T Nation

From Figure Novice to Open


I've decided to definitely compete in another figure show, most likely in the Spring. Iâ??ll update this thread as a way to stay accountable before beginning an official prepâ?¦ There were a couple of things that led to this decision, 1) my recent trip to the Biotest Training Lab in Colorado, 2) watching the video of the Hercules contest this past week for the first time, 3) I got on the scale this morning for the first time since my contest (yikes)!

If I had to sum up my trip to the training lab @ Biotest in one word - it would be INSPIRING! After Colorado, and seeing how hard everyone trained (through injuries and exhaustion), Iâ??m inspired to get stronger and work harder. Iâ??ve never before seen so many people working so hard in a gym, everyone was giving 110% at every single moment of every single day. I worked out in the womenâ??s group with Dani S. and Genevieve. Our workout routines were various complexes with â??active rest.â?? Working out in a group was new for me and really cool. If you have a great group & coach (like we did), I think the group dynamic really motivates you to work harder, especially when youâ??re tired and want to give up (but you canâ??t stop because you donâ??t want to be the weak linkâ?¦ also Christian was watching us, so there is no giving up or stopping. :slight_smile:

We finally got the DVD of the Hercules competition and watched it the other day. There are definitely a number of things I need to improve on for next time. For the Hercules INBF show, you could either enter the Novice or the Open, not both. I choose to enter the novice, but after watching the video, I think I would have done respectable in the openâ?¦ which makes me think, I should improve on the things I need to and then see how well I do in the open next year.

I lost a total of 15 pounds for the Hercules and I kind of figured that I gained a lot of it backâ?¦ the scale confirmed my suspicionâ?¦ after a cruise and summer of enjoying myself, Iâ??m currently 2 pounds heavier than I was at the beginning of my contest prep back in March :frowning: . The funny thing is I still have definition in a couple of places, like my legs (which only came in during the last week or so of my prep). Stu keeps telling me not to worry about the scale, just to go by the mirror. But even going by the mirror, I would like to be a little leaner than I am now.

Summer has been great, but once September hits itâ??s back to work (Iâ??m a teacher), back to a regulated diet and revised workout program. And hopefully, Iâ??ll be in a good place for a spring contest prep.


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I know it's never helpful to play the 'what if game', but without sounding (obviously) subjective, in watching the video from Cat's contest, I really do think that she could have walked away with the Short Figure Open if she had chosen to enter that division instead of the novice.

The one truth in bodybuilding/figure is that you can never know or control who else will show up at a contest, so I do think we made the right call in entering the Novice division for her first show. She really does have all the necessary 'tools' to excel at the sport if she chooses to push herself, so I'm glad she's going to make herself accountable via an online thread.

I know that it was always one of my own motivating factors during preps, the fact that I'd look like an ass to all the people who read my updates each week (and amazingly, there always seemed to be a hell of a lot of 'em! -lol).

Additionally, the first prep is always difficult as you never really know, despite your best educated guesses exactly how well everything will turn out. It is a constant assess/reassessment process. Going into a 2nd contest with what we now know about how Cat's body handles certain variables, will give us a leg up on last time, and as such more of a head start so to speak.

I got a lotta faith in this girl. :slight_smile:



LOL at the potential for Stu and Cat to start communicating more online than in person. :slight_smile:

Seriously though, you two are very motivational. Must make it a bit easier knowing you're both in it together and leading the same lifestyle.


I'm pulling up a chair right here.


passes Hall the popcorn Wait, I mean celery sticks!

Will be following along!



I'll be following along :slightly_smiling:


Save a seat for me.


Cat when you train regularly do you train alone? With Stu? Do you have a workout partner?


Thank you! :slight_smile: We were totally "living the dream" in Colorado!! Everyone was really sad to leave, I think we all would have stayed another week if it was at all possible, lol. It was like going to workout camp everyday... not to sound cheesy, but I feel like Stu & I not only met great people out there but also made new friends (friends who totally understand just how cool a prowler is, LOL).

After my contest prep and Colorado, I've definitely made some kind of lifestyle change. I don't just go to the gym when I can anymore, the gym has become part of my everyday routine, like brushing my teeth or walking the dogs. For the first time in my life I feel fit and athletic... which is cool for someone who is totally uncoordinated and never played sports.

Your contest prep seems to be going really well, I'm so excited for you! Best of luck :slight_smile:

p.s. - I hope you get a chance to visit the Training Lab one day!


LOL... Stu spends waaaaay more time online than I do :wink:

Thank you, I never thought I'd motivate anyone into working out and being healthy. It does make life easier that we both enjoy going to the gym... I'm a late-comer to eating healthy though (which is completely due to Stu's influence, who knew eating healthy can also taste good!).

Not to ramble, but I think you meet people in life when you are ready to meet them. When I first met Stu I was consistantly going to the gym and enjoying it for about a year, I loved to either jog or swim laps. Prior to that, I almost never set foot in a gym. If I had met Stu 2 years ealier I don't know if I would have been able to fully understand how important all this is to him... I may have thought he was crazy... So, I guess I met Stu at just the right point in my life :slightly_smiling:


I train alone 95% of the time. On the weekends Stu & I go to the gym together, and once in a awhile our workout splits actaully match up, which is fun. We trained legs together the other day. However, some of our exercises will vary.

Occasionally I will train with my sister, I don't think anyone makes me laugh the way my sister does, so in between sets we are usually laughing about something really silly or stupid. I love working out shoulders with my sister, she can always do more than me when it comes to shoulders, so I always find myself struggling and pushing harder when we workout shoulders together.

After Colorado, I really enjoyed working out in a group of three, it was soooo motivating. I would love to workout with a dedicated group more often, but it may be hard to do for a few reasons 1) you would have to be in synch as far as workout plan and routines, 2)you would have to figure out a gym time that works for everyone... I saw 2 female trainers working out together in my gym last week and became envious (they were working really hard), I thought to myself "I wouldn't mind working out in their group.


Hi Cat,

Are you going to post in the Figure Athlete Logs or stay here? Just want to be sure I'm keeping up :slight_smile:


Lately I've developed a slight case of Workoutpartnerenvy so I had to ask!

As far as the figure athletes section GOSH I REALLY want to put my vote in for you to stay in BB Cat.

After all, you are a bodybuilder.


so,.. is this going to be an actual big decision here, whether Cat keeps her log in this section or jumps to the 'log' section? At least it's more entertaining than another 'how big can I get naturally?' or 'whats my bodyfat?' thread :slight_smile:



Omgosh I'm not going to rant. I think I did a mini rant somewhere in PW...

You may have noticed that the BB forum is not overly friendly to females. It usually only takes ten or twenty posts by a female for her to get called:

a. Fat
b. Transexxual
c. Attention Whore

True story.

My response to being called a., b., or c. is of course LOL there is really no other response HOWEVER I admit my first thought seeing this thread was "oh good, legit female BB talk in the BB forum fucking awesome"

TO ME (um do I write IMHO here?) TO ME I'm a body builder because I lift weights with physique goals. I lift in pursuit of how I want my body to LOOK. I abso have secondary goals that are strength and health related ABSO but my main purpose doing what I do is to BUILD the BODY that I want. Thats bodybuilding. I also admit that the appearance of the figure athlete forum simu to this thread really struck me sideways. WHY? I think its good to have this here.

I officially vote for legit female Body Building talk in the Body Building forum not sub regulated to some vajayjay zone. I think the similarities between female BB and male BB don't call for a separation. Sorry. I'm not saying there is no use for the Figure Athlete Subforum I'm just saying that doesn't mean we can't post here.

UM, I've already decided I'm going to post in BB because that is what I consider what I do. I think this thread staying here (and really Cat's contributions in general) will make BB a slightly friendlier place for the ladies because really not all girls are as tough as I am and REALLY lots of girls don't LOL at being called fat transexual attention whores.

Pic for reference.

and that WAS a Rant - sorry Cat!


@Stu - She's the new fitness celeb, you didn't know :wink:


I think you make valid solid points. And yes if you train to improve your body you are a body-builder. My old mentor felt the same.

I believe though, the reasons you mentioned is why they have set up the separate forum. That and I think (hopefully) they may start integrating info from the figureathlete.com site into the tnation site. Which I think could be good. There really are some great articles, that many tnation members probably have never seen

I would consider my gf a bodybuilder as well, but I don't think she'd gravitate toward this forum for info on first glance. Nor would many other first time visitors.

I didn't mean to start trouble or steal Cat away. :slight_smile:

I just wanted to know whether she would be logging on to that forum or not.

And apologies to Cat for the temporary hijack of her thread


@Barachiel & Hallowed - No appologies needed! :slight_smile:
You've both touched on something really interesting!!
Which forums do males or females gravitate to and why? Are both males & females equally accepted on various forums and why? I know I'm getting side tracked - but I'm a librarian, so information access always interests me; where people go for information and their reasons for it.

I'm honored that people are reading and commenting, the encouragement and support are much appreciated!

@Hallowed - I like your sentiments, if we lived near each other I could def see myself training with you!

Deciding where to post was a tough decision, I didn't realize that the Figure Forum had been created... but, since I started this thread here originally, I think I will continue it here. It's AWESOME that there is a Figure forum on the T Nation site, and I will definitely visit/contribute there too. There's a lot of valuable info, and hard working gym goers on this site, I'm willing to listen and learn from all.

@Hallowed - Your comments really got me thinking about how I train... I train like a guy. I do squats, dead lifts, pull ups, and push ups (not the girl kind, LOL). I would love for more women to weight train like men do. It's funny, when women at work would comment on my delts or biceps, I would tell them it's because I weight train... I can't tell you how many women said, "well I think I still need to do cardio so I can lose weight first, then I'll tone up", even though they complemented me it was like they didn't really believe that weight training was the reason. I hope more women do come on over to the Body Building Forum.
As in the gym, it may be intimidating to go over to the male dominated side, but it shouldn't be.

Male or female, we all have something we can learn from each other. I'm a high school librarian, so I work with teenagers every day from September thru June... I learn something new from the kids on a daily basis. So I will explore this entire website regardless if it's a male or female forum, I just want to learn so I can be better.


Dang new forum for YOU CAT! Woah pressure... seems like some of the FA ladies are trickling in there hopefully it builds up nicely and I am def. going to hang out in there too.

That said, glad you're staying here for now at least :slight_smile:

My current split is two heavy UB, two heavy LB though my coach will sometimes throw in a day or two of more metabolic fast paced circuit type lifting. I absolutely 'lift like a guy' as far as progression on weights and always pushing one more rep 5more pounds total weight moved etc.

I HAVE EXTREME workout partner envy lately. I once just once worked out with this tough little chick Brandy who yes clearly only dinked around with the pink barbells but her inner strength and physical potential was AMAZING. She was a total BAMF and for that one brief workout I got hella stoked on having a real legit workout partner. Aaaaaand... she hasn't been back. Alas. Kind of a bummer.

I'm borderline considering a few workouts with a young guy friend of mine. He's a beginner and I know he's not as strong as the guys he usually lifts with which bums him out. We'll see. Still I think for alot of us girls we get stuck solo more than the men do just because there are SO FEW OF US.

I would say there are ten girls that lift in the big boy lions den free weights room at each of the two locations I train at. A few fitness competitor types, one or two that are definately strippers, a couple that are always there with their boyfriends and several that I assume are collegiate track/basketball/soccer whatever players.


I hear ya, finding a workout partner is kinda tough. There are probably about 5 women in my gym who train hard with weights, that's all. I'm going to try and train a little more often with my sister starting in September (she's thinking about possibly doing a figure show sometime next year), so hopefully we can keep each other motivated and on track throughout the Fall!