New IFPA Pro David Kenny Checks In With Zelsh


Height: 5’10”

Weight (on/off season): 175/195-200

Social Media Handles: Instagram – @daddyfatceps

What is your off-season weight, and what is your stage weight?

I have really only had one true offseason and I got pretty sloppy to say the least! I was around 206-208 last offseason but I think we are going to try and stay closer to 198-200 this time around.

How did your last season go?

Better than I could have ever imagined! I lined up 3 shows to give myself multiple chances at turning pro. The first show was the OCB No Gear Classic in North Carolina and somehow I got lucky and won the overall. My second planned show was an NANBF event in Georgia, but obviously I had to skip that one. The last show I planned on doing was the Muscle Mayhem out in Sacramento, California.  I didn’t feel ready, but thanks to my coach, Alberto Nunez, I decided to go ahead and compete at the IFPA Pro USA (the professional portion of the mayhem). There were some serious monsters at this event! I had the extreme honor of standing on stage next to some of the best in the sport, like Marshall Johnson and Moji Oluwa! It was something I never thought possible in January, which was when I started prepping. And a funny side note, Marshall was the guest poser at the show I turned pro at and I had no idea that in 4 weeks I would be on the same stage as him! Marshall’s physique is world class; he and his wife, Susie, are some of the nicest people in the sport!

Who motivates you in the bodybuilding world?

There are so many great athletes and personalities in this sport. I could literally fill a scroll with people who motivate me! To keep things short, I would have to say the top three that motivate me would be Alberto Nunez, Ryan Doris, and Marshall Johnson. These guys not only have some of the best physiques in the world, but they are also some of the most genuine people I know. I am motivated not only by their physiques, but also their character.

How does your routine change between offseason and pre-contest?

The volume definitely gets cut down towards the end of prep. We start incorporating an off day every other day at about 7-8 weeks out. But because this will be my first official offseason with 3DMJ, I am not entirely sure how it will change from prep. I am assuming my offseason will involve a lot more volume.

Mind giving us a sample of your current routine and diet?

My training all prep was based on the RPE scale, so my daily volume would fluctuate. But in general, I had an upper body day, and two versions of a lower body day. One of the lower body days was more power lifting focused, and the other more hypertrophy. For example, on the powerlifting day, I would squat sets of 3-5, then rack pulls for sets of 4-6, then bulgarian split squats for sets of 15, and finishing with some calves. We dropped volume pretty low towards the end. My lowest macros were 50f 250c and 265p, and we started to fill out a lot around two weeks out. We were up to 50f 365c 265p with a refeed of 50f 565c 225p towards the end.

What supplements are you currently using?

I love Scivation’s Xtend, especially while dieting. It helps me keep my workout intensity up even deep into prep. I also start to depend a lot on a pre workout when my calories get low, and Novem is one of my favorites! I try not to drink my calories so whey protein becomes less important the longer I diet. I tend to drink shakes more often in the offseason.

Has bodybuilding changed for you since becoming an IFPA pro? Do you feel additional pressure now?

Honestly, it has only become more fun! The community is pretty small and everyone is really welcoming! I haven’t felt much pressure since I am relatively new to the sport. I don’t think many people expected much out of me at my first pro show. But that might be a different story in 2015!

If you could give three pieces of advice to young bodybuilders with the dream of turning pro, what would they be?

My best advice would be to take your offseason seriously. Most people can sacrifice during prep, but a lot of people get a little too lax during a long offseason. If you want to make improvements, its going to be done in the offseason and it can be tough at times to avoid that “I still have another year until I compete, I don’t need to hit my macros” kind of attitude. Stay focused and be patient, your time will come. Something I think Ryan Doris had said always stuck with me, “You’re going to be really good at something for a long time before anyone gives a shit.”

I would also say enjoy the moment. Too many bodybuilders seem to focus only on that post show meal instead of enjoying their progress each and every day. When you can enjoy the grind, success is only a matter of time. Lastly, I would advise young bodybuilders to not judge their progress based on show placings. You cannot control the judges and/or who shows up. Your goal should be to beat the last package you brought to the stage. Bodybuilding is about progression, focus on becoming better every show.

What do you think separates a pro from an amateur physically and mentally?

I think mentally most pros see bodybuilding as a lifestyle. They seem to be able to balance their life along with their training and diet a little bit better than amateurs. I think it just comes with time, but it is crucial if you want to remain in the sport for a long time.

Why did you enter your first bodybuilding competition and what were your thoughts leading up to it?

I have a very good friend, Matt Jansen, who I saw compete in his first show. The way he changed his physique over few months was extremely inspiring to me, and I had always loved working out. It also gave me a purpose in the gym, and an avenue to compete.

What attributes have made you successful in bodybuilding?

I am proud of my self control. I think that hitting my macros perfectly everyday for six months has been a huge part of my success.

What are your future goals in bodybuilding?

I am going to take a year off. After seeing how much I lack compared to the top pros, I know I need some time to really improve my physique. I plan on doing a number of shows mid to late 2015, and hopefully finishing that season with the Yorton Cup!

What is your preferred method of cardio while dieting for a show and why?

I only did LISS cardio, and I really didn’t mind doing it on a treadmill. I would put the incline on max, and then walk while watching TV. Cardio was really not a problem this prep other than it was a little time consuming with a busy schedule.

What/Who was your inspiration to start bodybuilding?

I owe everything to my good buddy Matt Jansen (Editors Highlight – Check out our interview with Matt Jansen and Team INOV8 in the near future). He was the reason I ever even considered doing a show, and when I decided to compete he helped me tremendously. He is a great person who has always been passionate about this sport and helping others. From the beginning of 2011 to now, he has been a huge inspiration and one of the few people I often leaned on for serious support.

What else is going on in your life aside from bodybuilding?

I just graduated college with my Masters in Accounting, and I am currently taking the CPA exam. I start work in October as an Auditor for an accounting firm in Atlanta. Other than that, I am focusing on spending time with my friends and family. Bodybuilding is a selfish sport and I think you get better at balancing life and prep the longer you do it, but it has definitely made me sacrifice some time with those closest to me. I am looking forward to improving my physique while enjoying my friends and loved ones!

Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

I want to thank you for the interview! I would also like to thank my team, 3DMJ, and my coaches Alberto Nunez and Jeff Alberts for all of their help! I have the best teammates in the world! I would also like to thank Matt Jansen for being there for me this entire prep and being a tremendous influence in my life. Finally I have to thank my dad, who has always supported me in life and made everything possible.

Share your thoughts