Manier Works Hard Toward Body Building Success
At first glance, her 115-pound, 5-foot-3 ½ inch frame doesn’t match the stereotypical images of a woman bodybuilder. But one look at Kaylen Manier’s mountainous biceps and you won't second guess her when she says she's a pro competitor with the International Federation of Body Builders.
"I've always thought that being a strong woman was super cool," she says. And since every inch of her body seems made of muscle, you know she means it.
Of course, she wasn't born looking like this. Kaylen explains that her training regimen and somewhat odd diet is tailored to create a lean, chiseled physique. For the 12 weeks before an IFBB show, she amps up her workout routine and eats a daily diet of egg whites, plain oats, bland chicken and brown rice.
She's squirting mustard over a mixture of chicken and brown rice as we chat.
She notices me wrinkle my nose as she stirs her food and laughs. "This diet is not for everyone," she says. "And I would never advise anyone to eat like this unless they're getting ready for a competition." But it's what works for me.
And it's working well.
In her first-ever National Physique Committee state show she swept in and won first place in her class. She then topped that performance in her second show by placing first--not just in her class--but overall. That victory earned her the title of 2009 NPC MS. TN which qualified her to compete nationally. Then, just two shows later, at the IFBB Jr. National Competition, she again took first place overall and secured her pro-status.
But this female powerhouse doesn't claim overnight success. She says her rock-solid frame has been a lifetime in the making thanks to the gymnastics school her parents owned in Columbia, TN.
"I was born and four days later I was in the gym. That was my nursery." She laughs as she recalls her earliest days wheeling around Discovery Gymnastics in a baby walker. She learned to do forward rolls nearly as soon as she learned to walk.
She was doing cartwheels at age 3 and back handsprings by the time she was 5. She was a competitive gymnast throughout her entire school career. But the muscles she built from her rigorous gymnastics workouts drew unwanted attention from some of her classmates.
"I would get made fun of and they'd say my arms were too big. It really hurt my feelings," she says.
The criticisms she received in her youth helped prepare her for the negative comments she gets as a female bodybuilder now. Because although her well-toned figure earns her praise and admiration in the IFBB community, some people just don't understand why a girl wants to be so muscular.
"I run into people who tell me straight to my face that I look disgusting," she says. "But people who are close to me have a lot of respect for what I do."
And no matter what anyone says to her, Manier has no plans to stop sculpting her body. She is currently training for the IFBB Pheonix Pro show taking place Saturday, Aug. 27. She hopes to place well and plans to one day make it to the Ms. Olympia competition.