Kate Austin had no intention of becoming a bodybuilder when she was younger. In fact, she only became fanatic about fitness after she joined a local gym that by chance promoted it. “I started training that way, my body began changing and, as I like to be different, my interest continued to grow,” Kate explains.
Fast forward to 19 years in the industry and the Welsh-born Dubai resident has won a string of competitions, including Miss Wales 2010 and, just eight weeks ago, her bodybuilding category in Las Vegas competition, Amateur Olympia. “I’ve been eating what I want since,” Kate laughs. “I’m only human!”
She may claim this, but to us mere mortals Kate’s physique is mesmerisingly muscular. So, what is the biggest misconception about being a female bodybuilder? “You always get the comment, ‘You look like a man’,” Kate replies honestly. “You have to learn to not care what other people think – and I encourage others to do the same. I am passionate about people not judging other people.” She adds, “When I lived in Wales I was the patron of the Anti-Bullying Society. Spreading this message is very important to me.”
Beauty and what defines it is an ongoing topic of conversation in the Middle East. How does Kate feel about it all? “For me, beauty is not a visual thing,” she answers firmly. “People can look pretty and open their mouths and instantly be ugly. Beauty comes from the inside.” We couldn’t agree more.
Next, we want to know how Kate gets in shape for competition-worthy muscular perfection. “For 16 weeks I follow a very strict diet. For the first eight weeks, it’s zero carbs. Eggs for breakfast, chicken and vegetables throughout the day and steak and vegetables for dinner,” Kate expands. Talk about willpower. “It is pretty grim,” Kate admits. “But once you’ve got the fat off you can start introducing carbs again. Doing a diet takes more mental strength than anything else I’ve had to deal with in life.”
What about the training regime? “It doesn’t change, you just add in a lot more cardio. I complete a cardio workout seven days a week for two hours a day. I then spend one hour in the afternoon doing weight training, for five days a week... what we do is extreme,” Kate offers upon seeing our genuinely shocked expression. “But it’s only for short periods of time.”
This may be true, but let’s be frank, Kate is in better shape than the vast majority of 36-year-olds in the world. Just how does she motivate yourself to be so in shape all year round? “If I don’t train, I don’t feel right. But for the average person, you have to maintain the thought that you’re doing something for you. If you’re feeling happy about yourself everything else in your life will benefit,” she says.
So, will Kate, who relocated to Dubai two years ago, compete again? “I actually retired four years ago, but I ended up going to Las Vegas and winning, so I was quite chuffed with that!” She laughs. “Now I’m focusing on teaching my two classes Jump Nation (workouts on mini trampolines) and Posing Lessons (aimed at competing bodybuilders) at Gym Nation. I’m not training with intention at the moment.”
Finally, we ask Wonderwoman, sorry, Kate, what piece of fitness advice she wishes she’d been given sooner. “That there is no secret to getting results. The only thing to get you there is consistency,” she replies. Simple.
Photos: Max Hofstetter, Unsplash and Instagram @kateaustin8200