Tuesday, August 10, 2010
McKenzie Walter Interview
When talking about the future of Figure and the industry as a whole, you must always include the name McKenzie Walter. At the age of twenty, she has aready made a name for herself, and that name will continue to grow and grow. At the end of this interview she says she hopes to turn this hobbie into a career. I think you would be crazy to bet against her. I saw her compete and win at Teen and Collegiate Masters, and she, in a large group of competitors that night, really stood out. If you have not heard the name McKenzie Walter, learn it, because it is a name you are going to hear for a long time in this industry,
Q: First, McKenzie, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Oh no problem! I appreciate the offer :)
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself. Family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I have two amazing parents, John Walter and Michelle Dearth, and an older brother, Josh Walter. I grew up in Nelsonville/Carbon Hill, Ohio. I went to Nelsonville York High School, where I graduated in 2009. I'm currently attending Hocking College but will soon be transferring to Ohio University for Physical Education.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I was also a VERY athletic person growing up. I played sports ever since I was in 1st grade! I did basketball, volleyball, track, softball and cheered.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I grew up living in a gym!! Clear back in grade school, 4th grade, I would go to the local college gym in the morning with my dad before school. He taught me how to properly work each muscle correctly with good form. From there, my love for lifting just blossomed.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I picked up on it very easy. I think it's from the type of personality I have and how I go about things. Whatever I choose to do I want to really study it, get good at it and be the BEST . I always throw myself 100% into what I'm doing.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I was always fascinated with figure competitors. All the hard work, dedication and sacrifice they do in order to compete. I loved lifting and eating healthy already. So I thought why not take the next step.. I'm a very competitive person and so competing was just for me!
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: I consider my family as my team. My father, mother and brother are so supportive and helpful! They knew how much I love this sport and they wanted to be there and help me out in anyway they could. My friends don't fully understand the whole concept of competing, BUT they are supportive and back me 100%.
Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: Nothing really shocked me or threw me off about competing. I knew it was going to take a lot of hard work, sacrifice and discipline before I began my journey. So I was kind prepared of what was to come :) I did find out having a coach makes a world of difference.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I decided to do my very first show back in the summer of 2008. I was very young (17) and did my prep alone. So I came into that show VERY tiny...VERY tiny! I was only 98lbs. I placed 1st in the Teen Division, which I was the only one in my class but that show is what hooked me! I knew I needed a lot more size. I got my weight up to 130 (clean bulking). It took me a good while..I knew the next time I decided to compete that I wanted to hire a figure coach. Which is when I hooked up with the BEST, Mike Davies. I started working with him in February of 2010. He got me ready for Julie Palmer Ultimate Showdown in May. I placed 1st in the Novice Class and 2nd in Open Women Class A. My next show he got me ready for was Teen Nationals, July 24. I was the overall winner in Teen Division and Overall in the Collegiate Division.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I definitely need more size all over. But I think my legs and shoulders have good start with their shape and definition.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: My three favorite muscle groups to work are legs, back and shoulders. Those are the muscle groups I need to add more size too. So I think it drives me that much harder in the gym!!
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I work with Mike Davies, so he decides everything. In which he updates my diets based on my progress and monthly workouts.
Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: Mostly positive. The majority of them say, I wish I had the discipline to not eat junk and workout.. LOL! However I have heard a couple of comments saying "Why would she want to do that to her body?" I just laugh, doesn't bother me one bit! :)
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: People saying your small..Drives me up the wall.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: That we starve ourselves to get up there on stage. People just don't understand how the diet works. How important eating every 2-2.5hrs, proteins, carbs, fats ect.. Now don't get me wrong the diet is tough! LOL Eating the same foods day in and day out is hard! BUT it's far from starving yourself or only living off of lettuce! LOL
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part about competing is how it divides you from everyone else, the satisfaction to transform yourself into what you picture, the discipline and dedication you have to put into it. It's an AMAZING feeling when you put your mind to something and make it happen! I LOVE LOVE LOVE competing and everything that comes with it. The worst part is, during contest prep it's harder to go out with friends because all your food is pre packed in a plastic containers lol..I still go sometimes and take mine along with me :)
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Gina Aliotti for figure and Julie Palmer and Jen Hendershott for fitness.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I love a BIG fatty piece of NY Strip Steak with ketchup, Baked potato with butter and steamed broccoli with butter.....Did I mention butter :)
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: I would say GO FOR IT!! I'd also tell her, don't get frustrated and give up no matter what, be patient for the results.
Q: The devotion the sport takes is something most people can not understand. Especially at such a young age. Do you find yourself often having to explain why you can't go out partying and things as often as other people at your age do?
A: I do, A LOT! I constantly turn down parties..I go and hangout at the parties at times, not drinking or eating the junk they had. My close friends get that I can't and don't want to drink..They respect my decision and ask to do other things. See a lot of them would stay up until 3 in the morning partying and sleep all day. They'd tell me to come out and just not drink. See what they don't get is, my day starts at 5am most days. Getting a good amount of sleep is very important in this sport.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love doing anything out doors! I love dogs, so I'm constantly taking them to the lake, caves, bike path or in the woods. I don't do it as much, It's just hard time wise because you do it at night and it messes with your sleep. But I love coon hunting! We raise coon hounds so I grew up in the woods with my dad and the dogs .I'm pretty much up for anything with my friends and family..swimming, hiking, movies, shopping ect.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of McKenzie Walter.
A: When I'm in college..
4:30am- wake up, get ready and head out the door!
5:15am- cardio (depends how far out I am from a show)
6:00am- meal 1 at work (I work the desk at the college gym)work on homework and study at the gym while I'm at work.
8:00am - meal 2- work on homework and study at the gym while I'm at work.
9:00am - normally my first class is either 9 or 10am and Im there until 4 or 5pm
10:30am- meal 3
1:00pm- meal 4
4:00pm- Usually done with classes-Meal 5, get some studying done or homework before I head into the gym.
5:00-6:30pm: Weights/cardio #2/ Practice Posing
7:00pm- meal 6- finish up any homework or studying
9:30pm- meal 7, shower and pack meals up for the next day
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I'm not a girly girl...far from one! LOL..If people only knew how I grew up. I lived and breathed the outdoors. I'm such a little tom boy! haha..However I wont say I don't like getting fixed up at times, because I do. :)
Q: Describe McKenzie Walter in five words.
A: Driven, Dedicated, Passionate, Focused and Goal Oriented
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: After teen nationals my trainer and I decided it would be best for me to take my offseason. To put on more size for next year. I DO plan to compete next year, I'm not sure which ones yet. We'll see what Mike thinks would be best for me to do. I'm also going to be transferring to a different University this winter. I'm very excited for that! I'll be taking Physical Education.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Mike Davies is a GREAT figure coach! If anyone is wanting to compete or just get into the best shape of their life I'd definitely recommend him...GOOGLE HIM!!! :) LOL
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in McKenzie Walter the athlete and competitor?
A: I AM looking for sponsors! I'm very young in this sport, 19 years old, and I know I can have a HUGE future in this industry. I eat, sleep and train..LITERALLY. I want to make it so far, I can't stand it! I think about this sport 24-7...I lay down at night dreaming of being on that pro stage one day. I think I'd be a great person to sponsor because I'm young and have many years ahead of me. A lot of woman didn't start until they were 23,24,25 ect..I feel I kind of have a leg up being so young. I in NO way want to sound cocky, I'm far from that. This is just my passion and joy in life, you have to think like that if you want to make it far! Sky is the limit :) They can contact me through email; firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: McKenzie, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you so much for interviewing me! I hope to make this hobbie into a career :)