By Rebecca Drew
MEET the bodybuilding mum-of-two who is in the shape of her life at 52-years-old and still enters up to three competitions a year.
Contract carrier, Kimberly Blankenship (52) from Double Springs, Alabama, USA, first got into weight training when she was at college and has continued with this throughout her adult life, attending NPC bodybuilding competitions as a spectator with her husband. After going to a show in 2009, Kimberly decided she wanted to compete and entered her first competition at 45.
Kimberly follows a clean diet and now gives herself 16-weeks to prepare for a competition instead of 12, to avoid injury. When she isn’t competing, Kimberly weighs 10st and gets down to a super lean 9st 2lbs for competitions.
“I started weight training in college and continued after I got married in 1990. My husband was into bodybuilding and took me to several NPC bodybuilding competitions. In 2009, we attended the Alabama state NPC championships – I decided then I wanted to compete,” she said.
“I hired a trainer to help me prep for my first figure competition. My training routine didn’t really change much, but I quickly learned that a ‘clean’ diet is the key to achieving the physique I was seeking.
“I followed a strict high-protein, low-carb diet for twelve weeks and entered my first competition at age 45 and I was hooked.
“I continued to enter two to three competitions per year and finally won my IFBB pro card at age fifty.
“I am definitely in the best shape of my life now and I truly believe a healthy lifestyle of clean eating and exercise is the key to looking and feeling younger. Most people are surprised by my age, but I tell them that age is just a number.
“The body we are born with is the only one we will ever have, we don’t have the option to trade it in for another new and improved model when we wear this one out.”
Kimberly eats five to six meals a day but doesn’t deny herself the occasional dessert when she’s not preparing for a competition. She gave her advice to others wanting to take up the sport.
“I always tell people it’s never too late to start a diet and training program. My advice to them is to set realistic goals – don’t try to compete with what you see on social media,” she said.
“As long as you are improving, you are winning.
“I do stress that it does get harder with age though. With every year that passes, prep for competition gets harder. Metabolism slows with age and my body is slower to heal after injury.
“I now give myself sixteen weeks to prep rather than twelve weeks so that I don’t have to push myself too hard and risk injury or over stressing my body.
“During the off-season, I continue to eat healthy but I’m guilty of occasionally indulging in decadent desserts – you just have to know your limits.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/fit2btide