I am a 30-year-old woman who moved to the US when I was 8 years old with my little family to create a better life for myself. As a kid, I loved the stage and anything having to do with performing and being in front of an audience. Moving to the United States discouraged those childhood aspirations because as an immigrant you are told that your sole focus should be school. I went to college for Architecture and got a Masters in that field. However, as an undergrad, I gained a lot of weight, and I began my fitness journey during grad school. Making a body transformation changed my life, and over the years it made me develop a newfound passion for health and fitness. It only took a few years to realize that Architecture wasn’t something that brought me joy and that changing other people’s lives through health and fitness was a much more rewarding life for me. I recently opened a private 1 on 1 Personal Training Gym this past January and absolutely love the life I have created for myself.
30 years old.
I live in Houston, Texas. In the United States of America.
Gym Owner/ Personal Trainer.
Is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue in your opinion and why?
I think weight loss isn’t necessarily an “issue”. Weight loss is a goal that one can set for themselves if they aim to live a healthier life. You can attain this goal without necessarily being “fit” and just adjusting your nutrition. However, having a healthy of both is ideal in any scenario.
If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?
- Fitness level: 25%
- Health level: 75%
Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, others?
HIIT is my preferred type of cardio when I am in a rush and need to get somewhere on time. I incorporate HIT in my client’s workouts so that I make sure their stamina is on track. I don’t personally have any experience with powerlifting, but have respect for people who do. I love TRX training and use it on my clients. Not the biggest fan of Yoga, but I know for several of my clients it can be very relaxing and good for their joints. I’ve been bodybuilding for almost 2 years now and have fallen deeply in love with the sport itself and the incredible life and journey it has brought to my life. It has provided an outlet for my discipline, dedication, and my business goals.
Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I think I am different in that I insist on training the mind before the body. Sitting down and having a personal conversation with someone before touching a single piece of equipment is vital to building a relationship with a client and a mindset that will help them embark on this new journey of theirs. I primarily work with supersets and circuits, depending on the stamina and needs of the client. One thing for sure about me is that you will never do the same workout over again. I try to find creative ways to work the same body parts every session.
Like I mentioned above, “Train the Mind, and the Body will Follow” is something I hold very high in my techniques.
I train 6xs a week in the gym, weights and cardio. My split pretty much stays the same every week, 3 leg & glute days, 1 full shoulder day, 1 shoulder/back day, and 1 shoulder/arms day.
I am pretty much on a maintenance macronutrient plan at the moment, until I get on a coached offseason next month. My goal is to grow all around before I step on a stage again.Do you prefer to take and recommend all natural (no sugar, no artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavors and sweeteners? And Why?
I think “all-natural” supplement labels can be deceiving. Of course, I recommend taking as low sugar as possible for anything, but I don’t particularly have anything against artificial flavours or sweeteners.
What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
From what I can see is that this magazine really wants to highlight actual people and not just pretty photo-shopped pictures on the internet. They care about the person behind the pictures.
Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I only have one competition prep coach, and he has always spoken life to me. He never questions whether we can achieve something or not, he just writes the plan, expects that I follow it, and that’s it. No sugar coating, and no doubt that we will be ready for game time because the work should have already been done.
If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
What was your reasoning behind a fitness magazine out of all the things that the industry has to offer?
Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you for this opportunity?
I honest to God had no idea this was even a possibility, and that is very exciting indeed. Exposure as a business owner means the world to me!
Future fitness goals and plans?
I plan to compete in my 2nd NPC Bikini competition late next year and win an overall show so that I can qualify for a National show.
To be honest, I have plenty of those. But overall, I want to make an impact in my community in terms of health and fitness. I come from a culture that has 0 focus on health, and that has been impacting our families for generations.
5 things people don’t know about you?
- I am pretty open about myself, so I don’t know if they already know these things, but I can dance and sing pretty well because of my childhood endeavours.
- I am a great volleyball player and can jump serve pretty damn good.
- I am a black belt in Karate.
- I have scoliosis which leads me to lift lighter than my full potential because of preventative measures.
- I have a younger brother who was born on my birthday!
5 lessons you have learned?
- Failing at anything can create more opportunities than you may think.
- Not everyone will want the best for you, and that is just life.
- Starting a business may not be the easiest thing to do in life, but it will be the most rewarding.
- Working hard and overtime for your dreams is a million times better than overworking yourself to achieve someone else’s dreams.
- A fitness journey is more mental than it is physical.
5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Work ethic, Honesty, Humility, Strong communication skills, and Compassion.
If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
100% myself. I used to have other women in the fitness world as my phone lock screen and aspire to BE them. Little did I know that my best self will always be and should always be my inspiration? I had to believe that first in order to inspire others.
Who inspires you? And why?
My father. He is the most selfless, humble, caring and hardworking person I know. I am the most like him out of my family and I aspire to be half the person that he is.
I have a ton, but “Fall down 9, Get up 10” is my way to summarize how relentless I am about my goals, so that became the Motto for my business.
Connect with Itzel: IG | Website
Photos By: James Allen | Thai Le