Cassandra Rae Dean - Figure Competitor
My name is Cassandra Rae Dean I have always been an active person and love to challenge myself. When I was in grade 6 I started Shodokan Karate. This style is a more defensive form of Karate. I continued every year until I got my first degree black belt and became a Senpai which is an assistant to the Sensei. On top of Karate my interest included Air Cadets & track so self discipline came easy for me. My choice to compete came from the lack of physical challenge I was in 5 years ago after my karate dojo closed; Which resulted in me gaining ALOT of weight in my now free time. My mother is the only person who will tell me an honest opinion and if I've gained weight, so from that point forward I joined the gym and started on my journey to get back in shape.
The first show experience I had was not a very good one, I was new to the lifting world and the trainer I had hired was not helpful in any way. I was told to google my exercises if I didn't know them, she never helped with my diet questions or reversed me so my metabolism got messed with and I gained my weight back post show. It was all in all a bad first experience (there was more drama that happened) but I did finish and I did get up on stage in the end. One result from the bad experience I received was torn ligaments in my right wrist, which to this day requires to be taped with sports tape to be able to do the simplest of tasks in a day. After years of working with this injury and doing my own thing in the gym I met my companion. Both being very competitive people we took the next step and sought out our NOW trainer Vince. We couldn't afford him when we met him so we had to do our own bulk and started with him in July.
Off season diet is definitely higher carb based and with the larger intake of food your strength is at its best. During off season I have little to no cardio to do which makes me happy. (It is not my favorite thing to do) Cheat meals once a week keep you from going crazy! For prep my carbs are lowered gradually and cardio increased but my diet rocks and I LOVE food! Low carb high protein diets are the best for losing weight fast and maintaining muscle mass and the most commonly used by everyone to lose weight. Everyone's body is different and some diets don't work for them depending on genetics and different health factors. With that said all diets work if you stick to them by making the necessary changes in your life to accommodate your goals. My coach knows way more about me then I am sure he wants to but if it's relevant I tell him. For example when you are dieted down to stage ready things tend to disappear and sometimes don't always return. (All women can relate to this one) I can eat easily the same thing everyday so my plan is very easy to follow. Your coach should plan your meals around the food you like and your average work day to ensure you get all your meals in during the day. Two to three of my meals are in a shake form due to my job always being with people working on clients and being on my feet.
Confidence was always an easy one for me. All my extra curricular activities helped groom me into the person I am today. I have always been involved with band and band camp during the summer, it taught me that we all have our part to play and in the end we work together to make something beautiful for all to enjoy. Drama taught me to come out of my shell in front of people and rock the role I had to play and feel confident in myself. Cadets and Karate taught me that hard works pays off and that the only one who can do the work is you. You take away what you put in. I learned self discipline and self respect, as well as body awareness and control. I learned how to clear my mind and control my body to achieve my goals. Above all I learned how to me a leader and teacher which I apply to my everyday life as a manager at Ozera Healing Spa & Salon. For 15 years I have been involved with a grief camp for kids and one up north for 3 years. I myself have been affected by grief very personally, this camp helped me maintain the positive being that I always have been and know that I am never alone out there.
Training: I can not give much away my trainer designed my program especially for me and what works for my body. What I can tell you is to research your trainers my first one gave me a terrible experience and Vince has been amazing and listened to all of my concerns. The weigh in on show day was pretty standard, I made it to 114.5 LBS although I out weighed and out muscled the girls in my bikini category I am moving up to figure on May 13th 2017.
I was pretty nervous on stage for my little routine, definitely wasn't as flirty and fun as my fellow competitors but the judges saw something in me and awarded me first place.
For my future plans I want to continue to compete and push the limits of my body. I plan to get into fitness modelling and to continue to inspire others to go after their goals and dreams!