How did you get started with bodybuilding?
As a child growing up in the Dominican Republic I was always involved in sports. After moving to NYC at the age of 12, I continued being active, but it wasn’t until after I picked up a friend’s fitness magazine, around the age of 22 years old, that I first became interested in fitness and bodybuilding. I was immediately fascinated by the strong sexy physiques of the women I saw. I also wanted to look that way, so I joined a local Bronx Gym and started working out. I continued to train on and off for years, making only slight changes to my body. I had a full time job and was attending college at the same time, which left me little time to concentrate on training, so it was always left on the back burner. It wasn’t until April 2009, after graduating from Nursing School, and now having a full time job as a Registered Nurse that I had the time I needed to concentrate on training correctly. I’ve been training consistently ever since then and I’m still making changes to my physique.
I’m ecstatic to see what more I can do and how much more muscle I can add. It’s an ongoing process that I’m enjoying very much.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
I like training complementary muscles together, and following a split muscle group training routine. My work schedule changes constantly, so I don’t always follow a specific training day for each muscle group. The same applies to my rest days, I take them as they come. I try not to rest more than 1.5 minutes in between sets in order to keep my heart rate up and I usually train legs the day after a rest day. Legs are my most lacking body part, therefore I like to use heavy weights when training them. My main goal right now is to add a bit more mass, so I limit my cardio to about 15-20 mins 3x a week, and I leave it for the end of my workouts. I also briefly train abs after each workout. But, I perform a full abs training routine the day I train Shoulders.
Day 1: Chest/Triceps
- Pushups 2 sets of 25 reps
- Flat Bench Barbell Press 4 x 10
- Incline Bench Barbell Press 4 x 10
- Decline Bench Barbell Press 4 x10
- Flat Bench Dumbbell Press 3 x 8
- Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes 3 x 8
- Cable Crossover 3 x 8
- Parallel Bar Dips 3 x 10
- Close Grip Barbell Bench Press 4 x 10
- Lying Close Grip Barbell Triceps Extension Behind The Head 4 x 10
- Triceps Pushdowns 4 x 10
- Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension 3 x 10
- Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension 3-10
Day 2: Back/Biceps
- Warm up Pull-ups 2 x 15
- Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns 4 x 12
- Underhand Cable Pulldowns 4 x 12
- Bent Over Barbell Rows 3 x 12
- Seated Cable Rows 3 x 12
- One Arm Dumbbell Rows 3 x 12
- Hyperextension (Back Extensions) 4 x 10
- Barbell Curls 4x12Close-Grip EZ Bar Curls 4×12
- Dumbbell Alternate Hammer Curls 4×12
- Preacher Curls 4×12
- Overhead Cable Curls 4×12
Day 3: Legs
- Warm up for 10 mins on the spinning bike steady pace
- Leg Extensions 4 x 10
- Barbell Squats 4 x 10
- Hack Squats 4 x 10
- Lying Leg Press 4 x 10
- Smith Machine Lunges 3 x12
- Lying Leg Curls 4 x 10
- Seated Leg Curls 4 x 10
- Stiff Legged Barbell Deadlifts 3 x 12
- Calve Press On The Leg Press Machine 4 x 20
- Standing Calf Raises 4 x 20
- Seated Calf Raises 4 x 15
Day 4: Shoulders/Abs
- Standing Barbell Shoulder Press 4 x 10
- Arnold Dumbbell Press 4 x 10
- Upright Barbell Row 3 x 12
- Front Dumbbell Raises 3 x 12
- Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises 3 x 12
- Bent Over low Pulley Side Lateral Raises 3 x 12
- Dumbbell Lying Rear Lateral Raises 3 x 12
- Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raises 3 x 12
- Dumbbell Shrugs 4 x 10
- Declined Crunch 4 x 15
- Declined Oblique Crunch 3 x 15 on each side
- Declined Reversed Crunch 3 x 15
- Abs Crunch Machine 3 x 15
- Standing Barbell Twist 3 x 20
- Hanging Leg Raises 3 x 15
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
My three favorite exercises would be:
I have really noticed a difference in the definition of my back since incorporating pullups into my routine. There’s something empowering about being able to lift your own body weight. I was always afraid to try them fearing that I wouldn’t be able perform one full rep. So Instead, I would use the assisted pullup machine, until one day I built up the courage to give unassisted pullups a try and I was able to perform 3 full reps. I still remember how happy and excited I felt after I did it. Since that day I just kept trying and built up my endurance, and now, I’m able to perform way more than that. The same applies to Pushups. They are a great overall Chest and Tricep muscle developer, and strength builder. Like I mentioned earlier, I prefer to incorporate them as a warm up when training Chest. Sometimes I may even do a couple of reps at the end of my Chest routine, just to get that pumped up feeling that we all love so much. Finally, another favorite exercise of mine would be Squats. Squats are by far the most important leg exercise one can do. They are great because they work a variety of muscles, including Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, Abs, and Lower Back muscles. I will admit that Squats are not the easiest of exercises to perform.
They can be a bit uncomfortable, but are very beneficial to building and adding mass to your Legs. It’s important to keep good form when performing these in order to avoid injury.
What is your diet like?
- Meal 1: 3 egg whites, with a light wheat toast, or a cup of oatmeal made with fat free milk
- Meal 2: 0% fat free plain Greek Yogurt, Protein shake.
- Meal 3: Baked Salmon with lettuce and tomato salad, fat free light Italian dressing
- Meal 4: Protein Shake
- Meal 5: Grilled Chicken breast with a small sweet potato or a cup of brown rice and steam veggies
- Meal 6: Protein shake, or one cup of fat free plain cottage cheese.
When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?
I just recently started adding High Intensity Interval Training into my routine and I love it. It has been shown that doing HIIT instead of low intensity cardio, helps burn more fat. It speeds up your metabolism, which in turn, helps your body burn more calories throughout the day. On the treadmill I like to do 30 seconds of brisk walking and then 30 seconds of sprints. I repeat this until I reach about 15 mins total.
I don’t think I could ever go back to low intensity cardio.
What is your supplementation like?
I really like Superpump Max by Gaspari and I take it on training days pre-workout. I also take a daily multi vitamin, amino acids, fish oil pills, as well as three protein shakes per day. I like to keep it simple, and have found that following this supplementation has worked for me so far.
My good friend Dan Decker is my favorite bodybuilder. Second, it would be Stan McQuay. They are both very nice down to earth guys and very inspirational to many and last but, not least my favorite female bodybuilder is Iris Kyle.
My favorite quote would be “Everything Happens for a reason”. Sometimes we find that things don’t turn out the way we would like them to. When that happens I try to stay positive and think that it just wasn’t meant to be. Life is full of ups and downs. We must learn from our mistakes and move on, not dwell on them. Our attitude influences everything we do and how we deal with things and I have learnt to be a happier person just by being a bit more positive as I take things day by day.
My other favorite quote is something my friend Jerry Beck came up with for one of his Iron Asylum T-Shirt designs , and it says: “Train Insane or Remain the Same”. I truly believe you have to constantly push yourself and really give it your all, not just with training, but with life in general. You have to believe in yourself and go for it. You are usually stronger than you think you are.