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Catherine Zidell- A Force to be Reckoned With

Jan 07, 2013 10:28PM

Catherine Z. competition photos


Catherine Zidell 

Owner/ President · Dallas, Texas
2003 NPC Judge – Lee Thompson Shows By Leslie McCarrol

When I spoke to Catherine Zidell for the first time, I felt like we could talk for hours. She had so much energy and life experience to share with me during our two-hour phone conversation that I felt she was a new best friend.

Catherine’s experience and success in bodybuilding didn’t really happen for her until she turned 40. It was then that she got serious about training. Having been a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines for over 20 years, Catherine always took great care and pride in her looks and physique.

“You really had to hit the right number on the scale back then,” she said. “The airlines would actually weigh you in each week and the pressure to hit the exact number on the scale was paramount. It meant you were on payroll or not.”

Being that Catherine considered herself  “large framed,” she took more precautions and measures to make sure that happened. It was her background in horse riding, baton twirling and her love of being active that kept her on track and allowed her to manage her weight. Hot pants and boots were all the rage back then and looking hot to trot in the disco era was a definite must. Catherine also developed hypoglycemia while being a flight attendant so making sure that healthy, low glycemic and frequent meals were a must.

What started out as way to manage her weight while she was with Southwest Airlines grew into a passion for the gym. In 1991, Catherine found a small gym mostly occupied with men and started throwing iron like the rest of them. It was there that Catherine met her husband. Although they didn’t train together, they inspired each other to train harder and become more accountable. Soon Catherine decided to enter her first bodybuilding competition in 1996 at the age of 41. After 2nd in her first show she continued to compete in the masters division, placing quite well over a 10-year period. Each year her physique got better and more defined as she paid more attention to the intricacies of her diet and training. She loved the NPC so much that Catherine decided to become a judge!  At the end of this 10-year period Catherine was able to retire from Southwest Airlines and start her personal training career at 24 Hour Fitness.

Catherine proves that life will throw you a curveball when you least expect it and circumstances will not only challenge you but also test your strength in personal times of weakness.  It was during this rocky time as a personal trainer that Catherine’s mother fell ill and turned Catherine’s world upside down.  Working out and staying on track with diet and nutrition was a prime outlet for stress. It was a positive distraction in Catherine’s life that enabled her to get through circumstances that would derail most people. While staying committed to keeping her sanity and taking care of herself so she could take care of her mother, Catherine was finally able to have her mother taken care of and in good hands in 2008. It was then a big milestone for Catherine turning 50. Turning 50 proved to be very pivotal. It was then that Catherine entered the Masters National and placed 1st.


Since then, Catherine has remained committed to a lifestyle of consistent bodybuilding, cardio and a clean diet and has proved that it is never too late to become a better version of you. Catherine consistently promotes her personal training business via LA Fitness and also online at: . If you live in the Dallas area, consider yourself quite lucky. Catherine is an unbelievable resource and personal trainer that will whip your booty in place faster than a New York second.  Aphrodite wants to thank you Catherine for allowing us to interview you and empower other women that fitness is possible no matter where you are in life! Keep it up girl!