Monday, February 4, 2013
IFPA Pro Kristin Flanery Interview
Photos 1,3 and 4: Heaven Sent Photography
Kristin Flanery started out doing a bikini show. She quickly realized she was better off with figure, that that is where she wanted to be. It proved to be a wise decision as she quickly won her IFPA Pro card. Kristin is currently in the midst of taking some time off to make her improvements for the pro stage, so we can expect her pro debut to be her best look yet.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: My husband was in the Marines. I never worked out a day in my life. He kept trying to encourage me to start weight training with him. I started just doing cardio and abs. I ended up getting pregnant with both of your children who are nine months apart. After the second one, that is when I decided I am gonna start weight training, do whatever it took to get back my body. I joined a gym that had competitors lining the walls and it sparked something in me to decide I could do that. I have been doing it now for almost two years.
Q: What about seeing them made you decide you wanted to do it?
A: It was at first the physical appearance. They looked strong and embodied strength and beauty. My original focus was bikini and after my first show I realized that is not the route I wanted to take, I was more in awe of figure competitors and that is where my focus has been since then.
Q: A lot of girls I interview say that after the first show competing becomes like an addiction, was that the case with you?
A: No, it's not an addiction. For me, it is about teaching my kids a healthy lifestyle. My husband is training for his first powerlifting meet. We are trying to show them that you can have a job and lots going on and a family and still be able to do the things you are passionate about.
Q: You mentioned starting in bikini, when you switched to figure, did you have to make any drastic training and diet changes?
A: Yes! My first bikini show I was not taking in enough food and calories. I hired a nutritionist, Alex Ellis with The Complete Package. She gave me completely new workouts. It became heavier training, squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, a lot of compound movements. I took a year off before my first figure show.
Q: At the Kansas City Classic you won your pro card, going in, did you feel that was a possibility?
A: No, I went in just so excited to get on the figure stage, that is all that mattered to me. I had a couple people encourage me that a pro card was a possibility but I just kept shutting them out because I did not think it was anywhere near a possibility. My coach brought me in incredible and I never looked like that before. She keeps making me better and better. Not I am taking the year off to focus on my next show.
Q: Looking back do you think it was really not thinking it was possible or just not setting your hopes high and getting disappointed?
A: I think it was a combination of both. I feel like a lot of figure competitors are a little more seasoned. I only had a year and a half of training and felt like I may not have been deserving as people who put in five or ten years and didn't have the muscle maturity to do so. But Alex's training and guidance made me able to achieve what I didn't think was possible.
Q: When you realized you were a pro, do you remember what went through your head?
A: I honestly just thanked God immediately because I did not think it was possible. I heard my kids and husband and Alex screaming and it made it all worthwhile.
Q: Does having the word pro next to your name carry any more responsibility as far as how you portray yourself in the industry?
A: To some degree, yes. I think once you have that label, people tend to look up to you a little bit more than they would have been for. It is important to inspire people to work towards their dreams and answer questions to the best of your knowledge or refer them to people who can.
Q: Do you know when you plan to compete next?
A: I have been taking a year off. My pro debut is the IFPA Pro International in Kansas City in September with my long term goal to qualify for the Yorton World Cup in October.
Q: Where do you need to be better for the pro stage?
A: I feel like ti would not hurt to just develop everywhere. I feel like I went into my show with good symmetry, I just need a fuller look and that is why I am taking this year off.
Q: How hard is it to balance prep with being a mother?
A: It is very difficult. My husband is a police officer that often has the opposite schedule. He will get off at 2am and I leave at 4:30 am for the gym and then come home and get the kids ready and meals packed and take them to school.
Q: At the gym, do you get a lot of the stares or attention?
A: I belong to a very supportive gym, St. Louis Fitness Club, and the customers and staff are very supportive. I never get negative looks, just people saying I inspired them or pushing me to work harder to achieve my goals.
Q: Besides the Yorton Cup, do you have any other specific goals?
A: I would eventually like to inspire a larger amount of people. I am not sure in what capacity but I wanna take everything step by step and continue to achieve my goals. My coach and I are taking it a step further each time.
Q: If you could spend a day training with anyone you have never trained with, who would it be?
A: For me it would be Erin Stern. I absolutely love her. She has a fun training style and an amazing physique. She represents herself in a very positive manner.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My husband and children for always encouraging me to reach for my dreams. My coach Alex Ellis, she saw something special in me when I didn't as far as competing. She pushed my to places I didn't know I was capable to go. My sponsor Pro Body Solutions, they keep me powered with the best supplements and have been very supportive and saw something special in me before I had a pro card. My newest sponsor Lidia Conti for sponsoring me with my suit this year. Also, my teammates and workout partner Shannon McMillan.