It’s my purpose in life to empower people with the knowledge to make intelligent choices when it comes to achieving optimal health and fitness, reversing aging and living a disease-free life. My mission is teaching the “secret” of staying youthful, fit, and disease free, finding happiness within; and motivating people to take action “today” to start their own journey into “total health” of the mind and body – then, most importantly, giving back by passing it on to others.
I am a 50 plus-year-old man who has the health and body of a man in his 20s or 30s, and it did not happen by accident. It was a choice I consciously made. I was not blessed with great genetics. I was a “chubby” kid up until junior high school. I had no guidance in my diet: there were always plenty of sweets, ice cream, cookies, cake, butter, potato chips, sugar-loaded cereals and soda around the house.
I went out for the wrestling team in junior high and went from “chubby” to slender. Wrestling started bad eating habits – binging after a match, then starving to make weight for the next contest.
By the time I went to college, I was completely screwed up. I didn’t participate in any sports, and from a subconscious fear of getting fat, I became the thinnest I have ever been. I had a false image of myself and how I looked, and bordered on an eating disorder. In my mind, I thought my malnourished, thin body looked good. I didn’t have a clue. I stayed like this through college, then went overseas for six years. One day I went through a scrapbook of some pictures from overseas, and it hit me like a hammer on the head. I looked sickly and unhealthy. In one picture, my thigh looked about the same size as my calf! I knew right then I needed to do something. I was a 25-year-old, skinny, unhealthy, 5’9″, 150-pound man.
My change didn’t occur overnight, but became a process of gradual steps. I knew that to change my self-image, I had to change my body. I had to put on some weight, but didn’t want to put on any kind of weight; I wanted to put on muscular weight.
So what did I do? I took action. I went to the gym the next day and joined. I started reading fitness magazines to give me the knowledge to attain my goal.
What I didn’t know was that this decision was going to change the quality of my life forever. I went from gaining some lean body mass to focusing on total health – how to live the highest quality of life possible.
I started lifting weights (resistance training) and continued to read books and magazines on health, diet and fitness. I was constantly absorbing knowledge on how to reach my goal.
As time passed, I began to see results from my actions. I started gaining body mass and strength. It is hard to describe the feeling of elation when you start to see your body change. It motivates you to continue and go to the next level. Over the course of time, it becomes addicting.
In my case, I developed a passion for fitness and health. I couldn’t think of a better passion to have.
I have gone from being a skinny, unhealthy, 150-pound, 25-year-old with a negative self-image, to a totally healthy and fit 200-pound, lean, muscular 52-year-old with a totally positive self-image, and have the body-age of somebody in their late 20s. My blood pressure is an excellent 118 over 74 (the norm is 120 over 80), my resting heart rate is that of a long distance runner (around 50 – the norm is 72) and my cholesterol is low. I am sick once or twice a year, tops, and haven’t pulled or strained a muscle in over 20 years. These are the indicators and the benefits of living healthy.
I am living proof that you can devote as little as 7 hours a week of physical “exercise” and see fantastic results when you combine it with a nutritious diet, some supplementation and plenty of rest (who doesn’t like to sleep?). This is only 6% of your waking hours, figuring a nightly eight-hour sleep. When you look at my “before” and “after” pictures, you won’t argue with results and if I can do it, anyone can.
My escape is hitting the gym and getting away from the tension of work and daily problems. I look forward to it – I don’t dread it. It is fun, rewarding and stress relieving. Strength training is truly the fountain of youth.
I am a self-professed health fanatic. I haven’t missed more than two weeks at the gym in over 25 years. It is not my profession, but my lifestyle. I am passionate about health. I am one of the best at what I do … being healthy! Very successful people who are good at what they do have one very important element in common – they all have an intense passion.
I decided to enter my first bodybuilding competition ever, at 47, in May 2002 (Nevada State Bodybuilding Championships). This would truly be a test of my health program. I hired Diana Dennis, one of the best in the business, to do my contest diet and posing routine, since I knew nothing about either. I won the Masters (over 40 years old) Class and finished 3rd in the open (all ages) light-heavyweight class against guys who obviously were not “natural” and 20 years my junior. It was one of the most rewarding days of my life!
A few months later I entered the Musclemag Universe Modelquest Competition in Las Vegas and won that Masters Competition also.
I am not a bodybuilder. I am a health/fitness expert. The reason I entered these two contests was to prove that my health regimen was so good that all I had to do to win both of these was to gain knowledge on posing routines and pre-contest dieting.
Since then I have been featured in FLEX Magazine, Health Smart, 944, MAQ, LVAC Magazine, Frank Sepe’s AXL Magazine and Muscle & Fitness Magazine. I wrote for Fun & Fit Magazine for three years and now have a monthly column called “Rico’s Room” in StripLV Magazine. My site’s mission is to give you readers the knowledge and the motivation and the power to change your lives, to become optimally healthy, to live the fullest lives possible and to share your knowledge with others.