Laura Santos Talks With

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

I was a sophomore in High School and had a leg press contest with some of the boys on the wrestling team and it started there. I started reading muscular development and found everything I could on female athletes like Debbie Dobbins and Alphie Newman and the Galaxy competitions (yes I am “that” old). I was also very inspired by Kiana Tom and her beach front work outs.

Where does your motivation come from?

Without sounding corny or too hippie-like, my motivation comes from some crazy fire inside, a voice in my head that won’t shut up. It might be a combination of pride and keeping my word. If I say I am going to do something, I have to do it or die trying. That’s how I feel when its time to lean out and get ready. It just “is”— its what I do. When I started in High School I really have never been away from the gym, the gym will always be a part of my life whether I am eating clean or competing or I am an old fart, I will always be in the gym in some form or another.

What is your training philosophy?

Form and function before adding weight and I always switch it up. If I am trying a new exercise its important I understand where I should be feeling it, tweak it where I need to, I start off really light and get used to the movement, and as I become more comfortable with it, I will add weight. Switching things up, especially for women, makes such a huge difference… and I have really been loving and hating plyo work and HIIT.

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  • Military Press: Because I feel like She-Ra (lol)- Shoulders are one of my stronger body parts, both aesthetically and physically. I feel the military press has really helped cap out my delts.
  • Plie Squats: My glutes (and back and hams) are my focus for Nationals and I think plie squats have really helped round out the junk in my trunk.
  • Dips: I love the stretch I get in my chest and shoulders and its one of those nice overall movements and I think dips have helped to really give my arms some great shape. I try to get 15 rep in every time but usually go 15/12/10/8

When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?

I think I stick with straight cardio for the most part, but I incorporate HIIT throughout my season, especially with football conditioning. You can’t beat it for building endurance and stamina, but I think I prefer the long 45-55 minutes/ 2x day for leaning out.

What is your philosophy on nutrition?

Leave it to the experts J. I know what and how to eat for the most part, but I find tremendous value in having someone else organize it, lay it out and tell me what to do. In the off-season, I follow my own little program and enjoy adding fruits, veggies and dairy to my diet. I find my body and skin look so much better when I stick to “whole” and nutritious food, and your body and tastebuds will adept to clean eating and once you figure out how much havoc you wreck on your body, you tend to stay away.

What are your favorite meals and foods?

Pre-Contest: Oatmeal, and my protein shakes and PEANUT BUTTER and almonds. I actually enjoy tilapia and broccoli right after they come out of the oven. I am convinced my body can run on a little more fat then most.

Favorite cheat food?

Nachos and wings, cheese and ice cream/ FroYo and cereal (was I supposed to just choose one?)

What supplements do you use that give you great results?

  • Protein: I love IsoPure since I am lactose— and once I switched to iso zero carb, its hard to use other things. I try to limit myself to 1 (maybe 2) shakes per day but I try to stick to whole foods as much as possible.
  • Thermo’s/ Fat Burners: I have recently tried Clenbutrix—wholly gross-taste—BUT I felt like it worked, really really worked. Otherwise I will cycle my thermogenic products every few weeks.
  • Endorphix: I use this only 2-4 times per month. Typically on my heavy days for legs or back. I had received the product as a sample and like a nerd, I didn’t read what it was for and I just thought it was another thermogenic. Long story short, I had no predisposed notions of what the product was supposed to do, all I know is I had the best work out ever, and I eventually figured out it was the Endorphix.
  • ON BCAA’s
  • ON Womens Multi-Vite
  • Glutamine
  • Pre-Contest I add: Potassium and taurine

Favourite Bodybuilders?

Heather Mae French, Tanji Johnson, Sherlyn Roy

Favorite Quote?

The Journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.