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Athlete of the month: Female Bodybuilder Keli Watkins – 10 years from 'giving it a go' to NPC Nationals bodybuilding star!

Dec 05
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When our incredible athlete of the month Keli Watkins took to the 2013 NPC US Nationals stage earlier this year - showcasing her superbly balanced, hugely muscular and jaw-droppingly conditioned physique - it was simply the latest chapter in her 10 year bodybuilding journey.

Keli was narrowly edged into second place by Victoria Dominguez, but that simply means Keli is training even harder to claim the top spot in the 2014 Masters Nationals.

And given the 45-year-old's steel-hard condition and her even more steely focus, few would bet against her!

Today Keli boasts one of the most dramatic female bodybuilder physiques in the US – and she somehow manages this while being mom to three girls aged 12 to 22 and a full-time Personal Training Manager.

But this amazing female bodybuilder's muscle journey had a decidedly inauspicious start.

Brooklyn-born Keli told realfemalebodybuilding.com: “ I had just turned 35 and wanted to try bodybuilding at least once before I got too old.

(Continues after gallery)

“I had always been a fan of bodybuilding, I think it started back as a kid watching wrestling, being in awe of the massive guys.

“I have always admired muscle and weights – but they had to be proper metal weights. I remember as a kid thinking that the “sand filled gray weights” were so fake-looking and probably didn't work!”

And maybe she was right – but the iron weight certainly did! Keli, 5ft 8ins tall, now tips the scales at just under 200lbs off-season and strips down to 170lbs for competition.

She started competing in 2006 and has three major wins to her name.

Incredibly Keli has never taken her measurements and said: “I just can't find anyone to help me out with the tape measure!”

Don't worry Keli, we're on our way!

Full Profile of Female Bodybuilder Keli Watkins

Name: Keli Watkins

Age: 45

Job: Personal Training Manager

From: Brooklyn NY, live in North Brunswick NJ

Height: 5ft 8ins (173cms)

Weight:contest 170lbs (77kg), off season 195lbs (88.5kg)

Body type: Bodybuilder

Measurements – never taken them

Lifts

Squat: 405lbs (184kg)

Bench: 225lbs (102kg)

DB shoulder press: 65lbs (29.5kg)

Bicep curl: 55lbs (25kg)

Contests and results:

2006 Xcalibur, heavyweight 3rd place
2006 Muscle Beach heavyweight 1st overall
2007 NPC Gold's Classic heavyweight 1st
2007 Eastern USA's heavyweight 1st and Overall

2009 IFBB North Americans heavyweight 7th/Masters 12th
2011 Masters Nationals heavyweight 35+ 3rd
2011 IFBB North Americans heavyweight 3rd/Masters 2nd
2013 Masters Nationals 4th
2013 IFBB North Americans 3rd
2013 NPC Nationals HVYWT 2nd

What contest are you prepping for now? Masters Nationals 2014

How's it going? First day of training is today (30/11/2013), starting with legs! Just coming off Nationals in Florida, second place open heavyweight out of 17 competitors.

How many years have you trained? I have trained as a bodybuilder for 10 years. I played basketball and field hockey in high school (not very well!) but I was a notable athlete in track. I started lifting in the military, took it a little more seriously after I started working in corrections, and now as a fitness professional I am able to incorporate the best of both worlds!

Why bodybuilding? I have always admired muscle and weights! They had to be metal though, I remember as a kid thinking that the “sand filled gray weights” were so fake-looking and probably didn't work!

How and why did you start ? I had just turned 35 and wanted to try it at least once before I got too old. I have always been a fan of bodybuilding, I think it started back as a kid watching wrestling, being in awe of the massive guys.

What is your dream? To compete at the Olympia.

What is your short term goal right now? To get Pro Card and win overall at the Masters Nationals in 2014.

What keeps you motivated? Knowing that the job has not been completed yet. My support system, other competitors, and the love of the sport.

What do you love most about bodybuilding? The physical journey, the emotional growth, the mental challenge, the life lessons that come from each journey.

And what do you hate the most? The judgemental and sometimes critical comments from people about female bodybuilding. It's okay for a woman to be obese and unhealthy but not okay for her to be fit and eat clean.

What is the biggest thrill or moment you have got from bodybuilding? Having Lenda Murray present me with a 1st place trophy, working with Alex Ramirez and Rosemary Jennings.

Training
How often do you train? Cardio everyday, weight train five days a week.

What is your program/split? Depends on what body part is lagging or if I'm working around an injury, but I usually do quads, hams and back alone, the other parts I can combine.

What really works for you? My body has changed, what worked for me 10 years ago when I first started does not work now, my training is basic 3-4 sets, 12-15 reps-sometimes 20-30 on quads.

Favorite body part to train and why? Favorite right now is shoulders because that's where I'm lagging, at one point it was back then legs, it all depends on where I am.

Biggest improvement in last 12 months? Glutes definitely and posing.

Improvements you are targeting ? Overall Thickness, bigger delts

What tips would you give to newbies? Research everything yourself, have a basic understanding of what your body is about to go through, go to a show and see what it will be like, work with a reputable trainer and get a posing coach if your trainer cannot assist in that area. Remain teachable and humble because you always look great by yourself but when you are on stage with others its a different story.

Any training secrets or amazing exercises which have worked for you? The science does not change, eat clean train hard and do cardio - I did add listening to more motivational, positive thought type videos to my daily regime.

Kids? 22 year old daughter and two step daughters 15 and 12.

 

 

Published in Athlete of the Month
Last modified on Thursday, 05 December 2013 15:15 Read 20944 times
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