Beauty queen trainer Angelo Mendez discloses the secrets to achieving the ideal shapely figure for aspiring titleholders
With the 72nd Miss Universe season fully underway with the culmination of the preliminary round, there is one question lingering across many of our minds: How can we achieve the same lean and lithe figure? To answer this question, we asked beauty queen trainer Angelo Mendez the secret behind his success in mentoring pageant candidates. And in this interview with MEGA Active, he shared how others can get into shape for pageant season.
When it comes to training beauty queens, Mendez has a good track record. For one thing, he has been a reliable figure in this scene for years, developing fitness and nutritional programs for the likes of Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2023 Anna Valencia Lakrini, Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2022 Gabrielle Camille Basiano, and Miss CosmoWorld 2022 Meiji Cruz. He is also the Advertising Director of Gold’s Gym Philippines, which has produced the Best in Swimsuit in Binibining Pilipinas from 2014 to 2017, and again in 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023.
Behind the scenes
There’s no one-size-fits-all routine for every woman. Before personalizing any workout routine for a trainee, Mendez first considers their height, weight, and fitness level. The duration of the training period is also a subjective experience. According to him, some pageant candidates have gotten in shape and ready for competitions in three to four weeks, while others take longer. “Controlling the diet would be the main factor here as self-discipline between individuals vary a lot,” he said.
Of course, nutrition plays a pivotal role for a beauty queen in training. As Mendez explained, “A proper dietary regimen is absolutely necessary for someone who wants to win a pageant or to look good on the fashion stage. Some do intermittent fasting, some do calorie deficits, and a few who are underweight need to eat more of the right food to gain weight.”
The other side of the training process involves a lot of exercise. “For pageants, a toned body is the goal, so this is best achieved by strength training,” he said, careful not to divulge too many of his secrets. Examples for strength training include exercises like planks, squats, push-ups, and weightlifting—and all of these are best done at a fully-equipped gym.
According to Mendez, getting into beauty-queen-worthy shape requires gym equipment. “Gym equipment is absolutely necessary to develop a winning body. You need to be able to train the whole body to develop shape. A gym with complete equipment is mandatory,” he explained.
He went on to say that while he has seen a few girls get into shape from at-home workouts, this result is more of an exception to the rule. “There are some muscle groups, like the back muscles, which can’t be really targeted by simple home equipment. You can opt for a suspension trainer, which you can use for the home, though this is still lacking in some movements,” he said.
All of these Mendez learned throughout his long career, producing the “best in swimsuit” winners year after year in one of the most prominent national pageants. And on that note, he emphasized that his success rate is borne from the fact that he lives and breathes pageants. And the secret to his success? Tapping into the mind-muscle connection and developing a keen eye for what works and what doesn’t.
“The most important aspect of my training process is to develop a ‘mind-muscle’ connection and also to see the ‘cause and effect’ of eating certain foods and how it affects one’s body,” he shared. Finally, he closed with this statement, “If you want to win, you have to put in the effort. No one wins by ‘cruising along’ thinking that they’ve already got the goods to win. No matter how good you are, there is always room to improve.”
Photos: ANGELO MENDEZ (via Instagram)
Featured Image: ANNA VALENCIA LAKRINI (via Instagram)