Name: Wendy Fortino
How did you get started with Fitness/Bodybuilding?
Well, first, I want to correct the term “bodybuilding”, and specify that I am not a bodybuilder. I am a figure competitor. They are much different categories in terms of competing. I know it all gets lumped under the same thing, but we really are different.
At any rate, I never imagined myself competing in this sport until the summer of 2008 when I needed something to focus on after getting injured in my original sport: Track.
I was an 800-meter runner with aspirations to shoot for the Olympics, but time started to run out and I just kept getting hurt.
Unfortunately, I missed out on competing in the Olympic Trials in 2008 due to my injury, but my (now) husband came to the rescue when he suggested I train and compete for a figure competition. So I did! And I won the overall figure title in my first show! That was the start of my new chapter!
Where does your motivation come from?
I can’t quite figure out why I am so genuinely crazy. People tell me all the time that I “make this look easy”, but I don’t know how I am making it look easy. It’s not! I am just able to push myself harder than most (I think) every day. I’ve always been this way. Even when I ran track, there were people who were much faster than me, but could not hang with me in a workout because I just trained insane day in and day out. I guess that is my motivation. Every day, when I train hard, I think to myself, “I don’t think there is another person on the planet working as hard as I am right now…”, and then I push a little harder…
What’s your typical workout look like?
I actually don’t have a “typical” workout. Every day for the last four years, I have never repeated the same workout twice. It is different every single day.
I decide what I will train and how I will train it when I get to the gym completely based on what needs work, what is fully recovered, and how I feel.
With that said, I typically train with a lot of intensity. I workout like a serious athlete, and I do not perform many heavy lifts. I will move from one exercise to another trying to figure out as I go how I can possibly hit the part of my body I am trying to work just a little better. This is a very advanced way to go, and I believe that people typically need a plan. I just never have an exact plan because I have memorized every last detail about my body and how it works.
What is your typical diet like?
My typical diet is never extreme. People say, “I could never do what you do! I love my carbs too much!”… Really? I don’t believe in that. I believe it creating a healthy body and healthy metabolism that can optimally utilize clean carbs, fats, and protein in moderate amounts. I just don’t eat junk. My diet includes a lot of fish, vegetables, potatoes, berries, nuts, and pretty much anything that you could think of that has come directly from nature. I am not perfect, but I can tell you that it is always anti-climactic if I allow myself to eat something really “junky”.
Who is the most inspiring person to you in regards to fitness and in general?
The most inspiring people are our clients. I know that I do this sport too, but we have some amazing clients we work with who give me inspiration to do what I do!
Our recent client who turned pro by winning the overall title at Master’s Nationals, Mark Byers, is such a disciplined, amazing person.
He went from playing in the NFL, to getting injured, and several surgeries later, he decided to compete in bodybuilding. He came out of nowhere and won his pro card! Also, another client, Mark Blackwell, is a huge inspiration! He came to my husband (Matt Allen) after taking several years off of bodybuilding, and he was not very healthy overall. He just decided it was time to make a change, and as I watched him spend an entire year changing his life and making slow progression, he has maintained one of the best physiques I think that the Master’s National stage will see this year!
I am also in awe of our bikini client, Tasha Standridge, who didn’t even know that she was dealing with metabolic damage when she came to us; however, she kept it completely under control by staying so on point with her nutrition.
She looks so beautiful on stage that I just hope that the way I feel about how amazing she looks is how other people feel about me. We have many amazing clients, and they all inspire me. We are all here to teach each other, and I feel that I am in a great place in that I have the knowledge and experience to pull some great people into my circle, and I have the benefit of learning from these people as well!
What are your favorite pre and post workout meals?
I love to eat turkey burgers wrapped in lettuce and tomatoes right after I workout in the evening. Before a workout, I usually eat fish and veggies. The word “favourite” doesn’t really come to my mind; although, I don’t really think of food that way. I just think of it as fuel, and I try to enjoy it!
What is your proudest achievement so far?
My proudest achievement so far was winning the Overall title at the 2011 NPC USA Figure Championships. As soon as I started this sport, I felt like that was the only thing I ever wanted, and I did it! I am still in shock to this day, so that means it is time to put another big achievement under my belt!
If you had to pick three exercises what would they be and why?
Incline walking lunges on a treadmill (for cardio): this is such a great way to do high intensity cardio without any impact, so you will recover very fast!
Sumo Squats holding a dumbbell: This have been a magical exercise for me to develop the inside of my glutes.
Front shoulder press: this is a great one because it helps to develop the front part of the shoulders; which I feel is shallow on most people due to not hitting them enough with the rest of the shoulders.
What mistakes did you make when first starting out?
Where do I start?! I made so many mistakes, I can’t even count. That could be a whole separate interview/article! lol
How long do you spend in the gym during a typical workout?
I usually spend about 1.5 hours: 45min workout; 45min cardio
Fun quick questions for our readers
Favorite Color? Green
Favorite Food? Pomegranates
Favorite TV show? Catfish
Favorite Movie? Not sure
Favorite Band/Artist? Sublime
Do you have any pets? No, I Love animals too much and wouldn’t be able to take care of one.