Kelsey Douglas - Bikini Competitor

I have always been an active person all throughout my life. I played sports and was a competitive dancer and cheerleader all throughout my school years. All sports and extracurricular activities ended for me just after my freshman year of college. My family and I moved to another town shortly after graduating high school, and there my mom wanted to sign up at one of the local gyms. I had never worked out in a gym, aside from regular school workouts, but thought I’d take up a new hobby of going to the gym.

At first I was like most “newbies”. I would go to the gym, hop on a treadmill, do a whole bunch of cardio, and then maybe hit up the machines for some weight training. I had no personal experience nor real knowledge of proper weight training. I started to do my own research, gain some knowledge, look up workout programs, and become more educated about nutrition. Overtime, I had made a lot of friends in the gym who were experienced lifters, bodybuilders, trainers, and/or just knowledgeable people of fitness. Over the next couple of months to years, I had my own knowledge and my own experiences and had become hooked to lifting.

I had always followed various fitness models, bodybuilders, and competitors on different social media platforms. I had always fantasized about competing but had never really pursued it in a serious manner, for I thought someone like me would never be “competitive” enough to compete. After years of lifting and fantasies of competing, I was finally persuaded to compete! So I reached out to friends that had successfully competed before, and was recommended a competition prep coach! And the rest was history.

My off season diet, or what I prefer to call, improvement season diet, is very balanced. I follow a combination of macro counting, intuitive eating, and planned meals. It’s what works best for me and my busy work schedule. Obviously, during my improvement season, I am looking to “improve” my overall physique, so therefore my main goal is to pack on lean muscle. In order for anyone to gain lean muscle mass, naturally, you must eat in a caloric surplus. This means I am eating above my maintenance macros.

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When I am in contest prep, I typically follow a planned meal approach. This helps me stay on track with my nutrition. Between my full-time job as a pharmacist and many dedicated hours at the gym, I have little time at home to cook anything, so therefore meal prepping all my meals for the week, helps insure I consume every meal. My contest prep diet is opposite of improvement season, for I am looking to shred fat and reveal my hard earned package. Overall several months, I cut my calories, putting me in a caloric deficit, slowly tapering my carbs and fats down. This, along with proper training, allows a steady but healthy road to get stage lean.

To be honest, I have not had a failed diet experience. I believe the biggest key is finding what works best for YOU and YOUR lifestyle! Fortunately my diet plans have worked for me!

My training program is mostly a bodybuilder split. So for example, back and bis, chest and tris, etc. I also throw in Olympic or powerlifting training, because those compound lifts are my favorite exercises to do! Cardio is very minimal during improvement season, but honestly I do not hate cardio, like most. A lot of times I will do some steady state cardio or maybe even some HIIT at the end of my workouts, just because I enjoy it! It’s a great finisher to my workouts. During contest prep, cardio gets slowly added in month by month, incorporating a combination of both LIIS and HIIT. It is an automatic staple included in my workouts during contest prep.

My diet follows my training. I eat most of my carbs around my training times, and eat certain foods at certain times of the day in order to properly fuel my body. Again, this is where meal prepping becomes my best friend!

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I believe my natural ability to compete with confidence on stage comes from my background of being a performer. As mentioned in my background, I was a competitive cheerleader and dancer, so growing up I was used to being in the spotlight and performing in front of hundreds of people and judges. But nothing will give you more confidence than practice, practice, PRACTICE! I cannot stress that enough!

I believe one of the best and coolest experiences I will ever have from competing, is sweeping my first NPC bikini competition show! It is an indescribable feeling, to compete in your first show, against other veteran competitors, win every division/class, and take home the overall win. Your very first show! That’s unheard of! And to think that you can never do that again, because you only get one shot at sweeping a first show, that’s just pretty darn cool! I will never forget that feeling! Truly grateful.

After taking a year off from competing, due to other priorities at the time, I’m currently prepping to compete again. I am looking to compete in some local NPC shows within my state (Alabama) and hopefully take the leap to compete nationally. Ultimately, that is the goal, is to compete on a national stage, and go after my pro card! Mainly just to prove to myself that I can do it!

After bikini competition season, I am really interested in doing a powerlifting meet. I plan to find a powerlifting coach and take a powerlifting approach in to my improvement season. I have never done nor trained for a powerlifting meet before so I am really excited to start something new, challenging, and different!

Instagram: @k_duggfit
YouTube: Kelsey Douglas

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