Driving back to Chicago from NYC on I-71 (West) last month, Muscleweek.com Senior Editor and Hustler, Shane Ray had to make a pit stop at Rod Parsley’s World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio to give a seminar about breaking the chains of the bodybuilding cult and the dangers associated with such a vain and vapid underworld. During his stay at the Best Western-Columbus North on Granville Rd in Dublin, Shane Ray found himself getting restless. Navigating his Friend List on facebook it was a matter of time before he realized he was in the same city as IFBB BIKINI Pro and Ohio native, “Flexy” Lexi Kaufman.
With a quick Private Message sent and a quick reply by The Flexy One it was off to Metro Fitness for an exclusive 21 Questions with Muscleweek.com .
MW: Lexi Kaufman. Welcome to Muscleweek. Right off the bat tell me the most embarrassing moment of your life.
LK: I was going to the movies with a guy I liked at the time, Ryan, and as I was getting into his jeep, my foot slipped off of the side rail, falling flat on my hands and knees. Once I was able to pull myself up into his car I nailed my head on the car door. One of my most graceful moments to say the least.
MW: Now that the ice is broken let’s get down to business. How does a Midwest girl such as yourself get involved with the circus of the competitive bodybuilding world let alone obtain pro status. Transition from sports or did you grow up competing in pageants?
LK: Definitely sports. I have always been super competitive. Since the age of 4 I have been a competitive gymnast, all star competitive cheerleader, softball player, and Division 1 college cheerleader. So when I quit cheering all together, I wanted to try something new and different that I could still stay in shape and still be competitive.
MW: You’re an IFBB Bikini Pro. How many tries did it take you to bring home the main prize? Many girls compete over and over again often never achieving what you were able to do. Did it come easy for you?
LK: It took many tries. Yes, I got my pro card within my first year, but that year was a crazy whirl wind of show after show after show. I wasn’t going to stop until I won my pro card. It was to the point where I had a show almost every 2-3 weeks for a few months. So I would literally get off the plane from a show and be back in the gym within a few hours to prepare for my next show.
MW: Was winning your Pro Card your primary goal since applying your first layer of Jan Tana? Has that always been the plan?
LK: My goal since day 1 was to become one of the youngest pros. I wanted my pro card more than anything. I told my mom when we first put on Jan Tana, I am going to go pro no matter what it takes. I am willing to train as hard as I can and diet as clean as possible.
MW: Lots of critics including the conductor of this interview claims that Bikini competition isn’t a sport but a pageant. Is it fair to say you ladies are athletes? What is your stance on that?
LK: Absolutely. We ARE athletes. We train as hard as anyone does. I am in the gym 6 days a week, sometimes twice a day, bootcamp twice a week and have been “in season” dieting since the Jan 1st of 2010. I train and compete for the sport of it. I love the drive and excitement of preparing for a show. And all of us bikini girls work our butts off to prove ourselves.
I noticed when I competed in amateur, are coming in and thinking it is more of a “hot body contest” which it definitely is not.
MW: You’re sponsored by Finaflex. I content they are a pretty decent company. I’ve used their G8 formula before with satisfaction. What’s is like working for Finaflex?
LK: I am Finaflex’s female sponsored athlete. I LOVE working for Finaflex. They are a company full of amazing people. It is like working for your family, everyone is so awesome, nice and close. I really love their products too. I have posted many before and after pictures of myself before and after using Finaflex products and it is just proof that I won’t endorse a product or company that I do not firmly believe in. Finaflex has made all of the competing, dieting, working out worth it to me. I am truly blessed being their sponsored athlete and getting to work for such an amazing company.
MW: Give the readers a typical breakdown of your supplemental plan for a serious Bikini competitor. Tell us about your supplemental strategy.
LK: My supplementation really isn’t that complex. I use Finaflex’s Ignite2 for pre workout with Finaflex’s Crea-trona, I use Cell K.E.M for post workout, and any kind of protein isolate I can get my hands on for snacks. I am still trying to find a protein that I can stick with. I have a pantry filled with many different samples until I can find the one company that I can truly stick with for protein.
MW: It seems like Bikini is in line to eclipse Figure in terms of popularity in the NPC & IFBB. Why do you think Figure and other female divisions are taking a back seat to the rise of Bikini?
LK: I honestly think figure is as big as ever still. I noticed though in the NPC that a lot of girls compete in Bikini only once or twice as a personal goal, or are a first time competitor. Which would explain the high numbers in Bikini. I believe it is just because its new, and something that the NPC and IFBB have never done before and it has caught a lot of attention and was an excellent addition to the sport.
MW: I noticed that Bikini competitors are coming in much more lean, more muscular and harder than the last two previous years. Is this a dangerous trend? Some say that Bikini will slowly turn into what Figure was meant to be before Figure was ruined with the introduction of physique altering drugs such as anavar, winstrol, clenbuterol, synthroid and growth hormone.
LK: I have had thoughts of that at first, but then the more I see the results of shows, it really differs. It all depends on what that particular judge is looking for. One judge may want the lean look, but another judge may want the softer look. It differs from show to show, but I do not believe bikini will turn into figure.
MW: So what is the main criteria for Bikini competitors? Talk to me. What are the judges looking for exactly? What do you focus on while you are prepping for a Bikini competition?
LK: I honestly couldn’t tell you what the exact criteria is for bikini, like it said it changes show to show. It is all about what the judges are looking for that day. There was one show where my trainer needed me to soften my look, and the next show I needed to lean out completely. Right now, what I focus on is building more size and curvature to my body while maintaining lean. I need to develop. I have to try to manipulate and build muscle maturity and curves that I may not have yet only because I am only 21.
MW: Fact or Fiction: The NPC & IFBB is very political and competitors should be more concerned where they stand in it than the actual showing of their physique.
LK: Politics are in any business and the IFBB is a business like any other. Good or bad it is political but everything in life is political.
MW: Can a new competitor even go on stage without a coach or TEAM or nutritional guru? It seems like gone are the days when a competitor used a mirror and common sense. How important is it to be affiliated with a Team or have a coach in your corner?
LK: Absolutely, I on the other hand, probably do as well I am the person who NEEDS guidance. I have grown up my entire life in sports where you do EXACTLY as your coach says. If you don’t, you don’t do well. So that is just my personal mentality that I will have in anything I am doing. Plus, being coached or a apart of a team, you really build a great relationship to other competitors and trainer, so when you go to a show, its like your family is all with you cheering you on each step of the way. But yes, I do believe someone can go on stage without a coach. But I do believe that a coach or trainer is the best way to go.
MW: Lots of money can go into a prep with little to no monetary reward given back to girls at your level. Virtually nothing in the amateur ranks. I assume you do this for the challenge aspect and the pure love of what you do. Is that correct?
LK: Yes, we all do this for the challenge, the love of the sport and to achieve an over all healthier lifestyle that we can hope to project to others who want to live a healthier lifestyle.
MW: You seem like a pretty well rounded girl. Good head on your shoulders, Lexi. Respect. Can I safely assume that your significant other is a man with a JOB, health insurance and a plan for the future? I’d hate to find out your boyfriend is another lazy unemployed loser broke bodybuilder who leeches off of you.
LK: My boyfriend Corey is amazing. He isn’t a bodybuilder. Yes! He has a job and a career plan in action. He has been with me throughout my whole bodybuilding experience. He treats me like a princess. He is my rock when I need him at shows, he travels with me everywhere go for fitness and always helps me with anything I do to prep or work for a show whether it is touching up my tan, running up to the room to grab my competition number, or tracking down rice cakes when I get hungry waiting to go on stage . Most people down realize that your significant other is truly affected by your lifestyle. You cannot go out to dinner, you can’t drink, you have to go to bed early, and they have to put up with you when you smell like Jan Tana and are angry from being carb depleted. So I honestly can say that the significant others deserve the recognition of a win as much as the competitor. Half of the battle in competing is the support from others around you.
MW: Tell us a little about your training. Do you use a functional style of training or do you adopt a more traditional bodybuilding style approach to the weights as you prep for your shows?
LK: My training is more of the traditional bodybuilding style, however it is always changing and being switched up. My trainers are amazing at what they do and knowing exactly what I need to do. There are times when I want to pick up heavier dumbbells and get yell at because it is not in my best interest with being in Bikini.
MW: If you can kick anybody in the bodybuilding industry square between the shoulder blades down a flight of stairs who would it be?
LK: Nobody. Know why? I am so clumbsy that I would go to kick somebody and end up missing and falling down the stairs myself. [laughter]
MW: If you knew you were going to be stuck on a deserted island for a month what 3 items would you definitely bring with you?
LK: Ummm. Let’s see. Soap. Deodorant and Protein Powder. [laughter]
MW: What movie do you wish you can sit everybody down and watch?
LK: Night at The Roxbury. [laughter]
MW: If you can change one thing about the world permanently what would it be?
LK: There would be no Animal Cruelty.
MW: Right on. Lexi. Congratulations. You survived an interview with Muscleweek.com . Is there anything you’d like to plug or promote? How does one contact you for possible sponsorship or modeling opportunity?
LK: Shout out to Finaflex, Heavy Muscle Radio, Complete Nutrition, Muscleweek.com and The Fitness Factory. Sending me a facebook message is the best way to contact me. Thank you so much for this interview, Shane. I had a blast!
B O N U S Q U E S T I O N S….
- Favorite Book: 50 Shades of Grey.
- Favorite Cheat Meal: Mongolian BBQ.
- Favorite Clean Meal: Egg whites and Ezekiel Bread.
- Favorite Exercise: Any shoulder exercise.
- Favorite Alcoholic Drink: 3 Olives Loopy w/ Rum Chata.
- Favorite Vacation Destination: Disney World.
- Favorite Song: Whip My Hair – Willow Smith.
- Favorite Gym: Metro Fitness.
- Favorite Actor: Channing Tatum.
- Favorite Charity: Special Olympics.
- Favorite Sports Team: Ohio State Buckeyes.