Angela Mraz is proof that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Originally from Columbia, Angela came to America in hopes of a better life.
She struggled along the way but persevered. Find out how Angela went from being a housekeeper at a hospital to a competitor in the Figure International.
[ Q ] What was the biggest challenge with moving to America?
I wasn't able to go to school or get a job to help support my mother and myself, and so it meant coming to the United States through Mexico. It was a harrowing experience considering that I was only 19 years old, but fortunately everything worked out.
Although I was in America, finding work without proper documentation and not knowing a word of English was a real problem. I eventually found a job as a housekeeper in a nearby hospital. Living as an illegal immigrant was frightening and my biggest challenge!
[ Q ] Do you visit Colombia often?
No, it's been a while since I visited. I really want to take my son there so he can see where I grew up as well as all the beautiful places in Colombia.
[ Q ] Coming from Colombia, you must like coffee right?
I do enjoy coffee.
[ Q ] What's the key to a good cup of coffee and how often do you drink it?
I drink it every morning. My key to a good cup of coffee is brewing it using a Pod Coffee Maker. But I have to be honest; unfortunately, I can't find Colombian coffee for that type of coffee maker so I drink some delicious Hawaiian coffee brand!
[ Q ] How are the gyms in Columbia?
Just like here, there are some good ones and some small ones. Fitness is growing in Colombia, but it's not at the level that it is here.
[ Q ] How did you get your start in working out and then later in competing?
After getting married, my husband and I wanted to make a better life for ourselves so we created a cleaning company. The first contract we got was a gym.
While we cleaned, my husband showed me how to use the equipment. It didn't take long for me to see results, and of course I loved what I saw happening. I was hooked!
A couple months later my husband showed me a copy of Oxygen magazine, specifically an ad for a Fitness Club that ran training classes in New York City. It was there that I tried to walk on my hands, do flips, and cartwheels.
It didn't take me long to realize that I wasn't cut out to be a fitness competitor. However, through this club I discovered figure competitions. With a borrowed suit I went to a local show and took first place.
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It Didn't Take Long For Me To See Results,
And Of Course I Loved What I Saw Happening.
[ Q ] That's awesome! How has your training changed over the years?
Not much has changed. I still use every exercise available to build muscle. However, I have realized that I am genetically gifted from the waist up which means I have to work extra hard on my glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
[ Q ] When doing morning cardio do you workout on an empty stomach?
[ Q ] What would be a normal meal for you after AM cardio?
Dark Matter from MHP and an hour later egg whites or oatmeal with Probolic-SR. I'd like everyone to know that I eat pretty much the same 365 days out of the year. I fluctuate plus or minus 6 pounds throughout the year. I never eat badly.
Over the years I have grown accustomed to eating chicken, tuna, yams, salmon, egg whites, broccoli, asparagus, and salads. It's always been my belief that I worked so hard to get my body where it's at that I don't want to take a step backwards.
[ Q ] What types of cardio do you find work the best for you?
The treadmill is used for some running, but I mostly fast walk on a steep incline. I've fallen in love with the spin bike recently, and I do enjoy the stair master and elliptical.
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I've Fallen In Love With The Spin Bike Recently,
And I Do Enjoy The Stair Master And Elliptical.
[ Q ] Do you listen to music when doing cardio, or what helps you pass the time?
Yes, I have an iPod with jamming music, and yes some Latin Music is always very motivating. I'll also watch TV.
[ Q ] Do you work out alone or with a training partner?
I usually work out alone but when it is time to prepare for a show I get my trainer to push me. I work out while my trainer watches and tells me that I can do two more reps or says I can do more weight.
I love to workout and go to the gym but I also need that push and encouragement to do more.
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I Love To Workout And Go To The Gym But I Also
Need That Push And Encouragement To Do More.
[ Q ] Do you enjoy doing cardio in the evening or morning more?
Usually in the morning when my energy levels are high.
[ Q ] I read that you've put on 3-5 lbs of muscle since last summer. What was the key to adding new muscle?
[ Q ] How did you bring your leg size up in the last few months?
My trainer scheduled 14 days (in a row) of nothing but legs. We alternated days of 3-6 reps heavy and 15-20 reps light.
I could barely walk during the second week, but the unconventional shock and awe treatment really panned out with positive results. After that we continued working legs two times per week.
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The Unconventional Shock And Awe Treatment
Really Panned Out With Positive Results.
[ Q ] You posted on your Facebook that you were doing sumo squats as a warm-up. Do you use those often and what's the idea behind doing them?
I really feel my glutes plus my outer quads work through this movement.
[ Q ] If you're like most competitors, I'm sure you're eating a lot of fish. Any tips on how to make it taste better?
Yes, I eat lots of fish. I enjoy the natural flavor of fish so I only season it lightly. Fresh lemon helps to add good taste to it.
[ Q ] What's the most challenging part of doing a carb-cycle/rotation for your weekly meals like you do?
I'm a real fanatic for planning and preparation. I know 2 weeks ahead of time what I am going to do as far as training and eating is concerned.
This time around I really experimented with cycling carbs/protein and calories. Knowing what your energy reserves are going to be is key to designing your workout but functioning on low carbs is a challenge in itself.
[ Q ] Do you feel like your training intensity goes down on the low-carb days, and if so, how do you keep your energy level high?
I do my best to focus on why I am feeling lethargic. I know it going to be tough, but I also know that there are other girls going through the same daily struggle so they can look their best when they step out on to that stage.
I love being part of this group of warriors. I'm proud to be part of it. It's these positive, motivating thoughts that keep me going.
I can honestly say that I am enjoying every moment of the preparations for the Arnold Classic and I believe this helps a lot to stay focused and committed to my training.
I get up at 4:30 in the morning to be at the gym at 5:00 to do cardio and weight training. Then I come home to get my son ready for school and go to work for 8 hours. It is not easy, but I love what I do.
I enjoy the gym, love my job, and of course I think that coming home to my family is the best. Energy comes from being prepared, always having meals ready, proper rest, and the desire to do well at the Arnold Classic.
[ Q ] How important is sleep for you, and how much do you try to get in each day?
Sleep is vitally important. I try for at least 7 hours a day.
[ Q ] Do you have any time for naps?
I wish! No time at all! Not even on the weekends because I have clients Saturdays and Sundays.
[ Q ] Do you prefer to lift heavy and do low-reps or light with high-reps?
My training consists of both. I love the looks I get when I lift heavy in the gym, but it hurts as much as lifting light with high reps.
I like being active in the gym, so I guess that I prefer light with high-reps, less reps and more exercises.
[ Q ] Do you pay attention to scale weight, if so why?
For this competition I've been paying more attention to the scale. Weight deviations are sometimes dramatic. I wanted a milestone for weight for this competition so I've been monitoring it closely.
[ Q ] Can you give other female readers an idea of what supplements you take on a daily basis and when?
Up until 6 weeks before a competition I take Dark Matter, Probolic-SR, and I also take Dark Rage before weight training. DREN before cardio, Glutamine-SR after training, Activite Sport, fish oils, vitamins C, A, E and lots of green tea!
[ Q ] Do you plan to cut out supplements as the show gets closer or which ones will you keep in?
I've cut out Dark Matter, Dark Rage and Probolic SR. I'm still taking DREN, A-Bomb, Glutamine SR and Activite. I will be taking Xpel the week of the show.
[ Q ] When you step on stage at the Arnold what do you want people to remember you for?
I've been going to the Arnold Classic with MHP for 8 years. Throughout those years I've stood in awe watching the pro girls compete on that beautiful stage, dreaming of that one day when I could be up there.
Even though the Arnold Classic is days away, I still can't believe I will be on that stage. I'd love for nothing more than to be looked at as someone who worked hard enough to make her dream come true and for people to see what commitment and hard work does for you.
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Even Though The Arnold Classic Is Days Away,
I Still Can't Believe I Will Be On That Stage.
[ Q ] Any one you wish to thank?
My husband, who isn't afraid to point out areas that need improvement! My little boy, Tyler, who is always there for me during my PM cardio sessions. My mother, for preparing my meals.
[ Q ] What's your Facebook/Twitter account?
- Twitter: angela_mraz
- Facebook: Angela-Mraz
- Website: http://www.angelamraz.com/
- MHP: http://www.getmhp.com/