With their fantastic physiques, bodybuilders have always tended to intimidate people.  So, it has become common place to try to diminish them by claiming they are not very bright, but female bodybuilder Kristy Hawkins proves that stereotype false.

You’ll see a good example of this if you look at the movie “Don’t Make Waves,” and see actor Tony Curtis manipulating a befuddled Dave Draper to try and take his girlfriend (the unfortunate Sharon Tate) away from him.

In many cases, bodybuilders are teens who discover the gym, concentrate on training, and do not pursue education with any energy.  But there are plenty of exceptions.  Arnold and Shawn Ray both have college degrees and Frank Zane was a teacher.  And, among the women, there is bodybuilder and powerlifter Kristy Hawkins.

According to Wikipedia: Kristy Hawkins was born and raised in Longview, Texas in 1980. In 1994, she started attending Longview High School. In 1998, she graduated from high school and started attending Texas A&M University that same year. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2002, graduating summa cum laude and with University and Foundation Honors. She earned a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2005. She graduated from Caltech in 2008 with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering.

Kristy Hawkins wearing a blue bikini over a reflective floor
It is difficult to train for both bodybuilding and powerlifting since each has a different effect on symmetry and proportion. Bill Dobbins

Kristy says she was overweight as a teen and in trying to lose pounds by extreme diet she became anorexic. When the fact that this was so unhealthy became clear, she decided to try to “work off” the excess weight.  At first, she did cardio and dance.  And then she discovered the gym and gradually became more serious about weight training, ending up as both a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter.

Female bodybuilder Kristy Hawkins photoshoot
Kristy Hawkins built this physique while earning her Ph.D. Bill Dobbins

“In the same way my brain seemed natural to respond to learning about science and math,” she explains, “my body responded to exercise and training.  I found that developing these two aspects of my life – mind, and body – created a balance that I found extremely rewarding.”

Kristy won the NPC Nationals, heavyweight and overall, in 2008.  This qualified her as an IFBB pro.  She then went on to set numerous world records as a powerlifter.  But it is difficult to train as both a powerlifter and a bodybuilder at the same time since the different types of training involved can make a considerable difference to body proportions and symmetry.  Also, despite how much Kristy has always liked developing her mind and body at the same time, earning a Ph.D. from Caltech requires a great deal of time, effort, and energy.  So, at a certain point in her life, Kristy decided she could no longer concentrate with the same emphasis on bodybuilding and powerlifting competition and her career as a scientist as well.

“As life goes on,” she says, “circumstances change, and your goals must change as well. But I certainly hope I will serve as an example to both female and male competitors that you can be a bodybuilder or powerlifter and still develop your other talents – as a doctor, lawyer, scientist, entrepreneur, or even movie star.”

“Training as a competitive athlete can be a springboard to future success, rather than a barrier.”

Muscular female Kristy Hawkins wearing red lingerie
Kristy Hawkins – a beautiful mind in a beautiful body. Bill Dobbins

The Contest History of Kristy Hawkins

  • 2010 IFBB New York Pro – 10th
  • 2009 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 7th
  • 2009 IFBB Atlantic City Pro – 2nd
  • 2008 IFBB Ms. International – 14th
  • 2007 NPC Nationals – 1st (LHW & Overall)
  • 2006 NPC Nationals – 3rd (LHW)
  • 2005 NPC Nationals – 4th (LHW)
  • 2004 IFBB North Americans – 4th (LHW)
  • 2004 NPC Jr. Nationals – 5th (LHW)
  • 2003 NPC Jr. Nationals – 4th (MW)
  • 2003 NPC Lone Star Classic – 1st (HW & Overall)
  • 2003 NPC Pittsburgh Open -1st (MW & Overall)
  • 2003 NPC Ronnie Coleman Classic – 1st (MW)
  • 2002 NPC Pittsburgh Open – 3rd (LW)
  • 2002 NPC Michigan Championships – 1st (LW)
  • 2000 ANPPC Southwest USA Natural Bodybuilding Championships – 3rd (Novice Women Short Class)
  • 1999 AAU Mr./Mrs. Southwest America – 1st (Open Women Short Class) and Best Poser
  • 1998 AAU Mr./Mrs. Southwest America – 1st (Novice Women Medium Class) and Best Poser
  • 1998 ANPPC Mississippi Open – 3rd (Novice Women Short Class)

Powerlifting History

In 2011, Hawkins stepped away from professional bodybuilding and successfully stepped into the realm of powerlifting, while maintaining a “bodybuilder” type look to her physique. She has stated that when she was just starting this sport, she managed to squat 400 pounds.

World Records

Date Record broken Class Lift Federation
08/20/16 Total (no wraps) 165 lb. (75 kg) 1,328 lb. (602 kg) WRPF
11/05/16 Squat (no wraps) 165 lb. (75 kg) 496 lb. (225 kg) SPF
11/12/17 All Squats (with & without wraps) 165 lb. (75 kg) 573 lb. (260 kg) SPF
11/12/17 All Totals (with & without wraps) 165 lb. (75 kg) 1,434 lb. (650 kg) SPF


Muscular woman Kristy Hawkins kneeling in a garden wearing lingerie
“Training as a competitive athlete can be a springboard to future success, rather than a barrier,” says Kristy Hawkins. Bill Dobbins
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