Fitness 360: Abel Albonetti, Model Behavior

Find out how this former runway model and hard gainer packed on the muscle and became a motivational force.

RSP athlete and fitness model Abel Albonetti didn't grow up shredded.

In fact, he grew up relatively sheltered. He was homeschooled his entire life, so he never had the chance to play football, basketball, or baseball like his friends in public school. Bummed about this lack of involvement in sports, Abel ultimately found solace in the gym.

"Watching all my friends play sports left me wanting to do something active, so I worked out" Albonetti says.

As soon as he began to see results, he fell in love with training and dedicated himself to a fit lifestyle. In fact, this love of fitness is what ultimately thrust Albonetti into the spotlight.

Watch Albonetti's story and get his full training, nutrition, and supplement plan below!

Abel Albonetti Fitness 360
Watch the video - 5:38



Fitness Over Fashion

When he was 20 and had already put in a few years under the bar, Albonetti was approached by a recruiter from a local modeling agency. "I was working out at the YMCA, and he came up to me and said that I looked like I could model," he says.

From there, Albonetti spent some time on the catwalk repping different clothing lines, but as time went on, it became clear that he would have to choose between fitness and fashion. "I did a photoshoot with a teenage clothing line, and their immediate reaction was, "Oh wow, you're bigger than we thought,'" Albonetti recalls. "I didn't fit into most of their clothing and knew I had to decide what I was going to do: model or build my physique."

"I really wanted to see what my body could achieve if I pushed (my) boundaries."

Industry legends like Greg Plitt inspired Albonetti to go full steam ahead on the fitness path. "I looked at bodies like his and thought, "Wow, I'd like to look like them someday,'" he says. "I really wanted to see what my body could achieve if I pushed those boundaries." Albonetti ultimately combined his passions and transitioned to fitness modeling, but adding mass didn't come easily.

Consistency is Key

"There was never a time when I was putting on tons of muscle," Albonetti says. "It's always been a struggle for me to put on size. It took years for me to build up, but lifting heavy was ultimately key."

As a novice lifter, Albonetti was able to see results from a relatively unstructured training plan. "When I first started, I was doing full-body circuits," he says of those beginning days, "but then I did research and realized that training a muscle group at a time worked better."

"You've got to keep going and keep pushing. Even if you don't see the results right then, they'll come. You have to trust the process."

Attacking a body-part split allowed Albonetti to lift heavier to stimulate serious muscle growth, but that doesn't mean you can just stack a bunch of plates on a bar, push through a few reps, and expect to wake up swole. Carving a killer physique takes time.

"A lot of teenagers are like, 'I'm not seeing results, and I've been going to the gym for six months,'" Albonetti says. "You've got to keep going and keep pushing. Even if you don't see the results right then, they'll come. You have to trust the process."

Making a Difference

These days, as an athlete and working fitness model, Albonetti's main focus is to give back. He wants to positively impact people who are struggling to get fit. He's helped many people reach their goals by teaching motivation and persistence, a path he wants to continue upon.

"My goal in the fitness industry is to help people both physically and mentally," he says." A lot of people out there are overweight, and they're looking for answers. I want to help them to get healthier and just enjoy life."


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Abel's Daily Nutrition Regimen

When it comes to nutrition, Albonetti recognizes how much of an impact diet has on his physique. While he could eat whatever he wanted as a teen, he's had to tighten the reins as he's gotten older. "From about 20-25 years old, my metabolism slowed down," Albonetti says. "Now diet plays a huge role for me in terms of building muscle, losing weight, and getting ready for competitions and photo shoots."

Abel's go-to method for getting lean is carb cycling. While carbs eaten in excess or at the wrong times can lead to fat storage, they're not the enemy. In fact, they're essential! Carbohydrates energize the body, fuel workouts, and prevent fatigue by replenishing glucose and glycogen stores. However, strategically cycling carbs allows Albonetti to focus on burning fat or fueling performance at specific times.

"From about 20-25 years old, my metabolism slowed down," Albonetti says. "Now diet plays a huge role for me in terms of building muscle, losing weight, and getting ready for competitions and photo shoots."

"For me, carb cycling is one of the best ways to actually put on size and lose body fat," he says. For contest prep, he usually carb cycles with three low-carb days followed by one high-carb day. Below is a sample of one of his low-carb days.

Meal 1: 7 a.m.

Now MCT Oil: 2 tbsp (mixed in)


Meal 2: 10 a.m.

80/20 Ground beef: 6 oz.


Green beans: 2 cups


Meal 3: 1 p.m. (pre-workout)

Coconut oil: 1 tbsp


Olé Mexican Foods High-Fiber Soft Taco Wrap: 1


Meal 4: 5 p.m. (post-workout)

Chicken breast: 6 oz.


Broccoli: 2 cups


Meal 5: 8 p.m.

Chicken breast: 6 oz.


Avocado: 1 medium


Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Ranch Dressing: 2 tbsp



Abel's Training Regimen

Albonetti lifts six days a week, hitting his legs, calves, chest, shoulders, and abs multiple times. He uses Sundays for recovery, but still takes part in 30 minutes of low-intensity incline walking or a light jog outside.

Monday through Saturday, he does his cardio in the morning, and his weight training later in the day. He also splits his shoulder and arm day into morning and afternoon workouts.

Day 1: Legs and calves
1

Bike sprints

30 sec. fast/2 min. rest, repeat for 10 rounds
Bike sprints Bike sprints

2

Squat

7 pyramid sets of 12, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 4 reps, 1 dropset of 6 reps
Barbell Squat Barbell Squat

3

Hack squat (close-stance)

5 sets of 12-15 reps
Hack squat (close-stance) Hack squat (close-stance)

4

Leg Press

5 pyramid sets of 15, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps, 1 dropset of 6 reps
Leg Press Leg Press

Superset
5

Leg Extension

4 sets of 15 reps
Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

Dumbbell Lunge

4 sets of 12 reps
Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

6

Dumbbell Squat

3 sets of 12 reps
Dumbbell Squat Dumbbell Squat

Day 2: Chest and abs
1

Incline treadmill walk

30 min. (15% incline, 3.5 mph)
Incline treadmill walk Incline treadmill walk

2

Incline bench press

6 sets of 10-12 reps, 30 sec. rest
Incline bench press Incline bench press

3

Dumbbell Flat Press

6 sets of 10-12 reps, 30 sec. rest
Dumbbell Bench Press Dumbbell Bench Press

Superset
4

Hammer Strength Incline Press

4 sets of 12-15 reps, 30 sec. rest
Leverage Incline Chest Press Leverage Incline Chest Press

Incline Dumbbell Fly

4 sets of 12-15 reps, 30 sec. rest
Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes

Superset
5

Wide-grip flat press

4 sets of 12 reps, 30 sec. rest
Wide-grip flat press Wide-grip flat press

Pec-deck fly

4 sets of 15 reps, 30 sec. rest
Pec-deck fly Pec-deck fly

Superset
6

Low-to-high cable fly

7 sets of 12-15 reps, 30 sec. rest
Low-to-high cable fly Low-to-high cable fly

Push-up

to failure
Pushups Pushups

Ab circuit: repeat 4 times
7
Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise

Rope Crunch

20 reps
Cable Crunch Cable Crunch

Ball twist (on Decline bench)

15 reps, each side
Decline bench ball twist Decline bench ball twist

Day 3: Back and calves
1
100-meter track sprints 100-meter track sprints

2

Weighted pull-up

5 sets of 8-12 reps
Weighted pull-up Weighted pull-up

3

Wide-grip barbell row

5 sets of 12 reps
Wide-grip barbell row Wide-grip barbell row

4

Wide-Grip Pull-down

4 sets of 10 reps
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

5

Dumbbell Row

4 sets of 12 reps
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row

6

Underhand-grip pull-down

4 sets of 12 reps
Underhand-grip pull-down Underhand-grip pull-down

Superset
7

Seated Cable Row

4 sets of 12 reps
Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows

One-Arm Lat Pull-down

4 sets of 15 reps
One Arm Lat Pulldown One Arm Lat Pulldown

8

Incline bench prone dumbbell row

4 sets of 12-15 reps
Incline bench prone dumbbell row Incline bench prone dumbbell row

Superset
9

Wide-grip pull-up

to failure, 30 sec. rest
Pullups Pullups

Underhand pull-up

to failure, 30 sec. rest
Underhand pull-up Underhand pull-up

10
Standing dumbbell calf raise (single-leg) Standing dumbbell calf raise (single-leg)

11

Leg press calf raise

4 sets of 12 reps (stretch on last set)
Leg press calf raise Leg press calf raise

12

Seated Calf Raise

3 sets of 30 reps
Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise

Day 4: Shoulders and arms

Morning: Shoulders

1

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

5 sets of 8-12 reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press

2

Standing Barbell Press

4 sets of 8-12 reps
Standing Military Press Standing Military Press

3
Shoulder press on leg press, neutral grip Shoulder press on leg press, neutral grip

4

Standing side lateral raise

5 sets of 12 reps
Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise

5

Straight-bar side raise

5 sets of 12 reps
Straight-bar side raise Straight-bar side raise

Superset
6

Pec-deck reverse fly

4 sets of 12 reps
Pec-deck reverse fly Pec-deck reverse fly

High-cable reverse fly

4 sets of 15 reps
High-cable reverse fly High-cable reverse fly

Superset
7

Front Dumbbell Raise

3 sets of 12 reps
Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise

Seated dumbbell reverse fly

3 sets of 12 reps
Seated dumbbell reverse fly Seated dumbbell reverse fly

Superset
8

Barbell Shrug

5 sets of 10-15 reps
Barbell Shrug Barbell Shrug

Dumbbell Shrug

5 sets of 10-15 reps
Dumbbell Shrug Dumbbell Shrug

Afternoon: Arms

1
Standing alternating dumbbell curl Standing alternating dumbbell curl

2

Barbell Curl

4 sets of 12 reps
Barbell Curl Barbell Curl

3
Close-grip EZ-bar preacher curl Close-grip EZ-bar preacher curl

4

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

4 sets of 8-12 reps
Hammer Curls Hammer Curls

Superset
5

Cable Superman curl

4 sets of 15 reps
Cable Superman curl Cable Superman curl

Rope hammer curl

4 sets of 15 reps
Rope hammer curl Rope hammer curl

6

Triceps rope push-down

3 sets of 15 reps
Triceps rope push-down Triceps rope push-down

7
Seated overhead dumbbell extension Seated overhead dumbbell extension

8

EZ-Bar Skullcrusher

5 sets of 8-12 reps, last set is a dropset
EZ-Bar Skullcrusher EZ-Bar Skullcrusher

9

Close-Grip Bench Press

4 sets of 10 reps
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

Superset
10
Cable straight-bar underhand push-down Cable straight-bar underhand push-down
Cable straight-bar underhand push-down Cable straight-bar underhand push-down

11

Diamond push-up

3 sets to failure, 30 sec. rest
Diamond push-up Diamond push-up

Day 5: Legs and calves
1

Lying Leg Curl

5 sets of 15 reps
Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls

2

Front Squat

6 pyramid sets of 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 reps, 1 dropset of 6 reps
Front Barbell Squat Front Barbell Squat

3

Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift

4 sets of 12 reps
Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift

4

Leg Press (feet wide and high)

4 sets of 15 reps
Leg Press Leg Press

5

Seated Leg Curl

4 sets of 12 reps
Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl

6

Leg press calf raise

10 sets of 10 reps, 30 sec. rest
Leg press calf raise Leg press calf raise

7

Standing Calf Raise

4 sets of 12 reps
Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

8

Seated Calf Raise

5 sets of 20 reps
Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise

Day 6: Chest, back, shoulders, and abs
1

Incline treadmill (deadmill sprints)

10 sprints of 15 second, rest 90 sec.
Incline treadmill (deadmill sprints) Incline treadmill (deadmill sprints)

2

Barbell Deadlift

6 pyramid sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 20 reps
Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift

3

Flat barbell press

6 pyramid sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 20 reps
Flat barbell press Flat barbell press

4

Standing Barbell Press

6 pyramid sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 20 reps
Standing Military Press Standing Military Press

Giant set
5

Peck-deck fly

4 sets of 15 reps
Peck-deck fly Peck-deck fly

Pull-up

4 sets to failure
Pullups Pullups

Dumbbell side raise

4 sets of 12 reps
Dumbbell side raise Dumbbell side raise

Ab circuit: repeat 4 times
6

Ab Roller

30 reps
Ab Roller Ab Roller
Decline Reverse Crunch Decline Reverse Crunch

Decline Oblique Crunch

30 reps per side
Decline Oblique Crunch Decline Oblique Crunch

Day 7: Rest/cardio

Abel's Daily Supplementation Regimen

While it doesn't make or break his progress, or play as big of a role as whole-food nutrition, supplementation is essential to Albonetti's diet. "I take protein, creatine, fish oil, CLA, and a multivitamin," he says.

Albonetti cycles his pre-workout. "I'll go two months on and then a month without to give my body a break from the stimulants," he says.

Albonetti cycles his pre-workout. "I'll go two months on and then a month without to give my body a break from the stimulants," he says. Pre-workouts generally contain stimulants like caffeine that, while giving you an initial added edge at the gym, can have less of an impact as your body adapts to them. If a scoop of pre-workout is an integral part of your workout regimen, cycle off every 6-8 weeks to so you don't become too caffeine-tolerant.

If you love other performance ingredients commonly found in pre-workouts like creatine, beta-alanine, and nitric-oxide boosters—and don't want to remove those from your plan—try a stimulant-free pre-workout for a couple weeks before jumping back on your go-to pre.

Upon waking
With breakfast

RSP BioVite 3 tablets


Pre-workout

RSP QuadraLean 3 tablets


RSP Fast Fuel 1 scoop


RSP CreAde 1 scoop


Intra-workout

RSP ReGen BCAA 2 scoops


Post-workout
With post-workout meal


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