Yaxeni Oriquen Interview
Yaxeni's long successful bodybuilding competition history started in 1989, and after attaining her Pro bodybuilder card in 1994, she emigrated to the United States
in order to compete at higher levels. So far Yaxeni has competed in over 36 bodybuilding competitions, winning Ms Olympia 2005, and the Ms International in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
In this exclusive interview, Yaxeni describes what it takes to be a bodybuilding champion.
Author: Jonathan.L - owner Models Observer
* Yaxeni, how are you? What's new in your life?
Yaxeni Oriquen: I am doing very well. My son recently turned 17 years old and I am in the process of buying him a car and making plans for him to attend college. In addition, I just began dieting for the 2008 Arnold Classic.
* Your name is very unique. What's the meaning of it?
Yaxeni Oriquen: My mother named her 4 daughters with names beginning with the letter Y. Yaxeni has an Indian heritage but I am not sure of the meaning.
* I see you grew up in a large family with 4 brothers and 4 sisters! What was it like? How were your relationship with your parents?
Yaxeni Oriquen: It was wonderful growing up in Venezuela with a large family, never a dull moment. Especially, at the dinner table where we had to fight for food. My parents were both special people; they have both passed away.
* What made you start bodybuilding?
Yaxeni Oriquen: I always felt that I was too thin. Friends and family would poke fun at me calling me "flaca"- which means skinny. I responded well to weights and fell in love with bodybuilding.
* You are Ms Olympia 2005, and Ms. International champion in 2002, 2003 and 2005. For many bodybuilders it's only a dream to be so successful, and you made it reality. How has winning these awards affected your professional and personal life?
Yaxeni Oriquen: Being a very religious person I feel truly blessed with my accomplishments. However, I have worked extremely hard for the past 18 years training 6 days a week. Bodybuilding has instilled in me a solid work ethic and discipline. This translates into other areas of my life as well; always following through on my commitments.
* What was your training program like for 2005 Ms. Olympia?
Yaxeni Oriquen: This is an interesting question. As athletes we try to present the look that the judges are looking for. For 2005, I came in with a more feminine look; that is, muscular but with softer lines. This did not work out for 2006 where I did not place as well. Currently, they are rewarding the girls with the harder and dryer physiques which is very challenging to attain.
* What did you eat in order to build your great muscle mass? How many calories did you consume a day?
Yaxeni Oriquen: Food is extremely important to build muscle mass. In the off-season I try to eat about 1.5 grams/lbs of protein & a little less than 1.5 grams/lbs of carbs. I divide this over about 6 meals a day. The key is clean, unprocessed food.
* Which bodybuilding supplements helped you achieve your goals?
Yaxeni Oriquen: In addition to protein shakes, I take multivitamins, and anti-oxidants such as Vitamin A,C,& E.
* What have you learned or discovered about your body since becoming a bodybuilder?
Yaxeni Oriquen: I have learned that what works for one athlete may not work as well for another. Our bodies are unique. For example, I have the typical Latin bottom, and have a difficult time getting my glutes striated.
* Is it easier to reach the top of bodybuilding, more than staying there? Why do you think so?
Yaxeni Oriquen: Definitely more difficult to stay there. Everyone wants to beat the number 1 person. I think this applies to all walks of life.
* Would you say your background in modeling and acting benefits you in bodybuilding competitions?
Yaxeni Oriquen: Absolutely. The posing and choreography come very naturally and is probably the only area where I don't have to work hard. Often even I don't even know what I'm going to do until I get out there on stage.
* Your body is one of the strongest bodies the world has ever known. How strong are your muscles? What are your best lifts in the gym?
Yaxeni Oriquen: Ha ha ha! That is funny because I currently train with my brother-in-law who calls me a horse. I lift more weight than the majority of men in my gym. During leg press I fill the racks with 45 lbs plates and have someone standing on top of the machines to add additional weight.
* What is the best part of being a personal trainer? Would you like to tell me about a difference you've made in someone's life through personal training?
Yaxeni Oriquen: This is who I am. I love helping people achieve their goals and all of my clients are different. Some want to lose weight, others want to tone up, and a few want to become bodybuilders.
* Please describe a typical day of yours.
Yaxeni Oriquen: A typical day involves working with 8-10 clients as a personal trainer. I work out with weights for an hour and do cardio for 45 minutes. I try to take a short nap at mid-day. I prepare all the food for my family at night before bedtime.
* What do you like to do in your free time?
Yaxeni Oriquen: Eat, eat, eat. I love to eat! I spend time with my husband and son. I also enjoy traveling and working in my garden.
* Do you plan to compete in 2008 Ms. Olympia?
Yaxeni Oriquen: I plan on winning 2008 Ms. Olympia and regaining my title as Ms. O!
Yaxeni's website: www.yaxeni.com.