Interview with Figure-Powerlifter Katie Anne Rutherford
Train Loco Nation! Today we have a great interview with the awesome Katie Anne Rutherford. What’s awesome about Katie is not only is she a Team Norton teammate but she is a figure competitor that also competes in powerlifting. This is a new hybrid were starting to see and we feel that in the future were going to see more hybrid athletes like Katie take the figure stage and powerlifting platform. We wanted to inspire those younger generation figure competitors as well as show a prime example that lifting heavy ass weight will lead to a very feminine and with all due respect sexy physique. Without further ado, we will let Katie take the mic…enjoy 🙂
– Chris and Eric
DDT: Could you give us a little background info on who Katie Anne is?
Katie: I am a raw natural powerlifter and figure competitor from Columbus, Ohio and grew up in central Ohio with my two older brothers and parents. I graduated from The Ohio State University two years ago with a degree in finance and worked in corporate finance before deciding to start my own training business this year.
DDT: What got you inspired and into the fitness-health industry?
Katie: I was originally a track athlete in high school but always admired the physiques and dedication of figure competitors for as long as I can remember. I focused on track, but always had a love for weight lifting and an interest in nutrition. However, I was stuck in a constant battle with attempting to be thin and stick to a restrictive “clean eating” diet. Unfortunately, as a runner, the goal was to stay as light as possible, so this continued as I focused on my track career. I had planned to continue running in college but ended up getting an injury that sidelined me for months. The only physical activity that I could do was lift weights – and that is when I decided to quit track for good and focus on what empowered me the most, which was weight lifting and building muscle. I still battled with poor self-image and restrictive diets until I found Dr. Layne Norton’s articles on flexible dieting & powerlifting. My perspective was forever changed.
DDT: Can you tell us about your experience with your Figure competitions and any tips for a first time figure competitor?
Katie: So far, I have only had one season of figure competitions under my belt and will be competing this year again in the NPC. I love the process of competition – I can most accurately describe it best as a beauty pageant for fitness girls. My favorite part of the whole process is the training each day. However, I also enjoy putting on my sparkly suit, getting my makeup and hair done, and being on stage. Every part of your hard work is put on display on show day, which I love. My number one tip for first time competitors would be to enjoy the process – it all will fly by faster than you know! Enjoying the journey is key to long term success.
DDT: What would you say the most difficult and easiest part about transitioning from Figure to Powerlifting is?
Katie: Interestingly, I actually had my sights set on a powerlifting meet first last year J So my training leading up to my first powerlifting and figure competitions have always been a combination of the two. Last year, I decided that I wanted try to train and prep for a powerlifting meet, but ended up battling some injuries over the summer. I needed to drop weight for my powerlifting weight class, so I was already cutting and dieting during 2014. As a result, I asked my coach Layne Norton if we could focus on figure for the fall too (just in case I was unable to compete in powerlifting). My training consisted of a DUP powerlifting program with hypertrophy accessory work added in to bring up what I needed to for figure. Interestingly enough, my first figure competition and powerlifting meet ended up being only one week apart. I would say the most challenging part of training for both powerlifting and figure simultaneously is the amount of focus and dedication it takes. The heavy weights I have to move for my powerlifting training are no easy task, but I have to take my accessory days just as seriously. So really there is no down time or “easy days” – but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the combination of the two focuses – one performance and one aesthetic.
DDT: If you could travel back in time, what would be the one thing you would do differently in your young competitive career?
Katie: One thing that I would have done differently early on in my lifting is have more patience. I used to take each set, rep, workout to absolute failure and follow extreme diets for short periods of time thinking that was the best way to see results. However, what I have realized is much more important is following a sustainable and maintainable plan. The biggest keys to success are consistency and hard work – not overkill in each workout and following a quick fix diet, which will never be sustainable. The biggest changes in my physique came from the most moderate diet and most consistent training program- nothing extreme. Being patient with the process is often the most difficult part of bodybuilding and power lifting. However, it is also what I love about the sport. You can improve each day and there is no finish line J So in hindsight, those are things I would have done differently looking back, but at the same time, I am thankful for the experiences I had attempting to follow extreme measures because I can say from experience that it does not work. Consistency does 🙂
DDT: What do you feel is the biggest downfall in the Health and Fitness Industry?
Katie: The biggest downfall in the health and fitness industry is the focus on ‘quick fixes’, magic programs, people claiming that there are “secrets” to results. In reality, there are absolutely no secrets. Results come from dedication and hard work. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is probably selling something 🙂
DDT: If you could change one thing in the Health and Fitness Industry, what would it be and why?
Katie: One thing I would change in the health and fitness industry is the focus on being thin, losing weight, and dieting. I would love to see more people focus on doing what they enjoy! Workout because you love it – not because you have to. Once you find joy in the process, results will come. I have found my satisfaction in focusing on being a better version of me each day, and not chasing a number on the scale. I wish more women could see that they are more than a measurement, a number, or body fat percentage. Working out and lifting can be empowering. The change I would love to see are more people focusing on fueling their bodies, doing what they enjoy, and not believing the mantra that you need to suffer to see results.
DDT: At times life throws challenges at you to test your mental toughness and heart as a person. What has been your biggest challenge in life and how did you overcome it?
Katie: One of the biggest challenges I have overcome has been my struggles with eating and body image because it touched every aspect of my life. As a female, we often have a predisposition in our minds of what a woman should be – and most women spend so much of their life trying to figure out what this means and how to fit this mold. However, once I was able to find my own personal strength through lifting and discover that I do not have to be miserable and trapped in a restrictive eating cycle, I found freedom. It was one of the biggest breakthroughs for me because I felt like I was finally able to be the woman I was made to be – and help others. My life is so much fuller now that I have found freedom, and I want to help others be able to find the same freedom and empowerment.
DDT: What are your future plans with Figure, Powerlifting, and other areas of interest?
Katie: My future plans include competing at Jr Nationals for figure as well as some other national shows that are TBD. After figure, I will switch my focus to power lifting and compete at raw nationals in the 72kg weight class.
Personally, I have started my own training services and I am going to continue to develop my business. I also want to strive to help show a side of the fitness industry that you often do not see 🙂
DDT: What is your favorite lift and why?
Katie: My favorite lift by far is the squat. 🙂 Probably because it is my best lift 🙂 but also because it has been the biggest challenge for me. There is nothing like the feeling of 300 plus pounds on your back and thinking – can I do this? My favorite workouts include squat amraps (as many reps as possible) because it is as much of a mental test as physical.
DDT: What is your “Go To” Pre and Post workout meals?
Katie: My go-to pre and post workout meals are usually kind of strange combos 🙂 I love sweet and salty so my go-to meals usually include some sort of bread, ice cream, fruit, and lots of rice cakes and honey. I keep sugar pretty high pre-workout because it gives me the best energy. Post workout, I always have a huge veggie feast followed by more ice cream, greek yogurt, and whatever else sounds good. I am always so hungry post workout that it really changes every single day! However, I love bread and am constantly making new creations with Ezekiel toast 🙂
DDT: Your favorite controlled-indulgence meal is______?
Katie: Since I follow a flexible diet, I really do not consider any of my meals to be “indulgences” because I fit my favorites in my diet each day. However, some of my favorites include ice cream and brownies 🙂
DDT: What does Katie Anne like to do for fun? Please don’t hold back on us 😉
Katie: I truly love training! – so that is definitely part of what I do for fun. However, I also love cooking and creating new recipes. I hardly every follow specific recipes and love cooking up my own versions of macro friendly treats 🙂 I also enjoy being able to spend time with my family whenever I can. I have two nephews that are always keeping entertained 🙂 Being anywhere warm with a beach (and a gym nearby) is also one of my perfect ideas of fun.
DDT: Where can our readers and supporters follow you and your work?
Katie: You can follow me on Instagram @katieanne100 and on my facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katie.rutherford
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