pre-judging and stepping on stage, you are just so happy to be there, excited to represent your team and blessed to be on stage with so many other beautiful women. You are elated, and full of adrenaline! During finals, you know you have given all you could and are so proud of the packaging you have brought to stage!

Finally, coming off stage you feel almost like you climbed Mt. Everest, like you accomplished an amazing feat. Because you did! There is a reason only a small percentage of people compete. You have done what so many others dream of doing and have pushed yourself to new heights, new experiences. Now go enjoy that burger and celebrate!

I am currently prepping for my next bikini show, which is with a different federation. I am now 6 weeks out from competing at a natural bodybuilding show with the WNBF. I will then compete 7 weeks later at Nationals in Boston. I am hoping to work towards my pro card in the WNBF. I am also an online lifestyle coach, certified personal trainer, and small business owners. I am looking to grow my business and step away from my corporate job to pursue my dreams full time! I am so excited for what the future holds! I aim to educate, inspire, and help others achieve their physique and fitness goals!

Social Media
Instagram - @katlynnematusak
LinkedIn - KatLynne Matusak
Facebook - KatLynne Matusak
Website / Blog - ironandinsulin.com
Coaching inquires - info@kmfit.co
KatLynne Matusak

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