This week I sat down to talk to a very close friend of mine who is not only an EFX board rep and a nationally-ranked, competitive drug-free bodybuilder, but also one of the best people I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know.
His name is Ramiro Antorcha, and the intensity with which he approaches every one of his carefully planned workouts is second only to that of which he has for being a wonderful father, brother, son, and friend.
I have taught him a lot over the years and now he has reached a point where HE is more than ready to begin teaching others...
R: Well, I am a 38 year old, single, father of two beautiful girls - Sidney, 7 and Sienna, 4. I am part of a relatively small, but very tight Cuban family. I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, but live just north of Miami in the "burbs!" I went to, and am a graduate of the University of Miami, with my accounting degree. I then followed that up with my MBA from Florida Atlantic University. And today I am the Director of Marketing Analytics for the nation's largest hospice company.
R: I started training when I was about 13 years old with my uncle. Since then, I have always wanted to change my physique for the better. I first got introduced to competing in shows at the ripe old age of 32. Before that It was something that I dabbled with in my mind, but never fully considered until I got to know you and found out you offered competition prep services.
R: I would have to say that first and foremost that goal setting is at the top of that list. The ability to set realistic goals, while still having to push beyond your limits/comfort zone is a true art form. And a close 2nd place would have to be discipline, which happens to go hang-in-hand with goal setting. Those are probably the two biggest lessons that I try to instill in myself and my kids.
R: While I certainly don't judge my enhanced friends, it's honestly just a simple choice of making sure I don't take any unnecessary risks with my health. As the father of two little girls, I want to ensure that I live as long as possible so I can be there for them as long as I can.
R: There is an old saying in Spanish that when translated says, "The devil knows more from being old than from being the devil". Ok, so that doesn't necessarily translate too well, but you get the idea. From my older-folk perspective, there will be plenty of time to go the enhanced route if you so chose. But there is so much you need to learn before even considering doing any of that stuff. For example: how nutrition works; how the basic supplement staples like BCAAs, creatine, glutamine, etc. work; and what types of training are best. Not to mention trying to figure out what works for YOU, as we are each somewhat unique. Once you feel like you've mastered that aspect, if you STILL want to pursue that route, then that's a choice you will have to make for yourself. However, I suspect that more often than not, by the time that young bodybuilder reaches a certain age, it won't even enter their minds.
R: I've tried seemingly every training style known to man. The one that has given me the best results by far has been Power - Rep Range - Shock, by Eric Broser. That said, for the last couple of years I decided to truly listen to my body. Still training with PRRS principles, I've noticed I get better results from training differently for different body parts. For example, for back I tend to train heavier with lower reps, like with "POWER week." However, for chest and delts, I train as heavy as I can, but go between 8-15 reps - and sometimes even up to 20 or more for delts, like with "REP RANGE week." I also incorporate some "SHOCK week" principles in every workout, either finishing with a superset, or more often, a dropset, on my last set. This helps me to really get the most out of each exercise.
R: That's a funny question because I sometimes feel the same things I love about competing are what I also hate the most! But seriously, let's start with the positive. I love watching my physique change from week to week. I also love the challenge of trying to consistently be better at each show. As for what I hate? Well, when I sit and think of it, there are a few things I can talk about in this subjective sport of ours. I'm not too fond of "Pro Tanning," or those 5 am cardio sessions when you're dog-butt tired. However, probably what I hate most is that final week or two when the show day is so close, but yet still can't come fast enough! I feel like I am literally dying those last 10-14 days!
R: Since I am lucky enough to be an All American EFX Board Rep, I have the full arsenal at my disposal, which is awesome! I do, however, have a special bond with Kre-Alkalyn EFX, Nytric EFX Pro, K-OTIC, and now GlutaZorb as well! Those are pretty basic in terms of what they actually are, and contain, but they are as effective, if not more so, than anything similar that I've ever used - and I think my physique's improvement in the last couple of years shows it. But as far as staples in my program - how much time ya got? NF-Pro, VitaDrive multi-vitamin, HBM, LBA Pro, V3, ZMA, CMZ, Joint Rehab and of course Test Charge are some of my "favs." Plus, I've just added Karbolyn to the mix and I love it. Phew... now I'm tired!
R: That's a terrific question. People ask me that often, actually. And to be honest with you, I am not really sure what to tell them. I could say that I am always striving to see how far I can push myself - and that is true. I wouldn't say I have bodybuilder genetics at all, and as a matter of fact, I feel quite the opposite, so making gains is a quite a chore. But the reality is that this is something that I've been doing for so long, that at this point it's almost innate. I am not sure if I will ever, or even could for that matter, go back to living a "normal" lifestyle. Sure I sometimes need a mental and physical break from bodybuilding, but at this point it's a part of me - like breathing. And not just talking about the training aspect! I mean the diet as well. Even when I am not dieting per se, I am gearing my diet towards my goals.
R: Gosh, I am never good at these quote things! However, there is one quote that had an impact on me that I once saw on a bumper sticker of all places. It said, "Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change." I really feel that quote is a lesson that every person can take in and make a part of their lives. Along the same lines, there is the one that says, "Whether you think you can or you can't - either way, you're right." I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking. The mind is a truly powerful tool, and we don"t even come close to tapping into its full potential! That said, however, we should always strive to, because there is no telling how far you can go in anything you choose to do.