Tag Archives: Kari Keenan

Trust Your Coach

Its something I see everyday on Facebook and Twitter, girls talking about their prep with other competitors. I think its fine and a great way to be encouraged. The one thing I do see a problem with is when girls start asking questions about diet and training.  Comparing their prep with others can be a dangerous thing. I was talking with featured athlete Kari Keenan about this very topic and she agreed to do a short interview with me.  Kari has the experience and knowledge to take on this topic. Read more about what she shared with us:

What are your recommendations for girls who are competing and social media sites?

If you’re working with a coach, listen ONLY to your coach. You hired him/her for a reason, so why waste your money if you don’t plan on listening to him/her and following the plan? There are a lot of competitors on social media sites, and many of them are very willing to share what does/doesn’t work for them and methods THEY feel are best.  Keep in mind that just because certain methods, diets, or training programs work for one person, that doesn’t mean they’ll work for everyone. If you listen to everyone, you’ll quickly become confused and begin to doubt your own program. That’s a slippery slope, and often leads to disappointment and frustration. Trust YOUR coach. Trust YOUR program. Don’t listen to the “advice” of anyone other than your coach. You’re paying that person for their expertise, so respect them and follow the program they designed specifically for YOU.

What are your feelings about posting progress pictures on sites?

I believe that a lot of people (competitors and non-competitors) post progress pictures just to receive praise and to get followers. I say this not to anger anyone; I’m guilty of it myself periodically. I see a lot of unwarranted self-promotion on social media sites, and to that I say, “different strokes for different folks.” I very rarely post my REAL progress pictures anywhere other than on my personal blog. Simply for the fact that I don’t think my 2,xxxx followers and friends need to see me in various stages of fat loss in a bikini. If you want attention, then by all means, post pictures. But keep in mind that you’ll most likely receive both positive AND negative comments. And you’ll most likely also receive false praise.


What are some of the negative results one can have by listening to “too much advice”?

When you listen to advice from everyone, you end up with a mismatched and unguided plan that will guarantee you to fail. And by fail, I mean you won’t be the best you could possibly be had you just listened to ONE person. Different foods and training programs work differently for different people. Find what works best for YOU and then stick with that. The best advice someone ever gave me was before my first show. He told me, “Everyone becomes an expert when you begin prep. Ignore them all and only listen to ONE person.” I didn’t know what he meant until I started getting confused and frustrated from information overload. Once I stopped trying to follow everyone else’s plan and just concentrated on my own, I began seeing better results.


Contest prep is trial and error each and every time. What worked for you last year may not work for you this year. What works for your friends may not work for you. Like I said, every BODY is different; every BODY responds differently to different foods and training programs. For example, one of my friends has oatmeal in her diet. When I tried oatmeal in my diet, I became very bloated and uncomfortable. Listen to your body. Pay attention to how you feel after you eat different foods. Do you feel full? Do you look watery? Do you feel bloated? Do you feel hungry? All of these questions are important to ask yourself in order to discover what works for YOU.

One of the best (and most important) things you can invest in is a prep coach. Find one person whose methods seem to mesh with how you’d like to approach prep. Listen ONLY to that person. Follow the plan EXACTLY. Don’t lie to your coach. Don’t get distracted by what other are or aren’t doing. Most of all believe in yourself and have faith in your coach. Best of luck and enjoy the journey of contest prep!



Kari Keenan is a National-level Figure competitor who is an Instructional Designer by day and gym rat by night. She has been competing for six years and is currently prepping for her 11th Figure show on June 30 in Maryland. She writes about the everyday life of a Figure competitor at www.figuregirlworld.com, and submits weekly fitness/health articles for www.fitnessrxmag.com. You can reach her at babytatten@yahoo.com.

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Kari Keenan – Figure Athlete

Kari Keenan – Figure Athlete

MuscleBombshell had a chance to chat with Kari Keenan.

This blonde beauty is no amateur when it comes to the Figure world! Definitely a Pro in the making!

1. Briefly share with us your background (Education, Interests, etc.)?

My background is in English language and literature. I was a software technical writer for several years before transitioning into training and development. I currently write online training courses for several government social programs.

I have always been an athlete. I played tennis and softball, and was in cheerleading and danceline in school. My first introduction to the weight room was in college, when the entire cheer team was required to weight train. Ever since I saw a tiny bicep peaking out of my shirt, I’ve been hooked on weight training.

When people in the gym kept asking me if I competed, I looked at some photos of Figure competitors, and decided to see if I, too, could look like them. It turns out, I could! The moment I stepped on stage for the first time, I was hooked on competing!

2. Who has inspired you the most to succeed as a Fitness Competitor?

There hasn’t been one single person who’s been an inspiration to me; instead, it’s the women who strive day in and day out to reach for their dreams. When I hear and read stories of women who have made drastic lifestyle changes or who are just starting to compete, I’m inspired to
continue doing my best to achieve my goals.

3. What competitions have you made appearances in? From these, what were your placements (titles won)?

  • 2006 Emerald Cup, Seattle, WA Tied for 4th place Figure Class A
  • 2007 Emerald Cup, Seattle, WA, 8th place Figure Class A
  • 2008 Emerald Cup, Seattle, WA, 8th place Figure Class A
  • 2008 Contra Costa Championships, Hayward, CA, 1st place Figure Class A, OVERALL
    winner (I won the coolest prize ever: a SWORD!)
  • 2008 California State Championships, Culver City, CA, 1st Place Figure Class B
  • 2009 Pittsburgh Championships, Pittsburgh, PA, 7th place Figure Class A
  • 2009 Jr. Nationals, Chicago, IL, 15th place, Figure Class B
  • 2010 Arnold Amateur, Columbus, OH, 4th place Figure Class B
  • 2010 Lehigh Valley Championships, Allentown, PA, 1st place Figure Class A
  • 2011 Team Universe, Teaneck, NJ, 16th place Figure Class B

4. When is your next upcoming show? What will be your competing class?

I just finished a long prep, so at this point I’m just relaxing and working on building up my physique. I’ll compete in NPC Figure at some point again next year after the 2012 schedule is released.

5. Where can fans find out more about you (website, published magazines, etc.)?

Please feel free to contact me on my website www.figuregirlworld.com, or on Facebook (Kari Keenan) or Twitter (@babytatten).

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