Miss Yessica Martinez is brains, beauty and brawn. Not only is she is a powerlifter, she's a strong man competitor and all around bad ass!
Hello! My name is Yessica Martinez and I am a 24-year old psychology and social work graduate from Florida International University. Earned my elite title in 2011, with a 755-pound total in the 132-pound weight class, at the SPF Outlaw Meet. I'm also a strongman competitor training to qualify for the Arnold. As a raw powerlifter and strongman competitor, my ultimate goal is to watch the sport grow and help others along the way.
When did you get into lifting and why?
I had just graduated high school back in 2009. Around that time, my brother was already into lifting and conditioned me throughout my senior year in prep for basketball season. He introduced me to Randy Scoates, owner of Idolmaker Physique and Performance, and from then on it was basically the beginning of my lifting career. I started off knowing very little about lifting, let alone the sport of powerlifting, which is always funny to think about. Training with the female athletes there, a majority of them were competitive figure girls or physique girls. Sometimes they would implement a few movements here and there but obviously, they were training for aesthetics, not strength. Only the guys powerlifting following westside/conjugate method. Then, one day, Randy approached me and asked "do you want to powerlift?" I suppose it was one of those "why the hell not" moments and I'm sure he caught me glancing, interested in what they were doing. Started training with the powerlifting crew and haven't looked back since...
Why did I start? It was something against the norm I was willing to take on, and at that point, I knew that was something I really needed and wanted. Granted, it wasn't an easy transition. My body changed, you had to be really dedicated, and I didn't have the mentality I do now. But I found something that I'm very passionate about and that has helped me grow physically and mentally over the years. Honestly, I don't know what I would be doing if I wasn't competing. It has opened so many doors and opportunities and it's a humbling feeling.
Best meet total to date
Currently, I hold the APF Florida State and National Record in Junior and Open Women's Raw division with a 830.5-pound total: 297(without wraps)/181/352.5
You lift with some pretty strong dudes! What's it like being a female in a male dominated sport?
Honestly, I think we are at a point in the sport where if you put in the hard work you earn respect. I train with strong dudes which helps me push myself and I love it, but we all have a mutual respect for each other. We help each other out. That's what being a team is all about.
What's your approach to nutrition?
Weight is not so much of an issue as it was before. I compete in the 132 weight class in PL and 140 and below (lightweight) in strongman, so I try to keep within range of 132-141. Some may need to follow a more strict regimen. I balance my eating since I can get away with a few things. I normally eat well during the week and then I'll just enjoy what I want on the weekends. You gotta live, right?
Favorite go to meal:
Rib eye and brussel sprouts
Favorite cheat meal:
That's tough. . . Burgers. And beer. Definitely beer.
3 tips for newbie lifters:
- Be smart. Don't cut drastic weight or open up with numbers you've never done in the gym. Your first meet is your base, your starting point. You want to do well and build confidence.
- Don't do anything you wouldn't normally do. It's just another day at the gym. Overeating, intake more pre-workout and supplements than you normally do. Just don't. Relax.
- Have fun. Never forget the bigger picture.
What get's you through the tough training sessions
I always think about one of my favorite articles "Iron and the Soul". Whether it's a good or bad training session, it's time well spent to learn what I'm made of. Nothing good comes without hard work and a certain amount of pain. The fact that I'm able to do and enjoy something I'm passionate about almost everyday: whether I am hungry for more after a PR or worthless after a shitty day, I will always have the will to keep moving forward.
Speed round: (One-word answers)
- PR song: "Drop the world" - Lil Wayne
- One lift to live with for the rest of your life: Deadlift
- Biggest Inspiration: Be your own inspiration
- Nike or Reebok: Nike
- Abs or Traps: Traps
- Cupcakes or Doughnuts: Chocolate cake
- Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks: Starbucks