Issue #80


by Juan Carlos Lope

20 Questions with Cover Model Desiree Larios

Video Interview with Amateur Physique Amy Mendez

Elite Fitness & Figure Newsletter
by Greg Hasberry

Desiree Larios, Aleisha Hart, Melissa Marx, Nanda Croft & Randy Moore

Video Interview with Pro Figure Liane Siewald

Kayce Gorman - Close Grip Back Exercise

Video Interview with Pro Fitness Venus Nguyen


20 Questions with Cover Model Desiree Larios

Desiree Larios

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Desiree Larios?

My name is Desiree Larios and I am an NPC Bikini Competitor and mother of 3.  I live my life to help others live the life they deserve.

2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?

I live in Aliso Viejo in California with my boyfriend, Daymond. We have 3 growing boys ages  4-13. We don’t have much family between the two of us so our clients & close friends have become our family.  We surround ourselves with positive outgoing people that want something out of life.

3) How did you start competing in bikini?

5 years ago I started working out with a personal trainer.  He saw the motivation, dedication and hard work I put in to my workouts. He thought I had what it takes to compete. Neither of us were familiar with bikini competitions but we did what we had to do to make it happen. I did two shows back to back and didn’t do so well. Not feeling very motivated after that I hung up my clear heels for a few years and just continued to workout on my own…until I met my current boyfriend, Daymond Sewall who also happens to be a Personal Trainer/Owner for Phenomenal Fitness. I worked out with his boot camp crew 3 nights a week for a few months. One of his clients decided she wanted to compete so he thought I should as well because he saw that same fire that my original trainer saw back then. October 2010 I competed at Border States and took 4th place. That’s when it all started….

4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?

From my understanding bikini is suppose to be a softer look…especially since they have Figure, Women’s Physique and Women’s Bodybuilding. You would never have guessed that because the girls that usually win are hard and skinny.

Desiree Larios

5)  What is your idea of what judges want in a bikini competitor? Do you think judges are clear enough with competitors about how they want you on stage? It seems in Europe they are very clear unlike in the USA and now in Canada things are confusing.

I personally think the judges are looking for ripped, lean girls that aren’t very muscular. When I think of working out I’m thinking of weight lifting, muscle definition, leanness. It is very unclear as to what they’re looking for because I thought the bikini division was a much softer look.

6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!

I have just got off a 5 show streak in the last 9 months competing as a bikini competitor. I like lifting weights so I have decided to continue to lift heavy and move up to the Figure division. It is too hard for me to keep my muscle mass low enough to compete in the bikini division. Competing in the Figure division will also be a greater challenge for me to get my body fat extremely low.

7) What is your typical training routine in the gym (per day, include sets and reps!) How much cardio do you do before a show?

I weight train 4 days a week and do 5 sets of 10 reps of each move. I am in my off season currently and am trying to build so my cardio is very minimal. Before a competition I add cardio 6 days a week, two 1 hour sessions on my non weight training days and 1 hour on my weight training days.
Mondays- Back,  Biceps, Abs
Wednesdays- Hamstrings, Glutes, Abs
Fridays- Triceps, Chest & Shoulders
Saturdays- Cardio, Quads, Abs

8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)
I usually stick with the same thing for weeks at a time. My body doesn’t do well with carbs so I keep my carbs very low. 1 week out from a show my daily meal plan is:
Meal 1: 1/3 c. oats with 1 scoop protein powder
Meals 2-5: 4 oz meat (chicken, pork, fish or turkey) and minimal amt of veggies
Meal 6: Protein shake right before bed

9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? How much water do you drink the day of the show. Please be specific.

When I’m in contest prep mode I consume 2 gallons of water daily.  I drink this amt until the day before the show and then drop it down to 1 gallon. The day of the show I’m mostly just sipping on water throughout the day.

Desiree Larios

10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you looked up to?

I always want to do better then the last which inspires me to do another show. My overall goal for staying in shape is to motivate other woman that getting the body they have wanted all along is possible. You can be a mother of multiple children and look even more amazing then you did when you were younger. If my being in shape has inspired women to get off the coach and do something with their life then that is my reward  for being “fit”. Hearing from women that tell me I motivate them is the most rewarding. It makes all my hard work and sacrifices worth it.
Jaime Eason and Ava Cowan are my motivators. They are amazing, down to earth women that look phenomenal.

11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?

Ohhh funny and dumb move all at the same time….My last show I went to the USAs in Vegas.  This was my 5th show in a 9 month period so I was really feeling burned out. Before our bikini division was up at prejudging I was walking around collecting samples at all the booths. At one of the booths the reps were telling me this shot gives you energy… I was like ok great…I could really use some energy right now…so I’m going to drink a little before I go on stage. So drank half the shot…well it didn’t give me energy but it sure pumped up my muscles…which is not a good thing because I had been working the last 3 months in bringing down my muscle size because they were too big for the bikini division. So by the time I went on stage I was completely filled out and looked huge…which I’m sure was a huge reason why I didn’t do so well (my last two shows..got 2nd place)…I didn’t even make the top 15 at the USAs!! Talk about disappointment! L

12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed? 

I love the different categories they have.  It gives options to everyone out there to best fit their fitness lifestyle.

13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?

After 9 ½ years at my current job I have decided to leave and fulfill my lifelong dream of helping people by becoming a personal trainer. The hardest part about that is slowly transitioning from one to the other without a huge loss of income which is almost impossible as you’re growing and starting s new business.

14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...

My last show prep was a little different because I had extensor tendonitis in my foot the last 2 weeks which made it extremely hard to walk much less do cardio. So eating very minimal carbs every day was a must. I also added a cheat meal once a week to boost my metabolism.

Desiree Larios

15) What do you think of bikini division?

I love the bikini division. I think it’s a great division for someone just entering in the “fitness world” before moving up to Figure, Fitness or Body Building divisions.  It also gives women something to really work for to hit their goal and be in the best shape of their life and to show off all their hard work.

16) What are your favorite foods to eat right after you compete on a Saturday night?

My tradition is to go to IHOP…this was started because it was the only place open that late after the show ended and has now become a regular “after show” tradition.. I always get the same thing…CinnaStack Pancakes….delicious! :9

17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?

My parents got divorced when I was 3. I lived with my mom and step dad after the divorce and traveled to my dad’s house every other weekend growing up. For pretty much most of my young life I lived a regular childhood just like any other average American up until I hit 16 when I lost my mother to cancer. At that point in my life I had to grow up fast and start living on my own.

18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?

Growing up I hated any kind of sports. I was one of the girls in PE that dreaded the days when we had to play baseball or volleyball.  I was horrible at sports. From 6th grade to 11th grade I was a baton twirler where we marched in several parades each year. If I wasn’t baton twirling I was volunteering my time at the local hospital and convalescent home as a candy striper.

19) What is a typical day in the life of Desiree Larios? From waking up to until going to bed?

My typical day is getting up at 4:45a heading to the gym to train clients for an hour, then heading to my job from 7-1. I would go straight to the gym to weight train with my boyfriend from 1:30-3:30. After the gym I would get home..eat, shower, spend time with the kids and head back out the door at 5 to go back to the gym and train clients until 7:30. Get home at 8, feed the family, get the kids showered and to bed and hopefully I’m in bed by 10. This is my typical day 3 days a week but will change next week as I am currently in my last week of my regular job and will only be personal training so I can spend more time with my family.

Desiree Larios

20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do you specifically do in your job?

My current occupation is Customer Relations & Special Services Coordinator for HFC. I work at the corporate office of HFC. HFC sells franchises in the Home Improvement industry. I take consumer calls from upset customers of our franchisees. I also do some collections, consumer repairs, work on Key Accounts, collections etc…but this is my last week as I type this.
I also am a personal trainer at Phenomenal Fitness with my boyfriend where we sculpt men’s and women’s bodies.  My focus is getting women in such phenomenal shape and inspire them to want to compete. I had my client do her very first bikini competition 3 weeks ago and she took 2nd place!! It was the most rewarding day I could possibly have as a personal trainer….because I made a difference in her life… and now she will make a difference in several lives!

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