This week I had the chance to talk to Karina Baymiller. She is a Bodybuilding.com sponsored athlete, personal trainer, and a great person to know. Karina has a great story which she shares with us in this interview. Read more to learn about her and her amazing weight loss success story.
Name: Karina Baymiller
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Birthday: April 17th
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am currently working as a personal trainer and wellness coach in Cleveland, OH, and create online training and nutrition programs as well. I was featured as one of Bodybuilding.com’s Top 10 Transformations of 2012 after losing 60lbs, and was a finalist in the 2013 Bodyspace Spokesmodel Competition. I am also a TEAM Bodybuilding.com sponsored athlete, a fitness model and hold a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Arizona State University. I hope to one day open my own gym and continue to inspire others to transform their lives just as I have.
What sparked your interest in training and how did you get started?
As crazy as it sounds, I kind of just fell into it! I started playing soccer when I was 5 years old, and played until I broke my ankle in high school. It wasn’t until shortly before I graduated college that I started to put my health first and really got involved with fitness. I had gained a significant amount of weight throughout college from being inactive and eating unhealthy. For many people there is a moment when they realize they need to change their habits, whether it be breaking the zipper on their pants or getting out of breath when they walk up the stairs, but I didn’t have a moment like that. I was ignorant to the fact that I was extremely overweight and the last thing I cared about was my health. A couple months before I graduated college, I caught the flu and wasn’t able to keep food down. By the end of the week I had lost a few pounds, and after I had recovered, I liked the way the weight loss looked and felt, so I kept it going. Over the course of 2 ½ years I lost close to 60lbs and completely transformed my body and my life, and never looked back!
How would you describe your body before you started training?
Well if you’ve seen my before pictures, I was overweight, and had no muscle mass whatsoever. I looked like a completely different person!
What are your hobbies?
Can I include working out? Haha. I love being active! Anything outdoors like hiking, biking, and camping I absolutely love. I’ve recently become a fan of yoga to chill myself out. It’s a necessary aspect to health that I think is commonly forgotten. I also love to cook and take normally unhealthy recipes and make them clean. Finally, I have to add DIY projects. Pinterest has turned my love for making homemade things into a full-blown obsession!
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
I generally wake up around 5:15am and take my first client at 6:00am. The rest of my morning is usually booked with clients, and I try to fit my workout in around 11:00am. When I finish my workout I run home to eat and shower, pack my food for the afternoon, and head back to the gym to take a couple afternoon clients. The rest of my evening is spent making dinner, prepping food for the next morning, planning clients for the next day, and checking in with my online clients as well as updating my social media. Then I head to bed to do it all over again the next day!
Let’s say I don’t have that much time during the day to workout, so I really want to burn major calories in a short amount of time. What is the #1 “bang for the buck” cardio exercise I should do to burn serious calories?
The single best, bang for your buck, total body move is the burpee. My clients hate burpees, but that’s because they work! Incorporate this into a Tabata routine (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest) with a couple of other moves like bodyweight squats and high knees and you’ve got yourself one crazy calorie burning workout!
What is your current weekly workout routine?
Monday – Chest
Tuesday – Legs
Wednesday – Shoulders and Abs
Thursday – Back
Friday – Arms
Saturday – Legs
Sunday – Rest
Each of my workouts starts with a 10 minute run on the treadmill at 7.5mph and a 1% incline. This is the only cardio I do.
How did you get involved with Bodybuilding.com?
I’ve been a member of Bodyspace for quite a while, but spent most of my time behind the scenes stalking the forums and learning as much as I could while I was losing weight. Last summer, I emailed Bodybuilding.com my before and after photos and asked if I could share my transformation story. They immediately emailed me back a list of questions, and my transformation story was published in November! About a week later I found out I was a semi-finalist for the 2013 Bodyspace Spokesmodel Contest, and a week after that I made the finals! I was flown out to LA to compete at the LA Fit Expo and placed 2nd in a fantastic group of people. The rest is history! They are an absolutely amazing company to work with, and everyone I have met within the company has become like family to me.
Let’s say I’m trying to create a healthy shopping list to stick with. What are some of the main foods I should include to maintain a lean and muscular physique?
I think a good grocery list should include tons of fruits and vegetables, lean protein like chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, and low-fat dairy, healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and all coconut products (I’m obsessed!), and also complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, beans/legumes, and Ezekiel breads. I think all of these things should be purchased locally, organic, grass-fed, and raw when possible.
What does your daily diet consist of?
I just recently made the switch to a Paleo/Primal style diet to help regulate my blood sugar levels after I was diagnosed with PCOS. This means I avoid grains, legumes, sugar, processed foods, dairy (I will eat in small quantities), and alcohol (lets be honest… in moderation). I’ve found it to be the complete opposite of the typical “bodybuilder” style diet that I have been so accustomed to. A Paleo diet is 100% about health and well-being where a standard bodybuilding diet is 100% about appearance (whether it be bulking up or leaning out). It’s been difficult to make the transition to put the emphasis back on my health and not just appearance, but I have to say its been a nice change!
Is it not very hard to exercise and lift on such a low calorie diet? I am talking about the pre-contest diet. I know you follow a very low calorie pre-contest diet. Don’t you get hungry?
The Bodybuilding.com Spokesmodel competition was the first contest prep I had ever gone through so I had no idea what to expect and YES it’s just as bad as everyone says it is! I was tired, moody, exhausted, starving, and felt weak in the gym. Before my prep I had never been on a specific diet, I just ate the healthy foods I wanted, when I wanted them. I think it was a combination of having no idea what to expect and having to cram a full contest prep into 4 weeks! I would love to compete at some point but I will be focusing on my health for a while before I put my body through a competition diet again!
What is your favorite workout song?
I’m a rocker when it comes to getting my pump on in the gym, so I’m going to go with an oldie but goodie Limp Bizkit – Break Stuff. That song will make anyone want to pick up a heavy weight and get busy!
What would you say is your greatest weakness?
Chocolate! Wait, wrong kind of weakness. Haha. I would have to say I’m too thin skinned. I let things bother me that shouldn’t. Sometimes its hard to hear and see people say hurtful things about your appearance, but that’s part of being in the public eye and I’m learning to toughen up!
What are the top 3 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
Set a goal and put a plan in action to reach it. Your goal could be anything from a list of things you want to accomplish (like walking up the stairs without getting out of breathe), or as simple as a pant size you want to wear. Once you know where you want to go, plan how you are going to get there. Find a training and nutrition program that you like and that fits your goals, and go with it. Realize that this plan may change multiple times before you reach your goal. You’ll learn as you go about how your body responds to certain types of training and to different foods, and more about the things that you like and dislike.
Slow down. It took me 2 ½ years to lose 60lbs. It’s not something that happens over night! People get discouraged when they don’t see a change the next day or week. Sometimes it takes months to see change. Just stick with it and never give up.
Always challenge yourself. We tend to lose interest in things that are too easy and monotonous. Continually set new goals, change your workouts, eat new healthy foods, and never forget why you started in the first place!
What do you feel is the most important thing a fitness athlete must have in order to be successful in this sport?
Confidence! You have to be confident in who you are and your abilities. Confidence is the key to everything in life, especially success! If you think you can, you will.
Who are some people you look up to in this industry?
My entire Bodybuilding.com TEAM! Everyone at Bodybuilding.com has helped and supported me tremendously. Being the newbie in the industry I’ve received so much direction, insight, and encouragement from my amazing TEAM members. I love every single one of them and will be forever grateful for their support and guidance.
Tell me one random fact about yourself?
My elbows are double jointed! I look like a weirdo if I try to straighten my arms.
Short Term Goals?
My short term personal goals are to put my PCOS into remission and pack on some muscle onto my upper body! My short term business goals are to get my website launched and expand my online training business.
Where can people get into contact with you?
Anyone you would like to thank?
I definitely want to thank my mom, dad and brother for supporting me throughout my entire journey. And to everyone that follows me and considers me an inspiration… I’m right there with you. I also want to thank Bodybuilding.com for believing in me and helping to make all my dreams come true. And of course, you for this interview!
It’s been our pleasure! Do you have a quote, or any closing words for your fans and the readers of RippedNFit?
My favorite quote is “The body achieves what the mind believes.” Always believe in yourself!