Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 20:47
Written by Kaila Gretchen Photos By: Chris Zimmerman
Spotlight On NPC Bikini Competitor & Fitness Model: Kaila Gretchen
Goal you aspire to achieve: I want to explore my opportunities in the fitness modeling industry.
Date of birth: 2/5/1985
Hometown: Cazenovia, New York
Career: Lifestyle Fitness Coach for Advanced Pulse Nutrition, and Certified Personal Trainer (BS in Dietetics, NASM CPT & CES, Functional Movement Systems Certified)
Competition and/or modeling history: I competed in two shows, in two years… and realized I am terrified of the stage... I get on there, begging to disappear, and as a result, did pretty poorly. I love the training, and the diet, so I’m attempting the modeling approach instead.
I just had my first photo shoot with the very talented Chris Zimmerman (man, I swear he works magic!)… Can’t wait to work with him again and see where it takes me :o)
How has your life changed since you adopted this lifestyle and what has been the biggest struggle? This lifestyle has actually saved my life. I’ve struggled with serious eating disorders and an extremely negative self-image since I was 11 or 12 years old. I have a terrible family medical history, and have been under doctor supervision for SOME problem or another nearly my entire life… it’s kind of ridiculous, actually. Once in my mid-20’s, I was finally getting medically healthy and fit for the average standards, but was still completely unsatisfied with my physique. With Dave Pulcinella’s help and guidance, I’ve been able to successfully focus my energy and training in a more positive way. Many feel that eating such a strict meal plan and having a scheduled routine is obsessive or over-the-top; but for me, it keeps me focused and grounded. This sport, although it can create paranoia, has allowed me to materialize my goals, and work toward building a better image and confidence rather than destroying it.
What have you found to be the best way to balance family, friends, career, this lifestyle, etc? Being a personal trainer makes the fitness lifestyle pretty easy, and necessary. I think social juggling is a constant struggle for nearly everyone in this industry, especially if they are competitive in their endeavors. I’ve been pretty lucky in that most people don’t give me a hard time about my eating. I’ve always been on crazy restrictive diets, so I guess it’s just something people have come to expect from me. I’m also not phased by watching others eat their glorious grub, while I inhale my food from its itty-bitty Tupperware container. I guess I don’t give anyone the joy from being tortured, because I’m not…so it’s not fun to harass me about it. :o)
It’s definitely difficult maintaining friendships from when I was younger, because my lifestyle is not typical of most of my girlfriends’ anymore… my best girls are all spread out over the entire east coast…so when we do get a chance to meet up, it’s always a big production to coordinate…dates, location, travel, babysitters, husband/boyfriend sitters…but love the time we do get when it happens. I am, however, constantly meeting new people locally who share this lifestyle, and it only inspires me and makes me better at what I do.
If you could change places with one person for the day who would it be, and why?
You know, this is a really tough question… I didn’t even know which direction to take… But I think I’d like to switch places with Alicia Keys. She is by far one of the most talented and beautiful people I’ve ever seen. I grew up in a very musically talented family…and somehow was blessed with being tone deaf!! Dude, I can’t sing or carry a tune or play a musical instrument to save my life!! If I could be Alicia for the day; to play the piano, sing beautifully, and be on stage in front of millions with the confidence she has… that would be amazing... yeah, she’s pretty badass in my opinion.
Name two of the most inspirational people in your life and tell why they inspire you.
First and foremost my boyfriend, Dave Pulcinella, is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met. He’s constantly pushing me to be better in every aspect of my life, and sets an example himself. I’ve always admired him, ever since I first met him when I was 18, and even more now. He always knows how to make me implode with happiness; he keeps me in check, supports me, and is the person I go to first when I need an honest opinion, advice, or just want to share my day. I feel very blessed to have him in my life.
Casey Warmath, one of my very best friends, is another inspiration in my life. She has really been such a strong support, and I couldn’t ask for a better friend. She has helped me get out of un-ideal situations, and was there when I first attempted to prep for a show (complete failure, lol). Although we’re no longer roomies, and live hundreds of miles away, I try to not let a week go by without checking in…Her heart, her work ethic, her support, and her ability to practice what she preaches, is amazing. She was prepping for the IFBB North Americans last year when she discovered she was 5 months pregnant!! (She was THAT tiny still!) Only months after having her precious baby Raegan, this girl was back training and nearly ready to step on stage, looking absolutely beautiful! That’s inspiration.
Tell one recipe or supplement you can’t live without.
Haha, don’t laugh… but my lifeline is my konzyl. I don’t really take any crazy supplements or prepare any recipes on a consistent basis. But anyone who knows me… knows regularity is a major aspiration/accomplishment for me! Lolol
Tell about a typical training day for you. What exercises, how many sets/reps…etc…
As a trainer, I used to squeeze in my workouts whenever I could… and I always put them off if there was an opportunity to train someone else. It made it very difficult to make my own goals a priority when I put everyone else’s before my own. I’ve adapted my schedule now to not allow any excuse to miss my morning cardio, and have finally gotten into a fairly consistent lifting routine. I train with Dave most days. We do fasted cardio in the morning, and he likes to get in two meals before he lifts… so I’ve adapted to that as well. We do a four day split: Chest & Shoulders (I just do shoulders), Back, Arms, and Legs.
Leg day is my favorite… The normal leg day crew includes me, Wynne, Kelly, and Dave, with an occasional guest victim. We always start off pre-exhausting on the leg extension with about 4 working sets of 20+ reps, sometimes with negatives at the end (basically going to complete failure :o)) … then it’s time to lunge!!! 5+ sets of 16-18 down and back... strapped in with 50lb dumbbells some days, but always finish at least with 40lb! This hiney didn’t come easy… that’s for sure! Then, we move to lying leg curls... 4+ sets 20+ reps… sometimes we do negatives with these too... they really suck, lol. By the end… we’re all waddling down to the office, fighting the nausea, to eat our post workout meal… success!!
In closing, Who would you like to give a shout out to?
Thanks to Dave Pulcinella… for everything, Chris Zimmerman for the amazing photos, Dave’s Girls; (Kelly, Wynne, Angelica, Reds, Tess), and Casey Warmath, Leonard Atkins, for your friendship and support :o)
How can potential sponsors or employers contact you?