Muscle-Munch Talks with: Fitness Cover Model Nancy Di Nino
How did you get started?
I started conditioning during my years as a gymnast, this was at the beginning of high school when I was15 years of age. I signed up for my first real gym membership as I wanted to continue the strict training regime I developed from gymnastics. I used to beat the boys in arm wrestles at school and could leg press more than them as well….so everyone was fascinated by it, they thought I was a mini superwoman haha.
I started as a competitive gymnast and I’m also a hip hop dancer and Professional Salsa Dancer who performed at the Bacardi World Salsa Congress in Puerto Rico. I always trained throughout high school, lifting weights to keep me good shape for the other sports I was involved in such as Volleyball, Track & Field and Cheerleading. Gymnastics gave me my best conditioning growing up which I started at the age of 7, I was averaging over 700 ab exercises a day!
Anyway…how my figure athlete career started, I was in the gym one day and someone approached me and suggested I try a fitness competition since I had the essential ingredients of fitness, gymnastics and dance. I chuckled at the idea thinking “no way this booty will get up on that stage in a swimsuit”. The person said to me ‘Are you saying you can’t??’…and the “Can’t” word was enough for me to take on a new challenge…don’t ever tell me I can’t do something, that’s when the true warrior comes out of me!
What your diet consists of and why?
My diet is constantly changing, it really depends on what I’m training for and what I have in the works. I’m actually in the process of streamlining my physique and decreasing my muscle mass so I’ve lowered my protein intake while maintaining good fats and lower carbohydrates.
What supplements do you use?
- Omega 3-6-9 Fish Oil’s.
- Chromium Picolinate.
- Vitamin C.
- Calcium & Magnesium.
Example of diet
This Varies and changes monthly.
- Meal 1: 4oz Steak with ½ cup oatmeal
- Meal 2: 4 Egg whites
- Meal 3: 4oz Chicken breast with a salad
- Meal 4: Low carb protein shake
- Meal 5: 4oz Steak with 1 cup mixed green vegetables
- Meal 6: 4oz Tilapia with 6 asparagus spears
What does your current work-out routine look like?
My training routine is forever changing, it really depends on what I am prepping for. It’s always kept pretty intense regardless of whether I am training for a show, photo shoot or modelling appearance. I like to always maintain a physique that is fit, marketable and model friendly so that I’m able to cater my physique to what ever projects or goals pop up whether it be a competition or modelling assignments in either the fitness, urban or Latin industries. Yes I know…I’m a 2 timer, I like to have the best of both worlds (wink! wink!).
Cardio is my best friend and I do 35-40 minutes of it 5-6 mornings a week and if I’m prepping for a show, I like to add 35-40 minutes of cardio into the evenings as well. As far as weight training goes, I continue to train 5 day’s a week. I no longer train with heavy weights, I’d much rather do lighter weights with higher reps to maintain my conditioning. Ironically most people are killing themselves to put on muscle where as I am doing my best to maintain and even lose muscle, especially in my legs! I carry a lot of muscle that has developed over the years from my competitive gymnastics and dance. In an effort to reduce the muscle I carry on my leg’s, my trainer incorporates a lot of plyometrics movements and conditioning activites that will shrink them down. As for my rep scheme I like to keep them 30-50 rep’s per exercise and I like to include plyometric and dynamic condition into my training at least 2-3 times a week.
If I’m prepping for a competition I increase the intensity and frequency and try give myself lot’s of time to prepare (a minimum of 14 weeks). During this phase I try up my cardio to 3 times a day, this includes sprinting up stairs, long run’s and sprints around the track.
What are your max lifts?
I haven’t lifted heavy for such a long time as I like to keep my weight’s low and rep’s high so I don’t really know. The heaviest thing I’ve done recently is 40lb a side on the shoulder press.
What’s your favourite cheat meal?
Can I only pick one????
Pizza is my favourite, then it has to be cookies and popcorn!
Who is your favourite bodybuilder?
This is a hard one as there are so many different eras! I loved Frank Zane and Arnold Schwarzenegger from back in the day. Flex Wheeler and Shawn Ray also carried out the 90’s and early 2000 with wonderful symmetrical frames.
IF YOU COULD GIVE SOMEONE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE OR YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
“Success starts on the side, not the outside.”
“Why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?” hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh