Muscle Sport Magazine


By Leigh Penman – For bodybuilder Juan Diesel, the love affair with bodybuilding began the minute he picked up his first bodybuilding magazine. Since then his rise up the bodybuilding ladder has been impressive to say the very least. Currently training for the Junior Nationals in Chicago next month, Juan took time out of his busy schedule as a personal trainer to talk to me about how his contest prep is going, his workout philosophy and his approach to overcoming the ‘limitations’ of having an extremely fast metabolism….

So Juan, what body parts were you focusing on the most during the off season?

“I have been placing a lot of focus on my legs. They grow pretty well but when I diet they tend to lose some size. This was something I needed to correct. I am happy with the way things are going now though; I am keeping size and displaying condition.”

When you are faced with a lagging body part what is your approach to improving it?

“I train that body part hard and heavy and make sure to eat enough on those days. I don’t believe in light workouts and I train for no longer than one hour.”

One of the things that you have had to overcome is an extremely fast metabolism. How would you advise someone with a similar problem?

“Well first is eat, eat and eat till you can’t eat any more! Eat good quality foods and try and find foods that are well balanced in protein carbs and fat.”

Now when Juan says “eat, eat until you can’t eat any more” he really means it. Take a look at an average day’s diet in the off season for an example of this…..

MEAL 1: 5 whole eggs with one cup of oatmeal (pre cooked).

MEAL 2: 5 whole eggs, 1 cup rice.

MEAL 3: (pre-workout) 54g ISOLYZE (whey protein) with 40g CARBOLYZE (waxy maize) and 1 tablespoon of Macadamia Nut Oil.

MEAL 4: (post-workout) 54g ISOLYZE with 50g CARBOLYZE.

MEAL 5: 8oz cooked chicken or turkey with ½ cup cashew nuts (or almonds or walnuts) with 1 cup (cooked) white rice.

MEAL 6: 8oz (cooked) red meat with a salad with 2 tbs of Macadamia Nut Oil and vinegar with one baked potato and yam or white rice.

MEAL 7: as meal 5.

MEAL 8: 8oz turkey burgers with cheese and grits.

MEAL 9: as meal 6.

MEAL 10: 5 whole eggs with cheese and grits.

MEAL 11: 25g ISOLYZE with 8oz milk, 2 tbs peanut butter.

MEAL 12: as meal 11.

So next time you complain about being a ‘hard-gainer’ take a look at Juan’s diet for inspiration and motivation!

Talking about inspiration and motivation, Juan has been working with the legendary Dave Palumbo and Species Nutrition for two years now. How did that connection come about and how has it changed your diet and training philosophy?

“I started working with Dave for the 2007 East Coast and Eastern USA Championships. I met up with him to discuss a couple of things about getting ready for the show and he told me he was going to sponsor me. I couldn’t believe it!

“Working with Dave has been a great experience. I plan on working with him for my entire career. I have learned a lot from Dave and I’m very grateful for that. With his help I have been able to make drastic changes to my body every year. My condition on stage always improves. Dave’s work speaks for itself, he knows what he is doing…if you listen to him you will be the best that you can be.

“As for the Species products, I am hooked! I’ve been using them now for the two years that I have been working with Dave and I must say that I believe the products made a big difference when it comes to improving my physique. I use ISOLYZE, CARBOLYZE, LIPOLYZE, SOMALYZE and MAC NUT OIL and believe Species products are the best on the market.”

Apart from Dave, who has had the most influence on you in the sport?

“I would say Victor Martinez; I respect him because he is a great person and treats everyone with respect. He doesn’t let his status in the sport affect the way he treats people. He is very down to earth and cool to talk to. He is also very disciplined when getting ready for a show, no matter what happens, his focus stays on winning. Nothing can get in his way.”

Changing the subject, as a personal trainer do you find the fact that you spend so much time training others drains your enthusiasm for your own workouts at times?

“No, training others is something that I love. I also love setting the example for clients that they can do anything they put their minds to. By watching me get ready for a show they see the discipline it takes and it helps to motivate them to achieve their own goals.”

What do you think is the biggest lesson you have learned in your training?

“One thing I have learned about training for a show is that you have to train hard, don’t change your training just because it is pre contest. Keep it heavy all the way. Go to the gym for 45mins to 1 hour and get out. Sometimes we think that more is better when in fact all it does is make you look flatter on stage.”

How do you see your long-term future in the sport evolving?

“I honestly see myself as a top pro one day. I have the drive and dedication it takes and I will not allow anything or anyone to stand in the way of me being the best I can be….’

Are you available for Personal Training and Nutrition Consultations?

“Yes, I am available for both. You can go to my website  or e mail me at

Watch out for Juan at the forthcoming NPC Junior Nationals where he is sure to make a major impact. You can also find out more about his sponsors by going to  and for additional training and nutritional consultations go to 

Leigh Penman began her writing career in 1980 when she started her own weekly music column in a Scottish newspaper. From there she went on to writing for all the major music publications in the UK at that time, including ‘Record Mirror’, ‘Sounds’, ‘New Musical Express’ and ‘Number One’. Her work included interview such celebrities as Madonna, Cher, Tina Turner and David Bowie.

The late 80’s saw her moving into writing for nutrition companies and eventually bodybuilding magazines. She rapidly gained a reputation as being one of the top female writers on the bodybuilding scene and was a contributing editor on ‘Muscle & Co’, ‘Bodybuilding Monthly’, ‘Strength Athlete’, ‘Health & Fitness’ and ‘Fit Body’. She was also a major contributor to the Arnold endorsed magazine ‘Bodypower’ –where she went on to establish the position of ‘Show business Editor’. In addition to this she held the position of Ladies Editor for ‘Physiques International’

In between all this she has written for Personal Development magazines and organizations –including Tony Robbins UK division. Has collaborated on book projects with Leslie Kenton –the original Raw Food and female empowerment guru – and written for computer magazines…..and now she is with Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness magazine,, RX, Species Nutrition and of course!

She is a certified personal trainer, hypnotherapist and has been working out since the age of 15.


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