Date of Birth:
August 25, 1991
During Prep- 125-127, Offseason- 137-140
Charlotte, North Carolina
What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with lifting?
Growing up, I was always active and played different sports. In high school and college, I played basketball and tennis, and was always interested in the gym. However, in college, like many of us do, I became more interested in partying and drinking than staying in shape. After I graduated, I decided I needed to make a change, and that is when I began seriously lifting and got more into bodybuilding. I decided to become certified as a personal trainer to help others achieve their goals, as well. I then decided I wanted a new goal to work towards, so I began training for NPC Bikini Competitions. I absolutely fell in love with the sport, and the rest is history.
The thing that keeps me the most motivated is looking back and seeing how far I have come. Even a year ago I looked like a completely different person, and have gained not only physical strength, but so much mental strength as well. Whenever I want to quit or give up or training gets hard, I think back over the progress I have made, and it motivates me to keep pushing and continue improving. One of my favorite quotes is “I didn’t come this far to only come this far”.
What does your current training split look like?
I don’t follow a specific plan when it comes to training. I train myself for all my shows and like the idea of being flexible and doing what I feel for that day. I will go into the gym knowing what muscle group I am working that day, but never a specific set of exercises- I like to come up with workouts as I go.
Glutes/Hamstrings- at least 3 days/week
Quads- once a week
Shoulders- 2 days/week
Back- once a week
Arms- 2 days/week
Abs- usually 1-2/week
Anyone who knows me knows my answer to this one…. Glutes!
I try and work glutes/hamstrings at least 3 days per week or every other day. Obviously doing bikini, that is a major focus of our look so I have been training them hard. I love how there are SO many different glute and hamstring exercises to hit every angle and really grow your glutes. I love to get creative!
Which do you prefer, and why…steady state cardio or HIIT?
I prefer steady state cardio because it is nice to just hop on the treadmill and zone out. I will usually do about half an hour walking on an incline, and it is my time to listen to music and just chill out.
What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to get ripped?
I think we live in a very “all or nothing” society and want immediate results. People think to get in shape or lose weight they have to completely flip their old ways and stop everything they have been doing. They don’t realize that building muscle and cutting fat takes time… a long time. It is not a quick fix and you can’t get ripped in 2 weeks. So I recommend anyone looking to get in shape or lose weight, think of it more as a journey and a process. Make small changes that you can stick with, and of course, diet is the number one thing that makes a difference. Set small goals that keep you on track each day to ultimately get to your larger goal.
Funniest thing you’ve seen at the gym recently?
I love when guys try to act tough and make a big deal about lifting all this weight. I want to be like, I have girlfriends who do bikini that lift more than you so calm down.
Who do you look up to in the fitness world?
There are a few IFBB bikini pros that I really look up to, but honestly, my inspiration comes from a couple people close to me. My boyfriend is my number one inspiration. He has been a bodybuilder for years and just has this genuine love and passion for the sport, and his work ethic makes me work harder. I also look up to my coach who is an IFBB professional bodybuilder and has done many things in the fitness industry. These two people have supported me from the beginning and I respect and look up to them more than anything.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
One of my favorite quotes has always been “You didn’t come this far to only come this far”. I think looking back and seeing your own progress and where you started from is the greatest form of motivation there is. I also have a tattoo of my other favorite quote, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”. This just reminds me that I have been through obstacles in life but have overcome them, and I can do anything.
When guys will come right next to you as you are working out, just to try and show off and look macho. Or stand in front of the mirror and flex so you look at them. Just guys in general who act arrogant. We are all in the gym for the same reason, so don’t act like you are better than anyone else. Just train and focus on improving yourself!
What are the contents of your fridge?
It’s very typical “bro” food. Chicken, salmon, ground beef, veggies, egg whites, rice, sweet potatoes, cashew milk for my coffee, and I always have tons of flavored sparkling waters. Those are my go-to food sources I always keep in my fridge during prep; my off season includes more variety but I will still stick to pretty much clean eating.
How do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?
My schedule is all over the place, so I just cook whenever I get the chance. I will usually cook my protein in bulk, and then cook my veggies, sweet potatoes, and other carbs as I need them. Weird fact, I love asparagus and swear I go through it like crazy. It’s easy to just put in the microwave and steam it.
What are your favorite meals and foods?
I stick to mainly clean foods and meals, just because I like the way my body looks and feels when I do that. My favorite clean meal is probably lean ground beef with rice and veggies, and I will add garlic powder and low sodium ketchup and mustard. I also love any kind of fish, salmon is my favorite. Another favorite meal I eat every morning is oats with egg whites cooked in with stevia and cinnamon.
What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?
Sushi is my all time favorite meal. When I’m in prep, that’s the one thing I crave the most and can’t wait to eat. Another favorite of mine is anything peanut butter flavored (peanut butter cup milkshakes from cookout will change your life). I also love a good burger and sweet potato fries as a cheat meal. Anything that will satisfy my cravings and allow me to stay on track with the rest of my meals.
Workout music – what’s on your playlist?
My music is two types: country and gangster rap haha. You can usually tell what type of mood I’m in by what I’m listening to that day.
I wouldn’t say it’s challenging, but one of the most frustrating things about staying in shape is the opinions and judgment of others. I try and not let it bother me, but I think anyone who is in the fitness industry and takes care of their body receives some hate from others. I’ve found though that usually when people do this, they are reflecting their own insecurities onto you. They are not happy with themselves but don’t want to make a change, so they just criticize those who do. I don’t judge your lifestyle and how you choose to live, so I would like the same respect J
What is your greatest achievement so far?
This past year has been a crazy whirlwind. I decided to start competing about a year ago and won my first show a couple months after that. Then went to Nationals and placed top 15, all within 6 months of deciding to compete. And I am not done yet, this is only the beginning. So that is what I’m most proud of, just breaking barriers and doing what people didn’t think I could do. And I want that to be a testament to other girls (and guys) that if you want something, no matter how crazy or different or scary it may be, just go after it. Life is about taking chances.
What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?
Post workout I try and eat a real meal (as opposed to a protein shake) but that’s not always possible. I will have chicken or fish, with some carbs like rice or sweet potato. If I can’t get in a meal, I will have a whey protein shake. I also make sure to get in my Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) throughout the day to preserve my muscle mass: one serving first thing in the morning and another during the day.
What are some of your best diet, nutrition and supplementation tips for someone who wants to get ripped?
Like I mentioned before, building muscle and getting ripped takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight, and if it does, it won’t last and you can’t sustain it. That’s why diet is the number one factor in what your body looks like. I always tell people, you can never workout a day in your life but eat healthy and clean, and be fine. But you can’t do the other way around and eat like crap, and then expect to just “burn” it off in the gym. It doesn’t work like that. One thing that made me really start seeing changes in my own body is making sure I am getting protein in every 2-3 hours, about 20-30g. This is important to keep your metabolism running efficiently and burning more calories throughout the day. Another tip I have is lift, lift, lift! I am a huge advocate for women (and everyone) weightlifting. I have seen such drastic changes in my body composition and shape from lifting, as well as muscle burns more calories than fat. So if you are looking to lean down, focus on building muscle through weightlifting, and add cardio to supplement it.
There are some staple supplements I take every day. One of them is casein protein powder: I have a scoop right before I go to bed to preserve my muscle while I’m sleeping. Another supplement I take daily are my BCAAs. These help to preserve muscle and keep your body hydrated. I add in glutamine to my BCAAs, and this aids in recovery and helps with sore muscles.
What are your favorite 5 muscle building exercises and why?
I like exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time, such as squats and deadlifts. I love any type of glute exercise, and there are so many you can get creative with. A few that have really helped me in building up my legs and glutes are heavy hip thrusts and wide leg sumo squats. I like to superset the exercises too, to get the most out of your time in the gym and keep your heart rate up. So I will superset a heavy leg exercise, such as leg press, with a bodyweight squat or lunge. Also, remember to always focus on form over weight. I don’t ever lift super heavy, and it’s not necessary for everyone to build muscle. Mind-muscle connection is everything.
Favorite activities and hobbies you enjoy when away from the gym?
Time away from the gym? I wouldn’t even know what that is haha. But when I’m not working out I like to just relax and spend time with my boyfriend and our fur baby.
What are your future goals, dreams, and plans?
One of my goals is to become an IFBB Bikini Pro, that would be a dream come true. My next show is Jr. USA’s in May, so I am excited about getting on stage again. I also a, an NPC Bikini Posing Coach, so I hope to grow my business and would love to open my own posing studio someday. As far as the future, I am open to wherever competing will lead and am just enjoying the journey. I would also like to get more into the fitness modeling world. I just want to be able to share my passion and love for fitness, and hope that my story can inspire others to go after their dreams as well.
I would love to connect with yall! My Instagram is @katiekopfle or on Facebook. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org so feel free to contact me with any questions or just to say hello!