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Bodybuilding makeover paying off for Mackenzie

Katia Mackenzie in her powerlifting days. PHOTOS/FILE


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Mackenzie competing in the Wellington bodybuilding championships. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Katia Mackenzie only switched from powerlifting to bodybuilding a few months ago, and already she has claimed her first championship.

In her competitive debut, the 19-year-old was first in the junior class and second in the novice class in the bikini category at the NZIFBB Wellington Championships at the Lower Hutt Town Hall on Saturday.

Mackenzie is a former junior national and Oceania powerlifting champion and finished third at the 2018 world championships in Canada.

Mackenzie’s success at her first attempt at bodybuilding came as a surprise.

“It felt pretty good, but I wasn’t expecting to place so well,” she said. “I just entered to get the experience.”

Mackenzie took up bodybuilding during the covid-19 level 4 lockdown only because she was bored.

She immediately realised that bodybuilding provided more stimulating training than the grind of powerlifting training.

She trains for about one hour a day, six days a week, but has learned that diet is probably more important than the training itself.

“I’ve done it pretty easy. My coach made my diet tasty, and I can eat food like steak and potatoes, and don’t have to eat normal bodybuilding food like boiled chicken and rice.”

Mackenzie’s father Bevan, also a competitive bodybuilder, helps a bit with her training at the Wai Weight Gym but mostly she is guided by an online coach from overseas.

“The bikini class is more about lean muscle rather than big muscles,” she said.

Mackenzie’s next event will be the national championships in Auckland on October 17, where she will enter the junior and novice categories, and possibly the open class.

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