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Interview With Amazing Athlete Vanessa Ortiz

Q. Let’s start here, what is your name?
A.  Vanessa Ortiz

Q. How did you got involved in this sport. What was the tipping point to become athlete and decided to compete?

A.  I had always been the athletic type, but my passion for weight training started just a couple years ago when I had to fight to maintain even a semblance of good health concerning my kidneys.

Q. How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
A.   I start my day with a morning workout. I typically enjoy doing cardio in the morning to help jumpstart my day then follow up with a weight training day during the afternoon hours.

Q. How long have you been training?
A.   I have been training for about 3 and a half years now.

Q. How many people have you encouraged into the sport since you started?
A.   My desire is to encourage everyone I come across to live life in a way they truly aspire to from within. I enjoy speaking to local communities in hopes of sending awareness to our younger generation. My end goal will always be to motivate others to either appreciate, fight back, or maintain there health. If i can motivate one person to live out there true desires in a room of a thousand, then I feel accomplished!

Q. What was your body like before you started training?
A.  I was overweight and ate all the wrong things out of pure ignorance.  I had no idea what i was eating and the benefits of certain foods because I was never taught this concept growing up. It wasn't until my health became an issue that I started doing research on my own and started learning more about healthy eating.

Q. How do you keep yourself motivated and on-track through the gruelling dieting in the last few weeks?
A.   The best motivation is my faith.  I am a Christian Athlete. When I feel like giving up I call on a higher power to get me through those rough times; and believe it or not its kept me on track!  Dieting involves a lot of self-discipline, there are a lot of opposing forces involved with a strict diet so staying consistent is key!  Seeing results of your hard labor is a huge motivator and reward for me as well!

Q. How do you manage your diet when you traveling close to the competition time?

A.  Its rough but the best way to manage a hectic schedule is through planning in advance. Prepping my meals ahead of time always keeps me on track along with making the conscious effort to choose the best meal for your body on a daily basis.

Q. How do you handle the stress of it all?
A.  Two words FINDING BALANCE! Working a full time job and following a strict diet and weight training plan is A LOT to keep up with! But i wouldn’t have it any other way! The gym is my outlet from the daily stress but i’ve learned from my old coach Joe Franco that a successful bodybuilder starts with balance. Learning how to balance your life in general is important to manage the stress of it all. I try my best to make it a priority to set time aside for my family, friends, and most importantly God.

Q. Do you get more attention from the people now that you are in such good shape?
A.  Yes!  But I believe that positive energy always attracts a crowd. When you’re truly happy with where you are in life it shows from the outside and people enjoy that kind of energy.

Q. What is your favourite supplements offseason and getting ready for the competition?
A.   Since I’ve had a lot of recent health issues I try to stay away from as many supplements as possible.  Two things I do enjoy taking are my Dymatize Whey Protein, and coffee as my pre workout.

Q. How does your training schedule looks like and what do you include into your training?
A.   My training cycle uses the periodization method. I found this method to work best for my body. I also try to include legs days more frequent into my regimen.

Q. How many exercises per body part do you typically do in a workout, and what body parts you train per training session?
A.  I focus on training two body parts per session using 5-8 exercises. So chest and triceps, back and biceps,  legs, then glutes and hamstrings.

Q. How much weight will you normally gain during the off-season?
A.  10 lbs.

Q. How about tanning/makeup/hair preparation for a contest. Can you tell that I'm still overwhelmed?
A.  I have close friends who are makeup artists from MAC her name in Jen, she’s awesome!  I also have amazing hair stylists Freddie Ortiz, and Jose Ruiz who takes care of my hair the day before a contest.  Tanning seems to be a stressor for me. I’m still searching for products that suits my complexion best; I do hear pro tan is pretty good, so i may try that out next!


Q. What is your philosophy on diet?
A.  I don’t consider it as a diet but a healthy lifestyle. Perception is everything. When i’m not on prep mode I enjoy to eat a few meals outside of my ordinary plan; it’s all about moderation and finding balance.

Q. Any holiday eating tips?
A.  When I’m on prep I try to stick to the meats and lighter options if they have any. If not i always bring something prepped just in case.  When I’m off season I save holidays for my free meals.

Q. What kind of workout program do you follow?
A.  Periodization Method

Q. What about working out while you are on the road?
A. I like doing insanity for my Cardio since you don’t need any equipment.

Q. Do you believe in workout programs like Insanity or P90X, CrossFit and such?
A.  Yes! I first started this healthy lifestyle with insanity.

Q. What competitions have you participated in and what were the results (bikini/fitness/figure/bodybuilding)?
A.  OCB Battle for the Belt 2nd Novice and 4th overall.  BPM cover model winner, PhillyFit March/April issue Published article release, and I plan to compete more this season! :)

Q. What do you wish you had known before you started doing shows?
A. The cost!!! It’s a pretty penny when you’re paying for everything on your own.

Q. What do you feel is the most important thing a bodybuilder/fitness/figure/bikini can have in order to be successful in this sport?
A.   The right mentality!

Q. Is it not very hard to exercise and lift on such a low calorie diet? I am talking about the pre-contest diet. I know you follow a very low calorie pre-contest diet. Don't you get hungry?
A.   My last coach actually kept me at 165 carbs during my pre contest diet. The hardest day was the day of but he’s built such an amazing nutrition plan for me that didn’t harm my metabolism or cause me to starve in any way.  Its all about preparation.

Q. Does your social life include others that are not into fitness or competition, and you deal with that when you pre-contest?
A.  Yes, I’m a part of a multicultural sorority called Mu Sigma Upsilon. These women all have different goals and aspirations but it’s all about balance. At the end of the day we are all the same people we just possess different goals. 

Q. How much this kind of active life style, being (bikini/fitness/figure/bodybuilding) athlete changed your life?
A.  Immensely! It’s a different world. I’ve met some amazing people along the way.

Q. Who is your favourite bodybuilder, fitness model, and/or athlete?
A.  Michelle Lewin!

Q. What is your favourite healthy meal?
A.  Grilled lemon garlic chicken with sweet potatoes.

Q. Favourite guilty indulgence?
A. Delossandros Chicken Cheese Steak!!! I’m a fat kid at heart! :)

Q. What is your favourite exercise?
A.  Squats, and lunges :)

Q. What is that one body part that you just can’t seem to bring up or make it look like you want?
A. Those hamstrings!!! I’m working really hard on those this season.
 
Q. What is the best asset of your physique/body?
A.  Upper body

Q. What are your methods for breaking through a plateau?
A.  It’s a continuous journey. Finding new methods is key because as you grow and change so does your body.

Q. This is important for everybody, but how do you deal with injuries if had any, and if you did how did you worked through those injuries to comeback even stronger and better?

A. I’ve used my anger and frustrations as fuel to come out stronger. I learned to channel those feelings into the gym and turn a negative situation into something positive.

Q. What are your future plans?
A.  Skies the limit. I plan to take this fitness lifestyle as far as God is willing to take me.

Q. What do you want our readers to know about you that they couldn't find out from seeing you on stage or in print? 
A.  My very first show was actually on of the hardest shows. I was grieving a loss of a family member within the same month of my show. As much as I wanted to give up I didn’t. I used my grief to come out stronger.

Q. Any life changing stories you would like to share with our readers? Maybe its personal, but you would like readers to learn about you, your struggles, something what can teach others, change they life?

A.Absolutely! Please check out this months’ issue of PhillyFit Magazine my story is on page 26 :)  http://www.phillyfit.com/current-issue/#PrettyPhoto[493]/0/

If you coaching/training others online, or in the gym, or have your own studio. We would like to promote your business as well. You could include your website or blog, Facebook business or personal, the way people could contact you.

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