Felicia Romero is one of the top fitness models in the US. Here she shares her workouts and her tips for getting and staying in great shape with ultra-FIT.
UF: How did you get involved in fitness?
FR: I have always been active, playing collegiate softball. I started competing (fitness modelling) when I was done playing softball. I like having something to work toward. A friend at the gym suggested I should compete because I had the structure for it – so I decided to do my first show not knowing anything about dieting and training. However, I did very well and I continued competing and achieving at the pro-level. I earned 6 fitness magazines covers subsequently.
UF: What have been your career highlights to date?
FR: My career highlights include three top 5 placings at the Figure International. I competed in the Olympia for seven consecutive years and my best finish was top 5 in the world.
I’m also very honoured to have been featured on the cover of Flex Magazine Swimsuit issue, two years in-a-row and Muscle and Fitness Hers and Oxygen magazine covers in 2012.
UF: What’s a typical week’s training consist of?
FR: I usually lift four days a week with two upper body days and two lower body days.
Sample our Jan 2014 issue here
Leg extensions – 3 x 20
Walking lunges holding dumbbells – 20 each leg x 3 sets
Leg press – 5 x 30
Step ups – 3 x 15 each leg
Plie squats – 3 x 20
Leg curl – 5 x 15
Glute kickback – 3 x 20
Upper body days:
Shoulder press (dumbbell) – 5 x 15
Side laterals and front raises (back-to-back sets) – 3 x 15 reps
Lat pulldown – 3 x 15 reps
Rear delts – 3 x 20
Seated row – 3 sets of 15
Triceps press down- 5 x 20 reps
Triceps extension – 3 x 15
UF: Do you train by yourself or with others?
FR: I usually train by myself. My schedule is complicated so it’s nice to go whenever I can get it in. It would be very hard to schedule with someone else. And I don’t like to talk during my workouts either – time is a huge issue for me so I must maximise my time, best I can.
UF: How did you learn what works for you and what doesn’t and have you had a trainer?
FR: You really must pay attention to your body and always have your goals written down. No one knows your body best except for you, so you really must pay attention to your body and how you feel with certain food and exercises. I have had a trainer before. I have learned a great deal from others and it’s nice to get different points of views on training – the more knowledge the better.
UF: What body parts do you find toughest to work on?
FR: The body part that is the toughest for me is my lower half – it’s the hardest to tone and shape. I carry most of my fat in my lower body so I always work to target that area.
UF: What type of diet do you follow?
FR: I wouldn’t really call it a diet, but I do eat clean and health – this is a lifestyle choice and not a quick fix. My problem in the past has been the time crunch and pressure to get in shape in a certain amount of time. That lead to many problems of bingeing and feelings of guilt. So now I make good choices and stay active. I love eggs, fish, veggies, avocado, quinoa and I try to incorporate all of those foods in my diet daily. Just eat clean be conscious of what you put in your mouth and the health will come.
UF: Are supplements necessary?
FR: I don’t think supplements are mandatory for a healthy way of life but they definitely can help. Just as the word means they are ‘supplemental’ to your diet. I have found that many have helped me throughout the years – whether it was for something I was lacking in my body or for energy. There is a product called YouthH2O that has helped me tremendously with my thyroid and hormones. The maca and other amazing antioxidants in it have aided in regulating my thyroid function. If you are going to add supplements to your diet then make sure you do your research and you take products that your body needs.
UF: How do you motivate yourself to train and eat clean?
FR: Motivation must come from within and has to be so much more then wanting to look good. I enjoy working out and that’s what keeps me going. We only get our body once and we must treat it with the upmost respect. Being healthy is a way of life for me. If you force yourself to eat clean and train then it won’t last, but if you treat it like a lifestyle, remain positive then the motivation will be there.
UF: What’s the most unusual workout you have done?
FR: I haven’t really done anything unusual but there have been many times where I have been extremely uncomfortable! I’m not great at cardio so anything with jumping or sprinting always kills me!
UF: What tips have you got for women wanting to get into the best shape they can?
1. Have a plan
2. Take baby steps
3. Stay positive and keep yourself accountable at all times including when you are not in the gym.
4. Mind over matter – you must have the will power. If it’s not there then you won’t reach your goals.
UF: If you had to choose three exercises that you could only do what would they be and why?
1. Lunges: the staple exercise for the lower body that you can do anywhere. No gym needed.
2. Glute kickback: I love training my glutes and this is an exercise I love doing.
3. Squat with a shoulder press: I love doing combination exercises so combining a lower body move with my favourite upper body exercise is perfect for me.
UF: What are your future plans?
FR: There is so much I want to do! I have aspirations for a book, which I have began writing. I want to do fitness workout DVD’s, continue training and helping people reach their fitness goals. I also have been doing more and more motivational speaking and travelling a bit for that. I love it and enjoy talking about fitness, health and nutrition. I want to become an icon in fitness and I will continue working in order to make that happen.
UF: Anything else you would like to add?
FR: I just want to thank my family and close friends (you know who you are). This life can be tough with many ups and many downs but it’s how you handle those times that makes you the person you are. If you have a voice, speak your mind even if your voice shakes – do not give up for what you want. Being happy is the ultimate goal – if you are not happy then what is the point?