Interview with Kori Bliffert

I’ve known Kori for about 8 years, maybe a little more. Our paths first crossed at an RKC weekend in St. Paul Minnesota. Kori has been nice enough to share some of her training experience with us, both pre and post baby.

She’s had a pretty amazing transformation in the past year as well, she had a baby girl and a year later she stepped on stage for the first time as a bikini competitor! Read on to see what her driving force was.

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Pamela: Hey Kori, How are you?!
Kori: Hi Pamela, I’m great!

Pamela: We’ve known each other for several years but can you give the readers a brief overview of your training history?

Kori: First, let me say Thank You for having me as a guest on your blog!

I was overweight for the majority of my childhood. I never liked exercise, hated PE class and was really more of a homebody. Plus I LOVED food…well I still do, I just now know how to portion it better. I am what you might call a “big portion girl”. The more I can have on my plate, the happier I am ☺.

As I grew up and entered high school and college, I started to go on diets, some of them pretty extreme, taking diet pills and going to aerobics classes. My weight constantly yo-yoed; I was never happy with it and would jump on every fad diet out there. It wasn’t until I met my now husband, BJ, that I learned what proper nutrition is, I don’t have to “diet” and I fell in love with not only training myself but training others as well. For the past 9 years I have coached many clients and now co-own a very successful gym here in Frisco, TX with BJ that will celebrate being open 6 years this October.

Pamela: You had a baby a year ago and around her first birthday you competed in your first ever bikini competition what was your motivation or desire to do this?

Kori: For me to stay focused in training, I have to have goals. I am not someone who can just “workout” or “go lift” for fun. For me, the fun is setting a goal and achieving it. And I always try to set goals that push me not only physically but, mentally and emotionally and really make me go out of my comfort zone. So when I was in the third trimester of my pregnancy I started thinking about what I wanted to do to get back to my pre-baby body and the first thing that popped in my head was a bikini competition. If you know me, you know I am not a flashy, “look at me!” type of girl. I like to blend into the crowd. But getting on stage in front of 100s of people in a bikini and being judged!?! Well that was about as out of my comfort zone as I was going to get….ever. I also wanted to feel sexy again, as weird as that sounds. Pregnancy, it is a beautiful thing, but sexy it is not.

Just before Parker was delivered

Just before Parker was delivered

Once I decided on my goal, I needed to set a date. I started doing a lot of research on the competitions in Texas and decided to pick a competition that was exactly 50 weeks after I had my daughter. On April 12th, I competed in the Texas Shredder in Austin, TX. My goal was never to place, win or ever make this into more than just a hobby. I wanted to get up on the stage and know I worked hard for my goal and show off that hard work.

Nutrition played a huge role

Pamela: How different was your training for this competition than your previous training programs?

Kori: I have always enjoyed lifting heavy with barbell movements such as squats and deadlifts, but with this I had a more specific goal in mind. It seemed like I was able to put more effort and focus into each set. I wasn’t just training to train.

Pamela: Nutrition always, always plays a role. Can you give us some insight on how much nutrition played a roll?

Kori: Nutrition played a HUGE role in all of this. Like I said above, I love food. And usually I can stay on track with being 80 maybe even 90% compliant. I have always allowed myself a “reward” meal 1-2 times per week. But with this, I had to be 100% compliant for the entire training process. I was given macros I had to hit every day and that depended on if it was a training day or a non-training day. I had to plan my food for the week on Sunday and make sure I had everything set. Meal prep was/is huge here. I did find a way to make it very easy. I had two menus I went off of. I had a “training day menu” and a “non-training day menu”. I ate the same thing for those days all week. It got extremely boring, but it got me the results I needed, and that is what mattered. I knew I wouldn’t have to eat like this for the rest of my life.

At her first bikini competition, after Parker.

At her first bikini competition, after Parker.

Pamela: What’s your opinion about staying in good physical shape both during pregnancy and post pregnancy?

Kori: My opinion is while you are pregnant, do what you feel comfortable doing. Now is not the time to “get in shape” for the baby or go on any type of diet. I know that sounds crazy, I mean why would you even think about going on a diet while pregnant, but I have had women tell me this. I do feel any type of exercise is better than none, as long as your doctor is OK with it. Walking is probably the easiest and best way to keep active during pregnancy.

Getting back into my exercise routine post pregnancy was probably harder for me than exercising while pregnant. I have been consistently exercising for 12 years, I exercised all the way up to 1 month before giving birth, and it should have been easy to get back into it. It wasn’t. My best advice, is take it slow. You will not be able to get back into your old routine you had before becoming pregnant, if you had one, or even a routine you had while you were pregnant. Again, listen to your body and know that it took 9 months to put on that baby weight, it’s not going to come off in a couple of weeks.

Making time for exercise

Pamela: I know one of the big reasons many folks find it hard to train, let alone train for something so serious is committing the time. How would you suggest folks make the time for training for their health?

Kori: Just like anything you have to make time. I schedule it into my Google calendar and I stick to that schedule. There are times when I other things will come up and I want to blow off my training, but then I remember I have my goal and my goal has a deadline. If I skip on my training, I am not working towards my goal and I won’t achieve my goal by my deadline.

I have also broken up my training during the day. If you know you can’t dedicate a full hour (or however long your training takes) break it up into two separate sessions during the day. Once I started getting closer to my competition I had to add in a lot of cardio, but I didn’t have time to do 2 hours worth of training (weights and cardio) in the morning. So I broke it up. I would train with weights in the morning and then get my cardio in either afternoon or night. This makes it easier to get your full session in.

Pamela: You run a business with your husband, you have a 1 year old, how do you schedule time for working, training, and the one thing most of us leave out YOU time?

Kori: This was probably the biggest obstacle I have had to overcome and I still have not perfected it. Before having Parker I could do what I needed to do, when I needed to do it. Now, I schedule my work, training and me time around Parker’s schedule.

Again, it just comes down to making time for it. For me that means I do have to do a majority of my training at 5am, doing a lot of my work while Parker is napping or late at night and making sure I get my “me time” at least once a week. I schedule all of this and then stick to it.

Pamela: Any last thoughts you have on women and strength training?

Kori: Every woman should do it! The biggest misconception is that women get “big and bulky” from lifting weights heavier than 5 pounds. That is just not true. We do not have the hormones to get big and when women do get “bigger” from lifting, it most likely has everything to do with their nutrition. Please ladies, do not be scared to lift heavy!!

Pamela: Ah…Perfect! “Every woman should lift weights!” Kori, thank you so much for your time, I know that cute little girl of yours gets a front row seat, so I appreciate it very much!

To keep up with Kori and her strength training you can:

Follower her on twitter @TrainLike_AGirl

and of course check in on her website at TrainLikeAGirl.com

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