New NGA Figure Pro Kelsea Koenreich interview
We talkin’ 34-26-34 here? Just kidding.
I’m pretty tall, 5’7 and right now I weigh 125lbs. I started my prep at 142lbs and got down to 123lbs during this prep. I am actually just starting my reverse diet this week so it’s back on the gain train I go.
Congratulations on your new pro card! Was it fairly planned or unexpected? Share some details!
Wasn’t planned at all, it’s pretty funny actually how everything worked out. Originally I picked 3 shows for my season; OCB Southeastern States on May 25, NGA Sunshine State on June 22, and NANBF Muscle Mayhem (in Sacramento, CA) on July 13th. I started my prep a little heavier than Alberto wanted, he wanted me around 135lbs, but I started and lost weight a lot faster than both of us expected. Long story short, I ended up being a few pounds away from where he wanted me at about the end of March. My husband suggested I pick a couple of earlier shows, if for anything just to work on my stage fright.
I picked two shows before my original May 25th show, DFAC Gator Classic on April 20th and NGA Abraham Championships on May 11th.
My first show was a pretty horrible experience honestly, I won’t go into detail, but I considered quitting after this show. Luckily I didn’t!
Going into the show on May 11th, I was leaner and Berto decided to peak me for this show which he hadn’t for the previous show. I looked better than I ever had, and I felt better on stage than I ever had. After prejudging I was so proud of how I felt on stage that nothing else mattered, I was so proud that I hadn’t quit but instead just used the last show to fuel my desire to win.
At the night show, there was 5 in my class so when they called 2nd place and I was the only one left I got this feeling that I really can’t describe, it was probably the best feeling I’ve ever had. They announced that I was the winner and that I had won my pro card and it took a while to sink in. Some days it still doesn’t feel real honestly.
After that show I had to change my show schedule because I couldn’t do the June 22nds show anymore because I had won my NGA pro card already. So I still had May 25th and July 13th.
The OCB Southeastern States show was the most fun of all of my shows, lots of friends came to the show and it was just really well run and I got to meet Nicole Weeks which was awesome! I placed 4th out of 9 in the tall class and was honestly pretty happy with my placing considering the girls who placed above me had years and years of training on me. I left that show happy and content with my placing.
How is your prep/offseason going, any other competitions coming up?
This is basically the last question continued, I was planning on doing the Muscle Mayhem in California, but after the OCB show I started struggling with finding motivation to continue.
Coming out of that OCB show I realized more than anything that I have some serious work to do, especially in order to compete on the pro stage. I think that my mind started to become so focused on what I needed to do (in the off season) that I just broke down and checked out mentally from prep.
After thinking about it for about a week and talking to different friends and family for opinions I have decided to end this prep and start my reverse diet. I didn’t want to quit because I am not a quitter, but I guess I can’t be considered a quitter when the goal was to win my pro card huh?
So actually this has been my first week of “off season” and I just started reverse dieting, and I am happy and focused on building my weak areas!
Who are your bodybuilding Idols and sources of motivation?
Nicole Weeks has an amazing physique, Christine Keefer has the most beautiful shoulders I’ve ever seen and Terri McBee… I mean I am pretty sure she’s perfect.
How does your routine change between offseason and pre-contest cutting?
Prior to prep I competed in powerlifting and I continued to squat, bench, and deadlift throughout my entire prep, even though I lost some strength (which was probably the hardest part of prep for me) I still continued to lift like a PLer.
During prep I lifted using RPE, every day, every week was different strength-wise so it worked really well for me.
Now that prep is over and I am moving back towards maintenance/surplus I am hoping to get my strength back and pass my old lifting stats at a lower body weight. I am sure I will compete in PLing meets again, and I am focusing very much on adding some mass to my back and shoulders.
When I was maintaining around 140lbs my best lifts were 220 squat, 130 bench and 300 deadlift.
Mind giving us a sample of your current routine?
All 4 days of lifting I am doing a vertical and horizontal pull to work on my back and a shoulder exercise to work on my baby shoulders.
Both lower days I do some form of squat and some form of deadlift.
I LOVE to lift and I am really looking forward to getting my strength back!
Your husband competed as well and is very much involved with bodybuilding and powerlifting. How do you think your diets/routines compare, as a female, to his routines/diets. Any significant differences (can’t eat as many fats, carbs, etc. or workout volume).
There are pretty much no differences actually. I would say that obviously I eat less as a female, but actually he is dieting and I am reverse dieting and our low day calories aren’t too far apart. We both follow IIFYM, and yes I followed IIFYM during my entire prep. I ate cookies, ice cream, pop tarts and dessert pizzas and won my pro card, who’s mad?
As far as our workouts, I already touched on my workouts and how I lift. If you are a female and you aren’t squatting, benching and deadlifting… you are doing it wrong. I strongly believe ALMOST everyone should lift like a powerlifter, compound lifts will always benefit people the most. Just because you’re a girl doesn’t mean you need to run for an hour on the treadmill and then do 45 different machines, lift something!
How do you manage being a pro with real life. What’s a typical day for you?
Since being a pro is so new I don’t think it’s really had that much impact on my life yet, I am hoping it brings me new clients (preferably women) that I can teach to lift and eat, I am tired of girls starving themselves.
Typical day for me starts with training clients at my gym (Sarasota Barbell, which I own with my husband) usually from about 8-10am. After that is when I lift, followed by some epic eats and usually back to the gym for afternoon clients!
Thrown into my weeks are massage appointments (deep tissue is necessary), chiropractic appointments and even some yoga every now and then.
I am also an online coach so I am pretty regularly emailing back and forth with clients. A few interviews (like this one) have been thrown in lately and it’s actually nice that people would care enough to read about me!
My free time is really important for my sanity, my husband and I love to travel and we already have 5 trips planned for this year.
What do you think separates a pro from an amateur physically and mentally?
This is a tough one, being that I am so new to this I don’t even know if I am entitled to answer this! I will say this though, I take what I do seriously and it is a lifestyle that isn’t for a lot of people. Being a pro means holding yourself to a higher level, working harder and really just being the best you that you can be. Just because anyone can sign up to do a show, doesn’t mean they should. What I mean by that is that some people dedicate their lives to the goal of being a pro, they do whatever it takes and shit, they take it seriously! It frustrates me a little to see people who show up looking like they just walked in off the street, obvious they didn’t diet, and have no serious commitment to the sport. So to end this rant, if you choose to participate in this sport; do your research, have realistic goals and be consistent.
What attributes have made you successful in bodybuilding?
Eric, Eric, Eric. Seriously, my husband took me under his wing about 2 years ago and taught me how to lift among so many other things. I’d probably still be on the stupid tricep dip machine if it wasn’t for him.
Consistency is key, I set a goal and I do whatever it takes to reach it. I don’t make excuses.
What diets have worked best for you?
IIFYM is the only way I could ever eat, I did fad diets, HCG all that horrible bullshit. I am living proof that you can eat dessert (most days twice a day) and get shredded.
What would you have told yourself when 1st starting Bodybuilding?
I have always told myself; Better, Faster, Stronger. Whether I am competing, lifting, whatever… I can always be better and I will always work to be better.
What are your future fitness goals?
As of now I need to put on some size, I’ve only been lifting for about 2 years and only about 1 year of that was at caloric maintenance so I am interested to see what a couple years maintaining or in a slight surplus will do for my body! Trying to build my back, shoulders and my strength as always!
I plan on hitting the stage again possibly 2015 at the earliest, nothing for sure yet.
Thoughts on cardio?
Seriously though, I didn’t do any machine cardio when I was maintaining my weight before prep. I am a firm believer in conditioning to be a better lifter and for better body composition. Basically, get off the treadmill and start pushing a prowler.
What else is going on in your life aside from bodybuilding?
Besides that I am just working on trying to build my online coaching business, and travel as much as possible!
What’s the supplementation like?
Women’s multi, creatine mono, Vitamin D-3… pretty simple.
What’s your stance on drinking as a bodybuilder?
I had my big drinking days, I am pretty over it. I think it’s something that is awesome for special occasions and trust me I like to get my drink on every now and then, but on the regular? No way.
What are your future bodybuilding goals?
I’d like to win more pro cards, and obviously compete on the pro stage.
How did you originally find out about 3dmj?
Was the transition into bodybuilding sudden or how did you decide to do you first competition?
Originally after my initial weight loss (I went from 180lbs to 127lbs in 2011) I was going to compete in bikini, after going to Ohio for the Arnold and watching the bodybuilding show I decided I would rather do figure. I knew that I would need to put on some size so I took the next year to eat in a surplus and try to grow before I decided to prep.
What do you think works better for you, explosive movements or slow and controlled…or do you have a different method all together?
I do both, depending on the lift. There must be control in all lifts, but some of them require you to be explosive as well.
Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
This was pretty long so if you made it all the way through I hope I didn’t bore you!