20 Questions with Cover Model Karen Kennedy
1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Karen Kennedy?
Hello, my name is Karen Kennedy and I'm fearlessly committed to
fitness for life!
What makes me special are the differences and the hurdles I've
overcome to be fit and those hurdles I face to stay fit, requires me
to make better choices every day.
Karen Kennedy is committed to inspire others to seek their best body
ever, when they are ready and to continue to encourage them along
their journey. I'm also blessed to be a fashion and fitness model that
gets to teach proper posture, posing and watch beautiful self
confidence bloom from my clients.
2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?
I live in Miami, FL, but I'm from a small town called Sugar Creek in
Ohio, but I have amazing friends in this huge diverse city with hearts
so big, you'd think you were in a small town where love and acceptance
3) How did you start competing in bikini?
Honestly, it started with a dare from a friend whom I did a Fitness Video with.
4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about
conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?
I think lean muscle is incredibly sexy and knowing how hard it is to
build it ... I lean toward the hard look over soft ~ but I like softer
for photo shoots.
5) What is your idea of what judges want in a bikini competitor? Do
you think judges are clear enough with competitors about how they want you on stage? It seems in Europe they are very clear unlike in the USA and now in Canada things are confusing.
Competing is crazy! I've been competing for a year and each show
reminds me of auditioning in modeling - some days, they want a petite
blonde, and being a tall red head, you think, why am I here? I've
learned not to get caught up in the placings, one day will be my day
and until then, I will celebrate the happiness of another deserving
6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on
physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!
I've got a really big gluteus maximus, It's been there all my life and
while it's my asset, it's also my biggest challenge as the glutes and
hams are tough to tighten - so that is my laser focus area to continue
to condition. In the last year, I've seen incredible improvement, now
I just need to stay close to competition weight and continue to build
those muscles to allow the skin and muscle to love each other to
7) What is your typical training routine in the gym (per day, include
sets and reps!) How much cardio do you do before a show?
3 a day...1 hour cardio in the AM and weights followed by cardio in
the evening. (I have to eat a light meal right after the weight
workout to make it through the final cardio).
8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)
It varies, but I do the boiled chicken like most athletes.
9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? How much water do you drink the day of the show. Please be specific.
This also varies, if I fly into a show, I drop my water differently
than if I do a local show because flying makes you retain water for
10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any
competitors you looked up to?
I want to be fit and healthy and inspire others, competing is just a
challenging way to meet like minded athletes. I think Ava Cowan and
her abs are most inspiring.
11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show
recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?
I was scouted by a casting agent from Paramount films, so now I'll be
in a movie called Pain & Gain as a bodybuilder... I got a couple
friends into the movie too, so that will be awesome to see when we are
12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness,
bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see
I do believe it should be a little more clear regarding what the
judges are looking for in each category, but I'm not experienced
enough yet to have much more of an opinion. I have to say that the
expeditors and show hosts are incredible people that go way too
13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?
Balance is near impossible when competing... I travel for work and
learning to pack/prep my food and enough workout gear to stay on track
is TOUGH! But as a fit executive...it IS possible as long as you plan
14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...
15) What do you think of bikini division?
We're all Barbie dolls, really beautiful girls with bodies that make
you think...how do they really judge us?!
16) What are your favorite foods to eat right after you compete on a Saturday night?
Steak Salad and combos...yeah, combos - the worst thing you can put in
the body is sugar and salt, but those little combos get me nearly
every time ...
17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any
interesting experiences while growing up?
I was raised in small town, farmland Ohio, near the Amish community.
I've always been active and strong, even fat from all the meat,
potatoes, etc, but at 15 I changed my eating habits from fried to
grilled and baked and that's made all the difference in my life.
18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?
In my teens, I fell in love with running, more out of fear, because my
older sister loved to pummel me for "fun". I can still outrun her to
this day !
19) What is a typical day in the life of Karen Kennedy? From waking up
to until going to bed?
4:45 - 5 - up and to gym for AM Cardio
7 - 6; work in Health Care "day job"; sometimes I will do cardio or
plyo's at lunch if I didn't get it all in earlier.
6:30 - 9 gym again for weights and cardio
9-11 laundry, food prep for next day, clean up, read, pray and sleep
by midnight if not sooner.
20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it,
what do you specifically do in your job?
I'm a national VP for an insurance company and I develop strategies to
build physician/hospital networks for the Medicare Advantage/special
needs population. I teach my incredible team of executives how to
identify the right providers for the network and we go ask them to
participate at a discount to then pass on the savings to folks on