Christian Duque: I'm very pleased to welcome our FigureBikini.com Interviewee of the Week, Gabby Aguilar, a young woman that's already built an impressive physique at just seventeen years old. Gabby, thank you for taking the time. Please introduce yourself to our audience (full name, age, ht, wt- contest & regular, hometown and/or home gym).
Gabrielle Aguilar 17 years old Height: 5'6 Weight: Contest 118 Regular 125 Hometown: Clearwater, Fl. Home Gym: LA Fitness Clearwater, FL
Christian Duque: What inspired you to first start lifting, and at what point did you decide you wanted to compete? What has the experience of getting of stage been like for you?
Gabby Aguilar: My mom was the first one to really inspire me to start lifting. She would always go to the gym daily, and sometimes she would take me with her as a guest. At first, I just wanted to get stronger for swimming, but then, I feel in love with lifting and exercising, so my mom decided to get me a gym membership. When my mom got me sessions with a personal trainer, IFBB Figure Pro Belinda Hope, that's when I starting getting interested in competing. Belinda introduced me to the world of bodybuilding.
The experience of getting on stage is amazing! It's defiantly addicting!! I'm a very shy person, but when I'm onstage, that shyness just melts away. I enjoy the thrill, and excitement of competing.
Christian Duque: I think that competing during the college years can be socially difficult, since in that situation most people are away from home, eating all sorts of junk, and partying quite often. High school life still is socially demanding in other ways. How do you balance the lifting/competing with living at home (with parents?), social life, and academics?
Gabby Aguilar: Competing while in school is very difficult, but I make it work. I have to wake up at 4:50 a.m. to do morning cardio, then I have to rush to eat and get ready for school, then after school, I go back to the gym to train, then after I do my homework. I still maintain principal's list and honor roll in school, and I have perfect attendance throughout the year. As for when I'm in college, I'm very disciplined, so I won't be partying or cheating on my diet. I'm still going to compete during college, but I will mainly be focusing on getting an education.
Christian Duque: With regards to your training, lets break it down to the nuts & bolts. In terms of weight-training, do go for volume (high reps) or heavy weight (lower reps)? Do you work with dumbbells, barbells, machines, or your own weight?
Gabby Aguilar: On contest prep, my training consists of 20 mins. of cardio in the morning, then I come back later for another 20 mins. of cardio and weight lifting. Everyday I do wide and close grip unassisted pull ups, because wide-grip pull ups really build your latissimus dorsi (lats), and in figure they look for wide lats. I normally do lower reps with heavy weight, but every once in a while, I like to switch it up. I also like to incorporate supersets, trisets, and dropsets in my training. The majority of my training is with dumbells or cables, but I do incorporate machines, as well.
Christian Duque: Let's talk about classes - no, not Chemistry or Trig - but gym classes. Do you ever jump in or participate regularly in Zumba, Body Flow, Swat, Pillates, or any of the number of others available at gym and fitness centers across the country? What's your take on competitors getting a workout in this way, perhaps once per week?
Gabby Aguilar: I used to do cardio classes everyday at my old gym. I don't do them much anymore, because the ones my gym offers aren't very good. I think it's great that competitors do those classes. I'm a fan of them, it's an easy way to get your cardio in. If you have great cardio classes at your gym, then take advantage of them, and do them.
Christian Duque: With regards to meals, how many times per day do you eat? Do you eat based on when you're hungry or is everything measured, timed, & logged?
Gabby Aguilar: I eat six meals a day, every 2-4 hours. All my food is measured, and written down, so I can't stray away from it.
Christian Duque; As I'm sure you've figured out, nutrition is key, but given our fast-paced lifestyles, sometimes you may not have ten minutes to sit down and eat a meal. Talk to us about your favorite/staple supplements. You don't have to include brand names, unless you feel the company in question's product really stands out from the rest?
Gabby Aguilar: I love to have Cellucor or USPlabs BCAAs between my meals while on contest prep, or if I don't have time to sit down and eat. BCAAs help maintain muscle mass, and maximizes fat loss. I also like to take a Glutamine before and after a workout, which helps prevent the breakdown of your muscles, and metabolize body fat. Also I like to take Cellucor Pre-Workout before a workout, if I'm lacking energy.
Christian Duque: Let's talk about contest prep; do you belong to a team or work with a coach? How has the prep for this current show differed from previous ones? What's the hardest part for you - and - do you feel it's getting easier with time?
Gabby Aguilar: I'm a part of Team Hope, lead by IFBB Pro Belinda Hope. My prep for each show is the basically the same. I keep my cardio the same every prep, and my diet always consists of clean foods, but we switch different protein sources every prep. The hardest part for me during prep, is the diet. When I can't have certain foods, I crave it even more. Prep does get easier with time. With time, I learned ways to make my salmon and tilapia more enjoyable, and I'm now able to handle my cravings better.
Christian Duque: With regards to the future, talk to us about where you'd like to see yourself in the next five years? Do you think you'd like to be involved with the fitness industry for the long haul?
Gabby Aguilar: In the next five years, I hope to be a sponsored IFBB Figure Pro. I want to compete in many places around the world. I do plan on sticking with the fitness industry for the long haul. I love bodybuilding, and I will never stop being involved with the sport.
Christian Duque: What advice would you give to a woman that wants to train to feel good about herself and that possibly may want to compete, but just lacks the resolve to go out and do it?
Gabby Aguilar: My advice to women who are thinking about competing or training, is to try it! What do you have to lose? I guarantee you if you start eating clean, and exercising daily, you'll start to feel amazing. You'll see your body change, and you'll reconsider competing.
Christian Duque: Please take this opportunity to thank all those that have helped you along the way. Also, please let your fans (and there will be many over time) know how they can keep up to date with you (website, facebook, twitter, instagram, etc)
Gabby Aguilar: There are so many people who helped me and supported me in my fitness journey. I'd like to thank my coach Belinda Hope, for introducing me to figure competitions, helping me with my menus and posing, and for being a great role model. My parents, for supporting me, and allowing me to do bodybuilding. They have been such a huge help! My dad will go to the grocery store everyday to get me asparagus or salmon. My mom helps me with getting my makeup, and buying me tanner. My parents allowed me to travel to Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, and Dallas, just to compete. I'm so thankful to have such amazing and loving parents. I'd like to thank my sister, for doing my tan and hair for every show, and for being my amazing training partner. I'd like to thank my teammates, and especially Herb Williams and Jenn Ferreira, for helping me with cardio and plyo, and being hilarious, awesome friends.