Sylvia Duque

I am originally from Quito, Ecuador and I have lived in Houston since I was 12yrs old. Learning English was a challenge, as well as attending public schools where you're mixed in with boys in your classes... wait... did I say boys? YEAH, I was attending a nun school in Quito before moving to the USA!

The first time I visited a gym here it was to jump up and down and enjoy the dancing at aerobic classes. I didn't have any idea about muscle, definition and much less about competitions in bodybuilding. In my early 30's I noticed girls with muscular arms and thought WOW, she's got toned arms! Yet, I kept on walking and did regular workouts at the gym.

In January 2007 I decided this is what I wanted to do, it would be my goal to be on stage some day. I knew I would need professional help for training and for nutrition of course. Not hesitating nor letting anything stop me I found both sources. Very fortunate to this day and proud to say my nutritionist Keith Klein has been the key to my success. Within 7 months of intense training I stood at my first show winning 5th in Figure/Masters Division. From there on it has been a journey and a unique experience with each and every show I’ve done. This being my 7th year, I have done from Bikini, Figure to Physique and bodybuilding. There is not a division I have not done and have many experiences with each event for today I feel confident on what I’m doing.

Sylvia Duque

Sylvia Duque. Photo by Carlos - Studio Galvan.

In 2009 I felt the challenge, the pressure and confusion as to where did I really belong? I had competed in 4 shows and yet I was not placing first which made it difficult to accept. Keith suggested I made the switch to bodybuilding. I didn’t see myself as a bodybuilder and yet didn’t know that even at my small frame the results would be amazing! As usual I must admit my nutritionist had a lot to do with this cross over. He was so certain I had reached the measurements needed to compete as a bodybuilder. I also love challenges so I took him up on this. My personal trainer helped me with my posing and as a team I can say WE did it! I literally was tearing up back stage out of disbelief! It was such an emotional moment for me. It was my 5th competition and to win first place in the Masters Div. and second place in the Lightweight bodybuilding Div. was unbelievable. I was so proud that I walked out with a huge grin!" I knew then I had made it to Nationals and couldn’t wait.

I had been dieting most of the year and kept my loyalty as for the 6 meal plan which I usually feel keeps me full at all times. Carb intake had to be reduced but not eliminated for bodybuilding but I wouldn’t crave them. The only thing to crave was my crunchy peanut butter with rice cake and coffee!

As for supplements, I made sure I was on Potassium, D, C, Omega-3, glutamine on daily basis. My pre-workouts supplements did vary at times. Your body gets use to one and making the switch is always good. When on the road or any special event to attend I had to make sure I would eat before or take my meals with me. Missing a meal was to feel sleepy and tired as the body was needy of nutrients and absorbing as much during training season.

I am a certified boot camp trainer as well as personal trainer. Sessions for boot camp are soon to start this March 2013 around the Clear Lake, Pearland area where I reside.

My goal is to get my Pro card this year. Achieving this at 53 years old would make me so proud and from there I would think it is a given that I would just keep going. Continuing to stay in shape and being motivational to other people. I know I'm already there because of the compliments I get from females who want to have my arms and legs! And here I thought I had chicken!

I look at my ‘before' pics and I see myself as weak and simple. Even though I have a small frame I love adding more and more weight to my reps and challenging myself just to see how far I can go now. I like it and the more I do it the more I get pumped and inspired. Yet, I do need outside inspiration at times when my body seems to become stubborn and lazy. When I see a trainer flex a muscle, or a TV show like The Strongest Man' or even a song with lyrics that say ‘I am independent and strong'...that makes any weakness go away!

Today I feel I look the best I’ve ever looked. Who would have thought I’d be called “brickhouse” or “Texas Tornado” but I have inherited those ‘middle names’ with different vendors I’ve worked with. I am proud to say I compete in INBA shows. I’m also part of the Labrada, AllMax and Gatorade products. I have met so many great people everywhere I’ve competed and have so much more to explore. Most of my traveling now is either to compete or do photo shoots which I also enjoy now.

My inspiring thoughts to end?

Follow your instincts and always be positive. If you hit the gym, make every minute count if you want results. Don't look back at what you use to be just focus on where you're going and what your goals are. Time management is not practiced enough if you claim you ‘don't have time'. Time is gold, use it and use it well.

Sylvia Duque

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