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How did you get started in bodybuilding/fitness?
I have always somewhat been into nutrition and fitness. 2008 is when I started lifting heavier and tailored my diet to improve my physique. The summer of ’08 I was seeking something positive to work towards..a goal. I then approached my trainer, Jamie Ibone about doing a figure show. 7 weeks later, I did the All South Championships in St. Augustine, FL. I ended up placing 1st in my class and winning Overall! I decided to do the NPC Nationals two weeks later since my Overall nationally qualified me. I wasn’t going into the show expecting anything, I just want to learn as much as I can about the sport and the environment. 38 girls in my class and I placed 1st, earning my Pro Card!!! I was shocked, amazed, excited..just about every emotion. That night I found my passion. I have been consistently competing on the Pro level since. Almost 4 years later, I look back on my journey (from the very beginning to now) and appreciate and am grateful for every moment of it.
What is your favorite body part to train?
My favorite body part to train would have to be my back. I love training my back! It makes me feel kind of invincible during that training hour 😛
Can you give us a sample of your routine?
On a back day, I typically do a total of 8-10 exercises. I usually superset the majority of them, as this works well for my body. I start off with a warm-up with a wide-grip lat pulldown, following with 3 moderate to heavy sets and finishing with a drop set. I then superset a standing cable pullover and an upper back row with the same bar. The next superset in my back routine includes closed-grip seated rows along with closed-grip pulldowns. Additional exercises I incorporate are lying dumbbell pullovers on the bench, underhand bent over barbell rows, and back extensions. Each week I try to change it up a bit, either throwing in different exercises or incorporating more drop sets. You can check out part of my back routine here: http://www.muscleandfitnesshers.com/videos/ifbb-figure-pro-candice-keene.
What kind of music do you listen to when you are working out?
I listen to a wide range of music. The genre just depends on the mood I am feeling that particular day. I listen to Pandora radio and at the moment I am rotating between the stations of Chevelle, Dubstep, Nadia Ali, and Club/House. Told you I like it all 😛
We all have at least one, what is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
I actually don’t use an iPod! Since I have Pandora, I create many different stations. The one that I normally would never listen to is Kenny G station. It’s more for relaxing. But I wouldn’t say I have any really embarrassing ones.
Favorite sports team?
I am not an avid sports follower, but I’d say Miami Dolphins. Two sports that I love watching are actually gymnastics and figure skating. There is something about the agility and the elegance that draws me in.
What does your diet look like when you are trying to get lean?
When trying to get lean, for example in my contest prep, I am very structured and clean in my diet. I make sure I am 6 times a day including 25-30 grams of lean protein at every meal. For protein I typically eat egg whites, chicken breast, fish, and protein powder. My carb intake varies each day, given that I carb cycle. My body likes the constant change. I incorporate my carbs into my first 2-4 meals, including only complex carbs. My fav is oatmeal! I can eat that every meal actually! Lol
I eliminate my dairy and eat minimal fruit up until 6-8 weeks out. If I do eat fruit, I eat the lower glycemic ones like apples or berries. As for fats, I take fish oil capsules as well as organic unrefined virgin coconut oil.
What kind of cardio do you like best and why?
I love the feeling doing high intensity cardio sessions that involve plyometrics. I love the feeling of accomplishment after this type. You work on both sculpting the legs as well as fat burning..you can’t beat that! I also love doing the step mill and doing intervals on the arc trainer.
If you could give somebody only one fitness tip what would it be?
Stay CONSISTENT in your training and eating habits and be PATIENT!! I like the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It won’t happen overnight, but it WILL. It is important to keep a positive free mind as well, and free of doubt. I am a firm believer that the body follows what the mind tells it to, consciously or unconsciously. It is important to keep the end result of your desired goal in your mind free of doubt, and any type of roadblocks in your journey will clear up before you know it.
Tell us about your biggest bodybuilding/fitness influence?
Before I became a part of the fitness industry, I always had an admiration for Monica Brant, Jamie Eason and Mandy Blank..still do. But now as I am part of the fitness industry, I find every competitor (Male or female, bikini to bodybuilding and all divisions in between) to be influential and inspiring. Each one of us has the same journey of determination, hard work, striving to accomplish our goals physically and mentally, and step on the stage the best that we can. I know exactly what it takes and how hard it can be sometimes, so kudos to all my fellow bodybuilding/fitness peeps!!
Favorite cheat food?
LOL wow..well, I am not opposed to anything that tastes good and that I never get to eat! But a good burger is always good, dirty sushi is a must lol, Coldstone Creamery, pizza, and cereal! Love cereal! LOL
Do you take any supplements?
I take the necessity: a good muti-vitamin, Species Nutrition Mineralyze (Multi-mineral), Species Nutrition Omegalyze (fish oil), CLA, Calc/mag/zinc, B-Complex, Glutamine, Aminos, L-Carnitine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Green Tea Extract, Species Nutrition Arthrolyze (Joint support), a good blend of adaptogenic herbs for adrenal health support and to fight off fatigue when dieting.
What does the future hold for you?
I currently go to the University of Central Florida full-time studying Business/Marketing, so I should graduate in about a year. My passion is nutrition/health/fitness, so for my long term goal I would like to launch a supplement/nutrition line. Also, I have ideas for products I would like to create and launch. Three years ago I created ProCakez, which are a decadent meal replacement, so that keeps me busy along with competing and school. Once I graduate, I plan to take ProCakez to the next level and reach out to the masses. As for competing, I plan to continue for as long as my body and minds allows me to. I absolutely love the feeling of stepping on stage, and inspiring others in the process. I am grateful for the journey I am on, and enjoying every minute of it!
Arno Nasshan Photography