Beyond The Prep Podcast

Rising to the Top Against All Odds with Cassandra Dean

August 14, 2023 Sherrie Kapach Episode 13
Beyond The Prep Podcast
Rising to the Top Against All Odds with Cassandra Dean
Show Notes Transcript

“When you're in the hardest, that's when you need to push the hardest.” —Cassandra Dean

Bodybuilding is undoubtedly a grueling and challenging sport, testing our limits of strength, endurance, and willpower. Yet, despite its already tough nature, we still have to face the hardest of the hardest of trials. Continued improvement is a must, straddling the thin line between fulfilling progress and painful setbacks. We must remember that these circumstances are not a sign of failure, but an invitation to rise to the occasion. 

This week, Sherrie sits with Cassandra Dean, a seasoned bodybuilder and owner of Cassie’s Beauty and Esthetics. For nine years, Cassandra has excelled as a bodybuilder, even achieving two first-place victories from her five competitive efforts. With the high level of competition in bodybuilding, it's undeniable that her success is a testament to her immense dedication.

Join the conversation as Sherrie and Cassandra discuss how to overcome some of the common challenges that bodybuilders face in their journey, namely developing self-control, trusting the process, balancing social life, following a diet plan, life at the backstage, and transitioning to other categories. 

Connect with Sherrie: 





Episode Highlights:

01:18 Trusting the Process

04:57 Body Building and Social Life

07:53 The Back Stage Must-Haves

12:20 The Diet Struggle

Sherrie Kapach: Welcome to Beyond The Prep. I'm your host, Sherrie Kapach. I'd like to welcome Cassandra Dean, thank you for coming. I know you're competing today, a very busy schedule. I really appreciate you taking the time out and joining me today.

Cassandra Dean: Thank you for having me.

Sherrie Kapach: So let's start with, what got you into bodybuilding?

Cassandra Dean: For me, it was I thought, as far as I could in my martial arts, there's nobody above me to take me further. I was already a teacher, I could sacrifice. I was at the gym and one lady was like, you should compete. And I was like, okay.

Sherrie Kapach: Wow, did you know anything about the sport going into it?

Cassandra Dean: No, I definitely have the best control now myself versus when I started. You're young, you go through something self defeating, and you don't have any self control. Now, look at the suites, testing right now.

Sherrie Kapach: Nice. That's exciting. So how long have you been in Dubai?

Cassandra Dean: The last nine years.

Sherrie Kapach: So what do you know now that you wish you wouldn't know when you first started?

Cassandra Dean: I honestly wish I would have started sooner. I see many young people in the gym. I know teams and stuff that are still in high school and they're getting so much further now. But now looking at being 31, if I would have started sooner, that could be much further along. And I already have this, doing more international or something. Just starting sooner and trusting the process, for sure.

Sherrie Kapach: Trusting the process. That's a hard one.

Cassandra Dean: It is the ups and downs. We have good days and bad days. Some days, your physique looks awesome. And the next thing, you're shaping up bad.

Sherrie Kapach: So tell me some of your bad days for someone that's new and they're struggling. Everybody goes through, they all have their moments. So what are some moments for you that you've gone through and made it through?

Cassandra Dean: I have had my real temper tantrums and super sore.

Sherrie Kapach: I'd love to hear those. Tell everybody.

Cassandra Dean: I think it's hilarious. I wish somebody would have caught it on camera. But I was like a couple of weeks before the show and I was like, I want cookies. And my spouse is like, no. And I was like, I like cookies, and it means now. So then I would just grab the card and kind of stand on the floor a little bit. The men's crotch and their pants are lower than ours. Just have steps over me and I hit the back of my head and I touch the superstar floor. I'm a little bit of a germaphobe . I just start scurrying around. He pushed me to the floor and he's like, I'm just gonna tell her. She won't believe you. I run after him just walking away from me like nothing's happened. Just yelling at him. I'm like, wow, I totally had a meltdown. Another time, I thought it was a good idea to watch A Dog's Purpose. Oh, that's not my period. So he comes home and I'm bawling my eyes out doing parties. I don't know, but it makes you feel better. He's like, okay. He felt so bad for me. I cried myself to sleep. He went and got me my doll and chocolate bar ice cream. And he told my coach and he's like, yeah, chocolate coach.

Sherrie Kapach: Fair enough. Well, yeah, it's a mind game.

Cassandra Dean: It does get easier though. With time, with more crap, and then as long as it's the right support system, you'll definitely have it. Your friends will definitely show their true colors, for sure. Your true friends, and just are no good. And that makes it easier to kind of get rid of them.

Sherrie Kapach: You definitely need this sport, for sure, because you're going through a lot at that time.

Cassandra Dean: Lots of motions, lots of things you can't really give part of you. You can still be social as long as you schedule it incorrectly. If we can't have those certain foods right now? That's okay. It's not forever.

Sherrie Kapach: Gotta keep that in mind too. So if someone was interested in bodybuilding, what piece of advice could you give? Your best piece of advice to someone that's considering this sport.

Cassandra Dean: Don't even do second thoughts. Just do it. I just saw the coach that matches with that personality wise. My very first coaching was very, very bad. Second and third coach, absolutely. Great experiences and communication is key. But just do it.

Sherrie Kapach: It's very important to understand that. With the way social media is nowadays, everything's out there.

Cassandra Dean: Sure. And you might think that they're your competition on stage. But backstage, there's hugs, there's congratulations. High fives all around. Everyone is so good, and make lifelong friends.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah, it's a tight knit community. Everybody's just supporting everyone in the long run because we're evolving. They're great in those stages, and sucks, and those downs and everything. So what's one of your highlights? What's been your biggest highlight?

Cassandra Dean: Putting all that work and finally getting a chance to show it off. I'm usually someone who's really covered up people that work in the gym. Okay, so if I post a picture and my clients, I don't look like that. I'm just like, yeah. Well, I think this time around I will actually wear shorts to the gym and a tank top. And it's gonna be like a big sweater.

Sherrie Kapach: Okay.

Cassandra Dean: Just because you can. And then people might ask me questions and really think about doing it. You're gonna show. I think one of the best highlights or one of the funniest parts was, I went overall one year in 2017. I got the envelope, and I didn't even know what it was. I thought it was like a gift certificate for the sponsors and it was $1,000. I jumped off the stage into my other house farm and I was like, I could even watch my new one. I'm like, I want money. I don't want $1,000. And instead of like, I'm gonna go buy myself something. I can go grocery shopping. And they're like, seriously?

Sherrie Kapach: Absolutely. Just so unexpected, right? So what are some of the things you take backstage with you?

Cassandra Dean: When I take care of pump up gear, dumbbells or resistance. And then right now, you'd have all your food with you and everything. But because we're in the host hotel, I just have to worry about taking down my rice cakes, peanut butter and honey.

Sherrie Kapach: I'm super excited. Do you take anything? I see a lot of them. They're laying on the floor. And for people that aren't familiar with this or thinking about it, they're on the floor with their legs raised on a blanket, anything like that.

Cassandra Dean: I'm usually wandering around, watching and visiting. And yeah, oh, I can sit for too long.

Sherrie Kapach: Each move around. Yeah, I need to visit new people, that's for sure.

Cassandra Dean: I was ready since 10:00 today, and I was like, oh, well, now what are we gonna do up and down, visiting, talking about all the boots, watching the show and going back out.

Sherrie Kapach: So what are you competing in? What category?

Cassandra Dean: I have a bonus for this one, but I'm kind of in an awkward stage of wellness and figure. It's just deciding which one I felt better physically and getting the judges feedback.

Sherrie Kapach: Okay. Have you done wellness before then? Oh, so this is your first. Okay.

Cassandra Dean: And when I was in that awkward stage before, like the Kenyan figure because there are a lot, I have to basically take a lot of time out to try and gain the size I am wearing, it's kind of been brand new where I am going to be.

Sherrie Kapach: Okay, so how's the transition going from the figure to the wellness?

Cassandra Dean: It was hard. I was told in the last show, the two closing remarks, that I wanted to stay in figure. I need more upper body. More lots, more caps in terms of struggle spots. And if I wanted to do wellness, I needed to continue and not flex versus, that's everybody. It's interesting. And then it was practicing not being stiff from being bigger, and being more flowy, and more flirty.

Sherrie Kapach: Okay, that's what they do for wellness. And it's coming, right? So do you have any suggestions? Because I could say things like free prep, and it's a struggle at times. You're tired and things like that. I'm not sure. Any suggestions for anyone going through this past week that could benefit them, cause you've gone through it a few times. I guess suggestions for the newcomers.

Cassandra Dean: If you have outside stressors, definitely tell them to go away for a little while. People or something like that, depending on the type of job they have. Take people off in the engine, because it's the last chance of cardio, last bit of workouts, and the last meal preps. And usually, I find these days so I just take Thursday and Friday off. Thursdays more of my body prep days. And then I get my nails done, maybe my rootstein relaxing. Just like planning my own time for that and still getting everything done. And then it's packing and traveling.

Sherrie Kapach: Okay. Good advice. For those new ones that they don't realize, you're just tired. You're worn out, and you just want to rest.

Cassandra Dean: And that's when you really need to dig in when you're in the hardest, that's when you need to push the hardest. You need five hours in the gym. I'm a night person, I love it at night. I have to split it in the morning, go to work, get all my meals and go home. Go to the gym again.

Sherrie Kapach: Wow, long days. It's worth it when you're on stage.

Cassandra Dean: You get your freedom for a little while, and then back on the game again.

Sherrie Kapach: And start all over again. Yeah, it's funny. Even myself, well, I'll give it a try. But it never ends up back.

Cassandra Dean: The no carbs was the hardest. Last time, like three weeks. Those five loops are really hard. So the feeding was getting a little bit more out of control. My coworker, she's at daycare and stuff like that. So she has almost 70 recipes and that's not the right thing. She's getting like 30 posts a day from Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, everything. It's just so cool. It makes me feel better to watch them because I can't eat them. Yeah, yeah, she was getting spammed. Makes you feel better to watch it, you can't have it. And then you need to have, either you could go buy cookies from any local people that are making them, or cakes. Or you just go hardcore and go find somewhere to eat, or whether you want steak, or wine, or pizza, or treats, or anything.

Sherrie Kapach: Enjoy the evening, for sure.

Cassandra Dean: We're going to get dressed up and go. That only my posts show up. It basically looks like a suit, and then pairs that with a leather jacket, or a blazer, and then a pencil skirt. I wear black.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah, right.

Cassandra Dean: They're kind of stuck in black, but it works.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah. Beautiful. Well, on that note, good luck.

Cassandra Dean: Thank you.

Sherrie Kapach: I'm hoping to get down there and watch. So good luck on your competition, and thank you for joining me