Name: Ary Rodriguez
Location: Miami, FL
What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
Being a girl who has strong and positive thoughts about herself and others. Being in the best shape of my life both physically and mentally.
How long have you been training?
How did you get introduced to strength training?
A friend from high school began to do personal training at the gym her husband started with a partner. After seeing her posts on Facebook, I approached her about joining their bootcamp. What attracted me to them the most was that they are unlike most gyms. They consider themselves a transformation studio, and that means they work with you on transformation physically, psychologically, personally and professionally.
What does a sample workout look like for you?
I love the bootcamp workouts at my gym, and this is what one of those might look like:
If I had to pick one lift it would be Turkish Get-Ups. They are tough, but effective!
Most memorable PR:
Every PR is memorable! But really, using the 20-pound dumbbells the first time—Wow! I felt so strong!
Top 5 songs on your training playlist:
- When We Stand Together by Nickelback
- Brave by Sara Bareilles
- Fight Song by Rachel Platten
- Titanium by David Guetta ft. Sia
- Hasta Que Se Seque El Malecón by Jacob Forever (like a true Cuban-Miamian!)
- Nadie Te Lo Quita by Lazarita Bacallao
Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym/in your gym bag:
My gloves, water bottle, and gym clothes for the rest of the week. When I first began my journey I knew I had to do everything I could to eliminate any excuses that would keep me from not working out. I pack a week’s worth of gym clothes to make sure I have everything I need.
Do you prefer to train alone or with a training partner? Why?
I prefer to train with a partner because you’re able to keep each other focused and motivated.
Best compliment you’ve received lately:
I recently received a message that said, “I love seeing your posts. It reminds me to love myself.”
Most recent compliment you gave someone else:
You’re fabulous! Keep it up!
Most embarrassing gym moment:
As I was driving to the gym one day, I noticed a ball on my arm. When I got to the gym I asked my trainer if that was normal. He started laughing and said, “Ary, those are your muscles!”
Anything! I love food!
Favorite way to treat yourself:
Mani/Pedi’s and massages!
When Ary’s in need of a pick-me-up, there’s no time to waste sitting around making a face. A mani/pedi or a massage will make everything all right.
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” —Karim Seddiki
Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss
What inspires and motivates you?
Seeing change in the mirror. Being surrounded by people who are changing and growing for themselves.
What do you do for a living?
I am an Office Manager for an Acupuncture clinic. I am also a Hypnotist.
What else do you do?
I am a Reiki and Magnified Healing Master, and a notary public.
What does a typical day look like for you from waking up to bedtime?
I wake up, go straight to the bathroom and drink my first eight ounces of water as I check social media. Then I make myself some breakfast, usually a protein shake, and down that with another 16 ounces of water and my supplements. I then get ready for work and spend the following eight hours there, until it’s gym time. When I get to the gym, I change quickly and prepare mentally to give my best. After an intense hour, I go home, have dinner and sit down in front of my journal to write down my meals, three things I am grateful for, what I learned today, and what I love about myself (they all have to be different daily). Finally, it’s time for a shower, a little meditation, and then off to sleep for the next eight or nine hours.
What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from lifting heavy?
Seeing muscles I didn’t know I had!
Next training goal:
Push-ups without modifications.
What are you most grateful for you in your life?
My family and friends. They are my support system.
What life accomplishment are you most proud of thus far?
Losing 115 pounds
Three words that best describe you:
Stubborn, determined, grateful.
Tell us about a time when you faced fear or doubt, and how it turned out:
We were doing a circuit at the gym that required us to jump over a bench. I was scared I was going to trip over the bench and hit the floor face-first. I started with a modification but talked myself into trying. I did—and killed it!
How has lifting weights changed your life?
I have gotten leaner in a way I didn’t think was possible. This one thing has made me realize that anything is possible in my life, beyond physical transformation.
What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start strength training?
Many of us fear we will lose our figure and look more “masculine.” The truth is you won’t get bulky unless you’re specifically training for that outcome. I enjoy all of this so much! I can honestly say once you start, you will never want to stop.