Name: Ramona Braganza
Age: Mid 40's
Education/Certification: U.C.L.A. personal trainer certification
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
[ Q ] When and why did you become a trainer?
[ A ] I actually stumbled into the job because I used to be a gymnast, this eventually led me to fitness modeling and cheerleading. I was always into actives sports, these made me want to share and teach others the benefit of a healthy lifestyle. After that I went into fitness modeling and cheerleading - so always active stuff.
Then I was asked to choreograph an episode of a TV show - the producer remembered me when he started the TV show "Dark Angel" and said he had a girl on the show that needed to learn gymnastics, so that was my main role with Jessica Alba eight years ago. She had a trainer but didn't really care for how he was training her; it was pretty hardcore, and different.
It's hard if you're brand new to working out it's hard to jump in and to do walking lunges carrying weight. So I guess I worked with her in a different way, we clicked well together and I've been her trainer ever since. And from her I've referred other clients.
[ Q ] What is your training style? What methods do you use?
[ A ] My training style is similar to
circuit training. I actually have come up with my own formula, It's called "three, two, one." It's basically three
cardio, two circuit, one core, and it's ten minutes of each of those done in a specific combination, and that's an hour workout. I'm actually writing a book on that coming out soon.
[ Q ] Do you have examples of success stories from clients using your methods?
[ A ] Well, my clients are some of the most in-shape ones. One of my clients, Babette, she's not an actress, but she lost 32 lbs. I began training her after she had been involved in several accidents. She's my biggest success story and that really pleases me, she will be featured in my book too.
[ Q ] And when exactly will your book come out?
[ A ] It will hopefully be out next year.
[ Q ] Who are some of your celebrity clients?
[ A ] I worked with Anne Hathaway this morning. Besides that: Jessica Alba, Halle Barry, Jamie King, Dania Ramirez, and some other women who aren't actresses but models.
[ Q ] Can you please give me an example diet and training program you put together for Ryan Reynolds?
[ A ] I started working with Ryan and then I actually had to go to work with Jess on "Into the blue," so I passed him on to my partner at the time, and he did a lot of heavy lifting. He trained six times per week. He trained 3 months before they even started, and even while he was training he was on the program that included a very strict diet, counting how many
calories he ate etc.
I know Ryan's training regime was heavy with a rep range of around 10 to 12 for 5 to 6 sets of each exercise split into specific body parts on certain days
Probably like 3 body parts a day type of thing. Leg day was very hard. And then every Friday they would throw in kind of like "fun-Friday" type of thing where you do more of a
circuit and you blast three times through like 20 exercises.
[ Q ] What are the most common mistakes a celebrity client makes?
[ A ] A lot of celebrity clients aren't actually athletes. They'll do a lot of exercise for a movie role, but sometimes in between movie roles they'll stop and that's a big mistake, because it doesn't matter whether you're a celebrity; whoever you are, you should try to make it part of your life.
Jess has been able to really make it part of her life and she's more prepared going into roles because she has acquired a good base from years of training. I have some clients that'll train while they have to train and then quit in between, and that's not good!
[ Q ] Do you set your clients up with a full diet and supplement plan?
[ A ] I, for a while, was a spokesperson for Southbeach diet and I really like Southbeach diet as far as eating all the food groups; it doesn't cut out anything. It's something you can do for your whole life.
It's a good program for detoxification and keeping
insulin levels in control.
[ Q ] That's a good approach, otherwise you'll gain it back fairly soon.
[ A ] Yeah, then you yoyo.
[ Q ] What supplements do you recommend?
[ A ] I don't actually really recommend supplements. If you are in need of vitamins then I would recommend a mutli vitamin or something similar but I believe you can get most nutrients from food providing your diet is in place.
[ Q ] Even in extreme cases (when you'll get a client that has to be ready for a movie that's coming up real soon)?
[ A ] Yeah and I have, as you can see by multiple female clients. I have some male clients, but my partner trained Hugh Jackman, and probably recommended
creatine. I stopped training a lot of the clients that want to be bigger. I'll stay with the women and I do what I do without any supplementation. I may recommend some protein shakes to increase an individuals protein needs but that about it.
[ Q ] How do you keep your clients motivated?
[ A ] A lot of times we'll try different activities. We'll do things from hiking to
yoga to training in the gym, to running the stairs. Trying to change up every single day. We don't hardly ever do the same workout; I'm constantly trying to find new things to do. I'm a total free-weight person. There's a lot of new equipment out that you don't necessarily need to do to look good.
[ Q ] Do you train a celebrity differently in comparison to anyone else?
[ A ] To me everybody is unique. They all have different spots they try to improve on, so it's all tailored to that specific person. For example, I have a model and she wants to work on her
butt, so we do a lot of
lunges and leg training. I'll still stick in some upper body. I have another client that's trying to get skinny for a role so we'll do more
cardio with her, but I'll still throw in weights. Everybody is different.
[ Q ] How have you changed your approach to clients over the years of experience?
[ A ] I think I've become a bit more confident and able to try some new activities. A lot of it is psychological and whether you can
motivate them, how much energy you have is how much energy they're going to get out of the workout. Sometimes I'll do
boxing, and I would have probably not have tried that at the beginning, but I'm more confident now with what I've done and I can see some changes. The big thing is trying to find new ways to improve yourself, so you can improve them.
[ Q ] How do you start a client on a new program? Do you do some kind of assessment?
[ A ] I put all of my clients through a flexibility and strength assessment. For the most part, they come to me and they have to get ready for a role, so we'll start very basic techniques mostly, and then as time goes by and they're getting stronger, I'll put on my "three, two, one" program.
So the first few sessions are making sure that they don't get injured and I stretch everything we will work. We'll do yoga stretch or dance stretch and then we proceed very cautiously the first few sessions. I'm not one of those trainers that needs to kill them the first session.
[ Q ] Do you prefer to train male or female clients, and why?
[ A ] I'll train them both but I find certain size restrictions 'cause I'm 5'2", so it's hard for me to spot 50- or 60 lbs dumbbells in each arm, like Hugh Jackman was doing for Wolverine. So I won't undertake anything I think I can't spot them on, even with squatting.
[ Q ] Could you tell a little bit more about the leg workouts you do with some of the guys?
[ A ] Well, I start with some
plyometrics, and then I can do anything from walking
squats. The plyos will usually get them though; there's one exercise that I learned from my partner where you are holding up dumbbells and you squat down and put the dumbbells down on each side of your feet and then you jump in between. So you're jumping and squatting continuously, and it's tough, because you're mixing up the two.
[ Q ] Do you feel as much like a psychologist as you do a personal trainer?
[ A ] I think you have to be a listener, and you have to participate. The moment they come to you is a very special time and that's their one time during their day that they aren't working so that's their moment of venting. You got to listen but at the same time you got to do your job.
You got to keep moving, 'cause in that hour you need to do what needs to get done, and yet you still have to talk and listen. I'm one of those people that still keeps it rolling along but then still listens to them. But it's fun; if you don't have fun doing it then you shouldn't be doing it.
[ Q ] There are a lot of celebrity trainers out there. How did you make the short list?
[ A ] I think it was in my destiny. I think that when I look back at my life, everything I've done has led me here. A lot of it was being active in some kind of way; being involved in
sports, being around the right people. It's not even something that I tried hard to do, it sort of happened. If you're good at something naturally, you succeed in it. And then when you like to do it more people like to be around you because you're more happy.
I was always reading about fitness and I wanted to be in the fitness magazines and their contests, so then you're around people like that, the more you will absorb it.
[ Q ] Thank you very much Ramona for your time! We will definitely hear from you again and keep us posted on your book "In three, two, one, get ready to camera-ready for life!", which will come out next year!