👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hello there! My name is Karen Plum and I am 48 years old. I am originally from Nelson, New Zealand and am now living on the Gold Coast, Australia.
I am a full time coach, sports nutritionist and personal trainer and also run an online store importing specialized supplements for things such as sports performance, recovery and hormone re-balancing. I am 2 x Ms New Zealand Figure Champion, 3 x Ms Australia Figure Champion. Amateur Olympia Masters Figure Champion.
I have been training for around 16 years. I started after an emotionally abusive relationship as I wanted to focus on myself and transform my life both physically and mentally. I was leading a very unhealthy life and undertook a complete transformation.
I was a previous swimmer, tennis player, hockey player and horse rider. My other hobbies include Motorsport and travel
I have had many sponsors throughout my own career in the sport of bodybuilding. Ranging from clothing companies such as Bizee Bodyz Active wear to sports nutrition companies, massage therapists, photographers, etc.
What I like most about fitness is the discipline and determination required along with the challenge of reaching a goal. I have made so many friends in the industry and the sport, and many of my clients/previous clients I now call friends. I also have run seminars with other notable Coaches in the industry which is a huge privilege to have this respect in the industry.
I own a Siamese cat named Henry.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I train one hour of weights, five to six days a week when in full comp training as well as 45 minutes to one hour daily of steady state cardio.
I like pyramid training and train one muscle group a day, splitting legs into quads then hamstrings/glutes/calves on a separate day. My own experiments, knowledge and study coming from experience and years of training have given me good results.
As for off-season bulking techniques, I’m not a fan of this. I increase my calories and reduce cardio making sure my weights are going up – indicating strength gains. I have run creatine monohydrate before in the off-season but don’t like the severe fluid retention it creates for me. However, many of my clients have had good success on this under my guidance.
For pre-competition fat loss techniques, well, Keto works well for me, with a high carb day thrown in weekly. I increase training intensity, less rest between sets and more cardio. HIIT cardio also added in closer to comp has given me very good results.
I train at Sierra Fitness at Mermaid Beach. I love this gym and also train my own clients out of here as it is a more private gym without egos. I normally train on my own to suit my days schedule.
A good pre trainer, glutamine and coming into Comp time OxyShred is my favorite fat burner to use pre training. While glutamine and Bulk Nutrients Protein Shake are my essentials post train then of course a good nutritionally balanced meal.
I usually carry BCAA’s, towel, straps and training belt.
For cardio, 45-minute walk or bike ride, fasted each morning on the beach. Bench press and leg extension are my favorite exercises.
As for training log, I did keep a training diary throughout my first few years of training but not now.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
Focusing on my goals and self determination and discipline, and how good I do feel once I am in the gym training, which is my ‘happy place’. I managed to keep training for so long because I love my training and how it makes me feel.
Best hack is to get a good personal trainer or knowledgeable training partner. Making sure your nutrition and supplementation are on point.
I always make time for training because it’s an essential part of my day – no different to having a shower or brushing my teeth lol.
The biggest challenge I’ve faced was having a genetic hip issue and needing a hip replacement as well as being on my own in a foreign country with no support from family or a partner and balancing competing around a very demanding job.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Currently, I have been like everyone effected by the Covid-19 situation, however prior to this my focus has been on rehab of my hip, building up strength again with resistance training and keeping my upper body moving with lighter weights.
My goals for the next five years are to build up my own business and work further in the sporting fields on nutrition, supplementation and training for athletes, in particular in the Motor Sport industry where my huge passion lies.
To achieve these goals, I would do networking more in the Motorsport industry but the success of my clients speaks for itself and the improved performance I can get for them.
I also plan to travel because it is a huge passion alongside Motor Sport events.
If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s got me to where I am now and I am so lucky to have succeeded in this demanding industry.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
To avoid injuries, I make sure I go train with good form, I have knowledge and I use correct nutrition and supplementation to support my body. I also have regular remedial massage.
How I handle my injuries depends on what the injury is. Throughout my body building career, I was lucky to be pretty much injury-free, I was however unknowingly battling a genetic hip issue. Remedial massage and again nutrition and supplementation have always helped with quick recovery.
I sleep a minimum seven hours a night – aiming for eight hours.
I like structure and routine so traveling and change to schedule can be challenging. Pre-planning and being meticulous on organization help with this.
As for supplements, yes a good WPI protein powder from Bulk Nutrients and also L-Glutamine are my essentials post train.
For recovery, that would be stretching, which I am a little slack at doing, foam rolling and a good remedial masseuse are essential as is a rest day, good nutrition and supplementation and structuring my training correctly.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I enjoy structure so like to keep my nutrition similar and in a routine. When I was prepping, I would do a 20-week prep using flexible structured dieting working on macro timing.
As for calories, no, not specifically I work on macro timing. Typically however when competing my calories would sit around 1600 but vary on how intense I was training that day.
I have high and low carb days, depending on the muscle groups being trained that day.
Pre comp is keto based with high carb days thrown in. Off Season I like to add a lot more variety into my nutrition but still structure it around my daily activates – eg. Non gym training day will have lower carbs and calories.
For social gatherings, I would always take my own food when competing. It was non negotiable. Now I just make healthy choices based on my own knowledge but I don’t let it rule my life at all now.
I take supplements like Good Womens multi vitamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Joint support, fish oils, ZMA , DIM and my protein, Glutamine, Tyrosine from Bulk Nutrients. I prefer brands like Bulk Nutrients as it is an Australian Company and great value but also clean products without too many additives.
I like to eat every 2.5 – 3 hours. Supplements are timed around what they are for.
For cheat days, I let myself have free meals in the weekend now, however still like my clean food. I will have a dirtier meal once a week but often don’t crave it as don’t like the aftermath on my body and feeling sluggish from it.
When cutting, I would eat every 2.5 hours and using keto-based plans
I drunk lots of black coffee – it’s what kept me going lol – I did not drink alcohol when prepping and throughout my bodybuilding career. Now, I will have the odd drink. Black coffee and green tea were staples of my Figure competing life – and I still enjoy them.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
So many people have inspired me by saying I am their inspiration, which is what makes it all worth while to be helping others. I have always just inspired to be the very best I can be and know I am my own competition. I am a very competitive person anyway.
I follow motor sport athletes/drivers as this is my big passion. I am not a fan of the fakeness of social media and know that so many people give false information and impressions to people that have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. I like to keep it real and honest. I pride myself on a ‘no bullshit’ approach to what I do and to helping others.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Get a good coach that has a reputation of working with top athletes and success with them and keeping clients healthy. Pay peanuts, get monkeys is so the case in this industry however sadly paying peanuts in this sport can sacrifice your health for many years, if not permanently.
You can never know enough – A good coach can bring out that extra 1% in you that puts you on top of the podium. This is not a sport you can ever cut corners in.
Working in a gym you see stupidity most days unfortunately, this is why everyone should at some stage utilize and experienced and qualified personal trainer. Some people I see in the gym is that they do not take advice from the experts – in this case a good PT.
When I was competing at national/international level, I didn’t combine it with other sports. Bodybuilding was my full time sport.
Enjoy life – life is too short to not.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Yes, I am currently taking on limited numbers for Competition Preparation, Athlete Performance – especially in the Motorsport field, and also general people wanting to improve and transform their lives.
My experience is very vast, my results speak for themselves and I put the health of my clients/athletes first, before winning a plastic trophy. So many coaches do not care about their clients, just their own self promotion and glory.
To see results, the longer they work with me the better, but a competition preparation is normally 20 weeks. My athletes work on an on going basis with me to improve sporting performance. I also offer one-off plans and with these complimentary on line check ins.
Most common question from clients: How long before I look like this lol – It depends how much you want it and how hard you are prepared to work for it.
I am taking on a small number of selective new clients at the moment. I work with both face to face clients and also online clients. My focus is currently on sports performance but I have a few spots available in my #teamkazza Comp Prep team for the up coming season. I only take on limited numbers for this so my clients receive the best possible attention from me.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
My Website is performancenutritiontraining.com where I have many transformation photographs along with testimonials and gallery pictures.
Facebook: Performance+ Nutrition & Training