No, weight training has always been my thing. If I had avoided anything in the gym it would have been the cardio section. I have never been a fan of cardiovascular training. I perform cardio because it is good for your heart and when incorporated into a strength training and clean eating routine, it allows you to lose those extra pounds of fat. My true passion is weight training. To me, nothing compares to the feeling of getting a good pump and seeing your body become stronger, leaner, and more defined as a result of lifting heavy weights.
I have always been active in one way or another. Growing up, I enjoyed many outdoor actives such as swimming, volleyball, bike riding, and the like. But, being in the health field has definitely made me more aware and conscious about one's health. There are many diseases that can be prevented, or controlled, if we take better care of ourselves. There is an alarming rise in obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and other otherwise controllable diseases. I believe that if you eat healthy by cutting out the unhealthy fats, excessive sugar, and salt, from your diet, and make exercise part of your daily life, you can really make a difference in your overall health and prevent many of the diseases that are affecting a majority of people worldwide. It's never too late to start living a healthier lifestyle.
My ideal training session takes approximately 2 hrs in the gym. I have a fairly busy schedule and some days can only spend about an hour. I really look forward to my days off from work so that I can spend all the time I want. I love training and always look forward to it.
In regards to training, I'm most proud of reaching my goal to become a more fit and healthy person. A little over two years ago, I was not happy with how I looked and felt. I decided to start dedicating my time to taking better care of myself, and I did! Within a year I had made drastic changes to my physique and since then I have had such a positive and rewarding journey. There's no turning back!!!
I have been training consistently since April 2009. During this time, the longest break I have taken from training was 5 days due to a bad cold this past year. This last winter was brutal in NYC, it was very cold with lots of snow and it finally caught up to me. Other than that, even when I travel on holidays, I always make sure to find a hotel with a gym or find one nearby. Hey, you gotta get that Beach Pump, right?? :) But, all kidding aside, training has become such a part of my life that, when I don't train, I miss it terribly and feel horrible.
Yes, yes and yes!! You must stay consistent with training and healthy eating in order to make positive changes to your physique. It's an ongoing process and it has to become part of your life! If you find yourself losing focus and struggling to stay consistent and motivated, remind yourself of your goals and the reasons you made those goals. Remember how much better you feel, no matter what kind of day you are having, after you get your workout in, or how much nicer your clothes will fit after losing the extra pounds. Subscribe to a monthly fitness magazine so you can get new tips on training and nutrition. I always find that looking at the fit models in the magazines keeps me motivated. Team up with a friend with similar fitness goals as you, it will make you more accountable and you can help each other to stay motivated. If for some reason you don't have the desired to spend time at the gym, squeeze in a quick run around your neighborhood, or drop on the floor and do some push ups, crunches or jumping jacks. It all helps, some exercise is better than none at all. Set small goals for yourself and meet them. You are responsible to take care of yourself. YOU should be your priority!!
Yes, I have been doing pretty good in staying lean while at the same time adding mass to my physique. I'm not a competitor and I do not have an "off-season". I have found that eating a low carb/high protein diet works for me and this has allowed me to achieve my fitness goals so far.
To get the best out of a photoshoot, be prepared! Know what you want to get out of the shoot, what looks you are going for, what you plan to use the photos for, etc. Do your research in regards to the photographer you want to work with. You have to feel comfortable with the photographer. If you're not comfortable, it will show in your photos. Get your body ready and be yourself. Never let anyone pressure you into doing something you are not comfortable doing. Photoshoots are meant to be fun, this is your time to shine :)
If I have been consistently training hard and eating clean, I allow myself a cheat meal or two per week. The key is not to over indulge. I realize that if I have been on a low carb diet most of the week, my body would most likely benefit from a meal with some added complex carbs. I have never been a sweet tooth kind of person, and I prefer my foods with low salt. I tend to crave sushi rolls or my mother's Dominican cooking. I usually save those cheat meals for the end of a hard Leg training session.
My favourite fitness model is, without a doubt, Jamie Eason. She is always trying to help others by sharing her knowledge, not only in regards to fitness and nutrition, but life in general. She is caring, sweet, compassionate, funny, and very down to earth, which I personally consider to be the characteristics of a truly beautiful person inside and out. I think more people should be like her.
To trim down, definitely High Intensity Interval Training. Sprints are awesome in helping to burn that extra fat. If your goal is to lose weight, then you should definitely look into HIIT and incorporate it into your training routine.
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. 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.
Click for workout below:
I like to follow a low carb/high protein diet. Here is a sample of a typical day in my diet.
3 egg whites, with a light wheat toast, or a cup of oatmeal made with sugar free almond milk
0% fat free plain Greek Yogurt with granola
Baked Salmon with lettuce and tomato salad, fat free light Italian dressing
Meal 4: Protein Shake
Grilled Chicken breast with a small sweet potato or a cup of brown rice and steam veggies
Protein shake, or one cup of fat free plain cottage cheese.
I usually take a daily multi-vitamin, branched chained amino acids, fish oil pills, as well as 2-3 protein shakes per day. I like to keep it simple, and have found that following this supplementation has worked for me so far.
Just start training and eating clean! The beginning is always the hardest, but if you stay consistent, motivated and focused you can achieve your goals. Be ready to put in the work it takes and go for it. You can do it!!!
Photography credits: Brian Moss, Leon Hall, Walter Ostarly, OAMG