Sofia Rodriguez sits down with WatchFit to share a little of what gets her motivated to keep fit. Coming from a military background, Sofia channels her love of fitness through her work as a personal trainer.
1. Have you always been sporty and fit? If not what inspired you to get in such great shape?
Even at a young age, I have always been very active and into playing outdoors. I played soccer for 4 years as a youth, did gymnastics, track&field in middle and high school, competitive cheerleading in high school and college, and even tried long distance running for a short time.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
It was when I graduated from college that I really dove into bodybuilding and trying to shape my physique, and the rest is history!
I competed in the bikini division in the bodybuilding world for a little over 3 years, doing shows all across the east coast. Now I just focus on being healthy and fit, although I do still lift weights. Bodybuilding is such a beautiful thing, your body like a sculpture that you can build and carve as time goes on.
The feeling of lifting heavy is so empowering, and seeing your physique change before your eyes is pretty cool!
2. What helps you to stay motivated?
Honestly, I am human. There are days where I don’t feel like working out or eating healthy.
What really keeps me going is thinking about the potential I can reach if I put my full effort forward.
Knowing how far I’ve come mentally and physically also keeps me going towards new goals. New workout clothes and shoes, a new workout playlist and changing the scenery of the workout (outside, different gyms) also helps me stay motivated.
3. Do you have any tips or rituals to help people stay motivated and keep working out?
Consistency is key!
I preach this to my clients and followers all the time. If you are consistent over time, you will reach your goals and stay motivated at the same time. Anytime you are too strict with your regimen, chances are the results will be short-lived: you will not keep up with it because you will learn to hate exercise and fitness.
Our minds also need time to change and adjust along with our physical.
Temporary gratification is not the way to go. Trust me I’ve not only seen it over and over again, but I’ve also learned from my own personal experience. Also, listen to your body! Sometimes you may need a break from your routine for a few days or even a few weeks. You’d be surprised how strong and ready you are once you come back.
Lastly, switch up your workout regimen every several weeks to not only avoid a plateau but keep the excitement and anticipation going for your workouts.
4. Is there any advice you can give to people who hate working out?
Find something you really like to do! This will also matter a lot more to individuals who get bored easily. If you enjoy dancing or choreography for example, take a zumba, hip-hop or step class. This way, the activity won’t even feel like a workout.
Another tip that could help is working out with a friend/significant other or making exercise a family event or even a work competition with employees.
5. You’ve recently paired up with MightyMeals, can you give us any information on the benefits of these meals?
Yes! They are a local meal prep service close to the Washington DC area where I reside that offers grass fed, free range and organic nutrient dense foods.
They are prepared fresh, never frozen, and MightyMeals even provides a break down of all of the nutrient information (macronutrients). This will definitely help me stay on track with such a hectic schedule.
6. If you could only do three exercises for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
Oh man this is a hard one! If I had to choose…
1) The Squat
2) Hip Thrust/Glute Bridges
3) The Overhead press
I truly believe a woman develops a beautiful physique and natural curves made by nicely shaped glutes and shoulders via these exercises!
7. If people are struggling to find time to exercise, what is a workout you would say should give them the maximum results in minimum time?
Any type of circuit training or HIIT (high intensity interval training) would be beneficial for an individual who is pressed for time. Many of my clients have busy schedules and need an effective and efficient workout routine.
I encourage them to do their workouts with short rest in between sets to maximize their results all while saving time.
Of course this type of training is relative, so they should start small and their intensity over time can increase as their fitness increases. Their routine should incorporate both cardio and strength elements as well as core training to ensure balance.
8. What are the biggest mistakes people make at the gym?
In my opinion, there are a few mistakes that people make and may even sway newcomers from coming back to the gym.
Doing too much too soon is a common mistake, starting out with a very intense program could result in extreme soreness/pain or injury, which in turn will turn someone off from continuing their exercise routine.
It’s okay to be excited to begin working out, but keep in mind the level you should start at.
Another mistake is having bad form for many different exercises, which defeats the purpose of working certain muscle groups or could even lead to injury. Always ask professionals for advice. There are fitness professionals for a reason; they are experts in this field. Investing in a few sessions or an initial consultation could prevent people from making many common mistakes and offer confidence in their abilities and program.
9. Do you have any advice for female beginners looking to lift weights?
I was once in your shoes, and I used to fall victim to many of the myths and negativity that surrounds females and resistance training. Don’t believe that weights will “make you bulk up,” this is a complete lie!
Women do not have the hormonal capacity that men have, and therefore will not build nearly enough muscle to count as “bulking up.”
Focus on your individual journey
Of course, use other people as role models and motivation, but at the same token do not compare yourself to anyone else. This will backfire! You are unique and the same goes for your path to building an amazing physique.
Start small and work your way up every week. Stay consistent over time and expect there to be setbacks, this is all a part of the blueprint. Reassess every few weeks or months, especially if you do not make progress. Remember that Rome was not built in a day: Building muscle takes time and patience, so keep that in mind.
Always remember: we all start somewhere
I barely used to be able to lift 5 pounds or squat below 90 degrees. Now I lift heavier than some men in my gym and can squat 280 pounds! Another important point is to hit all body parts. Do not exclude any specific ones, especially the upper body!
I find it all too common for women to avoid chest, arms, etc but this is a big mistake. We want overall balance and symmetry for not only aesthetic reasons, but for functional ones as well.
10. Do you have any news or plans you can share with the readers?
I am so happy to be on board with so many intelligent experts across the globe! Thank you for welcoming me into such a prestigious platform. As far as myself, I was recently promoted to a Fitness Expert at Golds Gym.
I am the type of person that seizes any opportunity that comes my way and open to stepping outside of the box, so who knows what the future holds! I have many plans in the works so stay tuned!
Connect with Expert Sofia Rodriguez