Katelyn Farmer - Bikini Competitor

* Overall Bikini Winner NZIFBB Northlands 2016 *

I started competing only 12 months ago as a bikini athlete in the NZIFBB, the New Zealand league of the IFBB. In that short amount of time, I have competed in 5 shows, with multiple top 5 placings and an overall bikini win.

I have always been a keen gym goer, training in the gym now for 10 years - since I was 14 years old. It has always been both my escape and my therapy rolled into one. However, nutrition is something I have struggled with, with binge eating and bulimia playing a pretty big role in my life throughout my teenage years. While I mostly have this under control now, a healthy mind-set towards fitness is a huge part of what I aim to express to others on a daily basis Ė being a well-rounded athlete who is just as mentally strong as they are physically. I believe in having a holistic approach to health and nutrition wherever possible. Competing gives me a clear, time specific goal and structure that my personality really responds well to.

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My diet in my off season and while in contest prep does not vary hugely. I have an incredible coach in IFBB bikini pro Jade MacKinnon, who is a close friend of mine and who has guided me through my fitness journey now for the past 2 years. We work closely together to ensure that the diet I follow best fits my goals at the time. During a contest prep, my carbohydrates are lower as this is what my body responds best to. It is different for everyone, but staples in my year round diet include chicken, white fish, green vegetables, sweet potato, pumpkin, basmati rice, eggwhites, oats and of course supplements such as protein powder. I am an ambassador for ic Nutrition, an up and coming supplement company who support me really well during my off season and during preps. I have tried many diets over the years, but I have found that sticking to a clean food based meal plan works well for me during a prep, while during an off season or when travelling, flexible dieting works really well for me.

I havenít always been a confident person, and I still get nervous before stepping on stage Ė you really are putting yourself out there! However, I am a big believer in acting like you are until you really feel like you are Ė a fake it till you make it approach. My very first show was the most difficult as I didnít really know what I was doing, but the more Iíve competed the more it becomes second nature. One thing I try to always remind myself is that this is my ONE opportunity to show off all the hard work, all the dieting, all the training Ė you donít get very long to strut your stuff up there, and you better really work it if you want to leave a lasting impression. Stage presence and confidence counts for a lot as a bikini athlete, and it is still a work in progress for me. But like with anything, you learn more as you go on. I highly recommend investing in a posing coach if you wish to do well, just like you would a personal trainer or nutritionist, as your posing routine is a huge part of what the judges are judging you on Ė IFBB bikini pro Katya Nosova has done wonders for my stage presence and confidence.

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My training split is constantly changing, but I typically train upper body only once a week, shoulders 2-3 times per week, and glutes and hamstrings 3-4 times per week. I donít train quads at all, as in order for me to present a well balanced symmetrical physique on stage, I am actually trying to bring my quads down and currently am not trying to gain any more muscle in my back, biceps, or triceps. In my current off season, we are placing a huge focus on growing my glutes and rounding out my shoulders. In my off season, I still do cardio for general health purposes and also to maintain a relatively low level of body fat for a female. I will generally do cardio 4 times per week, just steady state for anywhere between 30-40 minutes. During a contest prep, this changes to 5-6 times per week fasted, alternating between steady state cardio and HIIT training, for up to 60 minutes at a time. If needed, I will also incorporate more cardio after weights at night. In an effort to tighten up my weaker areas and bring in tighter legs, I incorporate a lot of stair sprints, treadmill sprints and a lot of plyometric exercises closer to a show.

My feelings towards competing now are vastly different to what they were after my first show. At my first show, I didnít get a placing at all and was very disillusioned as to what the judges wanted and what I needed to do to be better. As time has gone on and I have grown in the sport, my aim now at every show is to bring a package better to my last Ė this is the only thing I can control, I cannot control what the judges are looking for on the day. That is what I love most about competing, that your physique is a direct reflection of your consistent effort and hard work. That cannot be taken away from you, top placing or not. If you are giving your best day in day out, that is an absolute win in my eyes.

I don't compete just for fun. I compete to be the best version of myself every single time. I work my butt off to know that I will be able to stand on that stage knowing I've done all I can to look and present myself a level up from the last time. I believe so much in hard work and picking yourself up every time you fall - which sometimes you do. That is an athletes mentality and one I try my best to have in all areas of my life #outworkyourself

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My future plans are to compete and place top 3 in the NZIFBB nationals in October, where I will be competing in the open 160-168 bikini category. If I bring a more well-rounded physique to that stage, I will be really happy. I am also about to launch my personal training website (keep an eye out!), and am looking forward to taking on board clients that are passionate and motivated to achieve their health and fitness goals. I also have more photo shoots lined up Ė I love having mini goals and these always work really well to hold me accountable. Ultimately, I wish to keep being honest and relatable to anyone who chooses to listen to anything I have to say around health and fitness, and providing women especially with the confidence to kick butt in the gym and not be afraid to lift weights. Iím really proud to be part of this industry, and really excited for my future plans.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keffitness
Email: keffitness@outlook.com

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