Muscle Sport Magazine

Nothing is Handed Down

Barbie Garrido, Female Bodybuilder, Wears Many Hats to Success

This is part of a continuing series provided exclusively by MuscleSport Mag entitled, “This is Your Magazine,” where we profile the every-day athlete. If you would like to see yourself profiled here, please send us your story and photo to

And you think that you have had a tough time meeting your goals. Down in Miami, Florida, Barbie Garrido had to take care of her four children while going to college to become a Registered Nurse. That would have been a lot of anyone’s plate, but Barbie is not just anyone.

After deciding to do personal training “on the side,” as she put it, she met her current husband, who gave her the support she needed to take it to the next level – competitive bodybuilding, something Garrido, 39, has had a passion for since her early days at Brodie’s Gym. “It was a hardcore gym full of sweaty men,” she remembered. “I saw no women so I questioned that for a while until I came across a picture of Juliette Berman and Rachel McLish and I wanted to be like them.”

Garrido set a precedent for herself by winning her first contest. “In March 2005, I got on stage for the first time at the Sunshine Classic and was amazed that I won the Over-30 class,” she said. “Since that moment, I fell in love with bodybuilding, with the stage, the lights, the screaming, the rush that took away the 16 weeks of agonizing torture in only two minutes.”

Before the year was completed, Garrido entered four more shows, taking first place in the Southern States Middleweight Over-30 and the South Florida Heavyweight Over-30 and the Overall, as well as finishing in second in the Open Heavyweight of the Miami Bodybuilding show.

Even when a good streak is going, at times there are bumps in the road. While training for the Southern States Open the following year, Garrido sustained a knee injury 10 weeks out. “That was a blow to me and I went into a depression,” remembered Garrido. “I still wasn’t ready in 2007 and couldn’t train my legs effectively.”

The turning point in Garrido’s career came in October of last year when she decided that it was time to kick it into gear. Her knee was feeling better and she contacted IFBB professional bodybuilder Dayana Cadeau to help train her for the 2008 Sunshine Classic. Garrido looked back on that and called it “the best decision of my life.”

Her routine consisted of a 6:00 AM wake up seven days a week before heading right into the gym to do one hour of cardio. She then returned home, ate breakfast, caught some sleep, hit the gym for workout number two, which consisted of weight training and another hour of cardio. “Nothing changed but my mood, my anger, my tiredness, my hunger,” said Garrido.

But it wasn’t all bad in this love/hate relationship. “What kept me on track was my willpower, dedication and the love for change,” Garrido said. “My goal, my victory over any obstacle – it was mine. I could taste it.”

When it came to the night of the show, Garrido couldn’t understand why she was feeling so apprehensive. “Butterflies in my stomach, but why?” Garrido thought back. “I’ve competed before. Why now? I was nervous, thirsty and hungry, but I did it.

“I got up there and proved that I was back for good.”

She certainly was and went home with a much-deserved Light Heavyweight Open, the Overall and Over-30 Class. Garrido may have been proud of these accomplishments, but won’t rest on her laurels. She has her eyes set on the 2009 National, what Garrido calls the “big show.”

“Now is the time to rock ‘n’ roll with the big girls, to go higher,” Garrido gladly said. “For all the female bodybuilders out there, for the people who said I couldn’t do it. I am what I am. I am a bodybuilder.”

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