Cassie Chow's dream
of representing New Zealand internationally in bodybuilding
came closer in Wellington on Saturday, when the 36-year-old
Queenstown bodybuilder won her first regional title.
Ms Chow, a group instructor and personal trainer at Alpine
Health and Fitness, won the National Amateur Body Building
Association (Nabba) Wellington Championships Open Figure -
Short category, qualifying her to compete at the 2013 Nabba
New Zealand National Championships in Auckland next month.
It is her first win in New Zealand having moved here from
Australia two years ago.
''I'm so thrilled. It's nice when the work pays off and I got
some great feedback from the judges.''
Judges were looking for muscle symmetry and proportion
between different muscle groups, both left to right and upper
body and lower body, as well as muscularity.
The latter required competitors to have definition ''but not
to the point there's so much bulk the fibres meld together'',
For the past nine months, she had been working towards the
competitions, fitting in between 12 and 15 hours' training a
week along with her work as a class instructor and as a
Although sleep was at premium, she thrived on the personal
challenge bodybuilding presented.
''It's the discipline and it really is a big mental challenge
''I find that through the challenging times you need to stay
positive ... you just have to stay strong mentally to get
through the tough times, knowing in the end it's worth it
when you achieve the goal and all the hard work pays off.
''When you put in 100% effort and love what you do, it pays
Saturday night's win was even more meaningful as Ms Chow had
been entered in the Nabba South Island Championships held in
Dunedin earlier this month, but had to withdraw on the day of
the competition due to illness.
However, there was no rest following the weekend's success,
with Ms Chow preparing for the inaugural International
Natural Bodybuilding Association (Inba) Southern Lakes
Classic in Queenstown this weekend.
''I got off the plane [yesterday] and went straight to the
gym for training and then grocery shopping, washed my costume
and [started] preparing for this weekend.
''I'm already in ... competition condition [but] I don't want
to drop too much muscle or too much more body fat.''
Despite hailing from Australia, Ms Chow said she was hopeful
of being selected to represent New Zealand internationally
with either or both Nabba or Inba at upcoming competitions.