Issue #92


by Juan Carlos Lope

20 Questions with Cover Model Melanie Albinio

Video Interview with Amateur Bikini Melanie Albinio

Melanie Albinio, Kristine Koontz, Makayla Ring, Lisa Davila & Mabel Gonzalez

Video Interview with Andrea Miele looses a bet!

Product of the Month
by Heather Hirmer

Video Interview with Amateur Bikini Andrea Miele


20 Questions with Cover Model Melanie Albinio

Melanie Albinio

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Melanie Albinio?

I am Melanie Albinio and I compete in the NPC bikini division. I have been competing for two years and have placed top 10 in all 9 of my shows with 7 of those placings being top 3.
I like to think of myself as an open book.  I never hide "training secrets" or try to be something I'm not.  I believe in hard work, honesty and true friendships. 

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

I am married to my high school sweetheart, Jake, who is a professional MMA fighter for American Top Team, among other things. Together we have a 5 year old daughter and are currently living in Southern California.  We are known as the nomadic family as we have moved across the US twice now and are always looking for an adventure!

3) How did you start competing in bikini?
I have always been interested in the art of bodybuilding and I used to sit on my computer watching videos and reading blogs for hours.  I wasn't sure I could hold a candle to the figure ladies so when I came across a video of the bikini division I knew I had to give it a shot!! I was living in Southern Florida at the time and contacted a male bodybuilder who then directed me to IFBB pro Trina Goosby.  She was wonderful and helped me get stage ready for my first show.  Without her guidance I would have never made it! Or I would have shown up with no tan, an off the rack suit and pumps. :)

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

I believe you should always bring your best package.  This is bodybuilding right? So muscles and a tight lean body should be on display! Soft curves are beautiful but I like to work hard to be hard.

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.

It is very confusing!!! I competed the weekend before USA's in LA and took second place to a softer bodied girl, then at USA's I beat her by quit a few placing's. I really wish it was more consistent but all I can do is bring my personal best to each show.

6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!
Oh there is always room for improvement!!! I would like to add a little size to my 5'2" frame. A little more delt and glute. I have "white girl problems" and was born with a flat booty.  Anything I carry back there I had to earn and I have to work to maintain my curves!

Melanie Albinio

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?

Mondays and Thursdays I hit legs. I usually work in tri-sets with heavier loads maxing out around 12-15 reps.
Tuesdays I hit back and Tri. Heavy loads 3x10 usually
Wednesday is light chest and shoulders. Again my shoulder workouts are heavy 4x10
Fridays I hit shoulders again with bi and tri  4x10
As for cardio......
Some girls will hate me for this one!!!
Because I maintain close to stage weight I don't do a lot of cardio. I do HIIT workouts twice a week usually at a track. Lots of sprints and stadium runs.

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

1 week before a show my diet completely changes!! I do a good depletion and load cycle.
An example of my typical prep diet would be
3 egg whites, 1 whole
1 cup broccoli
3 oz sweet potato
2 oz chicken
1/4 avocado
Or a protein shake
4 oz Tilapia
8 asparagus
3 oz sweet potato
repeat meal 2
repeat meal 3
3 egg whites
2 oz chicken
1/4 avocado
My coach will change up my diet as needed. We tend to keep my fats high and carbs average.

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.

I will start cutting my water intake as I start my carb load. The first day I drink 3/4 gallon, the next day 1/2 and the third I drink around 12 oz. I try to keep it to just sips the day of the show.  

10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you looked up to?
I love the structure and drive it takes to compete. Being able to get on stage and know that you over came so many challenges and didn't fall to temptations is really gratifying for me. Not many people can handle the pressure but I'm a pretty stubborn person so I love a good challenge. 
There are lots of competitors I look up to! I love Nicole Wilkins and how genuine she is. I finally got to meet her at USA's and she was even sweeter than I thought!! She's a true champion!

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

Oh boy!!! So many crazy things happen backstage!!! I think the worst is when girls get drunk.... its just not cute!! I've seen some girls throwing up one minute then lining up to go on the next.  I don't know how they can walk in those heels being that drunk!!

Melanie Albinio

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 comrades of this industry.  I meet so many awesome ladies at my shows and we stay connected through social media and really encourage one another.  As for changes I think all shows should have a buffet for the competitors after finals. Preferably a cupcake buffet. :) haha. And consistency would be nice!

13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?
I think the most difficult part of being a competitor is balancing everything. Being a wife and mother I cant always just shut off from the rest of the world when I need to. Making time to play with my daughter and bake goodies (one of her favorite things to do) when I cant even taste test can be quit a challenge! I never want my family to suffer because I choose to compete. So when energy is low and I'm burnt out I have to put my big girl panties on and just keep going!  I want my daughter to see this sport in a positive light so I have to stay positive!! And that's hard when you are depleting!!!

14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing up, etc..
The biggest change my coach and I made was adding more fat to my diet.  Having the extra fat really helped me hold on to my hard earned muscle!

15) What do you think of bikini division?

I love the bikini division!! The IFBB pro's are all amazingly fit women. I think the posing is fun and I like how you can have an individual routine that really shows your personality. 

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

I'm a variety girl so I usually con who ever I am going to dinner with to share a few different appetizers with me.  Usually nachos are ordered and I always munch on Cookie Butter with chocolate rice cakes right after finals....... and all the way to the restaurant.... and sometimes I even bring it into the restaurant!

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

I had a pretty good childhood. My mom was a stay at home mom and my dad worked in Alaska as a commercial fisherman so he would be gone for months at a time. I have one older sister so it was just the girls a lot! But when dad came home we would take LONG camping trips to make up for lost time.  I have a lot of great memories from those trips.

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

I was the athletic child that didn't know I was athletic! I didn't play any sports or take any dance classes until my junior year in high school when I finally tried out for the cheerleading team and made it! That's how I learned I had some athletic ability!  

Melanie Albinio

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

I usually wake up between 6:30 and 7 am and try to squeeze in a cup of coffee before my daughter gets up.  Once she's up its breakfast, gym, meal 2, meal 3, dance class then lunch for the munchkin, meal 4, meal 5, dinner, bath then bed by 10! haha. My husband works away from home a lot and I am a personal trainer so I have a pretty easy flexible schedule.

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

I became a personal trainer in 2005 and work with clients all over and do online training as well.  I'm currently working on setting up a web site so I can expand my online business.  I love my occupation and would like to go back to school to get my masters in nutrition.  There is nothing more rewarding to me than helping others reach their goals and become healthy and happy with themselves.  Its amazing what proper nutrition and an active lifestyle can do for someone's self worth. 


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