Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Christine Zadel

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Christine Zadel! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

As a child, I was always active in some kind of sport. I played hockey & tee ball, ran in athletics, dabbled in gymnastics & danced in 'aerobics' ... but it was weight training where I found my niche. I picked up my first weight 20 years ago after one of my workmates encouraged me to head towards the gym rather than the aerobics room, and I've never looked back!

After only a few years of weight training I met my husband, got married and had 3 children. Over this period of about 6 years, balancing exercise with small children was rather hectic so I pretty much gave up weight training seriously. When my youngest turned 5 years old and all three were in school, I joined the gym and once again got stuck into training.

It was also during this time, I started to put on a few extra unwanted kilos and the Gym Owner at that time suggested to me "You know Christine, you look good, but I can help you look better." Needless to say the positivity of this statement got the better of me and it was my first step towards dieting for comps! So in 2001, my journey towards training for competition began and I competed in my first bodybuilding competition in 2002.

Christine Zadel
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Christine Zadel

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

My philosophy has always been: "To get bigger", you need to get stronger. To get stronger, you need to get bigger!

Since changing my weight training split from 4 days to 6 days over this past 12 months, I have noticed my physique has changed dramatically. I was given very bad advice 5 years ago and told not to train my legs as at that time they were quite overpowering in comparison to my upper body. My weight training week starts on a Sunday and ends on a Friday.

When I am preparing for competition, I change my program every 4 weeks using different training techniques. For example, 4 weeks of using drop sets, 4 weeks of add sets, 4 weeks of higher reps and 4 weeks of heavy training (4 x 6-8 reps). You will probably notice I don't have any 'specific' exercises like crunches listed. I never have and probably never will do these kinds of exercises. I have found that heavy lifting, combined with plyometrics and more recently incorporating the TRX in my sessions, has provided me with a very strong core.

I complete a cardio session every morning which I actually really enjoy. After breakfast, I either go for a brisk walk outside or sit on my stationary bike for 45-60 minutes x 6 mornings per week.

My current off season training program is as follows:

Day 1: Compound Legs
Day 2: Chest
Day 3: Back
Day 4: Isolation Legs
Day 5: Shoulders
Day 6: Arms
Day 7: Off

Christine Zadel
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Christine Zadel

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

The following is an example of my current off season nutrition:

Meal 1:
Meal 2:
Meal 3:
Meal 4:
Meal 5:

I also snack on cashews throughout the day.

Christine Zadel
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Christine Zadel

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I've tried many different supplements over the years but the ones I always use are listed below. I've tried many pre workout supplements but they always seem to make me feel ill.

I don't stick to any particular brand but I do try to buy from our Australian manufacturers such as Musashi, Aussie Bodies and Max's... although I do love the BSN Dessert Proteins and "Oh Yeah" protein bars!

Upon Rising:
Upon Rising, Pre Workout, & Before Bed:
Afternoon Snack:
Pre Workout:
Intra Workout:

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Not only have I become addicted to pressing the next heaviest dumbbell on the rack, (my current record to date is: 50kg dumbbell press x 8 reps), deadlifting - the heavier the better (155kg's x 8 reps), I also enjoy the strictness and routine of dieting that comes with competing; the personal challenge of pushing my body to its limits and watching my physique change from year to year. I love my lifestyle and wouldn't change it for anything. I am living my dream every single day.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

As I child I can remember I always wanted to be the kid at school who could always run the fastest! As I've aged, my family health issues have become an important motivator. I cannot change my genetic makeup but would like to think I have done everything possible physically to be and remain healthy.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I have a couple of reasons: My sister died 5 years ago at the young age of 43. She was one of my biggest fans and supporters. It wasn't until after she had died I found a scrapbook that she had dedicated solely to me. I was very touched. She did have regrets sadly and her passing made me realize that life really is too short to not achieve a dream.

My second reason was my first competition: Placing 3rd made me determined to shape my body into a winning physique. I want to be the best I can be and discover just how far my bodybuilding passion and personal training career can take me.

Christine Zadel
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Christine Zadel

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

To keep improving my condition each time I compete ... bigger, stronger, leaner!
To once again compete internationally, hopefully at the Arnold in 2012.
To be a positive role model for future competitors and my three children.
A Pro Card would be awesome - a dream come true!

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Consistency is the key, accompanied by good nutrition and advice and lots of patience! I would highly recommend finding yourself a knowledgeable coach (or someone who knows more than you) and only listen to them.

Excuses are just that ... there are no excuses!

"You can achieve anything you want in life if you have the courage to dream it, the intelligence to make a realistic plan, and the will to see that plan through to the end." - Sidney A. Friedman

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I really admire the classic bodybuilding physiques of the 1980's: Cory Everson, Tonya Knight, Arnie and Shawn Ray to name a few.

More recent favorites are Jen Hendershott (who I had the privilege to meet at Phatcamp held in Melbourne, Australia in 2010), Susie Curry (who has now retired) and I absolutely idolize Katka Kyptova. She is muscular but still very feminine and beautiful.

What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?

I mainly access BodySpace and enjoy browsing through other members' profiles to read about their goals and achievements. There are some really amazing transformations and achievements amongst fellow 'BodySpacers". I find reading 'their stories' to be very inspirational and motivating.

Every so often when I have a little more time, I like to browse the forums and read about other member's questions. Some times there are questions there that I have asked myself and not known the answer. So in that aspect, the forums have been rather helpful!