Teen Bodybuilder of the Week: Christina Rico

Teen Bodybuilder of the Week: Christina Rico! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

Since I was a little girl, I always loved being active and participating in physical activities. Though I never excelled at any sports, I tried my hand at volleyball, track, and cross country through Jr. high and high school. Being involved in sports, I learned how to properly lift weights and workout. After my sophomore year, I decided that these sports just weren't for me. I constantly endured issues with my weak ankles and was unable to push myself to reach full potential.

So, I got a membership at my local gym and began lifting weights and doing cardio every day after school. Having always lifted for sports before, I had basic knowledge of machines and technique, but I did not know where to start when it was just me in the weight room. After numerous days of lifting cluelessly, I eventually figured out some good techniques but I was not consistent with my training. I lifted weights just to 'lift' and did not have a particular goal in mind; I just loved the feeling and atmosphere. This routine in the gym went on until I graduated from high school.

Right out of school, I moved for college, bought a new membership and really began getting serious with my training. The new gym was nothing like the one I had grown up lifting in, it was much bigger and I felt incredibly energized and motivated each time I step foot in it - exactly what I needed to get started again!

Since I was serious about making gains in the gym, I began reading numerous articles about fitness and nutrition. Early on, I stumbled upon bodybuilding.com and I printed out a few workout splits that I began to follow. I also changed up my diet a bit and followed a plan that I found on here. Each time I stepped into the gym, I pushed myself further than I ever thought I was capable of. After incorporating these new training and nutritional aspects into my routine, I saw incredible gains. I have been hooked on this new lifestyle ever since.

After being asked several times, "Do you compete?" it finally occurred to me that I should showcase my hard work and passion for fitness and step on stage for the first time. After getting up there, I know there is no looking back, I love it!

Christina Rico
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Christina Rico

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I make physical activity a priority in my everyday routine. Even if I am having an "off" day from the gym and weights, I love to go to fitness classes like yoga and cycling and I also love to hike.

If I do not make it to a fitness class, I will do about 30-45 minutes on the stair master depending on where I am in my training or I will head to the track for some sprints. I love doing HIIT because it is a quick way to really blast calories and get your heart rate up!

I weight lift 5-6 times a week. I get bored easily with the same routine all the time and I need variety, so I am constantly changing my exercises, rep range, sets, and order of my routine. I also vary my routine between higher reps/light weight and lower reps with heavier weight. I prefer lifting heavy, though!

I love starting my weeks with a heavy leg day, it gets me pumped! Sometimes between heavy sets, I incorporate plyometrics work like alternating jump lunges and jump squats.

I isolate a major muscle group and sometimes incorporate a smaller one (i.e. back/biceps) and I do abs 2-3 times a week at the end of any workout. Towards the end of the week, I will either do an upper body circuit, full body workout, or train for a weakness (usually shoulders).

Here is an example of what my workout might look like one week:

Day 1: Hamstrings/Glutes/Calves
Day 2: Chest/Triceps
Day 3: Shoulders

Sometimes I will end my shoulder workout with a burnout of:

Day 4: Back/Biceps
Day 5: Legs
Day 6: Upper Body Circuit
Day 7: Yoga, Fitness Class, Or Rest

Christina Rico
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Christina Rico

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

My pre-contest diet does not vary much from my off-season plan because I eat healthy year-round. I have always been very food conscious, so clean eating has become a lifestyle for me. I think competing is far less taxing on the body if you make healthy eating habits a lifestyle instead of a 12 week diet. As I get closer to a show, the serving sizes of my meals will change and I alter my carb intake. I just keep everything basic and focus on getting a lean protein, carb, and healthy fat in at every meal!

Recently, I have been trying to gain more muscle, so I have been trying different things and eating more, as I am still figuring out what works best for my body.

Here is a basic guideline of what my diet looks like:

Mid Morning:
Meal 4:
Meal 5:
Meal 6:
Meal 7 (Optional):
Christina Rico
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Christina Rico

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

When possible, I try to eat whole foods opposed to supplementing with protein shakes, but when I need a quick fix, shakes do the trick! I definitely believe that supplements should fill the gaps in your diet, but when your diet is on point, there is no need to supplement a million different things! I do consistently supplement BCAAs and glutamine for muscle recovery. I also occasionally take a pre-workout for an extra boost of energy before the gym.

Before/After Cardio & Throughout The Day:
Morning/With Breakfast:
Pre Workout:
Intra Workout:
Post Workout:

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

When I set my sights on a goal, I do not back down until I achieve it. For me, it's "go big or go home". I love bodybuilding because you can always set new goals for yourself. Whether it is challenging yourself with new exercises, increasing your weights in the gym, or making adjustments to your figure, there is always a goal to aim for! This sport has taught me about the importance of maintaining a positive mentality when striving to achieve my goals. When dieting and training hard in the gym day in and day out, things can get rough and stressful, but when you keep pushing through each day, it makes you a stronger person on the inside and out.

Bodybuilding is a sport that most people cannot say they have done before, which also makes it that much more rewarding. Ultimately, I love bodybuilding because of the people I can inspire through it. Many people ask me how I diet and train, and I love giving people advice about anything related to fitness and nutrition! Nothing makes me feel better than when people tell me that I inspire them.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

When I see men, women, moms, dads, and children at the gym at 5a.m. working out or running and biking through the streets mid-afternoon, I am inspired! Watching these people make healthy decisions and strive to achieve their fitness goals while overcoming the day-to-day obstacles that life brings, motivates me to give 110% everyday. I wake up thankful that I am able to participate in things I love to do and I embrace the ability to do so.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I feel like I have finally found something that I truly have a passion for - living a healthy lifestyle and inspiring others! Each day brings new challenges and I am constantly setting new goals for myself that I never stop working for until they are achieved. I always think about the other men, women, and competitors out there that are striving to achieve their goals and that makes me want to go further and push harder everyday!

Christina Rico
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Christina Rico

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I plan to continue competing as a figure competitor while making changes to my figure as necessary. My ultimate goal is to win my IFBB pro card in figure one day! And always, getting better and stronger each and every day!

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Research the sport and decide if it is something you truly want to commit to. Bodybuilding requires an incredible amount of discipline and commitment. If you are willing to put in the time and energy for the sport, then do it! It is so rewarding to make gains and see changes from all the hard work. After making the commitment, stay consistent with your diet and training and the results will come with patience! Never give up on your goals and settle for anything less than what you set out for!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Although no longer a competitor, Jamie Eason is one of my favorite fitness enthusiasts because of her incredible will to help people achieve their goals! Nicole Wilkins is my favorite competitor; she has an amazing figure and an unstoppable mindset.

What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?

I have spent numerous hours reading through the articles on the SuperSite, they are so helpful and informative. I also buy my supplements through the online store because Bodybuilding.com has the best prices and deals! Then, to track my training and progress, I use BodySpace!