Kerby McKenzie - Physique Competitor

I made a lifestyle change back in 2011 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I had health issues that were related to my diet and activity level that were directly affecting the ease of my pregnancy. Once I saw positive changes during my pregnancy, I continued to make positive strides in my lifestyle after I had her in May of 2012. That winter, I ďNew Yearís ResolutionedĒ to do a show by her first birthday. I competed as a bikini competitor in my first show and fell in love with being on stage. I continued to make improvements in my diet and training and have ďfound my placeĒ in womenís physique.

I have been involved with competitive cheering, gymnastics, and dance my whole life. So as an adult, it was a good outlet for me to perform and put myself out there. I have always loved being on stage and performing for people. Cheer and dance had always been a passion of mine, so I always like to incorporate it a little into my routines. It makes me feel more comfortable on stage. Most importantly though, knowing my fiance and my sisters are in the audience always gives me that extra little boost of confidence. They are my biggest supporters and I can always count on having the loudest cheering section!

A video posted by Kerby McKenzie ?? (@kerbymckenzie) on

My diet doesnít change much, itís just the amount of food I consume. I have found the quality of muscle I have been able to build has been dense and full since I have been able to keep my off-season diet very clean. I do allow myself to have cheat meals, but working with my coach prepping for a show AND off-season has improved my attitude towards diet and has definitely kept me on track. I donít really change how I eat regardless if I am cutting or building, but my body responds best to a lower carb, high protein diet. I usually increase my carbs and fats slightly when I am looking to gain, but not much changes.

I have found that changing things leading right up to a show can be a mistake. If what you were doing during prep was working and you were on track, there is no need to manipulate water/salt/etc. Being spot on with diet is the biggest key that I think many competitors, especially beginners, donít understand. Every little extra bite adds up, and it shows on stage! For me, what has hurt me in the past and hindered me from reaching my peak is not getting enough rest leading up to the show.

I use weight training (and even cardio) as a stress reliever. I rely on it heavily to clear my mind and keep me focused. I battle with severe anxiety and training has helped me be able to handle it so much better. I make sure I block out times in my day so that I know I can train. My schedule stays packed on a daily basis, so time management is key. I have a family and a full time job which are very important to me. I try to schedule my training so it doesnít interfere with any time I could be spending with my family or working on my career. I have the flexibility to block out times in my work day to make it to the gym, which is nice. Training every day is certainly a top priority.

My training sessions are usually super early in the morning (sometimes so early it could be considered in the middle of the night) or very late at night. Itís what has worked for me and I am glad I am able to make it work. I weight train everyday, usually 1 day off a week. I adjust my cardio to my goals for that time of year. As for keeping my diet on track, I try to meal prep twice a week and have all my meals readily available. I never leave the house without my cooler so I am never in a position where I am without my food. My fiance and my daughter like to participate with me in the kitchen. I really appreciate that because itís something we can do as a family.

A photo posted by Kerby McKenzie ?? (@kerbymckenzie) on

The most recent show I did was the Southern Indiana Muscle in March of this year. It was held in my hometown and this year was at a new venue. It is a really fun show and has become larger every year. Itís a really great event and I was so happy to be a part of it this year. I did my full prep leading up to the show with my fiance. I canít tell you enough how awesome it was to have someone right by my side the entire time. He helped me in every way I could, made sure I was up for cardio sessions, made sure I had my food with me, and always checked up on me during the day to make sure my head was on straight. I will never take advantage of having a support system like that, he is truly amazing. I began working with my coach, James Brown, about 6 weeks out from the show and he helped me completely transform my physique. Since the prep leading up to the show was a really positive experience, I think it made the show that much better for me. I felt confident on stage knowing I had done my best. It made me really happy and thankful knowing I had my fiance, teammates, and coach there. It was a really great show to be in.

Future goals: As for competing, I am definitely taking some time off to really figure out my body and try to put some muscle on my little frame. I am only 4í11Ē so any little bit I can gain will help when I am finally on stage again! I hope to compete for my pro card in the future and I want to be 100% certain when I step on that stage, there will be no question that I deserve it.

I am focused on living a balanced and healthy life. Itís important for me to set an example for my daughter that you can be healthy and very fit without being miserable all the time. I am getting married in July so I am looking forward to starting on new adventures with my soon to be husband! He also competes with the NPC so our goals are very much on the same track which makes things like dieting and training much more fun and enjoyable.

I would like to get more involved with community wellness and some modeling, but just for fun! Improving myself as a whole, learning new things, and taking advantage of good opportunities is always the goal.

Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat - @kerbymckenzie
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