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Over 40 Transformation Of The Week - Sylvia Casillas-Paes!

As Sylvia grew closer to her 40th birthday, she decided it was time to transform her body and get into the best shape of her life. Read on to learn how she dropped 12% body fat!

Before Before:
137 lbs
After After:
124 lbs

Vital Stats

Name: Sylvia Casillas-Paes
BodySpace: fit2be40
Age: 40

Weight: 137 lbs
Body Fat: 30%
Waist: 28"

Weight: 124 lbs
Body Fat: 18%
Waist: 25"

Why I Got Started

I started as a runner in the 80's with bad knees and had to strengthen my Vastus Medialis Oblique (VMO) due to what most women endure from wide hips. It was the eighties without internet so I read muscle books and mags to build a solid base. In 1989 I attended a week long Muscle Fitness camp with IFBB celebrities.

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Sylvia Casillas-Paes' Progress

I taught Aerobics and was a personal trainer during my late 20's. I met my husband at Gold's gym in Jacksonville NC. Our common love of weights brought us together. My knees got progressively worse with age. Life stress of military retirement, switching jobs and infertility coupled with 3 miscarriages left me hopeless.

I trained sporadically during my year as a Children's Case-Worker. The thought of turning 40 last October prompted this transformation. I plan to improve and eventually compete in my first Figure competition this winter.

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The Thought Of Turning 40
Prompted This Transformation.

How I Did It

I got back into shape over a course of 9 months from August 2007 to April 2008. Best thing I did was quit my case worker job. My loving husband supported my transformation despite our financial strain. Sometimes drastic decisions must be made to become a healthier person.

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Sometimes Drastic Decisions Must Be
Made To Become A Healthier Person.

I created a BodySpace and used I cut 200-300 calories gradually each week till reaching 1400. For three weeks in May '08 I cut down to 1300 (sometimes 1200) for a leaner look. I lost some muscle so I bumped back up to 1400 and increased cardio from 2x to 3x weekly. My favorite form of cardio is Spinning class, really great for my knees.

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Getting feedback on my posted BodySpace pictures motivated me to train harder. I slowly increased exercise difficulty with the help of my husband, licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. Several times my husband had to unlock my knees with joint mobility manipulation because of weak VMO. Consistency with diet and training was the key to my success. I'm proud to sport muscular legs without physical therapy these days.

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Consistency Was The Key To My Success.


I took ½ scoop of BSN's Syntha-6 protein 2-3x daily and ½ scoop of NO-Xplode before workouts. I drank Rock Star Zero Carb 30 minutes prior to early morning cardio and Twinlab's Ripped Fuel without Ephedrine occasionally. I limited intake of NO-Xplode to 6-week intervals for natural energy.

Eventually I plan to wean myself off caffeine as I take herbal 3mg of Melatonin for a good night's rest. I definitely go to bed early for my eight to nine hours and take a One-A-Day multivitamin daily. Taking GNC Flaxseed Oil in pill form with each meal helped with cravings when I dropped calories.



My workouts would not necessarily start on a Monday; sometimes I trained through the weekend depending on my husband's work schedule. I started first few exercises with 2 warm-up sets using light weight with 15-20 reps.

I trained twice per day to separate cardio from strength training. I trained intensely 4-6 weeks then took one week of eating low calories without training before starting the following routine.

    Day 7: Rest

Suggestions For Others

I suggest doing first few exercises for each body part with 1-2 light weight warm-up sets at 10-12 reps. Most of my muscle came from using heavier weight on sets done with 6 reps to failure. If I did not have a gym partner to spot these heavy sets then I used Smith and other machines.

I alternated between moderate-to-heavy weight (70-85%) every other week to maintain strength. The best results came from making my own meals; kept sodium intake low; stayed away from processed food and sugar; and drank 100 to 120 oz of water each day.

I am fortunate to separate cardio from lifting with 2-a-day work outs but do not train this way longer than six weeks at the most. If pressed for time, then attempt to train weights prior to cardio. You should do total body stretching at least twice a week to prevent injuries.

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You Should Do Total Body Stretching
At Least Twice A Week To Prevent Injuries.

If working out alone then your strength training should not last more than an hour and 30 minutes. Drink whey protein shake after an hour when combining strength and cardio training. Your body needs the protein before cardio when you train longer than an hour.

Everyone has something to personally motivate them for change. Finding passion in exercise has come easy for me. I change my workouts often to avoid boredom. I've previewed so many BodySpace profiles and forum threads for training routines.

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Everyone Has Something To Motivate Them For Change.

You could hire a professional trainer or save money and use the best resources that work for you. The best motivation for me has been so many men and women 50+ years still training hard.

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