The Sky Is the Limit with the Right Training, Nutrition and Supplementation
By: Kathy Kiefer
At a Glance: Kathy Kiefer
Occupation: Client Manager/Contract Writer for a healthcare software company
Family: Married for 28 years and have 2 fabulous kids, Ryan-27 and Heather-25
Current Residence: Potomac Falls, VA
Years Training: 28 years active; 6 years of competitive training
Weight: (Off-Season)140lb / (Contest)125lb
Favorite Fitness Meal: Oatmeal and chocolate UMP
Recommendation regarding Beverly Supplements: First of all, have peace of mind knowing these supplements are tried and true, standing the test of time. I have used the Beverly supplements for six years experiencing great results, both with training outcomes and the fact that I have a sensitive system and have never had a compatibility issue with anything from Beverly. To maximize muscle, you need to dial in on the optimal stack for you and your training so you have the option to call Beverly and talk to a consultant. They are super helpful and just a phone call away.
Music: For cardio, I listen to podcasts about health and bodybuilding. My current favorite podcast is “Muscle Expert Podcast” by Ben Pakulski. I don’t listen to anything during my strength workouts because I focus on the mind/muscle connection and the task at hand. During post workout recovery time, I will frequently listen to classical, spa, or meditation music to come down from the workout and let the mind and muscle growth begin.
Most Inspiring Book: My favorite right now is “Maximum Muscle Bible” by Christian Thibaudeau and Paul Carter.
Hobbies and interests outside bodybuilding: Gardening, shooting at the range and playing with my dogs.
Words to live by: “Panic slowly”, Dr. Lincoln Gray, distinguished professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at James Madison University.
Regardless of Age or Disability
It has always been about strength and competition for me. My father built us a barn in our back yard and I got my first pony at the age of seven. From that point, it was immediately about how many hay bales I could throw/stack, how many 50lb bags of feed at a time I could push in the wheelbarrow, etc… I started competing in horse shows immediately. Shortly after that, I became a trainer for dozens of ponies and horses, which continued until I was 21.
All or nothing was my mantra. In 1990, I replaced the 24/7 horse lifestyle with marriage and had two fabulous kids in the following years. I joined a gym to fill the strength and movement passion that I had developed during my horse years. I had this dream of being a bodybuilder but wasn’t sure how to go about it. There wasn’t much info out there in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, and no Google, but the dream had taken root.
And then something went wrong, very, very wrong. I received the diagnosis that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I had a couple of exacerbations, one of which in 2001 left my right ankle, quad and hamstring permanently damaged (can’t lift it well or hamstring curl it).
Typical of me, I plowed forward and laser-focused 100% on my kids, as they had stellar athletic careers from a very early age. I coached fastpitch softball during my daughter’s early years and then spent the rest of her pre-college years traveling the country with her while she played in softball tournaments most weekends.
When my daughter, my youngest child, left for college in 2011 I had a large amount of spare time on my hands. I had no more softball practice, games, workouts, training to take her to. I had time. I needed a replacement.
And then something went right, very, very right. I changed my perspective. Instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do, I decided to set out on a new adventure called “what can I do”. 90% of my body was still fully functional and being held prisoner by my 10% of disability. Well, a leg is maybe more than 10% but this is how I conceptualized it.
I was a bumbling tripping mess who could not walk on a treadmill without holding on for dear life. But I persevered and hired a personal trainer at my local Gold’s Gym. My goal was not weight loss, but just gaining function. However, I figured out how to lose weight along the way and dropped 60lb in just six months. I honestly had NO idea I had that much to lose but did not argue with that result!
With the rapid weight loss and progression from lifting weights, I was hooked and living full-on in the bodybuilding lifestyle. And my physical disability was diminishing! People started telling me I should compete. Wait, what?? I had written that dream off years ago. But why not go for it. I got an online trainer for my first competition and that is where I got introduced to Beverly Supplements. I jumped right into Super Pak, as well as Glutamine Select and UMP daily. These supplements made an immediate impact on my performance and development, and I am still taking them today. Other Beverly supplements come and go in my program depending on where I am in my competition prep schedule but are just as impactful for me when it is time to add them in each season.
After my first few competitions in 2013, I fell in love with the challenge of the stage. It was then that I had fortune of finding an incredible competition prep trainer I could work with in person – Jason Fuller with Xtremely Fit. I am not a typical client with my unique training limitations, but Jason works through this. We train all year round and he has seen me through several shows each year including the thrill and excitement of competing at the NPC Masters Nationals in 2016 and 2017. Currently I am full steam ahead- body under construction working for the 2019 Figure competition season. I am so pleased with the significant progress I make each year. Although disability and age are not in my favor for stellar results on stage, I am living my dream. Every day. And Beverly supplements have helped me every step of the way.
Note: I have some food intolerances and sensitivities so this may seem boring, but I just don’t need variety. I have a formula of simple food that provides me with optimal performance and that is all I need. The food stays pretty much the same all year; the amount is adjusted depending on the time of year.
5 days week
Meal 1: ¼ cup oatmeal, 5 egg whites, spinach, grated ginger & cinnamon
Meal 2: ¼ cup oatmeal, 3 oz. cod, ½ c blueberries
Meal 3: 4 oz. wild salmon, ½ cup rice (black or jasmine), 1 c broccoli
Meal 4: 3 oz. cod or haddock, ½ cup blueberries
Meal 5: 5 oz. wild salmon, ½ cup rice, 1 cup Brussels sprouts or green beans
Meal 6: ¼ cup oatmeal, 2 oz. cod, tsp fish oil
2 days week
Meal 1: ½ cup oatmeal, 2 eggs, 1 cup cauliflower
Meal 2: 3 oz. cod or haddock, ½ cup green beans, ½ grapefruit
Meal 3:4 oz. orange roughy, 1 cup green beans, spinach
Meal 4: 5 oz. orange roughy, ½ cup blueberries
Meal 5: 4 oz. wild salmon, 2 cup broccoli
Meal 6: 3 oz. cod, 1 cup broccoli & spinach, tsp fish oil
UMP is substituted for a protein in any of the above meals, added before or after a workout, or as a treat before bed.
Kathy NPC Masters Nationals
- Density – I take Density starting 8-10 weeks out from a competition. I take 3 with breakfast, 3 with lunch, 3 pre-workout and 3 before bed and continue for a few weeks post competition to get rebalanced and transition back into a more plentiful diet.
- Glutamine Select – I take a scoop after morning cardio, after lunch, and again after workouts. It is a great midday pick-me-up and gives me assurance I am getting the BCAA spike and some glutamine throughout the day.
- Mass Aminos – I take 3 with breakfast, 3 with lunch, 4 pre-workout and 3 before bed during off season, and replace with Density 8-10 weeks before a competition
- Quadracarn – I take 3x daily during contest prep season to assist with leaning out, on the same schedule as Density starting 8-10 weeks out and then a few weeks post competition.
- Super Pak – I take daily with breakfast. I train super hard and have a narrow diet with various food sensitivities and intolerances and I know Super Pak has me covered. I think of it like back when I was pregnant. If I missed taking my prenatal vitamin in the morning I was exhausted and doomed for the day. Super Pak is like my prenatal vitamins! A must have!
- UMP – I take as a meal replacement, around workouts and sometimes as a treat before bed. This is a fast acting and sustained release protein but it goes way beyond just the need for protein. UMP is an incredible fit for my training and lifestyle. It is the best tasting, best textured, easiest to blend, easy on my stomach, no bloating protein supplement I have ever found. I add just enough water to stir into a pudding and that is it. It is so easy to travel with. Just put a scoop of UMP in a Ziploc bag, along with a bottle of water, a disposable coffee cup and a plastic spoon and take to meetings, car rides, ball fields, airplanes, everywhere! It has truly been my simple go-to for years. My favorite flavors are chocolate and graham cracker. Sometimes I blend them together, sprinkle with espresso granules or sprinkle with cinnamon. I keep it simple.
Note: We believe with my age and disability, I do best to keep moving and move often. I have a sedentary desk job so high frequency of workouts and movement are key.
Morning: Fasted cardio every day, most often using the stepmill. Yes – every day, all year. Duration is usually somewhere between 25 and 50 minutes, just depends on the time of season and competition prep. I use this time to absorb into a podcast to make dual use of this wonderful time each morning. It provides a great mental flow of energy, as well as the desired training effect. After cardio, I do some body weight functional training and mobility work like bosu squats, walking lunges, and band work for back and shoulder mobility. I also add some ab work a few mornings a week.
Pre workout: Row for 10 minutes.
Post workout: Depends on time of year. Sometimes we add additional cardio during prep season.
Lift 6X per week, group conditioning 1X week, Bikram Yoga 1X week, and graston/ART (soft tissue mobilization and active release technique) 1 or 2X week.
Most lifting sessions are 5 sets of 12-15 reps each, although we periodize reps and have heavier sessions with 8-10 reps and lighter sessions with 20 reps. However, most leg work is in the high rep range.
Monday & Thursday – I train with Jason and most of these days are a mix of back/biceps on one day, chest/triceps on another, and shoulders added in. Most often, I have a training partner so we super set or giant set many of our movements. Drop sets are also used. This training split is very effective as we hit body parts several times during the week with a variety of exercises and angles. On Tuesdays, we do group conditioning following the workout.
Wednesday – Leg workout with Jason, again a mix of quad/ham/glute each week. Typical movements are squats, lunges, leg extension and seated ham curls.
Thursday – Bikram Yoga
Friday – Shoulder workout, usually consisting of barbell or rack presses, as well as high rep supersets and drop sets with cables or dumbells doing front raise, lateral raise and rear delts.
Saturday – Back workout usually doing rack pulls, and a variety of pull ups, pull downs and row variations. And sometimes I add another yoga session.
Sunday – High volume leg workout with squats, leg press, hack squats and reverse hack squats.
Understand the criteria for the organization you are competing in. Deliver what the judges expect to see. But most of all, be yourself. Practice, practice, practice several times a week for weeks leading up to your show. For several weeks out, I wear my heels around the house, I cook in them, do chores in them. With my disability, walking in heels is very difficult so I just make heels part of my daily routine. Don’t be shy about shooting video of your posing practice. Watch yourself over and over. I have also found it helpful to set an interval timer onmy phone to practice quarter turns. Smile, be confident and deliver your package that you have worked so hard to prepare. Be on point with your suit selection, tanning, makeup, nails, jewelry and hair. This is as much a beauty contest as it is a physique contest. Don’t cut any corners. And just shine.
I have competed in many Figure shows, a few each year for the last six years. I have learned that every competition preparation is different, so keep an open and flexible mind and be ready for the curveballs that are always coming. Keep educating yourself on the process and keep learning. And remember it is you vs. you, keep working hard, be consistent. The stage has taught me so much about self-confidence and self presentation which has translated into my everyday life and to my job. It has forever made a positive change in my life. But most important for me, is my time in the gym each day. That is where the real win is. Each day is like Christmas morning, you never know what package of delight will come with that day’s workout. I am stronger and more fit and better than ever, better every day. With the right training, nutrition and supplementation the sky is the limit regardless of age or disability.