Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Christina Rico Interview

Recently I asked for more interviews, and to be contacted if anyone wanted to do one. One person who contacted me was Christina Rico. I saw some pictures and was incredibly impressed. Then I found out she was 17, and was even more impressed. At a young age to have that much passion and dedication, and too hear she did it never having a trainer, blew me away. Christina is one of the future stars of this industry.

Q: First, Christina, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: I feel honored to have this opportunity!

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am originally from Pinetop, Arizona and I recently moved to Tempe to attend school and study Exercise Science/Nutrition at Arizona State University. Pinetop is a tiny town where everyone knows each other and there are not many opportunities. So, I graduated from my high school when I was 16 to get things started! I have 2 loving parents, an older sister (by 1 year) and a brother.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or
A: No, I played volleyball and ran track for about 4 years but I never excelled at
either-- I was quite bad. I've always just loved to be active, so I tried to stay
involved in physical activities at school.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I stopped playing volleyball and track on a team about my sophomore year of high
school and I needed something else to keep me active! So, I hit the gym and began
lifting weights-- I was only about 14 years old. I have loved it ever since!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to
see results?
A: I picked up on training fairly easy, lifting weights just came naturally to me and I loved doing it! Since I was so young [and a girl] in the weight room, I would often get approached by people talking to me about fitness and showing me different workouts- that's where I learned a lot of different techniques. I've been in the gym for so many years and I have ALWAYS been conscious about my nutrition, but I never saw great results until I tweaked my diet. I started recording my meals in a journal and altering different things to see what worked for me. Then, I started seeing great results!

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I've never trained with anyone or worked with a trainer for dieting or workouts,
I've always done my own thing. But everyday in the gym, people would ask "what are you training for?" or "when is your next competition?" . Then, it occurred to me that maybe I should showcase my hard work! So I went for it!

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: My friends and family think I am a a nutcase for having such a passion for eating
clean and training hard. The decision to compete was so spontaneous that they had no
choice but to go with it! Now all of my friends are asking me how to get fit! :)

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: The part that surprised me most is that fact that the competition and competitors
are so glamorous-- hair done, shimmery make-up, nails polished, and dark tans-- it seems like the opposite of being rough and tough in the gym!

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: So far, I have only competed in 2 competitions. I decided to participate literally a week before my first contest. I did the NPC Terminator and NPC Arizona Open. I placed 1st in the Teen Figure Division and 2nd in the Women's Figure Open at both competitions!

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I think I have nice shoulders and arms, I like nice round shoulders! I've been told I have a nice back, but I can only see it in pictures. I like what I see!

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love the feeling I have after a grueling leg workout. I am sore, sweaty, and feel accomplished as I hobble out of the gym. I also love training shoulders-- lateral dumbbell raises, upright row, shoulder press-- great exercises!

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for
contest prep?
A: I usually do cardio 4-5x a week, whether it is hiking, incline treadmill, step mill, plyometrics, etc. I also weight train about 5-6 days in the evening. I isolate a major muscle group each day because I feel like that allows you to really focus on growing that muscle. My diet is completely basic-- chicken, fish, tons of vegetables, oats, potatoes, etc.
Competing was a spontaneous decision and the trainers said I was ready to compete without altering any of my training or diet, so I never had to change much about my routine!

Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what
is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I get a lot of positive responses about my physique, many people ask me for advice and tips and I feel honored to help and inspire others! :)

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are
most sick of hearing?
A: The question I get the most is something like, "what do you do? can you help me
with diets and training?" But I do not get sick of hearing this, I would love to
help others achieve their goals!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one
thing you wish people understood?
A: Women think that lifting heavy weights like a man will make them big and bulky...IT WON'T! Weightlifting has gotten me better results than cardio ever has. I wish women would understand that dumbbells and barbells help to build lean, strong muscles! And muscles are sexy! I also wish women would realize that protein will not make you fat! Protein is essential!

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best part of training is the feeling of accomplishment I get after working hard and the results of course! I love being in the gym and just focusing on one thing, not having to worry about anything else, and just letting go of all my stress.
The worst part of training is getting bothered in the gym. I do not go to the gym for social hour and some people do not understand that!

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: When I started getting really serious about my fitness goals and my nutrition, I
looked up to Jamie Eason! But I have done so much research on different competitors, that my list of idols has grown- it could go on and on! There are so many amazing people in the industry that I look up to!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I love all kinds of food! Although I never really have a desire to "cheat" because I have always loved chicken and vegetables, some of my favorite "cheats" would be sushi and frozen yogurt with all kinds of toppings!

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of
advice you would most want to give her?
A: I would begin by telling her it takes a lot of dedication, consistency is key, and diet truly does play a huge role in achieving fitness goals! That's three, oops! But these all go hand-in-hand because in order to achieve your goals, you really have to stick to the plan and if you don't stay consistent with your diet, you won't get the desired results!

Q: Do you think its becoming more common for women to use the weights as opposed to
just doing cardio and things?
A: Yes, I think weightlifting was undermined for a while because women thought it would make them bulky, but weightlifting is starting to be promoted and encouraged a lot more through magazines and trainers!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I am a serious fitness fanatic, I just love doing anything active! My life is
really centered around physical activities! But I also love to shop, get my hair and nails done, relax on the beach, tan, lay out, and just be a girly-girl!

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Christina Rico.
A: I wake up at about 5:30AM, eat a light breakfast or drink some BCAA's, and hit the gym/track/mountain for about 30-60minutes of cardio. Then I will come home and eat breakfast, get my meals prepared for the day, and head to school for a few hours. After school, I head back to the gym for work- at the front desk and smoothie bar where I get to talk to people about supplements, fitness, training, and nutrition! Then I go to a different gym (usually) to get my weightlifting on! After that, it's study study study, sleep, and it's right back to the grind the next day.

Q: Describe Christina Rico in five words.
A: Determined, ambitious, genuine, passionate, enthusiastic

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I graduated high school when I was 16 years old! Also, I never ever worked with a trainer during my fitness journey, I just read a TON of articles about nutrition and training and taught myself everything.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Since I "qualified" to compete in a national NPC show, I would like to do
that within the next year. First, I want to do a show or two out of state so I can get a look at the other competitors around the states. Then I plan to compete at a national show! I just have to be patient with my body because my muscles are not as mature as the other women. My goal is to be able to stand my ground when competing against women at the national level!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I want to promote Oxygen magazine for really inspiring me, all of the fitness
competitor's fan pages for tips and recipe ideas, and, most of all, I want to promote barbells, dumbbells, and protein! These 3 things will do wonders to your body!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they
getting in Christina Rico the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes I am! I would love all the support I can possibly get for anyone that can reach out and help me with the competition process, gaining exposure, or anything at all! I am a truly dedicated young woman, I train hard, and I keep it consistent! I want to inspire people my age (and beyond) to become fit and let everyone know that it is possible to achieve your fitness goals if you truly want it! I will always give 150% and always represent the industry by putting my best foot forward!
I can be contacted through email, or my facebook page, Christina Diana Rico. I also have a fitness/nutrition fan page that can be found on my personal page because I have not thought of a good name for it yet :)

Q: Christina, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words
before you go?
A: I want to thank all the supporters and I hope to inspire people to get fit and live a healthy lifestyle! It is never too late to change your habits and get healthy! If anyone needs an extra kick of motivation, come talk to me! I want to help people improve their lives! :)


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