NAME: Kris Shanahan

AGE: 46 years old



DIVISION: women’s bodybuilding (NGA), women’s physique division (NPC)

CONTEST HISTORY: too many to list. The last three years, 1st place NGA Pro Blowout, and 3rd place at the 2014 NPC Jay Cutler Baltimore Classic, WPD

I started teaching group fitness classes at the age of 14 and slowly became “obsessed” with getting stronger, since I was always a scrawny kid who got picked on for being so small. One day I was trying on prom dresses with a friend and she noticed I had muscles. She thought it was disgusting; I thought it was awesome! And the rest is history.

I found out about TEAM Warrior Within on Facebook while I was looking for physique posing advice. David Johnston did my prep this year. It was great working with David. Personally, I needed a trainer who wouldn’t blow smoke up my ass. I need someone who will tell me like it is and push me to my limits. David does just that.

This year I was diagnosed with Lymphoma for the second time. I had surgery and treatment in the earlier part of this year. My body has gone through quite a bit of trauma and my metabolism had reached an all-time low due to treatment, plus my age. I believe the toughest part of prep this year was trying to jump start my metabolism again. We had to drop my calories to an all-time low. Energy levels were extremely depleted, but we got it done! Just two days before my contest last week, I found out that I still have cancer.

I had it in my head that if I could make it through training and dieting and actually win my show, that was my way of saying I could do anything, which is my way of saying “Fuck you” to cancer!

What advice would I give to somebody looking to get started with competing? DON’T DO IT!!! Just kidding. Make sure you’re the type of person who can handle being judged. Standing on stage half naked and listening to people’s opinion of you is not the easiest thing to swallow. Put in the work; do what needs to be done and just be the best you can be. You will learn more about yourself in a short period of time, more than most people learn in a lifetime!

During prep this year, I learned that I am way stronger than I ever thought I was. I feel like I can do just about anything if I put my mind to it. I learned that bodybuilders are a whole different breed of their own. We are a very small percentage of people that have that certain “Get the fuck outta my way, I’m on a mission” attitude.

I would like to thank David Johnston for pushing my ass through the seemingly impossible, and for not taking pity on my ass during this challenging prep. I thank my friends for all of their constant support in the gym and in life—for always coming to watch me compete and for the positive feedback, especially when times got tough. I’d especially like to thank my husband, Dave Shanahan, for putting up with me this year, for always pushing me to find a better ME, for driving my ass over an hour early on Sundays to meet with my trainer, and for doing my diet with me every year. He is not only a great partner in the gym, but he is the best partner in life that anyone could ever ask for.

Moving forward, I plan on competing in Woodbridge, VA in April of 2016, and hopefully moving on to Charleston in May and doing Jr. USAs. My whole bodybuilding life, I pretty much only competed to look good in a bathing suit during the summer. This year, things got more “personal”. I feel like I may have some potential here, somewhere, and I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can take this.


David Johnston - TEAM Warrior WithinThis Warrior was trained and coached by David Johnston. David is the founder and lead trainer of TEAM Warrior Within.  You can also listen to him weekly on the GEARD Up podcast. ( ) David works with clients ranging from the everyday person just trying to lose weight and get healthy, local and national bodybuilding and physique competitors, to IFBB professional athletes.

David lives and breathes all things related to physique transformation, and has devoted nearly half of his life to passionately studying and educating himself to be the absolute best at what he does. His intensity in the gym is matched only by the passion he gives to his clients.