I began testing my body and learning from my mistakes. Years were passing by, but I didn’t rush to achieve my goal. In the interim I was watched amateur and pro shows to learn how to pose, and trained hard to make my body symmetrical.
It took me six years of serious training and diet before my first competition. I was ready and confident. I felt like nothing could stop me. I won every single show I entered in my first year as well as the second. Then in 1998 I became the first woman from Brazil to earn an IFBB pro card. My discipline and focus leaded me to achieve my goal of becoming one of the best female bodybuilders of the world.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: What is your motivation to be a multi-faceted personality of a fitness model, professional bodybuilder competitor and IFBB-Pro athlete?
Ms. Monica Martin: I retired from bodybuilding competitions in 2005 but continue fitness modeling. I have been doing this for almost 20 years. One of the sources of motivation comes from the appreciation of my fans. It makes me always strive to get better. Makes me keep raising the bar higher. The other source of motivation comes is my goal for perfection.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Share your exercise routine that you do to maintain such a perfect physique?
Ms. Monica Martin: I go to the gym 6 days a week. Take one day off. I like the basic exercises. I train two groups of muscles a day. I use 3 to 4 different types of exercises for each group of muscles. I perform 4 sets for each exercise with heavy enough weight to be able to execute 15 to 25 reps per set. I train flexibility, core exercises and some yoga.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: What is your diet? Do you take a particular fixed, regulated diet comprising of nutrients and vitamins to keep you in perfect health?
Ms. Monica Martin: I like to eat high protein meals with a small portion of carbohydrates.
For protein sources I use: Steaks, chicken breast, lean ground turkey, lean ground Buffalo, Salmon, and eggs.
For carbohydrate sources I use: Basmati or Jasmine rice, as well as yellow Dutch potatoes.
I like nuts. I don’t eat most beans. However I do like and eat Garbanzo beans.
I eat fruits. I love berries such: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and pineapple.
To complement my diet I use vitamin complex, EPA/DHA essentials, aminos and collagen ( good for skin and hair ) and to protect the immune system I use Black Elderberry.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You have glowing skin and gorgeous hair. Do you take some kind of skin treatment to keep it young and glowing and secondly what you do to your hair to make them look so stunning?
Ms. Monica Martin: Thanks. I keep my skin very hydrated with good quality moisturizers for face and body. I drink a lot of water too it helps to keep the skin hydrated. For my hair I use conditioner and shampoo. Morocan oil, it really helps to keep the hair really silky and soft. Every two months I get Brazilian Keratin treatment.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Fitness modeling is about bold photo shoots. You have done photo shoots and showed your spectacular chiseled physique in magazines like Flex, MuscleMag, MDevelopment, Women’s Physique World, Ironman and TV shows in Brazil(SBT,Globo) & US(TLC-Miami Ink). What advice you wish to give to the women of today to be body confident in order to do such bold modeling?
Ms. Monica Martin: First of all, it’s very important to be in good shape, 365 days a year. It will help to make you a step above the other fitness models. It gives you the extra self-confidence needed to get more photoshoots and work. One needs to create their very own style. The key to success is to evolve.