New IFBB Fitness Pro and Figure America Champion 2008 Yenny Polanco!
By Eddie Cervantes, Muscle-4Life-Nutrition.comSpecialist In Performance Nutrition
CEO - Muscle 4 Life Nutrition LLC
Hey everyone! I had the pleasure of interviewing Yenny Polanco, This super star is on her way to the Ms. Olympia 2010
EC: Hello Yenny, tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in bodybuilding, and the fitness world?
Yenny: Well, I came to the USA from Dominican Republic when I was 12 and a half. And it wasn’t until I began middle school here that I started to get involved in sports seriously.
I ran track, and in high school became the fastest runner… the only freshman to get an MVP trophy, which I still have until this day!
EC: What an accomplishment! Where do you reside and train?
Yenny: I live in Worcester County, Mass., and I train at 3 different locations. One of them is Bay State Gym in Worcester
EC: Do you have a trainer or do you do it on your own?
Yenny: I am a Fitness Coach, so I am my own trainer. I don’t think anyone could train me harder than I train myself. I am self-motivated, and very detail oriented. I focus on various aspects of training such as weight lifting, cardio endurance, core strength, flexibility and stamina.
EC: When did you become a IFBB Pro Fitness?
Yenny: It’s been almost surreal for me. I have competed professionally in other organizations, and this year I set my sights on the IFBB federation.
I earned IFBB pro status at my first NPC Fitness Nationals this year in NYC on September 18-19. Less than a month later, I made my IFBB Fitness debut in Fort Lauderdale, and qualified for the 2010 Olympia! I’m unaware of anyone else who has done that so quickly.
To even get close to getting your IFBB card, you have to first win your class in an NPC (amateur) “regionals” show. It must be an NPC National Qualifying event. That then qualifies you to compete at an NPC Nationals Championship event! There are NPC National events throughout the USA. Therefore, in essence, you are up against hundreds of athletes all over the country who are attempting to do the same thing.
EC: Congratulations, all your hard work has paid off. What is your training philosophy?
Yenny: To train hard and to the best of my ability. I train to exhaustion, and that’s what works for me. I want to feel that I gave my all. And that I followed my motto, which is “To be my best and try my hardest!” . I also train by intuition. I listen to my body and do what is best for me on a given day. Of course, at this level of training, adequate rest is absolutely crucial for recovery and growth.
EC: Adequate rest is crucial but often over looked. What does your current training workout look like?
Yenny: Well, now that I am off-season, things slow down a bit. I don’t have to do as much endurance work, which for me is the hardest part of training. So now I weight train 3x/week, with one day of rest in between. And I do cardio 3x/week. I run, sprint, do the elliptical and plyometrics, and body weight exercises. In addition, I enjoy hard boxing workouts; concentrating on jump roping and the heavy bag. I also work on moves for my fitness routine. That includes tumbling, and a lot of strength and flexibility moves
EC: Oh yes, the heavy bag is a great way to get in shape. Is this training routine something that our readers can use to build muscle and lose body fat or is this something that is more suited for an advanced athlete?
Yenny: Well, my training regimen is definitely for the advanced athlete. It is extremely intense and requires a gradual build-up of muscular and cardio-respiratory endurance to be able to do it.
But an average person engaging in resistance training can certainly start intensifying his/her workouts by lifting progressively heavier weights - always maintaining good form to minimize potential for injury. Increasing lean muscle is crucial for improving metabolic rate. And of course, cardio is key for calorie and fat burning. This will help the muscles show up nice and lean.
EC: Can you give us a run down of the competitions you have competed in?
Yenny: Oh my goodness it’s been so many! I am an over-achiever and a hard worker at this. I’ve competed in over forty-five shows since I started in 2005 -- more than anyone else out there. But I’ll give you my best titles and years:
*Sept and Oct. of 2009: Earned IFBB Pro status. Qualified for the Olympia in my IFBB Fitness debut in FT Lauderdale, FL
*May 2009: Won IFPA VA State Figure Championship defeating IFPA‘s International Champ.
*Nov. 2008: Won Figure America International Championships in Las Vegas, NV!
It was my first time competing in this organization, and I was delighted to have come out on top. The competition was great, and there were many girls in my class.
*Nov, 2008: Took first runner up in my first IFPA (professional level) show of the year in Cape Cod, Mass., and then another first runner up at the IFPA’s International Championship in Washington, D.C., just a week before Figure America in Las Vegas.
*I also competed in Ms. Fitness World 3 consecutive years. Only the top 10 from Ms. Fitness USA qualify to compete in Ms. Fitness World the following day. And only the champ from Nationals advances to Ms. Fitness USA! It is televised for Fox Sports T.V.
EC: Yenny, I know you have been featured on a number of magazines, websites and television. Can you tell us where we might have seen you?
Yenny: You might have seen me on Fox Sports T.V., on ESPN International; read about me in Oxygen, Fitness & Physique, Planet Muscle, Iron man, and MD Muscular Development that I know of, hahaha. I don’t really keep up with all my featured spots, but I will on all my future covers!. I’ve had one cover in Fitness & Physique magazine.
EC: What was the hardest thing you had to deal with when it came to your diet?
Yenny: Not much really. My diet is delicious… or should I say Yenny-Licious! Hahaha. I prepare small healthy, lean but tasty mini meals, and eat them every few hours. I am not deprived of anything, except for the foods which are generally unhealthy if eaten on a regular basis, such as pizza, and typical deserts. I am very creative and have come up with healthy meal replacements for something sweet, or even pizza! I have a recipe for a clean and lean pizza that I can even eat when I am “in season“.
EC: Creativity can go a long way. Give me an example of your diet. What do you normally eat each day?
Yenny: Well, they're the usual foods that most physique competitors eat. But it's the way I prepare them, and the ingredients that I use that make them different and better.
I choose lean proteins such as grilled chicken breasts and fish. And I consume a lot of complex carbohydrates.
Low carb diets are for sedentary people. An active person like myself needs plenty of carbs. But you have to eat the right kinds. Pick whole grains which are high in fiber and nutrients.
EC: How important are supplements in your fitness program and which supplements do you use year round?
Yenny: To me they are essential since I put my body under so much stress. I use a lot of amino acids, such as glutamine, BCAA’s, carnitine and arginine, These are the top ones I take daily. I find www.Muscle-4Life-Nutrition.com web site to carry a variety of great fitness products at reasonable prices. It is also very inspiring and positive"
EC: What advice would you give to someone who has tried a number of weight loss programs with no success?
Yenny: Stay away from fad diets! Diets don’t work. Who wants to weigh herself every day, count calories and fats? Just learn to eat well and clean. Once you learn which foods to eat to better you health, and which ones to avoid, it is very easy to manage your weight. There is so much great information out there, but people just don’t trust it. It seems to be a human tendency to look for the "quick fix" in a pill or a bottle. The key to great health is as old as human-kind -- real, whole, nutritious food! You can not be helped unless you are willing to accept the knowledge. And for that you need to learn from those who have been successful at it, and those who have knowledge, and who are trying to help you.
EC: Great advice, stay away from fad diets. What has been your stepping stone to get where you are today?
Yenny: I’ve dealt with a lot of family issues, and personal sacrifices. I plan to give complete details in my future book called “Behind Every Smile, There is a Story!”. I’ve overcome what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles and adversities. At times I did not think that I could keep going or that I could ever achieve my goals. But I have never quit! As incredibly difficult as it became at times, I kept telling myself that I’d eventually be rewarded for all my hard work and sacrifice, and that this is what I am meant to be doing.
Also, had I known in 2005 when I first started to compete, that all I had to do was wait for September of 2009 to go after the IFBB, then I’d not have worked as hard and achieved so much as I have so far. I would not have had the countless great experiences. Everything I did was for a reason, and everything made me grow both physically and mentally.
Although I have always been in shape, it has taken me years to achieve the overall body condition and the muscle maturity that I now have. The experience and knowledge that I’ve acquired since 2005 is priceless.
EC: Sounds like an interesting book, I will kee an eye out for it. What has bodybuilding taught you thus far?
Yenny: It has taught me a great deal about life and how to apply that same desire and dedication into other facets of life and become just as successful.
EC: Where and when is your next competition?
Yenny: I just finished the year very strong by qualifying for the Olympia in my first IFBB show. So the pressure is off… for the time being anyway. The Olympia is what every IFBB Professional aims for. It is the biggest body building and Fitness Championships in America and in the world. So now I have to concentrate on making my fitness routine even better. I need an even better Fitness routine outfit, a better custom bikini, and I must go in the way I always do… lean, hard, in great condition and looking healthy. And the rest is out of my control. I believe that my future in the IFBB is a bright one.
EC: I agree, I know you will have a bright future in the IFBB. Tell me about your family. In addition, are you married, single, or dating?
Yenny: I am single. As I mentioned before I have made a lot of personal sacrifices… taking care of my Mom, helping my family, and concentrating on my training and competing. I have a few friends I hang out with. I don’t let just anyone in my life. Not many can understand or deal with my lifestyle. And some would try to steer me away from my training, and achieving my goals. Though I can be very social -- I am friendly, and I do like to talk! -- I tend to be a home body, and enjoy spending time alone. It’s how I can plan, work on my goals, and stay focused.
EC: What a nice daughter, that is very commendable taking care of your Mother. What has bodybuilding taught you thus far?
Yenny: That my strong body also means I am very strong mentally, and that I am strong willed, and disciplined. And that I can persevere and overcome hardships, and obstacles.
EC: What is your favorite muscle you enjoy working out and why?
Yenny: Hmmm, well I love doing biceps, because I have a nice long and thick bicep, and it makes my arms very vascular and makes me look very strong. But I also love working my butt! Yes I like to use the glute machine, and do other glute exercises. A nice round butt is very important you know.
EC: Who has been the most memorable person you have enjoyed working with?
Yenny: Hmmmm, honestly I can not think of anyone. Maybe it’s because I have done it all myself. Hopefully that’ll change in the near future. I’d like to work with a very talented choreographer, about whom I can say… “Wow! Finally someone who ‘gets’ me, and who can do something with my skills!” That would be great.
EC: Would you like to give a shout out to anyone?
Yenny: Yes... huge thank yous to my sponsor Dr. Dan at www.DrDanslipbalmcompany.com; and to my chiropractor, Dr. Jay Manning at Manning Chiropractic & Sports Kinesiology www.manningchiropractic.com;
EC: What are your big plans for the future?
Yenny: To be my best and to try my hardest! Hahaha.. I don’t like to give away my plans, but I will do many great things, which will impact the fitness industry greatly! And that’s all.
EC: I bet we are in for a big surprise! Anything else you would like to add?
Yes! I like to say that it is great to have guidance if that is what you need and seek. But ultimately it is you, who is in charge of your life and your destiny. So follow your heart and listen to your intuition.
It’s worked for me. Just be honest with yourself first, have faith, and believe that you can do it no matter what. Whatever decisions we make now, affect us later. Therefore your future is your present!
EC: Well put Yenny, have faith. I want to thank you and let you know we all appreciate you opening up to all of the Muscle-4Life-Nutrition.com readers and showing them what a true athlete is. Good luck at the 2010 Ms Olympia, we will be cheering you on!
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