One look at her and it’s obvious — Felicia Romero knows fitness. A decorated competitor with three top-five finishes at the Figure International and five pro Figure titles overall, including the 2011 IFBB California Pro Figure and the 2009 IFBB Border States Pro Figure, Romero has used that success to reach an ever-larger fan base through her personal training business and motivational speaking engagements.
She’s also seen a lot of training, good, bad or otherwise, in her years in the gym. The 32-year-old out of Gilbert, Arizona, shares five key lessons for women chasing a stronger, leaner, more defined physique.
Overestimating your strength and endurance.
Although more typically an error for guys, women can fall prey to it, as well, according to Romero. “Starting with heavy weights or too many reps in a workout can cause injury,” she says. Beginners tend to get too eager and impatiently ramp up the poundage in their first few workouts.
“Building up strength and endurance takes time,” she counsels. “And if that means you have to start by lifting 5- to 10-pound weights and performing just a few reps, then so be it. Once you get used to that level of exercise, you can upgrade to heavier weights and more reps. You’re doing this for yourself, so don’t worry about anyone else in the gym and what they might think — the ones who know what they’re doing and really get fitness would never judge you.”