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Jaime Cerda
How I Eat, Train and Stay in Shape to Achieve My Pro Card

Jaime Cerdas Stats When We Talked with Him 💪

36 years
181 cm
77 kg
(170 lbs)

Follow Jaime on Instagram

Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training

Hey! My name is Jaime and I am 36 years old. I’ve been training for over eight years now and enjoy lifting the heavy things ☺ My family comes from Chile and I was born here, am currently living in Middle Park, Melbourne. I am an Actor/Improviser/PT.

I am an ensemble member and perform regularly with my company Impro Melbourne. I also am the Studio Manager of Body Fit Training Abbotsford. Oh and I also compete in bodybuilding comps (ICN).

My partner Habiba and I are currently 12 weeks out from our next and first show together! My very first show was last year 2019 where I won three categories; Rookie of the Year, Men’s Overall Fitness & Men’s Over 30 Fitness Divisions. Next stop, Pro Card!

I started exercising as a way to take my mind off a breakup haha. Mostly just running and playground workouts; pushups, chin ups, rows, situps that sort of thing and then realized that I was enjoying how my body was transforming and that I was landing more and more acting roles because of how I looked! So I wanted to push it even further.

A close friend of mine was a PT at the time and was kind enough to take me through his workouts inside a gym. I fell in love instantly. The progress I started making was vastly different to what I had been doing!! So began my bodybuilding journey. At the start I never had the slightest intention of competing. It wasn’t even on my radar. All I wanted was to bring out the best version of myself, my body could produce.

I played soccer as a child (Latin parents, of course), I tried footy in school, didn’t take to it and was also a keen skateboarder for a few years. They all sort of faded away. But bodybuilding, that’s my fuckin jam.

I am currently only officially sponsored by my coach Jake Abel. We met at a Gymshark PR night and clicked instantly. I won my first competition with him and now we’re getting ready to go Pro.

From our first show we learnt quickly how well we work together. He knows just what my body reacts to and how to train it and knows that I’ll give our team absolutely everything I’ve got. I don’t train for second place and so this time around, with all the knowledge we’ve gained, we’ll be bringing something really special to the stage.

What I love most about Bodybuilding and Fitness is the mental stamina and strength it produces. The absolute discipline you have to have to achieve what you want to. It’s the genuine definition of, if you want something bad enough and are willing to work hard enough for it, you will get it. That and being 5% and stacked during summer is pretty bloody fun.

I have a few friends I draw on for inspiration, especially during these tough times. Mostly within my Team Abel Fit family. The team is so built on helping each other succeed and building each other up. It’s a joy to be a part of.

Describe a typical day of training

When I’m in the off-season, I focus predominantly on compound lifts — putting those extra calories to good use!

A typical day of training for me is dependent on if I’m in the season or off. At the moment, I am heavy into my comp program so have a 6-7 day split depending on my recovery. Simple but rigorous. Chest, back, legs, shoulders, arms, legs, rest. I’ll put in ab work every two out of three days. Cardio once a week so far.

Typically, my sessions will run about two hours. My coach gives me big supersets, I find that to be more bang for your muscle buck! Compounds complimented with more explosive or longer rep sets. When I’m in the off-season, I focus predominantly on compound lifts — putting those extra calories to good use!

Before any session, a good preworkout party ritual is always the best start to a workout. Preworkout, creatine and tunes. The best. My favourite pre at the moment is C4 HD by Cellucor. It just feels like such a crisp burst of energy and focus. Creatine, whatever is going cheap at point of purchase, it’s pretty hard to fuck up creatine.

For my post shake, at the moment, I am having 60 grams of Int. Protein Caramel Popcorn because, holy shit, it tastes so good. And when you’re in a deficit, every bit of flavour helps. And glutamine, once again, the cheapest will do just fine.

In my gym bag, I always keep emergency pre and some gummies for those extra hard sessions that need a little push. Weightlifting belt, straps, TOWEL (don’t be one of those people that trains without a sweat towel), emergency protein, tennis ball and tiger balm.

At the moment, I am loving Rack Pulls. #RoadtoPro means having a big back and so I am loving back day right now. I don’t really keep training logs, probably should. But my memory seems to be decent at always remembering what my last load was and being able to replicate and push. That and never ever leaving anything on the table.

Prep means hard work and I’m not going to lose simply because the other guy worked harder than I did.

How do you keep going and push harder?

I only ever have one thing on my mind when it’s time to train: DO I WANT TO WIN OR NOT.

That one statement alone is enough to light a fire up my ass to get me moving. Motivation is a hard one for people, I get that. And my response is always the same, what’s your WHY. Once you have a strong enough reason, you’ll do anything to get it.

It’s also important to have a strong team and support network who knows your why and who understands it. My partner Habi, my coach Jake, my team, They all know I’m not here for second place, and they’re all right there behind me helping me push.

Find your ‘Why’ and you’ll have your motivation.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I’m doing well today! Thanks for asking!

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As well as we can be amidst a pandemic. Training has been modified, but we’re still making progress. And as long as we’re taking steps forward, we’re doing great. I’d love to have a leg extension but you know, here we are.

I am excited. By the fact that there are so many options for people to exercise these days. I’m a huge advocate for movement. Any movement. I’m an ex F45 head trainer and a current BFT Studio Manager. And I just love the fact that we have so many forms of exercise at our fingertips now.

No matter who you are, no matter what you’re into, there is a fitness style to suit you and that you will enjoy; functional, weight training, cycling, pilates, boxing, rock climbing, whatever, its out there for you.

My goals for the future include owning a studio myself, whatever form that may end up taking and being able to travel, perform and work remotely with it. Travel ahh, remember that?

I’m gaining as much knowledge as I can now about what it takes to build a successful studio both back of house and community wise and also working on building and solidifying networks and friendships.

If I could change anything about my past, it would be starting earlier. I didn’t start lifting and taking any training seriously until I was about 27. But also, I am 36 now and am still winning bodybuilding comps.. it’s never too late to start!

How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?

I’m lucky in the fact that I’ve had few and only minor injuries. My PT mate when I first started really drilled into me the importance of form. He wouldn’t let me lift anything heavy at all if my form was not perfect. And as frustrating as it may have been at the time, I’m thankful for that. Apart from the odd niggle here and there I am in perfect physical health.

The times where I do need to take a step back to avoid injury I just do the best I can around it. If my shoulder is playing up, I’ll just train legs, if I have pulled a calf, I will train arms, and if I am completely worn and know it’s too risky to train and tired, I will pull my diet in a bit and take a few days off. Rest days are bullshit but necessary.

When Habi and I were travelling a lot, we always made sure to book a hotel either with or near a gym. We genuinely love training so always make time for it in the morning before our usual tourist activities.

As far as recovery supplements go, I’m really only taking one thing at the moment, Adrenal Switch by Switch Nutrition. It’s a Magnesium supplement and right before bed, a hot Salted Caramel or Chocolate flavour is delicious!

I never have massages even though I know I probably should. My bad.

How is your diet and what supplements do you use?

I don’t really subscribe to cheat days myself.

I’m super lucky that I can drop body fat quickly, I know this about myself so when I am in the off-season and building, I really milk it.

Coming out of my off-season now I was on 3400 cals as a minimum. That’s my absolute minimum that I hit daily and then try as hard as I can to go over that each and every day (using good nutrient dense food, its actually harder than it sounds). Now that I’m in a deficit, I’ve gradually been lowering it and currently at the time of writing this I am on 2700 cals.

Off-season, I loosely track my macros, except protein I always make sure I’m hitting my minimum of 220p. Now in a deficit in prep for competition it has to be a lot more specific.

My daily supps include; Multivitamin, Zinc, Glucosamine, Glutamine, Fish Oil, B Vitamins, Protein, Creatine, Adrenal Switch and sweet sweet preworkout!

Off-season, I bloody love beer, whiskey & burgers. (Stone & Wood is my all time favourite beer).

I don’t really subscribe to cheat days myself. In my mind, if I’m having something that isn’t bringing me closer to my goal of winning my pro card, somewhere out there there’s an athlete not having it and getting closer than me. Once again, find your why and things become a lot clearer.

Having said that though, mentally if I need a ‘diet break’, I will get as close as I can to fitting it within my macros for the day. Train smarter not harder. My Fitness Pal is an excellent tool for keeping track of your macros and helping you plan your days meals.

What has inspired and motivated you?

I’m heavily inspired by people like Steve Cook and Callum Von Mogur. I take a lot of my fitness tips from them and also sometimes fashion advice!

In the gym, I’m usually listening to podcasts. Fitness Podcasts; my coach Jake Abel, Denver Stein, DK Fitness, or improv podcasts; How Bout This, Hello From The Magic Tavern, or even just miscellaneous bro talk; The Tasteless Gentleman.

If I do listen to music, it’s usually heavy punk rock, metal and SoCal punk.

Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?

If you were just starting out and had absolutely no idea of where to begin, my biggest suggestion would be to either start with group fitness classes or a PT. They’re both excellent places to gain some real hands on knowledge of exercises and movement.

When I started out, I had my PT mate and I would also watch Steve Cook’s YouTube videos of his workout and just write down what he did, take it to the gym, and go!

Also, don’t be afraid to ask someone in the gym for advice, if they’re doing an exercise you’ve never seen before ask them to teach you, I’ve done that several times and people are more often than not happy to help and teach someone else if they’re genuine about wanting to learn.

Are you taking on clients right now?

I do currently have a few spots left for online coaching and programming. Due to the fact that we are all in isolation, I have asked my clients to give me a detailed list of any equipment they may have (if any) and I am programming their workouts accordingly.

I’m also a Studio Manager and an actor, so I only take on a small limited number of people because I genuinely enjoy programming and helping others. ☺

Where can we learn more about you?

You can find me mainly on Instagram @abcerda and I’ll be launching a YouTube channel soon.

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