Even though she’s only 24 years old, Natalia Coelho has accomplished a lot in her career in bodybuilding and fitness. She has graced the Olympia stage six times in two divisions (Figure and Women’s Physique) and has won the Women’s Physique International at the Arnold Classic twice. Even though she is considered one of the most successful athletes in the sport today, she told Isabelle Turell on this week’s “Fit Rockstar Podcast” that her ultimate dream is to be named the winner of the Olympia. She can already hear the announcement in her mind.
“Since I did my very first competitions, I could hear Bob Cicherillo calling my name, like, ‘and the new Ms. Olympia, Natalia Coelho.’ I’ve always, always…I don’t know…I’ve seen him calling all the names of the Olympians for such a long time since I started understanding the history of bodybuilding, of the Olympia, of what it means to be on that stage.”
Coelho was originally born in the US, but moved to Brazil early in childhood. She would return to the US as a teenager, and that is when she started training. Her pursuit of this dream went back that far, and it included working with a local trainer named Wade. Wade would push her to her absolute limits.
“I would read workouts online and all that stuff. They would say ‘do 8 to 12 reps, 12 to 15 reps.’ He was like ‘just do it.’ I’m like ‘what do you mean? When should I stop?’ He said ‘I will tell you.’ I would be like ‘ok.’ He would never say to stop. I remember doing lunges for three or four minutes non-stop. I would be shaking, and with no weights. My legs would be killing me.”
Coelho would turn pro at the 2015 Nationals in Figure, but her greatest success has come in the Women’s Physique division. That success includes placing second at the Olympia twice and winning several shows throughout her career. Much like she sees herself winning the top title in her dreams, she credits visualization to the success that she had already attained.
“I could see myself performing on that stage, and that was super important to me because I’m all about vision. When you have vision, you’re going to work your way there, you know. I like to visualize. I like to know what I’m doing. What is the purpose of all of this?”
Coelho and Turell also discuss how Cicherillo played a role in her transition to Women’s Physique, her fascination with bodybuilding going back to childhood, the use of vision boards, and a lot of other intriguing topics. Check out the podcast over at the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel. All episodes drop every Saturday at 12 noon eastern time.