Natural Bodybuilder Competitor

Interview with Patrick Valero

21 August 2014

Patrick Jack Valero from Adrenalin HQ, West Ryde, NSW

I used to get stressed over training but now I focus only on my diet.  I have had better results by focusing on diet.  My advice is to focus on your diet, train as hard as you can, but don’t stress about training.

What competitions are you competing in?

I’m a Natural Bodybuilder.  I’ll be competing in two INBA competitions; one on September 14th and the second on September 28th.  I’ll be competing in the High Class 2 or 3 division.

What do you do when you’re not competing?

I work in the fleet industry, getting rid of old cars.  I’m a mechanic by trade. 

How did you first get started as a Natural Bodybuilder?

I have competed before.  I was in four competitions in 2010 and one competition in 2012. 

I started bodybuilding at age 19 just to get into a bit of shape.  The gym I went to was run by a guy who showed me what to do.  I used to spend a lot of time playing around with cars but then I stopped doing that so had spare time and started getting into bodybuilding. 

I only ever intended to do one comp but then I liked it.  For the 2010 competition, I had trained for 13 months and entered four comps in one season.  After that my wife and I went overseas and backpacked around Africa, Europe and Asia for one year. 

When I returned from overseas, I wanted to lose weight from having a good time for a year.  I entered a competition as motivation, so I could lose weight by a certain time.  I managed to lose a lot of weight in three months.  At the comp, when I was on stage I realised I wasn’t really good enough to be up on stage.  I had lost a lot of size overseas.  I had trained for 4 months to prepare for the competition, but it was not enough time to get enough size.  I looked too lean and skinny.

When did you start training for this year’s competitions?

I knew I wanted to try again after the 2012 comps and I started training at the end of 2012.  My strict diet started at the end of February.  Right now, I’m the biggest and best I’ve ever been.

I train at Vince and Roz’s gym in Meadowbank.  I don’t have a trainer but I have one training partner that I train with the majority of the time.  There’s a few people competing at the gym and we all support each other.

How does Fitness Meals fit into your training program?

I personally love Fitness Meals.  If I had to give up either supplements or Fitness Meals, I would give up supplements.

I eat 5 times per day.  I used to do my own meal prep.  Every Sunday, I would spend cooking for 5 hours.  And it was longer with the shopping.  It meant I didn’t have any time on the weekends.  My wife and I would spend the whole day on Sunday preparing meals.  It was a massive change when I started getting meals from Fitness Meals. 

When you cook for yourself, you usually only do chicken, but with FM there is lots of variety – kangaroo, fish - things you normally wouldn’t cook.  You don’t get bored because of the variety.  And you don’t have to weigh anything out.  It was always a pain cooking and then portioning out.

It makes competing easier, because it lifted the load.  I can make sure I get to the gym, make sure I’m eating right; and it’s one less thing to worry about.

Where do you pick up your weekly FM meal box?

I have been eating Fitness Meals for one year and go every week to Adrenalin HQ in West Ryde.  Mel, Lucky and Stephen are really good at Adrenalin HQ.  I get all my supplements there and they’ve also been helping me with my posing this year.

You can get supps as cheap or for the same price online but I’m happy to pay more for the advice they give me.  When I first went there, the store was full of people, but they spend as much time as needed with each customer.  And everyone seemed happy to wait.  So I thought this must be a good store, and it is, it’s really good.

What is your favourite meal?

That’s a good question, because I’m missing my favourites right now – the lamb sausages and the butter chicken.  The butter chicken is my cheat meal.  I’ve stopped eating them in the lead up to the comps so now my wife is eating the good ones.

How do you prepare your meals?

I order the 4 meals per day Meal Plan.  I eat 3 of the meals, and my wife has the fourth one.  I then cook myself breakfast and one meal to make up my 5 meals.  I always eat out of the container - why do dishes?

What is the key for you in staying motivated in your training and competitions?

I have always done sport since I was a kid, and was always good, but average at most sports.  When I started bodybuilding, I liked the fact that only a small percent of people can do bodybuilding.  I enjoy knowing that it’s not something that everyone can do.  Also if I don’t train or if I’m not eating right, my body doesn’t feel right.

What advice would you give to other people interested in competing?

The most important thing is the diet side and not to stress about training.  I used to get stressed over training but now I focus only on my diet.  I have had better results by focusing on diet.  So focus on your diet, train as hard as you can, but don’t stress about training.

Who do you admire or find inspirational?

I have been a fan of IFBB pros since I was a kid.  Locally, I find Ryan Laos an inspiration and Lucky Scalone is amazing.  Also Mel, even though I don’t follow women that much, she has achieved amazing things.   I’m also into NRL as I’m from a family of big NRL fans.

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