Cathy Priest, new wife of amazing bodybuilder Lee Priest, is competing again for the first time in years in the Ms. International held during the Arnold Classic weekend. A few years ago she officially retired from female bodybuilding after being fed up with the "politics" of the sport and the unfair treatment of women. The competitive drive came back while at the 2001 Mr. Olympia and she decided to get back on the stage again to really show the world what she is all about. Cathy graciously answered a few of our questions on 01/03/01.
1. Why did you decide to compete again in bodybuilding shows?
After working with Bodybuilding.com at the Olympia, they asked me if I would like to compete in the Arnold Classic? "Of course", I told them I would love to, but being very independent, I couldn't because I didn't have a contract and didn't like the idea of my husband (Lee Priest) having to pay for me to compete. Bodybuilding.com very generously offered to sponsor me, and I jumped at the chance to compete again. I owe them a great big thank you to help me realize my dream, the possibility to do the Arnold Classic with my husband Lee.
Cathy and Russ DeLuca of Bodybuilding.com talk about competing.
2. What is your training and diet like right now? How is it going so far?
I don't have a specific training routine. I usually just go with what I feel comfortable with, but I use a basic format.
- Day 1 I train back
- Day 2 I do shoulders and chest
- Day 3 I do my front legs
- Day 4 I train biceps and triceps
- Day 5 Hamstrings and calves
For example if I feel good and strong I do heavy squats with 2 45 pound plates plus 1 25 pound plate for about 10-12 reps. But maybe next time I will be able to do more!! My max is 3 plates on each side for 15 reps and the next time I do leg presses with about 8 plates (always on each side) for 15-20 reps. My max on leg press is 10 plates for 28 reps by myself and with help 35 reps. I like to do legs, this is my favorite day.
I do cardio in the morning. The only reason is that my husband gets up at 6:00 and says "good morning", then goes directly to do his cardio and he gives me the motivation to get going too because he is so disciplined. I do about 25-30 minute sessions of the stair machine. We have cardio equipment in the house in the front of the TV. We watch Nascar racing, or some movies, and sometimes some home videos of Lee saying funny jokes!! I never do cardio the same day or the day after I train my front legs.
I do aerobic dancing or treadmill plus abs everyday for 45-60 minutes in the afternoon at 6:00.
My diet! It has never been difficult for me because I always eat very well in the off season. Just an 8-10 pound difference from my contest weight. But now thanks to my wonderful husband I have discovered how lovely Krispy Cream donuts, cakes that he makes for me, burgers and corn dogs are. All this food tastes very very good! Like Lee always says "be fat and happy! I'll try to stay in shape, and not get too fat, but living with him, it won't be easy! Ha-Ha! This is an example of a typical menu when I'm dieting:
MEAL 1 - First thing in the morning.
1 cup white eggs
1 cup oatmeal (made as pancakes) with a little strawberry.
MEAL 2 - After morning workout.
1 cup of rice
5 oz. chicken
MEAL 3 - Before cardio.
MEAL 4 - After cardio workout.
4 oz. 99% fat free cooked turkey breast
1/2 cup cooked yams
2 cups cooked vegetables
1/2 fresh tomato
MEAL 5 - Later
6 oz. baked orange roughy (halibut or tuna steak)
1/2 cup white rice
2 cups cooked vegetables
3. What are your plans for the next few months leading up to the show? What are your hopes for the contest? Who are your main competitors? If you come in like you want to, what place do you think you can get this year?
Cathy and Lee Priest find out that the King lives!
So far, my training is going very well. I stopped training heavy several months ago because I didn't plan on competing again, so I lost a lot of muscle. Never the less, my body seems to have good recall and I am progressing very well. I am training hard and putting mass back on.
I plan to train hard and come in looking my best. As with every competitor, I hope to win, but with the politics of the sport you never know what the judges will be looking for at any given time. One year they want you to look a certain way and the next year it can be completely different.
4. What are you doing differently this time as compared to other contests in the past?
For this competition I have a new trainer. Her name is PJ Bowen. She has 20 years training experience, she owns and operates a Max Muscle (1006-D Commerce Center Dr) in Lancaster. Having her as a trainer is very good, she helps keep me in line (when I feel lazy or like cheating) and is a great motivator, coach, and diet guru!
5. What are your current feelings about women's bodybuilding right now?
My current feeling about women's bodybuilding right now is that I don't think we get enough promotion or publicity. I wish we could go back to the days of Rachel McClish and Cory Everson when women were paid what they were worth in competition, and they were in all the magazines and advertisements. It's hard to train and diet when you know the end result, even if you win, could set you back financially. Sometimes you can spend more to get ready for a contest then they pay you in prize money.
If the contest promoters really wanted to help women's bodybuilding, they could, by simply giving us a lot more publicity. I know women like myself and Valentina Chepiga, as more feminine bodybuilders, could really push women's bodybuilding to the edge again, like it was a few years ago, we just need a chance and much, much more publicity. I think we should get the same attention that the Ms. Fitness competitors get. You can't build one side of women's fitness up and put the other one down or ignore us completely.
6. Tell us about working together with Lee for the same bodybuilding show? Is it easier this way since you are both doing a show? Is it more difficult? How are you helping each other?
Working with Lee is great! It is much easier when we compete at the same time because we train at the same time, eat at the same time, and prepare meals the same way. It was a little hard at first, training at the gym because Lee is so much stronger and I would get so tired from lifting plates for him because he trains much heavier than I. Now he trains with his good friend Kurt, and I can do my own thing too.
7. Any other future plans? Have you decided already to do other shows or are you just concentrating on this one first? Do you hope to be able to compete in the 2002 Ms. Olympia?
For now, all my attention is focused on this competition. I'm not big headed, I am very grounded and level headed. I don't like to plan things very far ahead, like being Ms. Olympia. I like to keep my focus on what is directly in front of me.
END OF INTERVIEW
The Arnold Weekend is February 22nd - 23rd, 2002 in Columbus, Ohio. Cathy will be competing in the Ms. International on Feb. 22nd. Be there to cheer her on! Stop by the Bodybuilding.com booth at the expo to meet her and get her autograph. She really is one of the most beautiful female bodybuilders on the planet and spending a few minutes with her will make you realize why. Her French accent, super nice personality and long dark hair (no longer red) will be something you won't forget!
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