Do you have to be HARDCORE to be HARDBODY?

Welcome our newest Hardbody contributing writer, Kelsey Craun. Kelsey is a self-proclaimed “fitness nerd” who has a sensible approach to her hardbody. She will be sharing her views on a variety of topics in the months ahead and we’re stoked to have her on the Hardbody Team. Check out her first thoughts on being “hardcore”.

Do you have to be HARDCORE to be HARDBODY?

By Kelsey Craun
When it comes to reaching your fitness goals, there’s something to be said for maintaining an intense attitude towards it. You want to step on stage in a figure or bikini competition suit? You need to have drive and determination. There is absolutely no questioning that…. Unless you don’t really care what you look like on stage, in which case I kindly suggest finding a different goal.

But does it need to take over your life? Is it “healthy” to be compulsive about your diet and training year round? No, and no. Is it healthy for a woman to maintain an extremely ripped physique for long periods of time? Again, the answer is no. Health, fitness, and being HARDBODY are about so much more than how ripped your abs are, or how many calories your burn on the treadmill each morning. It’s not that simple, or that shallow.

Are your fitness goals getting in the way of important relationships? Do you still “allow” time for other hobbies you used to enjoy? Do you mentally beat yourself up when you “screw up” your diet? You can be lean and healthy without weighing every ounce of food you eat, and without doing cardio 6 days a week.

It seems like the “HARDCORE” folks lose sight of this too often. Aesthetic goals should not cause you lose sight of the rest of your life outside of fitness. In your quest to be a HARDBODY, you have to remember that more is not always better (I’m talkin’ about you, Overtraining Syndrome and Adrenal Fatigue – Yes, you CAN workout so much that it harms your health). Also remember that being ridiculously “hardcore” outwardly about your dreams of vascularity and striations doesn’t make you any better than the girl who silently kicks your ass in both back squats and life balance. Extremism generally isn’t healthy physically, mentally, or emotionally. If being totally ripped is a major source of happiness in your life, it may be time to re-evaluate your priorities.

Am I suggesting you sit on your couch and eat chips while simultaneously downing cans of soda instead of hitting the gym? Obviously not, but I am suggesting that having good balance in different aspects of your life is more important (and healthier) than being super “shredded” every day of your life.

Fitness models and competitors who are in the public eye need to take a step back and ask themselves if they are encouraging health and fitness, or vanity and extremism.



About Kelsey Craun:
B.S. – Exercise Physiology
Exercise Science Grad Student
ACSM – Certified Personal Trainer
NPC Competitor
Fitness Nerd


Kelsey Craun – Photo by


Hey! I am a fitness blogger/personal trainer who’s passionate about lifting, coffee, learning, and peanut butter ♥ I have my B.S. in Exercise Physiology, and am currently a full-time graduate student in the process of getting my M.S. in Exercise Science with a concentration in Nutrition & Exercise.

I want to use my education/experience to give people sound advice (amidst all of the crappy advice and information out there) and to help motivate/inspire people to live a little healthier 🙂

In less “serious” news, I recently did my very first NPC Bikini division competition, and won my height class and the overall… Competing again soon! 1st in class A and Overall winner at the 2011 Lenda Murray Championships, then 4th in class B at IFBB North American Championships… and that’s it! Just the 2 shows so far.

Personal blog:


Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.