FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. --
After 20 weeks of dieting and working out, her hard work and dedication helped paved the way to first place finishes at the 2016 National Physique Committee Baltimore Gladiator Championship.
Staff Sgt. Katherine Althoff, 707th Force Support Squadron executive assistant to Joint Military Personnel director, was recently deemed the overall winner in both the Women’s Physique Open and Women’s Physique Armed Forces Category at the NPC Baltimore Gladiator.
More than 200 bodybuilders competed in the event and with her victory at the NPC Baltimore Gladiator, Althoff is now a Nationally Qualified Women’s Physique Bodybuilder.
“The Gladiator was an amazing event. I met so many athletes who have worked just as hard as I have,” said Althoff. “It was really gratifying to be around a crew of people who have the same level of hard work and dedication when it comes to fitness.”
Althoff doesn’t consider herself primarily a bodybuilder, but instead an athlete.
“I have always been into fitness, but I really got into lifting while stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. Around 2009,” said Althoff.
While stationed in Korea in 2013 and 2014, she competed in Crossfit Asia Regionals and finally began bodybuilding when she arrived at Fort Meade, Md. in 2015.
“My first week in a new gym here in Maryland, and a competitor I didn’t know at the time, approached me and asked if I competed before. I told them ‘no, but I always wanted to’,” Althoff said. “From there, she invited me to a free posing clinic hosted by Team Warrior Within in Columbia. I met my Coach that day, and we’ve been working together and training ever since.”
For nearly 22 weeks, Althoff kept to a strict training regimen.
“I trained five to six days a week – with one night a week training in person with my coach,” she added. I usually worked out three or four days on and one day off. My meal plan consisted of 6 meals spread over the day; ensuring I had a meal every 3 hours.”
One of the hardest things about bodybuilding for her was the lack of social life and trying to hold back her sweet tooth.
“For the last seven months in Maryland, I would be in bed and asleep by 7 p.m., wake up every week day morning at 3 a.m., and be to the gym by 4 a.m.,” Althoff said. “My personal life consisted of training, eating and sleeping.”
The seven-year Air Force veteran had a great support system to help her achieve her accomplishments.
“My [Team Warrior Within] coach, David Johnston has been with me from the start. I wouldn’t want to learn from anyone else when it comes to nutrition and fitness,” Althoff said. “My girlfriend, Karyn, has put up with all of the ups and downs I went through to prepare. It’s crazy how much a strict and low-calorie diet strains your mind, emotions, and your body.”
Her parents even flew down to watch her compete at the Gladiator.
“Having them there to see me compete gave me a higher level of comfort being onstage,” she said.
“From the day we met Kat, we knew she was a hard-charger. Her professionalism and relentless dedication show in everything she takes on,” said Chief Master Sgt. Kathi Glascock, 707th FSS Office of Military Personnel superintendent. “When she told me she was going to compete, I knew she would do amazing. Her mental strength is incredible and watching her prepare for the competition solidified what we already knew about her. Not only does she seek results in the work center, but in everything she takes on.”
Although she won, Althoff is still looking to improve her physique.
“I still have a lot to work on and there are always things to improve,” she said. “My conditioning was spot-on, but I do need to have a little more muscle to truly be competitive at the next level. It was an amazing win, but I’m still trying to be better.”
Althoff has an end-goal of becoming an International Federation of Body Builders (IFBB) Professional.
I’m currently working on getting my NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine certification),” she added. “When you have IFBB behind you to back up your personal training program – it will help establish a bigger clientele base.”
“Unfortunately, I won’t be competing in Nationals [2016 NPC Junior National Bodybuilding Championship],” said Althoff. “But the plan is to keep working and get stronger for next year. I earned my National Qualification which qualifies me throughout 2017. Therefore, next for me is competing at a National level show in 2017!”