Health and Fitness Talk recently caught up with National Physique Committee competitor Kendi Charls, to talk about her life as a fitness competitor, her training and her diet.
I usually only have a trainer when it comes to contest prep. I think that we all know our bodies better than anyone else and I can’t stress it enough – listen to your body, but don’t misjudge what it’s saying to give yourself an “out.” I do a lot of experimenting in the off-season just to see how my body reacts. I personally need a trainer for contest prep to help dial in and to keep me focused, so that I have someone that is constantly watching and noting my progress.
More importantly, it’s accountability. I’m good about staying fit in the off-season, working on my weaknesses, studying other competitors, and switching up my routines so at this point in my life I don’t think I need to pay someone year around to “help” me workout. Don’t get me wrong, to start out I would say one hundred percent yes get one, but once you have been involved for as long as I have you just learn so much about the gym and fitness along the way. In the same token, I may go to a trainer to help me completely switch up workouts if I feel like I’m in a slump or if I just can’t come up with new ideas.
I go in and out of workout buddy regimens. I like having a morning cardio partner – someone to hold myself accountable to get up and get my day going. It helps me out a ton with the extremely early workouts to have someone else there that I can’t let down. Now as far as lifting, I generally don’t lift with others unless it’s my guy. The reason behind this is that I usually end up being the trainer and then I don’t leave getting the workout I would have liked.
I’m always training. My diet changes depending on whether I’m in-season or not. I tend to eat fairly healthy all the time but the main difference would be measuring food – more cheat meals and less “sub-conscious” of what I eat. I will take bites of this or that during the day without feeling guilty and if we go out to dinner I don’t have to get something healthy. I typically eat five to six times a day. I usually start my day with a blended protein shake or a scoop of protein with two egg whites that I warm up and make into a fluffy type muffin cake. I generally go the gym in the morning and following gym time I will eat a true breakfast – usually an omelet with 1 whole egg and 5 egg whites.
In the off-season, I will add a few “goodies” where as in-season I usually just add some seasoning or salsa and eat on a low carb, low fat tortilla. In-season, I eat every three hours, whereas the off-season, if I get busy doing something or am hungry before then, I will go ahead and eat. I do generally have BBQ chicken or ground chicken on lettuce and make a wrap of it. I would generally have some sort of small tasty treat in the off-season too, but whose really paying attention. Now the next two or three meals really vary in the off-season. I enjoy protein pancakes, sushi, lean steaks, and generally something tasty. In-season, I would stick to having chicken, a protein shake, tuna, etc. with a carb of choice – sweet potatoes, rice, ezeikel bread – all measured out. Right before bed I always have some meat or a protein shake because I usually end up getting hungry in the middle of the night.