Sunday, January 31, 2010
Leslie Faulkner Kerns Interview
There are people in the Fitness industry you know can be a success, there are people you want to be a success, and there are people who will be a success. Leslie Faulkner Kerns is all three of them. She is the kind of person who makes you proud to be in or a fan of the industry. Her journey to the stage is of particular inspiration to me because she started for the same reason I did, and is where I hope to be in a few years. From working out and dieting just to get in better shape, to being on stage competing and looking amazing. That is my goal. You can feel the love she has for fitness just by reading her written, or typed words. She is the kind of woman I want if I sponsor competitors. Beautiful, great physique, love for the sport, and very outgoing. For those of you who are unaware of Leslie Faulkner Kerns, please read, become aware, and walk away a fan.
Q: First, Leslie, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: My pleasure.
Q: Can you start out by just telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: My name is Leslie Kerns. I'm 38 years old. I'm from Calhoun, Georgia. I've been teaching second grade for 12 years. I've been married to Douglas Kerns for 6 years. We don't have any children, but we have three cats who are treated and spoiled like kids.
Q: Before you started training, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: Yes, I've been playing sports since I was a little girl. I grew up in a household where my father was a high school football, basketball, and track coach. I also had two older brothers who played every sport known to man. So, you could say that I came by sports honestly. It's in the blood!
Q: What initially led you to the gym?
A: I had gotten to a point, or let's way a weight in my life , that I was not happy with. I was 30 years old and had just finished grad school and my diet was horrible. With my schedule I was eating anything that was convenient. Needless to say I wasn't getting any exercise either. I knew it was time to do something about it.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: I would say yes. I believe my athletic background helped me develop good form when I began lifting weights. My results came almost immediately. I began losing weight in August 2005. My height is 5'7" and I weighed 172 pounds. This was the heaviest that I had ever been in my life. I began using the South Beach Diet. It worked well. By February I had lost down to 148. I then attended a PHAT camp hosted by Jen Hendershott. She put me on a new and cleaner diet, along with a harder workout. By June I stepped on stage at my first figure show weighing 125 pounds.
Q: How long were you training when you decided to compete and what made you decide to compete?
A: I have to give credit to my husband on this. It was his idea for me to do a figure show. I had began losing the weight in August and was happy with the results. But my husband and I are goal oriented people and we needed something else to strive for besides just loosing the pounds. So, I upped my training a little bit more and entered my first figure show in June of 2006. I had only been training 10 months before I entered my first show.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time, and how about now?
A: At first my family and friends were like me, clueless. They had never heard of figure shows. The knew what bodybuilding was of course, but not figure. But, they were always supportive. They never said anything negative about my training. They only thing they couldn't understand was how someone could eat that clean and stick with it.
But, I couldn't have done any of this without my husband. He is my number one supporter, biggest fan, and also my trainer at the gym. He pushes me a lot harder than I push myself. He has gotten me to where I am today.
Q: Was the first contest what you expected, or did anything surprise you?
A: I honestly didn't know what to expect. I had been to one figure show to watch a friend I had met at PHAT camp (Jen Hendershott's fitness camp), but nothing can compare you for standing on stage for the first time in front of strangers with a bathing suit on. It was small show. It was the first time this town had put this show on so not many competitors showed up. I thought I looked good at this show. I left the pre-judging show thinking I might have this in the bag. Even all my friends and family thought so too. But, I ended up getting 2nd in the masters and 4th in the tall class. Needless to say I was a little disappointed. Looking back now at pictures, I can see why I didn't win. LOL! But it was a great experience.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
June 2006 - Battle at the River, Chattanooga TN, 2nd in Masters 35+, 4th in Tall Class.
June 2006 - Southeaster NPC Golds Gym Classic, Gadsden AL, masters 3rd place
November 2006 - Elite Classic, Greensboro, NC, 3rd D class, 2nd Masters 35+
June 2007 - Battle at the River, 4th masters, 4th tall class
June 2007 - Southeastern NPC Golds Classic - 4th tall class
November 2008. Elite Classic, NC, 1st class D, 3rd Masters 35+
March 2009, NPC Atlantic, 1st class D, 2nd Masters 35+
June 2009, Battle at the River, 4th Dclass, 3rd masters 35+
November 2009, Kentucky Muscle, 1st place in Dclass, 1st place in Masters 35+, 3rd place overall in the show.
Q: What do you feel is your best body part, or the one that gets the most compliments?
A: My best body part by far is my back. It always gets hoops and hollers when I show it.
Q: Do you have a favorite part to train or favorite exercise?
A: My favorite body part to work is shoulders. I love seeing the striations in them when they are pumped and being worked.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I get up every morning at 4:00 A.M. and do one hour of cardio before going to work. Then I head to the gym around 4:30 in the afternoon to workout a body part and then another hour of cardio after weights. My body is carb sensitive so it doesn't like many carbs. I normally do a carb rotation diet. This seems to work best for my body. In the off season I still eat healthy but I just add in a more healthy carbs than I have during contest prep.
Q: When someone sees or hears you train and compete for the first time, is the reaction more positive or negative?
A: More positive. They always wish they had the discipline and dedication to do it themselves. I tell them that if is was easy, everyone would look like this.
Q: When they see or hear it that first time, what is the one question you are sick of hearing?
A: Can you give me your diet or can you make me look like you? I tell them that they won't follow my strict diet. They don't understand that these contest diets are not for the common person trying to lose a few pounds.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete?
A: I get so sick and tired of women saying that they don't want to workout with weights because they don't want to get BIG and bulk up! They don't realize how hard it is for a woman to build muscle.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Jen Hendershott has been a big inspiration for me. She gave me my first diet that put me on the road to cleaner eating and competition training.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Mexican food and Margaritas!!!
Q: If a woman came up to you and said she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give them?
A: I would ask them what their goal is? What do they want to accomplish? I would tell them that they need to start off with a small goal and work at accomplishing that, then we would go from there.
Q: Would you ever consider moving to bodybuilding?
A: No, I'm much more suited for figure.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Watching movies and Food Network, cooking, spending time with my husband. My husband laughs at me because I watch the Food Network while I'm training for a show. I tell him that is the closest I'm going to get to that food, so let me enjoy it. lol
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Leslie Faulkner Kerns.
Q: Favorite actor, movie, TV show, and musician?
A: I love American Idol, I'm embarrassed to say, but I'm a reality TV junkie!!!! LOL
Q: Describe Leslie Faulkner Kerns in five words.
A: Dedicated, Disciplined, Goal-Achiever, Hard Worker, FUN!!!
Q: Any set plans for 2010 as far as competing or anything else?
A: Yes, I'm moving up the National level Figure shows in the NPC this year. I want to try and get my pro card. My plans at the moment are to compete at the Master's Nationals in Pittsburgh, PA in July.
Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: My fan page on Facebook. Please come join. It is under Leslie Faulkner Kerns.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors. If so, how can they contact you and what are they getting in Leslie Faulkner Kerns the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or they can contact me on Facebook at Leslie Faulkner Kerns or on Myspace at Fitqueen1@myspace.com
They are getting person who dedicated and disciplined and will do whatever it takes to reach her goals. I'm a very hard worker. I will promote their product to the best ability that I can and hopefully by helping them they will be helping me as well in my fitness career.
Q: Leslie, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you for doing this interview. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It was nice going back and reminiscing about my first shows.