Making them Gainz with: Alex
March 11, 2020
On rainy days, most people would be huddled at home under a blanket either reading a good book, or watching a movie with some loved ones close by. The IronMongers Gym in Vista, CA had other plans for their patrons. The weekend of February 22-23, had some rough weather, but that didn’t deter the crowd from witnessing some of the most motivated persons in the area of reaching their newest goals. Many of the patrons of the Iron Monger Gym work toward their personal records, work with trainers and nutritionists to ensure their safety and promote wellness throughout the sport. The age ranges of most of the competitors were very wide. The youngest still being in high school, and some of the older competitors showing their grandchildren that even at their age, they can still reach any goal!
is an interesting sport. Individuals train for months, if not years, constantly finding ways to push toward new goals of weight lifting in different forms.
The interesting part is that they aren’t competing against one another, but rather with themselves. Throughout the entire competition, spectators were shouting words of encouragement, some spectators were even competing themselves! It was such an inviting and inspiring competition. The camaraderie of the persons in that space was just a beautiful thing to witness.
We had an opportunity to sit down and chat with Alex Ramirez, a little before and after his Powerlifting meet at the IronMonger Gym in Vista, CA to get a little insight into what goes on when a person prepares for such a feat.
SJ: So first things first, how did you get into Powerlifting?
Alex: I got into powerlifting without even knowing I was getting into the sport. It started in 2015 when I would train at midnight with a group of friends from middle school that just wanted to get strong but focused on the 3 main lifts being squat, bench and dead lift. It wasn’t till a friends co worker (his name was Khoi) allowed us to follow a program he was on and explained to us what powerlifting was and told us about competitions that are held for it which I found hilarious at first considering people wore singlets which coming from a background of soccer was pretty new to me but as I continued to train for it I fell in love with it and have been in love with it ever since 2015!
SJ: haha yeah, whenever I think of singlets, I think about wrestling. That's awesome though! Such a transition from soccer to Powerlifting. So let me ask, what do you enjoy about powerlifting,any specific motivators?
Alex: I enjoy that powerlifting is welcoming of everyone no matter what age, gender, race or size. What keeps me motivated is my family, not only my fiancé but my daughter as well who continuously push me to do more, always reminding me that I’m capable of anything as long as I don’t give up. As long as I make time for them too obviously or else that motivation is gone from them
SJ: Awwee! That’s so sweet!! Your daughter is ADORABLE! Thank you for introducing me to your family! I can see why they inspire you to keep pushing! I’m sure that you are also an inspiration to them in some ways.. What would you say are your ultimate goals & what are your specific goals for the upcoming meets?
Alex: My ultimate goal is to just be in the sport long enough to learn from as many people as possible to in the end become a coach. Who knows, winning a national championship or two would be nifty! My goals for this upcoming meet is to just have a blast with it and see where this new weight class will take me considering I went up from the 165lb weight class to the 181 so it’s definitely taking some getting used to I mean you can hear it in my breathing but it’s been great, sort of haha
SJ: That's an awesome goal! I’m sure staying open minded will help when learning how to help other people reach their own goals. Would you mind walking me through your process of how you prepare for a meet; is there a specific diet regime you follow? Do you work with a trainer?
Alex: As far as the process of competing in powerlifting goes, I do have a specific diet to follow and work with a nutritionist named Alessandra Molina. We work together on a daily basis to watch my weight, as well as macros consumed on a week to week basis. I also work with my trainer Rick, who owns Ironmongers gym, regularly. It really helps to train at the gym my trainer owns, because if I have any questions, he is there and I can get the advice I need right on the spot!
SJ: wow! That sounds like a strong support system for training! I’m sure working with the owner of the gym helps a lot, because he would definitely know proper technique and how to use the equipment properly to suit your needs. So, aside from the formality of training. I’ve heard that some athletes have some superstitions or unique habits that they practice before a big competition.. Do you have any quirks that help you push toward your goal? Like a lucky pair of socks, certain playlists, etc?
Alex: Quirks? Oh you know I gotta have some J balvin and Cardi b for some hype with a side of AC/DC of course
SJ: Now that you’ve had some time to rest and reflect, what are some things during your competition that stood out to you the most as a competitor?
Alex: As a competitor, I think the one thing that stood out to me the most, was the camaraderie between the athletes. The constant support from the athletes competing against one another and how each competitor kept pushing each other to achieve a lift, even if the lifters had just met that day.
SJ: That such an inviting and motivating environment to be around during a competition! Especially, when you are trying to lift an amount of weight you hadn't done before. What are some things that you feel that you can work on for the next competition?
Alex: I think planning out my meals for the day would be something I can work on for the next competition. For example, I only had breakfast and then one meal after bench. I may have depleted myself without knowing, considering my adrenaline was going most the day.
SJ: That sounds like a good plan.. Need to fuel properly for the work ahead, right? Considering what you've learned so far in training and experiencing the competition, what do you feel would be good advice for someone who has never competed before?
Alex: I can go on for hours on this, but i'll keep it simple. Honestly, don’t hesitate to do a meet. Sign up and have fun! I still talk to some of the people that I had met from my first meet, back in December 2017. So who knows! Maybe you can gain new friendships in the process! Also, don’t worry about cutting weight. I regret trying to cut weight for my first meet. Now that I’m a more experienced lifter, I can acknowledge that thinking stair master and mile runs would do the trick, and that’s a big no no!
SJ: That so exciting to have that type of opportunity to meet more people who are interested in something that you are actively participating in! yay! More friends! So does this mean that you will be competing again soon?
Alex: As of right now, no. But who knows maybe that’ll change. If i wake up one day and just say F it! why not lol.
SJ: Haha okay, that sounds fair.. Thank you so much for sitting down with me and helping our viewers get a little sneak peak into what it is to compete!
As a send off, we need to know: What about the KFKF message and being a part of the tribe do you feel supports you or inspires you in your journey?
Alex: It's definitely given me a different outlook in life, in that I don’t judge a book by its cover. I’m way more accepting of people and who they are, or who they want to be. I feel like having that positive attitude has opened up a lot of doors for me, not only with KFKF. It has been great meeting so many awesome people that are a part of the tribe.
The Tribe attracts a lot of other like minded people from near and far, just looking to support each other and keep each other accountable. In my opinion, accountability is very important in achieving goals. My journey just keeps getting better and better, one day at a time...- Alex Ramirez
SJ: That's beautiful. I'm so happy to hear what the Tribe means to you. I'm sure a lot of our readers can relate to that sense of belonging.
So now let me ask, what is a Kinda Fit fact about yourself?
Alex: When I first started working out back in 2014, I went to the gym twice a day, 4 times a week. Once at 5 am and a second time at 6-7 pm. I did nothing but chest day and cardio. Basically, being a gym bro without knowing it.
SJ: Whoa! Thats a very specific and strict regimen! That definitely takes commitment. To balance things about what is a Kinda Fat fact about yourself?
Alex: You know how pizza hut has that stuffed crust pizza? I can eat a Large stuffed crust pizza all by myself.
SJ: OMG! haha.. I can believe it! Stuffed crust pizza that is fresh is so good! Is that how you and your loved ones celebrated after the competition?
Alex: I literally came home, got a Bryan Burrito. A Bryan Burrito is a breakfast burrito that is wrapped in a quesadilla, and inside of that, there’s a small beef taco. Then, I iced my body, since everything was aching. Finished the night watching some shows on Netflix, i was too drained to do anything else lol.
SJ: That sounds like a perfect way to end such an awesome day! Haha.. That sounds similar to a turducken! I may have to try that out the next time I’m out here!
Thank you so much for sitting down with us Alex! Best of luck for your future endeavors! Who knows you may be reffing at the next meet!
We hope you enjoyed this interview! Looking forward to showcasing future interviews with some of your community friends and known names!
Until Next time!
** The photos used in this article were taken by: Michael Soriano and Lindsey Bowmen. Their photos have been linked to their appropriate pages.**
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