A GymNation personal trainer is still pinching herself after success at the biggest event in bodybuilding.
Kate Austin recently took home the amateur women’s physique prize at the prestigious Olympia in Las Vegas – four years after retiring from the sport.
The 36-year-old, originally from Bridgend, Wales, made the call to enter pretty late in the day only deciding to fly out to the US three weeks before the contest.
She had been dieting for a little over three months to see if she could get in stage-ready shape – and despite not being on stage for so long, the former Miss Wales proved she certainly could.
“This wasn’t really planned, I started a diet 16 weeks before to see what kind of shape I could get myself back in. About three weeks before the competition, I decided to do it, and I just went, it was very much off the cuff,” Kate explained.
Despite the last-minute nature – Kate was able to draw on some fantastic experience thanks to an old fried – Flex Lewis.
Flex is a legend of the sport having now won the 212lb Mr Olympia title on seven occasions, and knew Kate when they were both living in South Wales.
It was back in 2011 that his team that helped her sculpt the final parts of a competition prep.
“Flex is a legend – he’s like Arnold (Schwarzenegger),” said Kate. “He’s just achieved so much, and is such a genuine guy.”
“I had the opportunity to stay with him and his team. I went almost two weeks before the show and I’ll be honest when I got there I wasn’t quite ready. They tortured me basically! They had me on no fats, no carbs wearing a sweatsuit on the stair climber twice a day – I was wiped out.
“It was a challenge but it was the best experience ever.”
The training, and diet, during this period was intense, but had the desired effect. Kate would train three times a day – two cardio sessions morning and evening with a weight session in the afternoon.
Her diet was then stripped down to turkey and broccoli – six times a day.
It is that level of dedication that has seen Kate continue to thrive in her chosen field, both as a PT and now back on the stage.
Having started training 19 years ago, it was a dream of Kate’s to simply visit the Olympia, never mind compete, and it still hasn’t quite sunk in.
“It was on my bucket list, to get here for that weekend, but I never thought I would be going and competing,” she said.
“I haven’t had the chance for it to sink in. You come back and you have to get straight back into work – doing the show and traveling to Vegas costs and absolute fortune so I had to get back into work, but everyone has been coming up and congratulating me, I am getting more clients from it. I wanted to show people what I am capable of – and I think I did that.”
Kate works at GymNation running the JumpNation class along with her PT and is seeing great success.
With classes always fully booked, they are expanding their current stock of 40 trampolines to more than 100 – and Kate has plans to take the idea worldwide.
“I am now on the verge of achieving the main goal I had when I came here, and that’s to get my classes running, build up their popularity and turn them into a recognised qualification – and then franchise the classes,” she said.
“I am in the process of setting up my classes with REPS as a recognised qualification, so I will be running courses – hopefully we train people up and take it global.”
While the classes focus on fun, with routines set to popular music tracks, they are not for the faint of heart as you will get a serious workout with one-hour sessions regularly burning more than 600 calories – and in some very extreme circumstance up to 1200.
“It really is demanding,” said Kate. “You’ll burn a lot of calories but it’s a lot of fun. The class finishes and everyone is dripping with sweat but people don’t want it to end. If people are on a good diet along with doing the classes, they will change – you see them change in a matter of weeks.”