In this episode, I interview Katherine, a 60-year-old massage therapist who had struggled with her body composition until deciding to get in stage shape as a birthday challenge.
Even though she’s no stranger to fitness and had competed before, stress and lack of consistency caused her nutrition and training to suffer in recent years.
So, she signed up for Legion’s one-on-one coaching and started working with a Legion coach, which gave her the know-how and accountability she needed to succeed.
In this interview, she offers her experience and best tips for sustainably getting leaner regardless of age, emphasizing why getting a customized plan and coach can make all the difference.
Tune in to learn how Katherine achieved her ultimate goal—standing victorious on the 60+ bikini stage—proving you’re never too old to achieve ambitious fitness goals.
0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe!
3:42 – Starting Legion’s coaching program and contest prep
6:10 – Tracking food and flexible dieting approach
8:33 – Getting very lean for the stage vs regular fat loss goals
11:35 – Dealing with hunger, cravings and off-plan eating
13:59 – Why Katherine experimented with the carnivore diet
17:45 – My free quiz to answer all your diet questions: www.muscleforlife.show/dietquiz
18:32 – Training focus and strategy for strength gains while cutting
23:30 – Peak week changes to training and cardio
25:42 – Show results – weight loss and body fat percentage
27:40 – No extended plateaus – why consistent hard work paid off
35:50 – Experience prepping in your 60s vs if you were 20 years old
36:41 – Mindset: solutions vs excuses
38:09 – Reverse dieting to put on more muscle in the off-season
40:41 – Having a coach as the ultimate shortcut
42:02 – Accomplishing goals through consistent hard work
Mentioned on the show:
Take this free quiz to get science-based answers to all of your diet questions: www.muscleforlife.show/dietquiz
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello and welcome to a new episode of Muscle for Life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for an interview I did with Catherine, who is a 60 year old massage therapist who wanted to get into shape as a birthday challenge and Not just get into shape, but compete to step on stage.
So get into really good shape. And to get some professional help doing that, she signed up for my sports nutrition company, Legion’s one on one coaching service. And as you will hear in this interview, she worked with her coach very successfully over a few months. And together they were able to overcome the, the big obstacles that were holding.
Catherine back that were preventing her from being able to be consistent with her nutrition and with her training, which really is 80 percent of the battle to be cliched consistency, being able to stick to the plan, not perfectly, but just well enough. To get consistent results. And then as a result of Catherine’s coaching and as a result of all of her hard work, she stepped on stage and won.
So that’s a, a pretty cool ending to the story which Catherine will share, uh, along with some of the, the key takeaways that she learned in this process. Hi Catherine. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me this afternoon.
Katherine: Yeah. How you doing?
Mike: Yeah, yeah, fine, fine. Uh, I’m in Florida. So the, the weather is, it is, it is nice.
I do, I do like it here. I do appreciate all the sunshine. However, I never came. So I, I grew up, uh, well, I guess the first six years or so I was in California and then from there until 20, whatever I was in Florida. And so I got used to you the summers, they, I just never came to enjoy them, especially the two to three hottest months.
And so, uh, now though, in September, pretty abruptly the temperature shifts. And, uh, so now we’re in that phase. And so I like the next six months or so a little bit more than the six months that follows it.
Katherine: Well, you can come to Michigan in January and then you’ll be hightailing it right back to Florida for sure.
Mike: I’ve been there. My mom grew up in the Detroit area. So when I was younger there, we went and visited at least a couple of times. And my dad is from Buffalo, so that it’s hard to beat brutal Buffalo winter weather.
Katherine: Oh, that’s cold.
Mike: Yeah. When he left, he I don’t think he saw snow again for 30 years. That’s how much he was sick of snow. He didn’t want to go on ski trips. He didn’t want to. He had enough the day he left. That was it.
Katherine: Oh my goodness. He just wanted sun.
Mike: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, he went to California and then Florida. So that tells you, uh, anyway, so we’re here to talk about, uh, you and your fitness journey and what you’ve accomplished so far, what you’ve learned so far.
And I like to start these discussions with a summary of where you were at before you found me and my work and you found Legion and what you were doing at that time for your fitness and what was working, what was not working, what problems were you dealing with. that led you to uh, led you my way?
Katherine: So I, I’m a massage therapist.
I’ve been doing massage for 18 years. Um, prior to that, I was working in a gym as a trainer and I do more wellness coaching right now. Not so much personal training, but I’ve been working out consistently for, oh gosh, 25. 30 years at least. So I had competed before and I actually found the Legion coaching program because I have been using Legion supplements for many, many years.
I’ve ran the gamut of different programs before I actually connected with you guys. Last summer, my training and my diet kind of took a little bit of a hit. I just. I started a new job and I don’t know, my life was just very stressful and I wasn’t being consistent with my food or my nutrition. And then I decided last year, right around this time, I was kind of toying around with the idea of doing another competition as a birthday present for my 60th birthday, which was in April.
And so, um, I wasn’t quite in a space where I was ready to do contest prep, like not in my head. And I had a good working knowledge of what to do. The second show that I did, I actually didn’t have a coach. I did it all myself. So I just happened to be, I think I got an email or maybe even a text. I, or, you know, we have coaching and I’m like, you know what, I think I’m going to just do it and get a coach this time and, um, see where I go from there.
Mike: Yeah. And so this is, uh, I don’t think I’ve spoken on the podcast here with at least, at least in the, in the series of kind of success story interviews. I don’t think I’ve spoken with somebody who has competed before. So I think this will be interesting. And, and so then the process from there was you worked with a coach to then through the show.
Correct. And so, and that’s where we’re at now.
Katherine: Yes, I did. Um, so my show was in May and when I, I got my, um, you know, my initial email, fill out all the questions. And so this was back, the show was in May. And so this was like, probably around January. And, um, I looked good, but I didn’t. I didn’t think I was like contest prep ready.
And so I thought maybe I need to bulk a little bit. Well, when I got my response back, like, I think it, it wasn’t my coach, Jamie, it was someone else that said, I’m just kind of wondering why you think you need to bulk. I’m like. Oh, no. So they started my cut right away, which was at first a little bit of a challenge being, you know, because I wasn’t being very disciplined.
I hadn’t logged or logged food or workouts in years. So it was super helpful to have a plan, even though I knew what I kind of knew what I was doing, but that accountability and just with a busy schedule, you know, it’s, um, just to know that you have somebody there in your corner, I guess, I can’t say enough about the experience.
I mean, it was wonderful.
Mike: Can you talk to us more about that point of tracking or, or logging your food and training and how that helped you and especially somebody who has been doing this for a long time, you, it sounds like you’ve had a good handle on the fundamentals. You’ve understood energy balance, at least for some period of time, macronutrient balance.
And so the reason I want to ask that question is I’ve said this many times that even for people. Who are experienced, I think that there’s value in tracking or logging food for a period just as a diet audit, so to speak, or if you’re going to make some sort of shift in, you want to shift from maintenance to let’s say you’ve just, you’ve been in maintenance for a while.
Your weight hasn’t changed much. Now you want to cut. Or maybe now you want to lean bulk. If you’re going to make a change like that, even if you’re experienced, I recommend that people track or log at least for a period, and we can talk about training in a second, but I wanted to hear if there were any revelations.
So if you’re a little bit surprised.
Katherine: Yeah, absolutely. So the very first show that I did was that was back in 2006. The coach or the, I just used a trainer at the gym where I was working out from really didn’t know a whole lot about contest prep, but you know, old school nutrition, like, and there’s still some bodybuilders that stick with the old school.
I was really surprised that, and I’m not going to say like, I really didn’t. See, like I didn’t have any alcohol. I limited, you know, I eat pretty clean anyway. So, you know, I, I watched the restaurant foods, but what I noticed was if I just stuck with my macronutrients and my calorie intake and my workouts.
If I had a latte, it didn’t throw me, you know, I just logged it. I logged meticulously whatever I ate. And it’s like, wow, like this flexible dieting thing, which was new to me too. You know, I just, I have done a couple of nutrition courses, so I’m familiar with it. And, but I’ve never done it myself because it’s a mindset thing.
It’s like, um, no, that you, you got to eat chicken and broccoli for the rest of this. Time and, and it’s like, no, wow, this is like, I was like, it doesn’t matter. Stick with the plan and you’ll be successful. And I was.
Mike: And like you said, it’s, it’s the old school bodybuilding approach. Nutrition was just basically food restriction that can create calorie deficit, and that is one way of doing it.
I mean, some people actually prefer they’ll do that. Knowing that they could just create a meal plan. They could, they could log their food, but they don’t really want to. So they would rather just heavily restrict carbs, for example, because that also can work. Uh, but, uh, many people, at least in my experience, more prefer the approach that you just took, which is being flexible with the foods that you’re eating, allowing yourself to eat stuff that you want to eat, but you do have to watch the amounts.
Katherine: Right. And it, it just took a lot of the stress off of, you know, I did go out to dinner for my birthday and I really, I didn’t log that day, but I wanted to celebrate a little bit and, and I knew like, you know, I’ll get back on track. I’ll, I’ll, this day is okay. And even though I’m in prep, which that, like my show was like five weeks after my birthday.
So. I was starting to lean out really, really nicely. Like, you know, I really, I really didn’t lose a whole lot of muscle. I mean, I knew I was going to, because of being in such a, you know, a really deep deficit and not having prior lean bulks before I was just like, I was skinny fat, but it worked. It worked.
And that was like, wow. Yeah. It’s Simple, but it’s not easy sometimes.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. I wanted to also ask about this cut that so you were, you were thinking you would start with a lean bulk. Your coach wanted you to start your cut. And is that because that you were surprised that, or as you’re going through the process, was there a point when you were surprised that just how much fat you need to lose to get the look that you want?
And I asked that because a lot of people experience that, like they’ll look at their body. Composition and they have an idea of what their body composition they would like it to be. And then even they might even try to make an informed estimate of how much fat they they need to lose to look like that.
But in many cases, they probably need to double that number to be within the range of what. Actually has to happen to look a certain way. And I know that’s particularly true among people who compete where you have to get very, very lean. I’ve just heard it so many times and I’ve gotten very lean myself.
I haven’t competed, but I’ve gotten probably close to stage lean, not maybe bodybuilding stage lean, but like physique stage lean. And it can be surprising just how much fat there is to lose when you want to look like that.
Katherine: Oh, I had a lot of, like, I went into my prep at. I think I was like 125 pounds at 30 percent body fat and that was due to my summer, I call it the summer of binging that I did, you know, eating junk and drinking alcohol, but my body responded really like I really didn’t find myself there might have been a couple of days where I felt like I was hungry.
And you know, why am I doing this? But really I’m pretty disciplined and I mean, honestly, there were a couple of, there were some days because of my work schedule where I would come home and it’s like, dang it, I got to eat all this food. Cause you know, I’m real busy at work, but it’s a process. And you know, when you, you get on the scale and you start seeing those numbers and you’re like, wow, this is, it’s working.
It’s really working.
Mike: And, uh, it’s interesting. So you said that in the summer, that sounds like you are not. Not very disciplined, uh, unless the discipline was to eat and drink as much as you can. Maybe that was the goal. And was there a moment then where you were like, okay, this is enough. And that’s when you decided to make the change?
Katherine: Well, when I decided to do the show and I went to my gym and I had one of the trainers do like, you know, a scan when she said my body fat was 30%. I’m like, Oh, my goodness. Because I had like the summer before that I had dabbled trying like the whole carnivore thing. And I lost a ton of muscle. I wasn’t eating enough food.
My body fat was down to 17. And so I, I yo yoed. I just yo yoed and I’m like, Oh wow. How am I going to get stage ready with this amount of body fat? I mean, I knew in my head, you know, everything looks good on paper, but it’s like when, but then you just have to do it, right? Yeah, that was, that was an eye opener when I like, wait a minute, my body fat is 30%?
That is what pushed me. I was like, I’m signing up. I’m doing the show that will get me back on track.
Mike: Why did you try? I was going to ask about carnivore, but I’ll ask after.
Katherine: Oh, why did I try it? You know, I came across the carnivore people and here’s the thing. A lot of clients will ask me because they know doing wellness coaching, they’re like, Oh, um, do you know this diet?
Do you know that diet? I like to try things out and just to give them my personal experience. So I’ve always been more of a protein eater. I just thrive on protein. And I thought, well, you know what, I’m going to try this. And I did it for pretty strict for maybe three or four months and then I kind of fell off the wagon and I was like carnivore ish if you want or like kind of keto whore thing but I don’t think in the long term it’s like sustainable for most people.
I mean the people who are really strict and that are you know. just eating beef and salt and berries. I don’t really think they get a lot of enjoyment out of food. They look at food mostly for just fueling their body. And for the most of us, even like for competitors, like that’s not, Realistic. You want to be able to go out and enjoy yourself and, you know, have a, have a birthday meal or, you know, like I have, I have grandkids.
So, you know, I want to be able to go out and have fun and live my life, especially at my age. Like, you know, I would bring like a big tub of ground beef to work. And one of my coworkers said, Catherine, what are you eating? I’m like, meat. She’s like, What else? And I’m like, salt. She’s like, there’s no sauce or anything.
I’m like, there’s no vegetables. I’m like, I know I’m doing this cardboard thing. And they’re like, you’re crazy. You’re just crazy. So yeah, that didn’t last very long.
Mike: Yeah. I mean, I’ve, I’ve written and spoken about. The carnivore diet, if anybody listening wants to, wants to hear my take, they can go to legion’s website, legionethics.com, search for carnivore and you’ll find it. Um, but, but as a, as an elimination diet, it can work great. Like if somebody is having real issues, there are issues that could be related to food sensitivity or maybe even allergies and it’s, it’s mysterious and their body is not reacting well to stuff that they’re eating.
And there’s no obvious culprit because they’re mostly eating nutritious food. The carnivore diet or which before it was the carnivore diet, it was, it was just a elimination diet. And this isn’t, this is a medical thing. This is an evidence based approach to finding out which foods are actually causing issues.
But the problem is that’s the first phase of the elimination diet is. Often goes just down to meat because that’s generally well tolerated. Okay, somebody goes from eating, could be even eating a balanced, nutritious diet, having problems, and then they, they go down to meat, the problems disappear. And then what they’re supposed to do though, and this is what people who stick to the carnivore diet are not doing, they’re supposed to start reintroducing foods one at a time to see which exact foods.
Are causing the problems so they can leave those foods out, but still eat a balanced nutritious diet. And for people wondering, I wouldn’t recommend the carnivore diet. And for reasons that again, you can, you can get my kind of long form takeover at legions website, but I, I don’t think it’s a sensible diet to stick to for the longterm.
Katherine: No, I, um, in my experience, I don’t think I could ever stick to that for like a lifestyle. It was boring and I missed crunchy food, I guess, you know, and cheese like who doesn’t want to have cheese, right? It’s like a staple.
Mike: That’s funny. How many calories should you eat to reach your fitness goals faster?
What about your macros? What types of food should you eat and how many meals should you eat every day? Well, I created a free 60 second diet quiz that’ll answer those questions for you and others including how much alcohol you should drink, whether you should eat more fatty fish to get enough omega 3 fatty acids, what supplements are worth taking and why.
And more to take the quiz and get your free personalized diet plan. Go to muscle for life dot show slash diet quiz, muscle for life dot show slash diet quiz. Now answer the questions and learn what you need to do in the kitchen to lose fat, build muscle and get healthy. Let’s talk about your, your training.
Well, actually, before we talk about training, let’s stick, let’s stick on diet for the contest prep. Are there any elements of your diet, the way that you set it up, the way you went about it, that you think significantly contributed to your consistency, to your compliance, to your ability to stick to that diet over the course of several months and to stick to it and get very lean?
Which causes more physiological disruptions than if you would have, you know, if you’re as a woman, if you, if you were just dieting down to maybe 18 percent body fat, which is a look that many women like, you look athletic, you look healthy, that can be maintained fairly easily. That’s one thing, but to go on stage, it’s often 12, 13, 14, 15%, probably.
Somewhere in probably closer to 12 than it is 15. And in men, the equivalent would be 5 or 6 percent body fat probably. And that’s the look that’s required. But that actually, it’s not sustainable. And you do have to suffer a bit regardless of how you go about it. So I’m curious, just with your diet, if there, if there are any things that people listening, any, any little takeaways that, that helped you.
That may help them, even if they don’t, they’re not trying to get on stage.
Katherine: Right? So for me, it was, I mean, having the accountability, having a plan, right? And I would say to anybody, if you just want to lose weight or you want to look better and you’re struggling to do it on your own, get a coach and get a plan and tracking your food.
It’s vital. Like you have to track your food. Yes, you have to weigh and measure. And like I think for contest prep, you I was weighing and measuring pretty much everything daily. I mean, you could eyeball some things. I tend to just stick to the same foods because then you know that the nutrient value and the calories and the macros.
So I, you know, I ate the same breakfast pretty much every day. And having that like when you know you share your log and with your coach then you have that check in then I mean they can see where you might need tweaking or what’s working what’s like how do you feel and I know my body so well because I’ve been you know doing the fitness journey for A number of years.
So I know what foods work for me and what foods don’t work for me, but I hadn’t tracked in years because there was really no need to. So, um, having the accountability and then logging.
Mike: And what about what about off plan eating? Did you like treat meals, cheat meals, whatever people want to call them? How did you deal with that or or hunger cravings?
Those things all usually go together.
Katherine: So like I really didn’t do like I did my birthday cheat meal and I didn’t track it. I kind of like I ate a smaller breakfast that day because I think my calories like I got down to 1250 which that’s not a lot of calories. I think I was still at around 1350 when my birthday was at the beginning of April.
So I just like I had probably I had if I remember I just like I had a protein shake for breakfast. And then I knew I was going to go out to dinner and then I had my every night before I went to bed. I had a legion casein whey protein shake every night. It was my treat. And I, you know, I kind of made it put it in.
I put it in a wine glass. So it would be fancy.
Mike: I like it. I like it. And did you find that that helped just kind of keep you if not full, at least stave off hunger throughout the night because it’s a slower digesting protein versus whey?
Katherine: It was, yeah, I had never used a casein protein before and I’m like, you know what, I’m going to try this.
Flavor was good. It like I, it just made me, I don’t know, it just made me feel good. Yeah.
Mike: Yeah. I mean, when it’s also when you’re cutting and when you’ve been cutting for a while, sometimes little things like that become more satisfying than maybe it would have been back in your summer of binging, as you said.
Katherine: Yeah. The, the, the wine glass wasn’t filled with, um, protein shakes back then. It was something else.
Mike: And in terms of before and after, so you started dieting in the beginning of the year and then how much weight did you lose by the time you stepped on stage?
Katherine: My stage weight, I got down to 106 from 125 to 106 and I think my body fat was right around 14.
You know, I’m, I’m postmenopausal. So we tend to carry a little bit more body fat. I mean, I still looked lean, but, um, I mean, you know, my body fat didn’t get down to 10 or 11. I think it was around 14 if I remember correctly.
Mike: Nice. And in terms of your training, how did that go throughout this process?
Katherine: So I, I only had to make a couple of adjustments in my plan.
I needed to focus more on lower body. So I switched a couple of my days up. And then if there were days where I had a really busy day at work and my upper body was sore, I would just ease back on the volume a little bit, but my upper body looked. I mean, I think I look balanced. I got great feedback from the judges.
So yeah, I mean, making little, like in listening to your body and knowing when to make those tweaks, that’s, you know, that’s key as well.
Mike: And were you able to make progress in your training? And that could be measured in different ways. Like obviously, let’s say if you’ve, if you gained strength in your lower body, then that’s progress.
If you didn’t see much of a increase in strength, but even if you just, uh, were able to, to do. More reps with, uh, with a given training weight over the course of a number of months, that’s progress. And, you know, really, when you’re cutting for a competition, simply maintaining your strength and performance is a form of progress in a sense.
Katherine: Well, I was really, I did gain strength because like I said, before prep, I was doing a lot of like high intensity interval training and I had quit running several years ago when I took up running. I stopped strength training. Big mistake. Don’t ever do that. I lost a ton of muscle. So then when I started, you know, I wasn’t really lifting heavy and I was surprised at with the being so low in calories, how My strength increased and it’s it still continues to increase and I think I mean it was a mindset thing, right?
I knew I had to get in there and hit it hard every day But your nutrition has to be on point or you’re you’re gonna lose muscle and you’re gonna not be strong But no, I gained a lot of strength.
Mike: And you had mentioned that throughout this cut that you’ve Lost muscle, but it sounds like you probably gained muscle. No?
Katherine: Yeah. I just, I lost a little bit, which is going to happen, but not, I want to say I probably lost three pounds of muscle. That was it. And my body just has always responded well to strength training. If my diet is on point. So now, like I looked at like some of my training and I’m like, wow, I don’t think I’ve ever.
Had a plan where I only lifted heavy for six reps. I never did that. And I’m like, well, I’m going to challenge myself and I’m going to see how much I guess I was always maybe a little scared to lift heavy, if that makes sense. But now like it completely changed my mindset. Like now I know just throw another plate on that bar, you know, and it’s fun.
It’s um, it’s empowering to, to feel strong. You know, I don’t worry about somebody, um, in a dark alley. I’m like, no, I can hold my own. I’m good.
Mike: So then you are gaining strength and it sounds like you benefited a bit from being probably a. Detrained previously. So you, so your body was hyper responsive to proper training.
Is there a point where you saw your strength dip in this cut or did it plateau or did it just continue to increase throughout the entirety of it?
Katherine: So one thing I think really helped was Jamie had scheduled me deload weeks and I had never done that before. Um, I think there were in the course of my prep, there were two.
So. That helped a lot. But I really didn’t. I mean, there were days where I kind of felt, you know, if I had a real busy client load and then the next day was a leg day, I’m like, Oh crap. You know, but you know what? I listened to my body and if I, if I didn’t, you know, add another five pounds or whatever, you know, and I, I looked at, cause I logged everything, um, in an app.
I’m like, well, you increased your weight on this exercise. You know, last time you trained. So pick another exercise and just try to increase that time. Like, don’t try to go like increasing every single exercise. Like, you’re gonna wear yourself out. So, um, the deload weeks really helped.
Mike: And how many days per week were you training?
Was that steady throughout? Or did it change?
Katherine: It only changed like the last couple, like the, like the last week, you know, the peak week, that’s when it changed a little bit. I was training strength training five days and then when it got towards the end, I added another cardio day, but my body was responding so well.
I didn’t really have to manipulate the cardio too much because my body fat was.
Mike: That was going to be my next question is. How much cardio?
Katherine: I was doing, I think I started out with just like three to four days And I did I said, is it okay if I add one day of high intensity? I know like there’s Different camps about HIIT training for me it’s more of a it’s a stress reliever.
And so Jamie’s like, yeah, you can do one day. I’m like, okay, good. And I did, I did a 20 minute, um, high intensity, this thing on the treadmill that actually I just made up myself. So just watch if you’re, if you feel like you’re fatigued or you’re like really low on energy. Yeah. And I cut that out like the last probably three weeks.
Where, when I went to more of a, like a low intensity steady state cardio. But honestly with, I think for me and my body hitting the weights hard and heavy and focusing on my nutrition, you know, like you can really, like if you look at the graph, you can see how my body fat just kept inching down. And then I think there was like one week when I didn’t lose anything and then we were kind of watching.
And then it just, you know, I really didn’t hit a plateau though, so yeah, there was no need to like, um, like do any reverse dieting in the middle. I just kept, I just kept doing my thing.
Mike: And that is the easiest way to get to the goal if you can is just keep doing it because you don’t have to, you know, there’s, there’s nothing inherently bad about just sticking with it so long as you mentioned, so long as you’re not running into any major negative effects associated with dieting.
And so the, so the strength training workouts, I’m assuming we’re about an hour each. And is that, is that about right? And the cardio, how much cardio?
Katherine: Some days that like my strength training were like maybe an hour and 15. Depending on like the rest periods at times were a little bit longer, which that was a challenge at first coming off of like high intensity interval training when you’re resting for only 30 seconds and it’s like, wait a minute, I got to sit here for two minutes.
What the heck am I going to do? So I just would walk around the gym. I would just walk and get my to get my steps in. So like I said, my cardio, like I did one 20 minute hit workout I did a lot. I walked a lot for my cardio. I’m, you know, I, I did loosely kind of monitor, you know, or you’re in the zone or yet.
Working too hard when, when the weather turned nice, I did some biking and, but I really didn’t have to manipulate the cardio a whole heck of a lot. Not even at the end.
Mike: Yeah. Some people are surprised to hear that because there’s another way to try to get into contest shape and that’s, uh, it involves two hours of cardio a day.
I see people doing it in my gym.
Katherine: Oh, yeah. Yup. I mean, there were girls that, um, well, my friend that owns a gym that I, that I go to, she also competed with me and she used to, um, someone else for coaching and um, her plan was super old school. Like, I can’t even remember that oil. I’m like, that’s like from the 80s.
Like, what is this? Your drink, your flax oil, maybe? I don’t know. I’m like, I haven’t heard anybody doing that in like, a year.
Mike: For weight loss? For fat loss? Drinking fat to lose fat? Uh.
Katherine: She had to do like, two two or three tablespoons of the I think it was flax oil.
Mike: So that’s a That’s a good 250, 350 calories per day right there.
And for, for a woman who doesn’t get to eat as much as men, that, uh, that’s a problem. That alone can be a problem. Because think, think of what you can eat for 300 calories if it’s vegetables, let’s say, or some protein and vegetables. That’s a little, that’s a little meal.
Katherine: Right, exactly. Yeah. And, you know, I’ve seen people do, oh, now, you know, it’s the last, I got to up my cardio.
I got to do an hour of low intensity, steady state in the morning and an hour. And it’s like, yeah, I don’t have time. I really didn’t have time for that. And my mindset going into the whole journey of prep was it was a birthday present from me to me, like, I want to get back on track. I really didn’t start like that whole competitive thing didn’t really kick in till like maybe a month before the show.
And it’s like, I want to win. I don’t want to do all this work and not win. So, I just, I kept, like, and a lot of it is, like, you, I would look at myself in the mirror and I would say, you’re going to win this. Like, on the days that I felt like, I don’t, I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to log any more food.
I don’t want to go into the gym. I’m tired of the gym. And it’s like, no, you’re going to win. You’re going to step on that stage and you’re going to rock that stage and you’re going to come away with a trophy. And I did.
Mike: That’s great. And so you said that the, the judges also had great things to say.
Katherine: Yeah, I got all good and excellent feedback.
I knew that, um, I needed to put on a little bit, like a little bit more size, right? Which now I know you got to eat, eat and lift. Sleep. Sleep. Right. Sleep, yeah. But, um, everything else and, and be patient. Yes. Yeah. Patient. Yep. But yeah, if you do the, the, just do the work and you’ll come out on top.
Mike: I also want to ask just to, just your perspective on this experience that you’ve had in the context of your age and the reason I I bring that up is there are.
Challenges that are unique to a 60 year old body, whether it’s male or female and women have. Different challenges than men. There are some shared challenges and some kind of unique, uh, gender specific challenges, uh, like related to menopause, for example, or post menopause and compared to 20, clearly people at any age can get into great shape, but it is easier when you’re 20 than when you’re 60, it’s not to say that it can’t be done.
So I just wanted to hear. Your thoughts and particularly to people maybe who are 40 50 60 and listening and they’re not where they want to be yet. Maybe they haven’t even started yet or they haven’t really committed to making the changes that they know they need to make. What are your thoughts on?
Because you’ve been doing this for a long time. So you’ve experienced it firsthand the differences.
Katherine: So I think the biggest thing for like a post for in my experience for being like postmenopausal is the issues with sleep because, um, recovery is so important and I, you know, I have horrible insomnia. So I tried to make sure that I established a good like sleep hygiene routine.
So there was that. I mean, for me personally, I think having a good foundation and I’m just the kind of person, like, I don’t want to use. It’s like a menopause journey as an excuse to say, well, you know, I’m too old for that. It’s just, well, that’s what they have a grandmasters category for us old ladies who are crazy enough to put on a bikini and get up there on the stage, you know, and there was always that little bit of, Oh, I wonder, you know, like what the competition is going to be like, you know, but for me, I guess.
I’m not gonna say it was easy. It wasn’t easy. It’s, I think, more so than the age thing, it’s my job being so physical, right? Doing, uh, five or six clients a day, like, getting up in the morning, and then if I work, like, a late shift, and I’m not getting home until nine o’clock, you’re, I’m exhausted. You’re training.
Schedule doesn’t care if you’re tired, you just keep going, you just do the work.
Mike: And, uh, that, that mindset is, is what’s needed at 20 as well, maybe physiologically easier, maybe you have some, some tailwinds at 20 rather than headwinds, but it, it’s, it’s still that ultimately is, uh, it often comes down to just.
Making the decision of how important is this and how inclined am I to make excuses rather than do the work. And there are exceptions or I understand there are circumstances that really actually do get caught in. It sounds like you’ve experienced that, but just get in the way and you, you do, the wheels do fall off.
Uh, but once you decide to put them back on, then that’s when. I think that, um, at least half of the game is, is mindset and is the, even, even the, the ideas that you tell yourself about what you’re experiencing and what should or shouldn’t be happening or what isn’t, isn’t fair. Or again, do you want to look for excuses or do you want to look for solutions?
Do I look for ways to just do what you need to do?
Katherine: Yes. Stick to the plan and do the work. That’s what I did.
Mike: And what’s your plan now? Are you gonna, are you gonna lean bulk?
Katherine: So I’m kind of in the process of doing that right now. Like once you get on track with your food, yeah, like I did have, um, like a week.
after the show where I wanted to eat all of the things that I didn’t eat. Like I ate some pizza. I had my favorite, I went to my favorite restaurant, um, which is Middle Eastern food. So it’s, you know, pretty healthy. I had some ice like, you know, if I want to go to the Dairy Queen on Sunday and have a little ice cream, I do, I don’t worry about it.
But my strength has, I mean, I’m still up in my weight. I’m I might compete again. You know, it was really hard on my mind a little bit because I know, you know, in your head, like you can’t look stage ready every day. You can. It’s not like, but you want to. But I also know, like the judges said, you know, you need to put on a little bit more muscle, but everything else is good.
So, like, I’m really, I’m looking forward to seeing what this building season is, is going to bring. Yeah.
Mike: And committing to that calorie surplus, it doesn’t have to be a big one. If you want to do the work to keep your calories in a tight range, you could, you could shoot for 5 percent max 10 percent over what you’re burning, but you have to commit to it.
And you do have to understand that you are going to gain some body fat. Now, a lot of good, a lot of good things are going to happen to inside and outside of the gym, but you are going to gain some body fat and you probably are going to plateau along the way and you have to eat more.
Katherine: Yeah, I’m looking at it as it’s I’m gaining fuel to lift.
Heavy. It’s fuel. It’s not fat.
Mike: You’ll see a significant improvement in your workouts though. And that, that alone, so that, that becomes motivating in and of itself because it makes training more fun. And, and you also, you’ll, you’ll probably find that your weight is going to plateau along the way where.
Wherever your calories are at, it’s no longer producing weight gain, which means you’re not gaining muscle, obviously. So you’ll probably find that you have to increase your calories. It doesn’t have to be by much, maybe 100, 150 or so your daily caloric intake.
Katherine: I’m still reverse dieting a little bit. So I’m just slowly, you know, increasing my calories, focusing on getting the bulk of those calories from protein, which works.
Really well for me anyways. I mean, I’ve always been a meat eater, so.
Mike: Great, great. Well, exciting. Those are all the questions I had for you. So I appreciate again, you taking the time and before we wrap up, is there anything that, um, I didn’t ask that you wish I would’ve asked about or anything else kind of bouncing around in your head that you want to share before we sign off?
Katherine: No, I mean, I just, you know, I can’t thank my coach Jamie enough. I mean, I think if anyone is even like thinking about, you know, doing a transformation step one, even if you don’t want to step on a stage, get, get a coach, stick to the plan and just go for it. Just do it.
Mike: I’ll say it is. It is the ultimate shortcut, not just for fitness, but learning anything really.
I mean, I think it’s, I think it makes sense. Spend some of your time to inform yourself. To to a point, learn some fundamentals, but there’s just such a big difference in trying to figure it all out on your own and apply it and run into all the problems that you don’t even know about the hidden pitfalls, the unknown unknowns versus maybe getting a basic Grounding in the subject, at least knowing enough so the coach can efficiently work with you and doesn’t have to necessarily explain every little thing, but then just get the coach to take you and guide you through the whole process.
It makes it way more enjoyable. If nothing else.
Katherine: For sure. And it was. I’m not going to say it wasn’t hard, but really, um, I mean, for me, it was fun. I enjoyed the journey and I accomplished my goal. And now we’re going to see where, see where that goes.
Mike: I love it. Well, thanks again, Catherine, for, for taking the time and congratulations on, on achieving your goal on, on winning the trophy.
And, uh, I hope you get another one if you want to.
Katherine: All right. Thank you, Mike. Have a wonderful day.
Mike: Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful. And if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have. Uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, Mike at muscleforlife. com muscleforlife. com and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about. Maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode and I hope to hear from you soon.