Totally Stunning, Jaw-Dropping Body Transformation
Karen Sessions – Figure Coach – Hey Janey. A BIG Congrats on your figure competition wins and pro status. What competitions have competed in and how did you place in them?
In July of 2011 I competed in Albany NY for an NPC competition. I was thin but placed 1st in Masters Figure and 4th overall.
In November of 2011 I competed in the OCB New York State Natural and placed 2nd in Open short and 1st in Masters earning my IFPA Pro Master Figure Title.
In April 2012 I competed in the 2012 Empire State Natural in Binghamton and placed 2nd Overall again.
Finally, In May at the 2012 NGA North American pro/am I placed 1st overall and earned my Open Pro Card.
You’ve had some great placements in a short time, and 2 pro cards?! That’s awesome. What was your competition experience like?
It has been wonderful. I have an amazing support team called the Saratoga Barbell Beauties. We pose and practice together and listen to each whine while we are dieting. We have the support of the Saratoga YMCA and John Higgins, the wellness center director. I also have to mention Mike Halsey who is a wonderful show promoter for the OCB. He runs a professional show and supports all the
athletes with equal respect.
I hear ya. A support group can be one of the leading factors to your success. Just knowing someone else is going though the same thing helps greatly. Have you always been athletic? Did you play sports growing up?
Well the potential was there but I never did reach it. I was a natural at sports as a child, especially running and softball, but I was really quiet and shy. I feel it held me back until I became a young adult.
Well it’s great that you took that “potential” and put it into your passion and took to the pro status, twice so far. 😀 What got you involved in figure competitions?
I always loved the look of an athletic woman and loved lifting weights but I didn’t try competing until after I met my husband Paul. He was the one that supported me to give it a try. I placed 3rd in my very first competition. I then, at the age of 34, decided to have children first. I didn’t compete again for 8 years.
Again, that support always helps. Sounds like you ate well and kept in shape during your time off from competing. Good job. How long have you been into fitness and working out?
I started when I went away to college. I had put on the freshman 10 and not feeling really good about the way I looked, and then I came across a fitness magazine. I headed down to the campus weight room and found a very muscular fit young woman in there. I decided that I wanted to look like her. I was 18 years old at the time and I haven’t stopped since.
I started at 17 and been going strong 25 years now. Put down that calculator! LOL So, what is your competition weight and off-season weight, and how tall are you?
I am 5’4″. My off season weight is about 120 to 121 lbs. My competition weight is about 115 to 118. My weight doesn’t fluctuate a lot but my body composition does.
Those are great off-season, pre-contest, and competition stats. You must have good control over your diet and training. So, how long did it take you to prep for your figure show?
It takes me an average 14 to 16 weeks. I start out early so I have time to wean myself off any non-competition food.
That’s a good time frame. It allows you time to get into the dieting groove. What motivates you to keep in shape?
Part of it is having young children, but it also makes me feel good physically and mentally. Whenever I allow myself to slide I feel horrible and it just isn’t worth it.
Oh, I hear ya on that girl. It can take several weeks to shape up, but just days to feel bloated and blah. So, how do you stick to your goals?
I don’t. What I mean is I do but I am human and sometimes stray. I set a goal and a time limit. Then I tell everyone I know that cares. I give myself a clear plan and break it down day by day. If I mess up I don’t beat myself up I just keep moving forward. As I approach my time limit the pressure pushes me into high gear. I just hate to fail.
That’s a great plan that doesn’t put excess and unnecessary stress on you. What is your nutrition like off-season?
Chocolate, no just kidding but it is my favorite. I allow myself to have it here and there just not everywhere. I don’t eat bread or pasta. I eat organic and try to stay away from processed food. Turkey meatballs, chicken, salmon, eggs and greek yogurt. Sweet potato, whole grain rice and all kinds of fruits and veggies. I use a lot of Italian dressing with olive oil. I eat sea salt, organic ketchup and almond butter and never go fat free.
What a great off-season plan. That’s why you are able to keep close to your contest weight, the clean dieting all year. What is your figure competition diet like?
Very simple. Not a lot a variety keeps me in check. Turkey meatballs, tilapia, chicken, and eggs are my protein. Sweet potato, oatmeal, broccoli, asparagus, spinach and romaine lettuce I love for carbs. I use olive oil and spices or salsa to add a little flavor. In addition to olive oil my fats are almond butter and coconut Butter. Whey protein to fill in the gaps.
Very similar to your off-season eating plan. Kudos on eating a clean diet. What is a basic cheat meal for you?
I have a few dedicated e-clients like that, that RARELY cheat. In doing so, they pack some some sexy muscle in the off-season with very little body fat, allowing dieting down a shorter and easier process. Are there any sacrifices? If so, how do you overcome them?
Of coarse. Balancing two children and their needs, taking care and running a home. Not to mention having a husband, and periodically being involved with a company called “Signature Home Buyers”, a real estate investment company and a part-time gymnastics instructor. Sometimes the laundry doesn’t get done. The kids have to come with me to the gym and organizing the house gets put aside. Food preparation happens one day for the entire week. When I train to compete it is the only thing I do for me. Nothing extra. For example. reading a book, a night out or watching a movie just would never happen.
Oh, Wow… Now I don’t feel so isolated. LOL The last time I got to relax and enjoy a book was on an airplane. What do you find to be the hardest part about getting into contest shape and how do you overcome it?
I have terrible cravings for that chocolate. When I start getting the need to have some I envision myself in my suit onstage with that chocolate on my thighs. If that doesn’t work I throw on some music and start cleaning. It sounds crazy but it puts my focus somewhere else.
Nope, that doesn’t sound crazy at all. In fact, I use to do the same thing if I started to crave something I shouldn’t have. It actually works and you can steer clear of cheats and physique damaging foods. What is your training split like off-season?
I weight train three to four times a week and do cardio two times a week. I sometimes take an aerobic class or yoga. It is never the same. I focus on what I feel I need to improve upon at the time. Right now I am working on bringing out the definition in my legs and calves. This means training them two times a week. One day heavy and the other a high intensity day .
Good focus. Each year I choose one body part to improve for the next contest season. I wrote my Killer Quads eBook based on the leg muscle size and cutting detail I got with my leg training program that year. What is your training life when you are prepping for a contest?
I will only take one day off a week still usually squeezing in a walk or jog and some stretching. Cardio is everyday but the amount of time changes. I start out with 20 minutes and by the time the contest approaches I am up to and hour. I do a lot of HIIT when I get to this point.
I usually do a 2 day on, 1 day off contest prep plan, and off-season can vary depending on how my body is responding, but usually about 4 days a week. Great cardio progression. That’s a proven format. So, do you track your personal best lifts and if so, what are they?
No, I’m not out for lifting heavy. I want symmetry, and definition. I go by the way I look, not by what I can lift.
I use to track, but now with a lower back injury, my heavy training is hindered a bit. 🙁 What do you do for cardio?
Mostly HIIT. I love changing it up. I also run on the treadmill or outside, elliptical and the stepper.
I like treadmill and elliptical work, doing a bit of HIIT and steady state. I don’t mind the “boring” type of cardio. It gives me time to mentally zone-out. LOL Do you have any future competition plans?
I just won my Pro Card and that has been my focus for the last year and a half. I am taking two months off to organize my home, refocus and plan my next step. If you have any suggestions I’m open to them but ideally I would love a sponsor.
Yes indeed, you need some time to yourself to keep your life afloat. When I was competing I was able to get the gyms where I trained to allow me to train for free, and some even supplied me some supplements such as creatine and glutamine. I also was able to hook up with a GNC franchise and the owner sponsored me a good amount of supplements. Speaking of supplements, do you use any? If so, what are your favorites?
Yes, love those amino acids.
Sure can’t beat the chemical breakdown of protein! Does your family support your fitness endeavors?
They didn’t think I was serious in the beginning but once they realized I was they all jumped on board. They are my biggest fans. My daughter Leyanna, who is 2, will put on her princess shoes and pose practice with me and my son Logan and husband Paul will shout from their seats to make sure I flair those lats.
LOL family was a bit worried that I was too small to compete on stage, until they saw me up there. Then they understood the sport a little better and was able to support me better. What hobbies do you have outside of fitness?
I have an interest for architectural Art History and the Preservation / Rehabilitation of old buildings. I love to learn, be physically active and productive, hike, interior decorate, paint and help others be healthy.
Now that’s interesting, something I don’t come across everyday. What advice would you give someone who wanted to get in such outstanding shape as you are in?
There isn’t a thing called all or nothing. Make one change at a time. When that becomes a part of your life then take the next step. Don’t give up when you slip-up. Pick yourself up and keep moving forward because getting there is so worth it.
Yes, nothing could be more true. You have to keep pressing on to get what you want. How has competing in figure changed your life?
It has given me more strength and self confidence in every aspect of my life.
Well yeah, I can see why… such a great body transformation, great placements and 2 Pro Cards, and on top of that managing a family and household… Do you have any long-term goals in the fitness industry?
I would like to take it to a place where I am well enough known and respected to be able to make a change in other people’s lives for the better.
Yeah… It’s great to give back to the sport. I’ve put myself into the competitive ring hard and heavy for several years and learned a lot. Now, it’s great to help others. I kind of get to “relive” it though them. LOL If you could give one piece of advice to a first time figure competitor, what would it be?
Do it for yourself and have fun. No matter how well you place, be proud of what you accomplish because most only dream to get to where you are.
I hope to be an inspiration to woman who have had children and are over the age of 40. You can change you body, you just have to change your mind.
Great advice, and I couldn’t agree more. Compete against yourself, and the more you do that the better you’ll be in the end. Well, do you have a website of facebook page you would like to share?
I’m in the middle of putting one together. Facebook: Janey Klotz NGA Pro.
Hey… Yeah you reading this… Do YOU Want to Enter a Competition, too or Just Have the Body of a Competitor? Stop sitting on the sidelines…