Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Dr. Rafael Vazquez

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Dr. Rafael Vazquez! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Dr. Rafael Vazquez
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 26
  • Where: Newburgh, New York
  • Height: 5' 8"
  • Weight: 175 Lbs., Contest: 156 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :10
  • Favorite Bodypart: Biceps & Chest
  • Favorite Exercise: Hammer Curls, Leg Extensions and Cable Flyes
  • Favorite Supplements: ON Whey Protein, Higher Power CEE, BSN NO-Xplode, Scivation Xtend, Lipo 6, Fish Oil, CLA, Twin Lab Casein Protein, AST R-ALA, NOW Dextrose, Green Tea extract and AST Joint Support.

How Did You Get Started?

I was inspired/motivated by the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger movies of the 80's at the tender age of 8. I wanted to be like Arnold- big and strong. Then my brother rented Pumping Iron- my life would never be the same. Thereafter, my brother and I got our first weight set and train everyday while watching Pumping Iron clips. I really got serious about bodybuilding during my junior year in high school when I decided to join the football team. At that time I was 5'8 and weighed 135lbs.

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I was told in order to make the team I needed to put on at least 20 lbs. Within 3 months I attained my goal by forcing myself to eat and lift. I couldn't stop lifting- I put everything I had into those weights. By the time senior year started everyone commented about the changes in my body and as a result I received more attention- especially from the girls! I loved the positive feedback and the attention. I also loved to pose and showing everyone my "bicep".

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After football I just dedicated myself to lifting. Despite people telling me that it was impossible to continue bodybuilding and medical school I made it a goal to be one of the few medical students to compete in an amateur bodybuilding contest. During my 3rd year in medical school I accomplished my goal not to mention I was also class president! I did a total of 4 shows during medical school. I'm continuing my bodybuilding career during residency and have thus far competed in 2 contests! I just can't put down the weights.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

Training 7 days per week about 1-1.5hr per session has yielded the best results for me. I train with weights 5 of those days and the other 2 days are dedicated to cardio and focusing on weak areas.

Due to my demanding schedule as a medical resident I train in the morning around 4am at a 24/7 gym. My training philosophy is only to stop when my muscles are burnt out on every set. I concentrate on feeling the "pump" my rep range is high 10-14. I also rotate my core exercises every workout to keep my muscles constantly stimulated.

Arrow My training split is as follows:

Tuesday- Chest:
Incline bench superset with dips
Incline bench
Bench press
Decline flyes

Wednesday- Legs:
Seated calve raise superset w/standing calve raise (heavy sets, alternating foot positioning) Front squats
Horizontal leg press machine (close stance)
Leg extension (toes pointing inward)
Leg curl (alt. between laying and sitting)
Dumbbell stiff leg deadlifts

Thursday- Arms:
Reverse tricep pulldowns superset w/barbell bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions superset w/close grip bicep cable curls (concentrating on the peak contraction)
Decline French curls superset w/alternating hammer curls
Bent over dumbbell tricep extensions superset w/reverse preacher curls

Friday- Shoulders:
Dumbbell lateral raises

Leg adductors/abductors

Sitting calve raise (lightweight, high volume) alternate workouts w/standing calve raise machine

While bulking doing I do cardio 4-5 times per week about 10-15 minutes 2 cardio sessions are dedicated to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). I rotate between the Stairmaster, elliptical machine, and bicycle and concentrate on increasing my heart rate. (Note: I have had great success using the Stairmaster in terms of developing my hamstring/glut area.)

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While cutting up I do 6 cardio sessions/per week for 20 minutes 4 sessions are dedicated to HIIT and 2 are low intensity. On leg day I don't do cardio. The day before and after my leg workout I only do low intensity cardio. Also, if scheduling allows I do cardio in the afternoons and train in the AM. If not, then I do cardio immediately after training.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

Eating every 3 hrs. and the pre- and post workout shakes- these have been essential for both mass building and contest dieting. The workout shakes allow for optimal intensity during your workout.

My diet is built around chicken, beans, broccoli, oatmeal and tuna fish. Carb-cycling with a variation of low, medium, and high carb days has given me good results in terms of shedding fat while maintaining muscle mass. My high carb day always falls on leg day.

With my busy schedule preparing my meals for the week and packaging them in advance has enabled me to continue both bodybuilding and my job as a doctor. I am an extensive user of topper ware and pill carrying cases.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

BSN NO Xplode, Creatine, Scivation Xtend (BCAA's), Controlled Labs White Blood(arginine)

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

First and foremost I love the complexity of the sport. It is multifaceted. On the basic level I love it because it's just you and the weights. Every day, every set, every rep you have the opportunity to push yourself to the max and improve. If you fail you just go back and try again.

I love the fact that I can set a goal and change my body. The discipline and dedication to the lifestyle including the diet and training separates you from other people and at certain level people respect that and some even look up to you.

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There is the competitive aspect where you work hard for a goal and in one day, on stage, you reap the benefits. During competitions you also have the opportunity to meet other people who share your passion and understand your lifestyle. Most importantly competitions often bring family and friends together. It's such a great feeling to hear your loved ones cheer you and there is nothing is sweeter than enjoying the post-competition meal with them!

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I want to compete at the professional level. God willing I'll be one of the few medical residents (probably the only) in the history medicine to compete at this level. From then on I just want to continue to improve every year.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Read about bodybuilding- read articles on training routines, nutrition, and exercises. is a great source. This is a sport that is always evolving in terms of supplementation and training techniques.

Subscribe to a bodybuilding forum with a good reputation- you can meet other people who enjoy your passion and discuss nutrition, exercises, supplementation, etc. I would recommend the forums.

Don't be stubborn and try different workouts until you find what works out for you- and then periodically change to find better.

Bodybuilding is a lifelong endeavor. Muscles are always maturing and the longer your do it the better you'll get.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Below are the athletes I admire and hope to be like.

  • Arnold- inspiring!
  • Lee Haney- All around nice guy and a class act.
  • Ronnie Coleman- I consider him the "persevering underdog." I watch clips of his leg workouts to inspire me.
  • Melvin Anthony- I admire his physique and enjoy his posing routines.

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