Cathy LeFrancois Interview

When I say there are role models in the bodybuilding industry, you are about to read on one right here. Cathy LeFrancois won the lightweight class at the 2003 Ms. International, and went on to win the NY Pro on May 10, 2008. Look for her again on stage at the Ms. Olympia in Vegas in Sept 2008.

Author: Jonathan.L - owner Models Observer
July 2008

* Cathy, what's up with you?

Cathy LeFrancois: Well, I just won the NY Pro Show on May 10 in New York City. I travel quite a lot for my Sponsor, Gaspari Nutrition, so that keeps me busy. I just started my diet and training for the Ms. Olympia Show in September.

* I see you've moved into my new house recently. How is it like?

Cathy LeFrancois: Of course, when you move into a new house it is always great. It is different and new, but of course, a lot more work. I have spent so much time trying to organize myself and get everything in its place. I have little time for anything else. My new home gym is larger than before so now all my equipment fits in there and I feel like I am training in a real gym rather than just my garage...lol.

* How did you get started in bodybuilding?

Cathy LeFrancois: I started when I was 18 years old and after only 3 months I did my first show. Right away I was the one people liked on stage.
I won the show and was honored as the best poser with the best routine. Funny thing about this was that it was my first show and I really didn't have any idea about what I needed to do. I learned to pose by looking at pictures in magazines. Someone told me that I needed to do some sort of dance routine for the night show, so that is what I did. I was destined to be in the sport.

* How did you learn what it takes to succeed?

Cathy LeFrancois: I learned by experience. It is important to never give up when all seems lost. Keep your head straight and you will eventually achieve those things you only dreamed of.

* What experiences in your life have helped you expand who you are as a person? How have these experiences shaped your perspective of the world?

Cathy LeFrancois: My best friend was killed by a drunk driver. It was his dream to be a bodybuilder so I feel as though he helped influence me to be what I have become today. When I step on stage I think about my friend and try to make both our dreams comes true as one. I left Canada to move to the US and did not speak any English. I got married to someone who made me believe he was the perfect man. After a lot of drama, I soon later found I was mistaken. It is hard to trust anyone who wants to be with you when you are a well-known name. You never know their true intentions. But soon after, my new boyfriend, Scott, was my best friend who had been there from day one when I needed someone. Today Scott is my best friend and my fiance and we live in this great big house from Scott's family. I have God in my life and I am a strong woman. People see the true me when I am around them and I have a lot of people I can call true friends. I am healthy, happy and I have a great job I enjoy. My family is in my life and things make sense now.



* What obstacles have you encountered in your bodybuilding career and how have you handled them?

Cathy LeFrancois: The biggest obstacle for me was not being able to speak English when I came to the US. It was a very difficult time for me. Not being able to talk to anyone nor understand what anyone was saying to me. I would just look at people and smile. Luckily, I had an angel come to my rescue a few times at the beginning. My friend Don helped me and showed me where I needed to go. He saved my life, I tell you. Don't know where I would have ended up with out his lead…lol

* What are you most proud of?

Cathy LeFrancois: I am proud of the day I won my pro card at the 1995 CBBF Canada Cup III, of my 2003 win at the Arnold Classic, and most recently my win at the 2008 NY Pro. But, I guess I am most proud of myself and what I have accomplished so far in life considering all the difficulties I grew up with.

* Describe the training and diet program you have used to prepare for the 2008 Arnold?

Cathy LeFrancois: My training and diet generally doesn't change much. I train everyday, I do my cardio regularly and I eat 6 times a day. I always prepare my food and take it with me if I am traveling so I can assure myself that I will eat right. And most importantly, I do not cheat on my diet.

* What is it like to work out in your home gym? How is it different from working out in a public gym?

Cathy LeFrancois: My home gym is great. I have everything I need to train and all I need to do is walk downstairs…lol Many times, I will have friends come over and train with me. It is always fun and we do not have to worry about anyone else. Training in a public gym is good too. You get to see other people which will help motivate you to push harder. They also have more equipment available. Of course, at home I do not have to worry about it being too loud or too crowded…lol

* How strong is your fabulous body? Could you mention what are your best lifts?

Cathy LeFrancois: I have a bench press record of 185 lbs when I weighed only 118 lbs. I almost had a record at 200 but my foot moved a small amount so that lift did not count. I did a squat of 385 lbs before. I did leg press with 10 plates each side for 30 reps. Dumbbell shoulder press with 85 lb dumbbells. Not too bad for 130lb me…lol.

* In her book, "Women of Steel: Female Bodybuilders and the Struggle for Self-Definition", Maria R. Lowe follows female bodybuilders with their successes and failures, and discover the benefits - including increased self-esteem and physical strength - as well as the sometimes unhealthy effects of their training regimen, from dehydration to baldness to rampant acne to high blood pressure. What about you, Cathy? How has bodybuilding affected you positively and negatively?

Cathy LeFrancois: As with any sport, any training, you will always have things that impact you in a negative way. Runners have bad knees, tennis players have bad elbows, etc. As far as myself, I am very healthy and feel great. I would never do anything that would destroy my body.

* Please tell me about your work for your sponsor - Gaspari Nutrition.

Cathy LeFrancois: As one of Gaspari Nutrition's Athlete's (www.GaspariNutrition.com), I travel to stores and gyms around the country doing product demonstrations so people can learn about how and why Gaspari Nutrition Supplements are the best in the industry. I also work in the Gaspari Nutrition booth at shows and other events. Working for Rich and Liz Gaspari has truly been a blessing. I couldn't ask for a better team.

* Are there any other thoughts, insights, or advice you would like to offer people who are looking to improve their physique?

Cathy LeFrancois: You need to set realistic goals for yourself. Set a plan to get there and don't cheat along the way. There are no secrets, just eat good and train hard.

* If you had all the time and all the money, what would you do?

Cathy LeFrancois: Well, I would start by having a professional decorator come in and redo everything in my house - the furniture, the lighting, the big screen TV, the computer, etc. I would treat myself to the best of everything. I'd put in a huge pool and hot-tub and hire people to take care of everything for me. That way, I could sit back and write a book about my life! I would also fly my parents to CA in the winter so they could enjoy the nice weather too and get away from those cold Quebec winters.

* How do you spend your leisure time? What personal activities do you enjoy?

Cathy LeFrancois: Well, I don't have a whole lot of leisure time…lol. Generally, I spend my leisure time answering my fans email and working on my website…things like that. I truly enjoy staying connected with my fans, because without them I would have nothing. I also just enjoy staying home and working around the house - cooking, decorating, making my house a home

* Tell me something in French!

Cathy LeFrancois: Maudit que vous me tannez de toujours me demander ceci!!!

* What's next for you?

Cathy LeFrancois: I am currently training for the Ms. Olympia Show in Las Vegas in September. I am also working on some new projects, including offering “weekend training and diet packages with Cathy in her home gym”.

Follow Cathy: www.facebook.com/ProPowerCat.


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