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Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Cathy Gambino

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Cathy Gambino! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

As a child, I was very active. I took Dance classes 4-5 times a week. As I got older, my interests shifted, and my level of physical fitness declined. About 7 years later, I began selling memberships at Spectrum Health Club. I had very little experience in the gym, so I bought some private training sessions, to learn the ropes around the weight room. As I became more comfortable in the gym, my intensity grew, I began to get results, and my fitness goals changed. I began reading Oxygen Magazine, and marveled at the muscular fit physiques of the models.

The thought of competing intrigued me, but I wasn’t sure how to go about fulfilling this desire. In January 2004 I began training with my trainer Mark Tiberi. Mark is a natural bodybuilder who competed on the East Coast prior to moving to Los Angeles. During our first few sessions, we talked about the competitive side of bodybuilding, and I expressed to him my interest in competing. Although I didn’t see myself being in the condition to get up on stage in a bikini, he totally encouraged me to go for it, if it was something I really wanted to do, and assured me, of my potential. From that moment on, I was determined to learn as much as possible about the next steps I needed to take to be a figure competitor.

I attended an NPC show in April and loved everything about it, the energy, the intensity, and the determination in all of the competitors. I chose to compete in the ANBC Hermosa Beach Cities Classic on July 31 2004. I won first in my class (short) and took the overall figure category. I had a blast, and confirmed that I had found my passion in fitness.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

The workout plan that works best for me is a 4 day split consisting of

  • Day 1- Back
  • Day 2- Chest, Triceps
  • Day 3- Legs
  • Day 4- Shoulders, Biceps
  • Cardio 4-6 times a week 30-45 minutes
I try to do cardio immediately following weight training, or first thing in the morning. The frequency of my cardio workouts increase as competition date gets closer. I am currently lifting heavier than I ever have, as I am trying to add muscle to my frame.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I eat 5-6 times per day, and try to keep my protein intake between 1-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight (per day). I am staying relatively low in carbohydrates, sticking to low glycemic carbohydrates such as yams, green vegetables, brown rice, and oatmeal. I generally eat carbs with the first 3-4 meals of the day, and limit my carbs in the evening to salad and veggies. My favorite meal is chocolate protein power and oatmeal. It’s like a dessert!

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Glutamine and Whey Protein have given me the greatest gains. Glutamine has really helped me to stay healthy, especially during pre-contest prep. Whey Protein has been a huge part of building and maintaining lean muscle mass.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love fitness because it is proof of hard work and determination. It’s a positive healthy way to focus your energy and attention. Fitness has helped me overcome several obstacles in my life and can definitely lead to better physical health, and a healthier state of mind.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I am currently preparing for an NPC show in December. My goal is to compete on a National level, and eventually move up to the pro ranks. Ultimately I am in it to win it, but plan on thoroughly enjoying each experience and challenge every step of the way.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Don’t let anything or any one get in the way of your dreams. Establish your goal, and achieve it. Anything is possible.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I don't have one favorite fitness athlete or bodybuilder. I respect all athletes willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve high levels of excellence.