Monday, 25 August 2014

My Chat With Ramona Braganza | Exclusive Interview

I am back today with an interview with Ramona Braganza, who is an acclaimed personal trainer to the stars. When you think of Tinseltown bodies, then you think of the big celebrities regularly gracing our screens and I have to say Ramona has trained them all.

She has not only worked with Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson, but she has also helped a variety of Hollywood hunks such as Ryan Reynolds and Bradley Cooper.

Keep reading to find out Ramona's daily diet and what workouts she does with Jessica Alba and Halle Berry who are not only in-demand actresses and business women, but they are also mums. I know its hard to believe, as how can they juggle all of that and still look good? But its simple, as Ramona has the answer!

At what age did you get interested in health and fitness?
I was a competitive gymnast from the age of 4 to 18, then I was a cheerleader/dancer for the NFL football team the LA Raiders for 10 years and during those years I became interested in competing for fitness contests. I would personally say that was when I really became interested in learning how to eat right and how to train properly.

What made you want to be a personal trainer and a wellness coach?
I was offered a job to train Jessica Alba for her TV show Dark Angel. This was the first official time I was training someone for a role. Once I began working with her I had more opportunities to work with everyday people as well, and I found that I could inspire them mentally and emotionally. All of this made me want to pursue a career as a personal trainer and a wellness coach.

Who was your first celebrity client?

The first celebrity I ever trained for a role was Jessica Alba when she was just 17 years old.

How can we achieve a Hollywood body without the a-list budget?
I believe anyone can accomplish anything they want to, as long as they have the will to do it. Building a Hollywood body begins in the brain, so even without an a-list budget if you can find the motivation and have a meaningful goal then you can start training yourself! Also my fitness program 321 training requires little equipment, so there is no need to join a fancy gym, as you can workout at home whenever you want.

Do you have any advice for workout beginners?
I always say beginners should not start out too aggressively. Simply begin with a walking program and a good proper eating plan and then you can add weight training and core improvement for as little as 20 minutes a day - 5 days a week. All of that will help you get started safely and effectively. Also I recommend everyone tries my Ramona 321 Pro app (which is available to download on iTunes), where I give tips and encouragement to train like the stars.

You often say 'make fitness a way of life', so how can we all incorporate it on a day-to-day basis?
Its really easy, start walking everywhere or cycle. Carry your grocery bags, clean your home regularly and make that a workout with some high energy music. Then take the stairs instead of the lift. Remember don’t limit exercise just to a gym, make it a lifestyle plan. If you work in an office consider a standup desk, as standing for an hour burns 50 more calories than sitting - while this doesn't sound like much, it all adds up. If you stand for three hours a day for five days, that's around 750 calories burnt. Over the course of a year it would add up to about 30,000 extra calories, or around 8lb of fat. Then I would say go out dancing and enjoy yourself, just get moving and spend less time stationary or sitting down.

What is your exercise regime?
My exercise regime consists of a variety of activities. When it comes to strength training I prefer using dumbbells and doing my 321 training method. I also go to a gym four times a week to help keep this up. For endurance training, I enjoy going on runs, taking dance classes, kickboxing classes and hiking. For agility, I like playing tennis and for balance I get on the water and try some stand up paddles and finally for flexibility I have been doing yoga classes a couple of times a week.

Can you describe your daily diet and what foods you recommend for fat burning?
I practice what I preach and I preach eating lean and clean. I stick to eating 3 meals, 2 snacks and a minimum of 1 liter of water every day. I recommend sticking to the 80/20 rule, so 80% of the week you stick to an eating plan and then the other 20% or 3 meals a week you have your favourite soul food (basically what you really like to eat). But daily for breakfast I like to eat muesli with yoghurt and berries. For lunch and dinner I have lean protein such as fish or chicken or some vegetarian protein source like beans, legumes and either yams, brown rice, wheat tortilla or quinoa and I always have it with lots of veggies, mostly green ones, like spinach, asparagus or a salad. Then I mainly have fruit for dessert, but I occasionally have a glass of red wine, a bit of chocolate or some gummi bears - everything in moderation.

Do you think its important to join a gym, or can we create a body like the celebs you train at home?
It can definitely be done at home, as long as you incorporate the right diet with the right training program.

What makes your 321 DVD series different and what can viewers expect?
Well I don’t offer just one workout, I offer my viewers a 3 day program and its not just cardio based, it includes strength training and working on your core. It also progresses you safely from a beginner to more advanced. Whats great is that it doesn’t need a lot of workout equipment and it can be adjusted to whatever time you may have by doing less or more of the cardio and by doing 1, 2 or 3 circuits of strength training each time.

Can you share the secret to Jessica Alba's and Halle Berry's enviable figures?
Its really just comes down to hard work, commitment and lots of willpower. Typical exercises I have done with Jessica include lots of crunches on the ball, around 25 to 30 in a row and then do that for 2 sets. Then with Halle we do a lot of walking lunges, around 25 in a row and we do 3 sets.

What is the biggest tip you can give to my followers and readers looking to sculpt/shape their bodies?
I would say stick with it and it will definitely work. Also don’t beat yourself up if you fall off a program, simply get back on it and carry on. Never let setbacks stop you from carrying on.

Do you have any snacking rules? And if so, what are good options to eat?
Snacks are allowed and should be enjoyed, but try and include hummus and celery, yoghurt and berries, low fat cheese and plenty of fruit and vegetables. I personally like to snack on edamame and occasionally popcorn. I recommend mixing both fiber and protein, as it is the best for keeping you fuller for longer.

What is your personal fitness goal for 2014?
My personal fitness goal for 2014 is to try and maintain the weight I am most comfortable at. But I do want to keep strength in my body - especially since I am now in my 50's and keeping muscle mass is extremely important to me and my overall fitness. I will also continue to work on improving my flexibility.

Lastly, whats next for Ramona Braganza?
Well I am busy the second part of the year traveling and expanding my brand globally. I am actually going to be in London on October 11th and 12th holding my Instructor 321 Training Method course, along with holding my 321 Baby Bulge Be Gone workshop for new mums wanting to get back in shape. If anyone is interested please go to my website 321FitnessUK and sign up, as I would love to meet you all. I will also be holding a fitness retreat in Egypt on October 22nd to the 26th and then I will head to India where I launch my first book called Feel Fit Look Fantastic in 321. So all in all I have a very busy time ahead!

Once again a big thank you to Ramona for conducting this interview with me. It was amazing to find out her top tips and tricks, as this lady knows her stuff and she knows it well. I will definitely be taking on board her 80/20 rule. I also just want to say that I was so shocked to find out that Ramona is in her 50's, as she looks absolutely incredible. I literally couldn't believe it when she told me, as she looks so much younger! I guess it just goes to show that the right diet and exercise routine can really help you maintain a youthful appearance.

To stay up-to-date with Ramona check out her Twitter and Instagram pages @RamonaBraganza where she documents her fun travels and shares her insider info!

Also be sure to check out Ramona's personal website and blog and her fantastic training method @321FitnessUK

Lastly, let me know what your fitness goals are?

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  1. LOVED this interview! So interesting, I had never heard of her before but now I really want to check out the app she mentioned and her dvd, I love the idea of her workout routine! Amazing interview and loved all your questions! Your blog is super lovely! X

    1. Thank you so much for your kind message!
      I am so pleased you enjoy my blog and loved this interview.
      Ramona is known in the industry for her great workouts and fitness plans and I highly recommend her app. Let me know if you try it!