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TAMIU Alumnus Excels at Local Bodybuilding Competition

By Louie Canela
On September 26, 2014




The Mr. Laredo Classic 2014 competition was held on Saturday September 13 at the Laredo Civic Center. The intense, sold out bodybuilding competition consisted of eight categories: Beginner, Novice, Master, Middle Weight, Light Weight, Men's Physique, Figure Contest and Bikini Contest. The grand prize of the absolute category was $1,500.

Many would think it would be nearly impossible to be a single mother, full-time educator and bodybuilding competitor. However, Gabriela Cadena, 27, single parent to son Kaleb, a first grade teacher for a local school district proves by all odds that it is possible.  Cadena is a graduate of Texas A&M International University. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education.

"I prepared myself to compete five weeks before the actual competition. I've always been the fitness girl always working out and eating healthy meals. I try to stay away from junk food, but it is very different when you are going to compete,” Cadena stated. “I incorporated a rigorous training schedule and diet. I doubled my workouts by working out at 5 a.m. and then again in the evening Monday thru Sunday,"Cadena stated when asked how she prepared for the competition.

The supermom would wake up daily at 4:30 a.m. to prepare her breakfast which consisted of egg whites and oatmeal. She would take off to the gym for a 45-50 minute cardio session, and then she would head back home to get her son and herself ready for school so she could be at work by 7:30 a.m.

After work she would continue her motherly duties by attending to her son, and head off to the gym once more in the evening. She would work out her entire body from legs to arms to abs and ending her evening workout with another cardio session. She ate six meals throughout the day which consisted of protein, chicken, tilapia, ground turkey with brown rice or sweet potatoes.

Cadena competed in the Bikini Category of the competition along with fifteen other women. After years of being asked to participate in the competition by Dave Gutierrez speaker of the Mr. Laredo Classic competition, she finally agreed to compete. Most women had been preparing for the competition for over fourteen weeks. Cadena prepared herself in five weeks with the guidance of her coach, Vital Nutrition owner Oscar Saucedo.

"On a weekly basis, he would check my body fat and my weight which would keep decreasing every week. The best part about it is that I kept my all my muscle!" Cadena noted ecstatically.

Cadena placed second in her first competition. She will be competing in Houston, Texas on October 18 at the Formulation1 Competition.  Cadena possesses determination and commitment. Without a doubt, her drive will help her excel once more in bringing the first prize to Laredo making her entire community proud.

(Cadena Posing with her trophy at the Mr. Laredo Classic 2014,Photo Courtesy: Gabriela Cadena)


(Louie Canela may be reached at


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