Sonia Gonzales spent the first three years of her professional career competing in the figure class, where in '07 and '08 she achieved top six Olympia placements. The fan favorite looked ready to become the best in her division. However, after a 2009 miscalculation placed her outside the Figure Olympia top ten, she faced an uncertain future and a major battle to regain her top tier status in 2010. This born fighter and a true champion never considered quitting; it was not an option. Sonia made the necessary improvements, pressed on and switched to the bikini division - a class that rewards her shapely curves and harder, more defined look.
What a difference a change of division can make! Her stunning combination of dense muscularity, flowing lines, near-perfect symmetry, signature rounded glutes and exotic good looks led Sonia to the 2010 Bikini Olympia Championship. The 5-foot-0, 108-pound model convincingly won the 2010 bikini division with a physique vastly improved since her figure days.
With the 2011 Olympia a mere three weeks away, Sonia said she is well and truly ready to once again present the perfect package to wow the judges and secure her second bikini title. Her determined mindset, perfectly-planned training and nutritional regimens (courtesy of contest prep expert Kim Oddo) and even rounder glutes thanks to a recent emphasis on training this area, make Gonzales difficult to beat.
Q: What improvements have you made to your physique since winning your class at the 2010 Olympia?
I've rounded out my glutes more and have further developed my physique since last year.
Q: What do you think it is about your look that gained you the number one spot at the 2010 Olympia?
I brought the overall package to the Olympia stage and everything fell into place for me.
Q: What kind of physique are you hoping to present onstage at the 2011 Mr. Olympia?
I'm going to bring a similar physique, but with rounder glutes.
Q: How do you maintain your great shape from show to show, while making gradual improvements?
My Trainer Kim Oddo maps out a balanced training and nutrition program for me, which allows me to reach my full potential year after year.
Q: How often do you include cardio training in your regime? And when do you cut it from your program pre-contest?
When I include cardio always depends on how fast I'm responding to my training program, so it varies, but I usually do no more than 30 minutes each session five days a week and we start cutting it down about a week out. I tend to respond quickly to cardio.
Q: What do you like most about pro bikini competition? What keeps you motivated to compete year after year?
I like the challenge, the structure and the training. And being sassy onstage is fun. My motivation comes from challenging myself to bring a better package each year.
Q: How would you describe your training mindset?
I am always very focused and I always give 100 percent to my training.
Q: How would you describe your current approach to training?
Good planning is the best approach for me. I always go in to the gym with a game plan and stay focused throughout.
Q: Have you made any changes to your training over the past year? If so, what have these been and how have they helped you to improve your physique?
I've put more of an emphasis on the lower half of my body, glutes in particular, so I've incorporated more glute training and plyometrics which also helps to develop this area. It's helped me to round out my glutes.
Q: Could you describe your current nutritional approach?
Kim Oddo has placed me on a high-fat and protein nutrition program, and my diet changes weekly depending on where I am at in my pre-contest prep.
Q: How do you address post-training nutrition? What do you do following your workouts to begin the muscle re-building process?
Post training I consume glutamine and branched chain amino acids and I usually have a protein and carb meal to refuel my muscles.
Q: What is your view on supplementation?
I think supplementing is very important because strenuous training can leach muscle from your body and I believe it is important to replenish through supplementation.
Q: Which supplements do you take and why?
I take L-glutamine and branched chain amino acids, which I take before and after training to replenish my depleted muscles, a multivitamin, vitamin C, fish oil and various additional vitamins to keep my body balanced and healthy.
Q: This year's Bikini Olympia will host the usual top line competitors, you included. Who do you see as being major competition for you and why?
Yes, there will be great competition, but really you are only competing against your last package.
Q: What are your major strengths as an IFBB pro competitor?
My glutes and my determination; I'm a fighter!
Q: Where do think you will place in the 2011 Bikini Olympia?
We will find out Sept 17.
Q: What message would you like to give to your fans, those that will be coming to watch you competing at the 2011 Olympia?
Thank you for all your love and support.