Five-foot-six and currently weighing in at 195 pounds, NPC Bodybuilding Kentucky State Champion Kevin Johnson stands out in a crowd. The Voice-Tribune caught up with the muscle-clad fitness expert to find out what it takes to be a
– Interview by Aimee Jewell, Contributing Writer
Have you always been interested in fitness?
I’ve always been active; I always ran track and played cross-country. It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed since a very early age. I mean, I have magazines from when I was in middle school and high school. I still collect them. It was just interesting for me to see muscles and people in shape. I would read articles. I’ve been like that since a child. I’ve always wanted to be bigger. I know I can’t grow taller so I want to be wider and bigger.
How did you get into bodybuilding?
It was kind of by accident. I was always smaller. … In 2002, which was when I went to UofL for my first year, I started weight training and I noticed that… my body was changing faster (than those of others training). … So somebody told me about an AAU competition called Mr. UofL in 2004 so I did that for the first time and placed second, and then I came around in 2005 and did the Mr. UofL, and won that one. I did the Mr. Kentucky Muscle Show, which is the one we have at the Convention Center every year in November, I won Men’s Lightweight Novice and I won the Men’s Open welch weight and it’s been full steam since then.
Do you ever have a cheat day when you can eat anything you want?
Yes, I actually contacted the guy who handled my prep, Steve Lineburger. We started off nine weeks before the competition. So for the first six weeks, one meal a week, we had a cheat meal. …It depended on how I looked, he told me what my cheat meal was going to be. And that was crazy. A cheat meal is needed to increase your metabolism. So if you keep eating clean and you’re taking in fewer calories than you’re burning, your body will stop responding to it. So the cheat meals actually trick your body into shooting your metabolism up a little bit higher.
What was it like at the State Championship?
August 4, it was in Frankfort, Kentucky. That was the state show and that’s considered one of the most prestigious shows because everybody wants that state title. … I placed first in the Men’s Light Heavy Division, I got Men’s Best Chest Award, and I won the overall trophy for the whole show, which means I beat not only my weight-class, but the other competitors in their weight-classes. … I talked to my prep coach and we’re looking at a national show early next year in the spring, so we’re going to do Jr. USAs.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far?
I would say the state title. … I trained so hard for that. I don’t really care about the trophy or the placing, I was just really happy that I’ve made it through the 12 weeks of prep, I got down to the weight I wanted to get down to, and liked how I looked.
What are three improvements people can make in their lives to be healthier?
Be more active. … If you do anything more than you do on a daily basis, that’s a big plus. Take the stairs, instead of taking the elevator. Walking to the convenience store instead of driving. If it’s going to add more steps in your day, that’s where most people need to start.
Secondly, make better choices. …You know that fixing your food at home, rather than going to McDonalds is a better option. Or you know that drinking water is better than drinking a pop.
Third thing is educating yourself. Don’t get caught up in propaganda and fads. There’s no magic pill and there’s no magic protein shake. … It always starts in the kitchen and ends in the gym. Anything in between won’t help you in the long run.