Women's Health's December 2012 cover girl Iza Calzado is very proud of how far she’s come in less than two years of strength training with trainer Ido Portal. Read on to learn more about her journey to fitness.

    Iza’s own goal is to do what Ido calls “a perfect pull-up,” which requires complete engagement of the lateral muscles, and not just the upper arms, so that it’s a great core workout. Iza likes that it’s a practical skill: “You’re able to carry and move your own body weight!”

    Iza says that starting off on a new skill should never intimidate anyone from trying it out. “Ido will always bring it to my level, but it will always be up to me to do the work. My work lifestyle (read: crazy working hours) make it more difficult, but I try my best to keep at it.”

It’s not about making yourself thin, says Iza. Strength training might make you heavier—and that may not be a bad thing. “I started at 127 lbs. and am now about 130 to 132 lbs. My dress size hasn’t changed, although I’ve definitely felt it get tighter around the shoulders and chest area. This makes me happy because that means my upper body is getting stronger.” As a plus, the extra muscle helps keep your basal metabolic rate up, so you’re always burning more calories even at rest.

    Iza’s best dead lift was three reps of 145 lbs. at six sets; now she does five reps of 115 lbs. at five sets, but done together with two other exercises. “Maybe I can do 155 to 165 lbs. now if I tried!” she says.

    It’s not just her body that benefits from her training program. “It’s made me stronger and I’ve become more confident to do things—even pole dancing—because of this,” she says.

To learn more about Iza Calzado, grab a copy of the December 2012 issue of Women's Health Philippines, out on stands now! You can also subscribe to the magazine’s digital edition.

(Photo by Mike Dee)

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