Courtney King is an IFBB Pro who won the Bikini Olympia crown, the most prestigious title in the division, in 2016. King is among the most important athletes in the history of the Bikini division.
The IFBB added the Bikini division in 2010. Bodybuilding divisions are known to evolve and mature with time. King’s package at the Bikini Olympia 2016 put the division on a new trajectory. She was better conditioned and carried more muscle mass in her lower body than her competition.
At the 2016 Olympia, King unthroned Bikini Olympia champ Ashley Kaltwasser, who had held the crown for three consecutive years (2013-2015). After 2016, however, the coveted title has changed hands five times in six years. This gives you an idea of how King jolted the Olympia judging parameters with her package in 2016.
Although many bodybuilding fans had expected King to hold onto the Bikini Olympia title for multiple years, she vacated her throne in 2017 and retired from competitive bodybuilding.
At the time of writing, King is engaged to the four-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead. This article covers King’s complete profile, biography, training regimen, diet plan, and more.
|Full Name: Courtney King|
|September 13, 1993||Bodybuilder, Model||2010|
Who is Courtney King?
Born on Sept. 13, 1993, in Chicago, IL, King was an active child growing up. She participated in soccer, gymnastics, and basketball in high school and was on the cross-country and swimming teams. King hit the gym regularly in high school to stay in shape and improve her physical performance.
One day at the gym, a woman, impressed by King’s physique, asked her if she competed in the Bikini division. Unfamiliar with competitive bodybuilding, the future Olympia champ picked her new acquaintance’s brain about the sport.
After learning about competitive bodybuilding and recognizing her potential, she decided to pursue the sport professionally. King was especially excited about posing in front of a crowd.
Competition and Career
After months of preparation, King started competing in amateur shows in 2011. The 2011 Teen National Championships was her first show, which she won conveniently. Her balanced figure helped her rise through the ranks in the bodybuilding circuit.
King won her debut bodybuilding contest and knew she was capable of much more. The high school senior believed she could go head-to-head with older women and enrolled for the 2012 NPC USAS.
With her eyes set on a Pro card, King balanced her contest prep with her studies. The Chicago native won her division to claim her IFBB Pro card, opening the doors of the number one pro competitive bodybuilding federation for her.
Competing as a Pro
King didn’t rest on her laurels and signed up for multiple bodybuilding shows after turning pro, winning two of the five shows she participated in. These five shows helped her fine-tune her physique and find a foothold in the sport.
The 2016 Bikini Olympia champ entered her first pro competition in 2013 — Battle on the Beach Pro, where she took home a runner-up position. She won the Europa Games Pro and Tampa Pro the same year, qualifying her for her maiden Bikini Olympia show. She finished seventh at the 2013 Bikini Olympia contest, a respectable performance for a debutant.
The Chicagoan competed in only one competition in 2014 — the Arnold Classic Pro, where she repeated her Olympia performance. She took off the remainder of the season to focus on improving her figure.
King entered the upper echelons of competitive bodybuilding by securing third place at the 2015 New York Pro. She qualified for the 2015 Olympia by winning the Dennis James Classic. King earned her maiden Olympia podium at the 2015 Olympia by finishing third.
Winning the 2016 Bikini Olympia
The 2016 season was eventful for King. She contested six bodybuilding shows, winning two and taking second in two. King gained momentum for the 2016 Bikini Olympia by winning the Arizona Pro Wings of Strength. King reached the pinnacle of the sport by upsetting the reigning champ Kaltwasser in Las Vegas, NV, to earn her maiden Bikini Olympia crown.
In classic King style, she wasted no time and enlisted for her next show — the 2016 Korean Gran Prix, which she won convincingly. She competed in three more shows in the 2017 season, taking the silver medal in two and winning the Hawaii Pro.
King couldn’t defend her Olympia throne at the 2017 Bikini Olympia due to health issues, ending her dream run abruptly. The 2016 Bikini Olympia champ hung up her posing suit after the 2017 competitive season.
Although the Chicago native doesn’t compete anymore, she hasn’t given up on the fitness lifestyle. She trains regularly and keeps her fans updated through Instagram and YouTube.
Despite retiring from competitive bodybuilding, King is often in the news because of her fiancé Chris Bumstead — a four-time Classic Physique Olympia champion. “CBum” is arguably the most famous bodybuilder of this era and the most decorated bodybuilder in the Classic Physique division.
Courtney King Competition History
King’s competitive bodybuilding annal:
- 2017 Arnold Australia: Second-place
- 2017 Hawaii Pro: First-place
- 2017 Arnold Classic: Second-place
- 2016 Korean Grand Prix: First-place
- 2016 Mr. Olympia Bikini: First-place
- 2016 Arizona Pro Wings of Strength: First-place
- 2016 Arnold Australia: Fifth-place
- 2016 Arnold Classic Bikini International: Fifth-place
- 2016 EVLS Prague Pro: Second-place
- 2015 Korea Grand Prix: Second-place
- 2015 Mr. Olympia Bikini: Third-place
- 2015 Puerto Rico Pro: Second-place
- 2015 Dennis James Classic: First-place
- 2015 New York Pro: Third-place
- 2015 Pittsburgh Pro: Fifth-place
- 2014 Arnold Bikini International: Seventh-place
- 2013 Mr. Olympia Bikini: Seventh-place
- 2013 Tampa Pro: First-place
- 2013 Power House Classic Pro: Third-place
- 2013 Europa Games Pro: First-place
- 2013 Battle on the Beach Pro : Second-place
- 2012 NPC Jay Cutler Classic: First-place
- 2012 NPC Jr. USAS: 13th-place
- 2012 Jr. Nationals: Seventh-place
- 2012 Team Universe: Third-place
- 2012 NPC Teen, Collegiate, & Masters National Championships: First-place
- 2012 NPC USAS: First-place (Turned Pro)
- 2011 Teen National Championships: First-place
Courtney King Workout Split
The 2016 Bikini Olympia champ follows a six-day training split, where she trains her lower body twice weekly. She also does a full-body plyometric workout on Saturday to build muscle power. This is her training split:
- Monday: Back and Biceps
- Tuesday: Shoulders and Triceps
- Wednesday: Legs
- Thursday: Chest
- Friday: Glutes, Calves, and Abs
- Saturday: Full-Body Plyometrics
- Sunday: Rest
Courtney King Training Regimen
King keeps her training intensity high to ensure she gets the most out of her time in the weight room. To push her workouts to the next level, she uses supersets that involve alternating between two exercises without stopping for rest between sets.
Here is her training routine:
Courtney King Back and Biceps Workout
The former Bikini O champ loves training her back. She starts her back and bis workout with the machine T-Bar row. She is deliberate with her reps and focuses on contracting her muscles throughout the range of movement.
The T-Bar row helps build back thickness; the next exercise, the lat pull-down, improves back width. King wraps up her back training routine with the single-arm plate-loaded machine row.
Since arms are not a priority for Bikini girls, King keeps her workout short but intense. She starts her biceps training routine with the dumbbell alternate curl and calls it a day with three sets of barbell curls.
|Pull-Up (Assisted Machine)||3||10-12|
|Single-Arm Plate-Loaded Row||3||10-12|
|Dumbbell Alternate Curl||3||10-12|
Courtney King Shoulder and Triceps Workout
The Chicago native kicks off her shoulder and triceps routine with the barbell overhead press and then moves onto the dumbbell side lateral raise. She pauses at the static contraction points at the top and bottom to achieve an optimal pump.
King then does a superset of cable face pull and cable upright row to target her rear deltoids and traps. Working on your shoulders from all angles is essential for building 3D delts.
The former Bikini O champ performs the cable triceps press-down to begin her tris routine. She does the overhead dumbbell extension to work the long triceps head.
|Barbell Overhead Press||3||10-12|
|Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise||3||10-12|
|3a. Cable Face Pull||3||10-12|
|3b. Cable Upright Row||3||10-12|
|Cable Triceps Pressdown||3||10-12|
|Overhead Dumbbell Extension||3||10-12|
Courtney King Leg Workout
King’s booty-building leg routine is full of supersets. She starts her lower body workout with a single-leg deadlift and supersets it with the dumbbell goblet squat. She then moves onto a hyperextension and reverse hack squat superset to annihilate her glutes.
Using a cable in the third superset helps her isolate the butt better. She then supersets it with a compound movement, the stiff leg deadlift, to ensure overall muscle and strength development.
King rounds up her leg training regimen with bodyweight hip thrust and single-leg bodyweight hip thrust.
|1a. Single-Leg Deadlift||3||10|
|1b. Goblet Squat||3||10|
|2b. Reverse Hack Squat||3||12|
|3a. Cable Glute Kickback||3||10|
|3b. Stiff Leg Deadlift||3||15|
|4a. Bodyweight Hip Thrust||3||10|
|4b. Single-Leg Bodyweight Hip Thrust||3||5|
Courtney King Glutes, Calves, and Abs Workout
For the second weekly lower body workout, King combines abs with glutes and calves. She begins her training session with the wide-stance barbell Romanian deadlift and follows it up with dumbbell RDL.
The 2016 Bikini Olympia champ then does cable kickbacks to achieve a muscle-popping pump. The barbell hip thrust is one of King’s favorites to build gluteal muscle mass and explosive strength. She wraps up her butt routine with hyperextensions.
King had one of the best calves in the Bikini division. She does seated and standing calf raises to develop her lower legs. The Chicagoan completes her workout with bodyweight crunches to build washboard abs.
|Wide-Stance Barbell Romanian Deadlift||4||12-15|
|Barbell Hip Thrust||4||12-15|
|Standing Calf Raise||4||12-15|
|Seated Calf Raise||4||12-15|
Courtney King HIIT Routine
The 2016 Bikini Olympia champ also likes to do a high-intensity interval training routine to burn excess fat and tone her muscles.
Given below is a 10-exercise HIIT circuit. In this circuit, you’ll do each exercise for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds between exercises. You are allowed a 1-2 minute break after you complete the circuit. Repeat the circuit two more times.
|Exercise||Time (in seconds)|
|Squat to Reverse Lunge||40|
|Long Jumps Forward, 2-3 Jumps Back||40|
|Low-Stance Walking Squat||40|
|High-Plank Lunge Jump||40|
|Glute Bridge March||40|
|Inch Worm with Shoulder Tap||40|
|Pulsing Squat to High Jump||40|
King does cardio 2-3 times a week to burn off excess calories and keep her legs and glutes tight. The 2016 Bikini Olympia champ prefers HIIT cardio which raises her heart rate. She limits her cardio workouts to 30 minutes per session.
Courtney King Diet Program
King follows a balanced diet to stay in shape throughout the year. She focuses on her carb and protein intake and changes it regularly to match her training intensity. The Chicago native believes you must balance and consume macronutrients based on your body’s needs rather than what you like.
Lean white fish, chicken, ground turkey, eggs, and whey protein shakes are the former Bikini Olympia champ’s go-to sources for high-quality protein. King ensures she eats protein-rich foods in every meal.
You must eat an appropriate amount of carbs throughout the day, especially before a workout, to ensure you have enough energy to survive a high-intensity workout. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of fuel. Oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potatoes, flax seed bread, and cheerios are the stape in King’s nutrition program.
Most people consider dietary fats their nemesis, but King is different. Eating a healthy amount of carbs daily is vital for brain health and maintaining optimal body functioning. Walnuts, olives, almond butter, and flax seed oil are the O champ’s choice of fats.
- ½ Cup of oatmeal
- 1/2 cup of berries
- Egg whites
- 4–5oz of lean protein (chicken, fish, lean ground turkey)
- Sweet potato
- 4–5oz of lean protein
- 1/2 cup of brown rice
- Whey protein shake
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (blended with ice)
- 4oz Chicken
- Big salad
- Casein protein
- Cottage cheese
King doesn’t switch between a bulking and cutting diet. She follows the same diet with minor adjustments throughout the year to stay in top shape. Furthermore, she believes that switching between leaning and gaining diets can do more harm than good for most people. She is a proponent of staying consistent with your diet program.
Courtney King went from a fitness noob to the top of the pro bodybuilding world within six years. It speaks volumes about her discipline, grit, and hard work. In true champion style, the 2016 Bikini Olympia walked away from the competitive circuit while at the top of the game.
King prioritizes her health and follows a diet and training regimen that keeps her in top shape throughout the year. Ladies that want to craft a figure like the former Olympia champ should give her transformation program a go. Best of luck!
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