[ Q ] You look very fit and obviously workout regularly. So, did you have to adjust your training and specialize it for certain obstacles on The Gladiators, and if so, how?
[ A ] I didn't even know that I was a finalist to be a contender on American Gladiators until a few of weeks beforehand. So there wasn't too much I could do in terms of my training that would make a big impact on my performance on the show.
It turns out that the NPC National Fitness Championships were held just a little over a week before American Gladiators started taping. So I relied primarily on my preparation for Nationals to provide me with enough strength and power for the events against the Gladiators.
Unfortunately, at that time, my endurance (again, a weakness of mine) was optimized specifically for my 2-minute fitness routine, not a lengthy Eliminator obstacle course. I'll admit that I did try to do a lot of pullup training in the 2 weeks prior to the show's taping due to the heavy emphasis on upper body strength in many American Gladiator's events.
Click Here To View Venus Ramos' BodySpace Profile.
[ Q ] Did you have to increase your calories and supplementation to condition your physique for the hard contact coming from the gladiators?
[ A ] I definitely changed my diet to prepare for American Gladiators. No longer was I worried about achieving a lean physique, even though I knew I'd be seen on national TV. I felt that my focus should be on function and less so on appearance.
For American Gladiators, my ability to perform was more important to me than what I looked like, as opposed to the difficult balance of the two that we try to achieve as fitness competitors.
I made sure that I consumed enough simple and complex carbohydrates each day to give me the energy required for the events. And I actually didn't even think about the benefit of a little extra body fat providing more cushion for the hits and slams my body would endure. But I suppose it did end up being helpful in that regard!
Derek Beast Charlebois
[ Q ] You looked really worn out during the Eliminator - did you reach muscle failure during that round, or was it more cardiovascular, stress, and/or mental fatigue? You came from behind and overcame a huge time gap to win the Eliminator round. What was going through your mind as you battled to close to catch up?
[ A ] The Eliminator was truly a monster of an event for me. I knew that it was going to be quite a challenge because it highlighted elements of physicality which I consider my greatest weaknesses - cardiovascular endurance and back (or pulling) strength.
My endurance has always been a limiting factor for me. In high school, I remember struggling to get through the 1-mile run in under 10 minutes, which was a requirement for the soccer team try-outs. Yes, my endurance is that bad. And while my upper body strength has been improving through my training for fitness competitions, that wasn't going to do me a lot of good on the cargo net or the hand bike if I couldn't even catch my breath.
I don't think stress was too much of a factor during the race. As many years as I've been competing in fitness, I find competition to be fun and exciting, rather than stressful.
But my mind was definitely one thing that seemed to be in a constant struggle. On one hand, thinking about all of the injuries that I've seen in my medical practice was definitely a huge obstacle in itself.
I can honestly say that I wasted precious seconds during the Eliminator, stopping to think about possible injuries before starting on an obstacle like the barrel roll, the zip line, or even jumping into the pool of fire. I knew that my lack of endurance could limit my ability to complete certain obstacles safely.
Then on the other hand, my mind seemed to be what got me through the race. As I began my climb up the pyramid, I remember thinking that Koya must have already crossed the finish line -- but I was going to complete the race, no matter what. As I struggled to crawl higher and higher, I kept telling myself, "I will finish, I will finish," over and over again.
It wasn't until I got up from the pads coming off of the zip line, that I saw Koya hanging on the Travelator. I just took a deep breath, prayed, and high-stepped my way up the incline toward the rope. That's where I think my strengths came into play - my leg power and my determination.
Looking back, I still can't believe I was able to make it up in my first attempt. I was so very exhausted. Perhaps the slower pace I took during the race left me with enough juice in my legs to propel me to the top. Or perhaps it was that often described "adrenaline rush." I just can't be sure.
One thing I am sure of... I now have greater confidence that there is so much more I can accomplish in life. There was so much that I had believed was not within my reach. Now I am ready to go at life with even more optimism and enthusiasm about achieving my goals.
As difficult as the Eliminator was for me, I know that there are those who face even greater struggles on a daily basis. That's why I am now focusing my efforts on increasing community awareness on the number one cause of work disability in our nation - arthritis.
I am currently working on a few events for the Arthritis Foundation. Should anyone want to join or help me with these events, I invite them to check out my website www.DrVenus.com for more information.
American Gladiators Is Coming
To A City Near You!
The No-Holds-Barred Hit Competition Series Returns For A Second Season On NBC!
NBC is currently looking for Contendors & Gladiators to compete in our upcoming season.
If you're big, bad and think you can hold your own in Gladiator Arena, we want to see you! The winner of American Gladiators receives a $100,000!
Please Email GLADSEASON2@GMAIL.COM With Your Name, Height, Weight And A Recent Photo Of Yourself.
A member of the Gladiator Casting Team will get back to you shortly!
Check out these pictures of the athletes taking part of in the American Gladiators T.V. Show. Photos courtesy of Ron Avidan.
[ Athlete Pics! ]
Backstage & Set Pics.
Check out these various backstage pics from around the set at the American Gladiators T.V. Show. Photos courtesy of Ron Avidan.
[ Backstage Pics! ]
Check out these miscellaneous pics from around the set of the born again American Gladiators T.V. Show. Photos courtesy of Ron Avidan.