Athlete’s Quick Stats:
- Age: 25
- Height: 5’5”
- Weight: 140 lbs
Tell us a little about your background growing up.
I started gymnastics right before the age of 3 and I trained for 15 years, competing through level nine and training through level 10. I also started karate at age 7 and competed through the black belt level at national and international competitions.
I stopped competing and training those sports when I started college; however, I continued to workout, and I got into bodybuilding for a couple of years.
I still train karate, just not competitively and I teach it too. I recently tested for my 3rd-degree black belt. Two years ago, I started CrossFit and have become competitive in the sport over the past year.
What part of being into fitness interests you the most?
There are always ways to improve. It’s so fulfilling to achieve something after failing at it and then practicing it over and over.
Getting better, stronger, faster, and fitter are great rewards for hard work and training.
Were there any big pivotal changes in your life?
Quitting gymnastics at the age of 17 was a huge change for me. I trained for 15 years, spending up to 20 hours in the gym per week. It was a huge part of my life. I did not know my life without it.
It took some time to get back into the fitness industry for me. Although I still worked out, it was not to the same level. My body also completely changed.
A couple years later I decided I wanted to compete in karate again after taking almost 6 years off from karate competition. I learned my passion for competition and striving towards a goal. I learned how much I love the focus, intensity, and hard work that it takes to maintain a high level of fitness, especially with competition involved.
What does your diet look like?
I eat a flexible diet focusing on consumption of whole foods. I am a registered dietitian, so my life is very focused on nutrition.
My current calorie consumption is 2500-3000 calories per day, with about 320g carbs, 100g fat, and 140g protein.
I do not strictly track my diet anymore, as I spent a couple years tracking and have a very good knowledge of nutrition composition of foods. I focus on fueling my body with a lot of whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and beans and legumes. I drink a lot of water and focus on getting a balance as well as a variety of foods in all the food groups. I do not restrict myself because it leads to an unhealthy relationship with food. I do eat sweets (I love sweets!) but I do so in moderation. I choose as many whole foods as possible because I feel best when eating nutritious, and it definitely transfers over to my training.
We would love to know about your workout routine.
I currently follow a Crossfit program.
It’s focused on my training for competition (but of course having fun with it). Mondays I weightlift, typically clean and jerks, and I back squat. I come back to the gym to work on gymnastics work, typically movements including pull-ups, muscle-ups, handstand walks and handstand push-ups, and L-sits. Tuesdays I do a strongman type workout consisting of sleds, yokes, sandbags, farmer’s carries, etc. as well as a conditioning workout at Crossfit. Wednesdays I also do a conditioning workout in the morning and I do more gymnastics work and a cardio workout (usually intervals) in the afternoon. Thursdays I either rest or do cardio. Friday mornings I weight lift, usually snatches, and I also squat. In the afternoon I do another Strongman workout. Saturdays I do a conditioning workout and Sundays I rest.
What is your favorite part of training and the fitness journey?
I love seeing progress and change. There is always something new to work towards. It’s amazing to look back at where I was one year ago and see how far I have progressed.
Weights that were my 1RM weights last year are now my warm up weights.
I am always working on new skills and striving to improve my fitness. It’s such a fun journey!
How has fitness changed your life over the years?
Fitness has taught me how to take care of my body and has kept me disciplined. I have a lot of energy, I sleep great, and I love being active. I credit my fitness lifestyle to keeping me focused and driven.
Training requires hard work and pushing your body both mentally and physically. It really transfers over to real life situations.
It also has helped me with time management. I incorporate hours of training into my week but have learned to balance a busy schedule also consisting of personal training and nutrition counseling (work) and pleasure, such as spending time with friends and family.
Who in the fitness industry do you think are the up and coming?
I do not know who are the “up and coming”, but a few of my role models in the Crossfit world include Brooke Wells, Katrin Davidsdottir, and Alison Scudds.
What trends do you see happening now within the fitness industry?
I am seeing a lot more functional exercises, as well as the combination of functional movements with bodybuilding type movements and working on accessory muscles.
I am starting to see a lot of emphasis on performance.
Focusing on performance almost always results in positive physical changes anyway.
What motivates and drives you?
I love competition. I love striving to be the best (the best I can be). Setting and achieving goals is one of the most rewarding things in life; it is so motivating!
What supplements do you like?
I get most of my nutrition from food, and I like to eat a lot of nutritious foods that provide my body with tons of micronutrients and fiber.
As for supplements, I find having a post workout drink containing carbs and protein very helpful because it is a quick way to get those nutrients into my body and help with recovery.
My post workout drink consists of about 20g carbs from oat powder and about 10g protein from whey protein isolate. I then eat a full meal soon after I am home from my workout.
Have there been any secrets to your success?
Staying positive is something that I have learned plays a huge role in success. Not letting one bad training turn into a bad day or week.
Every day will not be your best, and sometimes some of the hardest days are the ones that make you the strongest.
Having a positive mindset pays off and will get you a lot farther than negativity. Probably the biggest “secret” I can share to success is to stay consistent. Progress does not happen overnight and it is not always linear. Consistency is what will lead to results. Giving up too soon happens far too often. Change takes time.
Is there anything you want to achieve in this industry?
I want to inspire and influence others in the fitness industry.
I hope to motivate and help spread the positivity that comes along with this lifestyle. I also aspire to make a name for myself in the Crossfit world. This is my first competitive year in Crossfit, and my first goal is making Regionals. And then go from there!
What’s next for you?
I plan to continue to grow my business, Flexible Dietetics, as a registered dietitian and personal trainer. I plan to continue to train hard and I plan to continue to compete in Crossfit to my fullest potential.
Connect With McKenzie:
McKenzie Flinchum, RD, LD/N, CPT
Flexible Dietetics LLC