Talented stars, killer physiques.Read article
Photos by Ian Spanier
Keeping her eyes on the prize has never been a problem for Bikini Olympia champion Courtney King. From an early age, the Chicago native 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 athlete,” King admits.
From that point forward there was no stopping the determined teen. She first stepped onstage at age 17 and made an instant splash, quickly racking up awards and taking top honors in a host of shows. Asked how she vaulted in the ranks so fast, the confident competitor sums it up with one word: work.
“Nothing in life is handed to you,” King 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 to her success as a competitor is a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. While her peers were out partying in high school, she forwent the common temptations that go with being a young adult and took the road less traveled. “The social norms that a teenage girl often follows, I never really did, because I was always so focused on what I ultimately wanted.”
Clearly, all the sacrifice and brutal, body-sculpting workouts have paid off. Along with being the 2016 Bikini Olympia champion, the 5'5", 122-pound beauty is also a BPI Sports athlete and Celestial Bodiez athlete. In addition, she’s a successful health-and-fitness lifestyle coach who creates customized plans to help clients reach their fitness goals. And as any knowledgeable coach will tell you, exercise alone won’t get you to the promised land, which is why she puts as much emphasis on nutrition as she does exercise.
“Nutrition is key to achieving the physique you want. The saying that you can’t out-train a bad diet is one I believe in 110%,” King emphatically states. Here are some of her top nutrition tips.
> Portion Control:
Of course you would love to eat the whole box of your favorite cereal, but it’s all about balance and controlling the amount you consume. That way, you can eat the things you like most—in moderation.
> Get Your Protein:
Be sure to include protein in your meals throughout the day. I get my protein from lean whitefish, chicken, ground turkey, eggs, and whey protein shakes.
> Carb Up:
Carbs are not evil. I incorporate lots of carbs into my diet depending on the times I train and what I’m training for. Carbs I prefer include oatmeal, quinoa, rice (brown and white), sweet potatoes, essential flaxseed bread, and Cheerios.
> More Veggies:
They’re packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so make sure to get enough servings of colorful, healthy vegetables each day.
> Healthy Fats:
It’s a fact: Avocados, walnuts, almond butter, olives, and flaxseed oil are healthy fats that are always welcome in my diet.
> Out of Sight, Out of Mind:
Don’t be tempted with unhealthy foods by having them in the house. It’s the only way to guarantee you won’t eat them at a time of weakness.
> Spice Things Up:
Adding different spices and seasonings to your meals can add much-needed flavor to keep your taste buds satisfied.
> Make a Meal Journal:
Having a notebook or a journal to track your progress can have a very positive effect. It holds you accountable for what you’re eating each day.
> Train Your Brain:
Are you truly hungry or just bored?
While King continues to reign as a dominant force in the IFBB, she’s also keenly aware of the necessity to find a balance between fitness and all other aspects of life, including spending time with family and friends. “Fitness should play a vital role in your life, but you should allow room for other necessities that make you feel good about yourself. If you learn to love the journey, you will find yourself on the right path for success.” – FLEX