Katie Marshall - Bikini Competitor

Fitness has always been a part of my life growing up, I'm very close with my dad who is also very fitness-minded (and a nationally qualified iron man athlete!). In college I even went on to teach Zumba and other group fitness courses. The summer of 2014 I happened to come across a competition website and something about it really stuck with me -- I then had this moment of "I'm either going to try this thing, or spend the rest of my life thinking about it". That's when I began working with Tasha Star (Eastman) online to really get a solid workout/nutrition plan to build and change my composition before diving into my first prep!

So proud to be bringing home first place for my class from the #victoryclassic last night. I've changed my lifestyle and dedicated myself to my goals for years, and bringing home a first place win for the very first time is nothing short of unforgettable. I couldn't continue in this sport without the guidance of my amazing coach and unmatched support from all of my family and all of the people who #glammed me up yesterday. So much more is coming for me in this sport and I can finally without a doubt say I am a #nationallyqualified athlete ?? #teamhammer #shoottokill #beundeniable #npccompetitor #bodybuilding #victoryclassic #bikinigirl #npc #stayhungry #bodybuilding #onehappygirl #competitionday #thebestisyettocome #nevergiveup #girlswithmuscle

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I had a decent understanding of proper form and different movements and my workout split still includes 2 shoulder days and 2 leg days to really build that "X frame". When first incorporating cardio I'll typically begin with HIIT on the bike and transition to steady state the closer I get to competition. We evaluate at weekly check ins and make changes to cardio and macros accordingly. I currently follow the iifym method of dieting (which naturally becomes "clean eating" as macros decrease during competition prep) and have found it to be most effective for me.

I have also tried carb cycling, which I believe can be really effective -- high days for large muscle groups like legs and back and low on rest days. Personally, I have chronic migraines which can make my schedule unpredictable, which doesn't work as well carb cycling. The biggest change from my on/off season diet is that in the last 4 weeks before a competition I take out any artificial sweeteners, dyes, unnecessary supplements, etc. I have also recently played around with cutting back on gluten and dairy right before a competition which I also found helpful (but not something I cut out year round!!). It can be difficult living with and/or cooking for a family who is not dieting or has different dietary needs, but we find a way to make it work!

I recently competed in two back-to-back shows: Jr Nationals and NC Victory Classic; Jr Nats was my first national level show and really a great experience, from the athlete accommodations, efficiency of check in, and how smooth the show ran. Unfortunately it was also my first time on a carpeted stage which did not work in my favor. I was Center of 4th call outs, which got my butt in gear to actually go back to my second show and get first in my class. Victory Classic gave me the qualification to compete at the Miami Nationals, which I plan to attend this year!

Happy but never satisfied. Just got my plans from coach for the next few days and we are full steam ahead because #peakweek is HERE! ?? No time to take it easy or relax and ready to dial it in and blow my last physique out of the water. #teamhammer #shoottokill #flexfriday #peakweek #npccompetitor #bikinigirl #jrnationals #bodybuilding #stayhungry #preplife #peeallthetime #npc #leanmuscle #bodybuilding #strength #instafit #nofilter

A post shared by Katie Marshall (@ktmarsh_mellow) on

Having the support of my family and my fiance definitely help with my confidence in this sport. Also having such a knowledgeable coach will help me compete in a healthy way that will let me step on stage for a lifetime! Stage presence and confidence are key, we spend months preparing and want to showcase our hard work properly. I'm an engineer for a paper mill, so by no means a glamour job, and spend a significant portion of my time out of work at the gym so practicing my posing and the show day glam really give me a chance to be the sassy, fierce beauty queen that I love to embody, but don't often get the opportunity to show. You truly do have to give yourself a winners mentality that you can and will do this!

When I first started I just wanted to make it to the stage and had no idea that this journey would bring me to a national stage with dreams of going pro one day. Knowing that I can get there whether it be 2017 or 2027 and that I determine when and how I get there is what drives me every day.

IG https://www.instagram.com/ktmarsh_mellow
Email kamarsh93@gmail.com

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