From an early age, Courtney King was determined to come out on top, no matter the sport or event. “By the time I graduated high school, I wanted to become an IFBB [Pro League] athlete,” the Chicago native says.

From that point forward, there was no stopping her. She first stepped onstage at age 17 and quickly began racking up awards and taking top honors in bikini contests. So how’d she climb the ranks so fast? Two words: hard work.

“Nothing in life is handed to you,” she says. “If you want to achieve success, go out and get it. To accomplish what you desire, no matter what it is, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. If you have the work ethic and the drive, you will succeed.”

Something else King attributes her success to is a willingness to sacrifice. While her peers were out partying in high school, she resisted. “I never really followed the social norms a teenage girl often follows, because I was always so focused on what I ultimately wanted,” she says. 

Clearly, all the sacrfice and brutal workouts have paid off. Along with being the 2016 Bikini Olympia champion, the 5’5″ 122-pounder is also a successful health and fitness lifestyle coach. And as any knowledgable coach will tell you, exercise alone won’t get the job done for you. “Nutrition is key to achieving the physique you want,” King says. “The saying that you can’t out-train a bad diet is one that I believe in 110%.” 

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