IFBB Pro Athlete & Fitness Model Kelly Gonzalez Talks With Simplyshredded.com

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

I’ve been an athlete my entire life. I was a lacrosse player throughout high school and went on to play Division 1 lacrosse in college. I also ran track and completed 2 marathons including the Boston marathon as a college student. After graduating from college, I felt the need to continue training and competing for a sport, but I didn’t know what. A friend introduced the idea of competing in a figure competition. I did well with only 6 weeks of training, but I knew figure wasn’t right for me. In 2009, I needed photos for my new website, which hosts my health and fitness articles, personal training and nutrition services, etc. I trained for my first photo shoot to have pictures for the site. From there the fitness modeling took off. Shortly after my first shoot I learned that the NPC introduced the new bikini division; which suited my physique. I had found my new sport.

I ended up winning my first show and went on to place 2nd in my class at the Nationals in 2009. In 2010, I stayed focused and continued to train hard; with the help of my coach Kim Oddo I earned my IFBB Bikini Pro Card. I absolutely love training and it’s all about learning, self-discovery, and daily improvement. Getting on stage looking your best after months of hard work is the icing on the cake.

Where does your motivation come from?

My motivation is extremely deep rooted. Being fit, healthy, full of energy, and consistently challenging myself to overcome new obstacles and achieve success has always been a part of me since I was young; I’m hard wired for it! I work with a positive mindset; I always try to look for the best in every situation. I expect a lot from myself. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it to the fullest and leave no regrets behind. The feedback I receive from others motivates me to keep working hard. My goal has always been “to education, motivate, and inspire others to improve the quality of their lives.”

I enjoy hearing that I inspired and helped someone to change their lives for the better by starting an exercise program, eating healthier, or setting new goals. I am grateful to be able to do what I love everyday- train hard and continue to learn and help others improve their health as my career.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

I love split routines, HIIT, and plyometrics in my weekly workout mix. To truly transform and shape your physique you must “train for your physique,” targeting various muscle groups using different training variables such as tempos, rep ranges, sets, and intensity. My amazing coach, Kim Oddo helps pinpoint the areas I must build up or lean down so I continue to reach my full potential and build an ideal physique for the IFBB pro bikini stage. HIIT training and plyos are great for leaning out my lower body, rounding out my glutes, and gaining more definition in my legs. I love the feeling after an intense cardio session in the morning. The adrenalin rush is addicting.

Sample Routine

Monday: Legs/Glutes/Calves/Cardio

  • Leg press 4 sets (15-12-12-10)
  • Ball wall squat with weight 4 sets (15-12-12-10)
  • Leg extension 3 sets (15-12-10)
  • Sumo squat 3 sets (15-12-10)
  • Prone hamstring curl 4 sets (15-12-10-15)
  • Seated hamstring curl 4 sets (15-12-10-15)
  • Calf raise on leg press 4 x 15
  • Bent knee calf raise 3 x 12
  • Cardio: 50 min. run with 25 min. of HIIT mixed in

Tuesday: Back/Rear delts/Abs/Cardio

  • Lat pull-down 3 sets (12-10-8 reps)
  • Close grip pull-down 3 sets (12-10-8 reps)
  • Single arm row 3 sets (15-12-10)
  • Machine pull-over 3 sets (15-12-10)
  • Bent over rear delt raise with DBs 3 sets (15-12-10)
  • Full sit-up on stability ball 4 sets (30-25-20-15)
  • Crunches 4 sets (30-25-20-15)
  • Leg raise with hip lift 4 sets (30-25-20-15)
  • Cardio: 40-50 min.

Wednesday: Chest/Biceps/Calves + cardio:

  • Incline chest press 3 sets (15-12-10 reps)
  • Pec fly with DBs 3 sets (15-12-10 reps)
  • Pec fly on machine superset with push ups to failure 3 sets (15-12-10 reps)
  • EZ Bar curl 3 sets (15-12-10 reps)
  • Alternating DB curl 3 sets (15-12-10 reps)
  • Standing calf raise 3 sets (15-12-10 reps)
  • Seated calf raise 3 sets (15-12-10 reps)
  • Cardio: 50 minutes with 25 minutes of HIIT

Thursday: Cardio

  • Cardio: 50min.

Friday: Plyometrics/Cardio

  • Box squat jumps 3 x 30
  • Lateral box jumps 3 x 30
  • Split squat jumps 3 x 30
  • Tuck jumps 3 x 30
  • Lateral bounds 3 x 30
  • Side hops 3 x 30
  • Squat jump (progressing forward)
  • 20-30 minutes of additional cardio (either HIIT or steady state depending on how my body is feeling)

Saturday: Shoulders/Triceps/Abs/Cardio

  • Shoulder press 4 sets (15-12-12-10)
  • Cable side raise 4 sets (15-12-12-10)
  • Cable front raise 4 sets (15-12-12-10)
  • Rear delt fly on machine 4 sets (15-12-12-10)
  • Bent over rear delt fly with DBs 4 sets (15-12-12-10)
  • Lying triceps extension 4 sets (15-12-12-10)
  • Cable underhand triceps extension 4 sets (15-12-12-10)
  • Full sit- up on stability ball 3 x 50
  • Double crunch 3 x 50
  • Bicycle crunch 3 x 50
  • Cardio: 45 min. cardio

Sunday: Cardio + Yoga or massage

  • 40 min. cardio (elliptical, incline treadmill walk)

If you could pick only 3 exercises what would they be and why?

  1. Plyo Box Jumps or Split Squat Jumps: Plyometrics are my favorite; especially any plyo exercise that really targets the glute/hamstring connection. I get so pumped for my plyometric workout and it’s always challenging. The next day my entire lower body is tight and a little sore in a good way. I know that I’m tightening and gaining definition through my legs and rounding out my glutes.
  2. Lat Pull Down: I think everyone needs a sexy V-taper! For women it creates an hour-glass figure; sexy curves with a defined back that lead into a tiny waistline. For guys, there’s nothing hotter than the V-taper; it screams surfer body.
  3. Hill Sprints/Sprints in general: I get bored with long cardio sessions. I’m all about efficiency; training smart! I like to push myself and work at a high heart rate so I’m burning lots of calories in less time.

Sprints are great for this, plus they help strengthen and define the glutes and hamstrings, rev your metabolism, and help maintain lean muscle mass.

What is your diet like?

Sample Diet:

  • Meal 1: 16 oz Water, 8 oz brewed Green Tea, 5 g BCAA’s and L-Carnitine before early morning cardio
  • Meal 2: Water, 1/3 cup Oatmeal with Cinnamon, 5 Egg Whites
  • Meal 3: Water, 1 scoop Dymatize Iso-100 Whey Protein
  • Meal 4: Water, 5 oz boneless skinless Chicken Breast, 1 cup steamed Broccoli, 3 oz Yam, 8 oz brewed Green Tea
  • Meal 5: Water, 1 scoop Whey Protein blended with Ice, Water, Cinnamon, 10 Almonds, 8 oz brewed Green Tea
  • Meal 6: Water, 5 oz. Turkey (or fish), 1 cup steamed Brussels Sprouts, 1 medium Garden Salad
  • Meal 7: 4 Egg Whites with 1 oz. Avocado, 8 oz brewed Chamomile Tea

What is your supplementation like?

  • MRM Digest-All, ALA, Vitamin C, and Smartblend (essential fatty acids) 3x/day.
  • Dymatize ISO-100 Whey Protein- I usually have 1-2 shakes as meal replacements per day
  • 1 scoop Evogen + 5 g Glutamine pre-strength training workout
  • 2 g L-Carnitine before cardio
  • 10 g BCAA’s post-workout
  • 5 g Glutamine before bed

Favorite Bodybuilders/Athletes?

I look up to famous bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger and the current Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler. I love how Arnold always preached about the importance of a positive mindset when training. His book The Education of a Bodybuilder had a big impact on me. I read it while I was prepping to compete for my IFBB pro card. It helped me realize how training has and will continue to help me reach all of my goals in life; not just in the gym or on stage, but also in my career and relationships. I admire Jay Cutler for being not only inspirational to millions, but also for being business savvy. He has made bodybuilding into a career for himself. I have the pleasure of working with Jay on FitnessVTC.com. He is a great guy who is extremely humble and is also an excellent motivational speaker.

I also look up to all of those who are revolutionizing the fitness industry and encouraging the public to become healthier. They may never grace the stage as a competitor, but they are “building their bodies for the better” and helping others do the same. Fitness icons like the late Jack Lalanne have helped millions shape up. I admire my fellow competitors, trainers, and health writers/publications that work hard to promote a healthy lifestyle. I’m extremely proud to consider myself a bodybuilder- one who builds their entire body, mind, and soul to reach their full potential and be the best person they can be inside and out.

Favorite Quote?

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Follow this link to view more photos of Kelly Gonzalez

Website: http://www.kellygonzalez.com
Bodyspace: http://bodybuilding.com/KellyGonzalez/
Facebook Fan Page: Kelly Gonzalez Fit-In-Fitness
Photography: Jeffrey Fowler