Look at the photos below this interview. You will notice some things. You will first notice she is incredibly beautiful. You will also notice she looked amazing for her first figure show. Her name is Sarah Kinney. It just recently met her, and in just a short time I have become so impressed. Not with Sarah kinney the Figure competitor, I mean with Sarah Kinney the woman. I think very highly of her. So highly in fact that I am now going to have her write a weekly... column for lack of a better term for this blog. It will be all her content. I give her no ideas no restrictions, no nothing. It is what she wants to write about. I know this will be a very well liked part of the blog and very well received. But before you read her work, I think you should know more about her. So here is my interview with this amazing woman.
Q: Sarah, first, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: It's my pleasure!
Q: Can you start out by sharing a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: Sure! I'm 26 and was born, raised, and still reside in Redlands, California- about 60 miles South East Of Los Angeles. I went to the University of California, Riverside, and graduated with my BS in Mechanical Engineering. I work full time designing food packaging machinery... you know those little ketchup packets you get at fast food joints! I', responsible for the ketchup getting in there properly!
I also have my personal training certification so when I have extra time I train a couple people here and there after work.
Q: Before you got into the gym, were you an especially athletic or active person. Play any sports?
A: Oh, definitely. I have been athletic all my life, interested in every sport imaginable. I've played soccer, water polo, swam, golf, surf, and snowboard. My main focus through high school was water polo and golf. I had a couple golf opportunities in college, but turned them down to focus on my school work.
Q; So what initially got you into the gym?
A: Like I said, I was always very athletic prior to going off to college. once I started living in the dorms, eating all the junk that comes along with dorm life, and not being active at all, I definitely started seeing that dreaded "freshman fifteen" starting to pack on. I had never stepped foot in a gym before because I always played outdoor sports and never felt the need to. So my first gym experience was our little dorm gym... I had NO idea what I was doing, but was determined to figure things out, so I read up as much as I could about weight lifting and nutrition and just fell in love with it! The dorm gym didn't last long. I stepped it up a notch and joined a "real" gym so I could lift with the big boys.
Q: Was training something you picked up pretty easy. How long before you saw results?
A: I think at that point I was more interested in studying up on training routines than studying for my degree! So, yes, it was pretty easy for me to pick up on what I needed to do to see results. I started to add muscle fairly quickly, but it took me a long time to realize nutrition is the most important aspect when it comes to seeing results.
Q: Is it ever hard to be an attractive woman trying to work out. Any problems with guys trying to talk to you and interrupt your work outs?
A: Every once in a while I'll have issues. I've been working out at the same gym for quite a while so now I'm just "one of the guys" there. The only time I have issues is when I go to different gyms, then it's usually guys thinking they need to "help that poor girl lift the heavy weights off the rack".... well, I make sure to show them I don't need their help!
Q; How long were you training before you decided to compete, and what made you decide to compete?
A: It had been a dream of mine to compete for YEARS. I'd say I got the bug to compete back in 2004, but it was always something I saw as just a dream for a later date. I didn't have the faith in myself that I could stick to the diet, and not to mention the fact that I have suffered from panic attacks as well as major stage fright! Finally, this year, I decided to face my fears, and just go for it! It was literally a dream come true. I had the time of my life, and even though I was competing in one of the toughest and largest shows of the year, where I knew I wouldn't necessarily be competition for the ladies, I was able to live out my dream! I can't wait to do it again!
Q; Was competing something your family and friends supported initially, and how about now?
A: I have been talking about doing this for years, so I think it got to the point where some just didn't think it was ever going to happen. When I finally started prepping, I don't think my family really understood what it was all about. They didn't understand the diet, why I had to weight and measure everything, why I couldn't go out to dinner and eat whatever I wanted, and why I'd choose going to the gym over hanging out some nights... but even though they didn't necessarily understand, they all took it as a learning experience jut like I did. They asked questions to learn more about it and were definitely supportive of my goals. A lot of them actually went to the show, and my mom even helped me with the tan- although I'm not sure she wants to go through that again! HAHA!
Q: Was the first show what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
A: I wasn't sure what to expect. I loved the whole process prior to that. I even loved the lows of dieting and the hours of cardio. But as far as the actual show, I had no idea what to expect. I wasn't sure how the girls would be backstage, if I would be so nervous on stage that I would make a fool of myself, if I would have the time of my life, or just want the day to be over with. I could only hope that I'd love it so I would want to do all this craziness again. And I DID! All the people I met were great, and the whole process was an amazing learning experience.
Q: Is that your only show so far or have you done any since?
A: I've only done the one show, three weeks ago. The 2009 Excalibur in Culver City, California. Now that I have that first one under my belt, I do plan on continuing to compete in 2010, and bring a better package to the stage!
Q: Do you have a favorite part to train, or favorite exercise?
A: I love training shoulders, I'm not sure why, I just do! My favorite exercise would have to be seated dumbell shoulder presses. I love to challenge myself with what weights I can press!
Q; What is the one lack of gym etiquette that most bothers you?
A: Sometimes it's insane what people do in the gym! I've had a lot of bad etiquette experiences, but I'd have to say my biggest pet peeve would be people sitting on the machines talking- or even just sitting there talking on their cell phone.
Can you share your typical training routine and diet, and how it is altered for contest prep.
A: This if my first real off season, so I'm still learning a lot. But, since I'm just coming off a show, from being so dieted down, I'm doing a full body routine 3 times per week along with three 20 minute cardio sessions per week. I lift heavy and challenge myself with each set. I'm also slowly starting to add in more calories on the diet so I can build quality muscle for the next show. I just started this routine, last week, and I love lifting heavy again! My trainer ( Mandy Polk) will probably have me switch up the split in a few weeks.
As for on season training and diet, I did a carb cycle program, which Mandy specified weeks by week depending on my progress, and I did a lot of circuit training, supersets, plyometrics all with lighter weights and of course cardio daily.
My next attempt will be completely different. I only started working with my coach 8 weeks prior to the show date, which didn't leave sufficient time to diet and train properly. So I'm working really hard this off season to stay as lean as possible, yet add as much muscle to my frame. So when I start prepping for the next show, I can do much less cardio and focus more on dieting properly. It's been such a great learning experience!
Q: When someone hears you train and compete for the first time, what is the common reaction? More negative or positive?
A: I'd have to say I get a lot of confused looks initially. It's usually more of a negative reaction at first, until I explain what it is the competition is about. Most people think it's really neat and interesting and they ask a lot of questions and want to learn more about it. But some people don't understand it and don't want to understand it so they react negatively. It doesn't bother me, I do this for me, not them.
Q; When they hear it that first time, what is the one question you are sick of hearing?
A: "How can I get a flat stomach?" Oh man, I'm so sick of trying to explain that just doing crunches won't get you anywhere!
Q: Are there any misconceptions about women who train and compete?
A: I'd say so. What I noticed most of all was that when people don't understand something, or they don't care to learn more about it, they make negative assumptions. I got a lot of comments, especially towards the end when the real noticeable changes were occurring that what I was doing was unhealthy because they assumed I was starving myself, yet I'm certain I was eating more than they were!
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or people you admire?
A: Oh tons! I'd have to say above all I really admire my coach, Mandy Polk. She's a great person inside and out. I also love Monica Brant and Jamie Eason, I Quickly met them both at the Olympia Expo and hey were SO friendly!
Q: If someone came up to you and said they wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would want to give them?
A: If it was a female, I'd tell them to not be afraid to LIFT HEAVY. I've definitely always believed in going hard and heavy, but only really learned the importance of this through training for my competition. I switched over to a lighter training routine with higher reps and I didn't see nearly the same results as I see when I lift heavy. There are so many misconceptions about women getting "bulky" from lifting heavy weights. That's not going to happen!
Q: What is your favorite and lest favorite part of competing?
A: Favorite: Watching the transformation my body goes through. I can't wait for next season to see an even better transformation.
Least favorite: The tanner. HAHA! My mom helped me out and we did not have much fun applying that stuff.
Q: You are a very beautiful woman. Is fitness modeling something you would like to get involved in?
A: Well, thanks for the compliment! I would absolutely love, love, love to get into fitness modeling. I'm hoping one day I can get some photo shoots under my belt. I think that would be amazing!
Q; Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I really enjoy spending time at the beach. I'd really love to get back into surfing next summer. I haven't been in a couple summers.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Sarah Kinney.
A: I wake up around 6AM and at work by 7AM. I do 3D design on the computer so I pretty much spend my day in front of the computer screen. I usually try to get out of work by 4:30PM and go straight to the gym for my training/cardio. I usually finish up there by 6-6:30PM and head home to cook dinner and prep food for the following day. I'll usually relax a little by watching some TV before heading off to bed.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Oh goodness, I love all food, so that's difficult! But my favorite would have to be pasta! Chicken fettuccine with some bread sticks.
Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show, and musician.
A: Actor: Ryan Reynolds, not necessarily because he's a great actor, more because he's so good looking.
Movie: Dirty Dancing
TV show: Two and a Half Men
Musician: All-time favorite would have to be Garth Brooks
Q: Describe Sarah Kinney in five words.
A: Dedicated, Competitive, Honest, Compassionate, and Loving.
Q: Any set plans for 2010 as far as competing or anything else?
A: Nothing is set in stone yet, but I am definitely going to compete, and I'm aiming for an August/September show date. But I'll discuss it again with my coach in a few months and nail plans down then.
Q: Anything you want to take the time to plug or promote?
A: Not at the moment...hopefully one day I'll have something for you, I'll keep you updated.
Q; Sponsors are great for a competitor. Are you looking for any, if so, how can they reach you, and what are they getting in Sarah Kinney the athlete and competitor?
A: I would love to get sponsored. I'm open for any sponsors that want to knock on my door! They could reach me through email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or even on Facebook. The sponsors would be getting a fresh face, someone who will definitely improve in the future, and only go up in the ranks, as well as a dedicated and motivated athlete, who's is always doing her best to succeed in and out of the gym!
Q: Sarah, I thank you so much for doing this. Anything you want to add before you go?
A: I just want to say thank you! I really appreciate the opportunity to do this interview, and I think the blog you have going on is excellent! Keep it up!