Kershaw making waves in body building world
Kendall Kershaw knows anabolic steroids are prevalent on the body-building stage.
The temptation is always there but the 22-year-old from Prince George has resisted using drugs to tone her body and build muscle mass.
She prefers to do it the hard way, watching what she eats and working out to the edge of exhaustion in the gym, and she’s seeing the rewards.
On June 2, Kershaw took a major step toward achieving her pro card when she won a silver medal in the bikini category at the Toronto Pro Super show, an International Federation of Body Building and Fitness (IFBB) pro qualifier.
There was no cash prize for her silver finish but her success in Toronto led to new connections in the body building world, which will put Kershaw in line for modeling photo shoots and lucrative sponsorships.
“It helps me establish myself as a professional in the body building industry and puts my name out there a little bit,” she said.
“I’m actually a natural athlete, which isn’t very common at the level that I’m at. I don’t take anything fancy, protein powders, multivitamins, stuff like that. I like to make sure I’m taking stuff to grow and gain without have to take that extra step (and use steroids).
“I was told at one point to quit, that I would never succeed if I didn’t go down that route, and I found myself some new friend groups that didn’t have that opinion and we’ve been golden ever since. I’m really grateful for the people that did support my decision to stay natural. At the level I’m at, a lot of people are running different things, mostly fat-burners for women, but it’s still the same concept.”
The nerves before she walks on stage are hard to shake but Kershaw has been part of enough body-building competitions to know that disappears when it’s her turn to pose, even with 1,500 sets of eyes watching her every move.
“It’s incredible – it’s terrifying and you do shake a little bit,” she said.
“It’s six months of work for 10 seconds on stage and people think that’s ludicrous but at the end of the day that 10 seconds feels so wicked.
“I do a lot of meditation and just getting my head in the right place before I go on because at that point you’ve already put in the work. You see so many people kind of squandering the day by being too nervous to enjoy it.”
Kershaw competes in the bikini division, rather than the body-building classes, because she has less muscle mass compared to women who don’t shy away from steroids.
“I always joke and say it’s baby body building,” laughed Kershaw.
“We tend to have a little but less muscle. For the last few years the judges have been saying I would be better-suited in a category that was a bit more muscular. But this year, the way I carved out my physique, they said I was perfect for the bikini division. I’m just going to keep trying to compete in this division to see if I can get that pro card.”
Kershaw’s love for the sport began four years ago in her Grade 11 year at Prince George Secondary School. She’d hit the weight room for workouts before school and right away saw the results.
“I started going at five o’clock in the morning and just fell in love with it,” she said.
“I knew I wanted to have something to really show what I’ve been working for. I actually left school early because I knew I wanted to pursue body building as a fulltime thing, so I ended up graduating early. Once I started I knew this is where I was supposed to be.”
She started her own business three years ago as a weigh loss and wellness coach and now operates The Little Fit Company, preferring to work with clients who have experienced sudden weight gain due to medical issues and are looking for direction to get their bodies back to where there were.
“I was able to move to it full time right after starting, which is quite exciting,” she said.
Kershaw competed in Prince George at the Iron Ore Classic in 2016 and won the overall women’s title but said she would lose her semipro status if she competed in her hometown show event again because it is not sanctioned by the IFBB.
Kershaw, who finished fourth in her group in the Maxim Canada cover girl contest, has been invited to Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness and Performance show in Las Vegas, where she will be the subject of a magazine photo shoot Sept. 11 sponsored by Magnum Neutraceuticals of Surrey, one of her major sponsors along with the John Brink Group of Companies and Reflex Prince George.
“The Toronto pro show is the biggest in Canada, whereas the Olympia is the biggest one (in the world), which is really exciting,” she said.
“The nice thing with the Olympia is I’m not competing. I’m just going down and getting a bunch of pictures taken and making a lot of connections with professionals in the industry.
“I would absolutely love to get into modeling. It’s one of those things, I didn’t know I could do it until I got older and it seems like it complements everything else I’ve got going on now.”
Kendall Kershaw competes in the open bikini division at the Toronto Pro Supershow body building competition on June 2. The 22-year-old from Prince George won a silver medal.