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What Do You Do When You Injure Yourself At The Gym?
An Interview with Kenneth and Hollie Crowson
Ken competed for the first time in 2012, and took the overall title in the men's bodybuilding. For Hollie, she competed in the short class bodyfitness category, and got third place in 2013. Not bad at all considereing this was a tough competition and her first competition. In the following Interview Ken and Hollie share their personal journey when they both competed as a couple in 2013.
Ken: My name is Kenneth Brian Crowson and I am originally from Florida. I joined the Air Force when I was 18 and have lived in Japan, the middle east, Korea and Guam.
Hollie: My name is Hollie Crowson and I am originally from Elizabeth city, NC. I have been a Licensed Practical Nurse for 9 years.
Q: When did you both decided to start getting fit together, and then wind up competing on stage for a show?
Ken: I've been competing since 2009, Hollie was always a great supporter. She would always say "I wish I could do it." and I'd tell her that "you can, if you really want to." She decided that she wanted to compete in 2013 and I was all for it.
Hollie: I have always been into fitness, I was a cheerleader and gymnast growing up. I always wanted to do a fitness/figure competition, I decided that 2013 was the year that I would really do one.
Q: What were some of the challenges you both experienced when you competed for the 2013 Nationals?
Ken: I trained Hollie and handled her nutrition. That was my first time coaching anyone for a contest, which was kind of difficult while also being in contest prep myself. So I was learning Hollies body as well tracking both of our progression, making adjustments to our diet and training, etc. I still had fun though, I love that type of stuff.
Hollie: The diet part was the hardest for me.
Q: What have you both learned from your overall involvement in this competition that you can now apply to your everyday life?
Ken: "If you believe it, you can achieve it." That's my favorite quote by Napoleon Hill and bodybuilding has taught me that it is true. Also, you will only get great results if you put forth great effort. Thats true in bodybuilding and all other areas of life.
Hollie: you can do anything you put your heart and soul into it.
Q: Preparing for a contest is not easy. Did you ever thought of giving up? Where did you get your motivations and dedication to keep going until the day of the contest?
Ken: Quitting never crossed my mind. My motivation is stepping on stage better than the time before.
Hollie: I got my motivation and dedication from my husband. He encouraged me everyday and told me how proud of me he was.
Q: How did you prepare your meals, and what foods did you eat. Did you have cheat days?
Ken and Hollie: We ate lots of eggs, egg whites, tilapia, chicken and spinach. Most of the time, I (Ken) would cook a bunch of food and we would just eat it for 2 or 3 days. We never had any cheat days, but would do refeeds, when necessary. When we refeed, I basically eat a lot of carbs with very little fat.
Q: What type of training regimen did you follow?
Ken: I like to train heavy weights with low volume with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) while preparing for a contest. I do a push/pull/legs rotation with rest days as needed.
Hollie: I did the same workouts with Brian.
Q: Do you get a lot of encouragement from friends and families? What about the negatives? How did you deal with that?
Ken: Everyone close to me supports me, so thats good. Anything negative just fuels my passion even more, so I don't mind.
Hollie: All my friends and family supported me and followed my progress.
Q: What supplement program was incorporated into your contest preps? Did you take any energy supplements?
Ken: I like to take amino acids to prevent muscle breakdown, creatine and a multivitamin. I drink preworkout drinks or black coffee for energy and focus.
Hollie: Same as my husband.
Q: What was it like on the day of the contest and on stage?
Ken: 2013 was lots of fun because Hollie was there and so was Amanda, our good friend. I also knew more people than in 2012. I like being on stage under the bright lights. Getting medals and trophies is always fun and satisfying. This year, I think I was more excited for Hollie than anything. I am really proud of her because I know it takes lots of hard work and courage to get on stage.
Hollie: I was really nervous the first time I stepped on stage. Turned out to be really fun and addicting and I want to do another competition.
Q: Is bodybuilding a sport? Why? or Why not?
Ken: In my opinion, no, bodybuilding is not a sport. Bodybuilding is an art form and we are like the sculptors. We train hard and diet to display our masterpiece on contest day.
Hollie: I agree with Ken.
Q: What do you do on your free time when you are away from the gym?
Ken: I like to read, go to the beach, hike, cook, or just relax and watch netflix.
Hollie: I like to lay on the beach and read books. I like spending time with my friends. Guam is a beautiful island and I like to explore it. I also like to relax on the couch with my husband and watch movies.
Q: When do we expect to see you again on stage?
Ken: Sadly, I will be leaving Guam in June. With the military cut backs, I have been approved for early retirement from the Air Force. I can't say for sure when I will compete again. I do plan on eventually qualifying for 2015 Nationals and competing there.
Hollie: We will be moving away from Guam in June. I would like to compete by the end of this year but if that doesn't work out then I want to compete next year in 2015.
Q: Ken, you went off-Island to the 2013 IFBB World Championships in Morocco; How did that go? Hollie, What was it like being there supporting your husband?
Ken: It was a great honor to be there. The caliber of competition was insane. With the help of Tony Morrison, I was able to make weight as a Light Weight; thats 154lbs. I think there were over 40 people in my class, alone. I would hate to be a judge at that show because all of the physiques are amazing. I did not place in the top 15, but like I said it was an honor to be there and a great experience; all thanks to the GNPC.
Hollie: It was a really fun experience and cool to see all the different competitors from around the world. Also I got to ride a camel.
Q: From your personal experiences, what would you advise someone who is interested in competing?
Ken: I would advise them to either do their research to diet properly or find a good coach to help you. Once you feel like you are ready, pick a show and give yourself plenty of time to get into shape. It's better to be in shape early than not be lean enough on contest day, in my opinion.
Hollie: It really helps to have someone who knows how to do the competition prep so they can help you and teach you. I was lucky that my coach was my husband.
For more photos of Ken and Hollie please visit gallery.
Competition weight: 160
Off-season weight: 180
Favorite cheat food: KFC
Healthy foods: Stir Fry (no oil)
Favorite movie: Fight Club
Pet peeves: bad drivers
Favorite moto: If you can believe it, you can achieve it.
Competition weight: 103
Off-season weight: 120
Favorite cheat food: anything with cheese healthy foods: chicken and spinach
Favorite movie: Armageddon
Pet peeves: Wet Socks
Favorite moto: "Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world."