Posted 10 July 2014 by Interview:

Kelly Dessington


How/when did you get started in training and living a fit lifestyle?

About 8 years ago when I swapped starvation and cardio for healthy meals and weight training.

How do you stay motivated?

I don’t believe everyone hops out of bed every morning rearing to go, and I'm the same in the sense that I have great days and not so great days, but  training has become such a part of my routine I do it without a second thought and at times when I am less motivated and under pressure in other areas of my life, I’ve learned that an hour in the gym is like an hour of meditation for me so then it becomes more of a question of discipline that motivation.

What types of cardio have worked best for you?

I’m not a fan of cardio in the traditional sense. Metabolic training works best and I really enjoy pushing myself through these types of workouts; sprints, battle ropes, tyre flips and sled work to name a few of my favourites!

Do you have a favourite healthy recipe?

I don’t have one favourite recipe. I eat fresh, natural food and I like to keep it pretty simple which also makes it easy to prepare food and by adding one or two different herbs or spices, I can change up the flavours enough to keep it interesting.

What does your diet consist of?

High protein, good fats and carbohydrates, which I cycle. I’ve found that eating smaller meals more regularly works best for me and this is what an average day looks like;

  • Homemade burger with sweet potato
  • 3 Egg omelette with ostrich, spinach, mushrooms and cheese
  • Chicken with broccoli and rice
  • Beef carpaccio
  • Steak with vegetables or a salad


How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food?

I rarely have cravings, probably because I don’t feel that the way I eat is restrictive and I actually enjoy the food that I do eat, so psychologically I think that has a different effect.  If I really am craving something, I’ll usually have it but I also choose things like red wine and dark chocolate so it's not all bad. I have been known to eat the odd tub of homemade ice-cream too just probably not while prepping for a show!

What are your top 3 favourite exercises?

Pull-ups, Deadlifts, Squats – big movements that utilise your whole body mean these 3 exercise give great returns for the time invested.

Do you listen to music whilst you train?

Always… My favourites right now are Queens of the Stone Age, Brand New and Being as an Ocean.

Do you set short and long term goals?

Sure, I think it’s important to set goals both short term, so that you can celebrate the small wins and stay motivated and long term, so that you're always moving forward. Currently my goals are business related as we look to grow the gym and make some changes.

What are you most proud of?

My South Africa records achieved in drug free powerlifting, my first figure show which I placed 1st in an opening in a gym in Cape Town, Progressive Edge Performance.

Have you had any obstacles or setbacks towards achieving your goal physique?

I was fortunate enough to never really struggle with injuries until recently, when I developed tendonitis in both my elbows.  It meant taking it easier than usual, which has been frustrating but not all negative; with a growing business it has allowed me to focus on different things. Unfortunately it’s also the reason I decided not to compete this year, but who knows what next year holds.

How do you measure your progress?

Truthfully, I’ve used all 3, with body fat measurements being my primary tool because it allows me to be more specific. When it comes to competing at figure, the only one that really matters is the mirror and for powerlifting, it's performance.

Who are your favourite, athletes or fitness models?

I take my inspiration from outside of the fitness world for the most part; there are so many incredible women who’s main goal is performance and they look amazing.

What supplements would you use/recommend if any?

My basics are quite simple; fish oil, zinc, magnesium and D3. Anything else I use changes based on what’s going on with my training.

What 3 tips would you give to any woman wanting to get a feminine, CutandJacked physique like yours?

Give up on the idea that there is a masculine and feminine way to achieving results in the weight room. Be prepared to get your hands dirty and lift heavy.  Start eating healthy, natural food sources and avoid the mentality that if you cut out one thing (like sugar) it needs to be replaced (with sweeteners).

Kelly Dessington

Year of birth: 1980 Weight: 138lbs Height: 5’5"

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