Katarina Konow is a 23 year old Swedish Fitness Model and Personal Trainer, who won Miss International Sweden in 2012. She talks to us about her training, her diet, her fitness philosophies and her viral squatting and training videos that get plastered across all the fitness social media pages, garnering 10’s of millions of views!
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How Did You Get Started In Health And Fitness?
I have always been an active girl since I was young. I started with horseback riding and I had my own horses that I took care of (a lot of hard work in the stable) I went to a professional horseback riding school when I was 15 years old and I competed in jumping with my horse. Being an equestrian is very demanding on your body and it requires a lot of balance/core and leg strength.
When I was 18 years old I got signed with an modeling agency in New York and started seeing working out as something I “had to do” at that point. I had a very unhealthy relationship with food and all I did was cardio. At one point I was very, very skinny and it wasn’t healthy.
But one day I saw a strong looking girl in the gym and I know that from that day forward, my life changed. I wanted to become strong and healthy! Now my passion and dream is to inspire women not to be scared of lifting weights, to be strong and to remember another very important factor: eat enough food!!!
What Is Your Best Advice For Someone Looking To Start Get Fit?
Invest in a good personal trainer. I know it can be expensive, but if you think about it, how much money do you spend on going out, dinners, clothes, hair, food, alcohol? It is an investment for your entire life and an investment in knowledge, because there is so much to understand and learn. Plus it’s important to workout the right way or you could injure yourself – it’s an investment for the future as well. What you are doing in your life right now will affect your future!
What Is Your Workout Routine?
I workout 6 days a week, and then I have an active rest day.
I workout legs 3 times a week and sometimes even 4 days a week. Some people would say that I’m overtraining my legs but for me, it works perfectly. Everyone is different and everyone can’t have the same workout routine – so I would not recommend anyone to just copy my workout routine because it depends on what your goal is and where your body is at in terms of conditioning etc. I can handle a lot of hard training since I have been doing it for a while.
Katarina Konow’s Workout Routine:
Tuesday: Upper Body – Vertical/Horizontal Push and Pull.
Thursday: Metabolic Leg Day – Agility Work/Sled Pull/Push/Battle Ropes/High Intensity Sprints On Assault Bike/Treadmill/
Friday: Upper Body – Vertical/Horizontal Push and Pull
Saturday: Active Rest Day
Sunday: Compound Day: Squats, Bench and Deadlifts and some HIIT training on the assault bike.
What Is Your Diet Like?
How you approach your diet is the same as working out, everyone can’t have the same diet because it depends on your goals and what we want to achieve. It also depends on things like how your body responds to different foods and macros. Personally I stay away from gluten/diary/sugar, because my body does not feel good nor function well if I eat this. I have noticed a huge difference in my skin since I started cutting out dairy, which to me, says everything. Before my skin would break out badly but that doesn’t happen anymore.
I do consume a lot of calories and I think that’s a huge reason why a lot of people don’t see any results, especially women, because they are to scared to eat too much and put on weight. If you don’t eat, how will you be able to build any muscle? They won’t grow from air and they will definitely not grow if your constantly in a calorie deficit.
I believe in bulking and cutting. I’m not saying it’s wise to like crazy and consume an overload of calories but rather consume about 300 calories more than your daily calorie expenditure and once you feel like you have gained the muscle mass you are happy with, you can cut out 300-500 calories daily and add a little extra HIIT training to burn of the extra fat.
More specifically in my diet:
I drink vegan protein shakes because again, my skin breaks out from whey protein.
I eat eggs/chicken/fish/vegetables/a small amount of starches (potatoes) and a small amount of red meat.
I eat nuts and berries and I’m trying to not eat too much fruit. (Contains to much sugar)
I make sure I get a lot of good fats from coconut oil, olive oil, avocado and nuts.
I drink a lot of water and I love coffee.
I also drink unsweetened almond milk/coconut milk and sometimes coconut water.
If you have a hard time estimating how much you are eating I recommend myfitnesspal which is an app you can download to track what you eat and their calories. I just eat when I’m hungry and eat until I feel satisfied, not until I’m really full. I think it’s very important to have a natural relationship with food and not obsess over it. At the end of the day it’s fuel for your body so make sure you get good quality fuel for your machine!
A video posted by Katarina Konow (@katarinakonow) on
A Video Of You Squatting Your Friend Went Insane Online, Being Viewed 10’s Of Millions Of Times! Can You Tell Us About That & What Has The Attention Been Like?
It has been a life changing experience. I am so happy and thankful because a lot of amazing people have been reaching out to me and I feel like I can finally pursue my dream to motivate women to start lifting. It changed my life completely and I want to change other people’s lives now too. Everyone deserves to feel happy with themselves, to feel strong, confident and feel the amazing feeling of the endorphins after they train hard. It’s the best antidepressant on the market.
I want to change the ideals of the modeling industry. I’m a model myself and have been modeling since I was 17 years old. I have met many people in the industry who told me I was too big (my legs have always been bigger because of horseback riding, I had a lot of muscles in my legs at an early age) and back then I was listening to these people trying everything to get my legs smaller, to fit in to the ideals of the modeling industry. Now I’m completely different. If they don’t like me with big legs and a big butt they can pick someone else. I’m not changing – they should change the ideals of the world and empower strong women and not tell girls to lose their curves and muscles.
I also want to change the mindset of women. A lot of women out there think you will get huge if you start lifting. I have been lifting HEAVY for over 3 years now and I’m not huge. My max squat is 225lbs/103kg and I wouldn’t say I look like a body builder. The bodybuilding women people see online with huge muscles take drugs. Women do not have enough testosterone to build that kind of muscle mass.
Is Squatting A Person An Exercise That Your Would Recommend Or Just Something For Fun?
I would not recommend squatting another person if you’re not used to squatting heavy in the squat rack. Start in the squat rack and develop your legs and then you will know how much you can squat and maybe then you can try it out. Do not do this without knowing how to squat before. You can injure yourself for the rest of your life. Squatting is a skill and if you have never done it before your body won’t be able to handle it.
What Are Your Favourite Exercises For Developing That ‘Booty’?
Band walks to activate the muscle then heavy squats/heavy deadlifts or heavy hip thrusters.
What Are Your Favourite Healthy Recipes?
For sweet tooth: Protein pancakes: protein powder, almond or coconut flour eggs and banana.
As A Personal Trainer, Give Your Best 3 Health Tips That People Can Implement Right Now:
1. Drink more water.
2. Get your body moving.
3. Get enough sleep.
How Do You Handle Setbacks & Bad Days?
I love training more than anything, it’s like therapy for me. But if I have a bad day, I would rather go push myself through a workout and feel better after, than stay home and feel sorry for myself!