Military Bodybuilder of the Month: Ismael Varela
| Name: Ismael Varela
Weight: 215 off, 180 Contest
Years Bodybuilding: 5
Additional Info: Personal Trainer, Performance Nutrition Specialist (ISSA), Group Fitness Instructor (ACE)
Branch Of Service: US Navy Years Of Service: 5 Rank: E-4 MOS: Crash and Salvage Crewman (USS Theodore Roosevelt)
During high school I would always lift, but because we had to for sports. Freshman year I weighed 120lbs and no more. Throughout high school it became routine to workout even after class. I'd always lift with the linemen, one of whom is still my best friend.
Every day of the week we'd go to his grandpa's gym in the basement and lift. Once I got to the Navy, I became more serious about it and after I was introduced to personal training I did a bodybuilding show.
I would say getting yelled at for things that don't matter in my eyes and not being able to do anything back to that person. Leaving my home town to live across the country was also difficult at first; I'm close to my mom and grandmother. No one said it would be easy, but it helped me to grow up in a sense.
Not being able to eat when you try to have a diet plan. When I competed in my first show I was living on the ship, so every meal I had was difficult to make unless I went to a buddy's house to prep food the day before.
During that time tuna became my best friend, id just run it under water to get the excess sodium out and there was a meal with rice cakes. Military lifestyle itself is simple to adjust to, but you find out that it's not for everyone. In boot camp those that were hard at following directions were sent back a class or kicked out.
Day 1: Back
- Barbell Rows: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Seated Row: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Lat Pulldown: 6 sets of 12-15 reps
- Pullovers: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Barbell Curls: 4 sets of 20 reps
- Hamstring Curls: 4 sets of 15 reps
Day 2: Chest/Triceps
- Cardio: 30 minutes
- Incline Barbell: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Flat Bench: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Dips: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Machine Dips: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Narrow Grip Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Skull Crushers: 3 sets of 12 reps
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Legs
- Cardio: 30 minutes
- Heavy Leg Press or Squat: 5 sets of 12 reps
- Front Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Leg Extensions: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Lying Leg Curls: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Seated Leg Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Hip Adductor: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Hip Abductor: 4 sets of 15 reps
Day 5: Shoulders/Traps
- Military Press Seated: 5 sets of 12 reps
- Single Hand Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Heavy Shrug Barbell: 5 sets of 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell Lateral: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Cable Lateral: 3 sets of 12 reps
Abs, calves and forearms are trained every other day.
- Hanging Leg Lifts: 4 sets of 20 reps
- Cable Crunches: 4 sets of 20 reps
- Standing Calf: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Seated Calf: 4 sets of 20 reps
- Cable Wrist Curls: 5 sets of 20 reps
Meal 1: 6 AM
Meal 2: 9 AM
Meal 3: 12 PM
Meal 4: 3 PM
Meal 5: 6 PM
Meal 6: 9 PM
- 1 scoop 24g ON Natural Casein
I order everything through Optimum; I'm a firm believer in their product.
I plan to continue adding mass then cut down for a show in a couple years. Right now I am taking a great interest in powerlifting. I've added some fat along with my weight gain, but my strength has shot up with heavy lifting. It would be nice to get partial sponsorship one day, but no matter what I will always continue to bodybuild.
Number one key is motivation. Anyone can say they will get back in shape, but doing it is a whole other field of effort. Training is the easy part of bodybuilding, it's the diet that every falls short on. Stay disciplined and results will show.
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