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I have found that time and time again I am burdened with these questions and comments. I have taken many clients to their end goals and some beyond, but the questions always arise. I have some clients that wish to see their shoulder development, biceps and triceps while just standing there in a relaxed state, but don't want to see those veins in their arms? (One comes with the other) These are some of the same clients that don't want to move heavier weight and don't want to look "butch" and also don't follow the complete equation when it comes to nutrition? Well sorry to say, that with the development of muscle, or the reduction of body fat, comes the look they want but are they willing to pay the price and get over the questioning and fears they have, to put some trust in themselves and their trainers. I hope after reading Marisa's interview and seeing some of her pictures, women all over will understand that weight training and moving some respectable #'s won't make you look too "butch".....
RIFMA Hi Marisa
Marisa Inda Hi Bob
RIFMA I'm glad you agreed to help me with this problem that most (women) have.
MI Thank you so much for giving me this platform. I love dispelling the "weights will make me bulky" myth and educating women on the many health benefits of weight training.
RIFMA How long have you been power lifting, or exercising in general?
MI I have been power lifting for almost 3 years now, but weight training since the age of 17. Since I'm 25 now... just kidding I am 37 now so been very CONSISTENT in the gym for 20 years. SO, yes I have muscle but I have also put a lot of time in the gym. I think that's what women and people in general do not understand, it takes time, dedication and consistency to make changes. It does not happen overnight.
RIFMA So you've gone from a Gymnast to Body Builder to Power Lifter? Can you tell us a little about your journey and the changes you've made?
MI I was a very active child. My mom got really tired of me doing flips off the couch so she enrolled me in gymnastics. I fell in love with the sport and had dreams of the Olympics, but, it is also a very expensive sport and given that we moved around a lot I was good but not good enough to get to that level. At 16 years old I was burnt out and needed a change. I tried track and HATED it, I mean running is just so awful. Next, I went to jazz dance (yes laugh) which I enjoyed but it wasn't grueling the way gymnastics was. That's when a friend and I wandered into a local gym and I immediately fell in love again. I saw a girl with a good physique and I just mirrored her workouts. One of the trainers saw me and said I should compete and that's when I entered my first bodybuilding show at 17 years old. I was fortunate enough to be in gyms where everyone squatted, dead lifted and benched and since I had a gymnastics background I was also pretty strong from the onset. I competed in a ton of shows making it to the Junior USA's, but because I did not want to go the drug route and the women just kept getting bigger and bigger I stopped competing. I focused on school, had two kids, yet still trained, of course. I got the itch to compete again a few years ago but opted for power lifting since it's less subjective and you get to lift HEAVY.
RIFMA What is a typical day for you, workout wise?
MI Since I am getting ready for a meet right now I train 2 upper days and 2 lower days per week. My workouts aren’t crazy long, as I have to do it between clients. So I really focus and get it done within an hour.
RIFMA How about your nutrition and eating?
MI I have tried CBL and IM, but what works for me is the old bodybuilding staple of 6 small meals per day. I also, don't like to be the "fat power lifter" so I definitely follow a good eating plan so I am always in range of where I need to be to make weight for competitions.
RIFMA So you've gotten into the shape you're in without doing hours and hours of "Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons" types of workouts and those crazed fad diets?
MI HA-yes I despise cardio; however, I still do it. I am older so I unfortunately need it and it's good for your heart. I keep it minimal to three 30 min sessions per week fasted in the early morning. I also do what is called active rest, hike and bike on the weekends with the family.
RIFMA I see you do some heavy lifts, as from a females perspective (some men too) what are some of your #'s?
MI My best competition lifts at 108lbs BW are: Squat-264 Bench-172 Dead-356
RIFMA How about cardio? What if any do you do?
MI see above
RIFMA We can see from your pictures that you have abs! Nice ones too!
MI Why, thank you. Yes, I am lucky enough not to carry a ton of fat in my midsection (all in the lower half sadly). People ask me all the time about abs and my bf percentage. Taking a guess I'm probably around 13% BF-while some will say no way you have abs, again I don't carry my fat there. Some people have to be in single digits to see abs, it all depends on where you hold. No amount of working out will give you abs if you eat poorly. Be consistent in the kitchen!
RIFMA But you're a mom? You have kids? How can you have abs?
MI Kids definitely change your life (for the better) and your body, but it doesn't have to be the death of your physique. I ate healthy food and exercised the entire time through both pregnancies. As soon as I was cleared to train post-pregnancy I got after it and kept consistent with the nutrition aspect and believe me your body comes back IT IS AMAZING and can do amazing things if you work with it and not against it.
RIFMA You're also a PT, hat if any are some of your certifications
MI I have my degree in Biology and an ACE certification.
RIFMA I chose you to answer these questions due to your great strength, workout drive and of course your looks.
MI Thank you so much. I appreciate any opportunity to share my love of the iron.
RIFMA I have to answer questions from the women I train, like: "I don't want to get big" "I don't want to look like a body builder" "I don't want to be butch" "I don't want to get too manly" Can you help answer some of these for the women out there looking to get into any sort of training program?
MI I hate hearing women say that, at the same time, yes you will get muscle, I mean isn't that the point?! Women must also keep in mind it takes TIME, if it was so easy we'd all step into the gym and instantly look amazing, the fact is that most don't have the self-motivation to stay the course. Unless you take steroids you will not turn into a man!
RIFMA Do a lot of women train in power lifting?
MI I think it is getting a lot more popular thanks to cross-fit. I've seen a lot of people start in CF and venture out into Olympic comps and PL comps which is great.
RIFMA I gather that they are not too manly or butch, right? Well maybe some?
MI Again this all depends on drug use and honestly, leanness. I know for me the leaner I get the more "muscular" I appear to some. It is a preference thing which again has more to do with diet than weights.
RIFMA Here are the really tough questions...
MI uh oh...
RIFMA May I ask how old you are?
MI I am 37 going on 25.
RIFMA What do you weigh? I know that's pushing it! LOL
MI My weight fluctuates between 112-116 and I usually weigh in at 108 for competitions.
RIFMA I think it really helps (other- women) to hear from and see a rather petite, in shape women, who definitely does not look butch or manly move such incredible #'s, working side by side with the men and have such great determination, drive and motivation in her training.
MI Thanks so much I hope that I can inspire some. I do realize muscle is not for everyone and that is fine, but being healthy should be so don't be afraid to train!
RIFMA Marisa, I want to thank you for helping me with this. You are and inspiration to men and women alike.
MI Thank you so much for asking me to do this. I hope we can get more women involved and hitting the weights.
RIFMA Keep up the great work! I hope all of my clients here on Face Book and receiving our news letter read this and follows your lead when it comes to their training! Thanks again Marisa. If there is ever I can help you with in the future, don't hesitate to ask?
MI Thank you.