Full name: Monique Ricardo (formerly Minton)
Date of birth: August 17, 1984
Off-season weight: 150
Contest weight: 144
Current residence: Dallas
Years training: Three
Occupation: IFBB bikini pro, fitness model, NAGA grappling champion
Marital status: Married
Ethnicity: Polish and Filipina
Hobbies: Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay Thai, reading, cooking
How did you get into bodybuilding? I used to be a runway model-very skinny with no muscle. Then I saw a figure show for the first time and was amazed by the competitors. I knew right away I wanted to look like them! So I did my research, took time to build some muscle and later decided to compete.
Who inspired you when you were starting out? Jenny Lynn was my all-time-favorite figure girl when I started out in figure three years ago. She looked just like the trophy statues they hand out for awards. My husband inspires me now. He is full of words of encouragement and wisdom and keeps me strong mentally. That’s critical in any type of competition. I feel on top of the world and can do anything with his support!
Top titles: ’10 IFBB Bikini Olympia, 8th; ’10 IFBB MuscleContest Pro Bikini, 2nd; ’09 NPC USA Championships, bikini, F-class, 1st; ’08 NPC National Championships, figure, F-class, 5th; ’08 NPC USA Championships, figure, F-class, 3rd
Favorite bodypart to train: Back
Favorite exercise: Wide-grip pullups
Favorite form of cardio: Incline elliptical trainer
Best bodypart: Back
Most challenging-bodypart: I wouldn’t point to any one-bodypart. I’m constantly evolving, and I naturally have a curvy body. I would say it’s a challenge to make up my mind about how I want to push my body-to be harder and muscular or more curvy.
Favorite bodypart on a man: Traps
Obstacles overcome: I have to time everything just right for my competitions in two sports-bikini and grappling, which is submission fighting. I love to train as much as possible for Brazilian jiu jitsu. Sometimes I may get injured or bruised due to all the hard training I go through. I have to make sure I have enough time to heal because who wants a huge bruise while onstage showing my hard work in the gym? I make sure I have plenty of arnica gel on hand! I also make sure when I’m competing in bikini and my diet is very restricted to be more cautious in training to avoid injury. I do get a little weak on lower carbs, and that type of training burns a lot of calories.
Do you have a quote or a philosophy you try to live by? I always loved this quote: “In a world of fakes, dare to be real.” My philosophy of life is to relax and enjoy what you have. Life is so short!
How do you stay motivated? Keeping healthy and looking like I’m in shape all year long.
Worst pickup line you’ve ever heard: So, do you work out?
How would you describe your training style? My training consists of weights and MMA training. I don’t do your basic methods of cardio. I get most of mine from MMA training. In the gym I like to do a lot of light weight with high reps to keep lean and toned. I would say my training style is different from most competitors.
Monday: Back and biceps, MMA training
Tuesday: MMA training
Wednesday: Legs, MMA training
Thursday: MMA training
Friday: Shoulders and triceps
Favorite clean meal: Egg whites and Ezekiel bread-or sushi
Favorite cheat foods: Peanut butter, cheese, home-made chocolate chip cookies
What is your favorite Muscletech Hardcore Pro supplement, and why? I love Nano Vapor! It tastes really good and gives me a lot of energy for my workouts. I get really good pumps and stay focused when I use Nano Vapor.
Goals in the sport: To win the Bikini Olympia!
Monday: Back and biceps
Wide-grip pullups 3 x 12
Cable pulldowns 3 x 15
Close-grip cable rows 3 x 15
Hyperextensions 3 x 12
Concentration curls 3 x 15
Dumbbell hammer curls 3 x 20
Squats 3 x 20
Lunges 3 x 25
Leg presses 3 x 25
Lying leg curls 3 x 15
Stiff-legged deadlifts 3 x 15
Standing calf raises 3 x 15
Friday: Shoulders and triceps
Seated dumbbell presses 3 x 12
Lateral raises 3 x 12
Front raises 3 x 12
Standing barbell presses 3 x 15
Cable pressdowns 3 x 15
One-arm reverse pressdowns 3 x 15
Dumbbell kickbacks 3 x 12
Daily Diet and Supplements
Meal 1: 6 egg whites, 2 slices Ezekiel bread
Midmorning: 1 scoop Nitro-Tech Hardcore Pro Series
Meal 2: 6 ounces white meat, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1 cup broccoli
Midafternoon: 1 scoop Nitro-Tech Hardcore Pro Series, 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
Meal 3: 6 ounces bison meat, 1 green salad
Meal 4: 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt IM