With the 2011 Tahoe Show just over two weeks away, bodybuilders, figure, fitness and bikini athletes from all over the country are fine-tuning their training programs to be the best in their class, I decided to see if I could interview a few of the competitors beforehand to get the inside scoop into their training.
Cassandra Chandler, who lives in the Lake Tahoe area, was one of them.
“I did my first show in 1999. That was a fitness competition. I’ve done about seven figure competitions since then,” Cassandra said, who totally amazed me with her positive attitude and energy.
But what amazed me even more was that she was 47-years-old. I mean, when talking with her you know she’s not a giddy 19 year old, but 47? She barely looks 30. It was then I really wanted to know her secrets.
HOW CASSANDRA CHANDLER DOES IT
Cassandra is a personal trainer at High Altitude Fitness in Incline Village.She says she got into competing because she wanted to show her clients what they could achieve if they worked hard. It’s been 12 years since her first show and a few of her awards include first place in Figure at Ms. Galaxy in Florida in 2000 and winning third place Masters and fourth place Open for Ms. Figure in Sacramento in 2003.
“The last show I did I was 45-years-old. I took first place in the Masters Figure,” Cassandra said. “I want to show clients who are my age that it doesn’t matter how old you are. Continue to train and you can do shows like that.”
Cassandra’s training isn’t something she does just for a show. It’s part of her lifestyle. Teaching 8 classes a week and training clients all day, she is constantly working out.
And here’s her big secret: She doesn’t have an “off-season” but keeps her body in prime condition all year long. There is no yoyo-ing with her weight. No binging and dieting to get her body back. She eats mostly clean and exercises all year long.
In fact, she says all she needs to do before a show is “up” her training a bit a couple weeks before but that’s about it. This is also a big plus when it comes to relationships because her lifestyle is consistent — which means, she doesn’t have to put everything and everyone on hold for 4 or 6 weeks before a show to cram in all the workouts.
But even for her, squeezing in the time to train isn’t easy.
“It’s hard. It is really hard, but you just have to find time to do it. I’m working from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. today. I’ll go for a run later and I have an hour to get my training in. It is hard,” Cassandra said.
HER NEXT SHOW: THE TAHOE SHOW ON AUGUST 27
It’s been a couple of years since her last competition, and she’s looking forward to competing in the Tahoe Show as it will give her personal training clients a chance to see her in a show.
“They’ve seen me train for a show and usually all the shows I’ve done have been in another state,” Cassandra said. “Some of them have never been to a show. They think bodybuilding is a just these huge guys. They have never seen women figure or women’s fitness competitors.”
The 2011 Tahoe Show is taking place in the Montbleu Resort in Stateline, Nevada on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore. This is the show’s first year, but so far the promoters are happy with the response from the fitness and Lake Tahoe community. Christopher Minnes, one of the Tahoe Show partners, says they are expecting over 150 athletes from across the country. He says the registrants are ranging from first-timers to seasoned competitors.
Doors open for the night show at 6:00 p.m.
MORE ADVICE FROM CASSANDRA CHANDLER
Cassandra does have some advice for those who are new to competing. In addition to doing a lot of research on how to train and on nutrition, she recommends getting some kind of coach –especially if this is something the person has never done before. She says the hardest part of doing a show is the posing.
“You have to know how to show your muscles. That’s the hard part about it. Being comfortable with your body and being as natural as possible on stage so you’re not looking rigid,” said Cassandra.
She also recommends setting a goal and doing a show – and not expecting to win. Just getting the show experience is important.