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Our Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week was...
Sylvia Duque

VITAL STATS

How Did You Get Started?

Most of us start by wanting to be in shape and joining a gym where we can do a bit of cardio and try to lift some weights making us feel like "we do workout," right? But in reality, it's almost embarrassing for me to say how I got started since I was dumped by a boyfriend I had back in 2006. He was in shape and yet not a competitor, but knowing I loved to spend time at the gym; he had said "Your body would never do what you want it to do." Little did he realize he was challenging me to do something about that.

I sought help from a previous trainer, who in turn, referred me to a lady competitor. She introduced me to her trainer, John Sherman. "Who? No way," is what I said as I had been inspired from seeing girls on stage at his show here in Houston. Once we started working together, I was surprised he asked me to do cardio before work. What? How? I worked 2 jobs and slept only 5 hours and now I had to get up and run? Impossible! But there I went from day one at 7 days a week for 6 straight months with 5 months of strict dieting as I went to my awesome nutritionist and well known amongst bodybuilders, Keith Klein.

Not only was I excited to see my body take the 90 degree turn around, but I was gaining that confidence I didn't have. I was learning from good sources and making new friends in the field. I loved the fact and idea that I was now going to be on stage. Me? I'm only 4'11. I would probably be the shortest right?

Winning my first trophy at 5th place in the Masters Division on June 2007 was beyond my own belief! My family was so proud of me and I was proud I had reached my goal. There I stood, tall and proud along with several other girls, and we each held that award that made us winners! I had dreamed of holding one for years. As for the person who dumped me? Well, funny how the cards flip, right? He regrets it of course, but there is no time to return to the past.

Now, I'm inspired to continue my journey and always look forward to my next show and one day earning that pro card.

Sylvia Duque.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Sylvia Duque.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

Throughout the years, I keep hearing this from trainers and from competitors. What works best for you may not work well for me is another way to say this. I have to admit some people are very lucky to have great genes. As for me, I had to learn that my body was not the responsive kind unless I was almost crawling in the gym! I learned to submit myself to shorter breaks between sets.

I have to do intervals to keep my heart rate up to keep me going longer and at heavy weight. I have to focus on the muscles I'm working on and try to hit each rep correctly. Presently, I train harder and heavier as a bodybuilder than when I was a figure competitor. It takes a lot more intensity in your workouts as a bodybuilder because the purpose is to gain more muscle and add as much mass as you can. Did I say mass? Yes, of course!

I'm a fanatic of muscle and love definition and size. The more muscle I seem to gain the more I muscle want kind of deal here. You become an expert in reading your body and what it can do and how far it can be pushed.

Here is a sample of a workout for the week. Because my main purpose was to gain more mass on legs, we would hit that muscle twice a week as well as alternating on chest and back.

Day 1: Legs

Day 2: Chest/Back

Day 3: Shoulders/Arms

Day 4: Chest/Back

Day 5: Cardio

Day 6: Legs

Day 7: Off

Sylvia Duque.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Sylvia Duque.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

The five to six meals a day plan. I never seem to crave any sweets and feel the diet I follow completes me. I get the necessary energy to hit the weights to failure. My nutritionist, Keith Klein, is whom I trust 100% as he drives my body fat to the right percent each time I stand on stage.

Meal 1:

Meal 2:

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

Meal 6:

Sylvia Duque.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Sylvia Duque.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

To mention the word gain is to automatically accept additional help if you want to see results; more so, when you know your body at some point stops producing the normal levels of amino acids. I do have faith in a couple of them such as BCAAs which I take 2 servings before workouts and 2 servings after, and daily multi vitamins with extra calcium. I enjoy a Labrada meal replacement when on the road. Also Glutamine/glucosamine, potassium, fish oil, and 5mg yohimbe on my Friday cardio day.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

The word itself says it all. You are fit and you're building your body. I keep this clear in my mind; that if I do not keep up with myself, then perhaps I would feel weak and go soft. I'm a fanatic of the muscular look. I respect all who maintain themselves in great physical condition because I understand the time and effort it takes to get there. The diet is important and at times it may not be the tastiest food but just the fact you are feeding your body the needed nutrients makes you disregard the taste. Being fit and toned has people looking at you and many approach to ask how they can get that look. That's an awesome feeling!

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

Seeing elders who are in pain is scary! There are times when you do feel sore and move in slow motion, but that's when you need to keep the positive attitude and keep going, keep trying even if it's not an intense workout. As NIKE says, "Just do it".

I find myself absorbing motivation from action movies. I did an MMA video for a Houston Producer and for this I took classes while training to compete. They were very challenging, totally different workouts and I'd have to add that it's a risky business because you always come out with a lump, a twisted ankle, or a pulled muscle if you're not careful. I enjoyed it, but it was another way for me to find out I belonged in bodybuilding competitions rather than fighting in a ring.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I was initially motivated by attending shows. I would dream of one day holding a trophy and wondered how I could look like the girls on stage. I wanted that so bad that I thought I would only achieve this in my dreams. As a New Year's resolution in 2007, I decided that's what I wanted to achieve, but I do recall my sister said, "You're crazy", and little does she know now - that was the challenging line that hit me! In 7 months, I was on stage in my first competition and won 5th in Masters Figure. How proud I made myself and, more so, my sister who didn't think I would be able to do this.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I continue to look forward to what is next for me. I have reached National competition level and enjoyed competing. It seems once I hit stage, I'm totally catching everyone's attention. Everybody looks at you and yes, we girls do like the attention for sure. I have learned to manage the stage after 4 yrs of competing. I have learned how to relax and connect with judges. I am conscious of being flexed and show my best and give my best for those 60 seconds. Imagine all those months of hard training for a 60 second show? Wow, you know you have to take full advantage of that short amount of time to show that you're a winner!

Sylvia Duque.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Sylvia Duque.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Do not let any negatives get in the way. Don't ever say, "I can't do it"!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I would have to say Ronnie Coleman from the first time I attended to a show. I met him and was amazed at how huge he was/is. I felt like a flea next to him but wondered how he got that big, like Arnold! From then on, in every show he's at, I say hello and he knows me - that's a great connection right?

What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?

Forum, Store, and personal messages. My profile updating and browse to find inspirational members like wheelchair bodybuilder Nick Scott whom I met at the Dallas Europa show.

BodySpace

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