Kim Clark turned pro in 2013, she competed in 3 different classes and won Open and Master 35 and arrived second in master 40. So technically she qualified for a pro card 3 times at the NPC Team Universe.
At 5’1 and weighing around 120, Kim Clark stands out on stage with her very balanced physique and consistently improving from state to stage. Her smile and warm personality are her trademark, however behind this flawless presentation there is an incredibly disciplined and determined athlete and a very wise, fun woman.
FN: Why did you choose to compete in Figure?
My very first show was Women’s physique, back then it was relatively new and I loved the idea of doing all the mandatory poses and put together a routine, I competed in my very first show and took first place, and I started looking at the shows of that year and I realized that the girls were coming in a little bigger that what I think my body can do.
That year Kim spoke to some judges and was told to decide what class she would compete in, she was too soft for physique, and back in 2012 was too big for figure. So she stuck to figure, pretty successfully so far.
FN: For anybody that has followed the evolution of the figure category, one thing that jumps right out of the pictures is how the judging criteria’s seems to change constantly. At times the figure competitors seem to lean more towards bikini competitors, and others more towards your body type, so how does one adjust to these constant changes in judging?
I stopped trying, I just don’t. I don’t try to figure out what the judges want. I would go crazy. The judging is so subjective form show to show, every panel of judges is looking for, or prefers, something very different. I didn’t even get feedback last year, not because I didn’t think it was important, but it would have changed my approach.
This year, I sent a judge an email and he provided me feedback that is right in line with what I feel I needed to work on, he said I need to bring in tighter glutes to match the rest of my body. For me, it’s about how I came in on my last show, what do I need to do to come in better.
FN: What do you think is your weakness or challenge body part right now?
My challenge is my lower body, my quads and my glutes. On the contrary my upper body is really easy to build.
Last year that was the feedback from the judges, so I hit off season hard to bring up that balance, still working on my glutes.
FN: Nutrition and training?
I have a coach, Kenny Taly. He has a team, Maxmuscle, and he does our nutrition. I work out with a trainer twice a week on lower body cause I knew I needed assistance in that area to build my quads, everything else I do by myself.
At 40, in 2009, I decided I would look better in my 40s than I ever did in my 30s, at that moment a lightbulb came on and it really wasn’t about competing, I just wanted to be healthy.
I was going to the gym, but just thru the motions without really knowing what I was doing, I got a trainer, and she was the one who convinced me to go on stage, she competed, and it took her 3 years to convince me to go on stage.
It then took only one year for Kim to get the coveted elusive pro card.
FN: What’s your goal competition wise?
I truly want to bring a better package all the time, so I take pictures and for every show I put them on next to each other and I look to see where I need to tweak and improve and I think that competitors that take that approach don’t let the stress of competing get to them, I have seen girls get so disappointed for being in the top ten that they just quit.
Of course everybody wants to win, we love to win, but it’s just a number.
At the end of the day, it’s about did I come in better and did I have fun.
FN: How do you keep on track while traveling?
For the food I have mastered it! My job has me on the road 3 weeks a month I don’t always have my kitchen and my food, nor access to my gym so I pack every week, cook all my food and take it with me.
FN: How important is your support system?
My boyfriend, Kevin, is my biggest supporter, I absolutely couldn’t do this without him
He helps me with my food, motivates me on those days when I’m feeling lazy, when I’m having a bad day and its ten o clock at night, he will go train with me, when he doesn’t have to.
FN: Some say it’s just all in you and others will acknowledge the support system, where do you stand with this?
I think there is a balance the person has to want to do it themselves, but also having someone to motivate and encourage you when you want to give up.
FN: Why was this prep harder for you?
In this off season she put up a lot of mass, in 12 weeks mark, I was a lot bigger than last year, so it was easy to doubt, and mentally I was, am I going to be ready on time to get on stage?
My boyfriend was in my corner, telling me to trust the process, every day. Sure enough, I did bring my package to stage, and it was good!
FN: Tell us more about your job.
I work for Robert Half international, a staffing company, and I work on their training team, I train the new hires on the business on how to utilize technology I set up the classes, travel to the offices, I am a Senior Field Training Manager; providing marketing, management and recruiting training to our field organization.
FN: Typical day?
I am up at 4:30 am , at the gym at 5, and then I work at 8 and I’m back in the gym in the evenings
FN: How often do you train?
I have 5 days of full training and 2 days of active rest days where I’ll do abs, or I’ll go do some treadmill not too extenuating.
FN: How many comps do you have in mind this year?
Two more before the end of July, then I’m on the road for my job, and then I’ll get back on stage in October or November, so a total of 6 shows this year, and who knows, if I do well, if I have points, and I’m in the running for Olympia, I will add a show to the calendar
FN: Being a figure IFBB Pro pro what do you like the most?
Even tho I don’t try, I think that my being active on social media helps, I get lots of NCP competitors who follow me, and I’m a motivation for them, I absolutely love that aspect of it, and the potential to go to the Olympia, all pros would love to go the Olympia one day.
I like to motivate people, I am 47 right now and women who are half my age look at me and say this can be done.
FN: Would you ever consider being full time part of the game, as a coach, or a motivator etc?
As much as I love competing, I love my professional career in corporate America, it’s a whole set of challenges and I think I’m really good at my job and I love it. I sometimes have posing clients, but I don’t train professionally. I have Zero tolerance for excuses.
So if I was a trainer, I don’t know how I would deal with that part. To me if I can make this work, you can!
FN: In the future of the Figure class, what would you like to see more of?
I would love for the league to have some level of consistency, right now it’s kind of all over the board. If you look at every show that we had this year, and you look at the Top 5, it can be inconsistent.
So when you are a newbie, or someone trying to get their Pro Card, it is hard for them to really see themselves in the IFBB pros because they have no idea of what is going to be expected of them, or for what the judges are looking for, so I would love to see some more consistencies.
What place have Social Medias for you as an athlete?
Everybody has an opinion, in the beginning when I first started my page, and I would post my pictures, I would get comments like: you look like a man, etc. And I used to comment back, I never got angry but I would reply. My look doesn’t please everyone and probably won’t . You are free to step out.
Now I just don’t worry about it, everybody is entitled to their opinion. It is interesting that people even find time to give negative comments. I could care less these days.
FN: Have you changed drastically anything for your training since you started?
Even working out with the trainer that I have for my lower body, I’ll ask him advice but I had to learn about the order in which you work out, start with bigger muscles then smaller ones, how many reps. I definitely learned how to effectively lift to develop my body.
FN: Who inspires you in the pros?
Lenda Murray is probably the very first female I took notice of, not only is she muscular but she is beautiful. There was this stigma about female bodybuilders that they weren’t attractive, but I thought Lenda was absolutely gorgeous.
I was inspired by her, when Women’s physique came, I was like: I can do similar poses to hers, that’s what attracted me. I just love her and I am doing her show actually, on the 16th July.
FN: Do you currently have any sponsors?
I currently am working on putting a package together to see if I could get picked up again, I had sponsors in 2014.
The Starter Kit
For the athletes out there considering competing, here is the advice Kim Clark kindly shared with us:
- If someone is new and works by themselves, and aren’t familiar enough with the nutrition side, find a coach or nutritionist to work with. What I learned is that 80% of what I look like is my nutrition.
- Trust the process, put in hard work and dedication. You have to commit 100%.