Height: 5’2” 157cm
Weight: 108lbs. – 49kgs
Part 1 Interview: Simplyshredded Interview
What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?
Prior to getting into fitness, I had a typical lifestyle. I had a full-time job in a busy Bronx Hospital’s Emergency Room, while at the same time attending Nursing School full time. Therefore, my days consisted of working and studying, which did not leave too much time for fun, especially not enough time to work out.
I did have a gym membership and would train here and there but my focus then was not on working on my body, instead I focused on working on my “mind” and trying to get through Nursing School.
What was your low point or turning point?
My turning point was definitely when I graduated from Nursing School and started working as a Nurse. I then became very aware of sickness and death. I realized then how important it is to take care of one’s self and started changing my eating habits. I joined a new gym, which I found to be perfect for me. It had everything I needed, lots of equipment, not too crowded and very close to where I lived. I started resistance training and was completely hooked. I loved seeing the changes take place in my physique. I knew the more I pushed myself, the more I would change whatever it was I wanted to change in my body.
I was so deeply into my new fit life that I did not have one cheat meal for the first whole year of training. I definitely indulge a little more now, even though I’m still hooked on living a fitter life.
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?
I did face some challenges but nothing that prevented me from achieving my goals. Being Dominican and part of a close family, our get-togethers consisted of enjoying each others company, and what better way than while eating some Dominican comfort foods.
I would hear my mom telling me how skinny I was getting, how I needed to eat more, but now a days when I go visit she has a grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies ready for me.
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?
Now, from the moment I wake up until I get to bed at night, my whole day evolves around fitness and health. Whether it be planning and preparing my meals for the day, answering people’s questions about fitness and health on my social media pages, going to the gym, or while I work as full time Registered Nurse helping people.
Fitness and health is part of my life, it’s a way of living for me and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
What motivates you to keep going and push harder?
My motivation comes from seeing my body evolve and become fit and stronger as a result of my discipline and hard work. Reaching a new goal, seeing a new vein pop, or even when a new muscle striation appears. All those things may seem like nonsense to everyone else but to a little gym rat like myself, those are the things that keep me going and push me to pursue a new goal. All the hard long hours spent in the gym and not giving away to self- gratification when the time comes, all those things are going to determine whether you are successful in achieving your goals or not. People need to remember that changing one’s physique does not happen over night. A lot of people give up on their dreams and goals due to lack of progress or slow progress. Remember how long it took you to put on those extra pounds, how many unhealthy meals you ate to get there.
The same goes when integrating fitness into your life. It takes time and you must learn to be mentally prepared for the task ahead, but most of all be patient and enjoy the ride.
What is your next goal? Where do you see yourself this time next year?
I have to say that 2013 started off great for me. I recently joined a new gym, which I love and always look forward to going there and train my hardest. I definitely see myself this time next year looking better than ever. I’m completely motivated to keep making positive changes to my physique; it’s an ongoing process for me that I never seem myself getting tired of. I also plan to help others achieve their goals as well. I have been receiving a large amount of messages from people who want to have me train them and advise them on how to become healthier individuals. I’m currently studying to become a personal trainer, so I definitely see myself doing more of that this year.
I hope to continue doing more fitness modeling as well and just enjoying life in general.
What is your current training philosophy?
I have always been a fan of resistance training, it is what I love doing and what has worked for me so far. Knowing that our bodies adapt very quickly to our workouts hence, stop responding to whatever it is we are constantly doing, I now include more circuit training and plyometrics into my routine, which has been a lot of fun. I also started doing more cardio and I try not to do the same workout more than once. I like to keep things fresh by changing the order or exercises, changing the amount of reps, changing the weight, adding drop sets and supersets or by reducing or increasing my rest periods. I also like to include a full body workout day into my routine here and there. If you find yourself not seeing results, see where your training/diet can improve and change things up every couple of weeks. We are all different and we have to pay attention to our bodies and how they respond to our training and eating habits and change things accordingly. Remember that we are all different and what works for one person might not work for another. You have to be in-tune with your body and learn what is best for you and your desired goals.
- Warm Up 5-10 mins on Stairmaster
- Standing Smith Machine Calf Raises 10×15
- Light Iso-lateral Leg Extensions 5x 12
- Light Iso-lateral Leg Curls 5x 12Barbell Squats 5 Sets Narrow Stance and 5 Sets of Sumo Stance x10
- Hack Squats 6×10
- Barbell Walking Lunges superset with Stiffed-Leg Deadlifts 5×10
- Leg Press superset with Leg Press Machine Calf Raises 6×10
- Pull-Ups 2×15
- Bent-Over Barbell Rows superset with Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns 5×10
- Seated Cable Rows superset with Underhand Cable Pulldowns 4×10
- One Arm Dumbbell Rows 4×10
- Iso-Lateral Front Lat Pulldown 5×10
- Back Extensions 4×10
- Preacher Curls 5×10
- Barbell Curls 5×10
- Closed-Grip Cable Bicep Curls 4×12
- High Cable Bicep Curls 4×10
- Seated Barbell Shoulder Press 5×10
- Seated Arnold Shoulder Press superset with Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raises 4×12
- Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises superset with Front Lateral Raises 4×12
- Standing Cable Crossover Rear Delts Raises 4×12
- Dumbbell Shrugs 3×12
- Standing Barbell Twists 4×20
- Weighted Ab Crunch Machine 4×20
- Hanging Leg Raises 4×20
- Warm up 5-10 mins on Stairmaster
- Seated Calf Raises 10×15
- Barbell Squats 6×10
- Hack Squats 6×10
- Barbell Walking Lunges superset with Stiffed-Leg Deadlifts 6×10
- Leg Press superset with Leg Press Machine Calf Raises 6×10
- Leg Extensions 4×12
- Leg Curls 4×12
- Iso-lateral Angled Leg Press 6×10 each Leg superset with Leg Press Calves Raises 10×15
- Rest Day
- Push-ups 2×25
- Barbell Bench Press 4×10
- Incline Dumbbell Flyes 4×10
- Cable Cross-Over 4×10
- Dumbbell Press on Stability Ball 4×10
- Dips 3×15
- Lying Close-Grip Barbell Triceps Extensions superset with Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press 4×10
- Cable Rope Triceps Pushdown 4×12
- Rest Day
Favorite form of cardio?
Even though I’m not much of a cardio person, I recognize its importance for improving overall health, especially cardiovascular, or “heart health”. Regular Cardio exercise has been shown to make the heart healthier by lowering LDL which are also known as bad cholesterol levels, and increasing good HDL cholesterol. Performing cardio can also be beneficial for preventing or decreasing high blood pressure. Regular “cardio” exercises, strengthens your heart and lungs which in turn improve circulation. When the weather permits, I enjoy running stairs or sprinting outdoors.
When indoors I prefer the Stairmaster and/or the Elliptical machine and I do anywhere from 15-30 mins up to 3-4 times a week, usually after resistance training.
What is your approach to nutrition?
My body is my temple! Therefore, I don’t like to feed it crap. I stay away from junk food, sweets, and choose foods that are higher in nutrition for my meals. I don’t believe in bulking as I stay lean year-round. I find that a lot of people use that “bulking” excuse to eat crappy foods and therefore get fat. I like seeing my abs, so therefore I keep my body lean while at the same time gaining muscle mass. I allow myself one or two cheat meals a week, which in reality are not really “cheat” meals, since they consist of maybe adding more carbs, which is usually eating my mom’s Dominican foods or eating Sushi rolls.
- Meal 1: 4 oz. 0% Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt with ½ an Apple and ½ teaspoon of Coconut Oil
- Meal 2: ¼ cup of Oatmeal made with Unsweetened Almond Milk and 3 hard boiled Egg Whites and 1 Whole Egg
- Meal 3: 4 oz. Grilled Chicken Breast, a side of Spinach and Cucumber Salad, with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lime Juice
- Meal 4: 4 oz. Baked Salmon with ½ Baked Sweet Potato
- Meal 5: Whey Protein Shake. 30 minutes post workout with ½ a Banana
- Meal 6: 4 oz. of Grilled Chicken Breast with ¼ cup of Quinoa
- Meal 7: 4 oz. 0% Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
So far it would have to be recently being on the International Cover of Muscle & Fitness Magazine, which was featured in 6 different countries. I have been reading fitness magazines for many years and before getting into the fitness industry I would dream of one day having a physique like the models featured within. It was totally a dream come true, and I hope that by being on those magazines I have inspired at least one person to get up, and work towards achieving their goals.
Dreams do come true if you work hard and stay true to yourself.
What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to reach their goal physique?
- Stay on top of your nutrition. I find that the most difficult aspect of getting and staying in shape is one’s nutrition. Yes, you can go to the gym day and night and learn the proper way to perform an exercise, you can get good at Squatting, and yes you can master the pull-ups, but all of those things will mean very little to you if you don’t first master how to eat right and how to maintain good nutrition habits. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. Remember that no matter how much you workout, if you don’t eat clean to supplement your training, your hard work will not show. It all works together, you cannot do one without the other.
- Prepare and cook your meals. As Kai Greene says “Proper preparation prevents poor performance”. Don’t leave your house without your meals; know what you are going to eat for the day. By preparing and carrying your meals with you, the possibility of being tempted to eat an unhealthy meal out of hunger is eliminated. A lot of people fall short and cheat on their diets due to lack of preparation. Don’t be that person. If you fail to plan then you plan to fail!
- You will need to be mentally ready to be able to put in the work necessary to achieve a great physique. What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve. How you manage and overcome life’s obstacles that will inevitably present themselves and will try to prevent you from reaching your goals will determine if you are successful or not. Obstacles are a part of life. There’s always going to be something that will come up and prevent you from training. You’re always going to be too busy, too tired to train, too tired to cook, but the reality is that if you really want something, you put your heart into it and find a way to get it done. These are your goals, your dreams and it’s your responsibility to nourish, protect and fulfill those dreams. Therefore, set your goals, make a plan on how you are going to achieve them and put in the work necessary to get you there. It’s never too late to start.
“The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds”. Henry Rollins
Photo Credits: Jim Malucci, Walt Ostarly, LHGFX and John Stutz