Cathy Vega - Pnba Pro Physique

Cathy: I have been involved in sports since I was a young child, and have coached multiple sports at different levels, so the competitive nature and strong work ethic was instilled in me at a young age. In 2007, at the age of 48, I divorced after 27 years of marriage. My sons were grown so I decided it was time to focus on me and hired a personal trainer, Teddy Gray, who is a nationally ranked bodybuilder. After a week of working with him, he urged me to consider competing. 8 months later, I did my first show and placed 5th. I have been competing ever since.

My diet doesn’t change all that much from off-season to pre-contest, as this is a lifestyle for me. In the off-season I do add more calories and am not as strict about weighing my food, but the foods I eat are pretty consistent. As I begin prepping for a show I keep my calories between 2000 and 2200 calories and my macros are 50% Protein, 30% Carbs, and 20% Fats, eating 6 meals per day. I feel that my body responds well to Carb Cycling; higher carb day every 3rd day and those are the days I work Back and my heaviest Leg day. At the end of my prep my calorie intake is about 1200-1250, and I consume more fats and less carbs.

I have found that the competition diet plans that I have really not failed, as adjustments are made throughout the prep to insure that my body continues to respond. The one method that is really not effective for me is the Intermittent Fasting. I need the smaller more frequent meals as it’s hard for me to digest the larger meals.

Some shots from backstage before pre judging of the 2015 PNBA Natural Olympia.

A photo posted by @cathyfitness on

My training consists of a 6-day split weight lifting program, taking 1 day off a week. I work legs 2 times a week, with one of those workouts focusing on Glutes & Hamstrings. I mix up my workouts every week and do a lot of High Volume training. I make sure that I fuel my body sufficiently before a workout. The majority of my carbs are consumed before and after my workouts, which are usually in the morning before I head to work. I try to keep my conditioning consistent, and don’t rely on hours of steady state cardio. My cardio consists mostly of HIIT, bleachers, or GroupEx classes I teach.

I have always been confident, but will admit that my first show was “nerve racking”. I felt prepared physically, but didn’t feel confident with my posing; I didn’t have a posing coach for that show, so I felt that component was missing. So, I hired a posing coach and worked with her before my next show, working on presentation and posing, so I felt confident that I was completely prepared, and it showed in my placing; missed placing 1st by 1 point. I don’t feel that I am “showing off”; I do like to strut my stuff and present my hard work, by bringing the best physique I can to the stage.

My most recent competition was the PNBA Natural Olympia, where I earned a Bronze medal behind 2 Australians. The final outcome was very rewarding but the show was very unorganized. Athlete check-in took over 4 ½ hours. Pre-judging wasn’t run much better; the Expeditors didn’t perform their assignment well; many athletes, including myself almost missed their call-out. My division, Women’s Masters 40+ Physique were already onstage when the Expeditor told me we were up; I was getting glazed at the time and wasn’t far from the stage. The group had already gone through their quarter turns and the head judge was calling a front double bicep so I stepped right into line and hit the pose; I owned it, and didn’t allow this to bring me down! The finals are always my favorite part of the show. Performing my routine and letting people see the passion I have for the sport gives me a euphoric feeling. My goal had been to place in the top 5, so my Bronze medal was a huge accomplishment.

I am currently training a group of 8 individuals at Saint Mary’s Fitness Center that will be going through all aspects of prepping for a show. I am training and prepping for my next show, the NPC Idaho Muscle Classic in Boise, Idaho, June 3rd -4th. I will be entering the Women’s Master Physique and Open Physique classes. This will be My first NPC show since 2011.

Contact Information: Cathy Vega
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