Spotlight On NPC Bikini Competitor: Aly Veneno
Category you compete in: Bikini
Date of birth: 10/22/1982
Hometown: Reston, Virginia
Competition history: All events in 2012
NPC Garden States 5th place B Class bikini
Virginia Grand Prix 1st place B Class bikini, Overall, and best poser for bikini division
Team Universe 5th place E Class bikini
Next competition: My very next competition will be in Pittsburgh August 30th -Sept 1st 2012 at the IFBB North American
How has your life changed since you adopted this lifestyle and started competing? As a former swimsuit model and swimsuit pageant competitor, I knew the value behind hard work and staying in shape. Although in that industry, I was a skinnier, less muscular woman. I have always eaten healthy and organic and utilized the gym to maintain a good shape. After the birth of my premature son in June 2011 I weighed 150 lbs and I struggled with my body image, falling into a dark place feeling I would never regain my beautiful physique. I thought back to 2010 when I met Nathalia Melo during a pageant we both competed in, along side a dear friend Jessica Jessie. I had remembered the great things I had heard about training and competing in the NPC and decided that becoming an IFBB Pro was my next goal in life. I knew that by training my body into a more athletic shape I would find happiness with my self-image and it would refuel my motivation to enter the fitness industry as a fitness model. Since I hired my coach PJ Braun in April 2012, my life has taken a great leap for the good. I have transformed my physique into the best shape it has ever been in my short 29 years on this earth and made some fantastic friends that I know I will keep for life. Furthermore, I have inspired friends, family and complete strangers to make changes in their health and life style for good.
What have you found to be the best way to balance family, friends, career, this lifestyle, etc… Oh boy! This is a tough one! I will let you know when I figure that out. Ha, all jokes aside, my life can be a beautifully chaotic mess at times. I am a single mommy and I am currently in school perusing my PhD. So free time, social life? Those don’t exist in my world! I would love to have the time to date again, or hang with friends, but for now I am set on becoming an IFBB pro and Dr. Aly Veneno. I am fortunate to have a great mom and friends who put up with my cranky diet days and busy schedule with the gym, school and other modeling opportunities.
If you could change places with one competitor for the day who would it be and why? Honestly, I think there are many great competitors out there and we all differ in so many ways. But reality is that I am doing this for me and for my own experience. I don’t take anything for granted as nothing in life is handed to you, so I as proud as I am of all the male and female body builders, and reference them as motivation as a whole, there is no one else on this earth I would rather be, than me
Name two of the most inspirational people in your life and tell why they inspire you. My father is a great inspiration because he was a great man and a true American Hero. He was highly intelligent and served three tours in Vietnam voluntarily as a highly decorated officer. He ended his days serving his country with 38 years of dedicated work in the CIA. This brilliant man who is now buried in Arlington National Cemetery lost to a five-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. His life story has given me the push to earn my PhD so that I can research this terrible disease in hopes to find a cure. My other greatest inspiration is my son Magic, who was born at just 26 weeks gestation weighing a startling 1lb 15oz. He beat all odds and survived when so many things were against him. Now a super healthy and normal one year old, he continues to amaze me with his drive and determination to do anything he wants. I can see in his big blue eyes that he knows he will be something great. Everyone who encounters him tells me they feel so calm with him and that he instantly gives them and overwhelming feeling of joy. If a one year old has the passion to survive, influence and overcome the greatest odds, there is nothing in this world that I cannot do.
Tell one recipe or supplement you can’t live without. Cilantro Lime Stuffed Chicken! Going back to my Puerto Rican roots, this is an incredibly healthy and delicious dish! I take large thick organic chicken breasts and cut pockets into them. I then stuff them with a homemade: lime, cilantro and sweet onion recaito (salsa), and Goya brand Adobo seasoning. After I have lightly seasoned the outside of the chicken breast, I add a touch of paprika then throw those bad boys on the grill, until sweet juicy perfection! Don’t forget to add a finishing touch of fresh squeezed lime juice. This is the chicken dish I usually pre cook to take to shows, tastes great cold or hot.
Tell about a typical training day for you. What exercises, how many sets/reps…etc… I have a rotation schedule where I work different muscle groups on different days. Because I am so lean and have a high metabolism, I focus on lifting heavy and getting in at least 10-12 reps for each of my three sets, but some times I go until failure; like with my plea squats. My favorite days are leg days. I switch it up with different things like squats, rdl’s, lunges, and hammie curls. I don’t do anything for my calve muscles, I am a genetic freak and I have always had these big monsters on the back of my legs (physiologically, they are my biggest insecurity!) My toughest days in the gym involve any and all arm exercises. I actually have a really jacked up left shoulder, which I do not have full range of movement in. When I was born my left shoulder was dislocated due to the use of forceps to help deliver me. The damage was so severe I had Erbs Palsy, which kept my arm paralyzed for the first year of my life. The doctors did not expect me to ever regain movement in my arm, but soon after my first birthday, my arm regained movement on its own. My shoulder never healed the way it should have so I am limited in rotation and certain movements. This limits how much weight I can lift and what exercises I can do. The key to my overall muscular development is rotation, going hard, and stretching. I do 30 minutes of cardio a day with the step mill or treadmill just to maintain a healthy level of fat and muscle.
In closing, Who would you like to give a shout out to? First and most importantly to my mom, she has been my biggest support since starting this journey. She really believes in me and wants me to achieve my greatest dreams. Big shout out to my coach PJ Braun who gave me the tools to transform my body into the continually improving masterpiece it is today, and for putting up with my “but I’m so hungry!” complaints. Lastly but not any less important, to all my fans out there who believe in me and want to see me succeed!
For all my new fans and supporters, feel free to find me at: www.facebook.com/proalyveneno