Since winning her pro card in 1993, Venezuela's Yaxeni Oriquen has trained with a view to capturing female bodybuilding's biggest prize - the Ms. Olympia. After 12 long years she finally won this title (in 2005), an experience she would like to repeat this year. Many are calling her the largest, most symmetrical female bodybuilder of all time and as her recent performances suggest, she has every chance of continuing her winning streak.
In this exclusive interview, Yaxeni talks about what it takes to become one of the best women bodybuilders in history.
[ Q ] What are your immediate bodybuilding goals Yaxeni?
My immediate bodybuilding goal is to receive more attention from bodybuilding companies, for myself and for all women athletes. I'm also focusing on winning the Ms. Olympia for the second time, and I'm training right now for a special invitation as Guest appearance at this year's Miami Veins Center Conference with Dr. Almeida Jose on April 19.
[ Q ] What else is happening in your life right now?
My 2006 schedule is as follows:
April: 23rd I'm going to St. Louis, Illinois For an NPC contest.
July: I'm going to Los Angeles, California. Paul and Love invited me.
August: Venezuela National Contest
August: Bogotá Colombia for Strongman contest.
May 12: I'm going to visit my family in Venezuela because my Mom is very sick with Cancer.
I will also put more attention on my business Investments in real estate property.
[ Q ] 2005 was a very good year for you competitively. What did you do differently this year to ensure wins at the International and Olympia?
This year I tried to follow the 20% less muscle rule, so I put more attention on my pre-contest diet. I didn't want to make any mistakes for the Ms. Olympia. I'm sorry Ladies! Watch out, I am not going to play for second or third.
[ Q ] How did it feel to finally win the Ms. Olympia?
Finally I won the Ms. Olympia and I think I deserved it for all the hard work I have put in over the years. I'm very happy, after 12 years training and competing.
[ Q ] What was the atmosphere like at the 2005 Ms. Olympia?
At the Olympia the atmosphere was incredible. It was well organized and taken care of. I am always relaxed because I know by the time I get to the contest all the work has been done. I still wish the women's contest could have stayed at the Arena rather than the Expo though.
[ Q ] How do you diet for a contest? Could you provide an example of what you would do on an average day?
12 weeks before the contest until contest day I would eat the following:
Meal 1: 30 grams of oatmeal and 50 grams of protein in a shake.
Meal 2: 8 eggs white/one yolk with 2 slices of all wheat bread or 4 rice cakes.
Meal 3: 8 ounces of chicken and 100 grams of carbohydrates (rice or baked potatoes).
Meal 4: Protein bar or a protein shakes with strawberries.
Meal 5: Chicken breast, with 200 grams of simple carbohydrate.
Meal 6: Same as meal # 5
I have a two-day no carbohydrate with two-day higher carbohydrates plan.
[ Q ] What are your views on supplements? Which ones work the best for you and why?
I change my protein shakes every two months. Usually I take Soy protein. I take all my vitamins in the morning after my first meal. I don't take any particular supplement. Instead I like changing them around. I like to focus more on my diet and my workout program before a show. I think a good diet makes a big difference to my training results.
[ Q ] What is an average day for you like?
I wake up at 5:30AM to do my cardio for 45 minutes. Then I prepare my meals to go work at 7:00 AM until 2 PM. I get home around 2:30PM. I prepare lunch and eat with my husband. Shortly after lunch I take a nap for 45 minutes. I get back to gym to do my workout for 45 minutes and then I start to work until 9:30PM. I get home at 10:00PM and I cook dinner and eat with my family. I check my emails and clean up the house a bit. Lastly, I take a bath and read the Bible for a few minutes before going to sleep.
[ Q ] What would you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses?
Physically my legs and biceps are the strongest part of my body. My weakest is my calves. One of my biggest strengths is the discipline I have with everything I do in my life, whether it is with my diet or my everyday life. My weakness is sweets, even though I can control myself when I'm getting ready for a competition.
- Venezuela, 9.3.66
- 185lbs off-season, 160 pre-contest
- 17.5 inches
- 28 inches
- blue, black and white
Favorite off-season foods:
- Sweets, cakes, white rice, beans and steak
[ Q ] How is your personal training business going? What do you enjoy most about this occupation? What do you provide for your clients?
My personal trainer business is going very well; I'm working on SOBE SPORT CLUB in Miami Beach Florida. From 7:00 AM - take a few hours off and then work until 9:30PM. I have about 12 clients per day; sometimes more when I take two in one hour.
I have to thank God for my job, which I enjoy. And working with my husband at the same gym Monday through to Saturday is definitely a plus. I love sharing all my knowledge with my clients and seeing them reach their goals. It is so rewarding to me.
The thing I love about bodybuilding the most is the discipline you learn. A level of discipline you don't only apply in the sport but also in your life.
The thing I dislike most is the strict diets and the wait for results in a competition, and how judges decide in just a few minutes who is the best competitor. All the months of hard work just collide in such small time.
[ Q ] What are your interests outside of bodybuilding? What would you like to do if you had the time?
Outside of bodybuilding I would like to travel the world. I would like to start my own business. I love to go out to restaurants and spend time with friends and family. I like working on my garden, I do a little bit every Sunday - Ha, Ha, Ha!!! It's my never-ending project.
[ Q ] Would you like to thank anyone who has supported you in your career Yaxeni?
I would like to thank SOBE SPORT CLUB and all of my clients. Miami Veins Center, Dr. Jose Almeida and Dr. Adam Davis for their great support. My best friend and assistant Rebecca Incer for helping me with all video tape and my hairstylist, Orbey Salon and David and Mark at Stevens DV8 Salon. Jaware for providing me with the beautiful bikinis I wore at the Ms. International 2006. Last but not least, Sweat Gym in Caracas Venezuela.
[ Q ] Finally, in addition to bodybuilding success what else would you like to achieve Yaxeni?
I would like to see my son become a professional basketball or football player, he is 15 years old and is 6 feet 4 inches tall and I would like to invest more in Real Estate to secure an income as I get older. I would really love to somehow change the way women's bodybuilding is perceived and treated. To see women bodybuilders on the cover of top magazines and win the same amount of money and prizes men do - after all we all work hard.