Friday, August 31, 2012

Cassie Bishop - Women's Physique, Rising Star

Name: Cassie Bishop
Age: 21
Ht: 5 ft. 3.5 in.
Wt: Contest: 120, off season: 140
Hometown: Macomb, MI

Christian Duque: When and why did you first start weight-training? Also what are you favorite and least favorite bodyparts to train?

Cassie Bishop: Before I started lifting I was 101 lb. in the middle of the day with clothes and shoes on and I still wasn't happy with the shape and feel of my body. I was into fitness a bit at the time and did some running and biking but my training did not go past cardio.

I actually discovered bodybuilding at age 16 when I was surfing the internet for diet and fat loss tips. I saw a picture of Pauline Nordin and I said to myself "Wow; I want to do that!". From that I discovered all of the bodybuilding web sites and what the sport is all about. I started training in my basement alone using minimal equipment with the intent of entering a competition in the future.

I guess the why part can be answered by the fact that I saw it as a huge challenge that could benefit all areas of my life. When you show yourself that you have what it takes to stay dedicated and consistent with diet and training even under extreme conditions and when you know that you are in complete control of your body you become empowered and have the confidence and self control that you need to succeed in everything else you set out to do.

My favorite body parts to train? No doubt legs or quads if I must pick a single muscle group. Squats are my favorite exercise followed by bench press. I love exercises which utilize large muscle groups and a large amount of strength and power. Least Favorite? Hmmm...I'll have to go with abs, calves, and forearms. They just aren't exciting to train and most ab exercises are awkward.

Christian Duque: Talk about what made you decide to compete, notable shows, and of course your recent win. How does it feel to make it to the top? How do you stay hungry?

Cassie Bishop: As I mentioned I had the intent of competing ever since I started training. Competing takes the challenge to a whole new level and I wanted to see if I could do it.

My first show was at age 18 after about 2.5 years of training. I set my goals high and hit the National stage at Teen Nationals on 2009. Now that show is not very competitive for female bodybuilding but it was nevertheless a bold move and I wanted to give myself that push and the excitement of doing a big show. I came in at 102 lb.. After that show I felt like I had let myself down and like I could have done better. I knew I could do better, but that it would take time.

I decided to take a long off season to put on the mass that I desperately needed and return to the stage with a bang. I took 3 years off and during my off season the Women's Physique division was introduced. I knew that it was perfect for me. At my most recent show, Central States in 2012, I came in at 120 lb., a solid 18 lb. up from my previous show weight. I felt great about the progress in terms of my body, posing, and presentation. I had set out in 2009 to come in transformed at my next show and it was thrilling to have actually done that.

Christian Duque: How does it feel to have made it to the top?

Cassie Bishop: Oh... I am no where near the top. I am still a minnow in a sea of sharks and I would get eaten alive at a high level show. I will say that I feel satisfied with the progress that I have made and optimistic about my potential and what could be further down the road.

I stay hungry because I strive for constant and never-ending improvement. It's not what shows I win, who I look better or worse than, or even how I look in terms of my own personal judgement right now. Improvement makes me happy and considering that perfection is impossible I know that I will always have room to keep improving.

:Kudos - a time to thank all those from workout buddies to coaches to friends and family.

Cassie Bishop: Oh my...there are so many people who have played a role. I will start with my boyfriend Phil who was there for me every step of the way in my last show prep and who helped me with posing and countless other things. I should also thank my friends Blake and Susan. Blake for among many other things giving me the push and confidence that I needed to finally enter my first show and Susan for her support and comradery. My immediate family deserves recognition as well for being completely cool with my craziness 100% of the way and for coming to watch my most recent show. Many other people belong on this list as well but I can't possibly list them all so I'll just say the rest of you know who you are!

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