Issue #84


by Juan Carlos Lope

20 Questions with Cover Model Mabel Gonzalez

Video Interview with Cover Model Mabel Gonzalez

Mabel Gonzalez, April Botelho, Betsy Wood, Christine Kluger & Desiree Larios

Video Interview with Amateur Bodybuilding Lisa Davila

Hustlin' with Heather: Top 5 Things a Competitor Needs

Video Interview with Amateur Physique Stephanie Wright


20 Questions with Amateur Figure and Cover Model Mabel Gonzalez

Mabel Gonzalez

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Mabel Gonzalez?

I'm 30 years old of Cuban heritage born and raised in Miami, fl. and currently still reside here. I have been working out on and off for the past 13 years and a Personal training for the past 6 years.

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

I am a single mother of 2 young boys for which s the reason I struggle hard to make it to the top for their future and mine. I want them to grow up knowing they can make their dreams realities. Thank go I have a mother who takes her extra time in helping me out with them in order for me to work rotating hours and meet with clients, participate @ events and competitions. I have a handful or less when it comes to calling someone a friend, as I spend most time working and being a mom but I am grateful for those who have been there for me and their support!

3) How did you start competing in figure?

I decided to compete back in July 2010 @ the Southern States Championship in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl after going to watch the show as a guest and ended up getting repetitive compliments on my physique that convinced me to compete in Figure so I began to prepare for the 2010 Dayana Cadeau Classic held in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl as well.

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

I think there should be that balance in being hard enough to show enough definition after all the hard work you put your body through training hard and dieting but yet still looking feminine. When your too soft your basically looking how you do throughout the year more or less and not showing all you've done to your body and yet this is only for that one day on stage!

5)  What is your idea of what judges want in a Figure 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 don't think the judges even know themselves what they want in the figure division as far as look... Every judge has a different opinion depending if they're an ex figure competitor, bodybuilder, or just a business man/woman who has never set foot on a stage... I wish they would clear things up! And it would be nice and more realistic if the judging was done by ex competitors who knows what the contest preparation feels like.

Mabel Gonzalez

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

Well, again that would depend on who's judging... lol. Depends what show I decide to compete in next, the location and how I'm looking 6 weeks out. I have learned how ever that I must keep my self a little smoother than how I usually turn out. So I don't really need much conditioning since I stay pretty lean year round. 

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?

My typical training schedule is light weight & supper setting of basic exercises 5- 6 days a week for about an hour with some plyo metrics & followed by 20-30 min of cardio. Example:
Mon: Shoulders & Bi's 
Seated Shoulder press 12 lb,  barbell curls 20 lb, lying leg raises: 3 x 15-20 
Upright rows 20lb , seated hammer curls 10 lb mountain climbers 3x 15-20
Lat raises 8 lb, standing cable curls 30lb, hanging knee raises 3x 15-20
Cable cross overs 20lb, Open side dumbbell curls, bur pees 3x 15-20
Tues: Quads
Free squats 50lb,70lb,90lb  3x 15,12,10
Leg Press 180lb, 270lb, 360lb 3x 20,15,10
Hack squats 50 lb, 3x 15 supper set w/ plies squats 35 lb 3x 20
Lunges 15 lb 40 steps 3x
Leg ext 40lb, 60lb, 80lb 3x 15, 12, 10 supper set w/ jump squats 3x 15
Wed: Back & abs
Wide grip assisted pull ups w/ hyper extensions 3x 15
Wide grip pull downs 60lb, 70lb, 80lb 3x 15,12,10 hanging leg raises 3x 25
Seated rows 60lb 3x15 bench rev crunches 3x 25
Barbell Bent over rows 30lb 3x 20 Swiss ball crunches 3x 25 bur pees 3x 10
Thurs: Triceps & rear delts
Bench dips 3x 20 Bent over lat delt raises 5lb 3x 15
Seated overhead ext 15lb 3x 30 Rev seated press 30lb 3x 20
Push ups w/ Cable push downs 60lb 3x 20
Seated Rev delt fly 50lb 3x 15 dumbbell kickbacks 15lb 3x 20 mountain climbers 3x 40
Fri: Hamstrings 
Dead lifts 45lb, 65lb, 85lb, 3x 20,15,12 Rev dumbbell lunges 20lb 3x 20
Dumbbell squats w/ feet together 30lb 3x 15 
Standing leg curls 15lb 3x 15 supper set w/ one leg dead lift 25lb 3x 15
But blaster 80lbs 3x 12 super set w/ Stationary lunges 20 lbs 3x 15
Lying leg curls 50lb, 60lb, 70lb 3x 20,15,10
Dumbbell Lunges 12lb 40 steps double pumps 3x
Sat: Upper body circuit
I pick exercises done for upper body throughout the week and mix 'em up w/ plyo metrics and abs!!!

8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)

For a Saturday show the Sunday before I cut out carbs for 5 days... 
Sun-Thurs after noon my 6 meals are the same... 4oz Tilapia w/ 4oz Green beans or Asparagus
Thurs @ meal # 5 I start to carb up and replace 4oz of greens w/ sweet potato and now my meals start Friday morning w/ 4oz Tilapia w/ 4oz sweet potato for all 6 meals until Sat morning of show.

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.

The day before the show I only consume 32oz of water through the whole day. The day of the show I carry a bottle of only 16 oz of water  with me to sip on through out the day for when sips of water are needed, usually after I eat only but I don't ever end up drinking it all... I really dehydrate myself. 

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

The amazing changes that I accomplish to my body and being able to shed off every ounce of fat from under my skin looks amazing to me and I feel good I can experience this and step on a stage to share it with others! I really look up to Jenny Worth IFBB Pro, Ava Cowan IFBB Pro, Emily Stern from the WBFF just to name a few, for all they have accomplished with their physiques.

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

My not so fun and devastating experience was missing my check in @ Nationals in my own home town of Miami, Fl Held Nov 18 2011 and not being able to compete for a chance at my IFBB Pro card after preparing with dieting, training and dehydrating for this day. I looked forward a whole year for this moment. I cried my eyes out! But I believe things happen and have their turn outs for a reason and I can only keep my head up, stay strong and move forward! 2012 will hopefully be my year along with better and more exciting opportunities!

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 sport and think there should be better opportunities and prizes for competitors that win @ shows in their divisions after accomplishing what they have done to their body, such as entry fees to next show, sponsorship w/ supplements, athletic apparel etc.. 

Mabel Gonzalez

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

The hardest challenge yet was during training for contest when I had to over train my legs 3 x a week to bring them down in size... But I did it!

14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...
Yes. The only changes I made was that I switched earlier day meals from fish to turkey and carbed up on dry oats instead of my usual sweet potato.

15) What do you think of bikini division?
I like it. I think it's a great chance and opportunity  for the girls who are athletic, sexy and not so ripped to show off there amazing bodies!

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

PIZZA AND ICE CREAM =) Don't really care for anything else!

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

I was raised with both my parents up until the age of 12 that they divorced and then I was back and forth between both households and at 13 decided to stay with my dad as I was closer to him. But both my parents have been in my life and supportive of me.

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

I always wanted to do gymnastics but was actually in Ballet classes from age 5-13 instead cause it's what my mother and grandmother wanted me in. I participated and performed at several shows within that time. My mother kept me away from gymnastics because of my genetics, she didn't want me getting to muscular, lol.. Ironic it turned out, cause look at my body now I tell her. 

Mabel Gonzalez

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

I wake up everyday to eat my oatmeal and egg whites,pack my lunch box with daily meals, get kids dressed and ready for school, drop them off, go do my workout @ Porky's gym in Miami, Fl and then off to start meeting my clients @ different locations for their training routines throughout the day. Pick up kids in evening from their after school program and sometimes bring them back to work with me if I have late clients, then head home to shower, eat dinner, spend some t.v. time with them, put them to bed and then I get things ready for the next day to do it all over again...

20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do you specifically do in your job?
I am a personal trainer and have been training clients one on one for the past 6 years, preferably women as I enjoy helping them achieve a sculpted toned look and being their mentor/ motivator after having children or just loosing weight. 


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