Today I spoke to talk to Madalena Dos Santos, WBFF Pro Fitness Model. She is an amazing person and has an interesting background. Unlike many people who begin competing at a young age, Madalena first competed just a few years ago in 2009. After that competition she knew that this is what she wanted to do. Madalena is a great role model for women of any age who wants to compete. She has so much to offer and is now busy preparing for the WBFF World’s in 4 weeks! Check out her interview below:
Name: Madalena Dos Santos
Hometown:North Providence RI
Occupation: Esthetician and Make-up artist
What sparked your interest in training and how did you get started?
I became interested in training after seeing a friend’s competition
picture up at my gym. I couldn’t believe the shape she was in and wanted badly to change my skinny body. After speaking to her I decided to do my first show which was the 2009 Fitness Atlantic Championships. I placed 3rd and I guess you can say I caught the bug and have been training and competing ever since.
What motivates you to continue training?
I continue to train for many reasons. The health benefits are number 1, but in addition to that, of course the results and the way it makes me feel, and the self-confidence.
What mistakes did you make as a beginner?
My biggest mistake as a beginner was not hiring a trainer. I thought I could do it all on my own. I found out very quickly that I just didn’t have the knowledge to be able to execute the exercises properly.
If you can go back in time and change anything would you?
If I could go back in time I would have asked for help in training and most importantly competition prep very early on.
If you can only do three exercises which would they be and why?
The three exercises I would do would be squats, because they do wonders for your legs and glutes. Crunches, because a trim midsection is directly related to good health and fitness. Lastly pullups because they work your entire upper body.
What’s the biggest piece of advice anyone has given you in this industry?
The biggest piece of advice anyone has given me is to stay humble and level-headed and to not let this industry change me as a person.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Driven, Determined, Caring
Have you ever been one of the girls at the gym who was scared of the weights?
Yes I definitely was that girl in the gym who was scared of weights. I really did think if I lifted heavy I would look like a guy and lose my femininity. Obviously we all know that is very untrue!
How has this changed your life?
Training and competing has definitely empowered me! It has made me a more confident and self-assured person. I truly feel that there are no limits to attaining your dreams. If you set your mind to it, you can achieve all you’ve ever wanted.
How important do you think it is to have a good support system in this industry?
A good support system is very important in my opinion. I have a loving a fiancé who is 100% supportive of all my dreams and goals. Training and competing takes a great deal of commitment and sacrifice, and the support of family and friends is a lot of times the extra push you need to keep going when you want to quit.
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are reading, biking, going for long walks, and shopping.
What is your current weekly workout routine?
I am now 4 weeks out from the WBFF World Championships so my workouts are pretty intense. At the moment I lift weights 4 days a week. 2 of those days are leg days. Legs are my weak body part so I have to hit those hard. I also do cardio 3 hours a week.
What is your current diet?
My diet is also very strict due to my upcoming competition. It consists of egg whites, chicken breast, fish, sweet potato , brown rice, and lots of veggies.
What is your favorite cheat meal and how do you deal with cravings?
My favorite cheat meal is any type of shellfish or seafood from my favorite restaurant The Oyster Bar in Providence RI. Honestly Extra Dessert Delights sugar-free gum is my secret weapon when dealing with cravings.
WBFF shows always look really fun compared to other organizations; do you enjoy competing in them?
I choose to compete with The WBFF for a number of reasons. I love the class and glamour that is The WBFF standard. I love that they promote their athletes and help them with achieving their fitness goals. Also the camaraderie and support of the athletes is something I didn’t find in other organizations. I truly feel that this is the organization I belong in and I’m here to stay. ” The WBFF is The Best of the Best!”
Who do you look up to in this industry?
I look up to athletes like Jennifer Nicole Lee, Monica Brant, and Chady Dunmore being the most recent. They are all examples of beautiful, inspirational women who have overcome obstacles and changed their lives through fitness.
If you never got into this sport what would you be doing?
I’m not sure what I would be doing if I never got into this sport. I do know that whatever it was, I wouldn’t be as happy or fulfilled.
What is your favorite workout song?
I don’t listen to music when I work out. This is definitely really odd to most people. I find music distracting. It’s very hard for me to concentrate and focus, especially if I like the song. I end up dancing instead of working out!
Can you provide a sample workout routine?
Sample workout routine:
legs- single leg split squats, stiff legged deadlifts, walking lunges ,seated calf raises 4 sets of 20reps
back- lat pulldowns, seated row, pullups 4 sets of 15 reps
bis- hammer curls, preacher curls, straight bar cable curls 4sets of 20 reps
tris- rope extenstion, skull crushers, dips 4 sets of 20 reps
chest- bench press, chest flyes, 3 sets of 20 reps
shoulders- arnold press, cuban 4 sets of 15 reps
What is your own physical feature you are most proud of?
My physical feature I am most proud of would be my legs and glutes. I work extremely hard on them and am happy to be now seeing the fruits of my labor.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced while trying to make it big in fitness?
The biggest obstacle I faced trying to get into this fitness world was not knowing what I needed to do or how to go about getting considered for articles, sponsorships, magazines, etc.
What three tips can you give to women who want to start competing?
Three tips I can give to a woman who wants to compete is first to do your research! Find out what organization or federation suits you and your goals. The second is to get help from a reputable trainer/posing coach. The third is to maintain a balance between your fitness life and personal life, don’t let fitness be your everything.
What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is The Pursuit of Happiness
Tell me one random fact about yourself?
I was born in Lisbon, Portugal.
Short Term Goals?
My short-term goals are to become a Registered Dietician, bring a complete total package to this year’s WBFF World Championships and beat last year’s 4th place, and of course to continue to inspire people through health and fitness.
Where can people get into contact with you?
Anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my fiancé, Kevin Maher for the love, support, and always knowing the right things to say. Also my trainer, Kevin Topka who has always believed in me and continually pushes me to be better and only compete with myself.
It’s been our pleasure! Do you have a quote, or any closing words for your fans and the readers of RippedNFit ?
My quote is “Don’t ever let anyone tell you, you CAN’T do something. If you can dream it, you can achieve it”