I’M AIMING FOR THE BEST CONDITION IN MY WEIGHT CLASS AND THE BEST PACKAGE I HAVE BROUGHT TO DATE.

BIG BACK GRIPS USER PROFILE INTERVIEW: Martae Ruelas

Martae Ruelas is the upfront, tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy we really admire. We met him in person for the first time at Metroflex Gym in Phoenix where he trains. After we were introduced he said, “I wrote you guys about sponsoring me a few months ago but you ignored me.”  We hate when people hold back and so we liked Martae right away. And we have corrected our oversight: we are sponsoring Martae for his appearance in the West Coast Classic in California next June.

BBG: Hi Martae. Just so people have a little context, can you give us a brief run-down of your competitive history? And what are you current basic stats?

Martae: I have competed several times in the past. I won the first show I ever competed in as a bantamweight. Then won the lights, and then middles a

little later. I’m 5’4” and currently 185 right now going into the show as a middleweight.

Interview Questions

BBG: And that show  you’re getting ready for would be the West Coast Classic in Rosemead, California in June. (For which we are proudly sponsoring you!) Tell us about your contest prep and what stats you are aiming for by show time.

Martae: I’m aiming for the best condition possible in my weight class and the best package I have brought to date. The West Coast is the first show that I will have competed in that I’m actually doing cardio to prep for – I have never done cardio to prep for a show before. I have an amazing coach, Josh Barnett, owner of Metroflex Gym Phoenix, who also happens to be my training partner so it makes a huge difference in my approach to the show.

BBG:  Nice. So give us a little biography if you can. Where you’re from, what you do.  And what brought you to the Phoenix area?

Martae: I’m from Phoenix, born and raised. I was homeless as a kid growing up. Not much of a background – I just ran the streets, lived in group homes and shelters coming up. So I had to grow up fast. Right now I’m a fitness model for Artuli Media out in Miami and fly out and travel to shoots as well. And there are several clients for whom I’m a personal trainer as well.

BBG: What are your long terms goals in bodybuilding? How far do you see yourself going?

Martae: I want that coveted IFBB Pro Card. There is no way around it. I can see myself going far, visualizing myself taking my physique to the next level and beyond. God has given me nice genetics and I plan on working with what I’ve been given to bring out the best in myself.

BBG: We see you are flying here, there and everywhere for photo-shoots. What’s the story behind all the shoots and what are the more exciting places you’ve been?d it. I can see myself going far, visualizing myself taking my physique to the next level and beyond. God has given me nice genetics and I plan on working with what I’ve been given to bring out the best in myself.

Martae: The most exciting place I’ve been so far is Hawaii. It’s so alien to me, coming from a desert environment with a city planted in the middle of it like Phoenix is. I have also traveled to the east coast, Miami, Vegas, California. And Dallas this May for a shoot and then another one in New York. These shoots are for Musclegallery.com and other media as well. And yeah, I love being paid to workout, eat, and train. But nothing matters to me more than the experience and growth of my heart and understanding of the world around me during such travels.

BBG: Some folks love the camera but not everyone. How do you enjoy all the time in front of the lens?

Martae: I’m a completely different person in front of the camera. It’s like acting without a script on a silent film. I love it. I look back at the photos like, “He did very well…”  :->

BBG: We’d like to ask you about Big Back Grips in your workouts.  We recall you were a bare-handed lifter when we met? Had you ever used lifting straps or chalk? Why did you bring Big Back Grips into your workout?

Martae: I lifted everything bare handed. I always wanted to improve my grip strength and keep it strong that was very important to me. I just hated my hands getting shredded from skin always being ripped from my palm. I have used straps before but I disliked the blood circulation being cut off from the combination of the heavy weight and the strap around my wrist. The first time I tried Big Back Grips they allowed me to still work on and maintain my grip strength. And not cut off my circulation or fabric digging hard fabric into my skin either. The Big Back Grips feel natural.

BBG: Do you just use them for back or for more than that?

Martae: I use them for far more than that. I have used them even doing curls, and triceps rope pull-downs because it prevents the bar from slipping around in my sweaty palms. This eliminates the need to readjust myself during a workout and concentrate on working the targeted muscle. They are amazing for deadlifting too among other things I do…

BBG: What are your biggest accomplishments in your bodybuilding history so far? Titles, personal goals achieved, etc…

BBG: What is your workout schedule like? Martae: So far, just locally. I’ve won 3 weight classes but I just view them as milestones on the journey to gauge where I’m at. My fire to compete has recently returned at an even greater level with the mental capacity needed to put everything into each and every workout. I’m sure my training partner Josh Barnett can attest to the rabid-dog focus I bring to gym now.

Martae: I do cardio at 8 a.m. and head to Metroflex to train at 3 p.m. with Josh, who is under I.F.B.B. Pro Dennis James.

BBG: Do you train exclusively at Metroflex Gym in Phoenix? How do you like it? It’s really our kind of gym. Down to earth and ready to sweat in.

Martae: Metroflex is a hardcore gym. Not only is it a hardcore gym but it is a gym with the environment that breeds results. The gym environment helps a lot when it comes to staying motivated. It would be tough staying motivated in a gym with a “pizza day”, where everyone goes to wear makeup and looks pretty, or doesn’t look like they are there for a purpose. I love it, this gym is so me. Beast. There will be screaming, heavy weights being dropped, an aggressive approach to meeting goals, and most of all a very friendly environment for family and comrades.

BBG: What are your favorite exercises or body parts to work? What do you consider your best body part? Do you have a body part that’s especially challenging to make headway on?

Martae: My favorite body parts to work are legs and back, being that those are my strong areas. I’m now learning to try to love arms because I ruptured both of my biceps, so I feel if I can safely target them in an aggressive manner I will. I will focus an extreme amount of energy especially in parts such as my chest and arms during my workouts. I’ll even use my Big Back Grips during these workouts!

BBG: Totally! Now, if so

meone were going to work out with you, what are they in for, what’s your workout style? What would you want from a partner?

Martae: Ballistic. No marbles. Possible vomiting. I guarantee if they are feeding off of my energy they are feeding off of a serious source that pushes to die every time during a set… I scare myself sometimes…

BBG: What’s your advice to people trying to get who dream of seriously competing?  What are some of the choices they have to make if they really want to dream big?

Martae: My advice would be to learn as much as possible from credible sources and learn what works for you. I cannot stress that enough. The second would be consistency. There are no days off in this sport. Eating clean, making good sound judgments on nutrition, and choosing the right path for yourself requires much more out your life than most people realize. Or are ready to commit to.

BBG: Finally, can you give us your workout for just one body part. Just pick your favorite.

Martae's Leg Workout

Your legs will be done!!!! I love the feeling of searing hot coals burning through my legs…

  • 800 pounds on leg press for 12 reps
  • Superset with leg extentions with 180 for 12 reps (repeated twice)
  •  Then finishing with a set on leg presses beginning at
  • 15 reps holding with knees bent for 10 seconds
  • Then 12 reps (hold 10 seconds)
  • 10 reps (hold 10 seconds)
  • 8 reps (hold 10 seconds)
  • 6 reps (hold 10 seconds)
  • 4 reps (hold 10 seconds)
  • 2 reps (hold 10 seconds)

BBG: Martae, thank you. We’re really excited to be sponsoring you in the West Coast Classic. You look great, and still have real time to improve even further. Good luck!!!