Christian Duque: The writing's on the wall. Muscular Women are sought after and make for excellent role
models, and with that in mind we must credit the IFBB & the NPC for making a home for Women's Physique
amongst their other distinguished divisions. Today, we introduce a hard working woman that's built a physique
admired by men and appreciated by women. A look that's both aesthetically pleasing and equally feminine
and distinct. I'm very pleased to bring you Kristy Wilce! Kristy, how's it going in your neck of the woods?
Please tell us about yourself.
Kristy Wilce: Christian, thank you so much for taking the time to invite me to interview with Strength Addicts
and share my story! Life for me is wonderful, I am at a place where I can devote a great deal of time to my
training and reap the rewards. My name is Kristy Holtemann Wilce, I am 52 years old, 5' 3" and 123lbs of
almost solid muscle. My competition weight is 119 to 120lbs. I live in San Jose, California, a very large and
diverse city and am proud to say I am a San Jose native!
I compete in the Women's Physique division of the NPC (National Physique Committee), I started with this
organization, and as it is the most active and well known in the United States, I plan to stay with it. I train 7
days a week (first thing in the morning at Gold's Gym in Campbell, California and then with my trainer,
Roy Ganju at his personal training gym, BodyComp Gym three days a week (after work) in San Jose,
California. Roy and I train one on one, so the time is my time, devoted completely to me and I love every
minute of it, he is a fantastic and knowledgeable trainer! So essentially I am at a gym twice a day three times a
week, and then once a day four times a week.
Christian Duque: Please talk to us about walking into the gym for the first time, also talk to us about the day
you were bitten by the workout bug. When did you know this place was going to be a key part of your life?
Kristy Wilce: I started training on a regular basis back in 2000 and walking into the gym my first time was not
memorable actually, I was there because I felt I needed to make some changes in my physique. I didn't know
what I should be doing, I floundered and started in doing what most women do, cardio! I then noticed a group
of women training with one male trainer, almost like what might be a BodyPump class, and I asked to join. I
quickly surpassed them all and decided I wanted to get out of that group exercise room, dump those itty bitty
pink weights and into the weight room with the men.
I began to work with a trainer and started to learn more and more about weight training. I enjoyed the heavy
weights and soon began reading about Kettlebells and sought out an instructor who could teach me how to
use them properly. This lead me to a trainer I would end up working with for almost three years. He was a
collegiate strength coach and a very good one. I remember walking into that gym, the very first day was
memorable to me and that's really when the workout bug hit me. It was a 10,000 square foot facility, where the
NCAA athletes trained. Students and staff of the university were not allowed there, but somehow I would be
training in that very place. There were 12 squat racks along one wall, 10 Glute Ham Raises along the back, 12
Olympic Lifting platforms down the center, two reverse Hypers, more free weights than I could count and only
a few, seldom used machines. I would end up calling this my home for quite some time.
We trained with kettlebells exclusively for about a year, then one day he told me he couldn't teach me any
more. He was an RKC team leader for Dragon Door, very knowledgeable and he said I could easily be an
instructor myself. So I asked him to teach me all about strength training, so we launched into the world of
strength. I pushed sleds on the turf, I swung sledgehammers against the big tires in the sand pit along side
the football players, I trained on the Reverse Hypers, I squatted (oh did I squat), I learned Olympic lifting on
the platforms, all about time under tension, the importance of the eccentric portion of the lift, and that food
was the most anabolic substance I could consume. When I asked Jeremy questions he handed me books -
textbooks on strength training then told me to read them and come back and explain the answer to him later.
Christian Duque: I had to break this question off from the last one because for some folks it's a pretty
daunting task to put into words. But, what inspired you to compete? Am I wrong to assume that some friends
and family didn't get it, or don't get it? Why put yourself through the prep and possibly a good chunk of
drama? Was it worth it?
Kristy Wilce: My body started changing, I was lean, muscular and athletic looking, people started asking me
of I competed. "Competed in what?" I asked- I didn't even know that there was anything other than
Bodybuilding! I started to research it a bit and decided I liked how the Figure competitors looked. I looked
good, better than most women I know and I had a similar physique as the competitors. Being very goal
oriented it gave me something to work towards. I am always looking for a new adventure so this would be my
latest, I decided to compete.
My family has always supported me, although it does get tiring for my husband. My hobby used to be
cooking, and that quickly fell by the wayside as weight training consumed more and more of my time. There
are times he feels left out and a bit lonely as I spend so much time on my training and diet, but he has always
been one of my biggest supporters. Friends are also very supportive but really don't understand it, not many
people devote hours a day to their training and diet, so it's hard for anyone outside of the industry to grasp
why a person would spend so much time doing what I do. Many fiends think "one meal won't hurt" or a "few
drinks won't make you gain weight", but its the dedication and consistency that have created my physique, so I
tend to stick to my eating plan 99% of the time. They are used to me drinking water while we all socialize now,
and they don't tease me and offer the junk food that they once did, they accept it as a given that I am "on"
pretty much 365 days a year now!
The "prep" really isn't too difficult for me, and that is because I don't swing in my weight and physique much, I
stay fairly lean year round and I am never one to binge. Those who do gain a lot in the off season have a
much more difficult time. I actually enjoy the thrill of the prep, I wake up with my mind racing about what the
days training and food holds for me and go for it! My body reacts so quickly, its like a fine tuned machine and
each small tweak or adjustment creates even more speed and energy.
Christian Duque: If you don't mind me saying so, you have a very beautiful physique, very sexy &
undoubtedly very feminine. What's been harder for you - putting on lean muscle or
training/eating/supplementing just right to strike that key interaction between muscularity & femininity?
Kristy Wilce: Thank you! I also feel that athletic women are indeed very sexy! I was raised to be proud of my
body and am quite comfortable showing it off. Putting on lean muscle is by far the most difficult
endeavor I have encountered! It is not easy for women to gain muscle, and any woman who says they
"bulk up quickly' is probably eating way too many calories and her 'bulk" is a great deal of fat. Learning to eat
properly, the timing of the foods, the foods that work best for me and dieting to drop fat were certainly not
easy to learn, but once I figured it all out and developed a protocol, it became routine. Adding lean mass is a
constant struggle, and staying lean while doing it is an art form that I feel I have gotten close to perfecting!
Christian Duque: When you're about to get on stage, whether it's for pre-judging or the night show, how do
you rationalize the whole process, reign in your nerves and out doubts, and go out there and smile for the
fans & the cameras? Is their a good amount of acting that goes into it? Surely you can't be happy when you're
carb-depleted, thirsty, not to mention tired?
Kristy Wilce: A show is all day and night long, the days leading up to it are exhausting, both physically and
mentally. I certainly have second thoughts that run through my head, and I ask myself "why oh why am I doing
this again!?" Since I am a very lean person by nature, I never have to carb deplete as so many other
competitors do, but I certainly am thirsty and think of ice cold water all night and day.
Once I am close to going on stage, I get excited as I realize (once again) that I have accomplished an amazing
feat! Something so many women talk about, dream about, even work towards, yet few actually step on stage.
It's also much easier to smile while competing in physique, we get to perform barefoot, no 5 inch heels for us! I
also get a thrill out of placing and winning a trophy, when most of my competition is 20 years young than me! I
really enjoy helping out the younger gals, making sure they know it's OK to be nervous and help them learn
the ropes. I find that they are also amazed that the camaraderie backstage is tight, most of the women here
are rooting for each other to win. I reassure them that they will survive, they look stunning and should be
They all gasp in amazement when I tell them my age, and they say things like "I want to look like you
someday!" Many of them call me "mama" now and although it reminds me of my age, I know it's a term of
endearment they reserve for me.
Christian Duque: So let's talk about nutrition. So many people (sadly) attribute lean muscle and overall
health to pills, powders, or substances in a vile. They don't realize the very real value and effect of sound
nutrition. For example, Insulin is by far a much more powerful hormone than testosterone, and insulin (if
manipulated correctly through diet) can lead to some pretty sick gains and/definition. What's your take on
food - how important is it and how good have you become in knowing what nutrients effect your body?
Kristy Wilce: I agree completely, I am drug free and always will be. It is very unfortunate that drugs are
rampant in the industry and at times I become discouraged about it as many people assume that I am on gear
because I look so muscular. In fact, a woman at my gym said she overheard some men discussing me and
saying that I had to be juicing. I don't let it get me down too long though, I turn it around and realize that it
means I look good, really good so they just cannot imagine anyone looking like this and being clean. As my
strength coach said to me when I started training with him "Any idiot can take drugs" and it has stuck in my
mind all this time. Of course, people can do what they like, and the industry does promote the "bigger"
"freakier" look that is attained by anabolics, but that certainly doesn't mean we all take them. I enjoy looking
feminine, and I have seen so many women get caught up in the steroid craze, their faces start to look angular
with square jaws, their faces change dramatically, bodies taking on proportions that are not attained naturally,
then they start look androgynous and no longer as feminine as they once did.
It was back in 2009 that I realized how important food and nutrient timing was. I hired a nutritionist to teach me
the basics and my physique took off immediately. It was the "edge" I needed to push me to the next level. I
have learned what makes my body perform well, what makes me look "puffy" the next day, what allows me to
recover best and most importantly, what I can eat pre-training so I have enough energy and make the best
use of my time in the gym. I trained for years and never saw the results I wanted until I started dialing in the
An 18 year old male athlete can get away with eating just about anything, but as you age, that is no longer a
possibility and women have an especially hard time due to the hormones that encourage fat storage in the
lower body area.
Christian Duque: In most interviews, they'd probably ask you this very early on, but this
StrengthAddicts.com, we're the redheaded stepchild of the industry, we have breakfast for dinner & such (lol).
Are you working with anyone be it for posing, nutrition, or the ever ambiguous-all-encompassing "contest
prep" window? If you're flying solo or working with people, please tell us why?
Kristy Wilce: I trained with an IFBB Figure Pro back in 2009 for a year. She taught me many of the tricks I still
rely on today. I found that I really liked lifting though, and the "Figure Gal" training just wasn't interesting to
me, I wanted to flip tires, do deadlifts and squat! Much of our training was centered around sculpting the body
more, it didn't hold my interest so we eventually parted ways.
My current trainer is Roy Ganju of BodyComp Personal Training Gym. We train three times a week one on
one, usually for about 90 minutes each time, and have been together a few years now. I looked for someone
who was certified in the methods of Charles Poliquin, and it took me a long time to find Roy! He has an
amazing eye and works to ensure I am symmetrical and balanced, and although he doesn't do any of my prep,
I would not look like I do today without him.
Up until recently I did all of my own diet and prep for competitions, but started working with Dr. Layne Norton
about 5 months ago for my nutrition, supplementation and cardio. He and I will be working together for my next
competition prep, which will start in February. I enjoyed learning about my nutrition, diet and prep by doing it
on my own and I am glad I did. I feel that I have confidence in my own abilities and knowledge that I would not
have if I had always relied on another person directing my every move. I finally decided to work with Layne
after all these years because I wanted to add lean mass in the off season, did not want to take drugs and
realized that I had gotten to a point where I really needed expert advice to take me to the next level. While I
was able to easily diet down for a competition, I floundered in the off season, that was the time when progress
is supposed to be made, I didn't feel I was making any and decided to work with the best!
Layne has been an amazingly positive influence on me and my physique. I am reverse dieting and am eating
over 2300 calories a day, and still slowly losing bodyfat. His methods for meal timing and macro nutrient intake
work, I can say honestly say that I have never looked better. My meal planning has become second nature,
but changes daily, depending on the time of day or night I train. One day I am eating over 90 grams of carbs
for my first meal at 4am, another day I am eating only 38!
I would recommend that a newbie first learn about nutrition on their own, by researching, studying textbooks,
nutrition books, and experimenting. Without basic knowledge, I feel you cannot successfully interact and learn
from your coach. I have seen way too many women rely on an unqualified "coach" only to break down in
frustration or develop eating disorders as a result of it. Then, once they are no longer working with the coach,
they have no idea what to eat!
Christian Duque: With regards to fans, could you share a good story and maybe a not so good one with us. I
think it's important for people to realize that in the fitness industry, competitors are akin to celebrities to real
life celebrities, and with that celebrity comes charming (and sometimes strange) attention.
Kristy Wilce: I write a blog on fitness, and one reader started interacting with me. We would write back and
forth and talk on Facebook, about training, diets, competing. We must have corresponded for close to 6
months and at my next competition, she was there to meet me, holding a big sign with my name on it! She
made treats for after the show, and screamed my name from the audience. Although she is 20 years younger
than me, we have become very close friends and talk almost daily! This year, she competed in her first Figure
competition, while I competed in my first Physique competition; we shared a hotel room, tanned together, ate
together, and waited together. It was like sharing the day with a sister!
Nothing horrible has really happened to me as a result of my physique, although I have a lot of people who
stare at me, touch me without asking and assume I take steroids. I have had people tell me I look like a man
and then tell me to get some fat on my body and to eat something! I eat a lot, I just don't happen to have a
spare tire around my waist or cellulite on my hips. I, like most other female competitors, get my share of
muscle worship followers, offers for sexual jaunts all revolving around my physique and naked pictures sent to
me. These just need to be deleted, ignored, and blocked and reported.
Christian Duque: In terms of goals, what are some things you'd like to accomplish while in the fitness
industry? What are some short term achievements you'd like to realize, say in 2014?
Kristy Wilce: I feel it is very important to encourage women to feel confident and comfortable in the gym.
Strength training is the best exercise for overall health and bone density. I look and feel better than I ever
have, and I honestly believe that my lifestyle is the fountain of youth. I would like to prove to more people that
you do not have to result to drugs to be ripped, muscular, sexy and lean and I want to get women away from
the endless cardio! I plan to retire in the next 6 years or so and am interested in a nutrition based food
consulting business. I don't need to make the food,(but I could since I love cooking), but so many people
struggle with putting together interesting and healthy meals geared towards their food plans and I think I can
help. Sure their coaches say to eat "this many carbs and this many fats" but then they don't know how to
actually calculate it and create tasty foods and then are not successful.
In 2014 I hope to place higher than my last competition! I placed 3rd this past year and would like to place 2nd
or 1st. I think it is especially significant as Women's Physique has no age categories, so I am competing
against women who are young enough to be my daughters! I am competing in the 2014 NPC Contra Costa
Bodybuilding Championships in May.
Christian Duque: I'd like to thank you for taking the time to appear on StrengthAddicts.com . Please take this
opportunity to thank all those that have helped you along the way; also, please let your fans know where they
can go to keep up to date with you (website, any and all social media, and/or email).
Kristy Wilce: I could not do this without the endless support and understanding from my husband, David.
Living with someone who weighs out every single thing that they eat or drink can be trying to say the least. He
has attended more bodybuilding shows than a husband should have to! My son Cooper, who also thinks his
mom looks great and is used to his college friends saying "Dude - your mom is ripped!".
Huong Ho (Arcinas) who was my first introduction into the world of competing; Mark who started me lifting first
and Jeremy who actually taught me all about weight training, Kettlelebells and real lifting.
My mother and father, (both now deceased) who told me countless times how proud they were of me and
Sakura, for becoming such a good friend and support.
Roy, how can I impress upon everyone what a talented, caring and supporting (not to mention fun) trainer he
is? My physique took on a whole new level once he got a hold of it!
And Layne, for teaching me how to eat again!
You can interact with me in many ways:
My personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ReadyIn5Weeks
My Athlete page on Facebook:
My Blog Ready In 5 Weeks: http://readyin5weeks.blogspot.com/
|Trained & Prepped by Roy Ganju & Dr. Layne Norton
NPC Women's Physique Star KRISTY WILCE - Interview
Look out for Kristy at next year's
NPC Contra Costa. Make sure
to read this interview - chalked
full of inspiration & hard work!