Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Grace De La Rosa

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Grace De La Rosa! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Grace De La Rosa
  • E-mail: gracedelarosa911@yahoo.com
  • Age: 43
  • Where: Jacksonville, FL
  • Height: 5'1"
  • Weight: 106 Lbs
  • Years Bodybuilding :1
  • Favorite Bodypart: Legs
  • Favorite Exercise: Leg Extensions
  • Favorite Supplements: Whey Protein

How Did You Get Started?

I was 18 when I saw photos of Rachel McLish in an issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine (before there was an "M&F Hers") and was in awe of her physique. I started researching bodybuilding exercises, techniques and form from M&F and Flex magazines. I took my notes with me to the nearest gym, started pumping iron, and fell in love the lifestyle. I even became AFAA-certified as a group exercise instructor.

I trained for and entered my first NPC fitness show in 1995. I did not place, but I was very happy with the results of my hard work, especially because this was the first time I ever had six pack abs! I lacked gymnastic skills and decided not to compete again even though I continued to eat well and workout on a regular basis.

Ten years later at the age of 38, I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer. I underwent surgery (hence the vertical scar on my abdomen) and six months of chemotherapy. I lost my hair and gained over 50 pounds due to the steroids in my meds and inactivity due to lack of energy. Over the next four years, I slowly lost 43 pounds, and my hair grew back nicely. Last year, I decided to start training for my first figure show, which was the motivation I needed to lose the last 10 pounds. I entered my first NPC figure show last April. Again, I didn't place, but I was thrilled at reaching all of my fitness goals!

Grace De La Rosa.
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Grace De La Rosa.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I like to mix up my workout by alternating exercises, using light, medium and heavy weights with low, moderate and high reps. I also progress each time, whether it's lifting heavier or getting in an extra rep or two. On any given week, I lift weights 2-4 times per week and average 3-4 hours of cardio. Most of my cardio time is spent outdoors during my runs, HIIT and run, HIIT and walk, or brisk walks. If it's too cold for this Floridian or there's lightning outside, I'll go indoors and use the stair climber or the treadmill. Here's a sample of my current workout routine:

Day 1: Back/Triceps/Biceps

Day 2: Cardio

Day 3: Shoulders/Abs

Day 4: Legs

Day 5:

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Rest

Grace De La Rosa.
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Grace De La Rosa.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I tried carb-depleting when I trained for the fitness show in '95. And I've tried carb-cycling earlier this year. I don't believe it's healthy to omit any clean macronutrient, so I plan to use this philosophy again. One cycle consists of a low carb day, a moderate carb day, and a high carb day. Protein and fats remain the same every day. Here's a sample of my moderate carb day diet:

Meal 1:

Meal 2:

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

Meal 6:

  • Blueberry whey protein shake:

  • 1 scoop protein
    1/2 cup blueberries
    1/2 packet Truvia

Grace De La Rosa.
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Grace De La Rosa.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

The only supplement I use is whey protein.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Working out with weights, running and dieting are part of who I am -- I feel "whole" when I'm active and diet-conscious. My fitness regimen is a habit that I have embraced and grown to love over the past 25 years.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

I like to take a pro-active approach in my well-being by eating quality foods and staying active. In the end, I hope my choices will keep me strong and serve me well during the remainder of my lifetime as well as keep me looking fit and feeling beautiful from the inside out.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I was very skinny and stick-straight throughout my teen years. And when I came across photos of Rachel McLish in M&F, I thought that I, too, might try lifting weights to gain strong, fit curves.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I would like to continue to progress in both strength and physical aesthetics and use Figure competitions as a dangling carrot toward my benchmarks. I was a swimwear and fitness model before I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer. I would like to be a fitness model once again.

Grace De La Rosa.
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Grace De La Rosa.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

We're already winners when we step onstage to compete because we're at our personal best at that particular moment!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I will always admire Rachel McLish. I also admire the physiques of Ava Cowan, Jamie Eason, Mary Lado, Cheryl Brown and Nicole Wilkins Lee. Their physiques reflect dedication, strength and beauty.

What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?

I use BodySpace where I have "met" some wonderfully supportive and insightful BodySpace Friends. I also use SuperSite to peruse various articles.