Alumni Spotlight: Nicole (Kennedy) Jeffers, Class of ’95
Last weekend, Nicole participated in her first bodybuilding competition at the 2017 OCB Frederick Fitness Classic in the Bikini category.
It took place in Frederick, Maryland. The mission of OCB is to provide a platform where natural competitors can showcase their physical achievements on a level playing field in a professional environment, and to create unique opportunities for athletes to attract media attention and other means of recognition. OCB was founded by Matt Shepley. The founding principles were to promote high quality, drug-free physique competitions, provide opportunities for athletes to gain media exposure, and to offer competitors an avenue to advance to a pro level if desired.
It all started as she approach her 39th birthday in 2016, she realized that she was a lot closer to forty than she wanted to be. As many people do when approaching a milestone age, she decided that she wanted to do something different and challenging. She has run many marathons, half marathons and various triathlons. Something that always fascinated her was bodybuilding. She did not think that she had the build to go into figure or physique so decided that bikini would be a great place to start. Little did she know how much would be involved! She sought out a coach to help her learn everything that she did not know. Nicole prepared over 15 months with a strenuous diet and workout plan. She was told by her trainer she needed to bulk up for nine mos. Then she had a 14-week prep or cutting phase. She learned that building a physique is a very long process; even a year is not enough time. Most of the professionals have built their physiques over years and years. One thing she was not prepared for was the weight gain. She has gained about 12 pounds, but that needs to be done in order to build a muscular body. You build yourself up and then you cut back on some of the body fat.
From eating around 1600 to 1800 calories a day to bulking at close to 2600 calories. She lifted 5 days a week for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. She has a split that targets each body part over 5 days. Monday is chest and biceps, Tuesday is quads. Wednesday is back. Thursday is hamstrings and glutes. Friday is shoulders and triceps. She does cardio 5 days a week for 25 minutes. The cardio is all high intensity intervals with a split of 30 seconds intense and one minute lower intensity.
Nicole ended up getting second in Masters, second in novice and third in open. “I was so thrilled,” states Nicole. She wanted to place top three in each category and she succeeded in just that! What was amazing as that this forty-year-old mother-of-four even beat out 20- year old girls who have never had children. She knew that her hard work, sacrifices and discipline had paid off. All the missed birthdays (including her 40th), the food that she had to bring on vacation, the weekends when she couldn’t go out to dinner with friends, the many desserts and glasses of wine that she turned away. It all was not in vain.
The most important thing to her is what she showed her four children. That anyone at any age can do whatever they want if you put your mind to it. She hopes that her children see her as a strong woman and someone that can stick to it, no matter what the odds.
St. Mary’s Parish, a Catholic congregation served by the Redemptorist Order, includes St. Mary’s Church and St. John Neumann Mission Church. St. Mary's Elementary and High School located in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, serve students in grades Kindergarten through 12. Anchored in faith, rooted in tradition, and committed to excellence, our programs build lifelong learners who are servant leaders.