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Prodigy Interview

Thursday, August 04, 2011


Ruben Sandoval is the owner and president of Fit To Be In Your Kitchen, an online nutrition and personal training business that focuses on the eat to lose principle while practicing progressive not so common techniques for permanent and healthy fat loss.

Check out some of Ruben's clients and team members! (the first two pictures are Ruben)

MP: When did you first start training and why did you decide to do so?

RS: I started training at the end of my junior year in high school. I was one of those athletes that was on the team but never really had the confidence to excel or believe I could excel so I accepted sitting on the bench. That was until I started researching bodybuilding and strength training programs.

MP: How did you gain 50 lbs. of muscle in your first full year of training?

RS: After reading everything I could get my hands on and attending a Bigger Faster Stronger camp I was convinced of the multi-joint power lifting movements BFS practiced and I also new that in my new favorite sport of bodybuilding that many of the veterans still practice big power movements that BFS preached about. So I dedicated myself to the BFS program but still implemented bodybuilding principles and over the last part of junior year and senior summer I gained about 55lbs going from 150lb skinny junior to a 205lb senior.

My best friend and I practice an all you can eat nutrition principle since we didn’t know a whole lot about nutrition we just knew we were both skinny and we needed to eat so part of that practice was an almost daily trip to an all you can eat Chinese restaurant and a daily school lunch in addition to an all you can eat salad bar for greens and veggies.
Not exactly the advice I give now a days but it served its purpose.

My senior year it paid off, I went from a minimal game time athlete to the defensive MVP of my high school football team and MVP of my high school basketball team. It was quite an emotional and physical transformation in a short time and I honestly believe it wasn’t all the size and strength that made me good an athlete but it was the confidence that strength training provided me with that made me believe in myself and abilities. I was always an athlete but confidence made me believe I was a good athlete.

MP: Why do you love bodybuilding?

RS: I love the fact that each of us as individuals can really control or in the least influence our bodies to do as we wish. With that control over our bodies comes confidence, which plays a vital role in anything we do in our lifetime.

MP: How do you stay motivated to train with full intensity each and everyday?

RS: Like everyone else I need an occasional push so aside from the exterior forces such as caffeine or thermogenics; I get a lot of my motivation from being a coach to my competitors. I have always been a believer in practicing what you preach so I try to live by example not only for my family and my competitive team but my fat loss clients as well.

MP: What are some of your bodybuilding accomplishments?

RS: My biggest bodybuilding and lifetime accomplishments to date is staying lifetime drug free as a competitor and college athlete. Growing up in this sport and as a college athlete I was continuously surrounded and offered anabolic steroids. My second best bodybuilding accomplishment was taking 5th in my 3rd show at the Muscle Mania World Natural Bodybuilding Championships. Even though it was a Natural show it was when Natural shows were just coming out and the testing was pretty minimal so many of the competitors were unfortunately still using, so it was then that I decided that competing just wasn’t for me.

MP: If you had to pick one, which exercise has given you the best gains? What are some of your recommendations in taking full advantage of this exercise?

RS: I would have to say the dead lift or clean and press. I would recommend these movements for anyone including females. They are such big movements that they are great for; getting your heart rate up, incorporating multiple joints and muscles, and for overall strength and power. The key is proper instruction and form so researching technique or hiring a strength coach or trainer to assure proper technique is well worth the investment.

MP: What are some of your training and dieting philosophies?

RS: My training philosophy is first and foremost HAP/SAP. Heavy as possible while being strict as possible. Although we cant continually train heavy due to the stresses joints accrue we can continually train with intensity so many of my plans are periodic in a sense meaning we do a series of HAP/SAP blocks then move into a more intense block of light weight movements to allow for proper flexibility and recovery of the joints.

From a nutritional standpoint I am a classically trained professional chef so I enjoy and appreciate food so I try to practice an 80/20 rule meaning I eat clean for 80% of the time and enjoy anything I want for the remaining 20%.

I believe in whole foods and cooking from scratch as much as possible. The key to nutrition is your digestion rate so whenever we can slow down our digestion the better it for us and the less of an insulin response we get. Staying away from sugar and processed foods is the key to a slower digestion rate.

MP: Do you believe it is always necessary to maintain strict form or should you do cheat reps once in a while? What is your opinion on this?

RS: I believe in goal specific training so if your goal is to gain strength and mass then cheat or overload principles are great and I highly recommend them to individuals trying to achieve these goals.

MP: What do you think is better for a post-workout meal: a real, natural food like turkey or whey protein in a bottle? What is the advantage of one over the other, or could they theoretically provide the same exact results?

RS: Again I emphasize goal specific nutrition. So for those really focusing on gaining strength and lean muscle mass I recommend a post workout recovery meal including whey protein and a combination of a low and high glycemic carbohydrates. Whey is one of the fasted acting proteins so that accompanied by a high glycemic carb such as fruit assures the most efficient and highly adsorb-able nutrition for proper recovery of your muscles. Now for your average Joe or Jane having a turkey sandwich with an apple post workout, would be completely fine and would do the same thing but just not as fast since turkey isn’t the most readily absorb-able source of protein.

MP: Describe some of the different things you do? How have they helped people?

RS: I utilize a variety of foods and protein sources and well as focusing on whole foods but the bulk of my results are based on meal timing and carb cycling without a doubt. I also utilize more food allowing the metabolism to work harder and in a sense do more work for the individual which in-turn provides more results.

MP: You are coming out with a new book. Describe this book and how you think it can help people achieve their health and fitness goals?

RS: The book will incorporate 4 aspects of Fitness and how it is important to balance and strengthen all of them. Mental Fitness, Emotional Fitness, Spiritual Fitness and Physical Fitness all intertwined with healthy Nutrition because how we eat very often is a factor stemming from how we feel and treat ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically. There are so many books out there that give you an 8 week, 12 week or 17 day program, but never give you a maintenance plan or the tools to carry on with how we "realistically" live our lives. Our book will give you the knowledge and tools to make health and wellness - both inside and out - part of your lifestyle; thus empowering you to make a lifestyle change. There will also be interactive workbook for accountability and continued self-growth.

MP: What are your future goals both personally and professionally?

RS: Some of out professional goals are to continue to grow our company and for Fit To Be In Your Kitchen to recognized as a brand. My passion as a chef still burns passionately and I still envision a health conscious fast whole food chain that I have dreamt about since the first time I trained my first client. We also have partnerships in the works with other entities that will create even more visibility for our brand. We are also currently building a real time and interactive website that will offer a membership as well as additional services.

Some of my personal goals are to competitively compete again since that fire still burns and to continue to grow as: a father, a husband, a man of faith, a businessman, a nutritional coach and trainer.
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