We talked with Yaxeni Oriquen in January, 2020.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hello! I am Yaxeni Oriquen. I am 53 years old. I’m from Venezuela and have lived in Miami, Florida for almost 30 years. I work at and co-own Rypt Gym in Miami, Florida. I have a partner, Jose Invernizzi; and one son, Luis Oriquen (29 year old).
Bodybuilding has been my life for many years. I love the discipline of doing for myself. I love the healthy lifestyle. I won Ms Olympia in 2005 and the Arnold Classic five times. I’ve been training since 1989. I started because my ex-husband Luis Alcala saw my potential and motivated me to do it.
I don’t have other sports because I am dedicated only to bodybuilding, however, I enjoy gardening and eating at eclectic restaurants with friends.
My best fitness friend and colleague is Dr. Jose Almeida; he is a vascular surgeon, bodybuilder and co-owns Rypt Gym with me. My boyfriend Jose Invernizzi loves me and makes my life whole.
My only sponsor throughout my career was God!! He helped me become number one.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I train in my own gym, RYPT GYM (best gym in Miami for bodybuilders).
I train year round to stay in good shape and remain healthy. It is a lifestyle and allows me to feel young. When I prepare for competition, I elevate the level of intensity.
I train Monday to Friday for one hour of weight training plus 30 mins. cardio in high intensity and sometimes after my workout. For contest prep, cardio (reclining bike) twice per day.
I follow the program of my coach Alberto Calabrese from Argentina. He mixes in all types of methods to keep the muscle confused and responsive. We hit the muscles from all angles, supersets, giant sets, negatives, etc.
A program that has given me good results is training heavy until I get the muscular fatigue. Consistency and focus on the negative repetition.
During off-season, I always keep the weight heavy. Regarding my diet plan, the only difference is I add more calories to my diet.
Pre-competition, I prepare and weigh my food every day and reduce the carbs. Very strict Monday to Friday and maybe a cheat meal on the weekend.
I just focus on getting my macros through six daily meals. I use branched chain amino acids (BCAA) – no particular brand before and after workout.
I don’t do much after training. I drink Evogen Cell-kem, Glutamine (no particular brand) and BCAA for pre-post workout.
I don’t train alone. I like to train with my boyfriend; he is a bodybuilder too!! My fitness bag contains food, lifting gloves and straps, and girl-stuff.
My favorite exercises are legs and back. Only during contest prep I watch heart rate on the cardio machine monitor. My coach prepares my training log.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
I always have motivation to push harder and get better. It’s just in my DNA. I always push myself, it does not matter what is happening around me. Competing keeps me motivated; it’s a genuine love of the sport. I think of the other girls I compete with and know they are working hard every day.
I always have time to do all that I like. This requires organization. I strive to be happy with my family and my gym.
In competition, my biggest challenge was to be number one in the world. This was achieved in 2005 when I won Ms Olympia.
Got no hacks to share as I just grind it out old-school every day.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I have not competed since 2017, now I’m planning to be back on stage in 2020. I’m very happy and realize my life is in God’s hands.
I try to stay focused and do my workouts on schedule. Also, I’d like to work to continuously motivate a new generation of bodybuilders.
My plan is to stay in the world of fitness, teach and motivate every single person to be healthy. Keep my family happy, and continue to improve my English by taking college courses at night.
My goal is to have a big house again and have a second Rypt Gym in Míami. To reach it, I will consistently keep working hard.
Well, if I could start over in my fitness journey, I would have chosen a sport (judo) recognized by the Olympics. I would have loved to win an Olympic gold medal.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I do a lot of stretching and rest. To avoid injuries, I always keep control of the weight during the movement. The best way to recover is rest and pay close attention if I feel any muscle or ligament pain during training.
I sleep around five hours at night and a 40 minute nap (it’s what i get with my busy schedule). When I travel, I always keep my food with me and look for gym around my trip. To improve recovery, I take Evogen Cell-kem, Glutamine and BCAA.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My diet is very simple: Low carb, a lot of veggies and beans plus 200 gr of protein per day, including eggs, fish, chicken, turkey and red meat (1 time per week). Some natural fat like: Omega 3 polyunsaturated fat, Omega 6. And for dressing, Apple vinegar, salt and pepper.
I eat the same throughout the whole year but during my off-season, I take a little break and on the weekends (a few cheat meals). I’ve been following this diet for 26 years.
I track all my carbs, proteins and fat. For beginners, there are several “macro calculators” that can be found online.
During the off-season, I eat more carbs, reduce my protein, and add more veggies and citrus fruit. Fridays, I eat some red meat, bread, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
In general, I’m 100% focused during my pre-competition diet. I don’t pay attention what people eat around me, I eat what I need to eat. Sometimes I avoid social engagements where I know alcohol and the wrong foods will be served.
I try to avoid to the use of many supplements, since there production is unregulated. I prefer a basic vitamins, like multivitamin and minerals, BCAA, and antioxidants. Again, I try to intake my macros through food, not tablets and powders.
I cook and prepare all of my food and apportion six meals per day. Meals are every three hours. High carb meals and BCAA pre-and post workout.
Cheat days are usually Friday or Saturday. I eat pasta, bread and steak. As for cravings, some crackers, but at this point in my life, I’m devoid of such cravings. When I was younger, sugar cravings were a problem. You eat what you crave, and you crave what you eat – I just stopped eating sugar.
I try to keep my body fat under 12% during the year. I take coffee early morning. I drink red wine on the weekend.
When cutting, I weigh all my food and split into 6 meals per day. I drop the carbs and increase the cardio when cutting.
I never do fasting diet. During the last few weeks of contest prep energy is low and irritability is high – one just needs to learn to manage this, especially around family and clients.
I monitor my weight with a regular scale. I measure my bodyfat with calipers. I’ve done this for so many years that at this point I can just look in the mirror and pinch my skin folds to get a fairly accurate reading of where I’m at. No fancy fitness equipment is required.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I love what I do and the motivation comes from my heart.
I enjoy books that relate to sports medicine – I study the physiological, bio-mechanical, and psychological aspects. I’m interested in the dynamic principles and mechanisms of movement.
I like listening to classic rock when I train.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Not matter what is your situation, you have to make the time to be at the gym or do some exercise. It’s one of the best things one can do for oneself.
For beginners, I would advise to find a good personal trainer who listens. They can help motivate people to stay consistent with diet and exercise. Same with experienced bodybuilders, find a good personal trainer as they help motivate through plateaus and injuries, which are all part of the game.
– he strangest/most stupid things I have seen in the gym is when people prance around showing off their muscles – especially, when they don’t have any. Also, when men look at my arms and then compare them to their own.
I think a lot of people do wrong in the gym is when they perform exercise movements incorrectly and do not control the weight.
Outside the gym, plan your meals every day and adhere to eating schedule – do not eat on the fly. Make time to train with weights and cardio regularly during the week. Structure training schedule to fit with family, work, and social life (this is not easy, but critically important!).
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Yes, I always make room for new clients as a personal trainer. We have other excellent trainers at Rypt Gym if a client’s schedule does not coincide with mine.
I have a lot of experience, I have been working as a personal trainer since 1993. I train men and women, bodybuilders, and people who just want to be in shape. Sometimes, clients find me just to help them lose weight.
It takes a few months of consistent diet and training to begin seeing meaningful changes.
I have real-life and online clients. Some people just want a written diet and routine – this can be done via email.
The most common training question people throw at me is, “How can I get ripped?” If you want to get ripped,come and do it. Start now, don’t wait until tomorrow. This will take time and consistency.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
My website is yaxeni.com and my gym can found at ryptgym.com
I’m also on social media. Instagram @yaxenita and Twitter @yoriquen.