The public first met Michael Martinez back in 2014 as a teenage figure skater, stick thin but full of strength to pull out triple-triple jumps and ultra-fast spins. Today, the 22-year-old two-time Winter Olympian stands taller and leaner than ever, thanks to his newfound fitness activity—bodybuilding.
Martinez’ whirlwind journey to his second Olympic appearance influenced his decision to try out lifting. The Muntinlupa native initially failed to secure a slot during the World Championships last March 2017, an event qualifier for the Winter Olympics. He once again missed the cut at the Nebelhorn Trophy back in September 2017, his last chance to qualify for the world’s biggest sporting event staged in South Korea.
But like it was always meant to be, Martinez did skate on Olympic ice when Swedish skater Alexander Majorov withdrew from the competition.
In an exclusive interview, the “Golden Boy of Philippine Figure Skating” recalled feeling upset when he did not earn his ticket to the Olympics. “This is my life and this is my everything, and for that to be taken away from me was difficult,” he tells MBody. “After that, I hung my skates and tried to move on.”
Part of moving on for him was setting a new goal: achieving the physique of his dreams. “I’ve always wanted to do body building,” he says. “My goal now is to reach 200 pounds.” His current built—the result of months of rigorous workout—is a far cry from a figure skater’s ideal body. Skaters would opt for slender yet muscular bodies—the former to spin faster and the latter to assist them into and out of jumps.
These are likely the same moves he might relearn for he still considers competing in the near future. “There’s a high possibility that I compete at the SEA Games next year,” he says. For now, Martinez says he’s taking a break to focus on his current goals.
To achieve his target weight and built, Martinez swears by strength training exercises. “Sometimes, I do body weight training,” he shares, a method where an individual’s own weight provides resistance for muscle building. “Most of the time, however, I do weightlifting,” he adds, a workout where barbells in various weights are lifted.
Martinez is mindful of his diet, too, as he has always been. To supplement his new workout regime, he makes sure to eat balanced meals everyday. Some of the meals he’s featured on his Instagram include popcorn shrimp, baked salmon with carrots and asparagus, shrimp pasta, and Japanese pork cutlet with curry sauce and rice. He keeps a food diary as well, something he says he’s always had to guide him on his new fitness bid. “I have to list down and count all the calories, carbs, protein, fat—everything,” he shares.
Asked about the progress, Martinez believes that he is getting closer to his desired physique. He is currently at 185 pounds, a slow and steady push from his initial weight of 150 pounds. “The journey was difficult but I know that I will be able to achieve it just the way I was able to with my other goals in life,” he says.
In spite of his body goals, the figure skating phenom clarifies that he has no plans to joining any bodybuilding competition. “I just want to be a fitness model in the future,” he reveals. “Then I’ll take it from there.”
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Watch Michael Martinez’s Fast Talk with MBody:
— Michael Martinez Reflects on Conquering the World Figure Skating Stage
— Slay at Bodybuilding: Bulking and Cutting the Smart Way
— 9 Reasons Why the 30-Somethings are Front Runners in Achieving Fitness Goals
— Crushing Fears: How to Start Your Fitness Journey
— Nutrition in Fitness: Why Macros and Micros Tracking Matters