• Exclusive Interview: Pro Bikini Bodybuilder - Breena Martinez

    Name: Breena Martinez

    Age: 31

    Home location: Concord, CA

    Sport: IFBB Pro Bikini Competitor

    Profession and educational background:
    Personal Trainer at UFC Gym, NASM Certified, TRX/Rip Trainer Certified, BA in Psychology with Minor in Sociology from San Jose State University

    Years in current sport: A year and a half

    1. What got you started?

    When I became a personal trainer, I decided to really amp up my training to make sure I "looked the part.”  Being a female personal trainer can have its own challenges, and I wanted to be taken seriously.  A reputation as the "skinny girl trainer" at the gym was not what I wanted for my career. I wanted my clients to see that I practice what I preach, and that I struggle just like they struggle.  I decided the best way to do so was by transforming myself as a way to inspire people along the way. I was introduced to the sport by gym members who were already involved in bodybuilding competitions.  I got inspired by watching their journey and decided this would be the perfect avenue for me to learn and grow in. I would get in great shape, inspire others, and grow my business as a personal trainer.

    2. Who is your favorite athlete? Why?
    Ronda Rousey is by far my favorite female athlete of all time.  She inspires me to be me and to not care what other people think.  Through her actions and candor, she has inspired me to be myself and to move to the beat of my own drum without fear or hesitation of how it may be perceived.

    3. Go to meal when competing? Go to meal off season?
    Ground turkey and spaghetti squash when competing (Picture Homer Simpson salivating over a donut because that's what I am doing right now as I think about my off season meal). Kinder's BBQ 2-way combo with chicken & ribs, Mac n' Cheese fused with bacon and baked beans. Yes, PLEASE!!!

    4. What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
    The main key: know thyself.  I have learned so much about my body and how it responds since joining the IFBB last July.  Being an athlete all my life, my body enjoys cross training. I really enjoy training differently.

    The main two changes I made for my Olympia prep were:
    #1: Uphill Sprints two times a week at a local park- it's great to be outdoors and you feel the burn for "the shelf" (top part of the glute for those that don't speak glute lol)
    #2 High Altitude training in the SNAC System dome has really helped trim fat while keeping my muscles, so I can achieve a full yet conditioned physique.  Due to the intensity, it counts as my cardio and I experience less wear and tear on the body (since I am only in the dome for 35 to 40 minutes).

    5. What’s on your playlist?
    I believe a better question would be what's not on my playlist. Lol. I have everything from Prince to Mumford and Sons. The most recent album I downloaded off iTunes was the Dr.Dre – Compton album and I have had that on repeat since I got it!

    6. Have you experienced a breakthrough, and if so, what led to it?
    The woman that everyone sees today is not the same girl from 10 years ago. I feel at 31 years of age, I am finally happy and comfortable with ME.  I can look at myself in the mirror, in the eyes, and say I love you. I couldn't do that before.  My doubts, fears, and insecurities bound me from truly loving myself.  I was too busy trying to be what I thought everyone wanted me to be instead of just being me.  There are not many things you can control in life with just pure effort, but with fitness, that's all it takes. I have always been a hard worker but never towards anything that was really worth something substantial, meaningful, and had value.  Helping people reach what they may have felt was impossible is such a wonderful journey.  Watching people learn, apply and blossom warms me to my very core. Everyone is meant to do something in life.  Everyone has a purpose, and I feel mine is to encourage and inspire people to want to be better versions of themselves.  Helping others has truly changed my perspective and outlook on life in a positive way and I have the fitness industry to thank for that.

    7.  If you could compare yourself to any character in a film/fiction who would he/she be?
    Oddly enough, there is a football movie, Rudy, that I feel I connect with best.  Before competing in bodybuilding, my passion was basketball.  I grew up in Hollister, CA (and trust me there are no beaches there).  Hollister is a small farm town outside of Gilroy, CA.  Since there wasn’t much to do, I played basketball all the time!  I even received a scholarship to play in college and was on a 6-woman team.  But I did transfer to SJSU a D-1 school and since I came from a small town, I wasn’t offered a scholarship.  To earn my place on the team, I had to walk-on.  Not only did I earn a spot on the team, but I was actually offered a full-ride scholarship.  The way I earned that was through hard work.  But the reason I connect with Rudy so much is because even though I walked-on and earned a full ride scholarship, I didn’t get very much playing time.  The only time I actually played was Senior night.  So, my practices became my games and I brought the fire and intensity every time there was a drill or scrimmage.  I don’t think I made very many friends because it was “just practice,” but that mind set stays with me when I lift and train.  Each rep counts and means something and I know my hard work will pay off when I step on the Olympia stage.

    8. What kind of primping do you do right before a competition?
    During peak week I make sure to: *Get a 45 min session in the hyperbaric chamber to help me recover from training *Get a 2 hr massage to make sure I am nice and relaxed *Manicure, pedicure, waxing *Get my hair done by my amazing sister-in-law, Claire Hall.

    9. Worst advice someone has given you?
    I always keep an open mind and heart when it comes to people giving advice.  What I think is most important is doing the research behind the advice that people give.  If there is a new supplement that comes out, an exercise, or product that people recommend, I want to make sure that I do my diligence so I feel confident about taking the advice someone gives.

    10.  If you could choose what to come back as what would it be?
    I own a grey tabby cat name Keika and her life doesn’t seem too rough!  Coming back as a house cat who gets to eat and sleep all day, and get pet whenever I want sounds like a perfect life to come back to!

    11. What is your motto?
    "I can. I am. I did." It is something I repeat in my mind when training gets tough.  It is a way to remind myself that I can get through it, I am getting through it, and by the time it is over I can say I did get through it. They are powerful words that attract positive thoughts, and I do believe in the Law of Attraction; thoughts truly do become things.
    Learn More and Follow Breena Martinez at:
    Instagram: @breenamartinez
    Twitter: @breena_martinez
    Facebook: Breena Martinez IFBB Pro Bikini
    Website: breenamartinez.com
    Photography: "Team Breena"
    Cover Photo: photo cred @iso_hi

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